I have three presentations about ICP (intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy) to give over the next three weeks. I am honoured to be doing this and it’s a great opportunity to fly the flag for our charity, ICP Support.
All the talks have different themes, but it’s the first that I’m finding challenging (okay, that’s not true – I’m finding all three hard to write).
I came up with a very catchy title for the first one – ‘Legacy of grief’.
I know. I know. But it seemed like a good idea at the time and it does fit the purpose for the conference I am presenting at which is called ‘Transforming Loss: Meeting the needs of parents 2017′ and is being held by Sands, BLISS and the RCM.
But now the time has come to write it I’m finding it hard to knuckle down to the task.
I’m not sure why. After all, I’m a bit of an expert on grief. At least, I’m an expert on my grief. And that’s all I will be expected to present. Should be straightforward shouldn’t it? I’ve done it so many times before. I know the subject. Goodness me, I have an ‘ology’ in it!
But I’m still sat here telling you all this rather than writing about it.
The last time I did this was with my dissertation for my counselling degree. I took ages to get the words down on paper. I kept putting it off, but once I did get going it wasn’t too bad. I suppose back then it was a mixture of tiredness and stress; I’d just separated from my then husband, moved into a rented house and started commuting to London to work. I was also grappling with not being with my children all the time – another loss. The dissertation on top seemed all too much.
This time it’s similar. Mr K and I (definitely not separating!) are hoping to move but it’s taking an age to get to exchange of contracts and we’re running out of time. With all my other commitments (including the three presentations) we need to have moved (into rented accommodation) by 21 September to get everything sorted before the hip replacement. And don’t start me on the hip replacement. As the operation dates gets closer I am quite frankly beginning to brick it; as a result I’m not sleeping well. Hmm… sounds a bit like my dissertation all over again.
So maybe, like with my dissertation I’m thinking that if I just ignore it all it just go away.
But just like grief, I know it won’t.
And if I am really honest with you I know that what’s also stopping me is that I will have to ‘touch’ my grief again to be able to write this talk. I know that I won’t get through it without revisiting the pain I felt at the time, and that’s hard.
But I agreed to do this talk – no one twisted my arm. And I hope that by sharing my experience with so many health professionals it will give them insight into the fact that the death of a baby (at whatever stage during or after pregnancy) has an impact that lasts a lifetime and what they do and say at the time lasts a lifetime too.
Time to knuckle down and write about what gained me a Griefology.
I’ll let you know how it all went when I’m out the other side…