After death before birth: 3

Getting home on Saturday was difficult. I struggled to move without pain. Elva felt like a heavy rock in my womb yet my belly felt softer.

If I sat down or lent forward I could feel her. I almost imagined she was turning to stone.

I felt weak and numb. I wanted to scream and shout. I spent a large portion of the night refusing to eat and drink, just staring into space dumbfounded this was happening.

Jem would look at me oddly I assume because I was pregnant still.

Sunday 12th October

We woke to Jem being sick. He’d had a bad cold and had tons of catarrh which often made him vomit in the past.

The day consisted of Daddy with Jem in the bathroom and me with Leif in the living room.

Today I coped. I felt paranoid like Jem was avoiding me. He wasn’t. I sat on my laptop I don’t remember what I did. I think I largely left facebook groups I couldn’t bear to be a part of anymore, put friends on the restricted list and googled.

I had seen baby’s of Elva’s gestation but I wanted more of an idea of size. I googled badly. Up popped stories and pictures of babies born at 27 weeks who  survived. I didn’t need to know this I needed to believe she had little to no chance. I felt sick!

I read some stories of stillbirth which didn’t help either because I felt so sad so many baby’s are lost. But I began to see many babies of this gestation don’t survive at all.

A friend was offering advice. She asked if I had clothes. She suggested contacting Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep for photographs. It felt like too much to think about. I  was worried my partner wouldn’t want any of this. I felt the need to hide my thoughts from him.

In the end this friend made me see that making Elva a dress was what I wanted. I hadn’t thought myself strong enough but  the thought that I could and hadn’t made me feel like I’d regret my decision not to. So I did. It took more hours than it needed but I did it. It was tiny and I was aware it may be too big for her.

Another friend who had been there every minute I needed her told me to have no regrets. I’ve said this every other post it seems but it formed a large part of my decisions.

Another friend I messaged asking how long I would get with baby.  She started talking to me about her birth and her experience. Along with the advice of no regrets a switch flipped in me I saw I could make this experience what I wanted. I could ignore it and hate it or I could find a new memory.

I chose to treat this like a happy birth and despite it being 3 months earlier than hoped I knew this was still her birth. A birth I’d never redo.

Monday 13th October

We woke fairly early. I got up and dressed quite early. Again I was on autopilot. I packed my last bits knowing I wouldn’t be home for a few days.

I asked Jem where he thought we were going. He shrugged. I explained I was going to hospital because Elva needed to come out now. Had he noticed she was still there. He shook his head.

When my mum came I put my coat on and noticed how well it zipped up. I shed a tear.

The 3 days I carried Elva after her death I was lost. I aimlessly walked round forgetting why I was in that room. Forgetting what I was saying.

The day we knew I’d be induced I felt a small amount of excitement. Everyone wants to meet their baby, looks forward to the day and here was our day. Then I’d remember and I’d cry.

The days following I spoke very little. What was the point really? I had nothing left to say. My partner accused me of ignoring him. I reminded him a lot of our conversations were hope, joy, the future. I lost my hope, some of my joy and a part of the future. I was struggling with what to say that didn’t involve tears.

I wanted to talk about Elva but I would just cry so typing was easier which is where Facebook became my salvation.

How did I cope? I didn’t. I got through somehow. Seeing Elva became what I lived for.

I believed I deserved to suffer to be punished but I wanted love and hope too.

You are logical, contradictory and slightly loony all at the same time.

tracy

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