I ignored it at first, the pink on the tissue.
It wasn’t anything to worry about. I’d known for three weeks at this point that I was expecting baby number three, and I was still giddy about it. In fact, I had just shared my news with people at work and told them when I was due.
I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.
So, when I visited the bathroom, I ignored it.
Two healthy textbook pregnancies and births, why would this be any different?
But, looking back, there was a little nagging voice at the back of my mind—prepare yourself.
Something didn’t feel the same, and I think my body knew it. It tried to warn me, but I just tuned out.
On the morning it happened, nagging voice or not, it came as a complete and utter shock.
I got up, it was a work day, a day like any other . . . until it wasn’t. My husband was just leaving and my mom was due to come over to have my other two girls. I walked into the bathroom and sat on the toilet, then the floor seemed to disappear from beneath my feet. I began to shake. Couldn’t breathe. Why was there blood and what was I supposed to do? I suddenly felt deaf as if my senses no longer worked properly. And I sat there and stared.
Why was there blood?
After waiting in stunned silence for a minute or two I jumped up, I wanted to call my husband back, I needed him to stay. But if I shouted, I would alert the children and I didn’t want to panic them.
After quickly washing my hands and sorting myself out, I ran downstairs and opened the front door, but he was gone. I tried to call, but he was obviously driving. My heart sank. I would have to wait at least an hour until he could get home to me.
My mom arrived to find me sitting on the bottom step trying to hold back tears. I told her I thought my baby was gone. She told me to get dressed, she would sort the girls out, and I just had to worry about myself. She said all the right things, that it might still be okay, but deep down, I knew it wasn’t.
I was having a miscarriage.
That word! I hate it!
Wasn’t that something nobody really spoke about? Wasn’t it something that happened to other people? I knew what it was but did it affect me and my baby?
I was in unchartered territory, and I didn’t like it. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.
Once at the hospital later that day and after having discussions with the doctor, my hope was raised slightly. Some women bleed, some are warning signs, baby might still be okay.
We were booked for a scan a couple of hours later, so we went and had some lunch.
I barely ate but I was okay.
I didn’t realize how much hope I had until later on. I didn’t know how much I thought that it still might be okay until the sonographer told me there was no sign of baby. The floor fell out of my world once again.
I remember going into the bathroom and then breaking down. I had obviously been holding it together pretty well until that point. There was more blood—this definitely wasn’t a warning.
I was losing my baby.
My unborn child whom I already loved. This little person who I’d wondered about for weeks.
I would never meet them.
I would never know them.
I would never hold their little hand or stroke their tiny face.
This was not supposed to be happening to me.
But it was.
I remember being guided out by the nurse, bypassing all the other couples awaiting scans, scans which may result in better news than ours. She took my husband and me to a little private cubicle and told us to wait until the doctor was ready. And I felt empty.
My baby was gone.
It was the strangest, loneliest, most exhausting feeling I’d ever experienced.
I’d loved that child for three whole weeks. My heart had already begun to hold them. I’d envisioned the future with this person who I hadn’t met yet, and in my head, I’d seen our girls become amazing big sisters.
And in the space of a morning, all that was snatched away.
It was a pain like no other.
And now, five years and another successful pregnancy later, I’m finally ready to share my words. I never was before because of the way I felt.
I felt guilty.
I felt sad.
And I was told it was my own fault.
It took a while for me to move past that and to move away from the anger I experienced at people saying hurtful things.
Many people didn’t even mention or acknowledge it, maybe they felt uncomfortable, but it sometimes felt like the elephant in the room when we were all together. And that hurt, too.
It was a very lonely feeling.
The truth is I do matter and so does my baby.
So do all my children, the ones I get to hold and the one I didn’t. And it’s not my fault I lost a child—that is what I would say to anyone else going through this.
It is not your fault! And you will get through this, no matter how long it takes. Surround yourself with your people and be kind to yourself.
All babies matter. Losing them is hard.
And whether we say goodbye to them at 7-weeks gestation, or 12, or 36, whether we get to see their face or not . . . they existed.
Sometimes I hate that I am one of the people to whom this has happened.
That I am 1 in 4.
But with my faith, my husband, and my friends, I got through. For the most part, I am happy. I have three beautiful children, and I do feel very blessed. Occasionally though, I allow my mind to wander, to think about what my other baby would have been like.
Only, they were just too special for this earth.
I may not have been able to hold that baby in my arms, but they weren’t any less loved than my other three.
My heart holds four children dearly, and it always will.