13/06/2016 07:09 BST | Updated 11/06/2017 06:12 BST

Premature Birth and the Lost Trimester

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.