Baby Loss Awareness Week

By Lacey Owen

**Trigger warning**

Today ends the week of BLAW 9th-15th October #BabyLossAwarenessWeek

Although I am extremely fortunate to have healthy, happy children providing me the opportunity to experience incredible highs, I have also suffered extreme lows in my Motherhood journey with the loss of two babies. One at 8 weeks gestation and another at 5 weeks.

This is my story. There is nothing remarkable about it but if it helps even one woman to not feel so alone then it's so worth sharing....

24th December 2011 & hubby wakes to a white stick being shoved in his face, two bright pink lines barely visible through sleepy eyes. We're at the bach in Tinopai for Christmas & having to keep this secret is unbearable. I'm bursting at the seams with excitement. This is a dream come true, one I've wanted for so so long. I quickly calculated the expected due date...Sept 11th. A thought flickered briefly in my mind, I hope this date isn't a bad omen?! Little did I know my world would be turned upside down.

I remember feeling a small gush and racing off to the toilet at work. It was impossible to ignore the bright red blood on my underwear. In that moment 100 thoughts flew through my mind as I tried desperately to calm my pounding heart with hands shaking and tears threatening to spill over.

It had only been four weeks but in that time I had made a lifetimes worth of plans.

I used to believe in the saying 'Everything happens for a reason', until late January 2012 when it became painfully obvious bubs wasn't going to stay. I remember my husband returning home from work only to find me sitting in the bottom of the shower. He climbed in fully clothed to hold me as I cried more tears than water falling from the faucet.

We headed to ED once the cramping became unbearable. We were ushered into a tiny cubicle that resembled more of a storage cupboard. I felt as if we were being shut away as if our baby didn't matter. In the moment this only reiterated my shame that my body had failed me. I felt as though my experience was a nothing, that because bubs was only 8 weeks gestation it wasn't a major. Never mind the fact all I had ever wanted was literally going down the drain. In retrospect I know this was the most private consult room and am thankful for the privacy it provided us.

To make matters worse both nurse and Dr were male. They were completely professional, I couldn't fault one aspect of their care but in that instance, being highly emotional and devastated, this filled me with dread. All I needed was a woman's touch and comfort.

The medical term 'Spontaneous abortion' on my hospital discharge summary was like a knife straight to the heart paired with a fistful of salt. The hospital staff were lucky I had made it home before coming across that information or they would've had a situation on their hands. I wanted that child so badly.

In the 6.5 years since I lost our first baby, we have thankfully gone on to have three happy, rowdy kids who fill our lives with love, joy, frustration and fun. It's strange to think had our first pregnancy continued on as normal, our now third child wouldn't have ever come to be. All I know is I will spend the rest of my life grateful all three are.

We must normalise pregnancy loss. Let's remove the stigma. We need to keep communication lines open. Ensure women are supported and feelings validated. Chances are a woman in your life has lost a pregnancy and most likely hasn't spoken up.

We need to release the self inflicted guilt and shame. Remember to reach out. Surround yourself with women who will lift you up and most importantly go easy on yourself. That bubba did matter. It always did and always will 💕

#pregnancyloss #babyloss #1in4 #miscarriage #removethestigma #strongmumma