The grapevine has been whispering… and with it come tales of people questioning why Wimpy Mum has so openly detailed her loss and personal emotions via social media.
So this blog will hopefully answer this very question.
When I first discovered I was pregnant in France, I was initially filled with fear. Being pregnant in another country is a completely different kettle of fish to that of your native country. I did not yet have a “carte vitale” which is required when ever you receive medical attention in France, and was therefore still using the EH11 travel document to receive treatment – and wasn’t sure how that would cover me being pregnant. Not only that, but the whole process of registering a pregnancy in France was completely unknown to me, as I was soon to discover.
The whole situation left me feeling a little lost, and I wished that I’d had access to something, somewhere, which would answer some questions for me, help me to translate the mammoth French medical vocabulary list – and show me the light. I decided to document my pregnancy journey abroad, in a blog, for other mums abroad to draw reference from, if like me, they were completely out of their depth!
Sadly, I miscarried our baby at 2 months.
Yet 3 months on I discovered I was pregnant again, and so began my journal of everything pregnancy related, in the hope it may shed some light to other ex-pats who find themselves blooming with a little bundle. I felt positive that my experience of miscarriage abroad could also assist those who suffer loss in foreign territories, and was comforted to hear from several other mums in France who said it had.
Unfortunately, we discovered just into our second trimester that our much loved baby had anencephaly, a fatal illness meaning that our baby would not be able to survive outside of me. We were crushed. Completely. Carrying to full term was not an option for us, our children but most of all my baby.
In my search online for stories and personal experiences of anencephaly, I mainly found stories of babies being carried to full term. I found very few documenting the contrary. Again, I found myself drowning in unanswered questions, inexplicable feelings and crippling despair.
Me, being me, likes to find the positive in even the worst situations, and so again, I decided to blog my journey – even the most intimate and undignified moments – in the hope that it may help others faced with the same agonising decisions and harsh realities as we did. And if I were able to reassure and comfort others – my baby’s life would not have been in vain.
So I blogged. And I blogged some more. And I shared my stories on my social media pages, as well as on support groups for parents facing Anencephaly or the loss of a baby.
And around a fortnight ago I was contacted by a young mum who had received the devastating news that her unborn baby had anencephaly, and like me, had another young child and carrying to full term was not an option. She had read my blog and said it answered so many questions she had, and had helped to reassure her through what was going to be such a difficult time. From diagnosis, to giving birth, we stayed in contact and I did my best to counsel her and keep her strong.
I am so proud of her, because she was – and is – an amazingly strong woman and devoted Mum.
But I was also so pleased that I had poured out my heart onto the blank pages of my blog – because in doing so – it had reached out to someone who had needed help – just as I intended.
And this is exactly why I shared my loss on social media. And why I will continue to document the highs and lows following these losses. Because grief and bereavement are horrendously lonely agonising places, but if we feel united and supported and loved during such pain, it makes the experience so much less traumatic and enables us to stay strong.
I will never have the pleasure of holding my baby again… but I have the pleasure of knowing his little life is helping others to find hope in theirs.