I haven't posted on the forum very often but I feel now that I need to say something about baby loss and I hope everyone understands.
I saw a thread here that was obviously started with good intentions but as so often can happen with so many people posting, it went in a different direction to the way it was intended.
The good thing in my opinion is that so many people who have not been affected personally by the loss of a baby were so supportive to those of us who have.
I am a mum to three children, Ally, Elisabeth and Joseph. My son Ally was stillborn in January 2007 and my daughter Elisabeth died two hours after her premature birth in December 2007. Joseph is 15 weeks old and I spend every single day trying to control the desperate fear that something will happen to him and take him away from me.
When I was pregnant with Ally we were just like a normal couple of parents-to-be. It didn't cross our minds that we would lose him. That happens before 12 weeks and to other people, but not in mid-pregnancy and not to us. Until we went for a scan and were told "I'm sorry but your baby has no heartbeat."
With Elisabeth I spent every day of my pregnancy scared. I didn't think I could survive hearing those words again. And I didn't hear them. She was fine and everything was going well until a car accident at 20 weeks and her premature birth at 22 weeks. And I heard the words "your daughter is alive but she will die, she's just too small to survive and her lungs are not developed enough."
So my pregnancy with Joseph was spent in absolute fear. I don't think I can put myself or my family though another pregnancy. And I have spent every day of his short life scared sick that he will die. I can't go to sleep without desperately begging for him to be alive when I wake up. If he was taken it would finish me.
Some people have been great, they listen when I talk and they don't say thoughtless things that they forget the second they said them but which stay with a bereaved mum or dad forever.
But some people expect me to behave as though my babies were never here at all or to be completely recovered now that I have Joseph. The reality is that my children were here and I won't pretend otherwise. I may not tell everyone about them but if you count in my life then I will tell you about them.
My children were here, briefly, but I will love them forever. Most bereaved parents find a way to carry on and live their lives. I love my children, I love Joseph with all my heart and would die for him if I had to. I can smile and laugh and spend part of the day not thinking about Ally and Elisabeth but I do think of them every day, just not the whole day. I can look like a 'normal' mum, I can act like a 'normal' mum but I promise you I never feel like a 'normal' mum. And I can assure you that I am not suicidal and have no plans to end my life but sometimes the only comfort is that one day, hopefully a long time from now when I am old, I will die and my pain and longing for my lost babies will end. Because that is the only way it will end. That and the hope that somehow I will be reunited with Ally and Elisabeth in some way are sometimes the only things that help. Until then, I will do what most people who have lost a child do, just try to live my life with my husband and my son, try to be happy, try to live a life that all three of my children can be proud of me for. I owe that to Ally and Elisabeth, to appreciate the life that they didn't have for themselves, and I owe it to Joseph because he is so beautiful, so happy, so full of life himself.
Some people won't talk to me now, I hope they just don't know what to say but it feels as though they believe they can 'catch' bad luck from me. And on another forum that I use for bereaved parents that's something that almost everyone there has said or will say at some time.
There are people who not only don't want to talk about or think about our loss, they want us to forget our lost babies and 'move on' or 'get over it.' Some take it so far that they don't want us to go near them or their children because we make them feel bad.
I really appreciate that nobody wants to be scared when they are pregnant but I wish somebody had told me about their loss when I was expecting Ally. It might not have saved him to know the signs that something was going wrong but it might have prepared me for the worst. And if I had been scared unnecessarily then I would have been able to forget all about it after his birth.
And I honestly believe that the way to prevent other babies being lost to to stop treating bereaved parents like they have a dirty secret and to let us talk, let us warn people about the risks and dangers and for all of us to demand better care for all pregnant woman and all babies.
I don't want to scare anyone with my story. I just want to talk about all my beautiful, perfect children. And I want to stop this from happening to anyone else.
If we bury our heads in the sand then we will never change anything. The doctors can carry on saying that baby loss is one of those things, a question with no answers. The politicians can say it happens to a tiny handful of people so it's not worth investing in research. Without research, babies will still be lost and nobody will know why. And if we don't know why, we can't stop it happening over and over again.
Baby loss happens to thousands of families in the UK every year, I don't know about other countries. We have to stop it and to stop it we have to speak out, no matter how uncomfortable other people feel.
No matter how bad worrying about it makes you feel, times that by a million and you still have no idea how bad I feel or how all those thousands of other parents feel every year.
And the other thing is, I have three children that I love. Two are not with me but that doesn't mean I don't want and need to talk about them. I love them, I am proud of them. The days that Ally and Elisabeth were born were the happiest, proudest and the most sad days of my life. Joseph's was the same but in a different way. I love them all, I don't want to hide them and I won't pretend they didn't exist no matter what.
I want to finish by saying thank you to everyone who supports us and who makes the effort to understand a tiny bit of our pain. It really means a lot when most people we meet are too uncomfortable or uncaring to realise that many more people do care and can try to understand.
I'm sorry this is so long, thanks if you got to the end.
Firstly, I just want to send you My heart goes out to you and to hear you have suffered two losses is heartbreaking.
I want to thank you for sharing your experiences for others to read. I know that some people on certain threads have potentially made talking about loss difficult for those of you that have lost babies, but there is a lot of support to be found also. I know that without having ever experienced it myself I cannot even begin to understand how it could feel, but thank you for being so honest in sharing your feelings, and I hope that the support you will find here will be of some comfort. xx
i also think it's important for us to hear from you ...you are so strong and brave to share your story ...i thank you for letting me know that if something may happen to my little boy i can be strong like you
What lovely words you have written. Your love shines through for all of your precious babys and as always you word everything and say everything so perfectly.
I admire you for writting this thread, not only to share Ally and Elizabeth but to tell others of the pain we go through every day!
I too feel the same way as you now, I know I dont have any other children, but I can laugh and smile more than I used to and although I think of Sophie everyday, I now find myself not thinking of her as much as I once did-that doesnt mean I love her any less though.... Its scary how far I have come in this last year and a half and Im sure Sophie will be so proud of me, just like Ally & Elizabeth will be of you.
Firstly I want to say that I am so sorry for you and your family.
I can't even begin to fathom what you have been through and will go through every day, I admire your courage to speak up about something that people don't want to talk about.
I know the loss of your babies is something that you will never truly recover from and that nobody will ever replace them, but I hope you are blessed now and in the future with all the happiness and joy that and you and your family deserve.
Thank you for sharing your story about your beautiful children, and thank you for putting so eloquently how I'm sure we have all felt. Your words are perfect.
I am so sorry for all of your pain.
Your words are truely beautiful! truely truely beautiful!! Your gorgeous little Ally and Elisabeth will be soo proud of you, as you are of them! i am still in a bit of shock at what some people have said today but i think your words are so true, beautiful and brought a tear to my eye! i think you are a fantastic mummy and i believe that because your babies were born with wings it makes them ever so special and just hearing about peoples experiences touch my heart so so much! we should all feel special that the ladies that have been through such a sad and hard time want to share their stories with us all and warn everyone of the dangers. I thank you soo much for you feeling like sharing your life with us and i am terribly terribly sorry for what you have been through. I think you are a fantastic mummy! one of the best! that goes for all my angel mummy friends too! you are all super fantastic mummys and i have so much respect for you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Thank you so much for your beautiful words, and for sharing your experience with us. I cannot begin to comprehend your grief, but hope that you find comfort and support here at BnB. Thank you; I am certain that Ally and Elisabeth and Joseph are all so very proud of their wonderful mummy.
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