Sunday, 19 August 2018

Five Minutes On Loss

Trigger Warning: Detailed talk of child loss/medical experiences.

I've been a bit of funk of late and could not for the life of it get to the bottom of what's going on. Then it hit me: My head has reached capacity. 

We go through so many things in our lives. Some bad and some marvellous. Some we talk about and some we don't. Ultimately, I guess we must reach a point where we're fully loaded - That's one of the original reasons I started this blog; A space to vent, to share and maybe even somewhere that other big odd women can relate or refer to. 

I absolutely do not want this to be a site that is SAD and SERIOUS because I am 100% neither, unless I am a. Hungover or b. Pretending I am an adult for a job/loan/other adult reasons. However, I have this space and I need to stay true to my original intentions. 

So here is a big folder that has been archived in my brain, on a topic that I've mentioned time and time again, because grief really is an emotion that never truly leaves you, regardless of whether you feel it should or whether the thing you lost is no longer something you need.
Five Minutes On Loss

I miscarried on good Friday four years ago. I remember because I had some strange catholic belief that if Jesus was risen from the dead then so could my baby. I was in a room that wasn’t my own, I was bleeding and it hurt and I told my husband then told my mum and everything went quiet because who knows what to say when this happens. 

Rang the hospital who told me to go to the emergency walk in. Waited awhile, knowing that really time didn’t matter because when you bleed like that a baby isn’t going to be a baby any more. There was a woman crying in the waiting room. I chatted to her, trying to take her mind off the pain she was clearly in. She had toothache and alone and I felt awful for her because nothing hurts more than toothache - She thanked me for talking to her and taking her mind off it, she was so grateful to not be alone and in pain. 

The doctor was dressed like a Bond villain in a black rollneck, covered in wiry white hairs and smelt like dogs. His room was too hot and I was sweating and everything smelt too much of unpleasantness. “One in three pregnancies ends this way” he said when I gave him my notes and told him about the pain and the blood. So it’s ended. I’m the one in three. No comfort at that point but it was oddly comforting to have something to say to everyone as part of the “I’m ok though” conversation. 

Onto the hospital where the blood test showed that I was still pregnant. The ultrasound next. Two incredibly kind women whose faces knew exactly what shapes to make. With my husband there, I thought again of the biblical rising of the dead and held his hand with part of my brain trying to convince me that this would be the first time that we would see our baby and that this would be one of the HAPPY memories. 

No living baby. 

Appointments made for the next day whilst I waited in the maternity ward with the expectant mothers, grinning comfortingly at them hoping that they wouldn’t realise I wasn’t one of them any more and subsequently turn their thoughts to the negative, the fear and pity. 

Back home, back to bed. Easter plans cancelled, parents called and gently told, friends full of love and sadness and not knowing what to say. The guilt that comes with all of that. Of letting people down. Remembering their excitement and predicting their grief that they would never show because their love for me transcends everything else. My husband’s set jaw, not knowing how to react because we didn’t know how to react when the baby was alive never mind now the baby is dead. Hugging and sniffling and the physical pain and the blood and the confusion. Blood tests the next day confirm it really is the end of this story. 

Down to a local cafe for breakfast and to get out of the room that isn’t my own, laughs as we talk about ordering a real drink for the first time in months. Discomfort and a pain that’s not physical as something passes in the toilet to be flushed away because oh my god what else do you do?!? Nobody has told me and nobody knows what to say but at least nature hasn’t played any more tricks on me and I can joke about it whilst everyone else looks a bit uncomfortable but it’s my decision today. 

Time moves on, back to work, having to tell people I didn’t want to know because of one day off work. Too much sympathy. Too much. Will have to think about Christmas leave because I’m not going to be on maternity any more! Every woman has experienced this in some way, they tell me and it HELPS. It really does. The one in three seems more now that people are talking to me. United in loss. 

Deeply grateful for the NHS. 
Deeply grateful that I was able to experience pregnancy when so many don’t. 
Deeply grateful that this baby was a choice. 
Deeply grateful for the completeness we get in being a family of just us two. 

Never really “moving on” - The words of an angel of a friend who has experienced this more times that could ever be fair, telling me to tell anyone who suggests that I SHOULD, to “go f*ck themselves”. There are the bits that we share and the bits that we keep to ourselves. When another well meaning colleague asks the inevitable questions, I know I can’t tell them about the doctor who smelt of dogs or the underwear that needed to be thrown away. It’s not NICE. 

