At 7pm throughout the world today (and across various timezones), people were lighting candles in remembrance of babies lost, for today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
And today, I lit my Yankee Candles as I usually do each night, but sat and spent some time thinking about the twins that I very sadly lost in 1997.
I knew I was pregnant, it/they were wanted….I just didn’t know it was twins until it was too late.
I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, even shitty things maybe sometimes (although we are 17 years later, so I do recognise its easier for me to say that now), life would be very very different for me with a pair of teenagers right now.
Would I have perhaps tried to ignore my own sexuality and stay in a straight relationship and been ultimately quite unhappy living a lie (even though he was a wonderful man). Who knows how life would have turned out?
From the moment we talked about having children, to the devastating moment I found out that there were no heartbeats, I had already managed to plan an entire life for myself, for us with that baby.
I had lived and breathed it. Every waking moment spent thinking about this baby inside of me, and although there was only a small bump, that did not mirror the amount of love I felt.
I remember vividly the moment of being told that there were no heartbeats. A conflicting mixture of shock at the news of twins, tinged with the achiest kind heartbreak.
I asked, no I begged for a second opinion, I couldn’t believe them, I wouldn’t. I wonder how many women do that? The hospital were good enough to transfer me to another hospital for a second opinion and the entire journey in that ambulance I sent praying they were wrong. Proper praying. The kind where your knuckles hurt form pushing your hand together so hard, and your teeth hurt from gritting them. I remember promising to do good things in between sobbing in return for the babies having strong beating hearts.
But they were right.
I cried myself to sleep in my hospital room that night. Spent on a ward with other women, still pregnant but with prominent bumps no doubt desperate for sleep themselves, and I will never forget the nurse coming in in the night to shhh me with what I hoped would be comforting words, but what she actually said stung even more – talk of ‘Its gods way, you’re too young, just a child, it’s probably meant to be’. It offered none of the comfort a 17 year old miscarrying wanted to hear.
Nothing at that time was meant to be. I was meant to be pregnant. I was meant to be thinking about buying things, decorating, living my dream.
The next day my D&C was scheduled. It was Valentines day and honestly, it has never ever been the same since, because to me that is the day I lost my babies. That’s the day my future seemed bleaker and darker for a while. Most Valentines day there have been tears shed at some point.
The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in the United States on October 25, 1988, when then-American President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
The October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) Campaign began in 2002 as an American movement started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak. Together, they petitioned the federal government, as well as the governors of each of the 50 states – and across the world people join together on social media to share their grief and thoughts of their own and others losses.
I’ve never talked publicly about my loss, because it was always very private and of course there is a bigger explanation than just ‘I was pregnant’, you tend to find people want to know more about my ‘straight days’, but I wanted to recognise my twins, they are a really important part of my life, of my history.
I am not looking for sympathy, I am writing it down because it is a difficult and painful subject and I find it therapeutic in some ways write about difficult and painful things and hope that it will indeed help someone else open up and talk about their loss and help somehow with their grief.
So, here is my virtual candle for my babies, RIP – February 14 1997.Lost so long ago, but never ever forgotten.
And for all the other SkyBabies and their parents too – you have ALL been in my thoughts.