One in Four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
That's quite a high statistic but miscarriage is something that we skirt around, unsure if it should be talked about or not.
Should we share our pregnancy news before the twelve-week scan?
I'm not writing this blog post to give a right or wrong answer, just my opinions and my feelings. They have changed over the years. Now in hindsight, I think if you want to share your happy news with someone - do it!! Don't hold back. We all started out as someone's little miracle. When the boys are having a really cute moment (obviously not when they are smeared in Weetabix or have just tossed my neatly folded piles of laundry around the floor.) I'm reminded how bloody fabulous they are! We made them and I'm damn proud!
I'm not someone who ever called that little bean a foetus because to me it's always a baby. Forget the science, I'm all about the romance!
From the second there appears two little lines, a big blue cross, or even that magic word 'Pregnant' you have an image. An image of bringing home your new bundle or maybe a flashback to sleepless nights. In a split second, you have planned a life as 'Mummy' to the little person growing inside you.
I was the 1 in 4. There are dates every year when I remember the Doctors words. A song I can't hear without welling up and there is a due date on which I count the years.
When it happened I didn't know if I should share my sad news or not. I wasn't sure anyone would actually care how upset I was. Would they brush it off as no big deal, "Sure, she can have another baby"?
When all intervention and procedures were over, I knew I had to tell some of my friends. I didn't want to shout it from the rooftops, but if I said nothing it was like my baby never existed. Like they didn't matter when to me they were a very much longed for life.
I shouldn't refer only to 'Me' it was very much a 'We' situation. I may have physically lost our baby but Hubby was grieving too. He'd lost the baby he had imagined when I showed him the stick with two little lines. But he was the man and played his role triumphantly. He was strong and held it all together for me. Making it all, all right.
I reasoned with myself - it wasn't meant to be.
If it hadn't of happened I wouldn't have the boys I do now. It made me scared, the beginning of my second pregnancy with F was not an easy one. Some people would refer to him as our Rainbow Baby and he is. Even though we were delighted to have another baby to look forward to, superstation quietened us and we kept our news a secret till after our twelve-week scan.
Then F came along. I was lucky enough to be able to bring a home a healthy baby. At last, we had got to the end of the rainbow and found our pot of gold!
When I finally got myself out and met a group of Mummies, I realised my story isn't uncommon. There are lots of us who have been the 1 in 4. Each of us with our own story of heartbreak. All wondering if we did something wrong. Unsure of the reason why and unsure if it's something we should be sharing.
So when it came to my third pregnancy - I didn't keep it a secret. I didn't make it common knowledge but the friends who I saw on a daily basis - I told. They were the ones I would have wanted to pick me up if it all went wrong. So it seemed only natural to let them in on my secret. Oh, and they probably would have guessed something was occurring when I wasn't shaking my wine glass at the waiter asking for another 'large Pinot Grigio' on our Christmas night out!
Losing a baby at any stage is heartbreaking.
A week to remember the little ones who we won't see grow up. This year the Baby loss Awareness Campaign, want us to talk about better bereavement care for people affected by pregnancy and baby loss.
Bereavement care should be offered to anyone who has lost a baby before, during or after birth. Unfortunately, this care varies between regions and not all Trusts and Health Boards have a dedicated bereavement room in each maternity unit they cover.
I had lots of appointments after we received our heartbreak and looking back, my aftercare is a blur, but I don't think I could fault it. I personally didn't have a want to speak to a stranger about my loss, but I understand that this option may be the only option someone else feels comfortable with. That option should be there for everyone, regardless of your Post Code. A room equipped for ladies or couples living their very own nightmare doesn't seem like a massive ask but hospitals are obviously under huge stress and corners are being cut.
To any anyone reading this who has carried a baby, felt it move, maybe even decorated a nursery, then heard the world crushing words "We can't find a heartbeat" you are a hero! I can't even begin to imagine the grief, the sadness or the bravery you have experienced. Hopefully, you have been surrounded by love and kindness in your darkest days. I hope you have had the care you needed and somehow you have found a way to carry on. I don't really have the words to express my empathy so I'm going shut up and pray that infant loss is something I never have to experience.
Every year, on October 15 (International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day), people from around the world are invited to light a candle or candles, at 7pm local time, creating a Wave of Light in memory of babies who have died too soon.
I will be lighting a little candle this year, and remember all the little babies that didn't get to come home. Can I ask my readers if you are someone or know someone who has suffered a miscarriage or baby loss to share my post? No-one should feel they have to grieve in secret.
All my love