Thanks to the Facebook memories app, I've been reminded recently of early 2012. It was an awful start to the year.
I had severe abdominal pain. Stabbing pain. Doctor's visits. Hospital visits. More pain. Tests. Poking. Prodding. More pain. Scans. Medication. Stress.
"You are pregnant."
Surprise. Happiness. Then.
"We believe your pregnancy is ectopic."
I was sent home. To wait. Was there a baby growing inside my womb? Safe and protected. Or was it growing somewhere else? Somewhere it could not thrive, somewhere dangerous for both of us?
I tried to convince myself that it did not matter. That what would be, would be. That everything was part of God's amazing plan for me. At this stage it wasn't a baby, not really. Not even the size of a pea. We could try again.
But I was lying.
Thankfully, my story has a happy ending. It was a rocky, uncertain and scary road, but for us it was OK and later that year, Lily was born.
I'm not really sure what has prompted me to write this post. Part of it has been cathartic for me. I found the situation incredibly frightening and stressful. The feelings continued throughout pregnancy, with bleeding and constant fear of miscarriage. It was there during birth when Lily's heart rate dropped and surgeons were prepped for theatre. In some ways, it has never gone away, even another child later. Writing this has helped. Putting pen to paper. Fingers to keys.
But the other part is for women, friends who are suffering right now. Who flit from daring to dream to abandoning hope.
My experience has made me empathise strongly with women who were not so fortunate as myself. Those who have suffered the terrible grief of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.