It’s baby loss awareness week.
In some ways I feel I ought to be telling my story. But I’m not ready yet and the one very important thing to remember when dealing with loss (of any kind) is not to rush yourself. So I’m going to wait until I am ready.
Instead, I want to say something about losing a baby that I’ve never spoken about before and which no one has mentioned to me.
After my oldest son was born, almost 8 years ago, I had these strange moments in the first few weeks, as my body recovered where I fleetingly thought I could feel him kicking. I might have been feeding him or holding him or he might have been sleeping next to me; but my body would wriggle or clench or something and my hand would jump to my stomach out of habit and it took a moment to remember that I couldn’t feeling him kick cos he was out of there! I think that’s pretty normal and common.
But here’s the thing. It’s eight months since our third son was born at 20weeks. I’m still getting those occasional nudges from my body that I momentarily misinterpret. Even if he’d been born at term, he’d have been three and a half months old by now. It’s crazy! It’s only for a tiny moment, an instant, but every time my heart squeezes tight with the reminder that he’s not in there and why he isn’t.
I don’t know if it’s psychological and I’m imagining the sensation or if it’s just my guts gurgling and my subconscious getting confused oh so briefly.
Anyway. That’s my awareness subject for this week. Long after our bodies look normal and our hormones have readjusted, after we’re coping with daily life and getting on with things, our bodies can still give us a little poke of heartbreak.
If you’ve lost a baby after you started feeling movements or you know someone who has – be aware of that. It’s not over soon. No matter how OK we seem, something like a bit of gas in our guts can be just as painful as holding a friend’s baby.
For each person I’m sure it’s something different. No matter what it is, please talk about it. Make someone else feeling the same thing know that they aren’t alone.