This story begun over a year before Henry was born and over two years before we started to expect our second son. All my childhood I was afraid of being pregnant and giving birth. Even when I was just six years old I would ask strangers on a bus “Do I have to be pregnant”? But one day, in late September 2007 while I was having a coffee with a friend of mine, I realised “you know, I am not afraid any more! Just so! It just happened!”
I fell pregnant the first time we really tried. It was great – I haven’t expected it to be so easy. I was full with joy and everything was going fine – no morning sickness, no particular pains.
Early January our first antenatal appointment came.
I was 12 weeks by then. Spent hours in the hospital giving blood, filling in paper work. The last appointment of the day was the dating scan. There we found out that the baby died five weeks ago. I was carrying a dead fetus in me for over a month and I didn’t feel it! The fact that I didn’t feel a thing, that my body betrayed me was as hard to deal with as the fact that we’ve just lost a baby…
I had two surgeries within one week to remove the “products of conception” – a sad name to what was inside of me.
But several months after I was still struggling to cope with what happened. Not having control, not having a hunch, not getting a moment of intuitive “knowing”… I ended up going to a counsellor, as thoughts about how easy it was to die became overpowering. One though I still remember was:
The moment you create life – you create death
I spent the next four month in a real turmoil of feelings. Until one day I came across a charity that asked to give money for a research facility in St. Mary’s Hospital to help fund research about miscarriages. For a donation of £100 you could get a dedicated brick in a wall of a newly built centre.“My” brick read:
Anastasia Astridge January 2008
I buried our baby there – now I was done, I suddenly had my clouser.
Round about that time I felt pregnant again – with Henry.