I haven’t wrote to you here in a long time. So I should probably mention your sibling, our third pregnancy, which we’re 17 weeks pregnant with today. Little Spearink-Jones “SJ” came as a complete shock to us a week into the new year, just before your due date. We hadn’t started trying again, and have no idea how we conceived so easily this time after all the previous trouble trying. It meant I was pregnant 3 times with 3 babies in the space of a year, and 7 weeks pregnant on your due date, it all felt wrong and I was scared we’d lose SJ too. People always try to comfort themselves/others by saying “what are the odds of it happening again?” but the truth is: the odds remain the same.
We’ve had more appointments with SJ, to ease my mind, as I’m still low-risk with a healthy baby. Oh how I wish we’d had this many with you. I truly believe we wouldn’t have intercepted or prevented your death, I just wish we’d seen you more before we never got to see you again. We’ve seen SJ wiggling around, hiding their face, being a little pickle at every scan, and heard their heartbeat so many times, and hopefully many many more times. SJ looks like you, the similarity made my cry at our 13 week scan.
We’ve slowly started to let ourselves get excited. We found out the gender yesterday and have planned a mini gender reveal party this weekend, and started shopping for gendered items. Both things we were really looking forward to with you, but never got to do.
I know you’re always with us. Please keep looking after your little sibling x
Talking to other people about you isnt the hardest part for me. I’m so used to not getting emotional around people (I hate people seeing me cry so I avoid it at all costs). I can have conversations about your death or what you’d look like and completely disconnect from the words, as if I’m talking about the weather.
I don’t open up to anyone, I never really have. Deep conversations, physical contact etc are pretty awkward for me. Your daddy is the only person I’ve fully, and continuously, let in and been vulnerable around. And even then it’s hard to explain to him my feelings sometimes.
It’s when I’m inside myself, thinking, remembering, imagining, that the tears start. So it seems random, just sat watching tv and I get upset from no apparent trigger. I am the trigger. I don’t want to keep busy and distract myself either – grieving is a journey, and I can’t take any other metaphorical path around, this is the one I’m on, so if that means spending 80% of my time laying in bed playing computer games and thinking of you even though it hurts, that’s what I’m going to do for now.
How do you know when its the right time to try again? That you’re ready and not just anxious?
On the one hand, I should still be pregnant now and I loved being pregnant, we already decided we want a baby so all of that decision process has been done, yes we want a child. But on the other hand Cass shouldn’t even be born yet, so being pregnant with another seems strange when I should still be carrying him. And that’s only after: wondering if I’ve conceived this month, will my period come tomorrow, did I remember to take my vitamins today.. Cause god knows its not as simple as just deciding we’re ready and then poof it happens here’s a baby. I know there’s nothing physically wrong with me, I know it, yet it feels like there’s so much wrong.
Then there’s the first trimester yuckiness, starting all over again with the size milestones, “it’s the size of a grape now”, and all that. Having my 3rd first scan in under 14 months. Worrying if there’s a heartbeat, praying they are growing and will start kicking soon.
Before it was always a case of ‘what if it doesn’t happen this month’ but now we’ll also have ‘but what if it does’ both outcomes are now equally terrifying. No one in my position wouldn’t be a nervous wreck throughout a pregnancy following loss, that’s what I have to prepare for; to be worried every day. I suppose there is no right time for that.
The big question is am I ready to hope again? To let in the potential for another heartbreak.
We have an appointment for the results of your post mortem this Thursday, to see if they know what caused your death or not.
Others may not understand but I’d feel better if they found nothing, a freak incident; that’s the result I’ve been expecting because that’s my preference, but now the results are back I can’t help but go to worst case scenarios. In my mind I’d obsess less next time if I knew it wasn’t something I carry, something that is likely to repeat.
I’m so sorry Cass, that it feels like I’m putting any future babies before you. I should want to know what happened to you, and I do, I’m just scared. I’ve had so much hope for next pregnancy, that it’ll all go okay and I’ll be bringing home a baby, but they could shatter it all with your results. We know how quickly your life can be turned upside down, and I’m pretty sure there’s no limit on how many times it can happen. There’s so many things it could be, many are recurring, many can’t be prevented. For me there would be nothing worse than knowing it’s unlikely I’d ever have a living baby, or that something in me damages their health. We started trying for a baby when I was 22, I’m going to be 25 in 9 months. I’m not a child person at all, but I’ve always known I wanted a family, to be a wife and mother.
I was never going to dress you, breastfeed you, push you in the pram we got you, take you to see the ducks, take you on our first family holiday that we were planning, take you swimming, pick you up from school, take you out every year for your birthday. We had plans for you baby boy. Plans that were never going to be. But in my head I got to live out the fantasy of what could be, in my daydreams you lived a whole lifetime.
Like every day since we said goodbye, the thought “you should still be here” popped into my head. And I thought how I would get that every day until your due date. But that’s wrong. It won’t stop then. Every day for the rest of my life that passing thought will haunt me, that you should still be here.
Some days it’s hard to associate the little face we saw on the scan, my growing bump, with the baby I gave birth to. The connection between the you I was connecting with on the inside vs you on the outside isn’t always there. It’s as if they’re two different things, and I grieve for both.
There’s the you that was 2D and black & white and made me nauseous and unable to walk fast or far. The you that was doubling in size week by week, that gave us so much hope and excitement. We had no idea who you were, girl or boy, we called you Lil Bub.
Then there’s the you that was too small and squishy, that never got to open your eyes or take a breath, that laid there silently and never moved or cried. Our dead baby boy, Castiel.
It’s hard to think you’re my Lil Bub, Cass, that you were all those happy memories and not just a dream I had long ago where I was pregnant but then I woke up and I actually wasn’t. I’ll try my best not to let our sadness strip away those amazing 20 weeks with you, to forget that that was you, just like I promised you when I said goodbye to your body.