A golden heart.

This is about miscarriage, so please only read on if you feel comfortable with this. 
I held on to this for quite a while, but our baby's due date has come and gone, and I now feel like maybe this is something we should share. 

When we returned to sharing in this space many months ago, we had hoped to return with happy news.
A little while ago we were expecting our fourth little one.
Sadly things did not go as planned, and we were told that our sweet baby had stopped growing.

We waited a few awful weeks for the miscarriage to start, drinking raspberry leaf tea, praying for both a miracle and for things to finally be over.
I had envisioned a natural miscarriage as part of the healing process to help grieve the loss of our baby, but sadly my body never did realise. 
My body kept growing, kept holding on to a little life that would never live, that little heart that would never beat.

After sleepless nights and long, long days of waiting, we finally decided on surgical management of a missed miscarriage, which meant having a D&C. 
I was so scared about the procedure, as I couldn't find any personal stories about it, so I wanted to share how it was for me.

I went into the hospital for an early appointment, and I was the first person to be seen that day. Everyone was very gentle and caring, there were no pretend smiles and everyone spoke very quietly.

My doctor, nurses, and anaesthesiologist all introduced themselves to me and showed me the room where the D&C would take place.
I was then given some paracetamol and the anaesthesiologist said that he would give me something to feel a little bit more relaxed. That is my last clear memory before I woke up in tears.
I have since read that it's quite common for women to wake up crying after a D&C.
While I felt a huge sense of relief that this long journey of waiting was finally over, I also felt so, so sad. We were all so excited about this little one.

We had involved the children from pretty early on in this pregnancy, as we wanted them to be able to bond with their unborn sibling. Georgie had a rather tricky time after sweet Cai's birth, so we wanted to make sure everyone felt included. We would often talk about what it would be like with the new baby around, and everyone was very excited. 

Because of this we wanted to find a way to grieve that was accessible to the children, a way to get some closure, to know that it was ok to be sad, but ok to move on, too.
We decided to paint some stones with chalk and leave them on the beach, so they'd be swept away by the waves. We imagined their journey just like we imagine what our baby's journey might be like, letting go of something we created with love, trusting that it will be not lost forever, just on a different path.

We collected a special stone that day, and painted a tiny heart onto it. It now sits in a beautiful handmade bowl on our sacred space, a tangible memory of the little soul who should be with us by now.

Goodbye, baby Maya.
We wish we could have met you.