This first post is what lead me to set up this blog. I spent my evening trying to understand this anger I had felt inside me for many months. And suddenly it hit me why like it was the most obvious reason I could have thought of.
It felt like the best place to start, it may not be well written but I have left this post raw and unedited. This is what I wrote when I realised the grief I felt, this is the post my husband read and I finally opened up for the first time in almost a year. This is what this blog is about for me, and I hope you understand and find peace within this somewhere.
It was a bizarre realisation after months of trying to figure out what I was angry at. Anger is not an emotion that I am comfortable with, not genuine pent up frustration type of anger anyway.
I realised that I’m angry at the doctors who made decisions in my pregnancy with Poppy, I’m angry at the lack of knowledge obstetricians have about a pregnancy-related condition, at the ignorance and inability to learn or listen to a pregnant woman experiencing that condition, the disregard of my pain and discomfort during my pregnancy and the potential impact all of that may have had on Poppy.
We don’t know when Poppy had her stroke, all we do know is that it happened before she was born due to them finding old blood on her brain. It’s left me with a mountain of questions. If they had taken my liver function tests more seriously would an earlier induction have meant she wouldn’t have had the stroke? Was the medication I was put on the cause? Was it something I did? Why couldn’t I keep her safe? Why did no one take it more seriously? Why when I was told by a consultant that this was the worst levels she’d ever heard of was I not induced early? Why when my baby didn’t move for 5 days why did it take another week to finally give birth to her? Why was I told by a midwife I wasn’t a priority? Why wasn’t I reassured?
I feel that after nearly two years of this feeling building its turned from being hurt into anger and frustration. I’m not naïve about how some healthcare professionals become complacent within their roles, and things that may feel concerning to me may not be concerning to them at all. But it’s the lack of empathy and care that I think is at the root of my anger. Some extra care and guidance may have meant a completely different result for my daughter. It is not one particular person’s fault, I cannot pinpoint where my pregnancy with Poppy took a turn I was uncomfortable with. Because truth be told I was at the time quite happy with the care I received. Hindsight is a powerful thing because Danielle now would not have sat back and accepted the doctor’s word first time. I don’t think that something either of us will ever do again. We will always question, we are as humans have the right to question people. No matter what their status or knowledge, no one knows everything. A true professional understands the need for clarity.
Whoever it was, someone somewhere let me, my husband and my daughter down. My daughter’s life so far has been a list of unanswerable questions. That irritates me beyond belief. No one can answer those questions, the answers are unknown to anyone. Would knowing these answers help this healing process, who knows? It isn’t an avenue I have explored because it’s impossible.
I know if I was to share this with people they would tell me my concern about these past and uncontrollable issues isn’t my fault and isn’t something I should be concerned about. I am deep down aware that at the time I made decisions I thought were right, I was comfortable and confident in her welfare as was everyone else. I know that an ultrasound wouldn’t pick up a fetal stroke so it is irrelevant really because despite the things I am uncomfortable with it was going to be the outcome. I know my body didn’t really fail her, I know I had no control. It’s frustrating knowing these things but still having the anger and the feeling of being let down. I wish these things I knew were more powerful than the what-ifs. If I could go back to two years ago and play out every different situation to see how the outcome would change I would. And not to necessarily change Poppy’s situation, although that is something I wish I could change. But just to know the answer, to know if there were other decisions I could have made that meant her life could be more normal.
Poppy hurts me so much, not by anything she personally does. But her history, her potential future, her anxiety and discomfort hurts me. It hurts me because I can’t change it. I do not wish to change her in the fact that I wish she was someone else. But so her life would be more straight forward.
It’s easy to say that we will follow this journey with her and as long as she is happy the outcome is fine. But deep down to me my daughter never talking is horrifying. It is not something I will force or rush upon her. But just the idea of never hearing her sweet voice hurts my soul. We didn’t go through all we have to not hear that voice.
Will there be a point where I am one hundred percent accepting of all of this? I hope so. And if not I just hope one day I am comfortable. I hope I forgive myself and whoever let me down two years ago. I hope I can look back on my daughter’s life and laugh at my concerns and just soak her up and enjoy whatever the outcome is. Because it truly is okay, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best outcome. I hope she is truly happy, and there isn’t pain and discomfort for her every day. I didn’t have her for this to be her life, but I don’t actually know right now what “that” life really is.
I never take a day for granted anymore, I know that it is a genuine possibility that in my daughters future we may not have her. Something could go wrong that means she isn’t around. Is it far fetched? Yes. Does it help me appreciate her more? Yes. Fate is something I never really grasped until I had children. When you have someone else to think of above yourself fate becomes so real and painful. But I will continue to soak her in, and appreciate what I have in her and everything she has taught me in such a short space of time. I’m sure there is so much more she has to teach me.
Danielle Swan x