Posted on in Life

Content-warning: miscarriage

“I’m afraid it’s bad news”.

We didn’t know, but we already knew. Hands-held had turned to hands-grasped in the eternity between the scan commencing, and those fateful words. It was taking too long; there had to be a problem. And even though we knew, that phrase the poor sonographer must utter so many times a week closed the book that had barely been written.

A missed miscarriage is cruel. There was no indication of anything untoward, frankly the opposite. The morning sickness and the fatigue had plagued Lauren for the weeks leading up to the day. She’d been feeling rough. We’d had an earlier scan that seemed positive, and so we walked into the hospital blissfully ignorant of what was about to hit us. We’d parked at my sister’s and planned on walking back and celebrating with our scan photo in-hand. But instead, we staggered back to the car, texted that same phrase to her, and drove away in tears.

Our little one didn’t want to leave, so surgery was squeezed in before Christmas. The NHS staff were beyond compassionate throughout, giving us all the time and tea we needed, and treating the situation with tremendous dignity. It wasn’t the Christmas we expected, nor the 2022 we’d envisioned.

As friends gave birth around our due date, the grief and anger resurfaced. In therapy we tried to process what had happened. The grief of losing something or someone that never was. We mourned of the loss of our little one, and we mourned the abrupt ending of the dreams of who they’d become and what they’d achieve. It was confusing to separate the two.

Grief coalesced with guilt & fear during Jacob’s pregancy; how can we still feel sad when we have a baby on the way? What if it happens again? Bottling it up felt like the only solution. Every check-up was terrifying, convinced that phrase would rear it’s ugly head again. But thankfully it didn’t. Jacob arrived healthy, full of life & zeal this January. He’s turned our life around, whisked us off our feet, and brought such incredible joy.

And yet we still mourn. There are so many great analogies of grief and how it can blindside you from nowhere. The gaps will increase, but we know the waves will always hit. Distraction helps; last Christmas was such a blur in the run up to Jacob’s birth that we didn’t really have the time or headspace to stop and reflect on the day we found out. But this year, as we were putting up the decorations, we were both hit with another wave. It suddenly felt important to mark the day.

The precise date isn’t consequential. December 17th 2021 wasn’t the day our baby stopped growing, it was just the day we found out. But it’s as good a day as any. We lit a candle and took some time to sit, think, chat and cry. It was good, it was bad, but I’m so glad we did it.

They use fruit to help you visualise the size of your baby during gestation. Each week we referred to our little one as the fruit of the week. We made it to fig. Our fig never actually made it to be fig-sized, but they will always be our fig.

So here’s to you, little fig.

Our fig tree & fig candle

Posted on in Life