Finding out you’re pregnant is often one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. From the time the test confirms it, our heads are filled with dreams, ideals and plans about how life will change and immediately we mentally prepare for the nine months ahead. Impending parenthood beckons for the first time or again, all going well - but sadly, sometimes it doesn’t.
It’s estimated that roughly one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, though it has been suggested that the rate may well be higher taking into account the fact that many miscarriages occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant. With statistics like this it’s not surprising that most of us will know someone who has been affected by miscarriage or maybe will have been through it ourselves. Even armed with the numbers, if it happens to you it can be one of the saddest and loneliest times. A dream shattered, a heart broken, a baby lost.
I have been pregnant eleven times. I have seven children. Nothing could have prepared me for the first time I had a miscarriage. I was young, with a toddler already and it was the furthest thing from my mind. I will never forget hearing the sonographer confirm that there was no heartbeat. I will never forget moving into the doctor’s room to discuss whether or not I wanted an ERPC or to wait for “nature to take it’s course”. I will never forget that surreal feeling leaving the hospital and going home to my toddler daughter, looking at her knowing the sibling we thought she would have earlier, was not to be. I will never forget the emptiness I felt the next day when I woke from the anaesthetic after the “procedure” and I remembered my baby was gone.
Future pregnancies were overshadowed by my real fear and knowing, that something could go wrong and in between the births of other children, it did indeed go wrong three further times. People often don’t know what to say to you at the time and even well intentioned comments and remarks can really hurt. I just wanted to have someone to talk to and recognise that I should have had that baby. That’s one of the difficult things about miscarriage, people deal with it differently and it can be hard for the person looking in to know what to do and for the person going through it to know if their reaction is “appropriate” almost. There is no right or wrong way to feel. There is only the way you do feel.
Four different angels hang on our Christmas tree every year, alongside individual decorations belonging to my seven children. Our eleven precious decorations take pride of place and make us smile now instead of cry. I know what a lucky woman I am. My beautiful rainbow babies came but, the four who started their journey and never completed it, live always in my heart. ~Jen
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