This forum has been created especially for your stories and to support one another. Now that we have a miscarriage expert, it will be easier for her to answer your questions with the two things seperated - stories and discussion. While these stories below are currently combined, please feel free to post a new thread for your own story. If the authors of the stories below would like to post their story individually, please let us know when you have done so and we can remove the stories from this post. Thanks ladies.

Have you experienced a miscarriage or pregnancy loss?

If you have, you will understand what I mean when I say that it can be a very isolating and lonely time, and is also something that unfortunately, quite often isn't discussed freely. Many people are fortunate enough to have tremendous support from family and friends, and can openly discuss how they feel, however there are all too many who suffer silently and keep their thoughts to themselves. No matter what the situation, suffering from a miscarriage or pregnancy loss can be soul destroying and devastating and leave you with dreams shattered and doubts about what the future holds for you.

Talking about your feelings can really help. It can be an invaluable part of moving through the grieving process and taking a few steps forward. Sharing your story here on the BellyBelly forums, which provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment, allows you the opportunity to share your story amongst other members who have been in a similar situation, and will in turn, demonstrate to others that they are not alone.

This thread is for stories about all kinds off loss, and it has been created in the hope that everyone will keep an open mind and appreciate that loss manifests in many forms and does not discriminate, so please keep this in mind.

If you would like your story added to this post, please reply separately in this forum. Please do not reply to this thread. If you would like to leave a particular member a message about their story, please leave a message for them in the Messages for Other Members Forum.

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Melinda's Story



My DH and I decided we would try for our first baby in May 2003...and what do you know, we conceived first time! We were stoked...thrilled... excited...couldn't believe how lucky we were!!! I didn't really have any 'morning' sickness...but I did have nausea at different times of the day, that's for sure! My sense of smell had changed and I had some other symptoms as well. Everything seemed to be going along great! I'd had a few pains (at 4 weeks when my period was actually due) and again at 8 weeks (but not as significant as when I was 4 weeks) and that was it. I talked to my GP about this though, and was reassured that these kinds of pains were totally normal. I was eagerly reading pregnancy books and started a pregnancy journal.

We had our first OB appt on 30 July 2003 when I was 10.5 weeks and that's when our world came crashing down. We were so exciting to be seeing our baby for the first time, but it turned out to be the most terrible day. There was our baby in front of us, on the screen, with little arms and little legs, but it was like suspended animation. Our baby wasn't moving. The OB told us that our baby had no heartbeat, and it looked as though our baby had died at 8.5 weeks gestation. I had a confirming ultrasound the next day, and then had to have a D&C a couple of days after that when I should have been 11 weeks. I can't really explain my feelings...suffice it to say I was devastated, heartbroken, depressed, angry...the list goes on.

The time between when we found out that our baby had died, and the D&C was awful. I felt like I made my own skin crawl; I couldn't stand being me. I was walking around with our baby inside me but I couldn't do anything to make him/her better. I felt like a failure and like I should have known there was something wrong, and I had an overwhelming feeling that I should have been able to fix things. I was admitted to the Maternity Ward of the hospital of all places, and could hear little babies crying. I couldn't believe that they could be so cruel as to put me there. After I was discharged from hospital, I went home with DH and tried to imagine what life would be like without our little baby that we had started dreaming about.

We decided to start trying again as soon as we could after the D&C as we both wanted a baby so much. As it happens, I fell pregnant again immediately after the D&C (with no period in between). Understandably, I was totally paranoid something was going to go wrong and our OB decided that she would do regular HCG blood tests to set my mind at ease. That was fine to start with, but then they started to drop and we were told that I was going to miscarry again. After being told that news, I went into a rapid downwards spiral and felt that I was useless and could not succeed at anything (since we've had a particularly bad year with other things as well). About 10 days after being told the news, I did miscarry and it was an awful experience. The OB thought I was only a few weeks along (about 4) but I'm sure after what I went through it was more like 6. It was a traumatic experience.

Even after the first miscarriage, the OB knew how devastated we were, and arranged for a whole barrage of tests to be done (that they normally only do after you have suffered 3 miscarriages). When I found out that I was going to have a second miscarriage, I was particularly glad that we had had these tests done so that we could start planning for the future and and fix whatever it was that was wrong with me. But, there were no problems found on the chromosomal tests (with DH or me) and no problems with any of the other blood tests (and there were heaps!). We were told that it was just 'bad luck' that this has happened to us.

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Trish's Story

I was 37 when I fell pregnant for the 1st time. Over Easter 2004 I realised AF was 2 wks late - after 12 years of no contraception.
My (.) (.) were also so sensitive. I was way away in outback country NSW when I thought I just might be pregnant. I didn't tell anyone.

I could hardly wait to get home to go buy a HPT. I did my first HPT. I was overjoyed when it showed two pink lines a- BFP. I wasn't used to doing HPT so I thought I'd done it wrong. I did it again 5 minutes later - two pink lines -positive! What was I thinking? I was blown away, so excited, nervous and scared it meant something bad. I couldn't even tell my Dh incase it was wrong.

