The Fourth Star

You’d think I’d be used to this by now, right?

A familiar face comes and gets me, warning me of an imminent power cut and uncertainties of how far we’ll get before the engineers test the generator again. I joke with her and discuss the improbabilities of the engineers carrying out this sort of work outside ‘their’ working hours.

We get started and get the first part done before the power goes off and as I lay there in the dark staring up at the forest scenes taped to the ceiling tiles her words keep resounding in my eyes “It’s not the size it should be”. I need an internal scan as soon as the power is restored and I wait. This uncomfortable and intrusive procedure confirms that the tiny little heart I’ve been nurturing for the last 11 weeks stopped beating a couple of weeks ago.

A second opinion is needed and I’m doing ok. Until the second sonographer, full of sympathy, confirms what I knew, but had hoped against.

I fall apart.

There in the dark, I wonder who’s making that barking noise and realise it’s me. Uncontrollably, I sob like a baby.

Why?

I’ve never broken down like this before.

I frantically try and build that wall that’s protected me so well in the past to save my dignity but I struggle to glue the bricks together.

Why has this one hit me so hard? Sadistically I can’t help but stare at the little kidney shaped image on the screen and I realise, for once, that since the birth of my most precious Noah, that shape wasn’t ‘just a cluster of cells that wasn’t viable’ that little shape was a life, a person, my child that hadn’t made it. It hurts. It hurts more than I ever thought it would. I feel like someone has driven a poker into my very soul.

Turning down offers of support, “I’m fine, I’ve been through this before”. Yet in this moment I kick myself because all I want is a hug, a massive hug, one of those hugs that takes some of the pain away for just that instance. A hug only a loved one or true friend can give. Yet here I was discussing with a known stranger how I am going to proceed. I’m numb. I just want to get back to my boy who I’ve left my brother, I just want to hold him, to hug him, to kiss him, to look into his eyes and be grateful that at least I have him, I just want to get out of here.

Thankfully, as a ‘season ticket holder’, she lets me go without having to sit in that waiting room awaiting a consultant to talk me through what I already know. I turn down that forget-me-not decorated ‘sympathy’ pack, opt for the ‘natural miscarriage’ option and I race back to the car to phone D and break the devastating news while he’s hundreds of miles away and not able to do anything.

In just 6 days we would have been announcing to family and close friends that Noah was going to be a big brother, in 6 days time! I was beginning to get excited about it… More fool me. Now I’m left waiting for my useless uterus to clear itself of ‘the product’ once more. ‘The product’, my child.. MY CHILD.

I still feel sick, I still feel tired, I’m still enduring those first trimester headaches but for no reason whatsoever. I ask myself, why? Why me? Why does this keep happening to me? What have I done to warrant this once again.

But then, why not? Why shouldn’t this happen to me? What makes me so special that I feel that things like this shouldn’t happen to me? Nothing, that’s what. I just have to deal with it and thank the universe that my beautiful, healthy, happy little boy is in my life and, god willing, who knows whether he’ll be blessed with a sibling in the not too distant future.

As for today? I wait for this to be over, pray it’s not as traumatic as my second and think of my four little stars that were never destined to be, but love like they were.