Losing your baby is a heartbreaking experience like no other that no mother wants to go through. However, reading the experiences of other women who have been in your position can be comforting and even helpful at a time where you can feel so alone.
"I think when it comes to miscarriage, baby loss awareness, and stillbirth, you can't discredit how much sharing helps people that aren't able to vocalize it or don't have the words to articulate what they're experienced," Giovanna Fletcher told us when we discussed the importance of Baby Loss Awareness Week. "And it's literally when you read something that echoes your own experience, it's like someone just reaching out and holding your hand or giving you a hug. No one could ever take away what you've experienced. But knowing that you're not on your own can help massively."
Meghan has opened up about her recent miscarriage in July in an open letter published in the New York Times. The beautiful essay focussed on her loss and the losses and struggles the world has faced in 2020.
She wrote: ‘I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.
'Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.’
She goes on to say: ‘Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.
‘Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.’
American model Chrissy shared her pain upon finding out the baby boy she was carrying was stillborn at 20 weeks in a selection of moving photos she posted on Instagram. She wrote: "We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough."
Later explaining her decision to post the personal photos in a blog post on Medium, Chrissy said: "I had asked my mom and John to take pictures, no matter how uncomfortable it was. I explained to a very hesitant John that I needed them, and that I did NOT want to have to ever ask. That he just had to do it. He hated it. I could tell. It didn’t make sense to him at the time. But I knew I needed to know of this moment forever, the same way I needed to remember us kissing at the end of the aisle, the same way I needed to remember our tears of joy after Luna and Miles. And I absolutely knew I needed to share this story."
Chrissy went on to address those who responded negatively to her photos at the time. "I cannot express how little I care that you hate the photos. How little I care that it’s something you wouldn’t have done. I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like. These photos are only for the people who need them. The thoughts of others do not matter to me."
Singer Lily Allen was six months pregnant when she suffered a stillbirth in 2010 and almost lost her life after she contracted septicemia.
"I nearly died," Lily told The Sun on Sunday. "But I was so numb and I didn’t care. I’d just lost my baby and that is how numb I was." Although the Hard Out Here singer puts on a brave face, she admits, "It’s something that I still haven’t dealt with. I will never get over it. I have dealt with it, you know as being at one with it. But it’s not something you get over. I held my child and it was really horrific and painful – one of the hardest things that can happen to a person."
The actress and mum-of-two Jaime King has suffered multiple miscarriages and difficulties with trying to conceive. She may now be a mum to James and Leo but she went through a lot of fertility difficulties before welcoming her two sons.
The Hart of Dixie star chose to share her TTC difficulties on Instagram – showing her support for couples going through the same thing.
Jaime posted a photo of a long note on her account, which she has since taken down, explaining her eight-year struggle with trying to conceive before she became a mum. The note read, "For all the struggling women & moms out there that think they are alone – This is the truth about conceiving my son and struggles after 8 yrs of pain and undiagnosed PCOS & Endometriosis."
"9 doctors until Dr. Randy Harris diagnosed me & saved my life from a severe ectopic, 5 miscarriages, 5 rounds of IVF, 26 IUI's, most with no outcome, 4½ years of trying to conceive, 26 hours of brutal labor, early delivery b/c of sudden preeclampsia, tearing and tearing after the stitches were in once I was home, milk supply issues, painful mastitis, uncontrollable crying while breast feeding, worked until the day before birth and went back after 6 weeks after because I was afraid of letting others down," Jaime wrote.
The actress captioned the image, writing, "For all the women out there who think they are alone in this #youarenotalone #ihavetobebravetosupportothers #realtalkthatterrifiesus"
To show her support for our mental health campaign Where's Your Head At?, Giovanna Fletcher spoke to us about her experiences with mental health. The soon-to-be mum of three revealed that her biggest emotional battle was "going through a miscarriage. was the hardest thing. It feels like such a lonely grief."
"For me happened at 6 weeks, so before we had really told anyone . So then when you are telling people , you’re not only telling them that you were pregnant but that you’d lost a child. I felt like I’d failed me, I’d failed Tom I’d failed the baby."
She added, "it was my first taste of motherhood and I think it affected me in a really bad way."
TOWIE star Gemma Collins who miscarried in 2012, told Loose Women that she has also suffered a miscarriage during the Coronavirus lockdown.
