This col­umn will change your life

The preg­nant griev­ing mother

The Guardian - Weekend - - Contents -

Plus What I’m re­ally think­ing: the preg­nant griev­ing mother

Last time, I told ev­ery­one straight away. I was thrilled and saw no point in wait­ing for three months, by which point many peo­ple have guessed any­way. I knew that if I had an early mis­car­riage I would want to talk to friends, so it would be bet­ter if they knew I was preg­nant.

But this time I don’t want to tell any­one. Peo­ple smile and say things like, “You must be thrilled!” I can see some friends think my news means my life is back to nor­mal, that this erases all the pain of the six months since my three-mon­thold son died of sud­den in­fant death syn­drome. But I’m not thrilled – I’m ter­ri­fied, sad and griev­ing.

My last preg­nancy was com­pli­ca­tion-free, so there’s no rea­son to think any­thing is likely to go wrong. But with each test and mile­stone I feel ut­terly vul­ner­a­ble to fate and have lit­tle faith that the tiny spark of life in­side me can pass un­scathed. I check for blood with ev­ery toi­let visit.

And then there’s the sad­ness. I’m sad this preg­nancy won’t be one of happy an­tic­i­pa­tion. I’m sad this baby isn’t go­ing to be the perfect son I lost. I’m sad that this sad­dens me – this baby is just as de­serv­ing of my joy as my last, and will be just as perfect, if all goes well. I cling des­per­ately to the be­lief that when I see this new­born baby all the love that was there be­fore, will be there again.

So when you hear our news, please don’t as­sume we are back to square one. We are on a dif­fer­ent, much more dif­fi­cult jour­ney. And please don’t think we no longer need all the love and sup­port you’ve given us. We will still need that for many months to come.

Tell us what you’re re­ally think­ing at mind@the­guardian.com

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