Loss is loss, whenever it happens

Angel

When Ewan, our angel, died, a lot of people shared their own experiences of loss with us. Either their own, or that of friends and/or family. A lot of people, particularly those who had experienced a miscarriage, said that they thought that a stillbirth in late pregnancy must have been much harder.

About 18 months after losing Ewan, I met another local couple who had recently lost their baby. At the time we were both interested in setting up a local Sands support group. We shared our personal stories. Their baby had been born with various physical complications and died at about 3-4 days old. When I told them about Ewan’s stillbirth, the girl commented that our experience must have been much worse. Her reasoning was that at least they were able to spend a few days with their child.

I remember disagreeing with her. She had gone full-term and left work to go on maternity leave. They had the nursery ready and when she went into labour, were fully expecting to bring a healthy baby back to the house a few days later. I had only gone to 32 weeks and hadn’t finished work. We hadn’t decorated a nursery (partly because we were moving house). We also knew that when we went into hospital, we wouldn’t be bringing our baby home.

There is obviously something within us, or most of us, where we look at our own situation and maybe think how it could have been worse. Kind of looking on the bright side in a way. I know that I did that a lot. And still do. Ok, losing a baby so late on was bloody awful. One of the most horrendous things that could ever happen. But I am incredibly thankful for those 32 wonderful weeks. Adam and I were full of excitement and anticipation. We were nervous, as most first time parents are. I can remember the scans. I remember his first kick and the many more that followed. Talking about names. Booking NCT classes.

I have never experienced an early miscarriage but I have some friends who have. I have heard people say the words ‘it’s only a miscarriage’ or ‘she was only 8 weeks’. Seriously? There is no only about the loss of any baby. Whenever it occurs. I really do feel for those who have experienced miscarriage, because it is so often kept under wraps and not discussed. With early miscarriages, a lot of people wouldn’t have announced the pregnancy in the first place. So they often suffer in silence. An ex-work colleague of mine who has also started blogging, recently wrote a thought provoking post about it. It was only after her eldest boy was born, and through similar groups we joined on Facebook that I was aware of her losses.

What I am trying to say, in a roundabout and not very eloquent way, is that grief and loss is not a competition. No one person can hold the monopoly. Any loss is agonising. Just because someone loses a baby at 8 weeks, shouldn’t mean that it can be any less painful that losing a baby in the second or third trimester. I imagine it is a different type of pain and grief, but at the end of it all, there is still ache and longing. Loss is loss.

Did you know that 9th – 15th October is Baby Loss Awareness Week in the UK? A number of different charities work together to promote awareness and give parents, families and friends the opportunity to commemorate their babies lives. It is also an opportunity to talk more openly about baby loss. If you are interested in more information, visit the dedicated website. Ribbon pins are available from the Sands online shop. The week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’. People all over the world will be lighting candles in memory of their babies. If you will be taking part, I would love to know.

Written in memory of all the angels who were taken too soon.

#babyloss #breakthesilence

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21 responses to “Loss is loss, whenever it happens

  1. Maybe our angels are up there playing together. I remember my dates with my first pregnancy were very similar to yours, and I was devastated for you when your shared the sad news that Ewan had been born sleeping. As usual, I’ll be joining in the ‘Wave of Light’. Thanks for mentioning me in your post. Xxx

    • I like to think all our angels are up there together. Getting up to mischief! I had no idea about your miscarriages until after Seth was born. And I still can’t believe what was written on that bloody board!!!

  2. I am so lucky to have 2 healthy little ones. I cannot even begin to imagine what you’ve been through. I think it’s even harder when it’s still seen as such a taboo conversation. Must make it very lonely especially for those with early losses. Hugs x

    • Thanks Linda. I think part of the point of my post was for those who have the early losses. I received a lot of support and friends/family/work colleagues were so kind. Those with early miscarriages don’t get that support or understanding. I hug my two rainbows very tightly now. They are so precious.

  3. I completely agree – I am thankful every day for my beautiful girl, and I know people who’ve had late miscarriages which is heart-breaking. But as you say, loss is loss and no-one’s should be dismissed.

    • Thanks Cathy, I just wanted to address all losses really and not just my own. It’s heart-breaking when it seemingly can happen to anyone. Makes you realise just how precious life really is x

  4. I lost a baby really early and I do think it would have been worse for you. You had longer to bond with bump. It was awful and is awful at any stage though. I can’t imagine what you have been through x

    • Thanks. It was so hard but we also received so much help and support from friends/family and colleagues. I always think that those who have early losses don’t have that and are often left to just get I with it. I freely admit that before I became a mother, I did not realised the impact of loss – no matter how early. It just makes us realise what miracles our little ones are, and gives us extra reason to hug them ever so tightly! X

  5. What a beautiful post. I am so glad that more people talk about miscarriage and infant loss nowadays. I remember when I miscarried and someone said exactly what you mentioned ‘well you were only 8 weeks pregnant’ or ‘ it wasn’t a real baby yet anyway’ or even worse ‘you can always try again’. At that moment in time, I didn’t ever want to try having a baby ever again. The horrendous fear when I found out I was pregnant again, all through the pregnancy I was terrified that something would happen

    • Thanks Michaela. Sometimes people say things meaning well, but actually make you feel worse!!! I often think they would be better just giving you a hug and not saying anything! One person told me afterwards that her friend had an early miscarriage not long after we lost Ewan. She said she had not coped well and really needed to pull herself together as it wasn’t as bad as us. I felt sorry for her friend because everyone deals with loss and grief in so many different ways. Subsequent pregnancies are also hard aren’t they. xx

  6. Such a thought provoking piece. I wish you healing as I know personally the loss of a child.x

    • Thanks Amanda. I enjoy writing my blog to talk about it and make sure the topic isn’t forgotten or brushed under the carpet. It is very cathartic. I enjoyed your latest post by the way.

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. I agree with you, a miscarriage at any stage is a loss of a baby & people shouldn’t take that lightly. I didn’t know there was a pregnancy & infant loss week, I think it’s wonderful that you are raising awareness. x

  8. This is a very good post, and no doubt extremely helpful to others who have been through loss, and in particular the loss of a baby. Well done, its beautifully written.
    Anna x

  9. This is such an important and powerful post. I have had four miscarriages and I do feel a huge sense of grief. But I can not even contemplate what a still birth is like or what it must be like to lose your new born child. The fact that baby loss occurs is a tragedy and it breaks my heart to think of anyone going through it and feeling they can not talk about it. I hope that Baby Loss Awareness Week really does help to break the taboo. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Four miscarriages must have been awful. With our loss we received such a lot of support and help from friends, family and colleagues. I always think that people who have early losses don’t have that – and that is what makes me sad. Thanks for the retweets x

  10. Very touching post. I agree, it’s not a competition and it’s great that you’re talking about it. So many of us suffer losses but never share. I realized after I had an early miscarriage that several friends had too, they just didn’t say.
    Thanks for opening up communication a little more x

  11. Such a beautiful post – I had a miscarriage before I went on to have four healthy, beautiful children – I am truly blessed. I do find myself excusing my ‘early’ miscarriage – but it absolutely destroyed me – and affected my next pregnancy as I was terrified of it happening again. Thank you for sharing. Kaz x

  12. Such a poignant post. Both my brother & my best friend lost their babies last year, almost full term, and it has been incredibly tough for them and those around them. Preparing yourself for a new arrival and going home without a baby in your arms is horrific. Their little ones will always remain in our hearts.