Every day in the UK, 15 babies die before, during, or shortly after they are born.
Our blog this week is written by Kate Ball, Mini First Aid's Founder:
You may ask yourself who is a woman with 6 children to write about infant loss and miscarriage? Surely she has her share of babies and more....That’s exactly it, when you lose a baby, whether it’s your first or twenty first pregnancy, whether you have lots or no children already, it’s grim.
We had a boy and girl, life was great and we just fancied having a third to complete the crew. Needless to say when I fell pregnant we were delighted. It’s so hard not to let thoughts run away with you; names, how life will be, where baby will sleep. I kept telling myself not to be excited, things go wrong. But they hadn’t so far for us so really should I need to worry?? I couldn’t wait any more and booked an early scan privately. We all piled in the car, with a lunch date planned straight after with another family. And then, there it was, the huge TV by my feet with no baby on, no heartbeat and a shadow in a yolk sac. A quick internal ‘just in case scan’ didn’t give any better news. My tiny newly forming baby had died. I had had a missed miscarriage.
My body thinking I was still pregnant, punishing me with nausea and all the raging hormones when in fact my baby had died at 8 weeks into the pregnancy. I had surgery to remove the baby who had passed. At home there were still our 2 healthy children, surely that’s ok then? No it’s not, miscarriage is miserable, painful and so terribly sad, our third baby was gone and I was gutted.
I’ve been blessed to have 4 more babies since my miscarriage, but I won’t forget how I felt. What blew me away was just how many women in the weeks that followed told me that the same had happened to them, some experiencing loss after loss, and I never knew. Those first 12 weeks when most keep their pregnancy under wraps is the time that an estimated 1 in 8 pregnancies end in miscarriage and some never tell, managing their pain privately. Smiling at other people’s pregnancy announcements, putting a brave face on at christenings, baby showers and trying hard to ignore the flow of baby related posts swarming social media. In this week of infant loss awareness, if you want to, have the courage to talk to others about your experience and be reassured that like me, you are not alone. My heart goes out to those who are grieving the loss of a baby.
Reading about other Mum’s sharing their experience with raw honesty might be a helpful part of overcoming grief. A new book by Nicola Gaskin called “Life after Baby Loss”, and a book by Elle Wright, called “Ask me his Name: Learning to live and laugh again after the loss of my baby” are a good way to start.
There are over 60 other charities that support infant loss and and Baby Loss Awareness Week. Click here to find out more.