One evening last week I received a much anticipated text message. It was the message to say that my friend Lorraine had given birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl. I cried a few happy tears as I know just what this day had meant to her. Her journey to motherhood had not been an easy one but it is one that we had shared together. You see, Lorraine and I have never actually met, not in person. But she is my silver lining, a lovely, caring and supportive person and was the best thing to come out of an awful time in my life.
On the 13th November 2012 I had a miscarriage. An unplanned but truly and utterly wanted baby was leaving my world as quickly and dramatically as it had entered it. The night before it happened, Stephen and I lay in bed, working our way through the alphabet coming up with baby names for each letter, some more ridiculous than others. We did this until the early hours of the morning at which point we eventually fell asleep, dreaming of our future family. The three of us.
The next day I awoke early with period-like cramps. I knew that cramping in early pregnancy was pretty normal so I didn’t think much of it at first. Unfortunately the pains grew stronger and stronger and after a trip to the bathroom I discovered that I was bleeding rather heavily. I knew straight away it was all over for me.
Now that I have experience of both, I can honestly say that having a miscarriage was more painful than natural child birth, for me anyway. I’m not sure if it’s because I learnt to manage pain in my second pregnancy or I was more relaxed during Jasmine’s birth but my miscarriage was agonising. I remember hitting the bathroom sink with clenched fists in order to distract myself from the pain of my uterus. It was contracting rapidly to expel a baby which, at that point, would’ve easily fit in to the palm of my hand. I sobbed because of the physical pain and I sobbed because of the emotional torture I was being put through. How cruel that I’d received one of life’s greatest gifts only for it to be snatched away from me just weeks later. What exactly did I do that was so bad that I deserved this?
I was truly the saddest I had ever been in my life.
I told a couple of close friends about what had happened and whilst they were sympathetic, they couldn’t really comprehend what I had been through. I don’t think anyone can truly understand unless they’ve experienced a loss themselves. I turned to the internet for help and it was on a miscarriage support forum that I found Lorraine. She had, just a couple of days before me, lost her first baby too. We understood each other’s anger, frustration and disappointment. After all, we were both feeling those emotions first-hand.
We continued to bond as we sent messages of support to each other and we stuck together through the emotional roller coaster that is trying to conceive. I shared Lorraine’s grief when she subsequently went on to lose yet another baby. It was then that I realised that these things have no rhyme or reason. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people. And as hard as it is to accept, they just happen.
Nine months (to the day) after my miscarriage I found out I was expecting again and whilst I was obviously overjoyed, I was extremely cautious not to get my hopes up. Once bitten, twice shy. A few months later Lorraine found out she was pregnant again too and we were able to bond further over swollen ankles and backaches!
Twenty months on and we finally both have our rainbow babies in our arms. This is the moment we told each other would happen one day. So, Lorraine, for every ‘we can do this’, ‘it will happen’ and ‘you are stronger than you think’ message we exchanged, I want to say a million ‘thank yous’. Thank you for being there, thank you for your kind words and thank you for being so pleased for me when you still had a way to go yourself. Most of all, I want to thank you for being a true friend. You are my silver lining in what was a very dark and difficult time for me. For us both.
But look at us now, mummies to the most gorgeous little rainbow babies in the whole wide world and I wouldn’t change a thing.