Our 12-week scan went perfectly but the relief it provided was soon replaced by that rising fear again as the 20-week scan approached. It’s strange to be scared of something the majority of people don’t think twice about. Again, though, it went well.
We had another scan at 32 weeks and numerous appointments with our midwife. Everything was fine but we never truly relaxed.
Not until 2.52pm on November 25, 2017, when we welcomed our beautiful little daughter into the world. Sadie Jane McEwan. All 9lbs 11oz of her.
She is a dream come true – the best thing that has ever happened
to us. Even that feels like an understatement.
For a while, I was bitter and angry about what we went through. Now, though, I think of myself as only one thing … lucky. So incredibly lucky.
I’ve got an amazing wife, a wonderful family and a beautiful little girl. Some people never get any of those things. I’ve got all three. I’m unbelievably fortunate.
Equally, I’ll never forget how we got here. The twists, the turns, the ups, the downs, the heartache. I’ll never forget it, nor do I think I should. To do so would be to pretend those three other little lives never happened.
I often think about those three little ones. They’ll never know it but they’re my strength, my compassion, my drive, my resolve, my perspective.
They are my determination to be the best dad and husband I can be.
I guess that’s the positive I try to take from an otherwise hopelessly tragic sequence of events.
I’m giving my absolute all to the little one I have because of the three little ones I’ll never hold. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I would have had as much to give had it not been for them. That’s their legacy and I love them unconditionally for it.
A couple of things to conclude…
I hate the word “miscarriage”. It’s awful. The prefix “mis” implies error and, given that there’s only person capable of “carriage”, it unreasonably if unintentionally
The other, more important point is that losing a baby in pregnancy can be a lonely and isolating experience.
You’re left vulnerable and helpless. It feels as though nobody understands what you’re going through. The truth is that all too many people can relate. As a result, they can help.
Losing a baby is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. So, if you can, talk. To your partner, a friend, a colleague, someone in your family, a total stranger – just talk.
As a rule, men distil our emotions, through choice or because we’re programmed to believe “that’s what a guy’s meant to do”.
My advice is to surrender a little to your instincts. That means talking, crying, shouting, screaming – whatever it takes.
Grief is like an infection. Trying to ignore it won’t make it go away. It’ll only spread, intensify and become harder to treat. So, don’t run from it – instead, run towards it.
And remember, you’re never alone. We can vouch for that.