Do you remember Sliding Doors, that Gwyneth Paltrow film from the 1990s? The film explored what happened to Gwynnie’s character – and her life – as a result of getting on the tube before the doors slid shut, or just missing the tube.
Many of us have moments where we wonder ‘what if…’ for so many things. What if we had said ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to something we hadn’t or had done? What if we had turned left instead of right that day…the possibilities are infinite.
In the vast majority of cases we can’t change what has happened, but that does not stop us wondering.
I have had some huge what if questions since I got ill, including:
– What if I had chosen a midwife appointment on the Thursday afternoon, rather than the Monday (Hugo was born on the Thursday morning)? Would Hugo have lived at all? Would I have died?
– What if my condition had worsened on that Monday night, and Hugo had to be born at my local hospital. I probably would never have met him. The team at the local hospital would have done their best, but they were not specialists. Hugo would have had a long ambulance journey to a specialist hospital without me, with me following as soon as I was well enough. Being at opposite ends of the same hospital was bad enough.
– What if Hugo had died before I had a chance to meet him?
– What if Hugo had died without me being with him?
– What if HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia happened a few weeks later in my pregnancy – would Hugo have survived, being bigger and stronger?
– What if I hadn’t got ill at all, and went on to have a full-term healthy pregnancy? What would my life be like now, with an 11 month old baby? It would be amazing – but I find it difficult to picture.
– What if I didn’t have so many wonderful, supportive people around me?
– What if I didn’t have my blog to pour all my feelings out in, and to give me a purpose after everything that happened?
– What if social media didn’t exist, and all the support that goes with it?
– What if I had got the support I so badly needed sooner?
These are just a small sample of my ‘what ifs’ and wonders. Different outcomes for some of them are terrifying, and do not bear thinking about.
But I am human, and these thoughts come often unbidden. How I respond to them can depend on my mood, the nature of the thought, and the context. I try to not expend too much emotional energy on them.
I try to acknowledge them, waft them away.
I am very unlucky to have got a rare pregnancy complication, and at such an early stage.
I cannot change what happened, I cannot bring Hugo back, no matter how much I wonder what would have happened if only it had happened a few weeks later. Or not at all.
I try to remember that I am lucky to still be here. Physically unscathed.
And I am lucky to have spent 35 precious days with my gorgeous little Hugo. Other women who had the same illness were not so lucky. I have many precious memories no one can ever take away from me.