In 2011, I found I was pregnant. I was elated – my husband and I had been together for 11 years, married for four, and now, after all that time as a couple, we were about to become ‘the three of us’.
Nothing can compare to the emotions you feel at first seeing those parallel blue lines appear on the pregnancy test – excitement, joy, fear. But one thing was certain: the second I knew I was pregnant, my whole world changed. Those two lines on a white stick were proof of my baby. In my mind, I was already a Mummy.
For almost eight weeks, I thought of nothing else: I attended my first midwife appointment, lovingly stroked my tummy when no-one was looking and my pace slowed significantly every time I happened to walk past Baby Gap.
Which is why, when that small drop of blood appeared when I was almost 12 weeks pregnant, the floor fell away from under me.
Sitting in the small waiting room in the Early Pregnancy Unit, just three days before I was supposed to have been visiting the ultrasound department a few doors along the same corridor, I started to console myself.
It was just one small drop of blood.
My baby was fine.
I wasn’t having a miscarriage.
As it was all merely a precaution, I actually became excited when we were called in to be seen: I was going to see my baby on the ultrasound screen – and three days earlier than planned!
We waited as the midwife spread the gel on my stomach.
And then we saw our baby.
I had always thought miscarriage would be immediate. I thought it would be a rush of blood, and pain, and a scream of loss.
I thought it would be loud. But it was not.
I lost my baby in a whisper.
Our baby had died and I never even knew. A silent miscarriage.
In my mind, I had already held my baby close, heard their cry, their laughter – but that potential of a life was taken away in the quiet room in the Early Pregnancy Unit, before being removed completely under the cold, clinical lights of the operating theatre two days later.
I don’t have much time to think about my first baby these days; my life has become engrossed by my two very real, very loud, very demanding little ones, who are my whole world.
But tonight, the final night of Baby Loss Awareness Week, my first baby, I did think of you.
And what I thought was this: that for those almost 12 weeks, you were so very, very real to me.
And you were loved.