In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a-changing”.
3 years ago, Nikki and I were preparing for our upcoming Wedding and honeymoon. We had only recently found out about my pregnancy, and I was probably busy looking at prams and maternity clothes and googling ‘Traditional Scottish baby names’. In hindsight I was probably a little too eager, but come on, this was 3 years ago. Miscarriage was barely in my vocabulary.
I was working for a residential care home; a job I enjoyed, but didn’t quite love. I worked 6 days a week, but earned an alright wage and was on course to get a pretty good deal on maternity pay.
We lived in a flat in Clydebank, that none of us particularly liked, but it was our first home together so we had memories stored in the walls.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve left my work and went back to college to study Early Education and Childcare. Nikki and I moved in with my mum to save for our own place (which has its ups and downs – but mostly ups). We still have Kian every Fri-Mon so space is a little tight but we make it work! I now have a few more tattoos, shaved half my hair (did I ever mention that? I had huge thick curly auburn hair and chopped 90% of it off. I cried a little at first, but I make it work.) Being a few years older also seems to have added around 7-10lbs to me, but some of that’s boob weight so I’m not complaining!
And of course we have 4 miscarriages behind us. Our first baby would be turning 3 this year. But I can’t think like that. I’d be rhyming off ages every other month if I lived like that. They will always be in my heart, and I’ll never forget any of the babies I’ve lost, but if it wasn’t for those losses, my life wouldn’t be where it is now.
I’d probably still be in my care home job, we’d be living in an area we hated, we’d have a beautiful baby – but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’d be happy. A baby doesn’t make you happy. Our losses inspired us to do more – it gave us a kick up the arse. We’re preparing to set up home in a nicer area, we’ve spent so much quality time together as a couple, we’ve travelled more than we ever thought we would. We’re happy.
Now l’m not saying losing the babies was a good thing – of course it wasn’t. But what I’ve realised is; it doesn’t need to dictate my life anymore. I can still be happy… We are allowed to be happy.
For anyone going through a miscarriage – it doesn’t need to signal the end of something. Maybe it could be your start of something new.
I would still love my story to have a baby in it. I would still love to watch our child grow, and watch them take their first steps and take them to their first day at school…. but if I cant.. Well then, my story just won’t have that chapter in it. But it will have hundreds of other chapters. And that’s okay.