I’ve always wanted my losses to mean something. For all the hurt and pain I went/am going through to not have been for nothing. That’s why I’ve spent the last few years raising awareness of baby loss through various media campaigns.
I felt so alone when I went through my losses and never knew where to turn. I wasn’t really aware of miscarriages and I had no idea the kind of pain I was about to experience.
I knew pretty quickly that I wanted babyloss to be spoken about, to make sure if the worse did happen to someone, then they would at least know that they would never have to feel alone.
I wanted to share some of the interviews/campaigns I’ve been a part of. They range from newspapers & magazines to campaigns for Miscarriage Association and Tommy’s the Baby Charity. I’ve recorded an interview for a short film that’s being worked on at the minute and I’m really hoping to write a book soon! (Bold move I know)
If anyone’s interested in doing something similar then let me know and I can try give you some advice!
My posts have been pretty IVF-strong recently but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about what brought me here. Miscarriage may not be in my posts every day, but it’s absolutely still on my mind. I think it always will be.
I attended a – I’m not sure the correct word to use here – “workshop” on Monday. It was for the National Bereavement Care Pathway which is setting out to change the way we receive hospital care and general health care both during and after a loss. (And how to sympathetically deal with the terrified women who are pregnant after a loss)
The NHS for the most part have been fantastic and I don’t think anyone wants to take away from the good things they do, but I think it’s so important that there’s an increased knowledge around baby loss. It needs to be taken seriously and dealt with sensitively by everyone in the healthcare industry – not just the staff who work in specialised departments like Early Pregnancy.
We’re a long way from getting to where we need to be but it’s a start and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be part of the upcoming change.
And of course, meeting the other women was both inspiring and emotional. Hearing their stories is a stark reminder that I am not even close to being the only one who’s been through a loss (actually we all had multiple losses which proves how common even recurrent miscarriage is). It feels like we’re all part of this family – even if at times we might be a little dysfunctional!
There’s something strangely comforting in knowing that I’m not the only person who experiences jealousy, hurt and anger. I’m not the only one who double wipes and checks the paper. I’m not the only one who occasionally bursts into tears without warning on public transport.
It reminded me to make sure I keep writing about baby loss. We still need more awareness around it and we still need to reach out to people suffering so they know they will never be alone, even on their darkest days.
I’m not religious. I don’t believe in God or Allah or Buddha. Well, maybe I do. Maybe I believe in all of them and that’s the problem.
I was brought up Catholic – mum was a kind of average Holy Joe who had been brought up by a staunch old- school Catholic mother. My gran threw her eldest daughter out when she got pregnant out of wedlock and nearly choked on her rosaries when my mum married a *whisper* protestant. When she passed away, we were no longer forced to go to church and I found myself separating from religion all together.
I’d like to think I still believe in Heaven, but then I also kind of like the idea of reincarnation. And ghosts. Can you believe in a ghost if you’re Catholic? I’m fascinated by Norse Gods but I also believe in evolution and aliens too so I guess I’m constantly juggling conflicting ideas. Or maybe I’m too swayed by Netflix conspiracy shows that “prove” the existence of all these things.
But the one thing that always comes back to me – and I’m sure even the people with strong faith must struggle with it too – is the inevitable question. “Why us?”
Why; if there is a God, does he let drug addicts have babies while 5 of mine have been taken before they’ve even had a chance at life? Why, when I’ve tried to be a good person (underage drinking at the local park aside) do I feel like I’m being punished for something? Why me?
I’ve made my peace now with whatever my outcome will be but, I think I’ll always ask myself that question. Why did it have to happen to me?
I really don’t have an excuse this time. But here it is, my third and final quote (honestly, these challenges just weren’t made for me).
I was torn with this one. I really wanted to do an Atticus or Scout Finch quote – To Kill a Mockingbird is my favourite book so I thought it would be a nice tribute, but then I seen this Charles Dickens quote and felt it meant more.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears”
I cry a lot. Not as much anymore as I used to, but still – it’s not exactly rare. I cry just before my period, I cry when I’m on my period, I cry when I see animal charity adverts, I cry when I watch films. Speaking of that; I watched ‘Gifted’ the other night (Chris Evans stars in it, and I urge you to watch it if you haven’t yet) and was in floods of tears. The neck of my t-shirt was soaking wet and covered in mascara.
I also cried a lot when I was going through my losses and cried again during my struggle to conceive. I cried thinking I was a failure. I cried when I thought about not being able to be a mum. But I’ve never been ashamed of my tears. I cried because I needed it. It was how I coped. Some people think tears are a sign of weakness but I disagree. I’m not a weak person because I cry. If anything, it makes me stronger. I don’t hide my emotions – I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes I hurt, and I’m not always okay. I believe showing your emotions takes an incredible amount of strength.
Don’t ever be ashamed of something that helps you cope… Of something that’s part of you.
