writing when you’re lost for words – healing after miscarriage

August 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm 17 comments

Last week I had an article with this title published on the CheltenhamMaman blog. It was a new process for me to write for someone else, with an open brief but a fixed timescale. It reminded me of my student days when I worked through the night to get assignments in on time. I must be getting efficient in my old age as it was written and submitted a week ahead when the deadline coincided with being in Germany. I’m sharing it here for prosperity for my miracle boys as one day I may add the other chapters that were written around it before editing it down to 1200 words!

Writing when you’re lost for words

‘I don’t like writing. I can’t draw. I’m not musical. I’m not at all creative.’

I believed all of these things for the first 20 years of my life. My Grandad died when I was 15, in the week in which my English homework was to write a poem inspired by a real event. I worked and reworked my grief onto paper. It was returned to me with red penned criticisms and a C grade. My creativity was deemed mediocre, my feelings unpoetic. I vowed I’d never share my vulnerability again.


I was 19 when I met my husband George. He was confident in all the ways I wasn’t – socially, creatively, physically. He helped me to appreciate that I was creative despite other people’s judgements. In 2008 we took on an allotment plot and I started photographing my growing successes and failures as a novice gardener. When I told George I was thinking of creating a digital diary for my allotment photos he encouraged me to start blogging, to flex my courage muscle and hit share publicly. For a while George and my Dad were my only readers but I didn’t mind – writing the story behind my photos had become less about what I thought might appeal to other people and more about what I felt the desire to share. I would start with a photo, imagine I was chatting to a friend about it and the words would emerge (that makes it sound so effortless; the insecure creative in me still tweaks a post for hours before I’m happy with it!)

After a few years my mostly-about-gardening-and-cooking blog also became a place to share things that inspired me or made me smile and feel thankful. As other bloggers started to interact with my posts through the comments it no longer seemed authentic to hide behind my new creative labels of “gardener, forager, preserve maker”. I gradually became braver about sharing other areas of my life too. When we suffered a miscarriage writing helped me to express some of the sadness and support we experienced (albeit rather cryptically in a post called feeling loved).

We received so many loving messages of support after sharing the news of our baby loss. I typed out all the texts, emails and phone messages and printed them along with photos of the flowers we received. The condolence that struck a chord the most was simply ‘’miracles do happen twice’’. I wept when I read it; for the heartbreak of our loss and for the recognition that our pregnancy had been a miracle. 9 years before I’d been told I would never fall pregnant naturally, that my ovaries didn’t work and that I’d only become a Mother by using someone else’s eggs. To have conceived using my own eggs on the rollercoaster ride that is fertility treatment was incredible. But now I kept asking myself ‘’What if this was our one chance?’’ We started treatment again filled with hope and trepidation that perhaps ’miracles do happen twice’’.

I started a new gratitude journal about a year before our first round of fertility treatment. I found it helpful to work through my struggles on paper on the days my optimism waned or anxiety was squeezing too tight. On my 36th birthday, a few days after our baby died and I’d returned home after the ERPC operation, I wrote

“I asked people not to call today. I’ve postponed my birthday for a month. I woke with such a heavy heart and for a split second , in that haze between wakefulness and sleep, hoped I was still pregnant after all. I felt empty in all senses of the word. At least we had a plan for today – to go to the Forest of Dean for a final farewell to our baby. I could hear George playing piano downstairs, a new track inspired by his quiet time alone while I had slept off the effects of the anaesthetic. It was beautiful in it’s simplicity and bought a lump to my throat to think our baby had inspired him to find comfort in his music after a long spell of feeling uncreative.