I had a blood test and it confirmed it.Then I told DH. He was over the moon. I had a dating scan and saw my baby's heartbeat on the screen. I was over 7 weeks. It was one of life's most precious moments to behold, I was so worried there would be no baby there. I was always scared something would go wrong.

I had some early blood pressure problems but it wasn't apparently pregnancy related. So I had kidney/adrenal ultrasounds to check I didn't have a tumour, at same time I also had a breast lump so it was off for more ultrasounds. But all was fine after a few weeks of worry waiting for follow-up with Dr's. I was put on blood pressure medication though as a precaution.

I had a bit of midday/afternoon sickness but was relatively well. At home my BP was fine but higher at Dr's. Later my BP was too low and so OB dropped dose, then stopped them altogether and @22 weeks. But He said this had nothing to do with losing my baby.

At 12 weeks after Nuchal translucency & MFP blood tests my risk at 'anything' was like 1:3000.The Dr had talked us out of CVS when we went to have it.

At 19wk morphology scan we found out we were having a little girl and she was perfect. We were so happy. I still have this on video but I cannot watch it yet to see her so alive sucking her thumb and waving to us would be heartbreaking.

At 26.5 wks I found out she had passed away in the womb at my routine Obstetric visit when he couldn't find her heartbeat. He still didn't tell me he thought she had died but I knew alright. (Strangely, I had felt same way going to 22 week appointment and it was all okay.)

The ultrasound confirmed it. I couldn't believe it had happened because I was 6 months pregnant almost 27weeks. The scan confirmed my worst fears and our precious baby girl whom I so dearly wanted had died in my womb. My world fell apart seeing her lifeless body on the screen.

I'd suspected she wasn't moving much but kidded myself because I read babies in womb slept 90% -95% of time. I felt so well I just had no idea babies could just die in the womb. I knew about miscarriages and premature labour. It was my first pregnancy. Even as I went to OB. That morning I prayed I was wrong about her lack of movement. Though I know there was nothing I could have done even if had noticed the moment she stopped moving

We went back to OB and he explained what happened next, giving birth naturally. I was sent home that night and was to be induced the next morning. It was worst night ever.I went into Hospital on 31st August to be induced.

After 5 lots of gel my daughter was born 19hrs later on 1st September 2004 @4.20am. It was the most heart wrenching experience of my life. My precious firstborn Charlotte Rose was born still. To hold and meet my long awaited baby, lying so lifeless and still but oh so beautiful and just perfect is indescribable. Having to say hello goodbye in same breath was just not fair. We were so devastated.

Going through labour was a nightmare but I finally got to see and hold my darling, Charlotte and it was worth it even though she never took a breath, her heart beats on inside mine because she had lived. I regret the time we had with her was brief. I held her for such a short time. At the time I was so exhausted, we had not slept Monday much night for crying and hardly at all Tuesday. Plus, I had just been given Pethidine and no one told me - I could have had her with her for as long as I wanted. I would have been 27wks that day.

We were heartbroken .The staff were wonderful but they didn't advise me much. I would have taken more photos and cuddled her longer. She was so, precious.

My local hospital only has about 4 babies die per year (thank goodness) and Charlotte was the first in long time. (Sadly, another fullterm baby was born on 1st September and passed away 2nd from a tumour).The social worker/home midwife said the staff were so upset 2 babies in 24hrs.

I had left hospital 8 hrs after her birth - I didn't want to be in maternity ward.

They did blood tests (11), checked placenta and there was no reason found for her passing away. The OB said in happens 1 out of a 100 and 45-50% are unexplained. He talked us out of autopsy. Sids & Kids are now doing research focusing on potential causes and prevention of stillbirths. Statistics are so cruel.

Each year in Australia approximately 58,000 couples experience reproductive loss:
About 55,000 experience early pregnancy loss, 1,750 babies are stillborn
and about 900 babies die in the first twenty-eight days after birth
My one consolation is that I had Charlotte at all - that I know I can get pregnant and that she is my precious daughter forever. We waited over 12 yrs for her. We are fortunate to have an adopted son 12yrs - we adopted him because we thought 11 yrs ago we couldn't have our own. He was 13 months when we adopted him - so not a little baby but our greatest blessing and love ever. When I feel sorry for myself - I have to stop and thank God for him. Some people never get this chance.
One day we hope to be blessed with another precious gift of a baby, God willing.
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Tiggy's Story

