I was unsure whether to write this post, but I think I needed to. These feelings have eaten away at me inside for a long time; barely acknowledged for fear of sounding like I don't appreciate what we have. Which of course, I absolutely do.
It's baby loss awareness week. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I haven't suffered it in the traditional way - that is, finding out I'm pregnant, and then miscarrying and having nothing but emptiness. My loss of babies has been somewhat different, but a loss I've felt deeply nonetheless.
Those of you who've been around for some time know that we had an IVF cycle in March-April 2014, which ended in failure. That embryo didn't stick around long enough to turn into a positive pregnancy test, but to me that embryo was a very real hope of a baby. It embodied our dreams and our wishes for the future; to lose it was devastating for me. It was right up there with the loss of my dad as one of the very worst times of my life.
The second time around at IVF, we transferred two embryos. Both of those stuck initially, but then we lost one at 6 weeks. That was such a confusing time emotionally - I was so indescribably relieved to be pregnant and to see a little jelly bean with a heartbeat at 7 weeks, but there was a tinge of sadness at the loss of the other. I had dreamed of what it would be like to be a twin mum, wondered whether we'd have two girls, two boys, or one of each.
With hindsight, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some relief that we just had the one baby - his arrival was so dramatic, his first few months so stressful, and his health problems will be lifelong. I can't imagine how we would have coped with two. But that doesn't mean I don't think about the one we lost; I do. All the time. Every day.
I wonder whether it was a boy or a girl. Would they have looked like Samson? Would they have been as full of character and spirit as he is? Would they have been healthy? These questions will never be answered - they'll also probably never be asked aloud. They're just ponderings in my mind.
Tomorrow night I'll be lighting a candle for our lost babies, for all the lost babies that parents never got to meet, and for the angel babies that were taken away too soon. You can join the wave of light by lighting a candle too, on 15th October at 7pm.