Pregnancy after baby loss Recurrent miscarriage

How many children do I have?

A scan photograph of a baby with the title "how many children do I have?" - Mrs H's favourite things

How many children do I have?

This is a question that has been weighing on my mind.

In truth, I don’t think that there is an answer that makes sense.

And I wonder if that really matters.

However, it still weighs on my mind. And I wanted to share my feelings in the hope that it might help someone else who is struggling with the same question.

How many children do I have?

A scan photograph of a baby with the title "how many children do I have?" - Mrs H's favourite things

I know that many of you will read the title of this blog and say that surely the answer is “one”. The beautiful Little Miss H. Our darling daughter.

And that I am lucky enough to be pregnant with our second child.

But that answer doesn’t feel quite right.

As this is my sixth pregnancy.

This is my sixth time carrying a baby.

No matter when they were lost to me. They were still my baby. They had the beginnings of life.

And I wonder what they would have been like.

Were they girls or boys? Would they be like their sister? Would they share her cheeky personality? Would they be a daddy’s girl or a mummy’s boy?

What would they look like? Would they have Little Miss H’s gorgeous smile, beautiful blue eyes and curly hair?

Or would they have their own unique personality and appearance?

They would be their own little person. Special. Beautiful. Loved and cherished.

But they are not my children.

I know, that if my first pregnancy was a success then we would not have Little Miss H in our lives. And I can not imagine or even want to comprehend a world without her in it. Our lives are happier because of her amazing and beautiful presence.

I also know that we would not have had six children.

When we went for our first appointment at the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic the consultant read my notes incorrectly. He thought that they said that we had five children rather than the fact that I had been pregnant five times.

It was an awkward moment.

Yet it left a thought in my mind. A question in my head.

How many children do I have?

I am beginning to believe that this question does not have an answer. And that is okay.

I have a beautiful daughter. And I have a much wanted and longed for second child on the way. Our son. Little Mister H.

But I will always feel the loss of those four other pregnancies.

I will constantly feel a pang around their due dates. Knowing how different those days could have been.

A part of me will always wonder what our lives would have been like had I got to hold those babies. Feel their little hands in mine. Sniff their newborn smell.

But another part of me understands that I can not hold onto these thoughts forever.

They prevent me from moving forward. They stop me from fully embracing my amazing family. They hold me back from enjoying this pregnancy.

And so the answer is that I have one daughter. And hopefully, in July I will have a gorgeous son.

They are my children. They are my family.

But a small place in my heart is put aside for my four unborn babes. The one’s I never got to know. The one’s that were never meant to be my children.

Hugs

Lucy

xxxx

A scan photograph of a baby with the title "how many children do I have?" - Mrs H's favourite things

 

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Samantha Jones
    August 28, 2016 at 10:17 am

    This is such a good question yet never gets easier to answer. I’ve had 2 pregnancies… 2 miscarriages and one Stillbirth. Sometimes I find myself answering ‘none’ as the question catches me off guard, yet I feel I can justify saying ‘one’ as I physically gave birth to Guy. He had a presence, but saying ‘one’ brings the akward… But he died part. But should I really answer ‘three’? As I don’t want to not acknowledge our other little beans who we o my knew for a few weeks. It’s so hard. Xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      August 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      It is such a hard question. And one I struggle with all the time. Even more since we’ve had Little Mister H. I found it so much easier when I was pregnant and people asked me which pregnancy was this. Then I could easily answer 6th and then add that it was only the second time that I’d got that far in pregnancy. Now, I don’t know how I would answer. As you say, it feels wrong not to acknowledge the ones you never got to hold. But I think that the right thing is to have an answer for yourself and have an answer for other’s. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Five little doves
    May 29, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    I love this post, however sad the subject, it’s so important to talk about miscarriage isn’t it? I tell people that I have five children, the four here in my arms and Joseph, stillborn at full term. It feels “acceptable” to say I have five, to include the baby that we held and we loved for such a short time. But in truth, there are fifteen other babies, all lost between 6 and 13 weeks of pregnancy, and it is important that I acknowledge them too. Of course I would not have had twenty children, nor do I tell people that I have twenty children, but I do often say I have five children but there are 15 others who we sadly lost. It always shocks people, and sometimes makes things quite awkward as really, what can you say to that, but it’s important that I say it. Lovely post, thank you for sharing this. Xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 4, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Oh lovely, thank you so much for your kind comment. My heart breaks for you reading this. As you say, you would never have had 20 children and we would never have had 6. But they are still all my babies and I miss them. I often wonder about them. And being 32 weeks pregnant doesn’t mean that I have forgotten about them or ever will. They are as much a part of me as my daughter and my unborn son are. I really hope that by writing honestly about these things, miscarriage becomes less taboo. And also that people feel less awkward when you genuinely tell them how to feel. Lots of love, Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Kaye
    April 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I’m so sorry you’ve been through this, it’s always such a difficult one. My brother passed away at 17 and I always struggle when people ask if I have any brothers or sisters. It usually starts a conversation they weren’t willing to have when I say ‘yes, but..’ but saying yes also doesn’t seem right. The loved ones we’ve lost stay with us at least and we’ll never forget them, even the babies you sadly didn’t get to know. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  • Reply
    Jodie
    March 30, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    You definitely have 6 babies. I am so sorry that it hasn’t worked out for you. But you are blessed. Thoughts are with you.

