Bump, Birth and Grief

Being pregnant was such a special time of my life. I never expected to have a baby. Tom and I categorically said we didn’t want children, Hendricks was our baby and we were very happy with that! However, once I took those positive pregnancy tests, our lives and world changed for the better. Once the initial shock wore off we were so excited. The first trimester (or first 16 weeks) were SO tough. I had bad morning sickness and nausea which meant I barely ate and struggled to participate in life! The most I could manage was going to work. After the first 16 weeks though, it was pretty much smooth sailing. 

I am aware that I was so lucky to have a ‘normal’ and uncomplicated pregnancy. I had the usual aches and pains, but I was growing a human so that was to be expected. But whenever I had a scan or midwife appointment, I always had good blood pressure, excellent iron levels and the baby’s heartbeat was always fine and from 28 weeks, the baby was in the right position. 

I just wanted to write a quick post about post partum and the loss of my bump. When you’re pregnant, you’re so focused on reaching the end and delivering the baby safely that you don’t really think about life after! The most you think about is how you want to feed the baby, the clothes you buy for your little one and wondering how you’ll manage. I was not prepared for the emotional rollercoaster. In my previous blog, I wrote about my labour and delivering Autumn. I had third and second degree tears that have made my recovery quite traumatic and long. I’m so grateful for Tom as he was on hand to do pretty much everything and I just had to concentrate on resting and of course, looking after Autumn. But one thing I did not expect was the huge amount of sadness of not having my bump anymore or feeling Autumn inside me.

The way I described it to Tom was like experiencing grief and I’ve felt like I’ve mourned the loss of my pregnancy. I have sat in bed and sobbed. Both through sadness and also the overwhelming feeling of love I have for Autumn. I will forever be grateful that my body grew a healthy little baby and I still can’t believe I delivered her naturally on just gas and air. But no one warns you about the emptiness you feel. Your body has been through so much and now you have to deal with the loss of something so beautiful, wonderful and natural. I loved my bump. It gives you a certain level of body confidence. I loved feeling Autumn move inside me, wondering if she was a boy or a girl, imagining what she would look like. I was so grateful and felt so in love with what was about to come. 

But after coming home, you realise you won’t feel that again. And it actually broke my heart. I’ve really struggled with coming to terms with the end of my pregnancy. I wish I could bottle the feeling of her kicking inside me or having the hiccups. I’m so frightened I will forget how it feels. It was so special. It was my special bond with Autumn. Something only I had with her and even now it makes me so emotional. I’m sure this is all normal and I know I need to accept the fact I’m not pregnant now. I bloody love Autumn with all my heart. I feel so much love for our family life and I’ve never been happier. I still think my feelings are valid though. It doesn’t make me a bad mum. It just means I need time to get over it, I need to mourn that loss and be eternally grateful for what my body has given us. 

Tonight I’m going to have my first alcoholic drink since July last year. That’s the last thing I’m holding on to of being pregnant. I don’t know if any other mothers have felt the same and experienced a sense of grief but I needed to write this post. To know that it’s ok to miss something even though I have the most beautiful thing in the whole world. It’s ok to cry. It’s important to cry. And it’s important to let your partner in on these feelings. Tom has been fantastic. He’s held me while I sob in his arms. He’s not tried to dismiss my feelings and has just let me get it out. It must be tough seeing someone you love be inconsolable about something that won’t change. But I’m getting there. I’m just giving myself time and looking to the future. But not too far ahead! I am taking it day by day. The ‘baby blues’ are horrible. And they shouldn’t be so normalised or brushed off in my opinion. They’re consuming and quite distressing at times. If I didn’t have Tom, I wouldn’t be where I am now. He’s a fantastic dad and partner. I am so lucky to have him. 

I’m taking life slowly and embracing my wonderful daughter. She is so special and I just want to be the best possible mum she could hope for. 

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