Gillian writes about her experience of miscarriage as both a mother and a grandmother.
Baby loss ripples out through families with the potential to affect different generations. For me as a grandmother, there was the added dimension of my own experience of miscarriage four decades earlier.
In the summer of 2021, my son and his partner became parents to a beautiful daughter. Two weeks later, our worlds were rocked when my daughter and her husband suffered the unexpected loss of their second pregnancy at 12 weeks. Her first pregnancy had been textbook – easy pregnancy, straightforward birth, perfect baby girl. So for all of us, the shock of miscarriage prompted a rollercoaster of emotions, a bittersweet combination of my son’s new arrival and a young life that stopped before it had properly begun.
Baby loss ripples out through families with the potential to affect different generations. For me as a grandmother, there was the added dimension of my own experience of miscarriage four decades earlier. Immediately I thought of what might have been, the difference in attitudes across the years and, in particular, the changes in available support, as I tried to comfort Kate and her husband.
As a journalist writing for national women’s magazines, I was prompted to write a feature on our family’s experience for Platinum magazine, with the full approval of my daughter who – like me – hoped that at least our story would comfort or inspire somebody else. Little did we know at the time that she was soon to suffer a second miscarriage, cruelly in the week when she should have been having the first child she had lost. In the meantime, Kate held back the tears as she congratulated friends on every new pregnancy.
It’s been a difficult year, but our family’s story will hopefully have a happy ending. as I write this, Kate is pregnant again and finally has a supportive GP behind her who, in conjunction with the local NHS hospital, prescribed progesterone and aspirin during those crucial early weeks. We’ll never know if the medication helped to stabilise this new life or whether this is simply the baby that is meant to be, but we keep our fingers firmly crossed that come February, Rosanna will have the chance to be the best big sister any new baby could have. Our tip? Never lose hope and push politely but firmly for the support that you need, whether medical or emotional.
Update February 2023
Exactly one year on from her second miscarriage, Kate has given birth to a perfect baby boy, Daniel John, who weighed in at 7lbs. And as expected, 4-year-old Rosanna has thrown herself wholeheartedly into the Big Sister role. We all feel truly blessed.