COMMENT:

I sat down to write this week's column outraged.

With all that we are going through, we get slugged in the guts with the capital city seeing six minutes of sunshine across an entire week. I was livid but remembered this is a New Zealand winter, my first in 13-years. Grey skies, wet, depressing. But as I sat down ready to unleash my SAD-addled musings, another headline caught my attention.

I clicked for a nosey read of the intimate, yet public wishes Jools Oliver posted for her 20th wedding anniversary. I really like Jools Oliver. She is absolutely her own person and seems like she gets on and does the job in that British way.

Advertisement

Given the lovely Jools has borne five children you could be forgiven for thinking that she gets pregnant upon the mere sight of Jamie's discarded underpants.

It appears to be more complex than this, as she mentioned their five children and then their "5 little stars in the sky", and as soon as I read this I felt something.

A miscarriage is a big deal but it's not such a big deal that people should be scared or embarrassed to talk about it, or more importantly to listen about it. Like many of you, I lost a baby. On our second round of IVF my 7-week scan revealed a healthy little heart furiously beating.

After a long wait for blood test results to return over Christmas we impatiently revealed our news to friends joining us for New Year. It appeared our revelations were in vain because days later we discovered the baby had died four weeks earlier due to chromosomal abnormalities.

To this day I am grateful this little life had ceased before I got the results, so any heartbreaking decisions were taken out of our hands. It seems contrary that medicine can help get us get pregnant but still can't help us carry to term. With zeal we started prepping for another round and along the way, we toasted the little soul which wasn't to be.

Despite feeling like miscarriage is something you face alone, support is always available. Photo / 123rf
Despite feeling like miscarriage is something you face alone, support is always available. Photo / 123rf

I thought I handled it well, made peace with the universe and resolutely looked to the future of what would end up being our little family, but nearly five years later in Palm Springs, my first four nights alone since before I was pregnant and after a vibrational drum circle, I accepted I hadn't finished grieving. Eventually, the tears flowed for my lost baby even though I had a perfectly healthy preschooler sitting at home with Daddy, one who lights up my days and occasionally lights up my nights.

The thing about miscarriages is that despite feeling like it at the time, you are not alone.

The quest to become a parent and then being one, whilst inordinately lonely at times, is a team journey. More of us than you'd think face difficulties having children and with our children. We are all tired. And it's not limited to us mere mortals. Jools may have the financial horsepower for more treatment, but it doesn't make her immune to the struggle to conceive and carry a baby to full term.

Advertisement

The NZ Herald series, Misconceptions, reminds us miscarriage can happen to any of us.

In a time where every one of us is facing turmoil, pregnancies and births are shining lights. Conversely, when things go wrong you can feel more isolated. Just because we are in the grip of a pandemic it doesn't mean that your pain and frustration is diminished.

Take heart that you are not alone and that if you reach out just a little, support will come your way. We are in this parenting journey together. Good luck.

Need support?

  • If you think you may be having a miscarriage, contact your lead maternity carer - this may be a midwife or your GP. Alternatively, call Healthline free on 0800 611 116, or visit your local Urgent Medical Centre or hospital
  • Visit the Miscarriage Support website or join the Facebook group.
  • Visit the Sands website. Sands supports parents and families who have experienced the death of a baby.
  • Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.