Trigger warning: Miscarriage.
I don’t even know how to write this, I just know that I need to. To put words onto paper, to finally say all the things I’ve been wanting to scream and shout about for the last two weeks. I should have been announcing your arrival this week. Posting your picture on social media and receiving excited phone calls from friends and relatives. I was so excited to tell everyone our secret, but now I never will. I will never get to hold you in my arms, your angry demanding screams of hunger won’t wake me in the night, I will never look upon your face, but I will never forget you. So this is my letter to you to say goodbye, little one. I loved you for every moment of your tiny life and will go on loving you for every second of mine.
You were my child, my baby, and I will never get to meet you. People tell me it’s not my fault and though I know I did nothing wrong and that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this, I can’t help but feel overwhelming guilt for losing you. It was my job to keep you safe. My job to protect you while you grew and yet somehow I failed you.
I sat in the chair at the hospital, excited to see you on the screen for the first time — for the first glimpse of my unborn child. But as the seconds silently ticked by and the smile fled from the sonographer’s face, I knew something was wrong. Eventually they told me that you no longer had a heartbeat. That you had passed away soundlessly inside me a few days previous. I prayed for it to be a mistake, for the scan to have been read wrong, but it wasn’t. You had gone. Numbly I was lead into another room where I was told about the options I now faced. How I wanted to ‘manage’ my miscarriage, to try and let it happen naturally or opt for surgery; and then what I wanted to do with your remains. Whether I wished to have you cremated or take you home with me to make my own arrangements. I asked for you to be cremated. I’m sorry if you’d have rather come home with me, I just didn’t think I could. I couldn’t face it.
“The realisation that they had taken you away from me, that you were gone, that it was really over, was excruciating.”
I always thought that if something like this happened I’d want the baby gone as soon as possible, that the idea of carrying something which was no longer alive would panic me, but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t want to let you go. A small part of me refused to believe that you were gone and still wanted to protect you. I was at war with myself. Logically I knew that you were no longer really with me and that we needed to part — but my heart raged against the idea. Eventually, I decided on surgery.
Waking up from that anaesthesia was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. The realisation that they had taken you away from me, that you were gone, that it was really over, was excruciating. I screamed and cried until they gave me medicine to calm me down and I could breathe again.
Very few people knew you existed and those who did have all been sympathetic and kind to me, but there’s not much that can be done to ease the pain of losing you. I want to snap at those who tell me that I’m young and can go on to have more children as though that is a comfort. I know I will probably be able to have more children, but they won’t be you. They’ll be them. And I know I’ll love them, but they still won’t be you. I will never meet you and that’s what hurts.
So though I go on and continue with my life — go to work, clean the house, get the shopping — please know you are never far from my thoughts. You will always be my baby. I will never forget or replace you and I will always wonder who you would have been.
If you’ve suffered a miscarriage and feel you need support, the Miscarriage Association are a UK charity who may be able to help. Their helpline is open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm on 01942 200799 and they can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well as the helpline, there are online support resources, leaflets and support groups available.