I’m back at work and sometimes it’s as if nothing happened. Sometimes I think maybe it didn’t.

I went to the acupuncturist last night and told her the news. She said that, looking back to her last appointment with me, the day before I miscarried, the symptoms were there – the spotting, the painful cramping in the night – of a pregnancy struggling to hold on. I think she said it to be helpful but her words made me feel as if the pregnancy was diluted, weak to be struggling so early on and therefore not a pregnancy at all. I reacted, in my thoughts, like I did when the GP at the hospital on the day before I miscarried told me the pregnancy test was negative – “Did I make this all up?”

And even worse, if it was weak and struggling, “Am I over reacting to the termination of something that wasn’t even life?”

It’s a question that anti-abortion lobbyists have been defending for decades but now I’m here, justifying my own responses, justifying the thing I gamely call “grief”, I get muddy on the subject. Sometimes I think it would be much easier to move on if I viewed our miscarriage as simply and clinically as a bunch of cells that failed to work together to create life. But then I think, viewed that way, it would be like looking at a beautiful work of art and seeing only paint and canvas; it would be like looking at the Thames in the gloaming and seeing only water and light rather than the memory of a place where he first kissed you on a summer’s evening.

Those cells will never be a bunch of nuclei or nameless DNA to me because I invested in them from the moment they sprang to life with a positive test. I invested those cells with the hopeful, wildly optimistic idea of myself as a mother and DH as a father. I invested in them as a person with a future.

Back at work, with the calls and the meetings and the typing and the talking, it’s easy just to carry on, the only reminder of my loss being a tiredness that makes me feel like I’m underwater and gasping for air. Then I return home in the early evening and the hours stretch ahead of me, filling quietly with the loss of an idea that was, quite simply, the best I’ve ever had.

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