Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

This week has been Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Week and it ends tonight with an international wave of light with candles being lit at 7pm all over the world creating a continuous wave of light.

On 29th May 2013 my world was turned upside down when I was told that my 21 week pregnancy had ended, that my baby had no heartbeat and had died inside me a few days before. I was brought back into hospital a few days later to deliver her, sleeping, never to grow into the newborn baby, the toddler, the teenager, the adult she should have been.

Nothing can prepare you for hearing that your eagerly awaited baby has no heartbeat, but no one even tried. 1in4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage (yes, 1 in every 4 positive pregnancy tests don’t take a baby home from hospital) yet it was never delicately broached by my midwife, not even mentioned as a possibility. Of course everyone knows that not all pregnancies end well, but it’s very much surrounded by the ‘it’s so rare it’ll never happen to me’ phenomenon.
Infact the figures tell a different story. There is a quite large chance that it may happen to you, or atleast someone you are close to.
The majority of that 1in4 statistic will lose their baby early on, before their first scan. People are aware of this and stick to not announcing their pregnancy until they’re 12weeks gone. It has become an unwritten rule, but why? So you don’t have to tell people your baby didn’t make it? Because it’s so taboo to talk about baby loss. How many of your friends have lost a baby and you don’t even know?

Until I lost my daughter I wasn’t aware, not even remotely, of how many people had lost babies, but it’s not like they are quiet, it’s all over Twitter-it just never popped up on my account where I only followed celebs and TV channels. There are groups all over Facebook-but I’d never seen them because I only liked for sale groups or fan clubs.
There are individuals and charities all shouting about baby loss, the effects and how to minimise the risk, but first time, innocent, expectant mums are totally oblivious to this. Their contact with professionals extends to their midwife and if they don’t mention it then it’s very unlikely they’ll search for it, read about it, take it in.

If you haven’t had a baby yet or have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and are oblivious to this darker side of pregnancy, please open your eyes.
Do a quick search on Twitter #BabyLoss, and see how many tweets there are with this one tag. You’ll be amazed that you’ve not realised just how many people are shouting about this topic.
Please do some research.
If you are pregnant please please pay attention to your babies movement. Your midwives advice of if they’ve moved 10 times in a day then they’re fine is absolute rubbish. I wanted to scream at my midwife when she told me this in my second pregnancy because by then I HAD done my research. You should learn YOUR baby’s movements and if they change even slightly get it checked – they’d rather you get checked every week for nothing than they have to deliver your sleeping baby because you ignored the signs.

Baby loss isn’t something that just happens to someone else, it happened to me, and it’s happening to thousands of people every day. Break the taboo and speak about it, raise awareness and go into pregnancy with your eyes open, do everything you can to minimise the risk and then take any change seriously, even if you just feel uneasy, it could be your maternal instinct telling you something is wrong. I listened to mine but I was too late.

I am the 1in4.

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  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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