Miscarriage, still birth and infant loss.
I’ve experienced the pain of miscarriage. I’m part of that community. But I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child at birth or beyond. I can’t speak for the women who have had to incorporate that pain into their lives. I can only speak for my own experiences.
But I find in the baby loss discussion, the list above does not include me. I do not belong there.
That is because I lost a baby to a TFMR (Termination for Medical Reasons). Put plainly, my scan revealed a problem, a big problem and I was given ‘a choice’. The choice to stay pregnant and wait for my growing baby to die or the choice to end the pregnancy and say goodbye to the future as we thought it would be. Who on earth wants that choice?
We discussed it together. I think my husband was able to be a little more detached from the situation. For many, but not all men, babies become much more real once they are born and are more tangible. We made the choice to together to not put our much wanted baby through anymore pain. That’s the reasoning I am more comfortable with. More selfishly, I knew I couldn’t handle the idea of just waiting for our baby to die inside. I imagined that scenario and wondered whether I would notice when she had gone and the thought of just carrying on like nothing had happened felt impossible to me. My husband and I were very lucky to be on the same page.
I spent the days from diagnosis desperately googling and looking for people in the same situation. I had been painfully aware of the chance of miscarriage but naively thought we were beyond that. This was new territory for me.
I found armies of women who were supporting each other through similar but they were all hidden away and separated from other baby loss communities. I discovered that if you have a TFMR the natural instinct is to hide away in an underground community. I found wonderful, strong women lurking in an underground world who were frightened and ashamed to admit, even to their own families, what had really happened to their baby. They feared repercussions and judgement, even from their nearest and dearest. I can see why. How can I stand side by side with someone who has held a much bigger and ‘real’ baby’ in their arms and had to say goodbye? How can I share my grief with someone who miscarried a desperately wanted baby when I’d had a choice?
But my baby was desperately wanted too. She was much loved and in making the decision that I made, in considering what was right for my baby, I broke my own heart too. Baby loss is baby loss. We called her Neve btw.
Baby loss does not go away even with the birth of another baby. I can honestly say there is rarely a day when I don’t think about those times. Every time I see a butterfly, I remember. Every time I see a rose, I’m reminded of my plan to plant a rose with our babies ashes. It’s been four years and the courage to make a final decision has still not found me. One day I will plant that rose.
Being pregnancy after baby loss is a minefield and as is parenting after a loss. Anxiety has consumed me and I’ve fought desperately to not wrap Little Fierce in cotton wool. I’m getting there but it ain’t easy.
When we miscarried trying to conceive our second rainbow baby, the memories returned full throttle. I was right back there in the darkest of places and anxiety often rears it’s ugly head. When my husband takes our child out on his own, I’m terrified. When I travel alone, I’m terrified. Our cat is currently missing and while I’m desperately worried for our cat I’m also now increasingly anxious again. The impact of baby loss is everywhere. Not to mention the decision to try and conceive again. That one is still an emotional rollercoaster and that is where I look to other people to inspire me with strength.
Undoubtedly there is people who have suffered worse loss than me and if they can keep going, maybe I can to.