David and I got married when I was 20 and he was 21. We knew that we wanted to have a baby straight away and so I came off the pill on our honeymoon. I conceived about six months after that but the pregnancy ended at eight weeks. The baby had a very slow heartbeat and so it was classed as a termination of pregnancy instead of a miscarriage - even though the baby was going to die anyway. I found this very hard to deal with. I was already overweight and I think I put on another 10 kilos after the first loss. Then in 1995 I again found myself pregnant. It had taken another year to conceive, with the help of clomid. I felt that this pregnancy would be ok but at my 12 week scan, we found that the baby had died at around ten weeks and I had had a 'missed' miscarriage and needed a D&C. This time I was devastated and sank into a depression and put on lots of weight. After this loss, I went back to the gynae who had been treating us for PCOS and hyperprolactinaemia and asked him what could we do, we had already been trying for 3 years for a baby. He sent us to a 'super specialist' who was to start a work up for us for IVF. We went to the first consultation with high hopes, only to be told that I was 'way too fat' and would never conceive until I lost some weight. He was dismayed to find that the gynae had had me on clomid for more than six cycles as this increased the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. He told me to go away and stop taking the clomid, lose some weight and go back to him in six months, after I had lost around 20 kilos! I was angry and upset! Three months later, after losing only 7 kilos I found myself pregnant again. Seven months after that the twins came into our lives. 15 months after that, while on the pill, after a particularly bad bout of gastro, I again found myself looking at two pink lines and 8 months after that we welcomed Lily. All three of the girls were born via caesarean.

I knew that I wasn't finished with my family the day that Lily was born. We didn't bother with the pill or any form of contraception again and about a year after Lily was born, we found ourselves pregnant again but again miscarried at 8 weeks. I was still struggling with my weight which had skyrocketed to 120 kilos, nevertheless, I was pregnant again 3 months later. Everything was going fine until the ten week mark when I had some spotting. Went and had a scan, everything fine, little heartbeat fluttering away there but, what's this? A small haemorrage behind the placenta...that's ok, nothing to worry about. Was told I could lose a certain percentage of the placenta before the baby was compromised. The weeks went by with more bleeding , more scans, more reassurance. The heartbeat was slower but still ok, next scan, the hb was slower again and the bleed behind the placenta had extended. I had one final u/s where I found that my little baby, a girl "Aubrey" had lost the fight. This was followed by a D&C and lots more grieving. I went to a gynae who basically repeated the you're to fat philosophy and so I embarked on a change of lifestyle to make my body the best it could be to support a baby. For four years I lost weight, used vitamins and minerals and sort help from various doctors to help with my fertility issues. The same gynae who had told me I was too fat agreed (when I weighed in at 76kilos) to push dye through my tubes in case they were blocked, instead of just increasing the clomid (which I had already taken for six cycles). I lost that cycle due to the laparoscopy and found myself pregnant in the next cycle.

This pregnancy was frought with fear and I had a couple of early scans but all was going nicely and as I entered my twelfth week, I cautiously booked in to have caseloading care with two lovely midwives and a beautiful doctor, who truly believed in advocating women's choice for birth.

I had had two caesars before and both were treated as high risk. As a midwife and as a woman, I longed for a normal vaginal birth. For four years I had researched the risks of VBAC, knew the statistics by heart and felt that I was in a place where I felt strong enough to attempt this. My antenatal care was excellent and everything went smoothly. At the morphology scan, the ultrasonographer told me my dates were wrong and he was measuring much smaller and she couldn't get a good look at his heart and could I come back next week, please? I thought nothing of it, I was sure of my dates but agreed just so I could see my little man (after three girls)! When I went for the next scan he was measuring exactly to my dates.

William was due on the 4th April and after niggling for a week and travelling into the hospital because my BP was starting to play up I finally went into labour on the 2nd of April, all by myself. I had never gotten to full term before and although, I had laboured briefly with the twins, it was different to do it all by myself.

The labour was beautiful. I was in the bath the whole time. I didn't use any form of pain relief,I had David and my best friend with me, three great midwives (one student and my two midwives that had followed me through). Everything was going really well. I stalled for a little while and the doctor came in and asked me if I wanted a caesar. I asked him if there was indication and he said no, everything was going along nicely. William's hb was good, there was good variability on the ctg and he was in a great position to be born.

After that I progressed very quickly and before I knew it I had involunatary pushing. I remember the girls asking me to get out of the bath because I wasn't all the way in. I slowly got out and got onto the bed, they took his foetal heart beat just before he went under the pelvic brim. It was 156bpm. There was light meconium stained liquor and the girls decided after not hearing his hb after the contraction, to put a foetal scalp electrode on his head. His hb was only 70 and did not recover at all. The trace was very very flat. Everyone went into panic mode and the doctor came in.By that time William's hb had decreased to 60bpm. The doctor made two attempts with the ventouse but both failed because there was alot of blood coming out around William's head, which had crowned. It was decided to birth William using forcepts and with one almighty pull, he was out!

William was very still when he was born. He was white and the paeds started working on him straight away. The doctor said there was alot of blood and that he needed to have a good look to find the source. He moved me to another bed. My last view of William was of the paeds doing cpr on my little boy.

When they moved me, I had a terrible pain in my shoulder. That was the only indicator that my uterus had ruptured. I told the doctor, about the pain and don't remember alot after that.

