For what has felt like forever, I have been alluding to the ugliness of July but not ever saying why. This is mainly because I haven’t felt that I could state my reasons without becoming emotionally raw again, nor could I eloquently explain why and feel like it makes sense. I have been trying to write this post for a month, I start and stop, write, re-write and delete, I even try the ‘ignore it and it will go away’ philosophy that works for so many other things. July is over, but I have spent so much emotional energy trying to survive it that I haven’t been in a headspace that is even close to functional.
Why I hate July is really quite simple. Everything, and I do mean anything in my adult life that has been life-changing has direct July implications. Of course not every change has had negative implications but it is the negatives that have taken up so much room in my already crowded head that I can’t see all the amazing things around me.
The first major July incident was our move to New Zealand. Aside from giving birth to an almost 9 pound son, this was the biggest thing that ever happened to me. We moved to Auckland for 6 months when boy-child was 5 months old, in July. Without a child, I could have lived in Auckland indefinitely and had a fantastic time traveling and doing all of the amazing things that New Zealand has to offer – tramping, kayaking, zorbing, bungee and the list continues. Moving with a child made me get involved. I needed support, I needed other mums around me, I needed contact with places that involved children. Knowing that I needed this forced me way out of my comfort zone and almost into another reality, a reality where I was a ‘joiner’, where I introduced myself to strangers in the park or at cafes. It was a whole new world.
As well as being one of the most positive experiences for me, it was also debilitating. I found out that I was pregnant when I was there. It wasn’t long before we were to return, so we planned on keeping it a secret and surprising everyone when I stepped off the plane with a baby belly. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, I miscarried. First I started spotting, but a trip to the only doctors clinic open late at night confirmed that at this stage everything seemed to be OK. I was to return back to the apartment and rest completely and go for a real ultrasound the following day. By the following day the bleeding had slowed but there was no heartbeat. I had no physical pain, but there was no heartbeat. Our baby, the baby that was due on man-childs 30th birthday was gone. I was all alone, in another country trying to cope with losing a baby, chasing a now 10 month old and planning the move back to Australia. I had some great friends in Auckland, but they were helpless, most of them in similar situations to me – dealing with international relocations and toddlers and/or pregnancies. They wanted to help but how could they help me when I didn’t know what help I needed.
I felt couldn’t call home to say what had happened. No-one in Australia knew I was pregnant, how could they help me deal with suddenly not being pregnant? I didn’t tell my family as I knew that they would want to fly to NZ to be by my side and help me. I didn’t want to be a burden on anyone so we kept it a secret. Still they are unaware of the pain I felt at losing a baby. Man-child had taken time off for doctors appointments, blood tests and the ultrasound. He didn’t take time off for the visit to the doctor confirmed officially that yes I WAS pregnant and now I wasn’t. I sat there in the doctors office in shock, listening to the list of what to expect, would I need a d&c, what I could do and what I shouldn’t do. I didn’t hear much of what was said, I was merely aware that I was not going to have a baby in July, that I wasn’t going to complete our family for man-child’s birthday.
Never in my entire life have I felt so alone. Still to this day I find it impossible to describe the overwhelming sense of loss and the total isolation I felt. Since then I have told a few people about the loss, usually as a way to help them, to illustrate that pregnancy is unpredictable, to help them feel better about their pregnancy difficulties. I have never felt able to express my sadness at losing a baby and also feel the overwhelming relief, joy and happiness of having girl-child, of knowing that if I didn’t miscarry I would never know the amazing person that she is and the way that our family is completed.
By the time July arrived, I was too busy getting our house ready for sale, boy-child was finally recovering from pneumonia, I was still working full time AND I was pregnant with girl-child. I was doing way too much but I was extremely happy with being able to complete our family. Perhaps I was doing too much to try and hide from myself and my grief. I didn’t allow myself the time or space to be sad or even contemplative over the miscarriage. I still feel like I haven’t grieved the loss but feel unable to do so without imagining life without girl-child and mother-guilt kicks in to overdrive.
We ended up selling our old house (for a very decent profit – yay) and going against our instincts brought this house (even bigger mortgage), both during July, amidst celebrating man-childs 30th birthday.
Despite mostly loving the new house and area we live in, owning this house has been hard work and in some respects very restrictive. That brings me to the next July dramas…