This morning, I was watching some of the 1800 boats sailing round the Isle of Wight. As the boats approached the Needles, they were lost to my view, but they hadn't ceased to exist. Around the Island and from the air, they could be seen, though no longer by me. Similarly, the children we have lost have not ceased to exist, though we cannot see them at present.
Mum was pregnant with what she assumed was a single pregnancy and miscarried following my father's tractor accident. In fact she was carrying twins and weeks later, Mum discovered she was five months pregnant. I was born the following March.
I always had a sense of missing someone; I was close to my brother and sister and cried on both their wedding days, because it felt like a loss, a bereavement.
When I was five, I was given a beautiful doll and from that moment, I longed for the day when I would have my own baby. I married young, too young in hindsight, but despite tests the longed-for baby didn't arrive. We later separated and went through a painful divorce.
Six years later, I remarried and the following year I was pregnant. The consultant told his juniors, "All babies are special, but this one is extra special". Sadly, I suffered a miscarriage at fourteen weeks. Because of my counselling training, I asked to see this baby, whose heart-beat I had heard, and whose heart I had seen beating on the ultrasound screen in the days before.
We arranged a funeral service, and gave her our chosen name of Rebecca Daisy; Rebecca because we liked it, and Daisy after an older friend who had died earlier that year. Kind friends brought a bunch of Moon Daisies which were in flower.
My mental health took a serious decline; partly physical due to hormones and a haemorrhage, and partly emotional due to the loss, and earlier divorce. My emotional pint glass couldn't hold the quart that had been poured into it. Friends and family became increasingly worried at my abnormal behaviour. I couldn't even tell the Doctor the day of the week, and was admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital.
It was four months before I was fully discharged, having gone from a huge high to the depths of depression; but even at the worst times, I knew God was there; In a Christian midwife; a Hospital Chaplain; a William Blake poem on the radio; a visiting minister who came and sat with me every Friday afternoon. I later thought how Job's comforters would have done better if they had continued to just sit, and shut up.
Recovery was a long time coming, and Carisbrooke Priory played a large part in it; Regular prayer after the Thursday Services; the music group which began my recovered self-esteem; ten month old Marnie, who didn't seem to know I was allergic to babies! One friend, a practical Yorkshire-woman, wrote regularly, "You will get better!". I am grateful to my husband, family and friends and the mental health team for my recovery.
Twelve years later, I am training as a lay preacher with the Church of England; I continue to write, particularly poetry, and will finish with one written three years before my miscarriage; I was sitting in Mum's kitchen in Devon, and a picture came to mind of a tiny white lamb perched on my shoulder. I came to realise that this shoulder was God's and the lamb's tail was wriggling with delight as lamb's tails do; most significantly it was licking the face of God. For me this picture had relevance regarding my own twin, and years later for my own daughter.
Living, loving, lovely lamb
Perched upon God's shoulder
Joyfully delighting in
The face he is beholding
Perfect, sin-free playful lamb
Fully whole are you
Spared the sin and suffering
Of this world below
Taken e'er you're given breath
Torn from mother's womb
Now enjoys eternal life
In your Heavenly home
Wish you back? I wouldn't dare
You are free from every care
Missed you here upon this earth
One day I will see you there
I live in the UK, and attend an evangelical Church of England, where I am training as a Reader, (lay preacher). I support the work of a Christian Healing Centre, and enjoy writing, particularly poetry.