When I woke up I was in recovery. I had lost 3 1/2 litres of blood but they had saved my uterus. William was not so lucky. He was in critical condition in the NICU and because of the oxygen deprivation at birth, was fitting, causing damage to the brain. Nothing went our way from there. He was put on a research programme where they cool the temp of the body to try and stop any brain damage but he was placed in the group who didn't get the treatment. The NICU nurses and the neonatologist were so one eyed about his birth that they did not consider that William's worsening condition could be due to anything else. On the Sunday after he was born we finally got some good news and were told that William was looking good. I went to see him and he had his eyes open and was looking at me. I was stroking his hair and he was holding my hand and responding instead of fitting everytime I touched him.

They told me his heart was not beating properly and that they were going to give him some dopamine to make it work better. That night, after the medication, he had his first big crash. The medication had blocked of his foetal circulation (which he had been surviving on for three days) and now no oxygenated blood was getting through to William's vital organs. They quickly did a cardiac ultrasound and found a severe (or critical) aortic valve stenosis. Basically, the three leaves that make up the aortic valve were all fused with only a tiny pin***** hole for all the oxygenated blood to pass through. The cardiologist gave us the news, told us he needed to be transferred NOW and did we want to proceed!? Of course! NETS were called in and a transfer was organised for William to Westmead Children's Hospital. I was so scared but so full of hope too. Here was a reason why my little guy wasn't doing so well and a chance to fix it.

Sadly, the fog had blown in and the pilots refused to chopper William down so we made the long trek by road. When we arrived, we were exhausted. We went to have a quick nap, while they set William up on the ventilator. At 10am a neonatologist came around and told us that William was comatose and that there would be no operation because, William was braindead. We could not understand how one hospital had told us everything looked positive for a good outcome to come to this end of the line, no hope mentality. He told us William would not open his eyes again, that he would die even if the operation was successful. Again my choice of birth was blamed and I felt like a murderer.

We asked close family and friends to come. One of the midwives and my girlfriend kept vigil over William while we went home to tell the girls that William was going to die. We had him baptised and just following the ceremony, David and I were holding his hands, telling him it was okay for him to go, we loved him and we would never forget him. The most amazing thing happened. He opened his eyes! He looked straight at David and then at me, just for a minute and then he shut them again, for the last time. It was such a hard, terrible day. The next day we all went in, the girls held their baby brother for the first and last time and so did we. I had never fed him, bathed him, even changed him and his dying day was the first time I had been allowed to hold him. We dressed him in his 'going home' outfit and switched off the ventilator. David carried him out into the sunshine and we sat there, all the family and my very best friends,as he took his last breath. I will never ever forget that day. It was horrible and beautiful at the same time, letting this beautiful little soul go.

The first three months were a blur, the funeral, the burial, even just getting the kids up and ready for school seemed like I was on automatic pilot. Slowly though things became more normal again and we made it to his first birthday still intact, a little worse for ware and synical about the world but still with enough faith to try again.

Now we find ourselves pregnant with twins again, after 14 months of infertility and grieving under our belts. We feel blessed and I like to think that my little guy had alot to do with this miracle. Pregnancy for us is very stressful but we are hoping for a positive outcome.
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Pautiric's Story (Nic)

In September 2005 my husband of 2 weeks and I stopped using contraception. I had been on the pill for 2?? years and have a history of PCOS so I expected that it would take a while for me to conceive.

About 7 weeks later I had a strange reaction to sliced ham. I bit into a piece and spat it out immediately. I asked Paul to taste it to see if it was OK as it was only a few days old and he said it was fine. This was my first clue. I started testing like mad and kept getting negatives but I was convinced that I must be pregnant.

After about 6 days of testing I gave up and figured it must just be me so I went to the doctor and requested an ultrasound to check on my PCOS. She scan was done the next day and the sonographer said she did not want to get my hopes up but it looked as though i was pregnant. Too early to see anything though. I went to the doctor the next day and did a urine test and there was my second line. I couldn't have been happier and was on such a high. I was given an ultrasound referral because we did not know how far I was but I decided to wait 2 weeks before having it done.

I went to have it done full of fear that something was going to be wrong and these suspicions were confirmed when they could see a sac and yolk sac measuring 6 weeks 2 days but no foetal pole. 2 sonographers checked and the doctor came in to give me the back news but suggest that I return for a follow up after 10 days. I went home and bawled my eyes out for hours.

10 Days later I went back and miraculously there was a foetal pole measuring 6 weeks 4 days. But there was no heartbeat so they told me to return a week later for another scan. These things happen where you can't always see it before 7 weeks. Again I bawled my eyes out on the way home.

A week later I returned for yet another ultrasound. The baby had grown 1mm or so but still no heartbeat. They told me that it was not progressing. Embryonic demise they called it. I was absolutely shattered and had not cried so much in my life. My husband left work early that day to be with me and I cried all day. I had another ultrasound a week later just to confirm but I did not cry after that one.

