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  • Writer's pictureSarah Zyborska

New Beginnings

Updated: Mar 21

When this website asked me to give this post a title, I immediately wanted to write '2023 was utter shit'. Then I thought, hey, this doesn't fit in with that sense of wellbeing I'm trying to nurture. So I renamed it a more wholesome, if a little basic, 'New Beginnings' because essentially that's what this new website represents.



I've been pretty quiet on socials, and on stage, for the best part of a year now and I wanted to explain why. Up until April 2023 I had a lot of things going on with my music and was constantly sharing tour dates, releases, reviews and various other things. On top of juggling freelance work and raising a 2 year old, it was all consuming and there was no time to pause. Then I was forced to pause and found I didn't want to do it anymore, be in the music business that is, which was un-nerving and a disturbing place for me to be.


(I'm referring to what I was doing as 'music business' instead of 'music' because they are totally not the same thing. Something I've been working on).


In April 2023 I had a miscarriage, right in the middle of the Tapestri album tour. Please stop reading if you're likely to be triggered by the details surrounding this.


I started bleeding a little the morning after the Folk Awards in Cardiff whilst shopping in Ikea. I didn't tell anyone. I found a quiet place and called my husband Rob and the hospital in Bangor (some 4.5 hours away) who told me there was nothing I could do until Monday. This was Friday and we had a gig that night and the next.


On Monday they said the foetus looked too small, if my dates were correct. I was at 10 weeks. We were to come back in a week for a re-scan to see if there had been any growth, but I knew the baby was gone. We were due to go away for the night a day or so later and decided it would be good for us to go ahead with our plans to take our mind off things. We had a week to wait for a definitive answer. My very belated gift to Rob for his 40th was a night away, a mooch around Liverpool, tasty lunch and a fancy restaurant. It was the only night away together we would have had since lockdown and having our daughter. The miscarriage happened while we were at Tate Liverpool. The miscarriage in the toilet cubicle at the Tate was intense. But there was no pain. I put on a pad (I was carrying these around just in case) and went back to look at some art. I was bleeding into a pad but I still wanted to enjoy the day! The restaurant called to confirm our booking for that night. I'd previously told them I was pregnant and so couldn't eat certain things on their taster menu. I told them on the phone that there was no need to worry about that now and we'd see them later. We rode the big wheel, went to John Lewis to smell perfume. We went to a comedy night which wasn't very funny and I changed my pad in between sets. I remember a really horrible joke about the Madeleine McCann story that felt like a stab through the heart.


In the middle of the night I started bleeding through to the bedsheets in the hotel and then we knew this wasn't a miscarriage we could handle ourselves. I had massively underestimated the whole thing. I 'Googled' and got scared. I called the hospital and they told me to head straight to A&E. I found myself in an overcrowded A&E at 4am only to be directed immediately to Liverpool Women's Hospital, Rob trying to navigate though the city with about 4% battery remaining on his phone. I just couldn't stop bleeding. I thought I might die. I wasn't anywhere near close to death, but that's not were my mind was at. It was painful physically and very scary and I worried I might leave my daughter with no mother.


At the hospital I was barely awake, wearing an oxygen mask, and they quickly tried to remove any tissue that had not passed, which was causing the bleeding. I cried in pain and confusion. We went home later that day.


I can't believe I rode the big wheel during a miscarriage. And also, I can.


We cancelled the remaining gigs on the Tapestri tour and did just one festival at the end of May. I lost my voice on stage. I wasn't ready. And that was to be Tapestri's final gig. The band came to an end. My hormones, self esteem and sense of myself was shattered. I'd put so much time, energy and hope into this band and into this baby. I believed I'd failed at both.


That very night after losing my voice on stage, we'd finally gotten our daughter to sleep in the tent when a message came through from a friend, on holiday in Greece. He told me that our mutual friend Phil had died at the very festival we were at. We'd hung out the day before at the campsite. I had planned on seeing him the next day. I ran in the dark onto the festival site trying to find someone who could tell me that it was all a big misunderstanding. I was shaking and sobbing. I was so angry and completely baffled as to how such a special person so full of joy, who I loved, was gone in an instant.


A month later and it happened again. Our entire family was brokenhearted when my beautiful cousin Aron died. Again, so unexpectedly. 29 years old, the sweetest person you could ever meet with two little kids left behind.


Those 3 months were simply awful and suddenly life seemed so fragile, confusing, pointless and brief. I didn't want to play any gigs or work on my music at all. I focused on my daughter, supporting my extended family and feeling well. 


We found out we were pregnant again in July. A little bit of light. And with that light (and the extreme pregnancy fatigue) I continued to take a step back from the music business and tried to rediscover my creativity instead. I tried to remember who I was before I threw my entire adult life into the business of music. What did I love doing? And so I reflected a lot, wrote songs without thinking, wrote some poetry (even went on a course), I took some walks, I played the piano, I enjoyed the sun when it came out, I ate well and took my prenatal vitamins, I joined a pregnancy circle and tried tuning in to my body, all the things I didn't get to do with a lockdown pregnancy in 2020 or an early miscarriage a few months ago.


At the 12 week scan they told me there was a strong heartbeat and everything looked good. What a relief. I started feeling positive again and made plans for collaborations and projects (but with the knowledge that come March 2024, I'd be off for a few months with my baby). We got the builders in and created a new room; a nursery. Our daughter was excited to be a big sister.


But here we are in March and instead of preparing for the birth, I'm writing this. We lost the baby a week before Christmas at almost 24 weeks. 


Plans.


I look back at the last year, so full of loss. Of people, of identity and purpose. I've just turned 40 and a few months into this new year I'm finding myself feeling somewhat reborn out of sadness. Much of that is down to the incredible support from a few exceptional individuals and frequent 'check-ins' from caring friends.


I've learnt that you have to allow yourself to grieve, to take time, to let go, to not fear changing your path, even if it's the one you'd been on for twenty years or more. Healing is a powerful process for rediscovery, acceptance and growth and it's where I am right now.


You don't have to keep riding the big wheel.


Whatever comes next will be different, because I am different. 

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