When I was pregnant with Posy, I began writing a small series of letters.
‘Letters to the Mum who…’ and it was all letters to mothers who were going through different aspects of motherhood, from conception all the way through to pregnancy and motherhood. I don’t know what will happen with this series of letters, my dream of turning them into a book is far-fetched and the chances of them forever being stored on my computer, I know, is much more realistic.
But today, there is one letter that I wanted to share with you all.
It is the one letter in the series that I did not write because I am lucky enough to have no experience on the topic.
That topic is Pregnancy Loss.
Today, October 15th is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, so I have asked my beautiful friend Tanya if I could share the letter she so kindly wrote for my series.
In the time that I have known Tanya I have been lucky enough to have two babies while she has lost more than one. I am amazed by Tanya and her strength, my heart has broken for her on more than one occasion and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have gone through the heart ache and break that she has been through over the past few years.
I asked Tanya if she would write a letter to the Mum who has lost a baby from the perspective of a Mum who has. I wanted to share this today in memory of all the lost angels, know that they aren’t forgotten and maybe, just maybe, it will help someone who is tragically going through the heartache of pregnancy loss.
Thank you to Tanya for letting me share, you are an amazing Mum and wonderful friend xx
To the Mum who has lost a baby from a Mum who has,
I’m so sorry for your loss.
I’ve been where you are now, and I can tell you that, like all pain in life, it eases with time.
Everyone deals with grief in different ways, so there’s no certain way you should feel right now. You may cry, you may cry a lot. You might feel angry or even cheated. You could just feel numb. You may feel that you want to try again right away, or you may be too scared to try again for some time. Either way is okay.
You might have excitedly told the world about your pregnancy and now have to either explain that it didn’t work out, or hide away and hope people forgot you were pregnant in the first place.
Maybe you haven’t shared your news with anyone but your partner yet, and now you feel as though you have to suffer in silence, alone in your thoughts, having to put on a brave face and pretend you’re okay.
You may want to talk about it. It’s okay if you do, you might find it healing. Maybe you want people to know that although you hadn’t known your baby for long, you were already ridiculously attached to them. You’ve probably already spoken to your baby as you gently rubbed your tummy. You’ve probably already thought about names and wondered what they might look like. You may have even purchased its first outfit and gushed over how tiny it was. Maybe you’ve given your baby a nickname and have been lovingly referring to it every day since you discovered you were pregnant. You’ve most likely had long chats with your partner about this baby’s future, how they’ll fit into your family and practical things like what you might need to buy.
Maybe you won’t want to talk about your loss. That’s okay too. Maybe it hurts too much to think about and you wish you could just forget that it ever happened. Referring to your baby by name just makes it feel all too real and painful. Maybe you didn’t let yourself get too attached in the first place as you were scared that this might happen. Maybe it’s happened before, so you think you should be accustomed to the pain. On the outside, you want to move on, but on the inside your heart is aching.
It’s possible that you still look and feel pregnant and you wish so badly that the symptoms would go away. Sometimes it takes longer for the body to realise what the heart and mind already knows.
Whether you discovered your miscarriage through a regular ultrasound and heard those dreaded words “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat” before having to go through surgery, or you suffered through a ‘natural’ miscarriage and experienced more pain and bleeding than you ever thought possible, there’s no easy way to lose something that you already loved so much.
At some stage, you’re probably going to have someone categorise your loss as though it shouldn’t hurt as much if you weren’t far into the pregnancy, saying things like ‘at least you weren’t far along’ or ‘it was only an early loss’ like your level of grief should be less. But regardless of the gestation, you’re not just losing a baby, you’ve also lost all the hopes and dreams you had for that baby’s future. Don’t let these comments control your feelings, grieve as much as you need to.
It’s such a personal experience, I can’t tell you how to feel, but make sure you look after yourself and do what you need to do to get through this. Take time off if you need, put your feet up and read a trashy mag or binge on Netflix and chocolate. Talk if you want to talk and cry if you want to cry. The pain will ease eventually, but you’ll never forget what you lost.
Personally, I like to talk about my lost angels. They each have names and my partner and I refer to them regularly and quietly remember their birthdays. Each of them has their own special keepsake to remind me of them. Sometimes thinking about them makes me feel sad, but I also like to think of them as my guardian angels, guiding me through life and watching over those that I love.
From one grieving Mumma to another, I pray that you’re blessed with your rainbow baby soon.