My doctor recommended allowing myself to miscarry naturally. I should have been around 8 or 9 weeks at the last ultrasound. We never figured out how far I was but because it was so small it was expected that everything would just dissolve and come out in a heavy period.

I waited and waited. My belly continued to grow and I continued to gain weight. 6 or 7 weeks passed, I would have been around 14 - 15 weeks at the time when I started spotting. I spotted for a few days and started feeling really off. People kept telling me I looked really pale and sick.

After 3 days or so of just spotting, we had friends visiting from Sydney and decided to take them to dinner in the city. I was uncomfortable and felt painfully constipated but decided to go anyway. By the time we got to the city I was having problems walking and at the cafe I could not sit down comfortably. I went to the toilet with the feeling of constipation again and sat there for 10 minutes before returning to the table but went back to the toilet in a matter of minutes. I did this 2 more times until I was sitting on the toilet and blood started gushing.

Then the contractions started. It was at this point I told Paul I needed to go home. I had started getting contractions about 1 minute apart and they were getting excrutiating. By the time I got home I was in agony and lost a great deal of blood.

My contractions continued at full force for about 4 hours with little more than 15 second between and no break towards the end. My husband had never heard screaming like that in his life and he was terrified that I was going to bleed to death but did not want to leave me to call an ambulance.

Then suddenly it stopped. I felt so relieved to have the pain stop and rather surprised when suddenly out came the completely intact sac with a small placenta attached. It was empty by this point.

After finding out that the pregnancy was not progressing I would often burst into tears spontaneously. I could not go to the shops and see pregnant women and newborn babies without feeling depressed and emotionally drained. It took several months before I started feeling like myself again. The real turning point was when I started on fertility treatment and I had some renewed focus. I am so thankful that I have a wonderful husband that supported me and was just there for me when ever I needed a hug or to cry.

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The Goodbye Journey...

When I saw the two lines on the test I didn’t feel the same thrill of excitement. I didn’t dream of a life that was to be. This was unusual for me. I put it down to the death of your sister 7 months before. I no longer was one of the “it won’t happen to me’s.” I was one...

I changed obstetricians. Only because I wanted a new experience. I didn’t want to lie on the same table under the same ultra sound scanner as I had when I learned of the death of my last baby.
Foetal demise. No reason. Just unlucky... James had been beautiful with me. Supportive and oh so empathetic and caring. I just needed a new face and a new chapter.

George was recommended to me. I liked him instantly. He showed compassion and understanding. I liked his sense of humour and ‘humanness’. A scan at 6weeks and 2 days showed a viable pregnancy. Heart beating away. The heartbeat on the screen didn’t melt my heart. I just dropped tears of relief.
For another day I had hope...

I felt an immense sense of anxiety that I analysed as being fear of a repeat miscarriage. Deep down I knew it was more. It was all encompassing. Exhausting. Weekly visits to George and weekly ultrasounds didn’t allay my fears. I remember George telling me at 10 weeks – ‘this is looking good’. ‘We have no reason to expect anything but a good outcome’. ‘Your baby is alive and looking good’.
“For now”, I said, “it could die by the time I walk out the door”... I am sure George thought me bizarre, morbid. I thought me morbid but my gut is my friend and it seemed to know...
It was a knowing I had. I can’t explain. I just knew I would never meet my baby alive...

Nuchal scan went so well. I was so afraid of Frank telling me my baby was dead. But no! Our baby looked well and healthy. Measurements good. Very low risk of chromosomal abnormality. “Relax Deb.” “Begin to enjoy this pregnancy.” I’ll see you in 6 weeks at your morphology scan. His words still ring in my ears – “The chance of the same thing happening twice at the same time are about 1 in a million”. So, that’s me. One in a million!

Off to see George at 13 weeks – the last time I saw my baby. Heart beating reassuringly. All is good. The chance of anything going wrong now are only about 2 per cent. I left his rooms feeling lighter. I started to think that perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps this little baby would grow and be birthed into my arms...
We still haven’t told our other children or the big wide world of our baby growing inside.... George is off on holidays, I see my gorgeous midwife Lynne. Baby’s doing well, growing, heartbeating so well...

13weeks and 6 days Lynne listens to the sound of my baby’s heartbeating. First try on the Doppler, no hunting around. Loud and reassuring. Still I don’t feel comfortable telling the other children. “On Friday Lynne after we’ve heard it again...”
I felt so incredibly anxious that week...

Friday, on goes the gel and the Doppler. Nothing. I know. Our youngest three children play innocently in the birthing suites bathroom. Giggling and shrieking happily blissfully unaware that their mama has been crushed that a part of her heart has died along with their unborn brother... He’s gone...
“Just let me have a little hunt”... Still nothing. Just the loud boom of my heart beating. My heart beating alone... Off to see Ted for an ultrasound. I am glad George is away. At least he only deals with live babies...

Still there is a glimmer of hope that there is a heart beating in there. I don’t want to get up on that bed. While I don’t have an ultrasound I can still hope even just a little... I tell Ted I don’t want to see the screen.

