TFMR: Remembering my first-not-to-be-child

Although time is a great healer, it still feels like it happened last week.

I’m terrible. I still have my pregnancy folder and scans stuffed in a canvas bag in a storage box in the loft. I couldn’t throw them out but I can’t face to look at them. I need them in my life, so I still have my attachment to my first-not-to-be-child.

Every 18th July, I sit and think hard to the whole experience, like opening up an old wound up  – being 16 weeks pregnant, having spent the whole period of time from the 12 week scan to then not knowing the fate of my unborn child. The phone call, “It’s not good news I’m afraid”, calling my husband, texting my mum…crying, screaming, aching and longing for everything not to be true.

Even with my Rainbow in my arms, she’s nine months old, I feel the burn in my heart of missing and longing for my first-not-to-be-child. It won’t ever go away, and although painful, I wouldn’t want it to. It mine to keep and hold forever.

I light my candle, close my eyes and feel the warmth of the flame across my cheeks as I smell the fragrance – something white linen.

“I love you my darling angel. We never got to meet this time but I am here and you are with me in my heart everyday and I love you so much. In my darling daughter I feel you near, a gift from you to me and I love you, I love you, I love you”.

 

Wellbeing:Grieving and the Power of Now

Before pregnancy and TFMR, I practised small amounts of Mindfulness using the App Headspace. I won’t go into all the ins and outs as to why Mindfulness is a great form of therapy, but instead, check out the App and the great little videos which explain it really well.

It was through counselling that I revisited Mindfulness and my therapist is a great believer in it. It is all about living for ‘now’, today, this very moment that you might be reading this. Not thinking or worrying about things that have happened or might happen in the future, but living and feeling in the present.

This helped greatly with the grieving process of losing a baby. I couldn’t help but cling onto the extreme emotions of a termination and the anger of ‘why me?’. But I knew I had to let it go if I was to move on, especially as I was desperate to try for another baby.

It also helped with the anxiety. I was so worried about whether I could, or would, get pregnant again – miscarriages and or another TFMR. I felt a great weight on my shoulders, of absolute fear, of what might be that I needed an outlet to be able to overcome and move forward.

I came through connecting with the present – to sit in your seat, feel the weight of your body on the chair, your feet connecting with the ground and listening to the sounds around you… breathing in and out, your chest rising and falling, embracing that pattern, not thinking about anything but the rise and fall, then counting from one to one hundred…

Mindfulness can reset your way of thinking and feeling and provide you with peace and calmness, giving you and your mind a much-needed break.

This book was recommended to me by my therapist, The Power of Now – it’s amazing and I urge anyone to read it who is interested in Mindfulness.

I also wanted to share this great article on FB about Mindfulness and grieving.

You can’t see it, but it is in fact everywhere

Baby loss is suffered by so many but it is one of the most untalked about issues.

I didn’t tell friends, family or colleagues that I was pregnant, which saved me the heartache of telling them I no longer was.

I work for a large organisation and there are pregnant women everywhere. In the lift, in the lunch queue, in a meeting – there really is no escaping it.

When you hear someone has ‘lost a baby’, most people think miscarriage.  I personally have never heard anyone say that have had to end a pregnancy or endure a TFMR.

I’m guilty in the respect, that the few people I did tell, I was vague – I too said, “I lost a baby”. I didn’t want to go into detail – it’s complicated after all. People didn’t press further but I guess I didn’t want to say the words ‘termination’ because people wouldn’t understand.

The TFMR forum community, and the other ladies I spoke to who came forward about losing a baby – is like an underworld of grieving mothers.

Many women hide their loss like I did. Little did I know, as time went on, and I opened up a bit more to friends and colleagues, I found I wasn’t alone.  In fact, at work (where there are around 20 females) there were four ladies who had pregnancies end in miscarriage.

I found the opening up of one woman can lead to a string of women wanting to share their story – grasping the opportunity to finally share. Announcing a pregnancy is a ‘shout-it-from-the-roof-tops’ moment – ‘hear my wonderful news!!’ kind of feeling. BUT, losing a baby or ending a pregnancy, is buried deep with the door closed firmly shut, hoping we needn’t go there again.

I’ve heard a lot in the media recently about stigma’s being addressed – mental health, same-sex relationships and gender identity. But it still seems difficult for us to talk about baby loss. And not just for the mothers – we should also spare a thought for the partners and husbands who feel they have to be strong, demonstrating a sense of normality, whilst grieving…

It would be great to see baby loss, especially TFMR, to be more widely discussed so people are aware of it, and it doesn’t just remain a leaflet that gets handed to a mother when she learns her baby isn’t growing ‘normally’.