All posts tagged: miscarriage

Finding Beauty in the Ashes

I climb in, turn the ignition and drive out our street, our city, allowing these wheels to eat up the distance. My stomach is a piece of dough. Pushed, pulled, beaten, flipped, flattened. It is 4:10pm. I kissed them goodbye: one, two, three, at the front door. Then I climbed into the driver’s seat, alone, no chatter in the back seat, no husband fiddling with the aircon. Just me. It’s warm for October and my cotton singlet top and sunnies feel deliciously summery, the sun still massaging warmth into my pores. My striped red and white tote in the boot has a change of clothes, a pair of pyjamas, a book, my Bible and a box of muesli bars, because I don’t trust hospital food. The road yawns ahead of me, wide and quiet, undulating from bush to townships to crops until I reach the coast and all its blue hopefulness. You’re close now, it says. I’m grateful for the kilometres between us, the peaceful preparation this plane has granted, making malleable the mishmash of …

Life: A Dangerous Topic

Forty-three years ago, photographer Robert Wolfe snapped a photo of a living, two-month-gestation baby. A golden droplet the size of a mandarin segment encases the undeniably human embryo. Head, eyes, arms and fingers are evident in exquisite detail. The fingers of the doctor or nurse hover below, giving scale to the dot of life they are about to grasp. The photo was taken during surgery for a ruptured ectopic pregnancy at the University of Minnesota in 1972. The doctor who administered the anaesthetic beheld, “what I believe was the smallest living human ever seen.” This is what he described: “The embryo sac was intact and transparent. Within the sac was a tiny human male swimming extremely vigorously in the amniotic fluid, while attached to the wall by the umbilical cord. The tiny human was perfectly developed, with long, tapering fingers, feet and toes. It was transparent, as regards the skin, and the delicate arteries and veins were prominent to the ends of the fingers. The baby was extremely alive and did not look at all like …

Twelve Weeks

This is a work of fiction that I wrote a while back. I feel rather vulnerable sharing it with you – for many reasons. Firstly, I don’t write a lot of fiction! And while I call it ‘fiction’ there are elements of truth embedded. You might be able to pick them. It’s also based on the topic closest to my heart: how immensely precious life is. I would be so grateful for any constructive feedback xxx TWELVE WEEKS Blood runs black beneath the nib hovering at Allira’s wrist. Jim smoothes the design on its scrap of paper before pressing back into flesh. He’s a redhead with blue-green eyes, freckled skin and a half-hearted goatee. The acrid whiff of cigarette smoke loiters at his teeth – he was drawing on a rolly at the shop’s steps when Allira arrived. He took his time to finish before walking in to set up. Allira sat on the couch to wait, gaping at the framed sketches of skulls, bare-breasted women and taloned creatures. The music was angry. Finally, Jim …

A Baby’s a Baby, all the Time!

Babies.  They begin as a ‘zygote’, are dubbed an ’embryo’ at around two weeks before assuming the title of ‘fetus’ at 8 weeks.  If they die before 20 weeks it’s called a ‘miscarriage’ and thereafter, a ‘stillbirth’.  Technicalities.  Because a mother knows her baby to be life from go to whoa, and a baby’s death is painful whatever the doctors call it.  Anja’s son died in the womb at 17 weeks.  Here, she courageously shares his short story and the reality that “a baby’s a baby, all the time”, in her words.  A This Little Life story. (Please note, this story includes a photo of Anja’s son, born at 17 weeks) “In late October 2009 we were thrilled to discover that we were expecting a baby. We had experienced a previous early pregnancy miscarriage, but figured we were in the clear as, by the time I saw those two pink lines, we were already past the point of our previous loss. As excited ‘first time’ parents we announced our pregnancy creatively to our family, I …

You Won’t Believe What the No. 1 Aussie Killer Is…

In a gobsmacking analysis of Australian causes of death, Emily’s Voice CEO Paul O’Rourke has revealed that abortion claims the lives of more Australians than cancer, heart disease, drowning, suicide, homicide and motor vehicle accidents put together. “Each year in Australia, an estimated 96,000 children are lost as a result of surgical and chemical abortions. That’s 263 Aussie kids a day; an average-sized primary school,” he said. The breakdown is 80,000 surgical abortions and 16,000 chemical* abortions, which equates to around 3,000 more than the combined annual deaths of what is usually reported as our nation’s biggest killers: Homicides:   250 Drowning:   300 Motor vehicle accidents:   1,193 Suicide:   2,535 Cancer:   42,844 Heart disease:   45,600 Total:   92,722 Sadly, the government has not seen the importance of collecting abortion figures.  South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are the only jurisdictions that count abortions.  These figures, combined with Medicare claims for first and second trimester abortions, and hospital records, are where we land at a figure for surgical abortions in Australia. …

Attention: Champions of Life

Never have I been more aware of how precious life is. In the past two weeks, three friends have given birth to beautiful, healthy babies. One made her entrance at just 30 weeks, weighing less than 1.4kg. She is doing marvellously, as is mum. Sadly, I know another couple who was only given an hour with their newborn son before he breathed his last. We joined that family as they lowered a tiny coffin into the ground. Still another husband-and-wife pair have traveled such a heart-wrenching journey with their son who has cancer. They have fought for his life so gallantly, making use of all the available treatment facilities in Melbourne, praying on his behalf like the warriors they are. And my husband and I have known the grief of miscarriage recently too. Through all these separate but somehow similar situations that champion the inherent value of life, our Tasmanian government is attempting to change abortion laws to allow greater access to pregnancy termination. And for every pregnancy termination, a little life is also terminated. …

When is a Foetus a Person? And Can it be Different for Different People?

What interesting paradoxes we are witnessing in Australia. Did you hear about how the Queensland Police Union has called for risk-taking pregnant women to be monitored in safe houses, particularly in cases where the unborn child is at risk of foetal alcohol syndrome and drug addictions? The submission to the Queensland Child Protection Inquiry says the law should be changed to protect the rights of unborn children to a “full life and health”. “The state must have the ability to intervene and protect the unborn child when its mother refuses, or is incapable or unwilling to do so,” Union president Ian Leavers says in the submission. Skip across to South Australia where there are moves to declare an unborn child a person after the tragic case of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby killed in a car accident. The male driver is charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving unlicensed and leaving the scene of an accident. State MP Robert Brokenshire’s planned submission of a private member’s Bill to the South Australian parliament would change the …

Miscarriage.

My heart has felt the weight of a great something lately; let’s call it a stone. A stone pressing down with immense weight and pressure on my lifesource so that every other piece of me has felt languid, heavy. I have lain awake at night, listening to its beat while thought and breath synchronised in a slow pas de deux. You see, I lost my baby. I was 12 weeks pregnant when my miscarriage happened, about six weeks ago. It’s still raw. Why would I write about something so personal, you ask? Not for your sympathy. No. Rather, because I have learnt that miscarriage is a common sadness (about one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage), one that many women carry in silence, on their own. Let’s not do that. I didn’t meet my baby, didn’t know his or her personality, likes and dislikes, quirks and habits. I just knew there was life within me, life brimming with potential. Yet the grief has been deep and painful and suffocating. A mother’s love for her child is full-blown …