He asks why. “Because I don’t want to see another dead baby on a screen”. “Oh I am sure you will see a nice heart beating there soon and be eager to look.” “ I know my baby is dead”...

I look at those kitchy Anne Geddes pictures on the wall – for some reason those photos make me feel angry – I remember James had them on his wall too. I find a spot on the wall that I can focus on. “Why the hell doesn’t he invest in some real life photography?”

The silence is deafening. “I am sorry Debbie there is no heart beat”. Your baby has died. “Why”? I croaked. My voice sounded reptilian. “Often it’s just one of those things...”. I looked at this grey haired man and thought that I couldn’t quite believe such a stupid statement would come from his mouth. “Just two of those things”, I said. But clearly he didn’t understand.

“Now, from here you can wait for your uterus to shrink as your baby degenerates or you can have labour induced.” It sounded like he was arranging a trip to a footy match, or to the local shopping centre. “Take some time to make your decision”...

I wanted to birth my baby. I wanted to get out of that room. Away from the machine that told me my baby was dead. Ted didn’t even touch me. The waiting room was full. I wanted George or James. I wanted a human, feeling, touching doctor who understood...
I stumbled from his room into a waiting room full of women with bulging bellies. All of them benignly flicking through outdated magazines.

I smiled brightly at a woman who made eye contact. I didn’t want her to know. I wanted her to go on believing that bulging bellies mean live healthy babies....

I carried my angel daughter for 2 weeks without knowing she was dead. I didn’t want this little baby inside me breaking down. Degenerating. I wanted to birth him. I wanted to go through a process. Birth was something I could do for him. For me. It seemed important to complete the cycle.

Chris’s face was shocked. He was incredulous this could happen again. I was calm. I knew this was going to be the outcome. We held each other but I couldn’t ‘be’with him. This was a journey I had to complete on my own. This didn’t feel like it was about him. It was about me and this baby we had made. I know and understand that pregnancy just doesn’t seem real for him until there is a kicking moving bump. I know the whole concept of the death of this living thing inside me was a little hard to grasp. Our babies didn’t used to do this. Our babies grew as they should. I pushed them out just as my body intended. We held them all wet and gooey. They all cried boisterous loud cries. Together we cried relieved, happy, grateful tears. My babies used to be safe in my womb...

I just needed Chris to be there for the kids. I didn’t want or need him there for me. Chris has always been so ‘there’ and so supportive during our children’s labours. They have been joyous, beautiful, bonding occasions.

This was different. I knew it was way outside of Chris’s comfort zone. I didn’t want to drag him through this process. I wanted to save him from seeing my anguish. I knew that it would be something that would scar him. I didn’t want that for him. I wanted him to remember that I could birth live babies. I didn’t want him to hold the memory of the birth of a dead child. I knew that he wanted to be there for me and he looked confused that I didn’t need him.

We always lean on each other he and I. We do that well. We support and love and nurture each other. This time though I needed to do this without him. I needed to complete this journey alone. I am still not sure why but it was the right choice for me... It was the right choice for all of us...

James # 2 was on call for the weekend. Kind, gentle and peaceful. Melanie was the midwife that evening. Sympathetic and reassuring. I had cramps. I think my body knew I had to give my baby up.

Melanie and I talked and I felt blessed to have this kind woman to begin my goodbye journey with. I asked for sleeping tablets. I just needed to sleep. I knew the next day would be a long one...

Zoe came on night duty. She had the most beautiful voice. The cramping continued. She reassured me that she would be there with me to help me birth my baby if that was what would be that night. We talked; she talked of her life and her travels. She was a beautiful soft gentle woman... I slept fitfully.

Saturday the 11th of March and I had to fast. Covering all bases “just in case” I had to go to theatre. I ate breakfast. It felt like I was swallowing cardboard...
James #2 requested a repeat ultrasound as he didn’t feel comfortable inducing labour when he had no written report to confirm that the baby had in fact died. That ultrasound was like torture. There was a piece of me that held hope that it had all been a mistake and that my baby’s heart had started beating... Maryanne my midwife for the day, so small and so earthy. So very much what I needed that day.
I had asked her to be my eyes. She looked for me. I didn’t want to see another dead baby on a screen. Yes Deb, your baby has died... Foetal demise...

James came and the first pessary of Cervagem was pushed up onto my tightly closed cervix at 9.45am. To be repeated every 3 hours for up to 5 applications until my baby was born...

The second pessary was put against my still tight cervix. Hot packs were more for comfort than for pain. I felt cold. Maryanne and I talked about life, the Universe and everything. Soon it was time for her to go. We hugged and I hoped that we would share more time together in another time...

Then came Julie. Her eyes were warm, she sat with me. Rarely leaving. She sensed I didn’t want to do this alone. I was afraid of being alone when my baby was born. I was afraid of being horrified at the sight of my own child. I knew he would be tiny. He wouldn’t look like a fully formed baby.

