When the world looks at me, the world sees a mother with full arms and the love of 3 wonderful little boys. But if you look closely, if you squint a little, if you listen carefully, you will see the lines of grief etched across my face, and hear the clink of my broken heart – because what the world doesn’t see is the 2 other children that have also made me a mum.
In May 2019, loss became my forever reality, and it changed me forever too. After a lost battle to find my baby’s heartbeat, my husband Nik and I were delivered the earth shattering news that our baby had died. We soon discovered that we were having a little girl, the baby sister our son Virràe had been dreaming of and kept telling us was coming. Our family was meant to be complete, but in the blink of an eye we were broken instead.
After a beautiful labour, Aurelia was born still and silently into this world, and to this day, I don’t know how we gathered the strength to give her back.
I kissed her goodnight for the first and last time and began to navigate the treacherous path of life after loss.
The anxiety of pregnancy after loss
3 months later I discovered I was pregnant, I was too scared to be happy, wondering whether this baby would be taken from me too. I kept my head down for 9 months, afraid to look in the mirror at the reflection of my growing bump, too nervous to acknowledge this new life growing inside of me.
Thankfully, our rainbow baby Remy arrived 2 weeks before Aurelia’s first birthday and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so relieved to hear a baby’s cry fill the room.
Shortly after Remy’s first birthday I discovered I was pregnant again, and due to my anxiety I was being scanned from 6 weeks. For the first couple of scans everything was exactly as it should be, and I started to allow myself to feel those glimmers of excitement and have a little hope, but sadly, it was short lived. From 8 weeks, the baby just wasn’t growing at the expected rate, and I was told the pregnancy would end in miscarriage.
My body refused to miscarry, but my baby was also refusing to grow, it was such a sad, sorry and helpless situation.
After discussions with my consultant, at 10 weeks, the miscarriage was medically induced, and a few short hours later, nature took its course. I was once again empty in every possible way.
Treatment for an incomplete miscarriage
3 weeks later a positive pregnancy test meant that the miscarriage was incomplete. I’ve never felt so let down by my body, and so angry at the continued complications. I needed a D&C asap, however, I was also testing positive for Covid. The doctors said there was too much of a risk that the remains of the pregnancy could turn septic, and so despite having Covid, I was scheduled for surgery as a priority.
On the day, as I was wheeled into theatre, the anaesthetist squeezed my hand and said how sorry she was. I had a little cry and squeezed her hand right back until I must have fallen asleep. Going through this loss during Covid was so lonely, and I was really grateful to have the care and empathy.
The surgery was a success, and I recovered quickly, but I was still a loser, as we all are when we experience baby loss. I was really mentally exhausted this time; I felt let down that I was having to go through this all over again. Hadn’t I been through enough?
I quickly realised that no matter what I thought or felt, I still wasn’t exempt from experiencing loss again. Why me, why anyone.
Holding on to hope
At the end of that same month I was pregnant again, and this time I decided to try and enjoy it. Nature had already robbed me of 2 babies, the joy of being pregnant and so much more, I was determined not to let anything else within my control be taken from me.
This time I kept my head towards the sun, I held onto hope and I let myself believe. I couldn’t change the past, I couldn’t control the future, but I could be the master of my present.
Our beautiful baby boy arrived earth-side in July 2022 and I felt so much gratitude. “Thank goodness for you” is all I kept whispering to him, “thank goodness for you.”
Our world changes from year to year, and our lives change from day to day, but any mother that has ever lost a baby will tell you that the love we have for our babies – in our arms, in the stars or the ones we long for in our heart – that love can never be changed.
Kajal is sharing her story as part of our #WeSeeAMum campaign in the hope it makes others feel less alone.