Lisa with the doll that brings her comfort after losing her baby during pregnancy. Picture: Lacey Barratt/ Diimex.
Life and Death, two experiences that are closely intertwined. We talk about life. We talk about birth, the joy it brings, those picture perfect images of us meeting our babies, but loss…
We can’t find the words
Loss is filled with “I’m sorry for your loss,” “At least you already have healthy happy baby,” “It wasn’t meant to be,” and finally, “Everything happens for a reason.”
Women aren’t looking for sympathy or pity. They want validation. They want people to acknowledge that their baby was real to the world, just as much as it was real to them. They want validation in their grief … to know that it’s ok to cry.
Today, I stand in solidarity with all women who have experienced loss. To you I say, you’re grief is real, your baby is real, and it’s ok to tell people that you have lost a piece of your soul. You darlings, are not alone. Today I introduce you to baby Pip, Lisa’s first baby and the recovery needed to triumph past times of grief.
Those pink lines. Those beautiful two pink lines. A feeling overcome me as my eyes met this wondrous sight. A little person who we had planned and dreamt for was growing inside me. I felt whole, a feeling I had never experienced before.
My husband and I looked at each other and I whispered ‘we are having a baby.’
The next few weeks were a mix of happiness, excitement, joy and glorious morning sickness. Everyone kept telling me that feeling sick was a good sign and that the baby was healthy.
I was counting down the days until my very first scan. Walking into the scan my stomach was full with butterflies. I was shaking with anticipation. Then I saw that tiny little human up on the screen. I knew I loved my baby but this was the point I fell in love. I was a Mum, something that I had wanted so badly. We left feeling on a natural high.
I wanted to scream to the world I was having a baby, but we started small by telling the most exciting news to our family and close friends first. The weeks flew by, I was already planning a nursery, thinking of names, wondering if my baby was a little boy or a little girl.
The first and last photo Lisa has of her baby. Picture: Lacey Barratt/ Diimex.
Heartbreak and shock
It was the day before the 12-week scan. Three months had gone by and so many plans had been made. This little baby had already filled mine and a lots of others peoples lives with so much joy.
I remember feeling not quite right and going to the toilet only to be faced with blood. A vision that is embedded into my memory and will remain for the rest of my life. I wanted stay positive because I had heard of women bleeding and it all turned out perfectly okay. That would be the case for me, right?
I took myself to the doctors who got me an ultrasound straight away. I called my husband who came home from work. I still remained hopeful because I had no cramping and the bleeding was only light.
Sitting in the waiting room not a word was said between my husband and I. Maybe a weak hopeful smile was exchanged but no words. I didn’t have that whole complete feeling I had had for the last three months and that scared me.We walked in to the ultrasound room, my husband sat at the end of the bed and the tech put the gel on my belly. I closed my eyes and hoped with all my heart everything would be ok. The tech took her time scanning and taking pictures. I didn’t once look at the screen. My husband squeezed my leg and the tech stopped, ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.’
I let out a gasp and then fell silent. Her words ringing in my ears. My face felt hot, my skin felt numb. I just wanted to yell, cry, and feel something.
New life brings new joy but doesn’t completely heal the pain of loss. Picture: Lacey Barratt/ Diimex.
Numb and empty
We waited for the scan results then went home. I would have a doctor’s appointment the next day. I walked inside and sat on my bed. I lost it, utterly and completely broke down. The dreams, the plans, the future now meant nothing. They were nothing. I started to cramp and bleed heavily so my husband took me to the emergency department at the womens hospital. I opted for a d&c but being the weekend I would have to wait a few days. It was the longest wait of my life.
I had to carry my dead baby inside me and I began to resent it. How it was still attached to me, how it wasn’t letting me move on. I was angry, I felt alone, cold and scared. I lay in bed the night before the procedure and cried. I felt guilty, how could I be angry at someone who brought me so much happiness and love.
The doll represents the love and loss Lisa feels for her first child. Picture: Lacey Barratt/ Diimex.
I arrived at the hospital as anxious as ever. I remember so clearly being asked to insert gel on my cervix to allow it to dilate. I couldn’t do it. I wanted my baby. I didn’t want it to be this way. I wanted to keep my baby forever, in my womb where it was safe and no one could take it away from me.
The nurse did it for me and I lay in the bed, silent. I walked out of that hospital and I lost a piece of my soul. I was broken and there was nothing I could do it make it all disappear. In the following days I had to wear a fake smile. “It wasn’t meant to be.’‘ “You will have another baby.” “At least now you can move on.”
Moving forward does not mean moving on. Picture: Lacey Barratt/ Diimex.
I wanted to punch every single person in the face for making out that my baby was nothing. That he or she didn’t matter, that it wasn’t meant to be. My baby mattered, he was real. Every year I sing happy birthday in my mind for what could have been. I often wonder what they would have looked like, their personality, and their little unique habits. Our little Pip, the one that was too beautiful for this earth.