WARNING: Some graphic content in this post.
Today is a special day for many people. It is special as it is a day that we can come together and light a candle to represent a babyloss and raise babyloss awareness. Babyloss actually effects many people but is not really talked about.
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place from 9th to 15th October every year, ending with International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day on October 15th. It provides an opportunity for parents, families and whanau around New Zealand to come together and remember the lives of their babies who have died. We acknowledge the lives and deaths of all babies, no matter what their gestation, length of life or how they died. It is also a chance to highlight the work done by Sands around the country.
Taken from SANDS NZ website.
Since participating on two fantastic forums based in New Zealand since I found out I was going to be a Mum, I have came across so many sad stories of baby’s lost during pregnancy and after birth. I could understand a fraction of the hurt that these parents must have felt at the time and afterwards butI couldn’t really know as I hadn’t been there.
That was until we started trying to conceive our second baby. We were so lucky in conceiving Ariana first time round as I was expecting difficulties due to me having polycystic ovaries. Over 18 months of trying I conceived three times but lost each one in the 1st trimester. The first one was a real shock as D was away on an Army exercise and it took sometime to get in contact with him. It turned out the emergency contact number given was incorrect so it wasn’t until the day after that I was in contact with him. The miscarriage started whilst I was at a friends place for a coffee group get together of our antenatal group. I felt like I was having a bad period and went to the toliet and was shocked by what I saw. Panic set in….what do I do now? I have Ariana to look after and D is away and….and….panic! As it happens I quietly mentioned what was happening to a good friend there and she was fantastic. She followed me to my house, I grabbed some things for me & Ariana and we headed to the hospital. I was in a state of shock and disbelief for quite some time during this time but I kept focussing on Ariana and trying to get a message through to D. I lost more stuff in the toliet while waiting to be seen so wasn’t hoping for a miracle at this point. I knew what had happened. Loss. Sadness.I ended up staying the night at my friends place which was great as I don’t think I could have coped being home alone in this type of situation. I went back to the hospital the next day to have a scan to confirm all “product” had come away and yes it had. 😦 I remember the date of my first miscarriage, 23rd November 2006, how could I not! It’s a time whne something big happened like I remember my wedding date – it’s when something significant occured.
A few months later in January 2007 I found out I was pregnant again and I had a mix of concern and excitment. It was hard not to stress over the first few weeks. Very hard not matter how much I told myself to chill out and not think about thngs. I think I broke out into stress excema during this time. I had an early scan at 7 weeks to see how things were going but it was bad news and I was devastated. The scan lady was so nice and kept making lovely comments and that just broke my “tough” facde and I ended up blubbering away in the room. In a way it wqas good I did know I was going to miscarry as I was due to travel to Mum and Dad’s in the South Island for a 2 week break. Some break it was going to be! 😦 It happened in the first week down there with no complications. One good thing is my body is efficient in clearing a gone wrong pregnancy. My heart was heavy and I was somewhat annoyed with life. Other people seemed happy and I wasn’t in fact I was angry! It was horrible to feel like that but I suppose it is a grief thing and one I hated going through. To me it was very personal and flet like no one got how bad I felt as it didn’t happen to them. Having a miscarriage is so lonely in terms of physical and emotional pain.
A few months later in May 2007 I was pregnant again……this time I was stressed!!! 😆 I got a huge yucky sore ulcer under my tongue. Dam stress! At about 7 weeks a familar pattern started, spotting, cramps and then the evitable cramps with the “product”……….D wasn’t home from work and I was hugely upset. I rang a friend to say I wasn’t able to make a plate (NZ term for bringing along something for morning tea….) or come along to the group the next morning and she offered to come around and support me until D got home. I needed that and am grateful she did. No complications again thank goodness. I was hugely upset after this one as I knew having three miscarriages means there is somethign not right and it is termed recurrent miscarriage. Great another tag after having PCO and now RMC! I remember sitting in front of the fire the next day loathing myself and my pathetic body for failing again. Such hate. Such sadness. 😦 I yelled. I shouted and I swore. I wasn’t a nice person to be around. I didn’t like myself much then to be honest.
Having Ariana around was a great distraction and a reminder that this pain will be worth it when and if I get pregnant again. She gave me cuddles but was confused when she spotted a tear falling down my cheek. She would actually giggle as she didn’t know what else to do as she was still quite little then.
Another thing that was hard was I had a few people close to me that were pregnant at the same time with two of the pregnancies I lost. I was happy for them but at the same time so jealous of their happiness too. I hated that conflict of feelings but since chatting with people it is a perfectly normal thing to feel.
We went to a fertility specialist who suggested that I go back on the pill (good for PCO) to settle my body into a better rythym as it worked for Ariana. That was weird to get my head around but I was needing a break at this stage. I went to a homeopath and then to a highly regarded accupuncturist and took lots of chinese herbs. I loved the sessions and got used to swallowing little black balls with warm water. This did cost lots of money over the three months but it did work! It was November the 23rd that I found out I was pregnant again. How ironic – one whole year later to the day of my first miscarriage I find out I am pregnant again. I had a good feeling this time although of course I still had loads of worry. I continued going to my accupuncturist as it helped reassure me and relax me. She gave me a wonderful affirmation to repeat each day and I still remember it. “My baby and I are totally safe” It hepled. Mind you I also borrowed a fetal heart monitor that I could use to sneak a listen to the baby’s heart beat when I had a stress out moment. I had a 7 week scan at the specialists and saw a beating heart! We were so rapt as once you see a beating heart the chances of MC drop hugely. I then had another scan at 10 weeks after New Year and then had a 13 week NT scan. It wasn’t until the 13 week scan that I could breathe a bit easier and trust that all was going to be fine. We now have our gorgeous second child Makayla and she was and is worth the pain of losing three pregnancies.
It’s hard to say but having been through this experience it has added a new dimension to me. It’s made me more empathetic to babyloss as I have been there. A useful website for those interested is Miscarriage Support Auckland it can help in answering questions for those going through a MC or those who are supporting someone who is.
It’s a club that no one wants to join or see new members.
Tonight in honour of Babyloss Awareness I have lit three candles and am writing this. I haven’t done this before and writing it so anyone can read is a bit daunting but I feel it is a good thing for me to do. I hope you have got an insight to babyloss and what it has meant to me. Thanks for reading. 🙂
By Susan Erling
For those few weeks –
I had you to myself
And that seems too short a time
To be changed so profoundly
In those few weeks –
I came to know you…
and to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!
Just those few weeks –
When I lost you I lost a lifetime of hopes,
plans, dreams and aspirations…
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.
Just those few weeks –
It wasn’t enough time to convince others
how important and special you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
And no-one is mourning the passing.
Just a few more weeks –
And no ‘normal’ person would cry all night
over a tiny unfinished baby,
or get depressed and withdraw day after endless day.
No-one would, so why am I?
You were just those first few weeks my little one
you darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that’s all the time you needed
to make my life so much richer
and give me a small glimpse of eternity.