A very heartfelt and personal account of one readers story.
What should probably be etched into my brain as a date to remember, has somehow subconsciously escaped me. We lost our third little baby 11 weeks into our pregnancy, this week 3 years ago. I have no valid dates to recall as in a bid to protect myself, I chose to throw away my original 2012 diary that had all the milestones and weeks marked out as we timidly set out to grow ourselves into a family of 5, albeit in the deep depths of the recession.
‘14 weeks’… ‘20 weeks’… ‘30 weeks’… ‘due date’ which also included the obligatory smiley face :)
On that occasion it was not meant to be. We did not make those milestones with our third little baby. In actual fact, we met less of the mountainous milestones than we had thought. Our precious little bean’s heartbeat had stopped at just 6 weeks and our pregnancy carried on. We were oblivious and unaware the little life had left us until that soul -crushing scan.
The pregnancy with no life carried on, and I had to have a d&c, which still feels so brutal and abrupt, even though the life had gone. But carrying on in limbo and waiting for nature to ‘take it’s course’ was not an option I could cope with either.
I felt like an empty shell. A conspicuous, empty vessel. I was sad. Feeling a sadness I had never felt before. I was frustrated that I was empty. Strangely, anger was not one of my initial emotions. I had our two boys at home, so I had enough sense to know I was luckier than most. But, I felt a strange repulsiveness and my skin crawled if anyone looked at me for the time I carried my lifeless pregnancy. I still don’t know why I felt repulsive, perhaps it was feeling that my body had failed me.
A few weeks later, we sat in the sitting room on the couch as our eldest son, who was 4 at the time, played on the rug in front of us. He was playing with his toys and we were watching some nonsense on TV. He looked up and said “the boy baby flew away mammy”.
I am not going to surmise what this could have meant, each to their own, and all that goes with it. But those were his actual words and I took a fabulous comfort from them. Will he remember saying those words? or why he said them? No. He already doesn’t.
While it wasn’t a white feather in an unusual place, the significance of which is said to symbolise an angel’s presence, and the very analogy of which will make some people shift uncomfortably. This was something strangely significant and randomly beautiful that gave me a strength and bit of fight back. This was my white feather.
Never give up the search for your white feathers during the tough times. Sometimes they can be where you least expect them I guess.