But still life goes on and there are SO MANY joys and happinesses that we experience and maybe now is the time to tell the whole story to people who know me and people who don’t so here it is. Not presented for sympathy, not presented for shock. Presented for catharsis and a hope that if you want to talk or to share or just to go back to the grim and odd little details of your own sadnesses that you keep locked away but really should let yourself remember and feel, you can. 

Presented in the knowledge that this experience is not unique or rare, and no longer exists in MY mind alone. 

Because we are the one in three.

Em x


  1. Thank you again for sharing such an intimate, honest and relatable post Em. Much love 💕

    1. Thank you so much Lisa. I'm so so glad but also sad that you found it relatable xxx

  2. Hi Em. I'm so sorry it happened. Thank you for telling your story. It helps me to not feel so alone. ��

    1. Hi Kim, you're definitely not alone, we're all just so quiet because we don't know what to say. So so much love for you xxxx

    2. So much love for you back X

  3. Thanks Em, I hope it was cathartic for you and I too can relate to it more than once unfortunately, keep remembering to take care of you xx

    1. You are so thoughtful Rachael - Thank you. I'm sorry you have had similar experiences, the same to you - Take care and much love x

  4. Thank you for sharing. I too am the one in three. Gone but never forgotten. I hope this helps at least one person.

  5. It's never forgotten x 1 in 125 women experience 3 in a row. Blood lost and tears shed emotional pain like no other. Experiences that not only stay with you but change who you are, change your relationships present and future. They mainly go unspoken. I am always here for you xx lots of love xxx

  6. I’m so sorry. I was 19 when I first miscarried & not being to talk about it or have that baby acknowledged made the trauma so much worse. No one was particularly kind at the hospital, in fact some staff were decidedly unkind. I was too young & too shocked & too devastated to know I could expect more. I’m 37 now & have had two more miscarriages. Both painful & heartbreaking, but neither destroyed me in the way my first loss did. Partly because medical staff were respectful & careful with my feelings, but mostly because I was able to acknowledge the loss out loud. I write & speak about it now. People knowing those little lives existed is a comfort. It makes them real. There is still such a taboo about baby loss & the silence can be crushing. So, again, I am so very sorry for your loss and thank you sharing your experiences. This will help people. This will bring comfort. I hope it serves a positive purpose for you too.

  7. Hi Em,
    I think I love you a little bit more after reading this, so brilliantly written, I too am a one in three but x7 luckily a mum to two, one 14, one 4, my darling teenager was a surprise at almost 8 months gone and 21 years old, but always wanted, my little terror did not come so easily. Losses, surgery. More losses, a loss at work, waking up to just know another time, and finally just after he was born the loss of my marriage (that turned out to be a good thing ha!) my family didn’t really give me any support unless it was a later miscarriage which was shit. More people need to speak out, to know we are not alone, people like you make people like me feel they can raise their own tiny voice! (Except after a few too many and mr brightside comes on, then it’s a deafening voice!) anyways thank you and sorry for your loss,
    Lucie x

  8. Thank you for sharing this it genuinely isn’t talked about enough and when it happens to us we really don’t know what to expect. Beautifully told thank you again as a one in three too it made me feel less alone xx

  9. This was so beautifully written, Em. Thank you for sharing. I’m truly sorry and I’m sending you a huge hug right this second. Heaps of love to you xxx

  10. I'm so sorry you experienced this loss, but I appreciate you sharing. I had a miscarriage several years ago, before my daughter was born, and telling my mother about it - and finding out she, too, had experienced a miscarriage - brought us much closer together as women, not just mother and daughter. I hope that reading your post will allow someone else to feel a sense of kinship and support the way I did.

  11. Hi Em,
    I've already sent you something similar on Insta, but I had to say again how much reading your story means to me. It is in no way talked about enough, especially in an honest, real and heartfelt way. And I wanted to let you know that you've inspired me to not only be more open about my experiences of this, but also you've given me the nudge I needed to start writing again as a way of sharing the shitty realness of life, mixed in with the bloody beautiful stuff too.
    Thank you for being such an inspiration, I genuinely love ya x


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