We thought we were having a baby but all we got to take home was a little candle...

In this honest and raw account of miscarriage, Lizzie reflects on her experience and the vast array of emotions she has felt since losing 2 precious babies earlier this year. She also explores the devastating impact that baby loss can have on relationships with family and friends.
Image

We have just been through our second missed miscarriage, followed by surgical management in the last 3 months. Each time, my body either doesn’t realise that there is something wrong or doesn’t want to let go of the pregnancy. 

As the kind and sympathetic nurse hands me the tiny candle that represents our second lost baby, I feel like a fool for having hoped that this time we would be taking home a baby and instead we are taking home a well-meaning little candle to remember the child who we will never meet.

Nothing can prepare for the despair, emptiness and heartbreak of a miscarriage. After our first missed miscarriage at 12 weeks, which occurred at the height of lockdown, I spiralled privately into overwhelming feelings of humiliation, shamefulness, self-hatred and sometimes intrusive thoughts of suicide

Each day I tried to pick myself up and each day I would fail. I tried, and still do, to hide my tears from my lovely husband and my little boy because I am so worried that my darkness will detract from their light.

I now fear of losing them too. I worry that my husband will leave me- because who wants to live in isolation with someone who cries all day long and brings everyone down? I worry that something will happen to my little boy constantly. I know these thoughts are irrational, but they are with me all the time.

I know that am lucky to have my little boy and I feel selfish for asking the universe to give me another. 

Something that I wasn’t prepared for was the wedge that miscarriage has driven between so very many of my relationships. After our first loss, I isolated myself from my mum, believing that I had somehow let her down, along with everyone else. She has another grandchild on the way from my brother’s partner and so I also resented her for still getting to experience that joy - but through someone else. I realise how insane that sounds but for a time, that is how I felt. 

I resented friends who chose me to confide in about their own pregnancy news, despite knowing what had befallen us. To be honest, I have gradually distanced myself from them. I’ve pushed my brother away as their due date is 5 days after the day that ours would have been. I can’t even bring myself to see them or tell them what has happened.

I feel that people I thought cared about us have let us down. This has shattered further my already broken heart and I know that our world will never be the same. 

I know from experience of reading these posts that you will be looking for the stage where my luck turns around and I tell you that we went on to have another baby because hope is the tonic to our grief. I am not able to give you this happy outcome just yet, but I can tell you what I have taken from this experience. 

I have learned that I do have some true friends. Friends have been an unexpected source of solace in my darkest time. I have found that I do still have hope that one day I will give my little boy a sibling and I’m starting to feel less humiliated by my losses. I have also realised how grateful I am to have my husband and little boy who bring joy and light to my life every day and whose love shields me from or pulls me back from the darkest thoughts that infiltrate my mind. 

I write this honest account and share my raw and painful experience in the hope that it gives others who are suffering some validation that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings - and that whatever they feel is ok. I believe that accepting yourself for all that you are, is the path to finding some peace. 

Support after miscarriage

Miscarriage can be devastating. You may be struggling with grief, anxiety and shock, as well as mood swings and tiredness as your hormones adjust.

You’ll probably have a lot of questions about what has happened. Our information pages aim to answer some of these questions and hopefully alleviate any worries you have about what this means for you and your future.

You can also contact our midwives, who are trained in bereavement support, at [email protected]