Four years of hope, four miscarriages, forty-one weeks of pregnancy and thirty-four hours of labor our beautiful Rainbow Baby, Rosie Hope, entered the world proving that we were right to never give up on our dreams.
After a very blessed and particularly ‘easy’ pregnancy I was glad to finally go into labor just before midnight on Saturday 17th January, little did I know we were in for the long haul. Having been treated for each miscarriage at Gloucester Royal Hospital I was adamant I did not want to return for the birth of our baby as I feared it would be a trigger for panic and anxiety. At the time my pregnancy was low risk therefore there were no reasons for me not to be able to attend our midwife led local maternity ward in Stroud. Unfortunately as labor progressed a number of small complications occurred which meant I had to be transferred to GRH as a matter of urgency. The exhaustion of having not slept in two days and the desperation for everything to be ok meant that I welcomed the idea of being in Gloucester and soon settled in with a new medical team around me.
Throughout my pregnancy I constantly reminded myself how lucky I was to be in the position I was in, because I, like every other pregnant person, was extremely lucky. I am extremely lucky. There has not been one day that I have not felt or acknowledged how thankful I am to have my rainbow baby at the end of what has felt like a soul destroying journey.
Week one of motherhood was so bitter sweet as emotionally I felt like my old self, I felt free and I felt like I could truly smile from my heart again. Physically I was fighting an infection and was in extreme pain which had a huge impact on me and my ability to move around freely. It was, and still is, near impossible to accept that she is here to stay, she is ours and she’s healthy but we took each day as it came and we thanked our lucky stars for such a blessing. Week two proved a little harder as physically I improved yet emotionally I started to decline, I felt myself shutting down slowly each day and I didn‘t know what to do. Having spoken to my midwife I was advised to speak to a ‘Rewind’ Counsellor who specialises in miscarriage and traumatic births.
In week two I rang the counsellor as advised and aired my concerns. I explained that I felt a huge amount of guilt for not being able to truly embrace motherhood because I just couldn’t accept that Rosie was here to stay. I explained that I felt guilty because I should be grateful for how lucky I am to have Rosie but fear was overriding that. I explained how I was scared that I was shutting down in order to make it easier if/when Rosie leaves us and I explained that I was having negative and unproductive thoughts that I couldn’t control. I let an abundance of emotion pour out like a tidal wave that had been suppressed for four years. It felt good to reach out and ask for help. It felt good to be heard and it felt good to hear someone confirm that how I was feeling was perfectly natural given what I had been through. It was nice to hear that I don’t have to constantly feel lucky or grateful for every minute of motherhood and that it is OK to have bad days. It feels good to know I have a plan in place to deal with the trauma of the miscarriages and the trauma of Rosie’s birth so I can embrace this part of the journey how I had hoped. We are now in week three working together with a plan in place to make our future a bit brighter.
Some people will read this and think I should just be happy, I now have my baby, what’s the problem... if you are one of those people just be grateful that you don’t understand.
Since having Rosie we have been truly overwhelmed by how generous people have been in sending messages, cards and gifts, she is a truly blessed little girl. Hopefully as she grows she will understand just how important and loved she is but until that day I hope she feels the love that surrounds her daily. For us she is everything, she is enough and she is the light of our lives. Some days are hard and we have things to work out but for the sake of our mental health and the sake of our little girls future we have asked for that help so we can move forward positively.
I urge anyone who is struggling mentally to reach out and ask for help, you owe it to yourself.