I work at the specialist women’s hospital here in Western Australia We look after infertile women, pregnant women, women who do not wish to be fertile, all manner of gynaecology and menopause stuff and women for who pregnancy is not an easy ride.
I pass so many women going to and from and most don’t register more than a passing thought.
However, the other day, I was passing through E.D. and one girl caught my eye. Her partner was holding her hands and looking helpless, her eyes were red-rimmed, wet and swollen, her nose was running and she was trying hard not to cry; suddenly I was transported to this same place 22 years ago, when I was that girl.
Oh my Dear, it wouldn’t have helped if I had stopped and talked to you. The resentment towards the outside world, for whom life continues normally, when you are grief-stricken about your dead baby; nothing can take it away.
I promise you, the pain will lessen over time, but you will never forget the precious baby who is no more. Even now I can remember the dreams I had about and for, my baby girls, I was so ready for motherhood.
You will see pregnant women everywhere now, but you are no longer a member of that special group. The women you see pushing prams or the ones you see tiredly dealing with babies at the shopping centre, will only evoke a deep resentment. You won’t want to be who you are. You will feel so alone, but you are not. You are now a member of another club. It is not one that gets discussed much, but should you ever put out a feeler, you will find a family of women who KNOW. They will be the shoulders you need, they have borne your burden before you and have come out the other side.
I hate to say it, but your partner won’t understand you either. He knows what has happened and he will try to understand and he will sympathise, indeed, he will be grieving as you are…but not like you. Your baby was a physical presence within you, a little being he never experienced in that way. Be kind to him, he will do his best to be supportive of you.
Sometimes I let my mind wander over the events of my “annus horribilis” (1992- just like the Queen). It was a dark year, filled with pain and longing, memorials and melancholy, it was 22 years ago. Without that year being as it was, I would not have my 20 year old son or my 16 year old daughter (I never imagined I would be blessed this way).
It will get better, I promise.