Grief and loss go hand-in-hand in neonatal intensive care. Without warning, pregnancies come to an abrupt end and parents of premature babies often describe similar feelings of loss. When my own first pregnancy came to a sudden end at 30 weeks I found myself grieving for the final trimester that I never had.
1. Lost - No time to decorate the nursery
2. I hadn't even thought about packing a hospital bag
3. I didn't get to finish at work, say goodbye to colleagues or begin my maternity leave properly
4. Nursery furniture, moses baskets and bedding were all bought online; no time to plan, shop or 'nest'.
5. No antenatal classes, no NCT, no mummy friends or support.
6. I missed getting big
7. Stretch marks that are missing in places where they should have been
8. Lost - weeks and months of watching my belly grow, feeling my baby move inside
9. Maternity clothes, bought but never worn
10. Preparing for the new arrival, no shopping or meals in the freezer
11. Lost - my final trimester
12. No chance to make a birthing plan
13. Lost - my baby whisked away after birth
14. Missed - a chance to hold him close
15. I went home empty armed
16. I was lost and empty
17. I grieved for the baby that was no longer with me
18. No congratulations on your new arrival cards
19. No new born, first cuddles photos to share
20. Lost - a chance to be a mummy from day one
The lost trimester list was first published on The Smallest Things site, campaigning for premature babies and beyond.