Saturday 26th September 2020

Women Of Courage Series. #44. Anonymous. 49/2020.

Women Of Courage Series. #44. Anonymous. 49/2020.

Trigger warning: twin pregnancy, death of one child in utero, miscarriage.

 

 

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

 

The person who has chosen anonymity is well-known to me and I respect her choice to do so. She has shared her story with me some time ago. The kind of story that no-one wants to be theirs. But, it is and was for Anonymous and her family. She, as in her style, tells her story in her way. I respect her very much for her courage, her sharing and the way in which she has chosen to do so. Thank you Anonymous.

 

Sharing Our Stories of Courage.

 

I strongly believe that women don’t seek (or receive) enough credit for the many wonderful and courageous things they do, often on a daily basis. So when my friend Denyse asked me to join other women in telling a story where I showed courage, I agreed to share my story.

In doing so, I hope that one or two women are encouraged to talk about their experiences with miscarriage and loss.

It was January 1996 when we discovered we were pregnant with our third child.

Although unplanned we were not particular upset with the news-we already had two beautiful daughters, my husband had recently commenced a new job where he was very happy and for the first time we had the littlest bit of money in the bank.

Unlike my previous pregnancies I felt sick all day this time around.

We were most surprised at an early ultrasound when they mentioned that they could see two heartbeats and ‘twins’ were confirmed at a 12-week ultrasound.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a trouble free pregnancy as I was diagnosed with diabetes, my liver and kidney started showing signs of distress and I was sick most days.

I was visiting three different specialists each week and was hospitalised a few times due to the complications.

Despite this I had always wanted a big family so was thrilled to have two babies joining our little family and our daughters were beside themselves with excitement.

We had decided to find out the genders at the 18-week ultrasound and excitedly walked into the room telling this to the technician.

 

 

As soon as she placed the wand on my stomach I knew that something was wrong.

She quickly exited the room and returned with another obviously more senior person in tow.

After scanning me for a few minutes he asked me to sit up.

He then told us that there was our bigger twin had recently passed away.

We were taken into another room.

In shock we were quickly and unemotionally told that I had no choice but to carry both babies as the life of the other baby depended on me successfully carrying it to term.

We were then sent on our way.

At no stage was I offered any sort of support or counselling or anytime in the months or even years afterwards.

 

 

The next few months were fairly hellish medically and emotionally as I carried two babies-one alive and one not.

I had to show courage during this time as I spent more time in hospital than out and as I readjusted my dream of twins.

Eventually our beautiful son was born in the September and we celebrated his arrival with much joy and a lot of relief that he had finally arrived.

Two years later we found out that he had some received some damage to his brain at the 18-week utero mark; right around the time when his twin died.

That however is another story for another day.

Not for a single second do I regret what I had to go through to bring our son safely into this world, just as I don’t regret carrying his three siblings.

I hope things have changed over the last few decades, especially in the telling of bad news as the impact miscarriage has on a women becomes more acknowledged and recognised.

 

What courage it is to share a story of love and heartbreak from one woman. As I hope to offer support to others or at least offer places to help any person with issues which may arise from the loss of a child in utero or at birth, the following sites have been included below.

Thank you Anonymous. I know you will be in the thoughts and minds of the blog’s readers and commenters and whilst you will not be responding, know that we are ‘with you’.

Denyse.

 

https://www.panda.org.au/

https://www.sands.org.au/stillbirth-and-newborn-death

Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14 – Crisis Support and Suicide …

 

Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

Copyright © 2020 denysewhelan.com.au – All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I don’t really know what to say. I’m so sorry. I am glad for what you have, and sorry for what you lost. #MLSTL

  2. Thank you for sharing your story and you have certainly been tested. I love your attitude though and your story shows courage and inspires us all. Thanks Denyse for your series and sharing the story each week of wonderful women. #MLSTL

  3. I’m glad things have changed and people after miscarriage and stillbirths are given more support. We grieve for those souls as much as we do anyone who has passed away but so often it is brushed off by people who don’t know how to offer support in a meaningful way. I wish you all the best and hope that the pain of this loss has become easier to bare over time.

    • Such a lovely sentiment in your thoughtful comment Christina.

      Thank you so much for understanding and offering a more recent perspective through your words.

      Denyse.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story – I can’t iagine the courage you must have needed at that time – especially with other children who required your attention too. Again, thank you.#MLSTL

  5. Sadness and joy combined – that was such a heartbreaking story – especially the lack of support from health professionals at the time. I’m so glad you have your son and thank you for sharing such a difficult story with us.
    Denyse, thanks for linking this post up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

  6. Oh wow, I can’t imagine going through this. I never knew how common pregnancy loss was a) probably due to me not wanting kids and b) I imagine a large part is because it wasn’t talked about!! Until it happened to friends it was an invisible thing to me. Anonymous, I think these things are really important to share and keep sharing so thank you – the more we hear the more we can empathise and hopefully give support – and advocate for hospitals to help with that support!!

    • It has been a subject that was not spoken about, for sure. In fact, probably still is. My understanding is that some women feel shame or guilt from a miscarriage and or pregnancy loss. Such “blame” cannot be taken but I guess for us humans inevitably we ask “what did I do wrong?”

      You are right that the opening up of conversations and in sharing this others can perhaps feel supported and that their story can be heard.

      Thank you Vanessa for such wise and kind words which I know will be read by Anonymous.

      Denyse.

  7. Thank you for telling your story anonymous. I can only imagine how devastating that news would have been to you at the 18 week mark and then to continue on knowing what you did. So very hard and definitely requiring much courage. My first pregnancy was twins. I had a threatened miscarriage and after a very scary bleed and hospitalisation was ordered to stay in bed from 14 weeks onwards. I was so scared of losing them both the entire pregnancy so it was great relief and gratitude that at 36 weeks they both came into this world little but healthy. With my next pregnancy (a daughter) I was given news that terrified me and no support thereafter. Long story but it was totally unnecessary as my daughter was born full term and completely healthy. Thanks again Denyse for bringing another story of courage to us. xo

    • Oh Min, how hard that must have been to experience for yourself as a mum-to-be of twins…and thankfully that yours were born safe and well…after much worry I am sure.

      Thank you for your kind words for Anonymous. That is a gracious comment to share as you are bound to have had some memories re-surface when reading this woman’s story.

      Glad you had your three children and all is ‘well’ as they say.

      Denyse.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a couple of people in my world who have lost one twin and have had to give birth to both. I cannot even imagine. I don’t even know how to process that. Big hugs to this woman of courage and thank you for sharing your story xoxoxo

    • Your words echo many I am sure, Leanne.

      None of us can imagine how we would be…but, somehow, we do ‘get through’…never ‘over it’ but with time, we get through all manner of challenging life situations.

      Thank you for your kindness.

      Denyse.

  9. What a heartbreaking story Denyse! I feel so badly for the writer and family as no support afterwards would have been awful! I do hope things have changed in the intervening years in this regard. Thank you for your bravery in writing this and I am so sorry but also joyful for your son’s life. #mlstl

    • So much has changed, we would hope, in this era but there are also some challenging life events….this one included that many people just cannot speak about.

      My friend who wrote her story did so in the hope it may shed more light on this and also that others may not feel so alone.

      Thank you Debbie.

      Denyse.

  10. Hi Denyse, thank you for sharing your friend’s story. It puts our ‘problems’ into perspective. I can’t think of many things worse than what she went through. Sending love to her and her family, and also to you. 🙂