There isn’t a day goes by without me feeling lucky to be a mum.
It’s almost 19 years since my daughter Eva was born. This is my favourite portrait of us from when she was a baby.
It was taken on October 28th, 1999 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
October 15th is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss and Awareness Day.
This is what I wrote on my Facebook profile to mark that day.
October 15th, 2017
I’ve had four pregnancies, but only two children.
My first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage.
The first came at 12 weeks, and was so traumatic I had to go to hospital. The blood and pain were a huge shock and it took me a long time to recover. I had flashbacks and nightmares for weeks. The grief that followed was overwhelming, and it took several months of counselling to help me process what had happened.
A couple of years later I was pregnant again and this time I miscarried at 9 weeks. The physical and emotional process was still a shock, but less than the first time.
My third pregnancy was Eva. Her name means ‘life’ or ‘living one’.
My fourth pregnancy was Wilfred. His name means ‘desiring peace’.
With both of those I didn’t go to the doctor until I was past 12 weeks. I just couldn’t. I didn’t trust the pregnancy until it was past that threshold. I kind of ‘held my breath’ until they were born.
I know how lucky I am.
Not everyone is so lucky. There are many people who lose their babies during pregnancy, birth or afterwards.
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
I share my story in hope that it helps the topic of miscarriage to be less of a taboo.
Sending love to everyone who has ever lost a baby.
This post on my Facebook wall triggered a long list of comments, from kind words, to other women sharing their own pregnancy and infant loss.
Remembering my first miscarriage took me back to my first experience of counselling and the beginning of a lot of personal development work.
Looking back from where I am now, I see that those two events, though traumatic, have helped to shape me into who I am.
I became more interested in homeopathy and nutrition as a result, and as well as seeing my own homeopath regularly, I started to visit the Neal’s Yard Remedies shop in Covent Garden because it had such a wide range of natural products and books that I could learn from.
My third pregnancy
I was so happy to find myself pregnant for the third time and it was such a relief to get past the first 12 weeks.
After that it was still not entirely plain sailing, with a Strep B infection to deal with, followed by pre-eclampsia and a C-section birth.
Eva spent the first two weeks of her life in the Special Care unit, but that gave me a chance to get support with breastfeeding and soon we were able to take her home.
A nine year age gap
My two children have a nine year age gap between them. People often ask me why.
I think the truth is that my pregnancy with Eva took a lot of emotional energy. Afterwards, I didn’t really feel I needed another baby. I was just thankful for one.
When she was four years old I started my homeopathy training, which was almost like having a baby in itself.
My fourth pregnancy was unexpected, although very welcome.
I wanted to share my story because I think it’s important for all of us to have more awareness of miscarriage.
Miscarriage is still a huge taboo and women carry a huge burden of guilt and responsibility when it happens to them.
My learning in this area as a woman and a mother is something I bring to my work as a homeopath.
I want every woman to be able to have a successful pregnancy if she wants one.
If you or someone you know is struggling with getting pregnant or staying pregnant, why not get in touch.
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