There’s me talking about how the 3 day challenge is so much easier to stick to and how excited I was to do it, and suddenly I’m 4 days in and only have 1 quote!
My excuses – work, college, weekend, wine(s), a really good film, a christening and a birthday. I think you should let me off.
But here it is. Better late than never. Quote number 2:
“A day without laughter is a day wasted”
This was of course from the late, great Charlie Chaplin. I kind of wish I’d left this until the last day to finish on one of the greats, but I just had to put it in. I guess it sets me a challenge for tomorrow right?
Anyway, this quote. It’s a good one isn’t it? We need to laugh. We need to smile. And we need to remember that no matter what we’re going through, there’s always a reason to be happy. My husband makes me laugh. A lot. My friends silly texts make me giggle. Sticking on a stand up comedy or an episode of Friends does it for me too. Catching my dog trying desperately to catch her tail. Watching Kian pretend he’s a stuntman at the park.
In all honesty it took me a while to see it, but everywhere I look there’s reasons to laugh and smile and just be happy.
What are some things that make you laugh?
I can’t believe I never mentioned this before. I guess my heads been in the clouds a little.
Anyway, around 2 months ago I received a notification that Hubby had nominated me for a ‘Butterfly Award’. They – amongst other things – recognise people that bring awareness to miscarriage or baby loss via blogs/books/social media/making keepsakes/etc. I’m nominated under the blogger category.
I know that my blog is pretty tiny in comparison to some – I have around 150 followers – but my husband knows how much the blog means to me. If I’ve ever had a bad day he always says to me “You should blog. It helps you”. And he’s right. It always does, and I hope it helps other people too.
If anyone is interested – you can attend the Butterfly Awards ceremony without being nominated/shortlisted. Just pop over to their facebook or website and you can purchase tickets. You can also sponsor or donate there too.
8th May 2018. My final appointment before I begin treatment. Can I scream a little? Do a dance? Or should I just smile to myself? I quite fancy the screaming if I’m honest.
My next appointment will last around an hour and we’ll do a detailed medical history and then they’ll make sure I’m emotionally stable and secure enough to have a child (my previous rants don’t count right?). Once that’s been confirmed I need to phone them on the first day of my period then BOOM. Treatment! (Unless they’re fully booked in which case I’ll go 4 weeks later).
I can’t believe we’re finally here. It’s finally happening. I have to say that it’s been incredibly quick (I.V.F wise – the whole TTC thing has felt like a lifetime at times). I had my first appointment in October and treatment will begin around June so that’s about 8months. Considering this is a free NHS provided treatment I’m pretty impressed!
**side note – I took part in another Miscarriage Association about coping (or not) with pregnancy after loss. It’s a great campaign so check it out if you’d like support/info
I can’t remember if I’ve already mentioned that I’m a media volunteer for The Miscarriage Association. It basically means if any journalist wants to do a story or something, they’ll contact MA who will then contact me if I’m suitable for it. I’ve only done 2 newspaper interviews – one small piece for the Scottish Sun, and one for the Saturday Herald (out this Saturday if there’s any local folks reading!)
(if it appears online I’ll pop a link on this weekend)
Anyway, the journalist doing the interview asked me what difference – if any – the miscarriages have made to my life. I’d never really thought about that before…Sure, I’m more aware of miscarriages and the struggles of trying to conceive. I know all the statistics, and about all the delightful stages of our cervical mucus, but I didn’t think she wanted to stick that in her article!
I told her that it had made my marriage stronger – in our 2 years of marriage we’ve went through more shit than most do in a lifetime and we’re still here making each other laugh and pulling through it all together.
Later on I thought some more about it.
I sat on the train home and thought about the past few years, and thought about the people on here that I’ve spoke to and read about, and do you know what I realised? How bloody strong are we all? How resilient are we? I’ve became a much stronger person since my losses – I seem to be able to bounce back more than I ever thought possible. We’ve been knocked down so many times and we keep getting back up. We’ve got that end goal in sight and we’re all fighting so hard to get it. I know it’s maybe cheesy but we should all be proud of ourselves. I never thought I would be able to get through all these losses.. I never thought I would be able to keep going, but yeah you know what? I bloody can. And I bloody will!
The Miscarriage Association is an organisation based in the UK that helps people understand/get through a miscarriage. I was referred to them through my local hospital and they’ve been brilliant.
If you haven’t been on their site, you should absolutely go check them out. I myself submitted my story (12 weeks) to them and it was published in their Spring Summer newsletter. It came through yesterday and while my husband and i had a cry re-reading it, it made us both so proud that our story is out there. Helping women see that there’s a way out from all the pain.
(Anyone that’s not based in the UK – I would still check the website out btw)
On a different note. I’m due tomorrow. This is CD31 and so far I’ve had a bit of a cold, slight increase in hunger and my boobs are a little sore. They feel a bit heavier…. its not enough to get excited about of course, just enough for me to notice. (Which to be honest will prob end up getting me excited anyway before my bloody period turns up a day late)