Stepping into the decade that we are just about to leave, I could never have imagined I would be where I am now. In 2009 I was in a very different place and somewhat a different person. Looking back and penning this letter to my 2009 self has made me realise, you really don’t know what the next day is going to bring, so don’t lose all hope.
A Decade as passed – Letter to my 2009 Self
Dear Me in 2009
I know right now you are numb, in such a dark place but putting on a mask to hide it from the world. Christmas was a blur and you really didn’t celebrate it as you feel your heart has been pulled out and stamped on a million times. Hearing the news a couple of weeks ago that the baby you were carrying had died was just about as much as you could mentally take. Then on picking up Tony after Christmas, you are told he is going to be a big brother. The knife that was already stabbing you just twisted horribly inside because it should have been you. You have to hide your emotions though, he is excited and an 11 year old doesn’t need to see your pain or grief.
I am writing this letter to let you know you will get through this. The pain and memories will still be there but your life will change dramatically in the next 10 years.
Your biggest dream will finally come true.
Following the miscarriage you are trying to wrap your head around right now, you get referred to a recurrent miscarriage consultant at St Mary’s. She really cares and runs a bunch of tests but you don’t get any real answers to why the 15 miscarriages. Just before your anniversary, you find out you are pregnant again. It is a very bumpy pregnancy and being presented with the real possibility it will end the same as the others. All the regular 60 mile round trips for antenatal care will pay off. In 2011 against all the odds you become a mum to a beautiful but very tiny and early little boy.
NICU and SCBU will feel like a neverending rollercoaster but you will get through it. You get to bring your baby home and feel finally like a mum. So don’t give up that dream just yet. The memories of that time never leave your memory and you sometimes wonder how you got through it. You meet a lady in SCBU and you are still friends today. The boys are also best friends.
Like always there are ups and downs, the past 10 years have seen some heartwrenching times.
Let’s start with the bad news.
You will go through the loss of your grandparents, father-in-law, other family members, and some friends, you will also go through three more miscarriages. Dave will have a life-changing accident but he comes through it ok. Work is a bit uncertain at times but right now things are ok. Money is tight and there are so many things that are uncertain right now but you are in a good place.
Now for the good.
The past 10 years have also seen some really great times. You get a surprise that your uncle is in the UK and you get to see him. Your stepson grows into a really considerate, sensible and brilliant man, who gets married in 2018. Here is to hoping I make a good stepmum-inlaw.
After J is born you decide to use the Ancestry website to trace your family tree. You do it for him but also you feel words away from everyone. You keep looking to find Aunty Pauline but with the surname Smith, it is difficult. An email comes through ancestry, that you reply to on the off chance. This gets you reconnected to her and all your cousins. They come over and you see them for the first time in 20 years.
Your Life Changes Again in 2016
After three further miscarriages, you resolve yourself to only having J. Little did you know travelling down to take your diploma oral exam that the sickness you feel isn’t just motion sickness, you were actually 6 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy was the complete opposite to all the others and was pretty smooth sailing apart from the severe anxiety throughout. In 2016 your little girl is born. The birth is a bit traumatic and she gets stuck, so it is down for an emergency C Section. You get your dream of holding your baby after birth that you didn’t with J. She is laid in your arms after you come around from the C Section. You have an extended stay in hospital with her thanks to jaundice but she is a healthy baby girl.
So keep putting one foot after the other, it does get better.
I know right now it seems like this is all fantasy and I sometimes look at the kids and pinch myself. You are stronger than you think, and you will get through this time. All those hopes and dreams that feel impossible will come true, so keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will always remember the pain and heartache but you will come through this.
From Me in 2019.
Penning this letter to my 2009 self has helped me realise that we never know what is around the corner so keep dreaming because you never know what the future holds.