I suffered a miscarriage in 2011. I lost my baby at 12 weeks. It was heartbreaking and a very difficult experience to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it. It’s a strange feeling to mourn the loss of someone you’ve never met or held.
I stood in the bathroom of my parents’ home, waiting for the line to appear. There it was. I was two to three weeks pregnant. I began to bond with that little being immediately. I imagined what he or she might look like; thought of what I might call him/ her; and rubbed my tummy affectionately, wearing that I’ve-got-a-secret smile.
As much as your partner wants to be there for you during a miscarriage, they can never fully understand what it feels like when the gynaecologist stands above you, staring at the screen, and then turns to you and says: “I’m sorry.” I think every woman watches their gynaecologist’s face, trying desperately to read it, and hoping never to hear those words.
Before she said anything, I already knew what was coming. All I wanted to do was reach inside myself and cradle this little being, but I couldn’t. After all, Mother Nature made us that way ( to want to comfort our young in times of distress. I hadn’t bled. I wondered whether it was even true. They put me to sleep and when I woke up, the pregnancy was gone. I knew that only when I conceived again would the pain go away.
When I finally fell pregnant with my daughter, I was beyond happy. I carried her with an extra special caution that could only be compared to someone carrying an explosive. I know that’s a negative comparison, but I truly carried her with exceptional care. My only ambition at the time was to get her into this world safely. She was already my everything. She was born in 2012. I was a mom, and that time I got to keep my baby.
I fell pregnant with my son when my daughter was nine weeks old. He was completely unplanned but totally welcome. When I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I was thrilled. Everything was working out so perfectly! He arrived three weeks early. I think I vacuumed my entire house three times in that last 24 hours. I was nesting.
An 8am tea-and-lemon-drizzle-cake visit to a local coffee shop turned into: “I think I’m in labour.” Fifteen minutes later, the nurse confirmed it. I was contracting. This was to my great surprise, as my planned C-section was booked for the following week.
I’ll never forget my ex-spouse’s first words as we watched the nurse count all of his little fingers and toes: “He’s got red hair!” I smiled and thought: “Well, he is half-Irish.” They handed him to me and I held him close and said: “Hi, it’s me. I’m your mommy.”
Every year my children are the same age for two weeks. It’s extraordinary. They are so close and most definitely best friends. They fight like an old married couple, (they know exactly how to push each other’s buttons) and they still hold hands while they sleep. In hindsight, having them so close together was a gift. While going through this divorce, they learned to rely on each other to cope. They can always lean on each other, whether it’s while spending time with Mommy or time with Daddy. One thing that never changes is that they move through this process together. I think they’ve bonded for life. Having each other meant that they always had a distraction from what was going on in the adult world. My Irish twins.
So, when you remember every little amazing milestone that comes with becoming a mom; how you envisioned it being ( always being there for your babies and seeing them every single day as they grow and develop ( the reality of a divorce can be shattering. You may now have to share your child. You may not get to see them every day. For me personally, I can say that that was the most heartbreaking part of my divorce, all the while trying to logically understand that for my children, it was the best thing.
The heartbreaking reality is that if you see your kids four days a week, then out of the next seven years of your child’s life, you will miss a combined total of three years. I try not to think about it. It kills me. I struggled for a long time with the fact that a man can simply decide one day to end his marraige and then also take the kids with him, into his new family, 3 nights a week. They were only 1 and 2 when the divorce began. I hadn’t even had the pleasure of watching my babies grow into toddlers fully. I felt so cheated out of motherhood. I felt my only purpose in my short marriage was to deliver babies into the world and then the natural process of raising them, was taken from me. I think this fact alone should be enough to make anybody work on their marriage, right up until the point when they genuinely can’t do it anymore. You’ve got to be really sure of what you’re signing up for. Sometimes it’s simply out of your hands and with you I truly sympathize.
I have learned to forgive my ex, and myself for how it ended up for us, but forgiving all of the psychological confusion my children have been exposed to, is an ongoing battle. When life is completely out of my control I’ve learned to put my hands up to God and say “I leave it up to you. In you I trust”.