2016 will be remembered for many good reasons; we finally moved into our own home, which we share with possibly the best cats, and we got to spend time with lots of our favourite people.
It will, however, also be remembered as being the year we had two miscarriages in the space of six months.
Our first baby stopped growing at 6 weeks. We heard the heartbeat of our second but it didn’t make it past 10 weeks. Both times my body kept it a secret for a few weeks; both times we had a midwife appointment and discussed our babies’ futures.
We have given them both names and have ways to remember them, which remind us that they were real, alive and part of us. But nothing will ever quite fill the gap.
The journey we are on is hard. It definitely feels like a rollercoaster and we never know when the next twist will be.
There have had to be many moments of bravery: being told the news and having to walk back out into the real world, sitting to the car and crying with despair not able to move - let alone drive home again, having yet another blood test or one more scan to check that the baby is actually no longer alive.
The list of emotions is incredible – guilt, sadness, confusion, anger, envy, frustration, disbelief… The feeling of emptiness particularly in the first few days is frightening.
We are lucky to be surrounded by kind and caring family, friends and colleagues. We have also received such amazing and loving care from nearly all the doctors and nurses we have met.
It’s painful to think of and see pregnant friends and new babies. Not because we aren’t happy for them, because we honestly couldn’t be happier. But because we desperately wanted our babies to grow up with theirs.
It feels like everyone we meet and everything we see remind us of our failure.
We have begun to reach milestones, baby number one’s due date, holidays and parties we should be taking our baby or bump to. We are also doing things that we wouldn’t have been able to at the end of a pregnancy or with a brand new baby.
Each day it gets a little easier, but there are still the difficult days and there are still plenty of tears.
After baby number one we kept things to ourselves and only told a few people, but we have now begun to share our story amongst friends and family and no longer have to pretend to be OK. This has helped us. Many people have told us to be kind to ourselves.
That can be a tricky thing to do in the busyness of life, but it has helped to not expect too much of ourselves too quickly.
Our story at the moment doesn’t have the ending we want, and the journey ahead is very very scary, but we plan to take each day as it comes and we have hope.
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