Have you ever felt like you have wished so hard for something and it’s actually worked? That thing you have been dreaming about for so long has actually come true. I think once we found out that I was pregnant, I was so excited to meet our little baby, that I didn’t really enjoy or make the most of being pregnant. I wanted everything to happen on fast forward so that we could just be that bit closer to having him here with us.
During my pregnancy, I didn’t really change anything about my day to day life. I obviously kept going to work, I kept going to dance in the evenings and I kept actually dancing too! I didn’t want being pregnant to change me as a person – I wanted to continue the life I already had, just with this little human being inside me as well.
My first major mummy guilt came at that 12 week bleed (If you have no clue what I am talking about please go back and read my first post which pretty much explains my pregnancy and birth journey). I think I was so shocked as to what had happened that it took me a while to process. It must have been something I was doing. The week before we had been on a lovely long weekend to Bath and we had hired bikes. We did a lovely cycle ride and had a lovely time but why a week later was I having a massive bleed? Why had I been so silly and potentially hurt our unborn child just because I wanted to have a nice bloody bike ride? I think we were all expecting the doctors to say that it was something I had caused: I was doing too much, I wasn’t eating enough, I had lifted something too heavy, or maybe I just wasn’t capable of carrying a baby (I genuinely believed this was the most likely option as being pregnant for me was such a revelation in itself), but they didn’t have an explanation for it. There was no medical reason that they could find for this bleed.These things just happen and they don’t know why. There is no reason to stop living my life as I was before. Once we had gotten over the shock of this whole ordeal and I had recovered, I did exactly what the doctors had told me to do: I went back to living my life. I went back to work and I went back to dance, maybe I was slightly more cautious than I had been previously, but I still led a really active lifestyle.
My most major feeling of guilt is because of this.
I gave birth so early,
He came at 27 weeks.
I pushed him out when he was so tiny.
My body wanted rid of him when he so vitally needed me.
Why had I done that? Why had he come so early.
I feel like it must have been because of me. I must be the reason he came so early. Was it because I had been so active when maybe I should have slowed down a bit more? After all, my waters had broken whilst I was out on a walk. Why did I have to go for a walk that morning? If I hadn’t would my waters have broken? I should have stopped some of my hobbies and taken life at a slower pace, for the baby. Maybe I should have taken it slower at work. I could have got a colleague to put those new displays up for me. I didn’t have to stretch and try and do it myself.
Or maybe it wasn’t my lifestyle, maybe it was just my body? Maybe my body wasn’t actually capable of carrying a child properly. I had always had this doubt since having Anorexia in 2012. I was always worried about what that time of my life had done to my body and my chances of becoming a mummy. That’t why it was such a shock when I did fall pregnant. That was why it was so special. But something clearly wasn’t working right obviously.
Despite the fact that almost every doctor, midwife, consultant and nurse we have seen has told us that they have no reason why he was born so prematurely, I feel so guilty that it was something I did. Today I listened to Stacey Solomon’s podcast and she said something that really resonates with me. She said that she feels as though she may have “wished” her child to be born because she was so excited to meet him and she had been busy working throughout her pregnancy that she thought she had more time before he arrived. I know exactly how she feels. What if I had “wished” him out because I was so excited to meet him and because I had completely wasted my pregnancy. What if I had “wished” him out so quickly because of being so active and not slowing down. I had wanted to meet him so badly that I had caused him to come at just 27 weeks, when his little body was really not ready to be in the outside world.
I know that mum guilt is probably a feeling I will encounter a lot whilst being a mummy because it think every mum feels it for some reason or another but this will forever be the guilt that eats me up the most. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or to reassure me that it wasn’t because of me that this happened, because I don’t think anyone actually knows what cause premature births, like in our case. I just want to make people aware and reassure people that everyone feels guilty for something. There will always be that thing you wished you had done differently or not done at all. There will always be what ifs. You will always wonder. That’s what being a parent is all about.
Despite how guilty I feel, I will not let it eat me up. Yes, I feel as though it was my fault, but what good is worrying about it going to do now? How is that going to help me look after my little boy in the best way I can? How is it going to help me enjoy my life? It’s not and that’t why it’s important to embrace that feeling of guilt, let it consume you, cry about it, and then let it go and focus on that little baby that needs you now. If you are lucky enough to have been blessed with that child, then don’t waste time thinking about that guilt. Love and enjoy your child. They are here in the world, however early they arrived doesn’t matter.
“The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change so that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt or fear, but in wisdom, understanding and love.”