But not because Im finding it difficult to cope. I’m not – I’m doing surprisingly well for the most part.
But as life is moving on, and I’m beginning to make plans about returning to the workforce, its difficult letting go.
Letting go of the detailed plans I had made; my life plan. Most people like to know where there life is headed – I am no exception. Despite my annoying habit of being late to everything, I am a planner. I like to work towards something.
My life plan included a house, a husband, two children (although I’d toyed with the idea of three many a time), a 3 year age gap between babies, time off with the children and a good career that would enable me to be independent. I have achieved some of these goals although not necessarily in that order. I had my son first at 21, and was married 5 months later. I graduated university with a degree in Social Work so I have the foundations set for my career. I don’t yet own a house as we rent, and although I gave birth to my second child in July, I still only have one child to tuck in at night.
I’ve said my goodbyes to Ivy and although it still hurts, I’m at some sort of peace with her short life. But each night, when my husband is busying himself with his latest hobby and my child is sound asleep, I find myself sat on the settee in silence thinking about how different my life would have been if my placenta has just stayed put for that little bit longer. I’d have given birth in the birthing pool, pulling my baby out of the water to see her beautiful face for the first time. Hearing her cry as she took her first breaths – something that neither me nor Ivy ever got to experience.
If I’d have gone to hospital, what would the outcome have been? If they would have noticed she was breech in my antenatal check ups and booked me in for a planned section earlier than my due date?
I’m mostly a forward thinker and air on the positive side of life. Onwards and upwards.
But for those brief moments, I let myself wonder what could have been. It’s torturous as hindsight can often give us the answers to questions that we didn’t know existed until after the fact.
My son is now fast asleep next to me whilst I sit with him on his bed (separation anxiety is in full flow for him, ages 3) – I wonder what I would be doing if Ivy was alive? Would I have been feeding her whilst I held her in my arms, or maybe resting her on my knees on the sofa, hoping to see her first smile. It’s daunting when you think that the pain never really ends and I will continue to think about the ‘could haves’ throughout my life. The anniversary of her birthday. The acknowledgment of milestones that she would have been achieving. The year she would have been starting school. When I meet my son’s future partner(s) and hopefully granbabies! – I will have thoughts about the family Ivy missed out on having. Would she have wanted a family – maybe she would have been career focused? What would she have chosen as her career? Would she have been like me at all or more like her dad? (I sneakily suspect she would have had more of my traits/quirks!). Would she have been as stubborn as her brother or a softer soul perhaps?
God, I could go on for hours.
I didn’t need to open up to a counsellor before now because I had told the story of what has happened to so many, that I was pretty much all talked out. But the story doesn’t end with Ivy’s death, it’s continuing..it’s my life. And it’s bloody hard sometimes.