One in four women experience the devastating, life changing loss of a baby through miscarriage or still birth.
I am 1 in 4.
I am a mama to two beautiful rainbow babies, but by nature, having a rainbow baby means you have also suffered loss.
I am a mama to two angel babies.
I have previously shared the stories of my miscarriages here so I didn't feel the need to rewrite them. Instead, for Baby Loss Awareness Week I am going to share a little about how losing a child shapes you, but doesn't define you.
You never forget
Whether you lose a baby through early miscarriage as I lost my two, go through still birth, or lose a child in infancy and beyond, you never forget them. They are a part of you, always. They shape the way you look at the world. That pain never really goes away even after having two beautiful rainbow babies. Even now I have pangs of guilt that I must have done some thing wrong, and occasionally even feel jealous when I see other people who are pregnant or have tiny newborns. It's not rational, but it's there. I am stronger because of my angels, and I appreciate my girls so much more because I understand how precious their lives are. I try to be the best mama I can to them, hold them as often as I can and be there when they need me.
You try to be more than a statistic
I am 1 in 4, but I am so much more.
I am a wife, a mama, sister, daughter and friend. I am a blogger, business owner and freelance writer.
I am 1 in 4, but I am more than a statistic.
I have a life, I am loved and I give love. I am who I am because of things I have been through, but I refuse to be defined by them. They are building blocks to make me a stronger, better person.
You worry, a lot
Worry, especially if you're going through a pregnancy after loss, is completely normal. I panicked all the way through both my pregnancy with Squidgy and also Pickle. I kept thinking about all the things that could go wrong. With every reduced movement, spotting of blood, twinge, or unexplained pain I would ring the midwife or rush into hospital. Even now, when the girls are ill there is a part of me that can't breathe, and is full of anxiety, wanting to make it go away. I try not to let fear take hold though, instead I aim to stay calm. I do all that I can to make sure they are O.K. even if that means lots of snuggles and pyjamas days sitting in front of a movie on the TV.
You pray for a rainbow
After every storm comes a rainbow. After experiencing loss many of us wish, hope and pray for that rainbow. A rainbow baby will never replace an angel, but they fill your arms and your heart and help you to heal, at least a little.
You live life to the fullest
After losing our two angels, I made the decision to make the most of every moment in life. This is especially true after having my girls. I am not perfect but I do my best, and that is all any of us can do. We play, we talk, we hug, we kiss and we laugh together. We go for days out to the park, the zoo and the farm. We do messy play, painting, gluing, sticking and building Lego, Duplo and more. We bake cakes, cook dinner and do so many different activities together, making the most of every waking moment.
There's a saying that says, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade" and that it what I am trying to do. I will never forget my angels, they will always be on my mind. However I am not going to let the loss of those two loved, very much wanted babies define me. Instead their loss helps to build a better me, a stronger me and encourages me to live life to the fullest.
Everyone needs a little support, for various reasons throughout our lives. Here are a few of the places where you can find support and refuge during the period following pregnancy or infant loss.