‘When you lose a child you lose your future’

A repost from last year:

Interesting article about miscarriage in the Irish Independent newspaper. Fiona McPhilips, who has experienced miscarriage and is the author of Trying To Conceive: The Irish Couple’s Guide has this to say:

“No couple expects to be in for the long haul when they start trying for a baby. It is supposed to be a time of great hope and anticipation, when you plan excitedly for your new lives together. It is true that having a baby changes your life, but not having one changes it so much more.”

“I had known how common miscarriage was (approximately one in four pregnancies), but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions it would bring. I felt angry, cheated, desolate and so, so sad. Everyone said I could try again, but I wanted that baby, the one that would be born on that due date.

When you lose a child, you lose your future. It doesn’t matter how long your baby has been with you, you feel the gap that their death has left behind. From the moment you know about your baby, you plan their future — your future, together. You work out the due date, pick names, imagine who they will look like. When these hopes and dreams are taken away, it often seems like you are expected to forget you ever had them. I couldn’t forget for one second and I knew that, for me, the only cure for miscarriage was another pregnancy.”

Fiona started a blog originally calling it The Two-Week Wait. “The two-week wait is the time between ovulation and when you can test for pregnancy — that’s how long I expected to be writing the blog for. Well, two weeks came and went, and another, and another and, before I knew it, I had unwittingly documented the slow descent into infertility.” 

I identify with the way in which Fiona dealt with her (dis)stress by writing as it is working for me too. Like Fiona, I wrote on internet message boards after the miscarriage and am writing this blog, and again like Fiona ” I met some wonderful women who listened to my rants and kept me sane..the greatest piece of advice I can give to those battling infertility or recurrent miscarriage is to talk to others in the same boat. ”

“I didn’t know anyone who was infertile, so I could only guess at how hard it might be.  I didn’t have a clue. My guess only extended to the long-term pain a couple might feel about not having a child in their lives. Thanks to television, many people assume that there is a once-off diagnosis that a couple has to deal with, and that they are then free to return to their lives and reshape their future without their much-wanted child. If only it was that easy.”

Much heartache followed Fiona’s miscarriage ” an IUI (intrauterine insemination) yielded success but the baby died at three months gestation. Further IUIs were fruitless, so we moved on to IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Two IVFs and two further miscarriages later, we were running out of options physically, emotionally and financially. We were lucky enough to conceive naturally twice more, but lost both babies. ” Finally, Fiona conceived a daughter and carried her to term and is overjoyed at this happy ending.

Fiona speaks eloquently of “the cumulative effect of month after month, and year after year, of hope and disappointment….after a while, everything hurts — other people’s bumps and babies, anniversaries of failed cycles and lost babies, and every new birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day you face with empty arms.”, something I understand and feel only too well.

“There is a huge lack of understanding of infertility in the outside world. It is just not viewed as one of the very bad things in life. A common reaction is, “Why can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got? Focus on all the good things in your life”. When you can’t have a baby, nothing else matters. It is not possible to forget about it, channel your energy elsewhere, take up a hobby. The desire for a child goes beyond the desire for the joy that a child brings — it is a primal, uncontainable urge that overpowers all reason. ”

I will leave the final word to Fiona, words of hope for all you brave women reading this who are experiencing the pain of pregnancy loss and infertility:

“My doctor once said to me, “Brave women are generally rewarded”. There are no guarantees, but it can and does happen — even against the greatest of odds.”


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane G
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 09:40:08

    Hi Diary of a miracle, I only spotted your comment on my blog this morning. It seems like we do have a lot in common. Please feel free to email me at lackingexpectations@gmail.com. Since we are both in the mid West it might be nice to meet for a coffee sometime. I’m a lady of leisure at the moment, so have car, will travel! I hope you’re doing ok. I’m very sorry to hear about your recent loss. It has been almost two years since our last loss, but the memories are still there. The pain isn’t as raw now, but I think it is something that will stay with me forever. I’m trying to stay focused on the positive these days though, and count my blessings. Anyway hope to hear from you sometime soon. Hang in there, Jane x


  2. georgina62
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 10:49:16

    I could really identify with this piece – thanks for posting and keep on writing the blog – you are doing great 🙂


  3. mkwewer
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 15:23:34

    Great post, thank you for sharing it….


  4. iamstacey
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:11:32

    It is true that having a baby changes your life, but not having one changes it so much more.” Wow, that quote really hit home. Great post!


    • JBBC
      Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:33:07

      I can’t take credit for it exactly, as the words are someone else’s but glad I could share it because it spoke very much of how I am feeling too.


  5. Luann
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 09:06:35

    Good Morning Marie my dear blog sister! Although I don’t know what you are going through from a personal experience your writing really is educational for me as I connect deep within your soul for the longing of a baby. I will not give up praying for you and trust that in time you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. I still believe that with God Nothing Is Impossible. Blessings today Marie!


  6. Freya
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 11:47:19

    This post put tears in my eyes as a babyloss infertile woman.Thank you for sharing this with us.
    I was with my friend last night and the half of the conversation was how great time she spends with her 2 years old son and 8 months old daughter. The whole evening was a torture for me.I am forced to think about if I had not lost my son 10 months ago at 35 weeks gestation, I would be having also great time with him right now..This is called I suppose ” when you lose a child, you lose your future, all your dreams and plans.I hope we will have peace in our hearts and minds soon…Many hugs…


  7. Patricia
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 11:43:43

    Oh Freya, my heart goes out to you reading your comment and indeed to all of those grieving the loss of their precious babies, no matter at what stage of gestation


  8. Lorna
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 20:29:09

    I couldn’t think of her name, how silly of me. Sorry but I have been so busy in the last few days I haven’t had time to read blog posts. I love that last line too – really inspiring. Sort of gives one courage to carry on.


  9. Lorna
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 20:30:55

    My sympathy to you Freya, that is a very tough one when you are with someone whose child is the same age as yours would have been – I have to admit that I deliberately avoided meeting up with some friends for quite a while for that reason.


  10. Cassie
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 04:55:04

    Thanks for sharing ! I came across this article in my search.. I know …


  11. Adufe
    Dec 01, 2016 @ 09:58:26

    Thanks a million for sharing your experience with me. What stood out for me was the line “Why can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got? Focus on all the good things in your life”. It sent cold chills through me as it’s very cold and lacks the understanding others should try to have. (((((HUGS))))))


    • Editor
      Dec 01, 2016 @ 12:06:28

      It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here but I appreciate the opportunity to reflect back on what I’ve written and am grateful for you taking the time to read and comment x


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