I have lost six babies.
I have never said this out loud. No one, other than my husband and eight-year-old son (and my medical team), knows this.
The reality of this fact is anxiety-provoking. The enormity of my loss has hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I have lost my babies at various stages of pregnancy. I have lost babies in my first trimester – including a set of twins. I lost my daughter, Kate, at 16 weeks after a quick labour and delivery at home that came out of nowhere. I lost my daughter, Madeline, at 18 weeks after three days in hospital desperately fighting off sepsis.
Madeline fought hard with me to the very end – Madeline was born alive but passed away peacefully when the midwife cut her cord. Words can not describe the grief – or the guilt. Madeline’s birth ended up saving my life. I am her mummy, I should have been able to protect her. I would have swapped places with Madeline in a heartbeat. But nature had other plans.
I desperately have wanted – still do want – another baby. To expand my family. Every time one of my precious babies died, a piece of me died with them.
So when someone asks me “when will you have another?”, or the classic “just the one?” – as if I ‘forgot’ to have another – it feels like someone is literally squeezing my heart.
I hate those questions. I find these questions so personal, so intrusive. Another cruel reminder of how much I have lost. How I desperately want to expand my family but my body is simply not letting me.
I find these questions incredibly judgemental. The question itself is judging me for not having another child. Accusing me of denying my son a sibling.
I don’t deserve that judgement. Nobody does.