The Nest Australia

miscarriage

When Lighting Strikes Twice

Becky Louis1 Comment

5 months. That's how long it took me to get pregnant after we lost Noah.

The emotions ran rampant those 5 months. I was angry. I was sad. I felt guilty. I was just so mentally exhausted from the thoughts constantly circling my mind.

What have we done?! We HAD a baby. We were given the greatest gift and we gave him back. He was too sick for this world, but we didn’t even give him a chance! Why did we listen to the doctors…he could have been a miracle! It was our choice. Our decision.

I am the reason I am no longer pregnant.

Oh yes, I made myself sick with the guilt. If I had the chance to go back in time, I know that we would make the same decision, but when you are struggling to fall pregnant, the guilt of ending the thing you want more than anything in the world really eats away at you. By month 5 I was frustrated. They always say you are most fertile in the 3 months following a loss.

But that's bullshit.

Noah was conceived on my third round of Clomid and I had one more dose left over in my bed side table. So during that 5th cycle, I thought "fuck it" and I took it. And it worked. I fell pregnant. Ben and I hugged and we cried. Finally. The rainbow at the end of the storm was beginning to shine through.

But deep down, I was SO scared of losing this baby. Every single day since I found out I was pregnant I would repeat "I will not lose this baby. I will not lose this baby. I will not lose this baby"  over and over in my head. Ben talked to my belly every night. We begged him or her to grow strong and healthy. We knew that the baby couldn't hear us, but we wanted it to be surrounded by so much love and positivity.

Our first scan didn't go to plan. At 6.5 weeks they couldn't detect a heartbeat. The doctor tried to reassure me that it could just be early, and to have another scan in a week. But I had a terrible gut feeling.

The second scan was worse. The doctor was able to find a tiny flickering heart beat, but the baby was still measuring around 6 weeks. It hadn't grown at all in a week and a half. I could tell by the way the doctor looked at me, lost for words, that we were going to lose this baby. We were told to come back again in another week or so to confirm the baby's death, if I didn't start to bleed and miscarry naturally.

Once again, I found myself sobbing on an ultrasound bed. Why?! Why is this happening again?! How can this possibly be fair? We're never going to have a baby.

The following week, at 9.5 weeks pregnant, we went back for our third, and what would be our final ultrasound.

"The baby hasn't grown. And that tiny flicker of a heartbeat is gone. I'm so sorry"

The silence that fills the room after a doctor tells you your baby has died is deafening. It breaks you into a million pieces. You feel like you've been stuck by lighting, and you realise that lighting does strike twice. 

We booked a D&C for later in the week and that was it. We had to say goodbye to our future plans once again. We had to say goodbye to another baby.

It feels like everywhere I look there are pregnant women rubbing their big belly's in my face. I want to scream at them “I USED TO BE PREGNANT TOO! BUT MY BABIES DIED.” I’m unreasonably angry at them because they have what I want. Sometimes social media can all become a bit too much, seeing pregnancy announcements or baby bump updates. (I know, I know, how I'm able to keep making onesies and run a baby based Instagram account is beyond me. It's almost a creative release for me if that makes sense?) I know that one day those pregnancy announcement photos and bump updates will be mine, it's just been a long and torturous road to get there.

 But we won't give up. Not yet. 

An open letter to the newly bereaved mother:

Becky LouisComment

I saw you crying today, wrapped in your partners arms. You just lost your baby. My heart broke for you, and I haven't stopped thinking about you since. I don't know if this is your first pregnancy, or your fifth. I don't know if you already have a child at home, or if you've lost babies before. I don't know if you've been trying for years, or if you got pregnant on the first try. I don't know anything about you.

But what I do know, is how you're feeling, and how your life is going to change. I know what it feels like to fall apart in your partner's arms. I know what it feels like to cry in ultrasound rooms and doctors offices, unable to breath. I know you probably felt like the room was spinning. Your whole world had just been shattered. All the hopes and dreams you had are suddenly gone. There will be no baby shower. No more due date. No more baby shopping or nursery set up. No birth announcement. 

You will bleed. Your hair might fall out. Your milk might come in. If you're like me, it won't all happen at once, but one after the other. I would say they're each a painful reminder of what you've lost, but to be honest, you'll never forget.

If you put a pregnancy announcement on social media, you'll probably now put up a 'loss announcement'. You'll probably keep the door to your would-be-nursery shut. You'll pack away all the maternity clothes and things you bought for the baby. If you've done a lot online shopping, chances are there are some cute baby things still to arrive in the mail. This will break your heart all over again. 

If you told your family and friends you were expecting, you'll now have to break the news to them. Personally, we opted for text messages and emails. It's easier on you, and allows them time to formulate what they deem an appropriate response. They'll write heartfelt messages of sympathy, but it won't help. The only thing that could possibly make you feel better is a call from your doctor saying "Sorry, it's all been a big mistake. Your baby is fine". Instead, you'll probably receive at least one of the following:

Everything happens for a reason.

At least it was early.

There was probably something wrong, lucky the baby wasn't born like that.

At least you already have a child.

It will make your relationship stronger.

At least you know you can get pregnant.

They mean well, but they don't understand that there is no "at least". They don't understand that this was your baby. That you don't want just another baby, you wanted THIS baby. You won't understand why it had to be your baby. People will want to take your pain away, but they won't be able to. They'll ask you how you are. You'll say you're fine. You won't be. You'll probably just want to be alone most of the time. That's ok.

It's also ok to unfollow people on social media who are pregnant or who've just had babies. It's ok to turn down invitations to baby showers or other social events. It's ok to cry. It's ok to hurt. It's ok to long for your baby that died. It's ok to miss them, even if you never met. It's ok to put up photos, to have jewellery made, to purchase items to remember them by. It's also ok to do nothing. Everyone grieves differently.

It seems impossible right now, but one day you will smile again. One day you'll breath a little easier. One day you'll finally be able to fall asleep without any tears. One day you'll go out again and face the world.

But for now, if all you do today is breath, that is enough.

Sincerely,

Another bereaved mother