Couple lost three babies in two years
Breaking the miscarriage taboo
Our first pregnancy ended the way we all expected it to - with a healthy, happy baby in our arms. Our precious baby boy.
What a true blessing he was, for we were not to know the heartache we were about endure.
When Connor was 3 months old we found out that we were expecting again - a very unplanned pregnancy but a very welcome one.
Baby number two was due two days before Connor's first birthday!
Everyone kept telling us how hard life was going to be. All I could think about was how excited I was to have my babies so close in age.
Having experienced such a smooth first pregnancy the thought of something going wrong this time never occurred to me.
At 10 weeks I even went and bought a double buggy.
Miscarriages happen to other people, not me. Oh, how wrong was I.
On November 26, 2011, I woke at 5am with stomach cramps. I knew something wasn't right. There was so much blood. I instantly knew I had miscarried our baby. I was almost 12 weeks along.
"It was going to be so hard with two babies so young, maybe it was a blessing in disguise", was a comment said to me more than once.
Also on the most common list were "oh well, you're young", "you can try again", "at least you know you can get pregnant easily".
I got so many comments that began with "oh well" and "at least". Never use those words when talking to woman whose baby has just died.
The things people say to try to comfort you can be so hurtful. They don't realise that the things they are saying are the worst things your heart can hear.
So many people had an "oh well" attitude towards the death of my baby.
Because I thought I had no one to talk to who had been in my shoes, I thought I just had to get over it, put it behind me and move on.
So to the outside world that's what I did.
Almost a year after the miscarriage of our baby we found out we were pregnant again. Thank god. I couldn't handle watching more and more people around me having babies.
We were so happy, yet so scared at the same time. Leading up to our 12 week scan we lived every day in nerves. The scan was a success. We saw our perfect little baby and its perfect heartbeat. We had crossed over into the "safe" weeks.
In my final week of that pregnancy I was at my mum's talking about all things baby and how excited everyone was when I thought to myself that I hadn't felt the baby move at all that day.
I wasn't too worried. I had heard babies quieten down the last few days as they're getting ready to make an exit. I asked my midwife for any tips on how I could get the baby to kick. She decided we should meet at the hospital to hear the heartbeat to put us all at rest.
Even when I got to the hospital I still wasn't worried. It was four days out from my due date, what could go wrong?
"I'm sorry I can't find a heartbeat. I'm so sorry, your baby has died." Those words will haunt me for the rest of my life.
What a blur those next few days, weeks and even months were after our beautiful, little angel, Lucy, was born.
One thing a lot of people don't know about stillbirths is you still go through labour and deliver your baby the same as you would deliver a live baby.
Lucy was born July 28, 2013, the day before her due date. We spent two nights and three days in hospital with her.
We surrounded ourselves with family and friends. So many people met her and held her. I'm so pleased we did that. It's only now that I'm learning how many parents don't let other people in to meet their babies then go on to regret it the rest of their lives.
We are the lucky ones, we have no regrets of any decisions we made in the few days we had with our daughter. She felt love from so many people. My partner and I are both very at peace with our days with our daughter.
Many people ask what happened. What went wrong? The truth is, nothing. So many tests were done, tests on me, on Lucy, on the cord and the placenta. There was nothing to be found. She died and we have no reason or idea why.
Two months after Lucy was born we found out we were pregnant again. I think it shocked a lot of people that we got pregnant again so soon.
We had a house and lives ready and set up for a baby but empty arms. I had baby weight to lose but no baby to go home to after slogging it out at the gym to make it all worth it.
In no way did we want to replace Lucy; we had so much love to give, yet no baby to smother in kisses and cuddles.
So there we were, pregnant with baby number four, our Rainbow baby. I was so scared. Every day I woke up thinking today was the day my baby was going to die. Morbid I know, but sadly, one day it was true.
On November 26, 2013 (two years to the day since our first miscarriage), we went in for our 12 week scan to be told, again, they couldn't find the heartbeat.
This time around there were no "oh well" or "at least" comments. People stayed away. What do you say to a woman who's had three babies die in two years? Two babies die in five months? It's easier to say nothing, right?
I don't know if the insensitive comments or the lack of acknowledgement was worse.
This most recent miscarriage left me angry with the world. Why me? Why do my babies have to die when there are people out there having babies that they neglect and don't love?
What I don't think a lot of people realise is that this grief never ends for us. We will grieve the death of our babies forever. We think about them all day every day.
Don't ever ask us if we've moved on. We will never move on, we just have to learn to live without the parts of our hearts that died with our babies.
We learn to live our "new normal".
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