12 January 2018

The lonely mums club...

In October 2015 I joined the loneliest club of all.. or so I thought at the time. My baby was stillborn, there’s no play group or singing group you can go to when this happens to you. Left with an empty saggy belly, sore boobs (amongst other things) and no baby it was hard to know which way to turn.

Betty’s death was unexplained. In a nutshell after a straightforward pregnancy she died, 6 hours after a growth scan (at which she was very much alive and well) whilst we were waiting to be checked into the hospital for induction. To explain how this feels is still almost impossible. Looking back now it still seems like a dream, but it happened and it has been the biggest, most life altering event of my life to date. It’s showed me I have a strength I never knew existed, it’s shown me how precious life really is and ultimately it’s shown me how much of a taboo subject child loss really is. 

Before me, I knew one person this had happened too - I had, like most of us read stories and magazine articles about it but I just never thought it would happen to me. When you are tossed into a club you never  asked to be in, given leaflets you don’t want to read, asked to pick songs for the funeral of your child that you never got to know, asked what colour coffin you would like when you should be sat, snuggled, tired and exhausted but in love staring at your squishy newborn. People ignore you, or talk to you but gloss over the whole thing, or talk to you and then end up saying the wrong thing. You feel alienated. You feel even more alone and all you want is your baby, the one that died, not a new one that everyone tells you you can go on to have. 

All you want to do is talk about them, look at their picture, show people pictures to prove they existed. Someone said to me they didn’t agree with seeing pictures of a dead baby, for a time, before it happened to me, I think I would of agreed with them, but after, when the only picture you have is this why shouldn’t you show it off? After all she looked perfect, just asleep. There is no other option when you don’t have the luxury of a picture of your child wide eyed, staring at the camera. I will never even know what colour her eyes were. Just think about that for a moment. 

So, you are now ‘in the club’, you are stuck in limbo, you want to talk, but at the same time you dread someone asking you, or it coming up in conversation for fear they will retreat away from you or shock horror you might.. cry. I learn to deal with difficult questions, mainly from my son who was 5 when his sister died and eventually I find my Mecca in Instagram of all places! For so long I had the icon on my phone, I had posted a few pictures but never really got it! I tended to frequent Facebook - and after we lost Betty I would spend night after night trawling the internet to read someone else’s story, see that I wasn’t the only one. Statistics showed me I wasn’t, but where were all these people? I started a blog because I was so worried there would be other women like me that felt so alone, so confused, trying to navigate their way through the loss, the grief and for some, me included, pregnancy after loss. (PAL)

5 days before Betty’s 1st Birthday her brother Vinnie was born, he has helped to heal our broken hearts. Whilst sharing him and our journey I started to find a tribe of mamas who had lost babies too, who had had rainbow babies or who were just starting their life after loss. Just to see on a daily basis, posts and pictures from other inspiring women who have got through and are living life after the unimaginable helps the journey go a little more smoothly. 

So after a week when social media addiction has been a hot topic of conversation, I am so happy to have these little squares in my life and more importantly all the inspiring women behind them.  There’s so much to be said for your reality and ‘real people’ who you physically see/touch/speak to everyday but this club of ‘virtual’ mummies is a force to be reckoned with and even tho two years on I do have times when I still feel lonely, I am empowered and encouraged knowing there are women out there like me. I wish I didn’t have to know them under these circumstances but I am so happy I found them. I am grateful for this addiction, it has taken me out of the lonely mum’s club and landed me in a completely new one. 


1 comment

  1. What a wonderful post, I won’t ever know what you have gone through but thank you for giving us a little insight. Lovely words. Lots of love to you xxxx


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