When I first thought I couldn’t get pregnant it was a few months after we lost our second pregnancy. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy, but we celebrated from the moment I burst into the shower room until our baby’s heartbeat faltered and slipped away. I’ve never understood why we don’t talk about pregnancy until 12 weeks; the grief of losing a pregnancy was just as sharp at nine weeks as it was when we lost one at 15 weeks. An emptiness took up residence where my heart used to be. And the ache just went on. And on.
And yet I turned up to work every day and didn’t speak of it. Because we don’t. I miss my children I never got to meet. I still hear their heartbeat somewhere in my soul.
The grief lessened. I’ve heard it always does. Even now it moves inside me, but has shifted mostly into a space of gratitude for what we had. Even a heartbeat is a gift that can’t be taken away. Some don’t make it that far, and they seem to be allowed even less room in our world for their grief.
I wonder if I love my son now all the more because of the fear of never getting him. And of the deep unspoken anxiety that somehow I didn’t deserve him. And here he is, a rambunctious bundle of energy and laughter. I try and remember that on all the nights he doesn’t sleep and wants to be cuddled for hours. I try and be kind to myself when I can’t let him cry himself to sleep. I remember the nights weeping in bed, begging the universe for a child I never thought would be mine. So I hold my exhausted body close to his as he fights sleep and remember those other heartbeats I never got to meet. And how very lucky I am to meet his.
So, some food for heartache. And for loving.
- 30g butter & a little extra to grease the tin
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup full fat milk
- 50g macadamia nuts
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g almonds
- 100g dried cranberries
- 100g dried apricot
Preheat oven to 180c.
Grease a loaf tin with butter.
Whisk the butter, egg and honey until light and fluffy.
Sift the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture.
Roughly chop the nuts and fruit, gently stir into the mix before pouring into the tin and covering with foil.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Serve alone or with hunks of butter and a cup of tea.