Elsie Rose is approaching her first birthday. I simply cannot believe that she has only been with us for eleven short months. And yet, as the leaves begin to turn on the trees outside, and the sun sweeps through the biting wind, and the conkers fall with a plop onto the ground… I remember. This feeling. This time of year. This sadness.
But this is a story with a happy ending.
I recently asked a question on my Facebook page and over on Instagram: What one word sums up your birth experience? I am genuinely fascinated to read about the rainbow of emotions you connect to your experiences. Yesterday I shared my words too, and was surprised that the first word to come to mind for Elsie was anger.
Yes, I am angry. But I don’t know who to direct my anger towards.
The doctors who could never remember my name, yet knew for sure that three previous c-sections meant a VBAC was laughable?
The books with their chapters on IUGR glaringly blank and noncommittal?
The times spent with my hands on my belly, willing the life inside me to move, to grow, to be.
My last pregnancy took place ten years after my first. Elsie was born just days after my eldest celebrated her 10th birthday. Every year since I became a mother I have found the sounds of the leaves beneath my feet just a little too much to bear.
But this year I want to make some changes.
We had an IUGR baby, but we also had a happy ending.
Elsie Rose. Such a miracle. Such a fighter. Such an amazing little bundle of strength, determination and courage. How can I fall to pieces now, when she is showing me every day how to be strong? How can I look back, when all she sees is the next challenge, the next obstacle, the next adventure? We had a happy ending! We need to celebrate that.
So celebrate we shall. Elsie’s birthday coincides with my 5th year anniversary of blogging, and I have a few things planned. Longer term, I intend to use my space to educate. To raise awareness of IUGR. To campaign for more understanding, better support for women and families and to tell the world our story.
Elsie Rose, this shall no longer be a time of fearful recollection, but a time I look back on one day and say to myself,
I did something, after all.