After our first miscarriage we were told to go away and play and enjoy making another baby

My counsellor recommended I write a letter to the children we lost and when it was time to burn the letter to let go which I did.

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by Phillipa 

May 2016

My husband and I have had five miscarriages, four before the birth of our son Michael in January 2015 and then had another miscarriage before having our daughter Amelia in January 2016. I had a number of health complications from the miscarriages and really bad advice at the most inappropriate times after miscarriages from health professionals. After our first miscarriage we were told to go away and play and enjoy making another baby. It was devastating to receive the news that I had miscarried as I knew I was pregnant and was scheduled to see the midwife a couple of days after the New Year and this happened on Boxing Day which still makes Christmas very hard to celebrate even after a few years now.

I ended up going through counselling after our third miscarriage as I couldn't cope with the thought of another miscarriage and felt it was my fault in someway. My counsellor recommended I write a letter to the children we lost and when it was time to burn the letter to let go which I did. I also shared the letter with the Miscarriage Association to share our story and to help health professionals understand what it's like to go through a miscarriage.

My husband also wrote a letter, these are our heart felt messages:

Dear little ones,

This has to be the hardest letter I have ever had to write but know in my heart I have to be strong to write this to tell you how I feel before moving on with my life with your father.

Everyday I miss you growing in my tummy, I imagine what you would look like, how old you would be now, how happy the Ellyatt family would be, what I and your father would teach you in life.  I unfortunately don't know what went wrong with carrying you and shall never know.  Hopefully one day your father and I will have a beautiful healthy family just sorry you cannot be here to be part of it.  You will never be forgotten though but the experience of miscarrying will hopefully stop and hopefully nightmares of miscarrying again or dying whilst giving birth will stop.  It's time for me to dream and enjoy everyday as if it were my last and not put myself under pressure to having children right at this moment.

No one seems to understand how it feels for me to lose you and I probably don't understand how your father feels fully.  Its almost like it never happened to some people and people just expect you to move on with life and try again.  It's not that simple.  I think the biggest guilt I have felt is when I have not known you were growing in my tummy and wished I had known as I may have been able to protect you.  It was almost like a silent death and hearing I am sorry your miscarrying is the worst feeling which then grew to sorry your having another miscarriage just breaks your heart.  I need to start mending my heart so I have all the love in the world for my family when they come along.  I cannot keep living in the past thinking what if I had, could I have done anything different, why? It's time I moved on its been nearly a year since my last miscarriage on Boxing Day which I know will be tough this year as I will think about it and will be at your Grandparents house where it happened.  

I have been looking at the Miscarriage Association website on a regular basis and realised that some people have had a worse time than me but I also know with the tests that you father and I have had that we can have a healthy child which is great news.  Your father and I considered going through adoption before I got pregnant for the third time but realised that is not for us, I want a baby that is part me and part your father.

It's hard to see your Auntie Sarah, Uncle David and my friends with their families especially at times like Christmas when I know I should be spending Christmas with your father and you all.  It breaks my heart to walk in to your nursery room still which you would have all slept in as babies and had some lovely toys.  In an evening your father and I often mention how quiet it's in the house knowing their should have been crying of babies and sleeping children.  Instead we have four guinea pigs in your nursery playing in an evening and two Chow Chow dogs sat with your father and I demanding attention and wanting to play. 

Hopefully by going through my counselling, talking more to your father, thinking positively about life and having fun will let me have a healthy outlook on life.  I am going to burn this letter on Boxing Day a year since my last miscarriage as I am nearly  ready to let go of the past.  It does not mean you will ever be forgotten as you will always have a place in my heart and be an Ellyatt.

All my love,

Mum xxx

Dear little ones,

I am writing this letter to tell you how I feel about you not making it into this world yet.

Your Mum and I have been blessed by the fact that you were relatively easily conceived but distraught by the fact that about 10 weeks each of you on the three occasions you attempted to come into the world miscarried.  

When I was told your Mum was expecting you all I got excited and was thinking of all the fun we would have as you grew up.  Also to feel the sheer elation and unconditional love for you at birth would have been amazing.  I have seen so many friends experience it.  It looks and sounds amazing.  But for now there is none of the elation only pain at the loss of you.  I am really sorry that you are not here as you would now be between 6 months to 2 years old.

My pain for the loss of you all is compounded by the pain I see in your Mum.  I stood by watching helplessly as you slipped away and the pain physically and emotionally was huge.  At times I did not know what to do to help.  Instead I cause more pain for her as I was not there for her the way she needed for that I am truly sorry and do not know how to make it up.  Don't think I ever will.  As a result the pain and guilt is something I will live with forever until I am with you in spirit.  Part of the guilt is because I was not able to take the pain away.  Also I felt like I was failing when instead I should have been protecting you all.  Protecting is such a strange word because it implies I could have stopped your loss and pain for your Mum and I.  But as the doctors have told us there was nothing we could do.  But that does not take away the pain.  Since losing you I stood by watching your Mum in more emotional and physical pain and it leaves me feeling lost.  She is such a beautiful friend, wife and partner.  You would really have loved her and she (and we) love you too.  At times I do not understand her pain because you were not growing inside me.  But watching helplessly as she was in pain is horrible.  As your Mum will tell you I do not/ask for much in material items but please when she is expecting a baby again do not cause her the worst painful tears in the world.  Only joyful pain is what is needed after 9 months of growing.  The other pain is too much to see and bear.

Love you all forever,

Dad xxx

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Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer

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