For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamt of becoming a mother. It has been something I longed for for a long time. However, when it actually came time to thinking about it and talking about it with my husband, there was a lot of angst and worry about falling pregnant. What if something happened to the baby? What if we couldn’t fall pregnant? These are all normal thoughts for women looking to become pregnant, and while I was very fortunate not to go through any complications, I know this is not the case for many women. Unfortunately for a lot of women there is a lot of pain and sadness around pregnancy, and it is hard enough to work through and grieve, let alone talk about it. I am very thankful to Issy for sharing her story of miscarriage with us earlier in the year – to open up those doors for a discussion to be had. To allow for women who are not yet pregnant to understand what miscarriage is like (to potentially recognise it), and to allow women who have experienced miscarriage to know they are not alone in their grief.
My beautiful friend Cathy is a gorgeous mum of 2 and an amazing, hard-working biz mum at the Nursery Collective. She has decided to share her own story – a memory of a Miscarriage – in a bid to help other mums out their who are uncertain or grieving at this time. Thank you for sharing your story Cathy – so raw, open and vulnerable (we love you!). Always remember: you are never alone mummas xx
The other day it was our 10-year wedding anniversary. A major milestone to celebrate and yet in the back of my mind there was the hint of an old pain still remaining. You see, shortly after we married we started trying for a baby and very quickly fell pregnant. It was such an incredibly exciting time for us and everything was falling into place (we had also recently bought what we believed would be our family home). I was too excited to keep it a secret and everyone, especially family, were so thrilled for us.
I wasn’t feeling completely fabulous however, suffering from terrible tension headaches, nausea and a super keen sense of smell that saw me ask my poor hubby to clean out the already sparkling fridge at least 4 times a day as I could smell it from another room if he opened the door! But I clocked it all down to pregnancy hormones and relished in the fact that I was actually experiencing any symptoms at all.
Then came the day for our first scan. I was around 11 weeks and was super excited to leave work early, meet my husband and drive to our first appointment at North Sydney Hospital with our ob-gyn. I still remember what I was wearing – a loose fitting cream and blue dress that hid my burgeoning belly.
After a very quick chat with the doc I was up on the table to have the ultrasound. As the cold instrument slid over my abdomen, we peered at the screen with bated breath. The time stretched. Why was it taking so long? I could see the doctor’s demeanor change. Suddenly he took his hand away and said he was sorry, but there was no heartbeat. No baby. That it must have happened around 6-7 weeks but that I had experienced a missed miscarriage. He was so sorry, and said he would leave the room to let us be, and motioned my stunned husband to comfort me while I sat in disbelief and began to weep.
A little piece of my heart died that day. It was a complete and utter shock and then came the grief… The horrible, overwhelming grief that was suffocating and unending. I retreated to my bed and stayed there for about two weeks. In sleep I would find some peace, only to wake and remember the nightmare we were experiencing. Not only was I grieving but part of me felt ashamed, as if my body had failed me. I left my poor husband to pick up the pieces and share the news with family and close friends, to ring my office and let them know I needed time off work. And after those initial two weeks, the only way I could face the outside world was to act as if the whole thing had been a bad dream. I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone or acknowledge it at all. For a very long time.
Fast forward to the future – as we celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary I closed my eyes and imagined what it might have been like if I hadn’t miscarried. How I would have a 9-year-old now. A 9-year-old that in my mind was always a boy for some reason. We might still have been living in that big 4 bedroom house backing onto a nature reserve in the northern suburbs of Sydney.
It was definitely a sliding doors moment for both my husband and I. From that point onwards our life went in a totally different trajectory. We ended up moving overseas when an opportunity arose with my husband’s company and I was glad to have the chance of a fresh start.
It took a long amount of healing to move forwards, and another 3 long years of “unexplained infertility” (a story for another blog post!) before we were lucky enough to conceive our beautiful boy. Now, years later we are blessed with two beautiful children and in many ways, it’s all a distant memory.
I wanted to share my story because now I actually can. For so long I wasn’t able to talk candidly about having miscarried and I know many other women in the same situation feel the same way. I know now that it wasn’t my fault, and with the perspective of hindsight can see that perhaps it all unfolded the way it was meant to.
To all the beautiful Mamas out there with angel babies, I send you so much love. I’m sure our babies are all together somewhere looking down on us, asking us to forgive ourselves and to find peace.
As well as running her business The Nursery Collective, Catherine also has an online Facebook support group for new and pregnant mamas where no topic is too taboo to discuss and where Mums can offer each other support and a place to vent. You can join Find Your Village here to become part of a truly supportive online community of both new and experienced Mums.