There is one lingering after effect of RPL, one which I don’t believe I’ll ever be free of. While infertility robs us of our innocence and steals our belief in fairy tales and happily ever after’s, RPL goes a step further. It teaches us that worst case scenario’s DO happen. It teaches us that we can expect the worst. It robs us of that natural human ability to think – “that will never happen to me”.
This message of anticipating and expecting the worst because the worst will happen was reinforced with every miscarriage I suffered. And in the end, with each pregnancy, instead of thinking – “we’re going to have a baby!” I started thinking – “I’m going to have another miscarriage!” Because that is what RPL and pregnancy had taught me!
Then we were selected by a BM and I held my breath waiting for the phone call to tell us they’d made a terrible mistake and had phoned the wrong couple and we weren’t selected. Then we met our BM and waited to exhale anticipating her negative response to us and telling our SW’s that she’d made a mistake and we weren’t the couple she wanted. Then I stood in a daze in the delivery room, so overwhelmed by the anticipation of something going wrong that I was unable to live in the moment and fully immerse myself in the experience of watching Ava’s birth.
When we brought her home, my mind was dominated by two thoughts – SIDS and/or that our BM would retract consent and we’d have to give her back. When our 60 days ended, I still was disbelieving, until we received the final court order.
And slowly as Ava grew, I got lulled into a sense that everything was going to be ok.
But lately, those feelings of doom have been sneaking back. First there was the shocking passing of a fellow bloggers baby, suddenly and with no explanation just after birth. That was followed shortly by me stumbling across a blog of a couple who’s 4 month old baby had past away while sleeping and in the care of the day nanny. Then someone innocently started a thread on an online support forum about when to stop using the Angel Care monitor. I confidently stated that we had stopped using ours a few months back because Ava kept rolling off the sensor mat and activating the alarm and because I’ve become so in tune with her and my 6th sense had kicked in so strongly that I could hear her breathing from our bedroom, I can hear each time she turns over or makes any sleeping sounds without the baby monitor. I think all Mom’s experience this, you are just so tuned into your child, you miss nothing?
Somebody responded to the thread stating that they had a friend who’s baby had past from SIDS at 17 months and so they were going to keep the monitor and sensor pad on for as long as possible. And then somebody else responded stating that they also had a friend who’s baby had past from SIDS at 18 months!
Add to that, I watched Miami Ink on Wednesday evening and there was a guy having a portrait tat done of his baby son who had past away from SIDS and what do you get???
Me! Feeling totally overwhelmed by dead baby thoughts! Sneaking into Ava’s bedroom at all hours of the night to check if she’s still breathing, I’m even considering putting her sensor mat back in her cot, even though the bloody alarm goes off all the time, at least I’ll know she’s still breathing.
I REALLY HATE that RPL had done this to me. That I can’t go through life thinking that that will never happen to me, that I am assaulted by worst case scenario’s. That I see danger in even the most innocent of scenario’s! I HATE it! I HATE what it’s made me!
And now on a different note, here is my very much alive, totally cute and gorgeous 14 month toddler having a blast in the bath. I’m trying to learn lessons from her, I’m trying to live in the moment and to find joy in even the simplest things in life, like sitting in the bath with some bubbles on my head!