Motherhood // And then you were gone.

I did not expect to lose you so quickly. I thought you’d hang around for the next two weeks, as you’d already stayed put for six.

What’s another two weeks between mother and child?

I wanted you to hang around, so when you were gone, we could preserve a part of you. You could be cremated and we could scatter your ashes in the Lake District. My birthday week was one of the happiest of my life; exploring our favourite place with your brother and sister, happily stroking my growing bump whilst we wandered through forests and across streams. We talked about how it would be the five of us when we visited next year. We told your sister we were expecting you.

The Lakes seemed like the perfect place to say goodbye. And I wanted to say goodbye properly.

But you went before we had the chance. At least I think you have. I guess it’s hard to know for certain. We’ll have confirmation at the scan next week.

An hour or so of strong, heavy bleeding. Going through maternity pads… Pad, after pad, after pad. The sensation felt a bit like when I gave birth to your brother’s placenta: Painful. Uncomfortable. And then a plop, and everything eased.

We were out for lunch; I needed fresh air and my body craved lots of food.

I passed you in the pub toilet, and there was no way I could get you out. I had nothing with me. I stood there for a while, looking down the toilet bowl. Wondering how I could save you without looking like a crazy person. In the end I had to flush and let you go.

It seems so ridiculous and unfitting, for such a loved bundle to be reduced to the fate of a dead goldfish. That’s all I could think as I flushed: “We always buried our goldfish. Why do I have to flush? I’m not ready to say goodbye. How is this possible?”

We tried for you for six months. Six months of sobbing on negative pregnancy tests. Six months of “Oh well, maybe next month.” Six months of wondering how bad my endometriosis had become since your brother’s birth.

I had been begging the doctor to refer me to an endometriosis specialist. We had to start the treatment pathway all over again because we’d relocated. But I knew it was a large part of the reason we were struggling to get pregnant.

But then you came! A positive test! Three positive tests! And then my appointment letter came through, and I called up to cancel with glee because I was finally pregnant!

“Another miracle!” we exclaimed, and we counted down the days until our 12 week scan.

You were so loved.

I wonder whether I should have known that you’d stopped developing. A couple of weeks ago, I started losing hair quickly, like I do postnatally. My leg hair continued growing, and one of the things I love about pregnancy is that my leg hair growth slows down (weird, but true). The nausea was starting to ease in the final week, but I put that down to turning 12 weeks. I thought I was just lucky!

And there were so many symptoms that continued: Your bump was still growing. I was still exhausted. I still had the weird taste in my mouth and food cravings. Up until 12 weeks, I was still nauseous and being sick.

A small bleed saw us in the Early Pregnancy Unit the day after our wedding anniversary. I thought it was probably just the womb stretching to make room for you, but then we received the news that you had stopped developing at 6 weeks. I was 12+1 when we heard the news, which is horribly ironic since your sister arrived at 41+1 and your brother at 40+1.

I have had some strong bleeds since the big bleed on Sunday, but they are beginning to ease once more. Your bump has gone down considerably and I no longer feel nauseous or crave food. I just yearn to be pregnant with you. To be stroking your bump. Smiling with happiness and joy, instead of the weird numbness I currently feel. Going through the motions of life with two children, dreading the moment your sister asks me: “What size is the baby now?” Wanting to hold on tight to Nick and never let go.

And now we wait for the scan next week, to confirm what I already know; you have gone. And we will talk about memory boxes… and next steps… and future pregnancies.

And, I guess at some point, we will return to ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is: School runs. Fish fingers and baked beans. Laughing again without feeling crushing guilt.

But really, what I want more than anything in the world, it to still be pregnant with you.

Hannah

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20 Comments

  1. Rachel
    6th October 2017 / 7:55 am

    ‘But really, what I want more than anything in the world, is to still be pregnant with you.’ Thank you for speaking such powerful truth. I’m so sorry you’ve lost your beautiful baby, he or she will always be a part of you and your family. I needed to read about your experience, thank you for sharing. I’m waiting on my missed miscarriage to ‘start’. x

  2. Amy Beecroft
    6th October 2017 / 8:25 am

    Oh gosh. I’m so so sorry for your loss. How heart breaking for you. I hope there is something in each day which makes you smile for just a brief while. Xx

  3. 6th October 2017 / 8:36 am

    Oh Hannah, I’m so sorry. I don’t have any words that’ll make this better, so know that you’re in my thoughts.

