Are you pregnant?
What I say: No, not yet
What I'd really like to say: None of your business
When are you going to have children?
What I say: When the timing is right
What I'd really like to say: Well we've had 4 miscarriages in a row over the last three years, your guess is as good as mine!
Why don't you have children yet, you'd be such great parents!
What I say: Thank you, maybe one day, we'll see
What I'd really like to say: I'm not sure if you know, but the concept of being great parents alone does not actually determine your ability to procreate.
Surprise! If you've read my previous blog's you'll know that I'm a big advocate of talking more about miscarriage, but I'm not so sure we'll ever get to a point where it's socially appropriate to respond to these questions with "We have been trying, we've had four miscarriages, one was ectopic actually and it was pretty horrendous and life threatening. Please, tell me your detailed thoughts on what we might be doing wrong?"
Mixed into all that, holiday milestones like the upcoming Christmas season are a time where we are reminded of the difficult journey we've faced and continue to go through. We've been trying to have children for almost three years:
· It was during our Christmas holiday in 2014 that we made the decision to go off the pill and start trying.
· It was in Christmas of 2015 that we mourned the loss of our first miscarriage and,
· Christmas 2016, while on an AMAZING once in a lifetime honeymoon, was also the conceiving and then eventual loss of another baby
So, what we are reminded of each year at Christmas is that had we not lost our babies, we would be celebrating a first or second Christmas with our first born. We don't have a tree set up or decorations and I guess this is in part because there doesn't feel like there is a need to. I guess it also feels like there is something missing in the things we want for our life (i.e. a family with children).
Everyone experiences this differently, but for us it's focusing on quality time with each other, taking care of each other and giving the time and space needed to grieve. It’s also celebrating and recognising what we've gone through as a couple. It also sometimes means spending Christmas day by ourselves, which is incredibly difficult to explain to the well-meaning family and friends but something that we have to do. Selfish or not, it's vitally important to
our individual well-being and that of our relationship that we take the time by ourselves to grieve the loss we’ve experienced, cherish the things we have and plan for the things we don't.
For those going through the same or similar experiences this Christmas, I encourage you to take one day (or even one hour if that's all you can spare) to spend time with your partner or just you if that's what you need. To talk, think or write about your journey so far and recognise your strength in navigating through the very difficult times, times you might still be going through. And, while I know every situation is different, if I can encourage anything this Christmas, it is to put you first. If you can't handle one more family gathering, then don't go. If you need to be by yourself or with your partner during this time, then do it.
If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637
I'm Maureen and i'm the blogger behind Miscarriage Diaries. I wear many hats; France enthusiast, helpless romantic, wife, sister, daughter and friend. I'm afeminist, strong and true believer of equality, supporter for women and girls both personally and professionally, a manager, colleague and wannabe entrepreneur.
Lastly, I wear the hat of a woman who has experienced heartache due to miscarriage(s). They do not define me solely but are a part of my journey.
My focus is to talk honestly about my experiences with fertility and miscarriage in the hope that we as a community talk more about this all too common and painful yet mostly hidden issue.