As a 14 year old child, I was mortified and embarrassed that my mum was pregnant with another baby. My eldest sister was 23 and pregnant with her first baby, how embarrassing that our mother was pregnant again! It was suggested I give up my bedroom for the new baby that was coming. How dare they? I was going through my GCSE’s and needed my space!
The resentment I felt towards that baby was immense. My life revolved around me. I never once considered how my mum felt.
At 24 weeks my mum lost the baby. And then begun my mums downward fall into a black hole of pure emotion.
I was an onlooker and completely confused by the whole thing. She suffered afterwards with lots of infections and had a “DNC” in hospital with various antibiotics and painkillers. Once the physical healing was done, the emotional healing was nowhere to be found. She was often found staring out of the window, and crying for no apparent reason.
Life wasn’t the same and everything was too much for my mum to handle.
One day a ring appeared on my mum’s finger, I had never seen it before. A simple gold signet style ring. I asked where it had come from and my mum said that dad had bought it for her.
GCSE’s and general teenage years overtook me and I never really gave anymore thought to that time in my life.
At 22 I was married and wanting to start my own family. After a year of trying and a few tests it turned out I needed a little help to get pregnant. I was starting to obsess over pregnancy and babies. Suddenly everywhere I looked, there were prams with newborn babies, blooming pregnant ladies were appearing in their masses. I was imagining pregnancy symptoms every month hoping that I would actually be pregnant. Several rounds of Clomid later, and I still wasn’t pregnant.
A couple of days after the last pregnancy test was negative, I started my period. I always had really painful periods, but this was off the scale. After 8 hours of pain that didn’t subside, I knew something wasn’t right and that I needed to go to hospital.
It was there that a nurse announced to me that I was pregnant, but having a miscarriage.
My world fell away from my feet. I didn’t show any emotion. I am officially on expert level, when it comes to boxing up emotion and storing it for another time.
After returning home from hospital the next day, my mum came to visit. She fussed around me, cleaned the house, made cups of tea.
Fussing subsided, another cup of tea appeared and she sat down. She begun to tell me how important it is to look after myself emotionally. Her words drifted over my head and I didn’t really listen to anything she was saying. Until she handed me her Gold ring.
She said, “look inside the band”. I held the ring and squinted to read the inscription which said “Baby”.
That’s when I realized what a huge loss my mum had experienced a decade before. That’s when I realized she was still grieving. That’s when I realized you never forget.
For my mum losing her precious little baby was a grief that I didn’t know about or appreciate. I had never counted that baby as a lost sibling. Now I do.
What helped my mum get through this difficult period of time? It was the support of the various charities that gave her counseling, support and advice when she needed, and a safe place to cry. Also having a permanent reminder of the child that was, in the form of a simple Gold ring that gave her comfort when she felt it on her fingers.
We always appreciate our mums when we get older and wiser. My appreciation went that little bit deeper.
My Gold ring was a song. Every now and again I hear the song, and remember the baby that might have been. Now I have 2 grown children of my own and one day I will share with them my special song and why it means so much to me.
Baby Loss Awareness Week – Wave of Light 15th October
Please take part in this global event to remember all the babies that have died during pregnancy, at, during or after birth. Simply light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least 1 hour.