I’ve been wanting to post about this for so long but couldn’t find the right words.
I’ve also been afraid of what others may think about me making this public, but in my heart of hearts I know that this is the right thing to do.
I’m talking about miscarriage. That horrid thing that I honestly naively thought would never happen to me. Hadn’t I already managed to produce one amazing little boy? Surely my risks were so low as to be discounted?
Then in 2012, I had two miscarriages. In the space of four months.
While this was happening to me, I scoured blogs and websites searching for someone who this had happened to, and who had gone on to conceive and have a healthy birth.
Luckily others had been brave enough to post, and write quite detailed accounts of their experiences. This provided such support to me in my time of need so in a moment of solidarity I thought I should do the same.
Miscarriage is singularly (actually in my case, twice!) the most terrifying experience I have ever gone through.
I felt completely lost although at the same time horribly aware of where I was and what was happening; alone despite all the support from my husband and family; in simple terms just utterly, utterly broken. I was at the very murky bottom of a deep deep well unable to climb up the sides into the open air.
I know miscarriage is rarely anyone’s “fault”, but seriously, when it’s happening to you, all you can do is blame yourself. I remember apologising so many times to my husband, which didn’t help either of us really.
The support I received was second to none, however, and really helped me climb out of that well. My husband excelled himself in just knowing when to be silent and when to hug. My family were amazing and so many friends and colleagues were able to tell me that they too had had miscarriages and all had turned out ok. I know that some find it incredibly hard to empathise, some don’t see a miscarriage as a loss, and as there are really no visible physical injuries I think some find it hard to know what to do or indeed how much it hurts.
Our first miscarriage happened while we were on holiday, so we had to find a local hospital urgently. All the staff we met there were amazing. They saw us promptly, held my hand, checked my husband was ok, and told us how common this is, and how it wasn’t our fault.
The second time, three months later, we were at home, and the local hospital staff here weren’t as supportive – it’s a bigger hospital and they just seemed to be more dismissive. Or maybe it was just the person who met us, she barely looked like she was school leaver age and just could not empathise with my devastation. I’ve therefore seen two sides to how victims of miscarriage are treated, and can see why some people can take a lifetime to recover.
By far my biggest comfort was Elliot, who at only 20 months was happily unaware of the huge events taking place around him but seemed to know that mummy needed extra cuddles. I had always wanted a specific age gap between my children, and suddenly it was getting bigger and bigger. This for me was really hard to come to terms with – of course now I think the age gap is perfect, but at the time it seemed like an additional blow each time. Everything was taken completely out of our control. I learnt that these things can’t really ever be planned; they are miracles.
I know I’m one of the lucky ones as we now have Alexander, our ‘Rainbow Baby’, who in time will grow to know just how very special he is to me, just like his brother. He has healed a big hole in my heart, and made us complete. However, I never want to forget the ones we lost, and therefore as soon as I can I’ll be getting into training mode for the 2015 Blenheim Triathlon* and raising money for the Miscarriage Association.
*I’ve decided after years of competing as part of a team, I now want to go it alone and do all three elements myself. This is no mean feat as I’ve not done anything like this before and obviously haven’t been running or anything for quite some time. I’ll be updating the blog as I get this organised! I’ve learnt not to attempt it while I’m still feeding A, so that’s why I’m not doing the 2014 one. Watch this space 🙂