  • Reply
    Ally Mother Under Measure
    March 30, 2016 at 9:38 am

    My love, everytime I read your blog I want to reach out and give you a big hug. Very often I can relate to what you write about, thankfully for myself I can’t even begin to understand the pain you have been through on so many occasions. Sending love to you and the family xx

  • Reply
    Alex Lamb & Bear
    March 30, 2016 at 6:46 am

    You’re so strong for writing posts like this, and such an inspiring person. I haven’t experienced miscarriage so I can only offer you my love and support. Xxz

  • Reply
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock)
    March 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    It’s so sad reading this Lucy. Miscarriages are heartbreaking. I have only had one, so can’t begin to imagine the pain you must have gone through. Biologically speaking, a miscarriage happens because something has gone wrong with the pregnancy. Organisms aren’t perfect. We have evolved, not been designed. Every unique combinations of genes is an experiment, and sometimes these just don’t work. I know that it is probably of little comfort, but if I hadn’t have miscarried, I wouldn’t have the combination of genes that is my little Emily, and the thought of not having her, is far more upsetting that I felt from the heartbreak of miscarriage. Lots of luck with the rest of your pregnancy x

  • Reply
    Something Crunchy Mummy
    March 28, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Sending you hugs lovely. It’s a totally understandable question to ask yourself, I have never been in that situation and I don’t know how you must feel but I can understand the question. Such an honest post too that I know will help others. #marvmondays xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 29, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Thanks lovely lady. It is a really difficult question. It is not one I like to think about that often. But I know that I need to. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid
    March 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Oh Lucy 🙁 I don’t know what to say as I’ve never been in this situation so as much as I try I’ll never truly understand how it feels. Sending lots of love xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 29, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Hello lovely. Your supportive comment is all that you need to say. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Sabrina @ The X Mummy Stylist
    March 27, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    That’s so interesting you wrote this, as literally the other day I was thinking about our first baby we lost, the one before Tyler. We called him Mini B, and I don’t know why I just felt he was a boy. And I was just thinking about him, maybe being pregnant makes you think about these things. Xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 29, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I think being pregnant does make you wonder about these things. It is only natural that you remember the babies that were too fragile for this world. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Ky
    March 27, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    What an honest and open post. I only have one, and although we haven’t tried for a second yet it is something I would like to do. I can’t imagine what you have been through but they were still your children that’s all that matters. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and a boy. Lovely. Big hugs Ky x
    Ky recently posted…Friday Fashion – EasterMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 29, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Thanks so much for your kind comment. We are so excited about having our little boy. It has been such a hard journey getting here. And it is important that I don’t forget. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Eimear
    March 27, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    What a gorgeous and thought provoking piece, I don’t know what my answer would be either but I do wonder about them all x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for your beautiful comment, lovely Eimear. It is such a tough question, isn’t it? And I imagine everyone has a different answer. It is just such a painful thing to even have to think about. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Harriet from Toby & Roo
    March 27, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Sending all the love I can Lucy. I have only ever had one pregnancy and though I haven’t had the same fears and worries as you, I have asked to questions “how many children should you have?”. I think it’s so subjective and difficult to determine. H x
    Harriet from Toby & Roo recently posted…KitKat Brownie recipe for chocolate lovers!My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks lovely. You are so kind. It is so hard to determine. I don’t think I will ever find and answer. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Lucy Smith
    March 27, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Oh sweetie, you are so brave!
    I think you’re right, it doesn’t really have an answer and that IS ok.
    But they were still here, they still made imprints on your heart, they were still your children even if they didn’t make it to this world and they’ll never be forgotten.
    Sending lots of hugs, I can’t imagine what you must have gone through and how you still be must be feeling but I’m always here if you want a chat
    X X
    Lucy Smith recently posted…My Thoughts On Reuseable NappiesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 5:49 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. It is a really hard question as I know that I would never have had six children and that if I hadn’t miscarried then I would never have Little Miss H. And being pregnant again with our second rainbow baby does help. But it doesn’t mean I don’t feel the loss of the babies. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Not A Frumpy Mum
    March 27, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I can imagine that there will always be a little part of your heart that is just for your unborn babies. I totally understand how you you feel although I have never actually had a miscarriage. When our IVF cycle didn’t work I did feel a huge sadness for the little bundle of cells that didn’t make it, what/who they might have been. We actually have a tiny frozen embryo on storage which we had planned to transfer in January, before fate had other plans. I have a very strange feeling, almost like I have abandoned my child, or what could be my child, they should be with us. Maybe they will be one day. Big hugs lovely xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Awwww, lovely. Thank you for your gorgeous comment. I knew that you would understand. It is odd, isn’t it?? Although you know fate intervenes for the right reasons it still can hurt. If I’d had our first baby then there would be no Little Miss H. There would be another child but it wouldn’t be her. It really messes with your head when you think about it for along time. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Sarah Cantwell
    March 27, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Oh mama! I have one daughter but have had two miscarriages since she was born. I can’t think of what this babies would have been like because I find it too upsetting. Congratulations on your second baby and a boy, how lovely. I hope that one day I can join you. Lots of love

