“Being open and honest and supporting others who are going through the same thing, is helping my emotional recovery” – Emily reflects on Baby Loss Awareness Week
Emily Malewicz, a specialist podiatrist at Solent NHS Trust, experienced great loss and grief when she suffered three miscarriages during the pandemic. Since then, she and her husband have found that talking about their experience and being open, is helping them to heal.
Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) raises awareness on a very important subject. Nine babies are stillborn in the UK every day and 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Sadly, Emily is part of that statistic.
She reflects on the day her life changed. “My journey started August last year when I had my first miscarriage whilst I was at work. Hearing those words, ‘you’ve had a miscarriage’, filled me with an emptiness and intense sadness.”
Even though this was still a very difficult time, Emily and her husband, Rob, found out they were expecting again in December, just a few weeks before Christmas. “We were both so excited thinking this was our time, however I ended up having a missed miscarriage (in January) where I was informed at a scan that my baby no longer had a heartbeat.”
Still grieving from the loss of her two babies, Emily found out she was pregnant for a third time in April. Unfortunately, at her regular scan in May, Emily was told the same thing. At this appointment, with Rob by her side, and the staff being very supportive and caring, Emily’s world was caving in once again. Emily remembers feeling completely lost, saying: “At this moment, our world completely shattered around us, the one thing we have both always wanted, we couldn’t have. My body couldn’t even get a miscarriage right.
Suffering in silence no more
“Throughout my journey, I have found that a lot of women, families and couples suffer in silence because the topic of baby loss is not always deemed as acceptable to talk about, whether that’s because people are scared to talk to people about their grief, or how other people will react towards them.”
After her third miscarriage, Emily has been going in for tests to investigate the reasons behind her miscarriages and why they keep happening, but so far no reasons have been found and Emily is not sure if they will ever get a definite answer.
To help her and her husband heal, they have been talking openly about their pain and find it is helping with their emotional recovery. Emily says: “I decided that I would be open with what has happened to me because we both felt quite alone. It wasn’t until we started talking to others that we realised we are not.
“Baby loss is such a taboo subject and it shouldn’t be. While I was off work, we did lots of research into different charities and the work they do to help change the pregnancy story. We signed up for a half marathon which we completed in August this year for Tommy’s, a pregnancy charity. This helped us with our mental and physical wellbeing after going through such a traumatic year.
“I tried to educate my friends who have luckily not experienced what I have, to help them have a better understanding of what happens to someone’s body and mental state at a time of losing a baby. The main thing that is helping me with my road to recovery is knowing that I can help other people around me come to terms with their loss.”
Here are some links to resources and organisations that are helping Emily and Rob through this difficult time:
Miscarriage Association – dealing with miscarriage in the workplace
Miscarriage Association – men and miscarriage
Sands - a leading stillbirth and neonatal death charity in the UK
Petals – baby loss counselling charity