This morning, I read a Facebook post by Natalie Morgan and I was in tears by the end. Natalie lost her baby at 40 weeks and 6 days. She then had to go through labour and delivery, knowing there would be no joy at the end of her pain.
When I was pregnant, two other colleagues in my department were also pregnant and a male colleague’s wife was also expecting. There was a lot of joy and expectation.
The previous year, one of the ladies had been through the pain of losing her baby when she was around 30 weeks pregnant, so we were very cautious around her.
Esther*, my other colleague who had become a friend, was due first in March. One Friday morning during my day off, I got an unexpected call from my manager. He told me that Esther had lost her baby at 36 weeks. I was confused and didn’t know what to do. Just two days prior, we had thrown her a work baby shower and her last day in the office was that actual Friday.
I cried u controllably in the confines of my flat. I was around 22 weeks pregnant at the time. After a while, I called my mum and asked what was going on. I was not as far in my pregnancy as my colleagues had been when they both lost their babies. I was scared. My mum consoled me as a mother can, she said it wouldn’t happen to me and she prayed for me, and for Esther.
When I visited Esther in hospital, I felt guilty. Guilty that I was still pregnant and she wasn’t. I wished that she didn’t have to go through all that pain. She was so strong. She told me to look after myself and my Bubba and she didn’t make me feel bad. She comforted me. Esther took a full year off work (as she was entitled to). During that time, she would reach out to me, especially after I gave birth. It was bitter-sweet for me.
I’ve experienced the pain of loss before, but not in relation to my own child. I can only imagine what that pain would be like. Whilst I pray never to experience it, I’m very aware that it is a reality for many people. If like me, you have a friend who’s going through the pain of loss, just be there for them on their own terms. Even when I did not know what to say to Esther, I would text her to say just that. “I don’t know what to say or how you’re feeling today, but I’m thinking of you and praying for you.”
I felt the pain of Esther’s loss everyday and it weighed heavy on my heart. Everyday day that I woke up, was a day to be thankful. If you are reading My Pregnancy Diary, you will know how happy I always felt when my baby moved. It gave me that reassurance that everything was ok.
But it was always there, the fear that something would go wrong. I tried to refocus my thoughts and stay positive. I read bible scriptures that gave me hope and reassurance like Psalm 27; Psalm 139:1-18 and Jeremiah 29:11-14.
If anyone wonders why I love my son so much, why I advocate attachment parenting or why I co-sleep, it’s because I count myself blessed. I carried him full term, felt like I almost lost him at the very end, but he made it and we have him in our lives today.
My heart goes out to every family who is dealing with the pain of loss and I pray that you find peace in due course.
(*Esther’s name was changed for the purposes of this post.)