No one dreams of miscarriage, or baby loss. No one aspires to be infertile. And for those who desperately crave a family, no one whiles away the hours wistfully planning for, or fantasising about, a life without children. Yet, for many, that’s the sad reality.
Infertility, miscarriage and baby loss are battles so many women and couples fight daily. It’s a war none of us want to be a part of, and whose cause is something which is imagined to be the most natural act ever achievable; to simply do what it is believed our bodies instinctively know how to do: To bear a child. But, in the UK, more than one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, nine babies every day are stillborn, and one in seven couples are, currently, known to have difficulties in conceiving.
That’s a lot of shattered dreams.
In many cases this pain goes unspoken. It’s a secret we carry with us. Or a quiet burden we bear, not always wanting to, or feeling able to share with others. There’s sadness. There’s shame. There’s grief. There’s guilt. There’s no possible way to understand how suffering, at such a level, can even be put into words. And for the “others”, how does one know where to begin to ask questions to support a loved one? Or even try to walk in their shoes and experience such lasting devastation? It can feel impossible. Which is why these desolating, life changing happenings can often go unexpressed and unknown about.
But they don’t have to be. And they shouldn’t.
Everyone knows that grief exists, but not everyone is aware that it can be sneaky and good at hiding. How it will seemingly, and refreshingly, retreat, only to return in full force, when least expected, and most uninvited. At times it’s like a leech; sucking the joy out of everything, leaving bitterness where happiness should reside. At others it’s oppressive, clamping down heavily and crushing the heart, filling the stomach with lead and, unfairly, keeping us from the respite we know sleep can bring.
At times, it can be kept at bay, but it’s a daily battle; it never simply disappears. Even when we choose to embrace the scars of warfare, they never fully go away. A day dream, an image, a simple moment in time, can bring everything flooding back. A bout of PMS, or the vulnerability which can come from the stark, red reminder, each month, makes it impossible to, wholly, forget.
I know I am incredibly blessed and there’s not a day goes by where I’m not eternally thankful that I finally got the chance to have a child. Like so many others, pain has touched my life and, whilst I’ll always remember what we suffered, time has been, and still is, a healer.
I wanted to share with you a little poem I wrote, which goes out to all those who are experiencing suffering and pain in their lives. You are in my thoughts.
I wish I could carry your pain
That I could hold it in my heart,
To take it all away from you
So you don’t fall apart.
I wish I could carry your sadness
And turn it into sun,
To stop your tears from being shed
And protect you from everyone.
I’m sorry that you have this pain
That takes away your smiles,
And whilst I can’t take it away
I’m here throughout your trials.
I can’t turn your tears to joy
But do know that I care,
I will offer a listening ear
Your pain I’ll gladly share.
As Socrates would advise: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting their own battle.” We just can’t always tell, from the outset.
During Baby Loss Awareness week, I’d ask you to spare a thought for all those experiencing devastating sadness. Having a child is a huge joy and blessing but sadly it isn’t a happy, peaceful journey for everyone. I believe we’re all taking a huge step forward by raising our voices to bring such uncomfortable and sad issues to the forefront, no matter how tricky or heart-breaking they might be. It’s a time we can all seek to understand, to learn and be compassionate, keeping those loved ones of ours, experiencing such anguish, close in our hearts.
Baby Loss Awareness week is a collaboration of over 60 charities across the UK, raising awareness around the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK. To find out more about the charities and the support available then please click here.
The Baby Loss Awareness week pin can be bought from any of the charities involved in #BLAW2018. Here is mine raising money for, and awareness of, ectopic pregnancy, in memory of Sam’s twin. Let’s #breakthesilence around #babyloss
For more information, please click here.