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I remember not so long ago when we were blissfully naive to pregnancy loss, formally known as miscarriage. I bet you didn't know that 25 percent of all medically recorded pregnancies end in loss. I definitely didn't know that until about three weeks ago when my doctor loudly recited the statistics to us over my uncontrollable sobbing. I bet you didn't know that all the well intentioned cliches such as "your still young," or " at least it happened now and not when you knew your baby" and "you can always try again" really make a grieving parent feel like hiding away, never to be seen again. I bet you didn't know that most grieving parents, like any proud parents, want more than anything is to talk about their baby. In this relentless never ending pain, some of the sweetest forms of relief have been saying a babies name, remembering a babies due date or that children are siblings whether everyone is living or not.
My husband and I were both so elated when we found out we were pregnant with our second. We started planning, buying anything and everything adorable (in both genders), and of course told our family. Looking back now all of that combined doesn't upset me as much as telling my toddler she would be a big sister. Teaching her to interact with my growing belly. Seeing her excitement when she really understood, when it all "clicked." She danced around signing "baby, baby, baby?" pointing to my belly. I remember so vividly the intense emotions I felt at that moment. All the joy, excitement and honestly a tiny bit of fear, how will I ensure TWO under two-year-olds would be taken care of in the way they deserve. As the weeks went on I wrapped my head and heart around the life that would be chaos. That chaos would be ours and I was really quite looking forward to it. We started talking names, how our children would interact together and how we couldn't wait to snuggle with our fresh new family member. For us, there was no option of anything less than bringing a newborn home from the hospital. A newborn to fill the clothes, the cot, and our hearts. We never could have imagined this type of loss. This type of empty.
I bet you didn't know that the doctor that brought us our memory box said, "a bit much but here you go" when really I wanted to scream, "never enough!" This box was full of tiny little booties, hat and blanket. All wonderful keepsakes that will never be worn by our baby. I bet you didn't know that after having emergency surgery they sent me home with only brief instructions on my physical wellbeing and zero information about my emotional and mental health. I bet you wouldn't believe that every time I reached out for help, from local support groups, my GP, the hospital, I didn't get any. I bet you couldn't believe that when I dragged myself out of bed, at my worst, to find help in literature. The local library had no information, books, anything on pregnancy loss, stillbirths, grieving the loss of an infant. I looked for anything remotely close to my situation and feelings, there was nothing. I bet you didn't know that there are so many, too many families suffering because people just aren't sympathetic enough to put their discomfort aside to really listen.
If you were part of the blissfully naive until reading this, I'm sorry to have to tell you sometimes life takes away our most precious moments. Robbing those of the simplicity of life, changing the way we see things forever. I made you aware because being naive can sometimes cause more pain than the bliss is worth. Pregnancy loss can happen to anyone and knowing how to address such a painful situation can change everything. I invite you to do some research, to open your heart, and awaken yourself to the fact that knowledge is power. To those reading this that have lived through the worst, or are riding the waves now. I am aware nothing I say will ease your broken heart but neither will silence. If it feels right for you speak out, share your story, remember and honor your baby.