2 May 2019

It had been a very busy week. On the Saturday I’d had some brown spotting, we hadn’t experienced that previously and although we knew it could be completely normal, we were nonetheless anxious because our first pregnancy had resulted in a missed miscarriage in February 2017. The assessment unit brought us in for a scan and friends looked after our 15 month old son for us.

We were terrified and being back there brought all the old feelings back. The sonographer and nurse were wonderful and the internal scan soon found a little heartbeat and a small haematoma that could account for the spotting. We were beyond relieved and began to have small feelings of hope that everything might be ok. I was 6.5 weeks pregnant. The next day, I saw my midwife for my booking appointment. She was lovely and we talked about my successful, healthy pregnancy and birth but also my fears and anxiety surrounding our pregnancy loss. We ended on a high getting very passionate about homebirth and I felt even more hopeful.

The next night I began to bleed. Jamie, my husband, was reassured when we read the book and did some research that it can be a normal part of pregnancy. However, the next morning, the bleeding increased and I began to have back pain and cramping. The hopefulness disappeared and the sinking feeling of dread came and sat in my stomach and never left. Jamie called the unit again and they arranged another scan, two days after our healthy, gorgeous tiny baby was seen.

By this point, the pain had become more intense and both Jamie and I knew what was happening. I was miscarrying. I was beside myself. The lovely sonographer and nurse were so patient and kind with us but the room was completely silent. Everyone knew we were simply waiting for the sonographer to say the words “I’m sorry but….” There was nothing we could do or could have done differently. We sat in the family room in pieces. Jamie just kept saying “I’m sorry” over and over as if it was his fault. It wasn’t.

The nurse was very experienced and said all the right things. We knew the answers already but it helped to hear someone say them aloud. I will never forget how well we were treated, the kindness and compassion in that first hour makes all the difference. We picked up our happy, rambunctious toddler and brought him home to nap, then we collapsed into grief.

I popped to the loo soon after and there it was, the tiniest baby in it’s sac. I called to Jamie and we just sac looking at it for a really long time. We didn’t know what to do with it at first, we didn’t know how you dealt with seeing your tiny baby like this when it wasn’t supposed to be here. We wrapped it up gently, went out into our garden and buried it under a young pear tree. When we move, that tree will come with us. Seeing the baby was a bit of a traumatic relief for us, it’s something parents should never have to do and yet, it gave us some semblance of closure having that small ritual to ourselves.

We do feel incredibly lucky to have our son, he is an absolute joy and we adore him but that isn’t to say we don’t feel the pain of our losses as deeply. Every day is different, some days we function really well and other days it’s purely about survival. As a couple, we have definitely learnt from the difficulties of our first loss. We really struggled to support one another as we dealt with it in such different and personal ways. This time, we immediately pulled together and respected our own and the other’s method of coping. It’s only now that I understand what people mean when they say they’re stronger together after something traumatic has happened. We really need each other.

 

This year I will:

As our loss is so recent and understandably raw, I have no idea how I’ll mark the loss of our third baby. For our first baby I light a candle. For our third baby, I know I’ll want to do something different because they were different babies who would have been very different children.

 

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