Child Loss & Grief

Living until you feel alive again – My story of baby loss, grief and healing

Kelly, Co-founder of FLY Mama-Perinatal Trauma and Loss  |   23 Oct 2023


The private scan

I can remember it like it was yesterday.

We had booked a private pregnancy scan to meet our baby for the first time. I was lying on the plinth and knew something wasn’t right. I could feel the lady’s breathing pattern and body language change and she took a while to speak. Then there it was – the sentence no-one is ever prepared to hear.

‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.’

I was in disbelief and shock. Everything felt like it was in slow-motion. My heart beat felt loud in my ears, my breathing was fast and shallow, and my mouth was dry.

This quickly handed over to a feeling of zoning out. A slowing down of my heart rate, a vacant breath, and silence. I felt frozen and numb.

We had gone for the scan when I was 9 and a half weeks pregnant to find out that I had experienced a missed miscarriage and that our baby had died two weeks prior to the scan.

From the moment you find out you are pregnant, you begin imagining, planning and picturing a life with your baby. And to have it taken away in a moment is utterly heartbreaking.

Moving through the stages of grief

The grief of this news floored us. We moved through feelings of disbelief, anger, sadness and disconnection. The world felt so unfair, and I felt so vulnerable.

How could the world carry on as normal whilst our own world had fallen apart?

Everything felt unsafe and triggering. Suddenly seeing pregnant women, babies, children, scan facilities, hospitals, and anything to do with babies felt like it took my breath away, and again I would zone out and remember our reality.

My sleep was poor, but I would wake up and not want to get out of bed. My anxiety levels were high, my social interactions were reduced and I felt disconnected from my body. I had tension headaches and jaw pain.

I felt triggered by comments like ‘at least it was early’,’ it wasn’t meant to be’ and ‘it’s really common’. But it was the silence that hurt the most.

missed miscarriage stories-FLYmama

Finding hope

People not knowing what to say and not having people to open up to who had been through similar experiences. Feeling lost and alone whilst grieving makes it feel even more isolating.

During my pregnancy, I had been watching a programme and a sentence stood out to me at the time which I remembered, and it brought me some hope. It said:

You will feel better than this, maybe not now, but you will. You must live each day until you feel alive again – Call the midwife.

And so, we did. We moved forward with our grief, learning ways to hold ourselves and each other whilst finding ways to honour and remember our baby. We decided to try for another baby eight months later and sadly experienced an ectopic pregnancy. Again, our world fell apart, and we slowly pieced it back together.

The aftercare following both of our losses consisted of well wishes and a leaflet leaving us feeling lost and alone. 

The need for better aftercare

I needed a safe place to share my feelings with others who understood. I needed some tools to reduce and manage my anxiety, improve my sleep, reduce pain and tension and bring me back into connection with my body, and to be able to interact with the world again.

I quickly became aware of other women needing the same support following loss. There needed to be guidance that was sensitive to our needs and understanding of our situation. Support to press play on, at any time of day or night, when it all felt too much and you couldn’t sleep. A friendly face to help you to breathe and feel safe when you feel anxious. And someone to remind you that you were not alone when you feel lost and isolated.

miscarriage stories-FLYmama

Trauma, loss and miscarriage stories, rebuilding hope

A few years earlier, in 2020, following the traumatic birth of my oldest daughter, I had teamed up with  Michelle (a women’s health physiotherapist) to create an online support platform for mothers – FLY Mama. This incredible community of mothers shared their stories, some of which also sadly included perinatal trauma and loss.

As we listened to their stories, and those of our private clients, we soon realised that something was missing in the care provided following perinatal loss, and we had to do something.  So we created FLY Mama Perinatal Trauma and Loss Support Programs.

I am grateful and happy to share that four months after our ectopic pregnancy my husband and I were pregnant with our fourth baby and our rainbow baby was born six months ago.

To anyone reading this who has experienced something similar – or completely different – we are so sorry for your loss. We see you and we are sending you so much love and support. Remember that you are not alone and that there is no time frame to your healing.

Take it one breath at a time, one day at a time and do your best to keep living until you feel alive again.

Lots of love

Kelly x

Co-founder of FLY Mama-Perinatal Trauma and Loss

My intention for this class is to teach you some simple yet effective nervous system regulation techniques which will hopefully feel grounding and relaxing. Take your time and notice how they make you feel. I am sat doing them with you. I hope that this makes you feel less alone in your grief and that it provides some support and a sense of receiving a big loving hug. Sending you so much love.

FLY Mama Perinatal Trauma and Loss is an online platform which supports your physical, mental, and emotional well-being following trauma and loss. We are here for you throughout all stages of your pregnancy and postpartum journey. For more information and support visit FLY Mama.

FLY Mama is offering TRB readers £11 off ANY of their bundles, including the general motherhood support bundle and the perinatal trauma and loss bundles, just use the code RIBBONBOX at the checkout. 

Disclaimer: FLY Mama Ltd recommends that you consult your physician regarding the applicability of any recommendations and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself.

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