I have been wavering on whether or not to write this post as the miscarriage and infertility community is a small one and I think it’s important that we stick together and don’t get into a scenario of comparing grief. There is nothing to be gained from a “my loss is worse than your loss” battle. We have all lost and the strength of our grief is something which is personal to us. However, yesterday’s news that Sue Radford, the mother of Britain’s largest family (currently 16 children), had suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks, has got me thinking about the question I have asked myself since my first miscarriage; Would this be easier if I already had a child?
This is a difficult question for me to answer as plainly I don’t already have a child. I’m sure the only people who can really know the answer are those who have suffered a loss both before and after a successful pregnancy. But I can’t help feeling that my current anxiety for the future as a result of my miscarriages would be greatly diminished if I already had a child. This is because I feel as if my husband and I are trying to achieve a family. We want to be parents and that will be achieved the moment we hold our newborn baby in our arms.
I have always thought that I would have two or three children. My husband is an only child and he would have liked a sibling so he’s always wanted multiple children too. But since our last miscarriage we have both agreed that one is the goal. One is the difference between a couple and a family. The difference between being a wife/daughter and a mother. Despite being an only child, husband’s family is no less a family and Sue Radford’s brood of 16 children.
Whenever I think of having a child I think of all the things that I would like to do. Taking my newborn home for the first time. Lying on the sofa with my baby on my chest. Walks to the park to feed the ducks. Unwrapping stocking presents on Christmas morning. The first day of school. All of these things can happen if I can just get one embryo to go full term. One is like the milestone, all or nothing! I’m sure that I would still feel tremendous grief, sadness and the pain of loss if I were to have a successful pregnancy and go on to have further miscarriages in the future. But I can’t help but feel that the anxiety would be less. At the moment it feels like my entire future is dependent on getting one baby to term. Whilst I feel very sorry for Sue Radford having to go through something as awful as a miscarriage. I can’t help but feel that in a year’s time her life as a mother of 16 will be very much the same as it would have been as a mother of 17. For my husband and I, each miscarriage is the difference between being a family and just being a couple. With one baby everything is different. One is the goal, any more is a bonus!