I’ve been a mum for nearly 2 years now, but the past year I’ve learned things about myself and motherhood that have without doubt changed me in a profound way.
Tonight is the eve of my 12 week scan of my third pregnancy. I remember when I was pregnant with my nearly 2 year old I couldn’t wait for this scan. I was so excited about seeing a little baby in my belly – and he didn’t disappoint, wriggling around and showing off his arms and legs. Fast forward 16 months and I found myself again preparing for my second 12 week scan, moaning about how awful my morning sickness still was. Only this time there was no wriggling baby. Instead a super quick run of the scanning probe over my belly, and the words, “I’m so sorry but it doesn’t look good. Let me just get a colleague in to check”. Never in a million years did I think anything could be wrong. I had no symptoms of miscarriage, and my pregnancy symptoms were still overtaking my body. A scan at 8 weeks had shown a healthy little foetus, only a month later, it showed that healthy little foetus’ heart had stopped beating at 9 weeks. 
What followed was physically quite an ordeal, with things not going quite as planned, resulting in an extended hospital stay, blood transfusion and ultimately surgery. I was so angry at my body for not recognising that something was wrong.
It was a time I would never want to experience again. And here, as I prepare for the first scan for baby number 3, it’s hard not to imagine the worst. Any excitement is overtaken by feelings of dread….convincing myself that every ache and pain I feel is a sign something is not right. However, this past year has taught me so much and I believe that little angel who lived inside me for 9 weeks had a life worth remembering, and made its mark on this world, however small. These are the lessons I’ve taken from that loss :
(1) Savour every precious moment with my son. There is joy to be found even in the seemingly mundane tasks.
(2) there are fewer greater gifts in life than finding a partner who you can really rely on. My husband has been more than I could ever have imagined over this past year. Seeing me through my physical, mental and emotional pain whilst also dealing with his own grief, and getting up to go to work to make sure we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. I have learned not to take him for granted. I love him more now than I ever have. And am so grateful to him for not giving up.
(3) it’s ok to cry, and to talk about it. Although I was only pregnant for 12 weeks, the bond you form is undeniable. You make plans, imagine the future, you think you have it all planned out. Miscarriage was without doubt one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with and I’m sure it is the same for others, yet we still don’t really talk about it – almost like it’s something to be ashamed of. After my loss, I talked about it and was shocked at how many women I know who have experienced the same – I had no idea! I am very open about my experience – I think we need to hear other women have been through it…and have survived. Talking is like therapy and mental health is no joke!
So to all you women out there trying to get pregnant/pregnant/dealing with miscarriage……talk…..to your mother, your school friends, your sister, your midwife, the acquaintance at your local playgroup….because talking really does help.
*note: that first scan of my third pregnancy went well and I’m now cuddling my nearly 3 month old baby. His pregnancy and birth were far from straightforward, but that’s for another day!