I almost forgot I had a blog. I’m not exactly a consistent blogger but almost 4 years between posts is probably taking the piss a bit, no..? I’m surprised I was even allowed to log back in. My blogging rights should’ve been revoked.
But here I am; it’s 2.18am on a very cold February night and I’m typing this under the duvet. Husband snoring to my right, Reg snoring at my feet – some things never change.
In a lot of ways nothing has changed since I last wrote on this blog in May 2014; my last post being about body shaming from the perspective of a “skinny Minnie” – I’m still small just not as small (no longer underweight, normal BMI for the first time in my life). But, my body is still none of your business and yours is none of mine. Unfortunately it seems body shaming is still a thing… so, that hasn’t changed either.
What else is the same…?
• I’m still married to my lovely Ben.
• Still obsessed with my hound (Reg, aged 7 years & 5 months).
• Still childless.
• Still neurotic & perpetually depressed.
• Still remember every episode of Friends.
• Still know the middle name and birthday of every member of New Kids On The Block.
Some things are different – I’m 37 now; apparently you do age one year every year and your skin starts looking like it has old, wise tales to tell. I’m not 100% convinced I’m hurtling towards 40 though; “Backstreet’s Back” was only out a couple of years ago and I was about 16 then. Recount?
I live in a different house and do a different job to when I last posted. But, considering those two elements of my life seem to change so frequently there doesn’t seem to be much point in going into too much detail about the current house or job. We’ll review again in 4 years probably.
We’re still childless, that hasn’t changed, but the desire to pursue having a family has changed. I had one more miscarriage towards the end of 2014; it was very early stages – so early, in fact, that I hadn’t even told Ben that I was pregnant before I no longer was. So I didn’t tell him. Not until a couple of months later. I feel so ashamed and upset with myself when I write that down now – I didn’t tell my husband I was pregnant or that I had a miscarriage until weeks after it happened… what was I thinking? At the time it seemed like the right thing to do – the kindest thing to do. Why burden him with yet another loss that he can do nothing about? If he doesn’t know about it it won’t hurt him. No one needs to know. It was over before it even began.
My thought process seemed so logical at the time. But then it all got a bit much for me and I stopped going to work because I was scared I was going to throw myself under a train during my commute. I had to tell him then. Horrendous.
So, for the past few years – and right now – my mental health just hasn’t been well enough to even consider trying again for a baby. The thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat, to be honest.
I’ve read a fair bit about miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and trying again after pregnancy loss. What I haven’t read much about is deciding not to try any more after pregnancy loss. For me and Ben, when we first decided the time was right to start a family (in early 2012) we went into it very relaxed and said “let’s just see what happens”. I didn’t want to be a slave to my ovaries, wielding ovulation sticks and pouncing when my mucus was the right consistency. That’s not to say I don’t fully understand why some women approach getting pregnant in this way – women in control of their bodies and planning for the biggest event of their lives; I applaud it! I’d give it a standing ovation (a standing ovulation, if you will…) if there was a platform to do it on. But, no, I went into the whole thing very casually. I did that because, even prior to miscarriage number 1, my mental health was always teetering on the edge and I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself. I was trying to stay calm, relaxed, having that “what will be will be” attitude. It worked and I got pregnant straight away. You know the rest.
So, I was already an emotionally fragile being prior to ever being pregnant. Three miscarriages (I suspect more; very, very early ones that I’ll never be sure of) later and my mental health has suffered hugely. There is so much more to a miscarriage than merely losing a longed-for baby; but I can only speak for myself so I won’t go into too much detail about the feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, anger, self-loathing. Personally, I’d carried a lot of those self-destructive thoughts and feelings with me through life already and so continuing to get pregnant in the hope that one would “stick” seemed to be the worst thing I could possibly do. With each pregnancy and each miscarriage another piece of my sanity would jump ship – I need to hold on to what I do have left and rebuild it first and foremost.
And that’s what I’m attempting to do. I’ve accepted that holding onto my marbles will be my life’s work. Im just in the middle of yet another bad spell of depression and at a bit of a crossroads with medication and treatment options – that’s the thing with mental health; it’s all in the “mind”, you can’t see when it’s fixed or broken, so who knows what works and what doesn’t? I try to stay optimistic; even at my lowest ebb I’ve always got my ridiculous sense of humour.
I know at this time in my life, and with miscarriage having been such an issue in recent years for me, most people do put my mental health problems down to that. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Miscarriage is a horrible thing to happen to anyone and, yes, it made me so sad – traumatised for a while too – but I know that depression would’ve still plagued my life even if I’d had successful pregnancies. I often wonder now, if I’d been lucky enough to have those precious babies, would they suffer because of my poor mental health? Would they be genetically predisposed to suffer from depression or anxiety? Would I even have my babies with me or would I be unable to look after them? My mind and mood has been so unpredictable in the past few years that I’m honestly not sure.
I don’t feel sad writing any of this. I feel very accepting of my circumstances and fortunate that I’ve got the support around me that I have. I don’t know what my future holds, I don’t even think about it any more, but I’ll carry on with my pursuit of sanity and see where the wind blows me.