Today is a strange day. It should have been a very happy day, instead I feel a bit numb.
I've been staring at the Ante Natal Clinic attendance card which is lying on my desk. Today would have been the first time we would have seen our greatly wanted and much loved baby at 13 weeks, 4 days.
But it wasn't to be. The same day we received the appointment card I started to bleed. A day that had started excitedly with J waking me up to get me to open the much anticipated letter from the hospital ended with me laying awake all night feeling very frightened.
I went to the Dr's on the Monday feeling a little more confident as it had stopped. He was lovely and made an appointment for me to go to the EPU the next day. However, by 3am my health was getting pretty bad and I asked J to take control of the situation for me (that's rare for me). I just couldn't cope anymore.
Within minutes of asking for help an ambulance arrived to take me to the local hospital. I was really impressed by their rapid response. Less impressed with one of the paramedics trying to wind me up about the place I work. I'm very proud to be a civil servant.
I was prodded, poked and admitted onto a ward, where for the third night in a row I didn't sleep. I just stared out of the window feeling hollow and miserable. I even started to cry when an aeroplane I'd been watching traverse the predawn sky, slipped out of my view. Leaving me feeling very alone.
The next morning a very tired looking J came back and took wonderful care of me. I know I'm a very lucky woman to have someone as great as him. Anything he could do to make it a bit easier for me, he did. Although worn out and upset himself, he soldiered on. Through every painful procedure he held my hand and whispered words of comfort.
At times he even managed to make me laugh, I didn't know it was possible to laugh at such a sad time.
The staff were lovely, even the one who gave me the injection which had the end result of making me pass out in the doorway to the bathroom.
Thanks goes to J for catching me and not letting me end up in a heap on the hospital floor. He was a real star the whole time while they wheeled me back onto the ward and stuck even more tubes in me.
I have very mixed feelings. We lost our baby, and even now I'm fighting back tears. But we gained so much, and that makes me smile.
I sit here with tear filled eyes and a gentle smile of wonder. I feel so much love. J and I were close before, but now we're even stronger. Through the loss and grief we've been there for each other, strengthened our bond and even healed some wounds we didn't even know were there from a long time ago.
At a time when we both could have become bitter and withdrawn, we ended up even more in love and wide open to each other.
I feel that even though our baby didn't live, she was already a very real part of our family. When we learned of her she brought us much happiness, every day I carried her in me was a day of wonder, a new experience. I truly feel she gave us a gift, even in death. She gave us the gift of healing.
For that I will always be grateful, there just aren't words that describe it fully.
My beautiful little one,
I didn't get to hold you in my arms, for that I weep. I wanted so much to see you grow and make your own way in this beautiful world. I wonder what choices you would have made and what path your feet would have tread.
I carried you in my body for a time, but I will carry you in my heart always.
Your mother and father love you and miss you.