I had seen babies of this gestation. I didn’t know how I would cope with seeing my own baby. This was different. I needed some woman energy to experience this birth with. We talked, we hugged. I cried some. She got my chart and read to me the birth notes of the birth of my last daughter Eva. I laughed and smiled at the memories. I heard babies cry down the hall. She gave me a little rug, a momento. The hot pack was wrapped in it. The only tangible thing I have left of my baby. The only real thing left to remind me of this night.

The cramps were very manageable. I guess like severe period pain. I have never found the pain of labour to be unbearable until right before the pushing stage. This was different. The pain only had the purpose of delivering to me my dead child. There wasn’t a lot to be welcoming of. I had 50mgs of Pethidine, not for the pain but more to dull the reality. I was tired. Oh so tired. I began to lose blood. It seemed like a lot. We changed position from the bed to the loo. This we did each hour or maybe less? The pot in the toilet caught the blood and clots. Each gush I thought may be my baby. But no. Julie put the fifth and last pessary up against my cervix. “It’s softer now.” “It won’t be long now sweetie...” It was time for her to go home. Her part of the journey with me was over. We hugged, goodbye...

Lynne #2 came. Gorgeous English voice. She sat by my bed. The cramps were still very bearable. Very uncomfortable but nothing at all like a full term contraction. I didn’t realise why I was afraid of being alone. Only now is it clear. During the birth of a live baby there is that excitement. The prize at the end. The little body to explore. The face to kiss.

This was the unknown. I had been with women who miscarried. I have collected their babies in buckets. This was my baby. This was different. I thought of all the women who have done what I was doing. I felt the oneness that I feel when I birthed my other babies. There is an immense strength in that for me. The oneness that you feel with all the other women that have ever birthed. I felt the oneness with all of the other women who have birthed a Goodbye Baby. A knowing... A wisdom...

I was so thankful for the blessing that was Lynne. The blood continued to gush and the clots fell unceremoniously into the pot in the toilet. I felt like I was releasing something. It was somehow cathartic. Lynne and I thought it may have been parts of the placenta. No baby. My body didn’t want to let my baby go... Lynne told me of her journey to live in Australia. Her sons...
More hot packs, more gushing... Up to the loo. I felt clammy and cold and ill. All signs of a dilated cervix. I knew this was good but I was scared of what was ahead. I knew that soon I would feel the lump in my vagina. The lump that was my baby... I thought of the births of my other children. There are always candles. Music. Oils. So much anticipation. A name chosen. An outfit warming under the heater. The smiling faces of eager siblings. The gentle firm hands of my beautiful husband ready to catch his child. This baby would have none of that. I said a prayer. That was all I could give to him. Did he hear? Did you hear little one?...

Lynne was worried. Blood pressure low. Doctor came. Drip went in. My hands that are usually plump with veins were flat. I didn’t want this drama. I just wanted it to be over... I had lost a fair amount of blood. I knew that. I felt faint. I felt lost. I recognised that feeling – it was to a much lesser extent the same feeling I have when I reach transition...
James #2 was called. He had creases on his face from sleeping. More gushing. More clots. “I think the baby is just above your cervix”. I knew what that meant. I knew he would thrust a gloved hand inside my body and pull my baby out. I knew that would mean my baby would not be whole. I couldn’t think of it. I let my mind inch toward the vision and I cried with the thought. This little person, the one I had grown and nurtured so carefully would be tugged from me and broken in the process.

I nodded for him to go ahead... Lynne held me in her arms while James did what he had to do to bring my baby out. It hurt. It hurt my heart. I saw Lynne’s eyes. I saw how my eyes had looked. The sympathy. The empathy. She knew. She understood. I knew that after this she could have a cup of tea. I knew that after this nothing would ever be quite the same for me... I wanted to run from what was happening but I forced myself to stay...

I said: “I don’t want to look”. James said – “I am sorry Deb, your baby was damaged coming out”- “it’s probably best you don’t”. “It looks like a little boy...” “I am sorry Deb...” He gathered up my baby... I thought of my other babies at home tucked into their beds. I just wanted to hold one of them and touch their perfect faces...

I knew from now on he was no longer my baby but rather “products of conception” a “fresh specimen” for a pathology courier to collect. In a few hours he would be in the path lab. I couldn’t protect him...
I sobbed into the tiny purple rug I had been given...
I would never know him. I would never smell him or touch him or feel him...

I felt immense relief. I felt a weight had gone. I looked between my legs and I saw the twirly purple cord. So tiny and so delicate.... So incredibly beautiful. I felt a pain in my chest. I said goodbye... It was almost midnight. This birth was my second longest. Lynne gave me a card that said: “Delicate baby born March 11, 2006” ...

It wasn’t over. More gushing. The placenta hadn’t come away. “Can you give some pushes?”. Nothing but blood. James wants to take me to theatre but I truly believe if I go under anesthetic I wont’ wake up. I am jinxed. I am not going anywhere.

