I admit: I was a bit scared throughout my pregnancy. I was scared of hearing those words “I can’t hear a heartbeat” again. I felt a wave of relieve whenever I heard my baby’s heartbeat during my monthly prenatal check-ups.
Prishantha Chetty, a blogger friend, told me this week that Babyloss Awareness Week is every year during 9 to 15 October. Prishantha is creating awareness for an event held about Babyloss Awareness Week today in Johannesburg.
It’s weird, because I had a miscarriage on 11 October 2014. So every year this time, I think of the baby I had lost.
I was about 11 weeks pregnant when it happened. I woke up that morning and found that I was bleeding. I didn’t tell anyone about it, I just cried a lot. I phoned my manager from work, because it was my work-weekend. She advised me to see my doctor.
I then phoned my doctor, but he was off that weekend. I was referred to another doctor, who then checked me out.
He told me the most disturbing thing. “I don’t hear any heartbeat.”
Shortly thereafter I was told I should get a vacuum aspiration. It’s an operation where the contents in your uterus are removed.
I didn’t want to call my husband, because I didn’t want to disappoint him. I called him anyways. At that time I lived in Port Elizabeth and husband lived in Johannesburg, because of work.
A day or so after the incident, husband arrived – with the financial help of friends. He would have taken a bus to Port Elizabeth, but friends chipped in and bought him a flight ticket instead. This gift was a surprise. We were really grateful for this.
Anyway, my second pregnancy was last year. I was a bit scared, because I was reminded of the first one. Whenever I got negative thought coming up, I would push it away. I kept telling myself I didn’t want to disturb my baby with negative vibes. I was sure whatever I felt, she could sense it too.
I had negative thoughts come up throughout the pregnancy. A flicker of fear that I might lose my baby, came up.
Here’s things that helped me stay positive throughout my pregnancy:
I MADE AN EFFORT TO SAVE THE MEMORIES
1. I wrote to a few mommy- and baby magazines and asked how I could be on their cover. Yes, I know. If you know me, you would know I am a shy person. I would rather be behind the camera than in front of it. Eventually a magazine journalist came back to me and said: “We do mommy diaries where you have to submit a monthly diary of each week of your pregnancy. You could agree to that?”
Writing every week was tough, because some weeks would feel the same. You don’t want to give same old, same old stories. But I kept going.
I committed to writing for someone rather than keeping my own diary, because I knew I would be inconsistent if I didn’t have a deadline.
Also, they took photos of me every month. So, because I wrote the diaries for them for free, they are giving me the photos of the shoots (of every month) for free after the diaries are published.
2. I would sometimes take pictures of myself and my belly. Then I’d share it with my parents and close friends. I didn’t want to share on Facebook. Only at a later stage, I shared the news on Facebook and posted a photo.
I READ ABOUT MY UNBORN BABY’S WEEKLY DEVELOPMENTS
Every week I would read about how my baby is growing. Sometimes I would share this with a friend or family member. I would also talk to my unborn baby about her growth inside of me.
I TALKED TO MY UNBORN CHILD
I usually spoke to my child after work while I was driving home. I would also do it when while doing something like cooking.
INVOLVED MY FAMILY
I asked her daddy to read to her. Sometimes he would talk to her or sing for her.
My parents sometimes send voice clips via WhatsApp of them talking to my baby. This was so that baby could get used to their voices.
Losing a baby, whether through a miscarriage or birth or death is heavy. You never forget your baby and you get those days where you just want to mourn them.
It helped me to talk about the loss. I felt that if people didn’t go through that experience, they wouldn’t understand. So eventually I found people to talk to that went through it too.
Even if you don’t know what a person is going through, just being a good listener to them is enough.
The words “I don’t know what to say” was nice to hear. To me it meant: “I don’t know what to say, but I want to. So I will be honest and humble enough to say that, and this is my way of saying ‘I am here for you.'”
Thank you for reading about my experience. If you have gone through losing a baby, let me know how you learned to cope.