I gathered together a posy of flowers with a stem from each of the bouquets received from loved ones to take with us. We hadn’t discussed what would happen when we found our special place today. Perhaps George thought it was a process that I needed more than him? Perhaps he trusted I would make choices that were sensitive to both our needs? I think we had an unspoken knowing that silence was what we needed and that there were no words that could make this any easier. We parked up, bought a map and naturally fell into a silent single file amble along the path, each lost in our own thoughts until it we found a place to stop. I lay the flowers down along with a card I’d written at home. Neither of us spoke. I cried, we held each other and when I was able to speak, and only as we turned to go, I whispered to George that it felt like we were leaving our baby there. He held my gaze and quietly replied “So do I”. I felt relieved that he felt the same, that this was a heartache we shared deeply even though we were experiencing it differently.

Later on a friend texted to tell me she’d lit a candle for me on my birthday and blown it out as a wish for another miracle. I was touched to think our baby was being held in other people’s hearts so dearly. When we visited Gloucester Cathedral the next day to make the same gesture our re-lit candle flickered alongside 47 other candles. There’s comfort in knowing you’re not alone in your grief. I wrote out a prayer note, ‘’for Baby M, gone too soon’’ and for the strength to remain hopeful that this wouldn’t be the closest we’d ever get to being parents.”

A year later I picked up my journal and started to write.
“It’s my birthday again and I’m sat in the bath. George is asleep with our son on the bed. Euan is 16 days old and we are in awe of him. Miracles do happen twice. Made on the NHS, saved by the NHS on his birth-day, our beautiful boy could not be more perfect. We are forever grateful.”

18 day old baby boy E

2018 Footnote: Euan is 6 now and has a 2 year old brother. I’ve finally written the back story to this one to support the aims of National Infertility Awareness Week to break the stigma around fertility issues. Thanks for reading ‘’Our infertility journey through PCOS to parenthood’

If you enjoyed this post or know someone who might find encouragement in it I would really appreciate you sharing it with them.  Thank you

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Entry filed under: home life. Tags: , , , , .

gardening with kids – back on the plot with a little helper wordless wednesday

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sooze  |  August 25, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    Wow Nic, you write so beautifully, such a special and talented friend. This post was very touching and heartfelt. I’ve goosebumps.

    Reply
  • 2. Nicola W  |  August 25, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    An amazing piece, moved me to tears

    Reply
  • 3. El  |  August 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Beautiful and brave

    Reply
  • 4. Maggy S  |  August 26, 2017 at 9:44 am

    How lovely and what a happy ending. This will give many people hope x

    Reply
  • 5. shaheen  |  August 28, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Truly a lovely written piece with so much heart and honestly.
    even though we have never met its amazing how people can touch each other still, albeit through words – sometimes words are powerful.

    Reply
    • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  September 20, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      yes the beauty of the blogging community is feeling connected and supported despite the distance. Thank you for continuing to read my rambles x

      Reply
  • 7. Dan  |  August 30, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Brilliant and beautiful piece from a brilliant and beautiful person x

    Reply
  • 8. Roo  |  August 30, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Well that made me cry! Love you both so much. Thank you Nic x

    Reply
    • 9. Nip it in the bud  |  September 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      bless you Roo, friendships like yours carried us through the dark days x

      Reply
  • 10. mymamamusings  |  August 30, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Nic,
    That was stunning. I am sat here with tears streaming down my face. You have a completely wonderful way with words, that really captures the emotion of the situation. What a beautiful heart breaking, and yet uplifting and Inspiring story. I love that miracles do happen twice ✨
    Cherie || My Mama Musings

    Reply
    • 11. Nip it in the bud  |  September 20, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you Cherie. I hope it inspires hope in someone who finds themselves at the bumps in the road on this kind of journey. Hoorah for miracles eh :o)

      Reply
  • 12. 2017 in pictures | Nip it in the bud  |  January 4, 2018 at 9:29 am

    […] I still find it amazing that we get a second run at this parenting malarkey with Luca after the struggles we went through to have Euan. Hoo-bloomin-ray I say for another year watching these two grow into such beautiful, sweet natured […]

    Reply
  • 13. #myheartylife | 6 | Nip it in the bud  |  February 13, 2018 at 11:31 am

