The following post may be upsetting to some. If so, I apologise but it is something I wanted to write about.
Sitting on the bed, in my arms is the most gorgeous baby. He has wispy, strawberry blonde hair that lays flat against his head, unbelievable blue eyes that are looking straight at me. He is smiling that gummy, cheeky smile that babies have that make you want to squish their cheeks together.
Holding him out in front of me, he giggles and my heart is filled with joy and happiness and everything positive in the world as I realise that the baby I’m holding is my baby. I didn’t lose him. The miscarriage never happened. My baby is here and safe and healthy and we’re a family. My husband is smiling at us from the doorway and I start to cry.
On waking up, realisation sinks in again. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a baby. I had the miscarriage a few months ago. The tears in my dream are real but they are not tears of joy but of sadness, despair, heart break and so many other things and have soaked my pillow.
That dream was after my first miscarriage. It was the only nice dream I had in the space of a few months, all the rest were nightmares.
I’m still having nightmares after my second miscarriage. Not as many but they’re all roughly the same; there’s blood and I can’t save my baby. Sometimes, it’s not a baby, it’s a light and the light fades until there’s only blackness. When it is a baby, it’s tiny and so fragile and it dies in my arms.
There is no need to interpret any of these nightmares. They all speak for themselves. In fact, I think it’s my brain telling me that I still need to grieve for my losses.
You may wonder why I’ve written about this, especially compared with the silliness and weirdness of all of my usual dreams.
It’s because this week, 9th – 15th October, is Baby Loss Awareness Week, something I’d never heard of until my first miscarriage. It’s a week to publicly remember and raise awareness of babies that have died either during pregnancy, at or during birth or after.
I’m trying to do my bit. As well as this blog entry and wearing a pin all year round, in the coming months, I have two personal essays coming out about how my miscarriages have affected me.
It’s not easy to move on from something so traumatic, and painful. It doesn’t matter how far along you are, as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, you are a mother. I am a mother but I never got to meet my babies but I will forever love them and wonder. I will never forget them or how filled with hope and joy I was at the prospect of them.
It doesn’t matter what people say, it wasn’t just a cluster of cells, it was a baby. Being young and having ‘plenty of time’ does not come into it, nor does trying for another. It isn’t ‘just like a period’ and being told that lots of women have miscarriages and then go on to have several children does not help either.
There is no time limit or rules as to how someone deals with such a loss. Do not feel as though you should be over it because that’s what people tell you. Do what you need to recover and grieve and seek help if you need it. But most of all, let yourself grieve.
Do not be ashamed. Do not think it was your fault.
If you would like to find out more about Baby Loss Awareness Week, please visit http://babyloss-awareness.org/ .