Four years ago today we lost our little girl.
I thought at the time it would be the hardest and darkest day of my life. It was the first time we heard the words
“I’m so sorry, your baby’s heart has stopped beating”
Our beautiful daughter, our precious first born together, our darling Emily, had slipped away from us. Without giving us a chance to give her a kiss goodbye or hold her against our chests and breathe in her sweet skin, or see her perfect little fingers and toes. No footprints to take home, no memories of her little face, no lock of hair. Just a scan print of our lifeless little daughter.
I think most parents would agree that every parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child, it is not the natural order of things. We are supposed to go first. But it had happened to us, and it happens to so many parents every single day. I’ll never ever forget that day. Despite it being a complete blur looking out, inside I had fallen to a place so dark and so painful that I never thought I’d ever find my way out again.
“We will try again” Stuart said, holding me tightly. The comfort I needed to hear. Despite never ever wanting to replace our little girl, I felt strongly that her energy simply wasn’t ready to enter our lives at the time and she would be back. We would meet her one day in the form of her baby brother or sister.
Emily had entered our lives miraculously by surprise. After struggling to get pregnant with Charlie and Jack for so long, I used to joke with my friends that I had my own inbuilt contraceptive device – PCOS. It stopped me from ovulating regularly, if at all. I rarely had periods and most of my cycles were anovulatory. I was diagnosed with PCOS when trying for Jack and, although I knew I had it as I had every cruel symptom going, having it made official was very hard to come to terms with. Back then, I was told that having another child would be near on impossible.
Eventually, after obsessing with my temperature, and charts, timing, online support groups, and various intrusive procedures and scans, and nearly giving up hope… our crazy little Jack came along. So, several years later and an amazing new man in my life, discovering we were expecting Emily was a tremendous surprise. My mind was blown. I had never wanted anymore children as I couldn’t put myself through the pain of trying to conceive again. I was done as far as I was concerned, that part of my life was over and I was happy with that. But here we were, our little life inside me. We were both in such shock and it was touch and go for a few days whether we’d even go ahead with the pregnancy as it was so hard to wrap our heads around. After all, we’d only been together six months. We were in the early stages of our relationship and Stuart had never wanted his own children.
Despite that, we had already fallen for each other by that point, and it didn’t take long before we fell in love with our beautiful child growing in my tummy. Things began to get exciting, if somewhat stressful with all the practical changes we had to make.
So when we heard those words 4 years ago today, the bottom of our world collapsed beneath us and I fell through a trap door fast. When Stuart said we’d try again I had faith in my body that, as a woman and after conceiving Emily without remotely trying, it was finally doing what it was meant to do and we would get pregnant again easily. We would meet our little Emily again soon.
Little did I know then that this was only the beginning. The following four years brought us further pain. For each pregnancy I imagined Emily’s energy mixed with the energy of her brothers and sisters to create our much loved baby. One we were able to hold, kiss and cuddle and watch grow up. I just knew we would finally meet our child. I knew it deep inside. My gut told me it would happen eventually. Our Emily, Bean, Popsy, and our new little one waiting for a name. Their energy would all merge as one to create our Rainbow. People around me encouraged me by telling me I’d eventually get to hold my baby and they know such and such a person who had X number of miscarriages and she had a baby in the end. Strangers online told their story of their lost babies but good news guys…They now have their baby! I was pumped. Each time we lost a baby, the thought of going again kept me strong. I could see it for us. Clear as day. But I was very very wrong. Unfortunately, Stuart and I weren’t on the same page. We weren’t even in the same book.
I know what a lot of people think, “You have two healthy boys, Molly. Some people don’t even have that!” And, christ, I feel for those people. I really do. (That is an entirely different post that I could talk about in great depth)
My response? Before Emily entered our lives I was whole. I had the boys and I had Stuart. Everything I ever wanted was around me and I was very very lucky. I was truly happy. I laughed a lot and I was excited for my future. Then Emily came along and created an extra space in my whole, and when she was gone that extra space remained, filled briefly by her baby brothers and sisters. A void waiting to be filled permanently.
I have no idea how I will live with that void. I need to discover how to carry it through my life. I’m in this kind of double grief. Grieving for our most recent beautiful baby, and grieving for our future baby who I had imagined so vividly and already fallen head over heels in love with.
I am sure, with lots of time and patience from my friends and family, carrying it will become easier and lighter with every day that passes. I feel it already. Of course I have my really bad days, sometimes just moments, sometimes several hours. Sometimes I lose control and scream and shake and really cry, sobbing on the floor or screaming in the car when on my own.
But sometimes I smile, even laugh a little – it’s those times that give me hope. I will carry this forever, of course I will, but the weight of it will hopefully lessen. I want to be happy again
4 years ago today we lost our little girl. She gave me more strength than I ever knew was possible. She taught me compassion, empathy, and opened my eyes in an abundance of ways. I went from being quite cold and shallow, to being warm and able to see things in a much deeper sense. I think one of the biggest changes is, I wear my heart on my sleeve now rather than burying it away. I’m an open book and I really hope that will help others in my situation one day.
I only wish you were here to see that my darling girl xx