real life

"This isn't a pregnancy announcement. I'm writing this from the hospital waiting room."

This isn’t a pregnancy announcement.

It’s infant loss awareness month.

I’m writing this from the waiting room of the hospital.

Two days ago, on our fourth wedding anniversary, I was 11 weeks and two days pregnant. I had spent the week preparing little video clips to work into our announcement. Chloe and Mia, my little princesses, preparing excitedly for the arrival of our new addition.

We were so close to the safe zone, I was constantly sick, I had every reason to believe we were OK. I’m sharing our announcement incomplete, as it was when the baby’s heart stopped beating. I’m sharing this because right now, I don’t know what else to do. This baby’s life had to mean something.

I don’t know what to say in quiet conversation, because I don’t know how to fix things, so all I want to do is cry.

So I’m writing.

I feel like the difference between Chloe’s words in this video and right now is everything I didn’t understand before about loss. That feeling, the moment the baby is no longer a baby, but “the retained product of conception”.

When the doctor tells you that the risk of PTSD is huge, but you want so desperately to be OK, so you spend seven hours in the waiting room staring at a TV and refusing to talk to anyone about how sad you are.

When you tell yourself how lucky you are to have two amazing kids already…

Bec Sparrow on love, loss and empty arms. Post continues after audio.

Then you remember that Anzac Day was going to take on new meaning for the family. And it still will, but for all the wrong reasons. And your daughters were going to be sisters again. And they will, but this baby will never get to experience being a part of “them”. And you remember that you were going to announce to the world any day. So I am, and it’s absolutely tearing me apart.

We need to be able to process this grief. I don’t know how, but I know that when I am ready to talk, I’ll need someone to listen.

And no matter what you say, as long as what you mean is “I love you, I’m sorry, I wish this hadn’t happened”, I’ll want you to say it. I need you to be there, as long as you want to be there.

Surgery is soon. They’ll take the baby. We still need the village.

This post originally Beth Sebesfi’s Facebook page and has been republished here with full permission. 

If you have suffered pregnancy loss, Mamamia has a closed group where parents can grieve. You can join the community, here. Help is also available at SANDS.