real life

"A letter to me, three years ago: I’m writing to tell you it gets better."

Content warning: this story deals with stillbirth and miscarriage and may be distressing to some readers.

I’m writing to tell you it gets better, because I know at this point you’re clambering for hope. You’re desperately trying to click that fast forward button on life, to get to the days when things seem a bit rosier. That remote control button doesn’t exist, as you know. You have many more obstacles to climb. But it does get better. 

Right now you’re bleeding and you feel like it’s never going to stop. Just a few weeks ago you were in hospital, delivering your tiny, silent baby. His heart was so malformed that he was considered incompatible with life. Your body finally birthed him, but you keep bleeding. It’s a constant reminder of what you’ve been through and the baby you’ve lost. You’re going to have to have some more surgery, but the bleeding will stop and you will heal, I promise. 

You will name your baby, you will scatter his ashes but you won’t forget him. Every day you will think of your little boy who never drew breath and for a while you will cry whenever you hear his name. But the passing of time is a funny thing. Soon his memory will bring a sad smile instead of tears as you imagine his milestones and the person he might have been.

You'll be convinced you're the unluckiest person in the world. Image: iStock

Sadly, you will lose another beautiful baby only months later. This time it will be earlier in pregnancy, a more common miscarriage although those of us who have been through this know it feels far from common.  You will be convinced you’re the unluckiest person in the world. Why should you go through such heartbreak twice in six months? It’s just not fair. However, this loss won’t break you. It will make you angry, determined and even more willing to fight for happiness.

This week as part of Never Forgotten: Mamamia's Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week we're remembering the babies we've lost. Post continues below.


 I’m pleased to tell you that you will fall pregnant again. And this time, the nine months will pass without incident (although not without fearing the worst at every turn). You’ll deliver a beautiful baby girl with ten little fingers and ten little toes. She will be absolutely perfect.

The first few months will be hard of course. She will be unsettled often. You’ll be one of those mothers at Mother’s Group who everyone pities as you bounce around the room, trying desperately to get her to stop crying. When she has woken yet again after a 29-minute 15-second nap that took you two hours to achieve, you will wonder why anyone would voluntarily choose this sleep deprivation torture technique called child rearing.

"I'm pleased to tell you that you will fall pregnant again."

But it’s not always like that. There are those nights when she is sleeping softly in your arms, you breathe in her milky scent and feel as though you could never be happier than you are right in that moment. You will grow even closer to your husband as you choose your parenting techniques and decide to ignore the warnings about bad habits and gently teach sleep to your baby. It works; she goes from short naps to long ones and learns to sleep through the night. 

Soon you realise the maternity leave bubble is about to end and it’s time to go back to work. The high pressure, fast paced job that you once loved seems daunting. How will it fit in with your new, softened mummy persona? Sadly, it won’t, but don’t worry. You will find a new role, one that gives you a chance to flex both work and mummy muscles without sacrificing much of either. 

You come up for air and realise it’s been three years since your darkest days when you said farewell to your first-born son. You cuddle your cheeky, affectionate toddler and feel like the luckiest person in the world. There is no doubt that there will be more times of sadness and more tears but there will also be love, laughter and moments of intense joy. And that’s what makes a life worth living.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous. 

Want more? Try these... 

What it feels like losing a baby.

"The lie I tell each time someone asks: How many children do you have?"

How to talk to someone who has had a miscarriage.

If this has post raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637.