Patience - part 1

by Victoria Blake

The room was dark.

The kind of surreal darkness that seems to seep into your pores, reaching deep into your soul. Outside, not even the moonlight had been able to penetrate as she had laid silently, her eyes glazed over staring blankly at the wallpaper as her mind churned, unable to lose herself in sleep.

By morning, the room felt more like a tomb to her than the beautiful place that it actually was. The pillow under her cheek was now completely saturated with tears that had flowed – quietly and continuously through the night as she struggled with her grief.

The sedative bottle on the bedside cabinet whispered her name; she knew she could slip into sweet oblivion if she just opened it - that it would only take a small handful to make the pain stop.

Could she leave him too? She didn’t think so.

She had felt her husband get up and leave the room, the empty cold seeping across the linen towards her, cocooning in its frigidity. She became vaguely aware of noises drifting into the room from other parts of the house, she knew her husband was out there and had been doing his best – but he, like everyone else, seemed completely incapable of reaching her, such were the depths of this dark place she had landed in.

She blamed herself, if only she had taken more care on the stairs, if only she had gone slower, if only……what if….why??

He was grieving too, but outwardly seemed more together – she just couldn’t relate. It felt as though he wasn’t affected, she knew that just wasn’t so, but his ability to simply carry on so effortlessly while she fell apart, so utterly and completely, was compounding hers.

She felt like she had to grieve for both of them and she could not imagine ever leaving this room again – nor did she particularly want to.

In the space of fourteen days, they had lost so much hope; their dreams had been shattered. The baby they had longed for, taken from them in a swift motion. She had fallen down a set of stairs at work and the bleeding had started just a small handful of hours later.

Doctors had confirmed what she knew to be true, but had been dreading hearing.

"The heartbeat has gone, I’m afraid you have lost your baby."

She didn’t hear anything after that, the alarm that had been building inside since the first spots of blood was now clanging so loudly in her head that it drowned everything else.

All she could hear were those eleven words. They played in her ears over and over until she thought she had gone quite mad.

"This is nature’s way, hon. The Doc said it would have happened whether you fell or not." Her hubby had tried so hard to placate her, and logic told her this was right, but she didn’t believe it. Instead she held herself absolutely responsible.

Several weeks later she was still bleeding badly, physically, and even more emotionally; a decision was made to surgically remove her baby rather than to let nature take its own course. She had been discharged from the hospital several days before, the consensus being the sooner she got back to her life the better.

Her surgeon told her she was lucky – their baby had been in her tube and was about to rupture, a certain death for her, he said.

Funny, she didn’t feel at all lucky.

He had coupled that news with an apology – he had damaged her during the surgery and didn’t think she would ever conceive or carry to term again. She had been too groggy to process that at the time, but she now fully comprehended just what he had meant.

For someone who had wanted nothing more out of life than to be a mother, she was absolutely devastated, bereft at the thought. She couldn’t stand the look of pity in people’s eyes, couldn’t face talking about it and was hiding from them all.

But she was powerless to hide from her own grief. It descended over her in great surges, the voice in her head telling her she was a failure over and over. Extreme moments of anger came and went; anger at the thought of those who fell pregnant without a second thought, and absolute despair at the thought that she wouldn’t ever be one of them.

On the fourth day post-op, her hubby walked into the bedroom and threw back the curtains.

"C’mon, my love, you can’t hide here forever. Come and have a cup of tea outside with me." She reluctantly allowed him to pull her upright, and sat numbly as he tenderly dressed her. He gathered her into his weathered, strong arms and supported her as she ambled slowly, painfully to the bench seat outside in the gleaming sunshine.

Her delicate, pale hands trembled as she lifted the cup to her lips and took a small sip of the sweet nectar it contained, barely tasting it before returning it back to the table.

He pulled her close and she nestled her cheek against his shoulder, his presence combined with the sunshine both finally able to crack the dark cloak she wore.

"You are enough you know," he said quietly.

"For what?" she replied, struggling to grasp his meaning.

"For are enough for me," he said as he kissed the top of her head. "You always were."

Her breath hitched in her throat and her vision blurred as she dissolved in his arms. He said nothing more and held her tightly as she sobbed, his own tears mixing with hers. He was so overwhelmed that she had been saved, he felt his own breath hitch at the thought that he might have lost both of them, and although he was privately angry her surgeon had altered their future so permanently, he was so eternally grateful that he still had a future with her, that she hadn’t been taken too.

She – so completely consumed with her grief – was at this point blissfully unaware that she nearly didn’t make it too; sedation had been the measure of so many days for her since then.

Neither moved, and all around them the world carried on, people went to work, dogs barked, black backed gulls swooped and called out to each other; life carried on – a life completely oblivious to their enormous grief.

(to be continued...)