On Wednesday 23rd July 2014 I was looking forward to finding out if I was having a baby girl or boy. Inside I couldn’t shake this fear that I could lose this baby, something that never entered my mind with my first two pregnancies. I chose not to tell my partner about these feelings which I had near enough throughout the whole pregnancy, as short as it was.

unnamed (2)I put it down to feeling like this was my last chance to have another baby and tried to put the worries to the back of my mind. Now that I look back I wonder if it was my body trying to tell me something wasn’t right. I was in the care of One to One midwives and after a long bus journey, me and my partner arrived at the doctors where we were having our second scan.

I was just shy of 20 weeks, when we entered the room and I noticed a screen at the end of the bed. I knew straight away the baby would appear on there for me and my partner to see.

As they rubbed the wand over my bump my partner stared at the screen in amazement, I stared with dread running through my veins. I knew straight away my baby was gone, there was no flicker of a heartbeat to be seen. I did hold out hope, maybe I was looking in the wrong place, maybe the sonographer was going too fast with the wand for me to see it etc. But deep down I knew my baby was gone.  it seemed like ages before the sonographer confirmed that there was no heartbeat  – my baby fell asleep at 15 weeks.

It was only then that my partner realized something was wrong, his smile melted away and he grabbed hold of my hand and held it tight. It was at that very moment our journey of grief began.

unnamed (1)After being rushed into another room our tears began to fall, both of us apologizing to each other like it was our fault but deep down just needing reassurance that we didn’t blame each other. We then had to make a very long bus journey to the hospital where I was given tablets to stop my hormones and was sent home knowing I would be returning in two days times to be induced and deliver my baby.

Those two days seemed to last forever. I walked round the house like a zombie, trying to get a bag together to take to the hospital whilst looking after my two children who were on their summer holidays.

I couldn’t stop the tears from falling, the worst moment being when realization set in: I was going into hospital to have my baby but I would be coming home empty handed. [quote_box_center]My partner was my strength, my rock, especially the night our baby boy was born. [/quote_box_center]We spent as much time as we could with him, we named him Henry, I held him, I kissed him, I wished him happy birthday, took photos and  I made memories I will treasure forever. This was something that really helped me on my journey though grief. I often look at the photos and I can do now with a smile.

[quote_box_right]I didn’t truly start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel until I brought Henry’s ashes home. They now sit on top of our bookshelf in the living room along with his memory box, a candle and his scan picture in a heart frame.[/quote_box_right]

I was numb the whole time I spent with my Angel. It wasn’t until we said goodbye and we entered the lift that I broke down, only for a moment. We sat outside waiting for a taxi home and I spent the whole time clutching onto the memory box the hospital gave us with all the strength I had staring into space. When we arrived home I sat in the living room and suddenly I couldn’t hold it in anymore, the tears began to flow. That was only the beginning of our journey, I still had the funeral to deal with not to mention the physical changes in my body.

Grief is a very personal thing and everyone grieves in different ways and I truly don’t believe it ever ends, it may get easier but it’s always there. My partner and I grieved in very different ways but we accepted that and supported each other because of this I truly believe our relationship became so much stronger.

Apart from my partner, the one thing that really helped me in my journey of grief was my little Jack Russell dog Daisy, although at the time I didn’t realize it. But for weeks maybe months I babied Daisy, cuddling her, cradling her like a baby etc. She gave me the comfort I needed, she filled my aching empty arms.

unnamedI still find it hard that my loss is classed as a late missed miscarriage, a term that I really dislike. I didn’t miss – carry my baby, he died. But a bigger hurdle for me to get over in my journey of grief was my biggest fear, that my baby boy would be forgotten. It took me a while to realize that as long as I remembered him his memory would live on forever.

So now I do what I can to keep my Angel’s memory alive. I do/did this by:-
– Creating a group on Facebook called ‘Lost In The Womb’ in my Angels memory to help those you have suffered a loss like myself.
– Ever since reading a poem about pennies from heaven I collect pennies I find laying on the ground when I’m out and about and keep them in a jar. I like to think its Henry saying hello!
– I plan on releasing a balloon every year on the day he was born to say happy birthday.
– I enjoy creating pictures to remember him by, I am actually drawing one as we speak.
– I look/see him in everything, for example, if I see a butterfly it brings me joy to think he is near or if I see an orb or a shadow etc. in a photo I have taken I believe it to be my Angel letting me know he’s still with me.

[quote_box_center]What I’ve learned through my grief is that no journey is the same, it won’t end but it will get easier. However, there will still be moments the grief will hit you and knock you for six.[/quote_box_center]

A couple of things I did that I found really helped me with my grief was to create a word document on my computer, a diary of my feelings. I would type away whatever it was I needed to get out whenever I needed too. I also added pictures to it, ones that spoke to me and ones I created as well. I also have a teddy personalised with a picture I created in his memory which contains his scan picture. It is actually called a Henry bear and has a big H on one of his paws. Having something to hug when I’m missing him is really comforting.

My advice to others is not to bottle your feelings up, whether that means talking to someone or simply putting pen to paper. Getting your feelings out can be a good form of therapy, a good release.

If you have the chance to meet you baby do it, you will create memories that you can cherish forever. Take photos of you baby, even if you feel it maybe too hard for you to look at them. It’s best to have a photo you may never look at than to wish you had a photo you don’t have .

Do whatever you feel is right in honor of your baby, no matter how mad it may seem. As long as it makes sense to you , then that’s all that matters. If you find yourself smiling or even laughing –  don’t feel guilty, feeling happy doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten. On the same note it’s also okay not to be okay.

Understand that everyone grieves in different ways, respect your partner’s way of dealing with his/her grief and support them. Just because they are dealing with the loss differently to you doesn’t mean they don’t care. They are just grieving the only way they know how.

Most importantly, remember that you are not alone.

Love & hugs to you all, Dionne

You would also like to read: ‘The Silent Loss’ 
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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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