I can’t tell you why, but in my 20’s I started to get an inkling that babies weren’t going to come easy to me. Maybe it was because I was studying Tradition Chinese Medicine, and had begun to realise I had quite a few syndromes. There was also the fact that I hadn’t exactly been careful when I first met my soon to be husband, and yet nothing had ever happened.
When we got married, we were in the middle of building our house, in the good old days of the boom. We were living above a local pub, finding married life quite stressful. The transition from engaged to married didn’t seem to be as smooth as others. Perhaps we were both trying to hold on to our independence.
Living above a pub wasn’t the healthiest environment to be in, I am a diabolical drinker, but I was smoking at the time, my new husband enjoyed the Guinness on tap downstairs! I got pregnant 5 months after we got married, and I was delighted, gave up smoking, and took the pregnancy very seriously, but looking back, I was so unready to be a mother, as a couple we had a lot of sorting out to do. My life revolved around my work, work and more work. An incredibly un-stressful job, but a very hard one, energy wise, I remember looking back at the diary the day I lost that baby, and I had 8 sports massages in, what the hell was I playing at?
So from that moment, lots of things changed, the joy of getting pregnant personally for me was lost forever. A miscarriage takes away all your joy, it strips it from your heart. Before you have a miscarriage, you begin to love a treasure, this little person growing inside you. We even had a name, I was certain it was a boy. But when you realise that actually you are at the hands of fate. Every pregnancy after that moment can be terrifying, and joyless.
I remember I was waiting for the D&C, it was the day before Christmas Eve, and for some reason I was left waiting in the store cupboard, by the operating theatre, in my gown and manky boots. I was crying until a lovely doctor came in horrified that they’d left me wait in there. Put in the theatre, the nurses were discussing how many miscarriages they had had that week, then what they were hoping to get for Christmas.
I think something in my brain after this decided that I never wanted to go through that experience ever again, so we didn’t conceive for 3 years after that. Looking back I don’t like regretting moments in my life, but those 3 years I really wish I hadn’t put my life on hold, I wish we had gone on more holidays and had more fun, I wish I had stopped thinking I was pregnant every bloody month.
I got pregnant again, finally, but I didn’t feel it was quite right. I think as women we have incredibly strong intuition, if we choose to listen to it. My sister was working with me, we were having a great time, I remember we were going to go to Kildare Shopping Village to go Christmas shopping, I had had a dream I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and that morning I started bleeding. Turned out my dream was right, the scan showed an empty sac. I was remarkably calm, after this, until my dad rang me, and I will never forget the sadness in his voice as he cried on the phone for what his baby of our family, had lost. I balled after that.
Life moved on as it does, oddly I grew stronger as a person and a therapist. I had empathy and a deep understanding when treating fertility. I played polo cross, got help with work, gave up the physical therapy part of my work. My sister was due her baby at the end of that summer, and asked me to be her birthing partner, in the Uk. I was so excited and distracted. I had started to go for counselling with a wonderful woman, and as a couple we were incredibly strong. I conceived that month. I will never forget it, it was the only month in all those years I took my eye off the ball!!! I was sat in the hospital watching my sister in labour on my 3rd really strong coffee, thinking god this tastes rotten,,,bingo!
We have two gorgeous children, Josh and Heather; Heather came as a surprise 18 months after Josh. I have gone on a journey that millions of women have treaded before me. We are pretty amazing really. I meet women that blow me away, with their courage and strength every day.