Baby Loss Awareness Week
*WARNING – this post is full of my faith and belief in God, I cannot write about these circumstances and not reference my faith, if you’d rather not read then please don’t*
I had only been with James a few months when I found out that I was pregnant with our first child. With my first husband I had been told that I wouldn’t be able to conceive, I had problems with my hormones that would make it extremely difficult. So James and I had never seen the need to prevent conception. We had both been through traumatic relationships and marital breakdown and so we had leapt head first into each others arms when we realised we were loved back. We held nothing back and conceiving a child was not unplanned despite it not being the best timing. We were so excited to have a child together. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I cried tears of joy, I rang my Mum to tell her, we rang James’ parents to tell them. We were just so happy, and of course it explained why I had passed out whilst we were on holiday in the Peak District a couple of weeks earlier. I have very low blood pressure normally and was feeling unwell.
I had only known I was pregnant for 8 days when I began bleeding, going to the hospital was not a pleasant experience, I was so upset and convinced that I needed to calm down because I believed I would make myself miscarry if it wasn’t already happening, or that somehow I could make it worse, or even make it stop miscarrying if I calmed myself down enough.
Can you tell this was the first time that I’d ever been pregnant? The thoughts were silly, but the guilt is normal, somehow no matter what you do you decide it must be your fault when you lose a baby. Of course it isn’t, but the little niggles in the back of your mind don’t seem to go. I had been at a friends little girls birthday party that week and swinging her around dancing. I thought, it must’ve been that, I’d been around people smoking, it must’ve been that. Silly thoughts and mainly silly because the answer I will never know, so it is just torturous with no end result.
They could see by the thickness of the lining of my womb that I had been pregnant, or that I was pregnant and it wasn’t in my womb. I had to go away after they’d done some tests, taken some blood, and I was to come back in a couple of days to have the tests done again so they could compare the hormone levels to see if I was indeed miscarrying or if it was an ectopic pregnancy. This is a scary time as obviously if it was in fact ectopic this was not the end of the procedure and they would have to terminate the pregnancy. This ended up not being the case for myself but I have MASSIVE sympathy for anyone who goes through that as I don’t know how my emotional state would’ve coped.
I went away praying and praying that the baby would be ok somehow, even that if it was ectopic, that God would move the baby into my womb somehow. The morning I was due to go back to the hospital I woke up with this overwhelming fear. I sat and read my bible and then put on some worship music. I sang and sang and sang, and as I sang I cried. I told God that it was ok, that He knew what He was doing, He was in charge, and that I trusted Him. I told Him that even if I miscarried this baby I would praise Him anyway. Nothing would stop me believing that He was in control. I’m sorry if this seems a strong post but I cannot talk about these experiences in my life without referencing God, because it was my faith that helped me through without severe emotional damage, it kept me positive and hopeful for the future.
I watched a video about a lady who was a singer at a church in Australia whose music I love. She had lost her baby at a very young age as he had been born prematurely, her story challenged me that if she could still praise God, so could I. I thought of the scripture that Job said, ‘Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him..’ (Job 13:15 NIV). So my heart was set and off we went to the hospital. They took more blood and then I had to go home and wait for a phone call.
These lyrics in particular spoke to me :
‘All of my life
in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship’ – Brooke Fraser
I had my friend with me for moral support and my sister came too. I just felt as though I needed people around me. We went to the mall for a drink. I needed to keep busy. I went to the loo in the shopping centre and came out white as a sheet, I had passed so many blood clots I didn’t really need the phone call. My friend Colette, said to me, ‘you know don’t you?’ and then began to explain to me how it was ok and if I’d conceived once, the good news was my body would be able to do it again and not to see this as the end.
The phone call came and it was as I had suspected.
Positive memory from this tragic time – James dancing around the hospital room in between examinations etc. he decided to do an ‘interpretive dance’ to cheer me up. The doctors thought he was hilarious. He managed to make me crack a smile even in my anguish.
Negative memory – seeing the empty sonogram, anyone who has been through this experience knows how horrendous that moment is.
The most tangible memory – feeling empty. There is no other word to describe how you feel after a miscarriage – EMPTY
We had miscarried September 15th 2011 at 7 weeks (very early I know) but it was my first pregnancy, with a man I was deeply in love with and excited to marry. I had only known I was pregnant for about 8 days, but the bonding… oh the bonding. It was instant. I had trundled off to the nearest Sainsbury’s and bought lots of fruit and veg so that I could stock up and eat healthily so this little bundle would get the best nutrients I could give.
I wanted to give my family opportunity to partake in the release of a lantern so that we could say goodbye as my Mum and sister had also bonded very quickly with the idea of me being pregnant. In fact, they refused to see the evidence in front of them when my body started to miscarry. Telling me God wouldn’t let that happen, I’d had enough rubbish in my life etc. but I knew, the writing was on the wall, God and I made our peace, as did my then fiancé James.
I had conceived Judah 10 days after the miscarriage although I didn’t know the dates until they dated me weeks later, but I had just had a positive pregnancy test the day that we released the chinese lantern. Judah means ‘praise’ and was named because we had decided to praise God anyway despite the miscarriage and then he was conceived.
James parents sent us a card for our angel baby that we believe we will one day meet in heaven.
The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we longed for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
For every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.