James looks uncomfortable. I know I am making it hard for him. I feel sorry for him. “I am sorry James, I just can’t...” I have to follow my gut instinct. I don’t want to die. Syntocinon goes up into my drip. Still no placenta.

Slowly the blood stops. I shower. I sleep fitfully again. Only sips of water to drink then nothing. “You will need to go to theatre if this placenta isn’t born by morning...” Sleep doesn’t come easy... The cramps continue... I clutch my purple rug...

No placenta and James comes early to plan our trip to theatre. I am sure I won’t awake from it. I know it’s an irrational fear, probably fed by no food for over 24 hours, blood loss, fatigue and grief.

The theatre nurse who greets us at the doors to the operating suite answers when she is told that I am feeling afraid. “Oh you won’t die, its too much paperwork”. It is a stark reminder that humour has its place and it’s place certainly wasn’t then. I remember this woman from my D&C last May, obviously her bedside manner had improved none. I wanted to punch her but I was too weak. There was a kind dark haired nurse who stroked my head as the bung went in my hand. I wake and it’s over. Placenta out.

I spent the rest of the day dozing from the drugs and crying for myself, for my baby, for my husband... I felt so angry. “There is no God”! “Why do you keep taking my babies?” “Well you can’t have any more of them.”!!! “You have taken three and that’s enough” !!!

I cried until I felt at peace. I cried until I was dry. I needed to be alone and to cry and to be angry and to blame. I really needed it...
I took some more sleeping tablets and some panadeine forte for my migraine and I slept. I slept for a long time clutching my purple rug...

I woke on Monday, I showered, I blowdried. I drank my tea and ate my toast. A knock at my door and it’s George. “Hello, Deb you just knew, didn’t you?” “Yes I did George.” Yes I did...

I felt like I would cry, there were times I wanted to see a face I knew over these past days and it felt good to see one. A face that held some hope. A face that could perhaps offer some answers. A face I trusted... He gave me a hug, and I felt I had been there before. We talked of tests, and George promising to research for me. I was glad I had him on my side. I was glad he hadn’t been with me on the weekend. I needed to save him up for the day that I birth a healthy, whole, live baby... Maybe he won’t be in the room when that day comes. But afterward he can congratulate us. He can hug my husband and me. He can smile at my other children. We can all celebrate the birth of a life. The birth of a life that is also part of this journey...

I heard the voices of my little girls and their Daddy as they came up the hall to collect me. I choked. I needed them so much. It was time to go.
It was time to start anew. It was time... I left that day a different person to when I arrived. I felt somehow stronger.
I felt braver. I felt more capable... I felt so blessed to have my live children, my beautiful husband. I felt strangely peaceful. I still do...
I felt the cycle was complete....
When death touched me I was reminded that we all dance to a music beyond our control. Sometimes we are willing dance partners. Sometimes not. I just have to let the dance go on and listen to the music. And hope and pray...

Some people say, “It’s not fair”. I don’t know if that is so. I don’t think it is that simple. I don’t think it can be that simple. What is fair? Statements like that imply that I am a victim. I am not. I am a part of this story. My baby was a part as were his siblings and his father. Even the midwives and the doctors are all part of this story. The story is intricate. It is not as simple as not being fair. There is a lesson to learn from all that enters our lives. I know I can choose to feel I have been badly done by or I can choose to act with courage and strength and I can learn to trust. To let go and trust. Trust that I cannot control the outcome. I can play my part, but ultimately I have to let go and let life unfold. I need to listen to the music...

The death of my babies isn’t “one of those things”. There is a reason. We may never know exactly why, but there is a reason. “One of those things” is the reason that is given when we don’t know the reason...
This experience has taught me to not be afraid. This has taught me that there are no guarantees. Babies sometimes die but I can survive it. I can still smile. I can still laugh. I am going to try very hard not to be afraid. I am not going to let this be the end of my story.

I will again birth a live, healthy, strong baby. I will. I will go forward knowing that every pregnancy doesn’t lead to a baby. I will go to bed every night and be thankful for the blessings and the lessons I have learnt through this. Because in the face of all of this pain there have been so many blessings. So many lessons...

I ran my fingers over Finn’s face while he slept. He doesn’t know he has an angel brother. I wondered what my angel boy’s face would be like. Would he have the same skinny legs, the same soft hands... I will always wonder, but I will never know.

For some reason that’s the way it is and I accept it and I let you go little boy.
Watch over us won’t you? Whisper in our ears as we sleep. I will tell your brother and sisters about you one day. For now, they don’t need to feel sad. They need to smile and laugh and play and not be burdened with the sadness of the loss of you who they never knew... Sometimes I open up the part of my heart that belongs to you. Inside I face the pain and I cry. When I hear of another Goodbye baby I feel that mothers pain in my own. Goodbye baby’s teach us much...

Another rose will be planted in our garden. A rose for you next to the rose we planted last May for your sister.

You were my second Goodbye Baby. I pray that you will be my last...

Deb (Flowerchild)
March 29, 2006