“I don’t know how I could have survived this year without Petals, their help has been invaluable, and I now feel like I can begin to pick up the pieces of my life again.”
Eight years is how long it took to hear those words from my partner that I had so desperately wanted to hear “I am ready to start a family”. Overjoyed, I stopped my contraception and by good grace my cycle got into perfect rhythm. Doing all the things you do when trying to conceive; tracking cycles, taking vitamins, stopping smoking, saving money. It all got me excited for what could lie ahead in our near future. It took us 5 months to conceive, falling pregnant late December 2020. I got a positive pregnancy test on the 4 January 2021. I always expected to be scared when finally seeing that positive test, but I wasn’t, I was calm, it felt right. I had no issues telling my absolute nearest and dearest friends and my boss straight away.
Cut to two weeks later, my partner and I already discussing baby names over lunch, a trip to the bathroom revealed I was bleeding. I had read everything there was on pregnancy, so I knew some bleeding was OK early on. But I just knew this was it. I knew this was the start of a miscarriage. Whilst I hoped with everything in me that it wasn’t, I knew in my gut this was the beginning of the end of my pregnancy. What left my body then was a guttural wail I never knew I had in me.
After a visit to the out of hours doctors, on my own due to COVID, it was confirmed quite quickly that my cervix was opening and I was indeed suffering a miscarriage. The next few days while the miscarriage took place were sheer hell and made me truly understand the meaning of the word ‘devastated’.
Three months on from my loss, unfortunately my decade long relationship also came to an end. The miscarriage was the straw that broke the camels back. Within the first three months of 2021 I had lost my baby, my relationship and my home and had to start over. To say I was lost was an understatement. I was experiencing a grief that I couldn’t explain. Luckily, I had some very supportive friends that did all they could around COVID restrictions, but I knew I needed more and remembered a friend talking about Petals during her baby loss. After some research I was really surprised I could be eligible for counselling with Petals, given my loss was only at 6 weeks pregnant, I almost felt like my pregnancy wasn’t legitimate enough to warrant it. I even felt guilty applying for the counselling, worrying that I was taking away from all those parents who have lost their little ones later in pregnancy or after birth.
I started talking to Sarah, my Petals counsellor, in May. I can safely say that she pulled me out of a very dark place and made me realise that my loss was just as valid as any other. I was mourning the loss of a future I had wanted for so long. Of course, we discussed my feelings surrounding my miscarriage, but she also talked me through my loss of my relationship, and other life issues that came in the process. I really felt like I had someone 100% in my corner, rooting for me to heal and feel better and encouraging me not to feel guilty about mourning my baby. Honestly, I don’t know how I could have survived this year without Petals, their help has been invaluable, and I now feel like I can begin to pick up the pieces of my life again.