I’ve had miscarriages; my very first pregnancy ended in one back in 2003. I was fortunate enough to go on to have two healthy babies. It wasn’t until I entered a new relationship that I ended up having another two. All three of them I would mark their special dates, light a candle; give them a moment of my time.
I would remember.
We were eventually lucky enough to fall pregnant again, as my pregnancy walked through the dates or the ones who didn’t make it; I remembered them. I carried her further than I had my new husband’s babies; we were excited for our honeymoon rainbow baby. It was her pregnancy that I had discovered such a thing as a rainbow baby.
I remember sitting in the corridor after she died surrounded by a nurse, a fellow NICU mum and of course my husband saying over and over; “she was meant to be our rainbow baby.”
For a while, after she died, I continued to include the three lost little ones. Four babies lost. It wasn’t long before I began to mention them less and less, even when talking about our daughter. Dates went by without a moment’s thought until I’d suddenly notice the date. Lost.
Another baby was born – healthy and alive.
Life became too busy to think of the babies I’d not met; while holding on to the memory of the girl we’d only got to keep for 5 weeks. It was the next miscarriage when I realised just how much I had changed. As the positive pregnancy test slowly turned into the loss of blood and another short-lived pregnancy; I realised the love and care I had for the very first miscarriage back in 2003 had long gone. I shrugged as it completed, cold and unattached. I couldn’t tell you the date. Another September loss. A healthy baby followed, that loss became a distant memory.
I was done with the stress, the fear. The thoughts to the babies I hadn’t met had become barely a memory. I have gone on to have what was hopefully my final miscarriage, a very early yet silent and painful miscarriage occurred in the days around Christmas and New Year 2017/18.
The numbness was overwhelming, the complete nothingness I felt over the loss.
I find it hard to include these early losses when I talk about my baby loss and our daughter; I shy away mentioning them at all. I don’t know whether I worry about people’s reactions more when you tell them you have lost more than one.
Or that I find it so hard to make sure the death of my five-week-old daughter matters, that I need to protect myself from the painful moments of more lost dates, lost memories. I can barely keep up with hers.
As I head to what could have been a due date, I’d like to remember the forgotten babies. My babies who never took a breath, the ones we never held.
How does this happen so often? Yet talking just gets harder.
I can’t feel guilty any more for never talking about my miscarriages. I have enough of that over our daughter.
Baby loss is too complicated.
Photo Credit: Author
I live in the UK, Mum to five children, one of whom could only stay for five weeks. Since her death, I have found a passion through writing to make sure nobody feels as alone as we did. I’m open and honest, that helps me to release the love I have for a girl who couldn’t stay.