Here, one of our brave Your Little Village community members talks about her experience with miscarriage, baby loss and her rainbow baby. Thank you so much for opening up and sharing this with us.

Trigger warning: Miscarriage, anencephaly, baby loss, rainbow baby

Off the pill in August, getting married in October, we couldn’t wait, we wanted to get pregnant quickly and have the baby we both longed for, that was the plan anyway. As easy as that…how naïve was I?

We were lucky, by the Christmas I was telling my colleagues at the Christmas party I was on medication, I couldn’t possibly drink the tequila shots that landed at the table. May the 18th, that was our due date, that was when I was finally going to fulfil my dream and be a mum, we were going to create our own little family.  

Approaching the 12-week mark, we received the scan letter – we would see our baby for the first time and couldn’t wait. We could start telling our wider family and friends. But that very same night my world crashed around me, and I started bleeding. We went to A&E in the hope that they would put my mind at rest and tell me everything would be fine but I continued to bleed. I slept for the rest of the weekend, my heart breaking, the pain cutting me so deep it hurt to be awake.

I went to work Monday, afraid to tell them what was going on because then they would know I wanted a baby, would my job be secure if they knew I was planning to have a baby and might go off on maternity? I couldn’t risk it. By Wednesday, it was confirmed, I’d miscarried, there was nothing to see on a scan picture, nothing of substance to show for the 12 weeks of morning sickness, the tiredness, the anticipation, the lists of names, the space in my heart I had created for baby A.

The advice was to try again as quickly as we were ready, my hormones would still be strong, and it would make it easier to conceive. My heart was not that quick to recover. I stayed in grieving mode for months, we both did.

That September though, we were due to celebrate my brother’s birthday. I had that familiar feeling – could I be pregnant? I followed the family to the Karaoke bar that night, sober and hopeful that in a few days, a positive pregnancy test would confirm what I thought. As we left that bar, someone brushed my shoulder, one minute I was at the top of the stone steps, the next I was at the bottom and my ankle was not where it should have been. Back to A&E, this time with a fracture, needing pins and a week’s hospital stay.

Convinced I was pregnant, I begged for an iron apron at x-rays just in case, but my sliding doors moment had happened without me even realising. My husband brought pregnancy tests in every day and by day 6 we got the positive test result. We couldn’t believe it, we were ecstatic but anxious. Don’t get too excited, protect our hearts, just need to get to that scan.

That day couldn’t come soon enough, still hobbling on crutches, morning sickness had been tough and the 12 weeks had felt the longest of my life. Full bladder and anticipation, we finally saw a baby on a screen that was ours. It had all been worth it. Only to hear the words ‘I’m just going to get a colleague to check something’ WHAT? What does that mean? We looked at each other. Me trying to be the forever optimist, it will be fine. We heard a heartbeat, we could see our baby on the monitor, what could possibly be wrong?

The room started closing in on us as we heard the radiologist say the skull hadn’t formed correctly, the baby wouldn’t survive outside of the womb, the brain is not protected, the foetus has anencephaly. We are so sorry, but this pregnancy isn’t viable, we’ll get the consultant to confirm this, it’s probably best to terminate. I was in a state of disbelief, the consultant did another scan, confirmed, directed us to another room, and started the process of termination. Just take this tablet, we’ll see you again at St James on Friday.

Husband goes to put more money in the car park metre. I know he’s going to ring his parents who are eagerly awaiting news and a pic, he’s going to tell them and then he’s going to cry, alone, thinking he can’t do it in front of me because he has to be strong for me. I ring my mum from the café, delivering the same awful news. Sorry, but you won’t be a nana this time either. I feel empty, broken and without a scan pic. Nothing tangible to remember baby B.

I attend the maternity ward on the Friday, in my own private room, away from all the expectant mothers, having to do the unthinkable – terminating a baby that we so desperately wanted. Going through the motions of labour and delivery.  

Thankfully, 6 months later, we found ourselves pregnant again. We couldn’t enjoy it at first, so worried that it would follow the same way as the first two. Thankfully we had several scans and were monitored closely. The LGI looked after us so well and for the first time, I got past week 12. We got to share our news, we relaxed a little and allowed ourselves to get excited.

There isn’t a day that I don’t feel truly grateful for Baby C, our rainbow baby and a reminder that being a parent isn’t a given. We got thrown a few curve balls and heartache on that journey and thankfully we now have two very healthy children and we don’t take that for granted for a minute. Baby A and B have a place in my heart and helped shape the mum I am today, bringing me and my husband closer than ever as we navigated that difficult time in our lives.

It’s a reminder to us that nothing in life is as easy as abc.