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17 years old

Reflections on unplanned pregnancy and its potential change to rest of life, and then miscarriage.

Not a day goes by when I do not think of Jaimie and the way things could have been but I am thankful to Jaimie for coming into my life and making me a better person.

JM was seventeen when she miscarried her baby at 8 weeks gestation. She hopes her reflections on her loss will bring comfort to others, whatever their age.

In life

In life, everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is obvious, sometimes we will be sure to find out in the future and sometimes we will never know. Whatever happens we must know we are never alone and I write this reflection of my personal experience in the hope that I provide comfort for women who are in similar situations, especially teenagers.

Having never had a serious boyfriend and not being in a relationship, I was in complete shock to find out I was pregnant. Seventeen years old and still in school, coincidentally receiving an offer for university that same week, my life had taken a complete u-turn in a few short days. I admit that abortion had crossed my mind but my moral beliefs would not allow it. I knew that with the support and love of close friends and family, this baby could have a wonderful life. Having a baby would change my life but would certainly not ruin it.

In my mind I began preparing for motherhood as a single parent. My family and friends were fantastic and it was this situation that made me realise just how much I was loved! However, 8 weeks into the pregnancy I noticed light bleeding. Looking back, I realise that in my heart, I knew I had lost the baby but did not wish to believe it. My hopes clung onto the fact that my own mum had told me how she experienced light bleeding for the first three months during her pregnancy with me. To my distress the bleeding got heavier and I was taken in for a scan the next morning.

As I lay on the bed for my ultrasound, I knew that this was the moment of truth. As my heart cried silently, my hopes remained strong. I prayed that my baby had received strength from somewhere to cling onto its life. Time was still, this was the longest moment of my life. I wished so much, more than words could express, to see my baby growing and forming inside of me. To hear the nurses reassure me everything was perfectly normal and to even feel a little foolish for making a fuss over nothing. Unfortunately, this was not the case and I was informed I had had a complete miscarriage. For the second time in a few short weeks my life had performed a complete u-turn.

Whilst I blamed myself and vigorously tried to work out what I had done wrong, my parents had a sense of relief about them. I know that they were relieved because they wanted me to have a normal teenage life and not be tied down with the responsibility of a child, but I wish that they would understand that just as they wanted the best for me, I wanted the best for my child.

Over the next few weeks my emotions were mainly of confusion. Often, I believe an unplanned pregnancy which results in pregnancy loss is harder to deal with as you have an emotional period to go through into accepting the pregnancy only to have that taken away again. My grief for my child was agonising but I chose to keep it mainly to myself.

I wanted to honour my child’s individuality and so I called him or her ‘Jaimie’. This made the grieving process easier as I was not grieving the loss of ‘it’. My only consolation was that, despite circumstances, I had given this child the chance of life when I could so easily have taken a trip to an abortion clinic.

As I write this account I admit that I have not got over my loss, but I have learnt to live with it. I have come to the conclusion that there is a reason to life and that is to learn our individual lessons of love, life and fear. Perhaps Jaimie was privileged enough to have learnt these lessons so quickly. It is this conclusion that gives the comfort and hope to move on with my life and learn my lessons so that one day I will be with my baby again.

Not a day goes by when I do not think of Jaimie and the way things could have been but I am thankful to Jaimie for coming into my life and making me a better person. I am now motivated and compelled into life as I have been made aware of how short it can be. I believe that it does not matter how young you are, if you have the love to share with a child, then you will be the best mother there can be. The one thing we must all remember, although it may not be of any consolation at the time, is that: our past shapes our future and we are who we are because of the events that took place in our lives. No child will ever replace the one we lost but life goes on and we must accept that fact, no matter how painful.

JM

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