Before you read on this post is about miscarriage and baby loss so if that is not what you want to read about on a dismal Friday afternoon please don’t continue.
It has been said that at some time in their lives 1 in 7 women will suffer a miscarriage, possibly even fewer, perhaps 1 in every 3 pregnancies. This subject has been refreshed in my mind because 15th October was Pregnancy and Infant Loss remembrance day. And because I suffered a miscarriage also. The date is still fresh in my memory, 31st January 2001. I was 30. I already had a little girl and was expecting this baby in August of 2001. I was ignorant of the high risks of miscarriage and assumed because I had already had a successful pregnancy and birth everything would go as smoothly the second time.
I was about 10 weeks pregnant when I noticed I wasn’t feeling the same as with my first pregnancy. I no longer felt sick or so tired. I had crampy pains on and off. I’m sorry if this seems too much detail but Miscarriage has been a taboo subject for too long. It is either widely commented on or swept under the carpet and ignored.
I went to the hospital for reassurance. Deeply worried. They performed an ultrasound and were unable to locate a baby’s heartbeat. The sac was only measuring 8 weeks when it should have been 10 weeks. I went home and prepared myself for the inevitable. That night I went on to miscarry. I count myself lucky it was such an early miscarriage.
I remember feeling numb. I remember the inappropriate things like laughing at something the doctor said, like being put on the gynecological ward that I knew was directly underneath the Labour Ward, like apologising to my husband for something that was clearly not my fault. I remember asking what would happen to the baby and not wanting to know the answer.
There was no medical reason apparent for my miscarriage. It was just an unexplained event. I came home from the hospital and went to bed, devastated. However I had a little girl to care for who didn’t understand what had happened and she needed her mummy too. I was one of a group of three friends who were pregnant and they still had their babies growing strong inside them.
Everywhere I looked I seemed to see women pushing prams with babies in or heavily expectant mothers. There were probably no more than normal, it was just more apparent.
The hospital invited me for counselling which consisted of a 2 minute interview. The consultant just said “You’ve got one healthy baby, you’ll be fine next time”. I could not believe her insensitivity. I don’t know if I have ever grieved properly. Life crowded in and I had to get on with it. By the time my August due date arrived I was pregnant again and despite a scare at 13 weeks went on to have a healthy boy in the February of 2002. I don’t know why these things happen. My son is 11 now and I believe he was meant to be here and I could not imagine life without him. But every year towards the end of January especially I think about the baby I lost.
I think I had it easy in a way. It was a desperately upsetting thing to experience but rather that than the stillbirth my Mother endured. How would I ever move on from that? 30 years later and she still thinks about her “Sarah”.
I would be lying if I said the pain had not eased with time. We have 4 children now. 3 girls and a boy and I never experienced miscarriage again. I know I am very blessed to say that. I am glad there are services now to remember these beautiful babies. They need to be remembered and celebrated too. They are a significant part of us. I remember an awful lot of people comforting me and asking how I was but not realising my husband had suffered a great loss too.
As a Christian I believe that one day I will meet my baby again in Heaven and will finally be able to give it that longed for hug and kiss.
To anyone else who has been through this please know you are not alone and I care for your pain because we are all in this journey together.
Remembering our little ones.
Till next time.