A Donegal mother shares the story of her miscarriage and the birth of her 'rainbow baby' to help other women know that they are not alone.
Buncrana woman Jade Doherty has set up a blog called The Farmers Wife to chronicle her move from town life to rural pastures.
The 31-year-old mum, her husband Gavin, and their children Tegan (11), James (5) and Darcy (4 months) are about to take on a new way of life on a farm outside Buncrana, which will all be documented through social media.
Jade’s love of writing inspired her to set up this blog in February 2017. This week she has brought to light an issue that affects many women all over the world – miscarriage.
Through a thought-provoking account, Jade describes the emotional and physical impact of losing a baby. She addresses the taboo subject of the D&C procedure and the lack of understanding that surrounds miscarriages. She also shares the happiness she felt at the birth of her daughter Darcy, her ‘Rainbow Baby’ after the storm of a miscarriage.
Speaking to Donegal Woman, Jade said that miscarriage continues to be an issue that is swept under the rug.
“A year and a half ago I wanted to write about it but I had no platform. My baby would be turning one year old at this time of year so I decided to share my story.
“The blog has had an amazing response. Since I posted it last night I woke up to about 10 messages this morning. People are thanking me for sharing the experience because they felt that they were alone too.
“I think when you are going through a miscarriage you feel very alone, but there is a lot of support available if you want to talk about it,” Jade said.
You can read the full blog post in Jade’s own words below:
Tomorrow should be the 29th of February 2017 but it’s not! Tomorrow should be my babies first birthday but again its not. I can’t say for sure that’s when it would have been, but I will pretend it’s the 29th.
I don’t know and I never will know because I had a miscarriage. I was 13 weeks pregnant, all going well morning sickness had stopped, tiredness stopped and I finally passed the scary 12 weeks stage. I went for my routine scan as I did with my previous two pregnancies excited to see my little baby, when all a sudden the little bubble I was in came crashing down. “We can’t find a heartbeat” said the nurse, with a sure look on her face she wasn’t wrong. What? how? what do you mean all the thoughts running through my head in the space of a minute or so as tears run down my cheek thinking it must be a mistake.
I’ve never experienced this, I know nothing about it and for some strange reason never heard much about it. It’s a taboo subject. The nurses were great they explained that if I didn’t pass the baby, id get a d&c. They had that scheduled for the following week. I left the hospital with not a clue as to why this happened, how I didn’t feel it and what would happen next. The whole way home all I could do is cry.
The following week I returned to hospital with my husband and had a d&c it was a harrowing experience the staff were lovely but I had an empty feeling, numbness and sadness. I didn’t want to talk, I didn’t want to make small talk or jokes. I just wanted to crawl up into ball and cry. I wont go through the ins and outs but I when I left the hospital I remember thinking that’s it, no more babies.
We were blessed with a girl and a boy already, we will leave it there, I couldn’t go through that again. That feeling didn’t last long, we soon wanted to try again and not five months later we got a big positive, we were pregnant again. We were so happy but the scariness of the pregnancy was unreal. I had scans at six weeks and at ten weeks, we kept it secret just in case until the big scan. Every day for nine months I panicked in case something went wrong, thankfully nothing did.
On the 1St of November 2017 our little Rainbow baby was born little Darcy Kate and every – little bit of her was perfect. We are blessed.
The reason am sharing this story its not for sympathy it is because before it happened to me, I knew very little about miscarriages especially missed miscarriage. People don’t talk about it and when you do speak to people about it they close off with nerves and embarrassment really. I know when it happened me all I wanted to do was speak about it, try to understand it and get help dealing with it from people that went through it. Thank god I have a great circle of family and friends supported me the whole time. I even had lovely people message me that has been through that I wasn’t aware it happened them. It was a great support and it made me feel normal, I wasn’t alone and it wasn’t something I did unfortunately it happens one in four pregnancies.
On the other scale is the people that knew I was pregnant but never felt the need to ask how I was or pass on their condolences. I lost a baby, my future with them was gone, I know it wasn’t fully formed but in my mind I had their whole life planned. Little ideas for a nursery, names rolling through my head, even their first birthday party was getting organised. I understand why people guard themselves, I did it. Its in our Irish nature to brush it under the carpet and it will disappear . It shouldn’t be like that though. People should talk, people should acknowledge the loss.
Its hard to recall this experience, as I write the tears fill my eyes but not out of sadness out of happiness. I know everything happens for a reason, and maybe Darcy wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have that miss, we will never know. I’ll just keep it my mind that God had other plans for our little baby and we will meet one day.
I hope by sharing this story I will help somebody else that has found themselves in the same situation to know they aren’t alone and its okay to talk about it, get help and don’t be afraid to reach out.
Jade the farmer’s wife
For further information about miscarriage support, visit www.miscarriage.ie, www.feileacain.ie or www.anamcara.ie or talk to Donegal Woman’s mental health columnist and counsellor Sarah Barr at the New Beginnings Counselling Service.
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