Nilufa shares her story of infertility, recurrent loss and grief.
I want people to know that I am a mother, a mother of babies that never knew the heartache of this world, they only ever knew their mother's love. We will always wonder who they would have become. May they play in the gardens of junnah until we can be with them again one day InshaAllah.
How do I grieve the death of someone I never met, but someone I have seen grow up in my hopes, dreams and memories? This is a hidden grief. A torturous, uncontrollable sadness that is all consuming.
When a baby dies in the womb there is no death certificate, no burial, no outcry of mourning. There was no bump, people never knew of the miracle developing, growing and thriving inside me. Then gone.
Sadly, the response from loved ones and health professionals can be callous and even cruel, because this life that existed in my body, that I mothered, hasn’t existed for others. And in a rush to find a positive, and in some way fix a broken heart, what is said can be dismissive of the intense hurt that is felt. Can there ever be an ‘at least’ when a loved one has died? Can there ever be a ‘fix’ or ‘alternative’ for my babies’ death? You, me, everyone reading this, we all started out that size once.
Our babies were all very much wanted and each of their deaths brought shame towards my body; anger and intense jealousy at having to cruelly be a spectator watching others have their own family; and the deepest darkest emotional pain.
After battling years of infertility, I never thought our story would take us here. I never thought my baby would die every single time. I feel helpless not ever knowing if this will happen for us. I have lost friends, grappled with my faith, and let go of career goals in the process. Loss and more loss. This world becomes a very lonely place.
If it wasn’t for the baby loss charity Petals and their amazing counsellors, the Miscarriage Association and their volunteers, always on the end of a phone call, and the small group of people, who have helped us by listening and by holding our hearts deeply in theirs; giving no advice and making no judgments, I know I would have been lost long ago. But the one, my only, my husband, is my rock. He saves me every single day. There is an intense pressure this puts on a relationship and I know that I am lucky to have him by my side.
It is terrifying putting our story out there because I can’t control what comes back. But if my story helps someone struggling alone or if it helps shed some light on this very dark path of loss and infertility, then it helps stop people like me, feel invisible.
I want people to know that I am a mother, a mother of babies that never knew the heartache of this world, they only ever knew their mother’s love. We will always wonder who they would have become. May they play in the gardens of junnah until we can be with them again one day InshaAllah.