Walking lightly

Rose and went to a follow up appointment at the local hospital today. The second opinion was sadly the same as the first, the odds are very against the survival of our bub. They were very nice. They’re taking over our care early, so they’re now the ones to call with questions or fears. We can turn up anytime if there’s bleeding or cramping. (must turn up, in fact, as I’d need an injection to prevent my body creating antibodies against the bub) They will do another scan in 10 days time, if we haven’t miscarried by then, and compare growth rate and so on to see if there might be some cause for more optimism. In the meantime we just wait.

It’s a hard place to be, we’re full of hope and despair in equal measure. We’re talking things very gently. Today I felt like company and Rose felt like bunking down at home, so she did just that, and I went out to Port Noarlunga with my sister and a friend. I had a raspberry sorbet and we went snorkelling along the reef. It was such a beautiful day, so bright and clear, the sky so blue. The water was full of fish and we saw a few crabs and starfish too. We’ve had dinner with family and we’re now watching Harry Potter.

It’s like the movement of a tide. Some hours are full of big emotions, others are the simple joy or needs of the moment. I feel a lot older and wiser about dealing with the movement of such string feelings. Less ashamed and bewildered, trying to control what I can’t. Better at rolling with the tides. It’s funny, on the way home today I thought about sharing on here what I’d done and I knew it would meet with the approval of those who would have advised me to not concentrate on the fear about our baby, just enjoy myself. That’s really not what I was doing today. I’ve had a lovely day after the sadness of the hospital this morning, but that’s not because I chose to think positive or decided how I would feel. If I had needed to curl into a dark place and paint myself with ink, or make dark art, or park my car somewhere solitary and scream, I would have done those things. I’m likely to do them sometime over the next few weeks.

It’s not about what anyone else would do or thinks I should do. It’s not about what a social worker might think of as the appropriate ways to handle this. It’s not about obedience or conformity or trying to make myself feel or not feel anything. It’s about listening to myself, unhooking from shame and loneliness and the other painful ideas that inevitably come with strong feelings and tough situations. I share them, counter them, unhook from them.

People are not rational in the face of pain. It’s normal. I find moments of shame when I’m feeling good. I find vague hazy fears that people like Terry Pratchett have died because we’re trying to bring a new life into the world. And when I can take these some place safe and unhook from them without shame, I’m just left with the feelings and needs of the moment, and I’m free to meet them. Company, solitude, distraction, expression, research, comfort, whatever. Whatever the feelings or needs are, it’s okay. I can navigate them, explore them, find a place for them. Rose can too. It’s okay when they’re not the same. It’s okay when they shift every 20 minutes. It’s okay if they’re different to how other people have felt or think they might feel in this situation.

It is what it is. Today our little one tasted the salty sea warmed by the sun. With what time we have, we’ll live. Fully, deeply, honestly, passionately. We’ll hurt and we’ll hope.

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