Sunday, 23 November 2014

Life is precious - even though it sometimes seems unfair!

This morning I went to the funeral of a 7 week old baby girl. It was a beautiful service, where even the celebrant shed a tear and choked on her words. The coffin so very tiny. Life just should not end so soon.

The parents were in the same antenatal group as me when we each had our first baby, and the dad I have known since I was a baby myself. Baby A was born a month early, by emergency c section, as they realised that she had stopped growing. A few days after her birth she was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome, a life limiting trisomy disorder.

I can only imagine how hard this was for her family. Juggling visits to NICU with caring for a toddler, working, and dealing with everyday life would have been hard enough, but to live with the knowledge that your time with your precious little one is limited could be so debilitating. They were amazing though. Just watching how they carried on; balancing the realism of the disorder with optimism for their beautiful baby, and relishing all the moments they had with Baby A as a precious gift was inspiring. No doubt they are now weary with grief, but they really showed just how strong the human spirit can be. Their little one achieved so much more than was expected of her in her short life - no doubt she inherited some of this strength too.

It is incredible too, that such a wee tiny baby, that lived for such a short time could have such an impact on so many lives. They shared her journey, and some of her ups and downs on Facebook. So many people were cheering her on. So many people, including many of us that never got to meet her, are so incredibly sad she has gone. She has reminded us all that we are lucky to be here, that our children are all little miracles, that we should slow down and enjoy the time that we have.



Of course I can't possibly watch another mother lose her child and not think about my own babies that I have lost. Watching my friends go through this experience brought up many thoughts and emotions. In some ways I was grateful that I lost mine early, so that I didn't have that juggle between caring for BB and being in NICU. As a single parent that would be incredibly hard, and I would feel so guilty about the impact on BB. At the same time I am also somewhat envious that they got to meet their little girl and get to know her.  The things about miscarriage that are so incredibly hard are grieving for someone you have never met, saying goodbye to someone you never got to say hello to, and dealing with it alone as it is taboo to share your loss, or even to mourn. But I think perhaps the longer your pregnancy the harder it can be, because you are more convinced that all is well. You relax a bit after the first trimester and start to think its safe so the shock is greater. And to spend that 7 weeks knowing that this day might be the last... that would be so incredibly hard.

I spent some time a couple of weeks ago with a friend who also recently miscarried, and for a moment we debated which situation would be harder. We concluded that it's all hard.

The loss of a child is horrendous, no matter when or how.

But the gift of the ones we have is tremendous. Thank you Baby A, for reminding us of that.