They say it’s not what happens to you, but how you deal with it, which to some extent I agree with. That said, some of us are more sensitive than others and it can take us that little bit longer to heal from traumatic events that happen in our lives.
Exactly two years before finding out I was pregnant with Neve, I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. My due dates were three days apart, which I still find amazing and bizarre in equal measure. I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum with both of my pregnancies and during my first pregnancy I was bed ridden from the minute the sickness kicked in (at six weeks) until I went for my 12 week scan. It was unexpectedly warm for that time of year and one of my most vivid memories is lying in bed feeling the sunshine coming through my bedroom curtains, unable to move because of the sickness.
It was during my scan that we were given the news that our baby had a cystic hygroma (85% chance of chromosome abnormalities) and fetal hydrops (heart defect/organs not developing) and the chances of me carrying my baby full term were very slim. Based on this information we made the heartbreaking decision to terminate our pregnancy, which happened 48 hours later on 20th May 2009. Six weeks later we were dealt the final blow that after carrying out some tests on our baby there were no chromosome abnormalities after all and our baby “probably” had a heart defect. The consultant then asked how old I was (35) and told me if I wanted another baby “I had better get on with it”. Shell shocked is an understatement.
The mind/body connection is undeniable and it’s something I’ve had to become more in tune over the last few years. I’ve put a lot of work into trying to make peace with this event in my life and although consciously I have accepted it and feel ready to move on, my sub-conscious clearly isn’t.
So every year, around the same time, my emotions become unsettled and I start suffering with nausea. Some days are worse than others, but just like my real morning sickness its subsides with food (usually carbs) and there are certain tastes or smells I can’t stomach. Even a warm sunny day, during this time of year, triggers that memory of me lying in my bed with the sun beating through the curtains. Strangely it’s not something I consciously think about in advance and it’s not until the nausea starts, that I remember what time of year it is. It usually lasts for two or three weeks and as quickly as it arrives, it’s gone again.
Apart from family and friends I have never openly discussed the reason why we lost our first baby, which I think is for fear of being judged (terminations are a sensitive subject), so why am I sharing it now? I know in my heart that we made the right decision based on the information presented to us and after eight years of my annual ‘phantom’ morning sickness, I hope that by speaking my truth it will end this cycle and allow me to fully move on, to finally be set free.