Tommy's guest blog, 20/12/2016, by Al
Christmas is such a family orientated time of year and for those struggling to start or add to their family, this season can be a painful reminder of what (or who) they don't have.
But this year they are using their experience of recurrent miscarriage to remind them what is important this year.
‘What doesn't kill you makes you stronger’
A saying that I’ve heard so many times but never really considered the meaning of.
When we experienced our first miscarriage I felt like my heart had broken. To watch my wife so upset and not be able to fix it made me feel utterly useless.
At the time it felt like the end of the world and I could see no way to come back from such a difficult and dark place.
But now, four miscarriages later I realise that although the pain of baby loss is such a devastating thing, it does actually make us stronger as people, but most importantly as a couple.
Four miscarriages have taught us how to open up and discuss our feelings in the rawest way possible. They have taught us how listen, really listen, to each other. They have helped me learn things about my wife I would never have learnt had we not experienced such pain together.
Each miscarriage creates an extra bond between us that cannot be broken.
When you experience something as heartbreaking as a miscarriage you hold on to one another tightly and you learn to love one another in a whole new way.
We have learnt how to pick ourselves up, gain strength from each other and carry on. Most importantly we have learned to be so very grateful for each other and for our son.
The miscarriages have taught us to take nothing for granted and to cherish every moment with him. Even the hard days are made easier by focusing on how lucky we are to have him and to be parents.
Our miscarriages have taught us what is important in life and what is not. They put life in perspective and they make us focus on what we do have, rather than what we don’t.
With Christmas around the corner we are thankful for each other and for our son. We will of course spoil him rotten but our miscarriages have taught us the importance of time together.
Nothing, nothing is more important.
We will approach the festive season with a desire to fill our family home with love and happiness and create many wonderful memories.
We won’t be stressing over the little things. If the wrapping paper doesn't match, a present doesn't arrive, if the dinner burns or if the guests don't turn up, we won’t be batting an eyelid.
If we are together then we will have the best Christmas we could wish for.
Family is everything to me and although I will think about the four babies that we have lost, as I do every day, I will be cherishing the time I get to spend with my son and my wife.
I will take time to sit back and look at all that I do have, a wife that I adore with all of my heart and a son that makes me feel like the luckiest man alive.
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for lots of people, especially those coping with baby loss. You can read our midwife Sophie's advice for taking care of yourself if this Christmas is going to be a difficult one here.
Clinical Director of Tommy’s Preterm Surveillance Clinic Professor Andy Shennan says the clinic will continue to support families and babies born too soon this Christmas.
'I know it’s silly, really: there is no actual difference between 23:59 on December 31 and 00:01 on January 1...'
Blogger Leigh from Headspace Perspective writes an insightful and touching piece about the challenges of letting go of a year in which you've lost a baby.
'Christmas is a time of cheer, of celebration and happiness. But what if your heart doesn't match this ideal?'
Blogger Michelle who writes at Dear Orla, writes about pregnancy after loss this festive season.
‘You feel so isolated when you lose a baby because people just don’t know what to say and really there is nothing they can say. A gift like this is actually all it takes.’ Susan Jackson.
Tommy’s midwife Sophie has given some advice for those facing this Christmas without their much loved baby.
Our National Centre for Miscarriage Research is nearly 8 months old! Read about our fantastic achievements so far and how you can be involved in ending the heartache of miscarriage.