  4. 6th October 2017 / 9:35 am

    My heart is breaking for you Hannah lots of love x

  5. 6th October 2017 / 10:48 am

    Tears. And hugs and love.

  6. 6th October 2017 / 10:59 am

    I know there is nothing I can say that will make this any easier but I’m sending all the love I have, and know I am thinking of you xx

  7. Anie
    6th October 2017 / 11:47 am

    Oh Hannah, I’m so so sorry xxx

  8. 6th October 2017 / 12:32 pm

    Oh sweetheart, this is a beautiful tribute to your little darling, and I am so sorry for your loss. x

  9. 6th October 2017 / 4:16 pm

    Such a beautiful written post my lovely. Sending you all my love and huge big long hugs xxx

  10. Jen
    6th October 2017 / 5:02 pm

    I can not read and run. Sat here sobbing. Have been there and for through this and I know you will too. But be gentle on yourself, allow the emotions to come and all I can do is say take care – it never seems enough

  11. Crystal
    6th October 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Such a beautiful post about such a heartbreaking experience. It is definitely harder with children. I hope your kiddos handle it okay. It can be really hard when they ask about the baby in your tummy when it’s gone. My 5 year old still asks when the baby in my tummy will be born 6+ months later, about every 2-4 weeks. It makes me sad because he was so excited to have a sibling.
    I hope your endometriosis can get taken care of so you can get pregnant easily when you are ready to try again.

  12. 6th October 2017 / 7:45 pm

    I’m so, so sorry my lovely. This rings true in my mind so much but I did find it cathartic reading this and I hope beyond hope that it helps you — if not now, then later on. I remember the moment I lost our baby this year, or at least the gestational sac. It was a thin, ethereal material that collapsed in to the deepest red blood. It was beautiful, I just knew what it was — you know? Of course, by then I was already miscarrying and that had been confirmed but I knew that was him/her. I couldn’t do anything but flush it away but I stood there for so long before Lily invaded the bathroom and I had to get on with life. We were silly enough (or excited enough) to tell Lily about her baby brother or sister at such an early stage and she still asks every now and then and gives me the biggest hug and kiss, she just knows. If you need anything or anyone to talk to just let me know and I’ve got everything here to send on to you next week as a little pick me up xx

  13. Lisa T.
    6th October 2017 / 7:52 pm

    i’m so sorry. i read your blog mostly for the kids fashion so it was a shock to read this. beautiful writing for a horrible subject.

  14. 7th October 2017 / 5:29 am

    Oh lovely Hannah, miscarriages are one of the worst things and I feel your pain so deeply here. I miscarried my first baby in the French Alps on Bastille Day when on holiday and everything was closed. I was told by a certain family member it was probably my fault. It was over 12 years ago and whilst I’m no longer in pain over it in still sad that it ended that way. There are no words to comfort, just hugs and whatever you need. Please take the time to grieve and look after yourself. Sending you all the love and hugs, Sophie xxx

  15. 7th October 2017 / 5:36 am

    I’m sorry to hear this, especially the circumstances surrounding it. I just wanted to reassure you that had you passed your pregnancy in a more private situation, there really would have been nothing to cremate. Baby is so tiny at 6 weeks gestation. My twin sons died after I gave birth to them at 23 weeks due to my water breaking early, and I was told that even then, there may be little or no ashes after cremation (we chose to bury them). A beautifully written post, I’ve found (and still find) that writing is very cathartic and healing. Thinking of you and sending love xx

    • Hannah
      Author
      7th October 2017 / 9:13 am

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I have no words 🙁
      We were told we could cremate by the hospital staff. And even if it was tiny, I wanted the opportunity to say a proper goodbye xx

  16. 9th October 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Oh my goodness Hannah my heart is breaking for you. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through, sending so much love x

  17. Rebecca Mitchell
    12th October 2017 / 8:07 am

    Thank you so much for writing this beautiful piece. I lost my baby at 6 weeks also but I had no systems, skipped along to our scan to see our poor tiny baby was no longer with us. I had to have an operation to remove ‘pip’ a few days later. The days in between were totally heartbreaking but nothing compared to after. I wish you all the luck in the world trying again! Xxxxx

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