    […] infertility when each birthday was potentially nudging us further away from what we wanted. Finally becoming parents 14 years after getting married changed everything and brought with it a whole new appreciation of why celebrating birth-days is so […]

    Reply
  • 14. feeling loved | Nip it in the bud  |  March 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

    […] Footnote: when I wrote this post in 2011 I couldn’t bring myself to say “our baby died”.  It took 6 years and the healing that was our beautiful boys to write about our experience more fully.  Our story of hope and believing in miracles is captured in “writing when you’re lost for words”. […]

    Reply
  • […] such a long wait to have Euan I never dreamed he’d have a sibling to share his love of drawing with.  At nearly 2 Luca is […]

    Reply
  • […] first anniversary of the miscarriage of our first baby. I wrote about that experience last year in Writing when you’re lost for words – healing after miscarriage. Both babies were conceived with the help of fertility treatment and Euan was conceived in the […]

    Reply
  • 17. for all who aren’t | Nip it in the bud  |  May 9, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    […] for what lies just out of reach for them.  My first Mother’s Day would have been my second if my first pregnancy had not ended in miscarriage so on this day I think too of the Mother’s without children and the children growing up […]

    Reply

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About Nip it in the bud


Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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One of our favourite annual traditions in Gloucester - the lantern procession through the city to @gloscathedral. It gets bigger and better each year with amazing creations from school children and community groups.
Technology saves the day - G googled this while stood in @sainsburys with E feeling minifigures packets. Successfully identified the two that he wanted (double win as series 18 are £1.50 at the moment so he unexpectedly got 2 for his hard earned £3)
Bus number 2, hanging out up the back this time. Luca succumbed to bus-itus and is sleeping blissfully :0) @stagecoach_bus
Woohoo, this boy is practically flying off his seat with excitement at being on the front seat at the top of the bus! @stagecoach_bus
We live in a street of HMOs where tenants come and go and we are in the only family home. We miss the neighbourly-ness we see friends have in their streets. But when it matters the kindness of strangers comes through. We found a note on our car this morning from someone who had witnessed a bus crunch into our car early this morning and drive off. I've no idea how the driver plans to explain away chunks of paint missing from the bumper (fragments of which are now in Gs pocket as he walks round to the bus depot to ask them to investigate).
Happy Friyay dear ones. I'm putting a skip in my step by wearing my fab Happy Days top from @thismumindevon . Never fails to lift my mood. Sending you all love and light to get you to the weekend.
Euan's favourite story books are the "Dogman" series by @petey_haw_haw. He loves the comic strip style and sense of humour and the "how to" guides at the back for drawing the characters. Es teacher was telling us how the school are going to buy some comic strip books to encourage the reluctant writers in his class. E was quick to lend her one of his books to read complete with a hand made Dogman book mark. I reckon they could inspire reluctance drawers too. #6yearoldartist #dogmanfan #childhoodunplugged
And here he is! Keeping a somewhat serene pace on the pavement (versus super speed at the park). 2.5 year old L on a @3stylescooters sized for 7+ years. He's the bomb! #scooterkids #scootingtoddler
Joy summed up. Little brother sneaking a ride on big brothers @3stylescooters wheels after school drop off
Luca enjoying hugs with "Nana bear". A beautiful momento made from one of Mum's shirts by the @sueryderleckhampton sewing group. They give their time freely to make the bears in exchange for a donation to the charity. They made two bears from one shirt and the other is providing comfort to my Niece in Germany 💕
So this has become our after dinner thing - "park in the dark" with scooters. We love Es @3stylescooters with light up wheels
We love our @nationaltrust membership for fab days out. These two love their binoculars which you get free when you sign up (thank you for our second pair to ease the pain of trying to share when you're two and think everything belongs to you). Our top NT pick this month is @ntcroome , perfect easy afternoon out from Gloucestershire or a pitstop near Worcester just off the M5

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