pregnancy

'There's a secret club for would-be mums, full of sadness and sisterhood. I just became a member.'

There is a secret club you don’t get to join until you're in the thick of it.

The rules are like fight club: the first rule is that no one talks about it.

It is a dark and dreary place, at every visit.

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It is a place where darkness feels like it has no depth and your pain reverberates through the universe.

No one knows what the right thing to do is when you become a member; especially when they haven’t been there themselves.

Kind words? Kind gestures? Flowers? Space? A lot of space?

The silence echoes louder than any words that have been spoken.

The friends that don’t call. The family that didn’t check in. The people who remind you of silver linings. They can all go to hell today.

This little club is filled with broken hearts and unfulfilled dreams.

It is a club where you know that acceptance is a small, quiet room and that not everything needs to be okay. At least not today.

It is also full of hope, love, support, deep friendship, and sisterhood.

No one tells you about the club, but it’s not as exclusive as it seems.Your friends, family and colleagues are probably here too; standing in the corners, hiding their pain because no one talks about it.

It is a club no one should have to join. But can it be a club we talk about openly and regularly?

It is a club I wish I had known about earlier, so I knew who to call when the pain felt insurmountable. 

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It has been two months since I joined the club, and while the regular schedule of ugly tears has stopped, it doesn’t take much to remind me of what could have been.

What would it have been like to meet for the first time? The first word? The first Christmas? The first birthday? 

What could have been is replaced instead by what needs to be done to get you through the first few weeks.

The dates penned in the diary for the next milestone and appointment; the inspiration for the announcement; the apps to keep track of every week of growth; all carefully catalogued and then removed, erasing any evidence that this had become your life for a moment. 

The vitamins, the books, and the outfits are hidden away from view too, for now. 

The slow, deliberate choice of words when breaking the news to those closest, and then the guilt when you see their hearts break too.

Checking in with your partner, because the loss and grief aren’t just yours. They belong to them too, and you’re in this together.

The anger, the frustration, and the long days while you pretend to carry on with life. With going to work, doing the groceries, having conversations about the weather when all you want to do is scream into the wind and drive a sledgehammer through every wall.

Questioning whether you are still a mother, even though your baby isn’t here (yes, you are.) Questioning whether it is normal to hurt this much for someone you didn’t even meet (yes, it is.)

Within all this, I am grateful that for a moment, I got to feel a love like no other.

If this has 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. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

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