First of all, you’re a strong and brave woman (she says, as tears roll down her cheeks). Your body hasn’t failed you, you haven’t failed you and you haven’t failed anybody else. Your body has successfully made life, (technically it made a whirlwind! But we are certainly more than happy with our little whirlwind!). It grew and was home to that tiny human – 10 fingers and 10 toes – Eli was 8 pounds of sheer perfection.
Your body CAN do it. Please don’t blame your body.
It was just that this time round, Science cruelly said that something wasn’t right. Your body, in this instance, did the right thing.
We all know that if the ingredients aren’t measured out right, a cake won’t come out right. The science of conception is just the same – obviously a lot more complicated – but this works for my metaphor, at least. Bear with me! In fact, only 20% of couples actually manage to conceive in a monthly cycle. It’s just that complicated. Science said something was wrong – science said we had to let the baby go. I know it’s not something that I DID wrong. I know all of this, so why does it still hurt so much?
Your body went through hell and back when you miscarried. The physical ailments may be healed, but your head and your heart will take so much longer. And you need to know, that’s ok.
Some day’s you’re completely fine, enjoying life as a Mama-to-one. Then sometimes it smacks you in the face like a brick. It especially hurts when your beloved whirlwind settles down beside you, patting your tummy and so sweetly says “but Mummy, when can I have a baby brother or sister?”.
Mama, you’re ok to cry. Even though its almost a year on. You’re allowed to still grieve, to take time out, to not want to speak. But don’t bottle it all up, because that won’t help anyone, will it? You’re a ticking time-bomb if you don’t communicate at all. So take your time. Go at your pace, not under any pressure to go at any nobody else’s. Speak when you want to speak. Cry when you want to cry. Shout when you want to shout. Just make sure you do it all, and then-some.
Also Mama, you’re going to be sensitive. You’ll notice the pregnancy and birth announcements more….and also notice when pregnant women moan about how difficult being pregnant in the heat is. You’ll feel bitterly resentful that they’re complaining – “shouldn’t they be feeling lucky that they’re pregnant at all?!”. But remember how you were at full-term with Eli in the soaring temperatures of August 2012? You know firsthand just how much torture that is. Try not to hold grudges. Try not to sweat the small stuff. Try to keep calm – stressing yourself about other people and their complaints isn’t going to help. You’ll feel jealous when you see your friends, or even complete strangers, pushing their baby in the pram around the park, shopping in Waitrose or coo-ing over them on the train. That’s ok and that’s normal too. You STILL want that. So try to keep the jealously at bay – turn it into something positive. Take the opportunity to rest. Maybe even have more ‘me-time’?
Yes, it’s really scary, yes you’re full of worry and anxiety… but one day, you WILL be ready and able to try again. Another pregnancy will not replace the one that you lost. The baby that never was will always remain in your heart as your favourite ‘…what if?’. Never, ever forgotten.
Most importantly keep talking Mama.
You’ll get there eventually.
Peace & love
Being a mama can be all kinds of wonderful and all kinds of intense. Whatever journey you are on, you hardly ever get time to reflect on how far you’ve come. hi mama asks you to do that, to return to a time when you were at your best, or at your worst, and write to the mama at that stage with all the wisdom, experience and knowledge of your present self.
Writing a letter about your experience has double benefits; it can be really cathartic and allow you to reflect, and will also offer support to other mamas. We spent hours online searching for reassurance from the words of other mamas – still do – and we hope to create a library of letters that will offer words of wisdom for any situation. Inspired by the social community, by how mamas reach out to each other with positivity, grace and inclusivity, we want hi mama to become a source of strength and solidarity for all.
the mamas behind hi mama…
Shared experiences got us through the first years of being a mama. We are secondary school friends, Sophie Taylor and Shelley Lawrence and are hoping to extend the network we have relied on so much to fellow mamas far and wide. We have been sending letters to each other throughout our friendship, from notes about boys in school, to bridging the oceans when Shelley lived in Australia. Letters have a poignancy and an intimacy, they can be funny and light-hearted and offer up your barest and most honest self. We appreciate our youthful (and often cringeworthy) notes now more than ever.
I have a little boy, Felix, who is two years old, a funny old pug called Tam and a husband called Stuart. Family is hugely important to me and I am really lucky to live close to my parents and to Stu’s Mum. I started working life as a runner for a television production company in Brighton, and now work in communications, first for a charity, then for the ambulance service and soon to be for a police force.
I am mama to two fiercely ‘spirited’ girls; my mum calls it payback! I have worked in events and marketing for 14 years whilst studying to become CIM certified. My husband James and I lived and worked in Australia before returning to Cambridgeshire to have our eldest daughter. I quickly realised that going back to the 9am-5pm (ha ha… 7pm-8pm) full-time, corporate world just wasn’t going to work for me as a mama. So, I decided to set-up as a freelancer, launching my own website offering marketing support on a flexible basis back in 2010. I’ve taken on many exciting projects over the years, leading to my current role as Marketing Manager for Splash Event Solutions.
We are secondary school friends, Shelley Lawrence and Sophie Taylor and we want hi mama to be a site of sisterhood for mamas far and wide, based on sharing strength and solidarity, through letters written by mamas to themselves.