Wednesday, 4 July 2012

5 years on...

A post I wrote for BritMums blogging prompt 'Flashback' :

#4 was born last year and counting backwards from her I have been giving birth every two years...

So 5 years ago exactly... I was pregnant for the 4th time. I had had my beautiful, beautiful first baby boy who was stillbron at 32 weeks of pregnancy. Then my two daughters, and then a new bump who had been baptised PG tips until we would be in a position to choose between Philemon and Genevieve. I was fairly secure in the belief that - since the pregnancies of my two girls had been closely followed and showed no sign of anything untowards - what had happened the first time wouldn't happened again. I had even started again to imagine life with a new baby. It's something I had not allowed myself to do when expecting my daughters ; grieving thoughts of what could have been is very painful indeed.
I had also just started to wear a dress, turned into a floaty top, that I used to wear when I was expecting my first baby.

And then it happened all over again. On the same week of pregnancy, the same month of the year, October. The baby not moving. The trip to the assessment day unit. The heart monitor that couldn't detect a heart beat. The scan that showed and confirmed that the baby's heart had stopped. By that stage I knew what was coming and didn't want to look at the screen, hanging instead onto the hand of the midwife who was with me. But the person doing the scan asked me to look. I think that at that moment I shut down, I went numb, it was just so hard, so hard... My lifebuoy was a picture of my two girls on my phone, I kept staring at it.

At least this time I was ready, I had lived the same grief before and I knew I wanted to hold my baby. And in the time between the scan and the birth that wonderful baby gave me a wonderful gift. I finally finished grieving my first boy. I accepted. Whether the first time I was kicking and screaming inside (outside I just curled up on my bed and moaned that I wanted my baby back), this time I accepted, I knew I could live through it. And when my second baby boy was born I held him for a long time and I felt at peace. It's only much later that the pain came but I was ready for it.

Two years later I had another baby, the baby I - by then - thought I would never have, a baby boy. I had grieved the hope to have a boy and the birth of my son was a miracle in the full meaning of the word.

Two more years and another baby, not planned but very much wanted as soon as I found out (and had recovered from the shock!). A baby girl, little sister to my son, born in October, the same month than her two other brothers, my two angels.


  1. I was in floods of tears reading this.
    Words seem quite inadequate sometimes, but the most wonderful thing of all is that you found the strength to go on and have more children.
    Incredibly brave, so truly pleased that you did & I'm sure your two angels would be so very pleased you did.
    So brave of you to share this. As I said earlier when I read this, words just fail me, what you have been through is so incredibly devastating, words just don't seem enough.

    A very good friend of mine had a daughter who was still born (she has 3 boys, this was her only daughter). It happened 14 years ago now but we still talk about her daughter & what might have been together. I know it's so painful for her still, and always will be. My eldest daughter is the same age her daughter would have been. She didn't have any more children, she has her 3 son's and now a grandson. She has learnt to manage her grief I suppose although her grief will always be there.

    You are a truly amazing lady, it is wonderful that you've gone on to give your girls more siblings,your children are lucky to have such a strong, wonderful Mother.
    Pictures of my children on my phone have been my lifebuoy too some days, I really identified with that, although I've not been through the unsurmountable pain of losing a child let alone two. My heart goes out to you for what you have been through and the courage you've found to keep going for the children you had and have.

    Sending you my love,

    Jo xxx

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment Jo!

    I think you are right when you say that your friend's grief will always be with her. I will always remember what one of the extraordinary midwives, who looked after me when my first baby was born, told me : "You will still cry as an old lady."

    Thank you also for what you say about my girls being lucky that I gave them more siblings. I can tell you I had my moments of doubt when I was expecting after losing a baby for a second time.Especially because of my girls ; me and their dad knew what the risk was and we were ready but I was thinking about what it would do to them if they had to go through it again. A good friend said to me during one of these moments of doubt : "They're lucky because you chose to believe in Life."

    Thank you again for your comment. It really made me feel all warm!

    Anne xxx