A Tribute to an Unborn Child

On the evening of Thursday 30 December 2010, I had a miscarriage.  My baby was almost 10 weeks old.  After some period-like cramps and then uncontrollable bleeding, I rushed to hospital where I was informed I had had an incomplete miscarriage. My doctor performed a D&C to clean out my womb.

I had initially decided not to write about it. But to gloss over the event like my baby never existed felt wrong. Although I had my baby for only 10 weeks, of which, I knew of its existence for only 5 weeks, it was long enough for me to form an attachment. We had not planned this pregnancy. In fact, we had even decided that we were not going to have any more children. To say that the surprise was a welcomed one would be a lie. I hadn’t wanted this baby when I found out I was pregnant. But babies have a way of changing your heart even when you think it cannot be changed.

It has been an emotional 5 weeks. The fact that we knew early on that this was not the usual pregnancy and that miscarriage was a possibility has helped me prepare for this outcome but has not lessened the grief that I feel. It was difficult knowing that I needed to rest but had two young children who still depended on me very much. It is hard to say that even if I had had complete bed rest, this baby might still be alive. It was hard to ignore my two sons when they needed me so I did what I could and rested when I was able. It was also hard to ignore the guilt I felt because I was incapable of giving all I could to all my children.

Despite knowing that I was true to my expectations of myself as a mother, I cannot help but replay the events in my head wondering if things could have panned out differently if I had acted differently. Perhaps if I had rushed to the hospital when I started cramping instead of going home first – who knows if the doctors would have been able to do anything to stop the miscarriage from taking place.

During my first visit to Dr Wong, he noted that the attachment of the foetus was weak. I was advised to rest as much as possible and to avoid carrying heavy objects – including the baby. How do you stop carrying your one year old baby and make him understand when he cries for you that you cannot carry him because you are pregnant with his unborn sibling? How do you tell him that he needs to sleep through the night so you can rest, too?

Two weeks after my first visit to Dr Wong, I started bleeding. I received and injection to strengthen the womb and oral progesterone. I continued to bleed on and off for the next two weeks. On Thursday evening, I started having period-like cramps – just the mild, dull ache that accompanies most periods. We had taken the boys for ice cream and were heading home. I probably should not have gone out that night. On the way home in the car, the cramps came like waves of contractions and I knew I was losing the baby. It was late and Dr Wong was no longer in his clinic so I couldn’t call for advice.

By the time I got home, I took a shower and was about to head straight to bed when I started bleeding. It wouldn’t stop. I put on a pad but there was so much blood that it was soaked through before I could even get dressed. I put on an overnight pad and that bought me enough time to get dressed and into the car. By the time I arrived at the hospital, I could see little rivulets of blood seeping through my pants.

In the ER, I threw up – which I understand is the result of my body going into shock after losing so much blood.  The emergency doctor made an accessment, although I knew even before I asked that I had lost the baby. It was an incomplete miscarriage that required a D&C under GA. The procedure was quick – 10 minutes in the OT and I was back in the recovery room. After an overnight stay in hospital, I was discharged the following day.

Perhaps if I had done things differently, the baby might still be around today. Perhaps if I had had complete bed rest, I might still have lost the baby. The body has a reason for aborting a pregnancy when it is simply not viable. No amount of medical intervention can save a baby that isn’t meant to be. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the way we feel about that baby.

To my unborn child – although you did not live past 10 weeks of your life, you were still my baby for just a little while and I loved you as I love your brothers.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

19 thoughts on “A Tribute to an Unborn Child

  1. I always read you…..Mi heart is with you, happy new year, and you’ll see…your baby gone to return more strong……


  2. I am so sorry Shen-Li, my heart goes out to you!
    I have been wanting to write you a personal email for a while – where can I find your email address? Or should I just send you a PM through Brilllkids?
    I so much hope you find the comfort so much needed right now.
    A big hug


  3. I am so sad for you. Thank you for sharing this. Please don’t feel guilty. I had a miscarriage before and I have no doubt that it is nature ‘s way to deal with unviable babies as you said. You sound like you are a very giving mother to your sons and that is a wonderful thing. Take care.


  4. Shen Li I’m sorry to hear that. If possible pls take a good rest for a month like u did for confinement. I know u might not like the idea but ur body needs that. Take care.


  5. Shen-Li, a big hug to you. I’m certain you’ve done your best as a Mummy, so just keep looking forward. Anytime you feel down, hug your 2 beautiful boys. Btw, I can relate to your experience as I just lost a planned baby on 29 Nov, explaining my 1-mth absence from blogging in Nov. It was a tiring experience; my boy gave me a reason to smile and move on every day. Take good care and get well soon. *Hugs*


  6. Thanks for all the support. I am so grateful to have such caring friends and so touched to hear from those of you I have not even met.

    Writing this has allowed me to acknowledge that my baby existed – even for a while – and to properly grieve which I could not do when I was trying to live my life as if Thursday night never happened.

    My boys have surrounded me with their love without which I know getting through this would have been infinitely harder.

    “Sadness has a season and will pass”.


  7. Isa – thank you. Yes, you can certainly PM me through BrillKids.

    Abby and MieVee – I am sorry to hear about your losses, too. Hugs right back!

    I also realised that I never thanked the ER doctor at Pantai Medical Center who showed me such compassion. She was gentle and kind and so caring when she explained to me what was happening. The nurse who assisted her was also very kind and gentle in her handling of me.


  8. Shen-Li, again I am so sorry for your loss. There is no need for guilt. This is all part of God’s work, God’s timing and God’s plan. Just take care of yourself for now. Trite as it sounds, time really is a great healer of all wounds.



  9. Thank you for your comfort. I think I have managed to come to terms with the guilt and I’m glad I wrote about it otherwise I might still be running around in circles in my mind about what I should have and should not have done.


  10. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I feel your pain. Take good care and look forward to each joyful day with your lovely boys.


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