Lots of things soothe me. Hugs from my partner, phone calls when you just need to hear someones voice. Post cards from my Grandma, always with serene photographs, the same loopy handwriting we struggle to decode, the same message of love and thoughtfulness in every immaculately straight line of print. Hearing birds sing outside, Nightingales down the lane with their lonely trill, and especially by the songs of my own little monsters (I swear my budgie is like a therapist, you can tell than zen little green critter anything you want and he will still want to have shoulder snuggles, my Cockateil les zen and more bitey, but ocasional head scratches are now tollerated, but only barely.) Music soothes me, and so do Jane Austen novels, and Nora Roberts books where there is always a happy ever after. I am soothed by cups of tea and pancakes. And Stew and dumplings and Wurthers Originals. The smell of engine oil and greace mixed with the Imperial Leather soap my Grandad always used. The smell of a blacksmiths workshop with hot coals and the smell of the farrier at work on Grans horses soothes me. Hot apple and cinnamon tea from the teapot, and porridge on Christmas morning.
Books soothe me, piles of dusty unloved volumes that my Aunt buys in job lots at auction and gifts me if she can’t sell them in exchange for some crafting job she wants done. Records and that crackle they make. Beethoven and Mozart. Violin music and watching someone play piano. Fleace blankets and wool jumpers, knitting and crochet and sewing. Clean sheets and the feeling of just stepping into a warm shower on a cold day. Blogging and writing and taking photographs. Sketching dreams and inspirations and another blooming sea scape for my Mother, art soothes me. Doing angry scratches at the paper or canvas. Red. Blue. Black. Hard lines where my anger flows down my arm and into my work. That soothes me. Drawing tranquil shapes in pastel. That soothes me.
All these things soothe me. All these things make life just that little bit better. Sometimes they soothe my grief until it is small and manageable. Other times they may try to keep it down for too long and the cracks begin in the vessels I try to use to contain it. Sometimes the only way to be soothed is to experience everything as it is, and try not to pass judgement on it.
Sometimes I just let the grief carry me, try not to get washed away but know that if I don’t it will explode. Sometimes walking down the lane far enough away from people to just scream as loud as I need too about how much I hate this reality is the only soothing thing left.
To vent. To experience. To accept soothes me. I spend so much of my life pretending my grief doesn’t exist. To my family, my friends, sometimes even to myself. Sometimes I just need to shout to the world how god damn fucking unfair it is that Emmet died.
I scream out how jealous I am of my childhood rival and village bully who now has a healthy baby of her own. She made Primary school difficult, made every High school bus ride a living hell, spread rumors and hit when she couldn’t think of a comeback, because when I was sick she was then at least physically stronger, and she hated when I could talk circles around her, she knew she could overpower that defence with blows.
And now if I see her pushing a pram I am supposed not to hate her, you seem to be expected to be nice to pregnant women and those with newborns, as if because they can create and keep life they are inherantly better? I am supposed to smile at her and the baby.
I tried to be supportive. I even defended her when people I talked to said she was a Slut, because she was in some way me. She was a young mother. Less than a year older than I am, never as academic, never supposed to be better than me, they said she was a waste, that I had better chances, better prospects. That I wouldn’t fritter away my life waitressing in the village pub.
What would they say if they knew I am no better? I am younger than her, I get told I am cleverer than her… I have more prospects, more career opportunities, A levels and a confirmed place at University, and yet. I am not better. I was told she was jealous of me, hated my vocabulary, my friends, the house that wasn’t in the poorer end of the village, hated my friends, and that her envy made her unkind.
I am jealous of her now. Her healthy baby, her pram, even the fact she has no career future, if Emmet had lived neither would I in all honesty, but I was okay with that.
They would see Emmet as a waste, they would think he would have ruined me. Ruined my chances at higher education, of a career, of more money, of outgrowing this Village.
They would never be able to see the love. No one from my childhood would rejoice. For how many times have I heard ‘what a waste’ from someone’s mouth about the girls from my Village who are unmarried, or who are young or who are without a career or a partner, or all of the above. Who each have living, healthy babies.
I thought this was the 21st Century, I thought we were past these judgements. I thought we were past shaming young mothers and their children.
Do you know what my Partners Step Mum said to my Mother? (As they are friends) She said she hoped he didn’t get me pregnant, as then he would be stuck working at the Garden Centre for the rest of his life rather than going to university, and never going anywhere.
They discuss this and laugh about it. Every day twisting the knife and reminding me why I keep this from them.
Reminding me of what I don’t have and electing to ignore the fact I have said repeatedly that I cannot have children of my own, and please could they stop jomi g about my getting or being Pregnant. They know this. They know my reasons why. They watch me in pain every day, and yet they think I would want to risk passing that on? They ignore that I have told them I only want to adopt. They ignkre when I ask them to please just stop. They don’t listen when I try to tell them why it hurts, why I can’t risk passing this on, why I don’t want to have a baby.
They won’t stop. Nothing can soothe that ache.
I want to be pregnant. I want another baby. I want to have a baby of my own more than I can express. Every fibre of my being aches to be a mother to a living child.
Telling me that my mind will change when I get hormonal doesn’t help. I am ‘hormonal’, after loosing Emmet I was all over the place with hormones.
I made that decicion before I was Pregnant with Emmet, and that only made me feel firmer in my choice. Every second I knew I was pregnant I was wracked with guilt, terrified that they too would live in pain. Feel ever contained by the failing vessel their soul was housed in. I made my partner promise me no more. Not even if I begged every day for one more chance. One mote try. Because I know I will not always be strong enough, and that day has come close so many times. I imagine just stopping taking those stupid little pills. I know I cannot have another, however much I might long for it.
I hide my son every day from them, because the only thing they do is shit all over his memory, and that is all I have left. They don’t know they do it, but every word they say makes it harder and harder to say anything.
On Christmas day my mum did that stupid thing she does where she grabs my phone away to look at something. She pressed the wrong bit and my blog came up. She laughed and asked if there was something I wanted to tell her. And I made my mind up no, I could not then. Not when she had seen and then chosen to laugh. Perhaps she didn’t know what to do, but it plays in my head over and over. So I lied.
I lied and said I had been commissioned to do artwork for the lady who runs this blog, she would believe that. She did, and told me she thought I was weird for drawing things for a miscarriage site as a teenager.
So sometimes I just need to scream. Sometimes screaming is the only thing that soothes me at all because I cannot bear this everyday. I cannot bear their judgements.
I cannot bear to hear them tell me it was for the best, and that I have a life ahead of me; because if I could have changed places I would have given my life to save theirs.
Sometimes nothing I can do will soothe this pain. Not time, not action or inaction, because nothing will bring Emmet back to me. And there are some pains you just can’t soothe completely.
Love and support always,
Surviving Miscarriage Together x