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My miscarriage is no secret. Neither was my pregnancy. Announced by somebody other than myself, my baby’s presence was known from day one. I now have his name tattooed on my shoulder and his first ultrasound picture is on my Facebook. I wasn't afraid to talk about the miscarriage, but lots of people are. I want to take a slightly different approach and talk to you about the even less talked about part of miscarriage, the funeral side of things. The aftermath. When you have a miscarriage you have three options—options hastily explained to you minutes after finding out this pregnancy won’t be ending in tears of joy: The first is the “remains”can be disposed of via the hospital in a group cremation for “medical waste,” the second is a funeral and burial in a graveyard, and the third is a cremation.
We chose to have a cremation. We wanted our son put to rest properly. We wanted his soul free and we needed the closure. It was funded for us as it's classed as a child's death. We had a time and place at the local crematorium. The chaplain at the hospital arranged all the details for us and preformed the cremation. He was with us throughout and I can't thank that man enough, but I don’t even know his name. He chose our son’s tiny little coffin, which was the size of a shoe box. It was gold plated, with beautiful black chrome handles and his name engraved on a small plaque. The chaplain arranged for a car to deliver him from the storage facility, all we had to do was turn up and say goodbye. So we told people when and where, if they wanted to come, and a few said they would. They'd be there to support us.
The single worst day of my life so far dawned, and I expected it to be a cold, rainy day. The dark clouds in synch with my thunderous mood. It wasn’t though. It was clear and bright. Driving to the crematorium my mind screamed at the hundreds of people we passed just going about their day. I was heading for the worst day of my life but my devastation went unnoticed. We arrived outside and went into the hall. Waiting for the few friends who’s said they’d be there to arrive.But nobody came to his cremation. Not a single person. It was just me and my partner in an empty room. The ceilings were tall but they seemed to fall in on me when they asked me who was carrying the coffin and I had no idea, I didn't want the first time I held my baby to be when he was in a wooden box. So the car driver took pity on us and carried him in for us. We sat through a 30 minute service, honouring the loss of such a short life, by ourselves. We watched our baby go behind that curtain by ourselves, because nobody wanted to come. To them it was nothing, it wasn't a real baby, it wasn't a real death, it was over kill for a miscarriage. But our baby had hands, and arms, and legs, and a beating heart. He was alive and he was loved and he was so so wanted and I needed to say good bye properly. So next time your friend tells you they lost a baby, ask about the arrangements. Offer your support. Tell them you'll be there to say goodbye with them. Don't sweep it under the carpet and expect it to go away because it doesn't. We are years on and my heart breaks every time I see a baby. My body feels empty, I still wonder who he'd of been and what he'd of looked like. I still cry and I still grieve. His ashes are in my living room, I talk to him sometimes, to me he will always be my child and I'll never pretend he didn't exist. What makes it even worse, is that even years on we've been unable to conceive again. Issue after issue discovered, and to find that I may never have the chance to carry a baby again, makes his loss even more apparent to me. But that's a different awareness week all together.