About 4 years ago, I discovered I was pregnant. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend, due to his serious substance abuse issues. I was living by myself, for the first time in my life. I did a home pregnancy test at 11pm at night. I used every test in the pack, then drove down the store and bought another pack, just to be sure. They were all positive. I burst into tears and rang my best friend at midnight to tell her. I was so scared. I’d always wanted to be a Mum, but had never planned on it being like this, I was single, the father was an addict who could barley look after himself, and I lived pay to pay. I am also a type 1 diabetic, so it would be a high risk pregnancy. My only family was my Mum, who at this time was living interstate. It was the last thing I needed in my life. I will make a confession. For about 24 hours, I considered an abortion. Something I have never forgiven myself for. That thought, that hesitation, I sometimes think may have caused, somehow, the outcome.
Within a week though, I’d already had a scan, given up smoking, caffeine, alcohol, seen my diabetes specialist and chosen a name for a boy and a girl. I was still scared, although my ex had said he would go to rehab and get clean and be a father, in my heart I knew I would be doing this alone. I was super emotional, crying at the drop of a hat, I already was showing, couldn’t do up my pants.Too many times, I said the words ‘I hate being pregnant’. Oh how I regret those words. Those thoughts.
But I would talk to my baby, when I felt sad and scared I would hold my expanding belly, and think that it was just the two of us. Together, forever. And I promised my baby that I loved it enough for two parents, that I would always look after him or her, that together, we would never be alone. All the pain, and sadness and confusion would be worth it in the end, because the two of us would take on the world. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t alone.
Pretty much everyone knew I was pregnant early on, it was difficult to hide my protruding belly. Strangely though, I always had a feeling that something wasn’t right. Everyone told me that all pregnant women felt that way, that it was normal to be anxious.
On the 9 October 2007 I went to have my 12 week ultrasound. The father was supposed to come with me, but at the last minute canceled, as he was ‘hanging out’, so I went by myself. They had to do an internal, and I could tell by her face that something was wrong. My eyes had already welled with tears, by the time she started talking. She showed me my baby and said that it was very small, about the size of 7½ weeks. She said there was no heartbeat. Then she moved the scanner probe, and said “and this is another baby. And, unfortunately, there is no heartbeat either’. I will never forget those words. As I write them now, they echo around my head, as if I just heard them.
I drove myself home, and then just cried and cried. I told the father, and we cried together. I rang my mum and told her. I went to my Dr, who organised a D&C for the next day. They took my babies on the 10 October 2007. The hospital was wonderful, so sensitive and compassionate. They gave me a little certificate, and 2 sets of tiny booties and bonnets.
I felt so numb, like I couldn’t really understand what was happening. On the way home from the hospital, we had to detour, so the ‘father’ could score heroin. He went on a massive bender, for weeks, that was his way of ‘grieving’.
None of my friends really knew what to say to me. A week later I went back to work. The night before I got so upset because I couldn’t find anything to wear that didn’t show that I still looked pregnant. I was desperate to hide any evidence that I had ever been pregnant. I put on a brave face, went back to work, pretended that I was OK. I think people were relieved that I seemed fine, and they didn’t have to deal with it. I continued that act for a long time. Nobody talked about them. They ceased to exist. Except in my head. Every single day I thought of them. Every single day, when I was alone, I would cry for them. There was, and still is, a huge gaping hole inside me, where they were supposed to be, where they were supposed to grow, into babies I could touch, and hold, and love.
Originally published on The Hesitant Housewife August 8th, 2011.
My name is Jane, and I write about my life, and my journey from dysfunction; to being a wife, mother and woman I can be proud of. Completely undomesticated, flying blind as a stay at home mother to a gorgeous but high maintenance daughter, living with autism spectrum disorder. You can find my blog, Almost Jane – The Hesitant Housewife at Almost Jane – The Hesitant Housewife, and follow me on Twitter here.