It’s my due date. I should have discovered by now if I had an early bird or whether my procrastination would be passed on. My mum passed her due date by two weeks and I had to be induced. The need for forceps has remained with me to get anything done especially on time. I imagined today I’d be waddling about probably still doing some really important preparations that should have been done months ago. I’d be excited and terrified out of my mind.
Instead the only waddling I’m doing are because my jeans are too tight as I’m eating til I can no longer feel the hollowness of my stomach. I don’t want to get out of bed.
Lying here with the bright light streaming in highlights the mess of clothes and paperwork I have no ability to deal with. I can hear the faint soft yells of the children playing in the park outside. Part of my brain can’t conceive of not having a child. It can’t seem to contort itself around the impossible and all that entails. Thoughts will hit me with an unexpected fervor and out of order. I’ll never be a grandmother.
Another part of my brain has the mission of trying to make sense of it but can’t. It’s like listening to a drunk person laying on the bathroom floor alternately sleeping and waking up to yell something important but when you ask ‘what do you mean?’ they fall back into a sleep coma. Yesterday the drunk brain voice slurred “Your baby will never be in a terrible accident”, “Wtf?”
Thats all it gives me, I’m supposed to make-do with knowing my child is safe from accidents, abuse, bullying, cancer, schizophrenia, alcoholism and a more awful prolonged death. It’s not comforting or particularly useful but it’s all that part of my brain has for me.
Hail just pelted at my window followed closely by a bright blue. There was probably a rainbow but I have no desire to see it, instead I scowl just as much at the sunny window as I did when it was dark and dreary. There is a term for babies born after a miscarriage or still birth. They are called rainbow babies. It’s an acknowledgement of the loss, of the dark storm filled skies and at the same time an understanding of clouds parting and there being a beautiful cascade of colour and a gorgeous little baby at the end of it. All the infertility forums are about acknowledging loss and to keep going “after all you never know”. I don’t begrudge anyone their rainbow but its hard when I do know. I will never have a surprise pregnancy. Doing IVF again might get me pregnant it also might kill me.
I’ve stopped talking about this because when it gets to this point in a conversation I know the next question is ‘have you considered adoption?’ or “Why don’t you just adopt?” It’s taken a while to upack those 4-5 words. These phrases are meant to move me forward, to get me closer to that rainbow but they don’t. They are meant to fix me, but it just reminds me how unfixable the situation is. I feel like an awful person that I can’t put everyone else at ease with oh I hadn’t thought about that, its a brilliant idea I’ll get right on it.
There is a very good chance I wouldn’t be allowed to adopt, I’m over 40 and have a history of breast cancer and live with the odds it might come back. Its fair enough that idf a child has already lost one set of parents you don’t want to knowingly put them in a situation where they are more likely to lose another one. Only 2 percent of children adopted in the UK are babies so if, big if, I was allowed to adopt it would be more likely to be an older child. A lot of children have additional complex needs. There are a lot of skills and talents needed in adopting a child who has been through so much. That might be one thing but I have a sister with special needs and I can’t knowingly adopt someone who may need so much from me that it could take away from my ability to look after her. I would have to undergo at least a year if not longer of social workers invading every part of our lives (rightfully so)to assess our ability to adopt a child and I’m not so sure I could deal with the fallout of being rejected.
I’ve heard adoption as being described as making a ‘claim’ of parenthood then proceeding from that point as that being the reality. That is a wonderful and amazing gift to open your family. I feel like a terrible person because I’m not sure my grief would go away,my fear is I would always feel like I’m looking after someone else’s child. Maybe that is my drunken-trying-to make-sense brain talking and trying to protect me because if I did desperately want to adopt it’s likely I couldn’t.
When I decided to do IVF last year it was the result of an epic search for optimism. After everything I had been through I decided to have some faith and do what other people seem to do and just live my life without the what if’s holding me back. I believed so hard. The belief, faith and hope I had is decimated. Rainbows no longer hold magic but are simply fractured prisms of light.
On this day and every day I grieve my little one’s life untravelled. On this day I miss who I would have been as their mum and the journey we would have walked together.
Today is the only due date I ever had or will ever have. I don’t want to come out from these covers but knowing I have to work acts like forceps dragging me out into the world, a world no part of my brain can make sense of.