I feel like I could just write ‘everything’ for this prompt and be done. I literally can’t think of a single thing in my life that hasn’t been negatively affected by Isobel’s death.
All through pregnancy I was changing my life to fit with starting a family, I changed the car I loved for a family car, I moved house, Simon changed jobs and over time our spare room filled with all the things a newborn baby needs. These practical things were only the visible signs of a monumental psychological shift in preparation for my baby. When I left the hospital empty handed, I lost the identity of ‘mother’ that I had been cultivating. Yes I was Isobel’s mother but she was not here to mother. I had a child, but I was childless. The self that had grown as Isobel had grown was no longer required, however the self that I was before pregnancy no longer existed. I have been left in a void, not knowing who I am or where I fit, not with those who have children, but not either with those who have not had children.
This lost and identity-less version of me is a poor substitute for the mostly content, generally optimistic, laid back person that I used to be. I used to always think that life would work out for the best, now I’m anxiously waiting for the next person I love to die. I used to love babies and children, now I ache with longing for Isobel and happy families hurt my heart. I used to have a great relationship with my loving and supportive husband, now at times I walk on eggshells around an irritable and angry man. I used to enjoy books, films and TV, now I can’t concentrate on anything except what I’m missing. I used to be able to appreciate my body, now I see it as my enemy, the thing that killed my baby. I used to be confident in public places and crowds, now I just want to hide away at home. I could continue listing these utterly depressing changes to my self but maybe a summary is enough – I have lost my personality and all the things I liked about myself.