I can't tell you when life begins but I can tell you when love begins. It begins the moment you know a baby is there, within you, harboured as a secret that feels like a smile and looks like a lifetime of possibility stretched out in front of you. Love begins the moment you start preparing a place in your heart for a child. A child that, sometimes, never comes. I have the privilege and honour of being mummy to three beautiful, magical, hilarious, infuriating children; five year old twins and a two and a half year old.
I can't tell you how I overcame the loss of four first trimester babies, but I can tell you that grief feels a lot like fear. Fear of what may never be, fear of what may happen time and time again.
When you lose a baby, you're not just losing a baby, you're losing the person it would have been. You become part of a heartbreaking untold story of first steps and Christmas days and morning cuddles that will never exist with that little human. A story not many people want to hear about. A story people will tell you is "common" as though that is some consolation for the fact that the person your baby would have become is gone, and part of you, is now elsewhere, for eternity.
I will always wonder who they would have been, the babies I never met. But all I can do now is feel grateful that those babies, those little lives that weren't meant to be, paved the pathway for the ones that were, and were part of choosing the family I was destined to have. They're part of all of us now, I have to believe that. I can't tell you when life begins, but I can tell you that if love could have saved them, they would have lived forever.
You're not broken, but you're never the same again. You have lost something you are longing for so desperately. You're not broken but your not quite complete until you hold your baby in your arms.
After multiple miscarriages and a heartbreaking infertility journey, I knew in my heart that I wouldn't feel complete until I held my baby in my arms. I wasn't broken, but I wasn't complete either. When I held Henry for the first time six weeks ago, I knew in that very moment why I had so much heartbreak, and why I had kept going for so long. In that instant it all made sense.
My 3rd miscarriage was by far the hardest and most painful physically and emotionally. The first time it happened I remember being more in shock rather than sad, I was hopeful and I was sure that it was just a "one off" unfortunate situation and that in the future I would be ok, my husband and I hadn't even decided whether we were ready for children and were not "trying", however we would have embraced the gift with open arms. The second time I had alarm bells and the worry came hard and fast, "what if I could never have a baby?" After the first time I realised how much I wanted to be a mum, the reality was so close yet now it seemed that it might not even be a possibility, I was scared.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that compares to the indescribable love a mother has for her child, I was always going to become a mum, whether I needed IVF, to adopt or whatever measure it took I knew I was going to be a mum, that was thanks to the hope I held onto. Our healthy children really are miracles, it often isn't as easy as people perceive it to be, it takes a whole lot of things to align perfectly to be blessed with a baby and to become a parent. I am eternally grateful to have my darling daughter, even if I never have another, my heart is full, she filled all the parts that were missing and even when you think it can't your heart just grows.