"It was really difficult for me in isolation because, as you know, with my condition of PCOS, it's not easy to fall pregnant and I did suffer a miscarriage which was really sad during the lockdown period."
"I can remember thinking the month before, 'Ooh, my boobs seem really perky!' Then 3 or 4 days into a heavy period really realising it's not like a usual period… but thinking there's been a lot going on lately, maybe my body's been a bit stressed."
It was Gemma's sister-in-law who advised her to seek medical attention. "It went on for 10 days between 9am and midday, I was getting through 10 super sanitary towels. Then it was my sister-in-law, not to be graphic, but I had to show her. I said, 'I don't think this is normal.' I rang my doctor and he said, 'You need to go straight to the hospital.' It was very sad. But it does make me realise that potentially there is hope there for me for the future."
Writer, blogger and member of electric string quartet Escala Izzy Judd spoke to charity Tommy's about her experience of miscarriage before having her two children Lola and Kit.
"When I was bleeding I had this overwhelming desire to give our baby one last bit of love, almost like I needed to allow them to go. I went to the loo and I will never forget that sensation of losing our baby, when you pass everything that you’d longed for and dreamed about. How do you just let them go? I didn’t know whether to look, whether to flush, in the end I shouted my husband Harry and said, ‘I’m so sorry.’"
"Miscarriage is so lonely, you feel completely empty because, whatever day, week or month you are, you’ve felt that bond, that connection with that little soul and you feel such guilt that you’ve failed them in some way."
During Baby Loss Awareness week 2020, the Made in Chelsea star told her followers that she had been pregnant with her second child after daughter India but had recently had a miscarriage. She wrote on Instagram: "I’ve thought long and hard about doing this post, but I felt that if I can pass on any warmth, comfort or help to anybody in the same position - well that would be great. It’s only fair that I share some of my “downs” as well as my “up” moments."
"Today would have been my 18 week mark, but sadly we had an early miscarriage just before 12 weeks. Not only was this heartbreaking for us, but it also came as such a shock to me. I hadn’t realised until then how blessed I was with having such a relatively straight forward pregnancy with India - I’ll admit I was naive enough to assume the next one would be as straightforward, but I had two early scans as I was concerned I was bleeding. They found a ‘very strong’ heartbeat. However, on the third scan I was told ‘I’m afraid there’s no heartbeat’."
"I was told by my doctor that 1 in 4 pregnancies miscarry (not that statistics make it any easier!) With 82% of my following being women - that means roughly 237,800 women “following” me could (or have) experienced the same, which is just so sad. When speaking to a few close friends about our situation, we learned that some of them too have had miscarriages in the past. I asked them why they’ve never said anything, and they just said they felt they couldn't, or shouldn’t talk about it. Almost like it’s a taboo subject, which is heartbreaking."
"If you have been through this, I hope you are giving yourself time to mentally and physically heal and do what you need. I keep reminding myself that there was nothing I could have done, and perhaps this was nature’s way of saying that for whatever reason, this little soul wasn’t ready for the world. Sending so so much love 🤍🙏🏼"
Binky then went on to share a helpful resource, Miscarriage Association, "a national charity that provides support and information for anyone who’s affected by miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, this includes both women and men. You can call their helpline or talk to them on live chat or even message them on Instagram, and they will do whatever they can to help you through."
In July 2020 Paloma featured on Giovanna Fletcher’s “Happy Mum, Happy Baby” podcast, revealing she had experienced a miscarriage in 2019.
“Last year I was trying again and it was strange because once my daughter turned 18 months I suddenly was like, ‘I want another one. This is the best’,” she said.
“Then I had a miscarriage and it’s sort of an ongoing thing.”
In September this year she announced that after six rounds of IVF, she was pregnant. Paloma shared a post on her instagram page with the following honest and heartfelt caption: "It is with extreme pleasure I announce I am pregnant...This child is so wanted, it's my 6th round of IVF and it was a struggle to get here. I had a very traumatic first birth and I am also prone to postpartum depression. Being a mother is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me but I will swell up and I won't 'glow'! I intend to be very real about this with you all!"
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Having worked for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news and product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith, Fearne Cotton and Alex Jones, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online.
A fondness for travel, chocolate and her sausage dog Luna, in her spare time. Emily also runs the lifestyle blog, Musings & More.
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