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment. And I am so sorry to hear of your losses. It is terribly hard to think about it. I do try not to but sometimes the thoughts just creep into my head. And even though our second rainbow baby is now on the way I will never forget the babes that weren’t meant to be. I really hope that you are blessed with your rainbow baby soon. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Tara
    March 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

    I think the same thing. I had two losses before Freya (the circumstances of the first at 13 weeks caused mild PTSD) but it’s almost like after you have a healthy baby people expect you to forget, as if it magically wipes away all the pain, sadness and lost dreams. I’ll never forget. I found being pregnant again incredibly stressful the entire 40+ weeks so I have an understanding of what you’re going through. I tried to find joy where I could, even if it was fleeting. Wishing you only good things.
    Tara recently posted…My Sunday Photo – Week 13.My Profile

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thank you so much for your hugely kind comment. It is hard. I have had a number of people say that it will all be different when the baby is born in July. And it will be. But I will never forget those babies. Apart one very early miscarriage, I carried the others until 11 weeks. The sadness will never fully leave. And like you, I am trying to find joy where I can. I am trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy this pregnancy (as it will probably be my last). But I won’t feel happy until my little boy is in my arms and at home with us. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    ClearlyBex
    March 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

    *hugs* that’s a question a lot of women face very frequently, myself too. Our losses are still are our babies, whether they are here with us or not. I had a “miscarriage” at 16 weeks, a baby girl, I refer to her as Born Sleeping, a perfectly formed little girl with fingers and toes – sadly the world just sees her as a miscarriage. You are a mother of 6 children, it just so happens 4 of them were just too fragile and special for this world. Love to you all x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Oh thank you, so much for your lovely comment. It bought a tear to my eye. I think that is totally right. I have 6 children but 4 I never got to hold 4 of them. I am so sorry to hear about your little girl. The term born sleeping describes it so perfectly. The term miscarriage seems very medical and impersonal. Big hugs to you lovely. Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    Katy (What Katy Said)
    March 27, 2016 at 7:03 am

    I know exactly where you are coming from with this, with this being my fourth pregnancy. I lost our baby before we knew if it was a girl or a boy but I know it was a boy. They say children have a sixth sense and a good while after my mc G was chattering away to herself and I asked her who she was talking to. She replied ‘my brother, he isn’t really here but he is’. I think that is when it hit me. He isn’t really here but he is. I have 2 children, one on the way and one that tried to get here. Big hugs Lucy xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 27, 2016 at 11:32 am

      That is beautiful Katie. And it so right. I have one child, one on the way and four that were too fragile for this world. But just because I have my rainbow babies, it does not mean that I will ever forget my other babes. They still existed. I just never got to meet them. I am so excited about your pregnancy lovely! I wonder if you’re going to have another little girl?! Hugs Lucy xxxx

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