Thingy’s pregnant! Well she better not count her chickens

I’m at that age, early thirties, where 2017 has been a baby-booming year. Speaking of booming, pregnancies are a bit like a ticking time bomb. Is the pin going to stay safely in? Or, is it going to drop and all end?

I spoke in a previous post about the green-eyed monster – being jealous of other people’s pregnancies when my first one ended in misery and the deepest bitterness. The news now is like someone standing next to a balloon with a sharp object for nine months. I know it’s cynical, and nothing really to do with me, but it’s the flood of emotion I feel when I hear someone’s news.

The reliving my first time – the positive pregnancy test, the visions of a baby in nine months time, going to the scans, going baby shopping, the birth, their first tooth…and so on. It’s there, like a wave of motherhood washing over you, before it’s all really begun. A poppy seed in fact, buried deep in your womb.

The termination that sticks in your memory forever – the letters ’TFMR’ branded on the side of your frontal lobe. The promise you once had dissolved into an appointment at a clinic, throwing you back into the past where you were 16 weeks earlier – baby-less and never-to-be-the-same-again.

For anyone who has a TFMR will probably always relive that feeling when they hear new baby news, even if you go on to have 2,3 or 10 Rainbows. We will feel it because pregnancy presents it’s self as risk – odds, numbers, age – whats the risk? Will I have this baby or not? “We’re having a baby!” – well, it’s not a done deal I’m afraid.

After the three second influx of absolute dread, you dust yourself off again and think logically. I have my Rainbow now and she was worth it all. And Thingy is pregnant? Oh wow! That’s amazing – how far along is she?

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”.

 

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’.