I think even in todays enlightened age there are still taboo subjects we don’t discuss in polite society. Death, feelings and mental health are just three I can think of off the top of my head. By not talking about things that affect us they stay bottled up until something gives. Some things are too hard to talk about, sometimes we don’t have the words. Sometimes we think no one will understand so we don’t bother even starting the conversation. I have tried talking about this before (just a little) but I get resentful when I end up having to be the comforter instead of the comfortee.
April 2013. We had just moved house, we had a 1 year old son and I was pregnant with my fourth. Despite the house being filled with boxes and being all higgledy piggeldy we still managed to throw Oliver a decent first birthday bash with a cake that I had managed to turn out in time despite the chaos. Things were looking up.
I’d just got my appointment through for my 12 week scan a couple of weeks away. 5th May I woke up feeling “funny”. I mentioned I had a bit of abdominal pain to my husband but with the moving and a very robust 1 year old, I thought it was probably just that. By lunch time I had shoulder pain and at dinner I couldn’t eat for feeling sick. We decided to go to bed but lying down was painful and I couldn’t breathe. I asked my husband to take me to A&E – he was convinced it was just muscle pain but after rolling his eyes he gave in and took me.
Our local hospital no longer has maternity services so they sent me to the next closest one. The nurse was reassuring, the pregnancy test was showing positive, I was upright and just in a little pain and “the scan tomorrow will tell us more”. They admitted me anyway – it was about 4am by this point and he went home to sleep and check on the kids, after promising me everything was going to be ok. (our eldest was watching them- she still lived at home then)
Bank holiday Monday- no scan. The doctor that came round said it was probably appendicitis. I tried telling her it didn’t feel like my other pregnancies and that it felt wrong but she talked to her minions and told them to get a consult for appendix. They refused to come down until a scan was done as ectopic seemed more likely. Knowing they weren’t going to do anything I discharged myself and went home with a promise to go for a scan the next day at my local hospital.
7th May-incidentally my birthday. Went for the scan, couldn’t see anything in the womb, didn’t bother scanning the tubes. “probable ectopic” was what she wrote on her little form. A lovely nurse explained what was likely, what would happen next and promised to not let my car get clamped as I wasn’t allowed to drive myself to the next hospital for the procedure. I rang my husband who had just started a new job and told him we couldn’t afford to lose his job so to come see me after work. I was taken to A&E where they put a canular in “just in case” and I went in an ambulance to the hospital that had “appendixed” me the day before. From when I arrived it was all stations go…..Mr Consultant consulting and taking another history, surgeon asking his questions, nurse measuring my calves for bed socks. Hubby had been sent home from work and was there to tie my gown on (wrongly) a quick hug and I was in surgery.
And that was it. One day I was convincing Leon that Virginia was a brilliant name for our daughter, and a few hours later she was gone. There was no time to process anything. Everyone had been so reassuring and he had promised me that it was going to be ok that I thought maybe it would be. It really wasn’t though. I told him to never make me another promise as I would never believe him again.
Time for a break