When Lisa found out she was pregnant she was really happy, albeit a bit nervous with the normal worries of a first time Mum.
She and her partner talked about their baby, Jack, every day. They made plans and had dreams for Jack’s future.
At her 10 and a half week scan, Lisa felt that she could start to relax – her doctor told her everything was going along fine. She started to get excited and even told some of her friends the happy news.
But sadly the happiness didn’t last. Two weeks later, Lisa had a miscarriage.
Lisa experienced heavy cramping and bleeding. At the hospital, they told her Jack had died.
Lisa recalls that the experience was traumatic, both because she had lost her precious baby, and because of the treatment of her medical team.
“They were very clinical – they looked after me physically, but there was no care or compassion for what I was going through mentally,” Lisa explains.
The doctor told her ‘you can try again’, and made her feel silly when she asked if there was a counsellor she could speak to.
Lisa sought out the hospital social worker herself. The social worker gave her a special little teddy bear and the information about how to contact Red Nose.
After she left hospital, Lisa didn’t ask her help for a long time.
“It took me ages to build up the courage to call the Red Nose number.
“I knew counselling would be helpful, but I was too scared – scared because I knew it would be so painful to think about what had happened and to talk about Jack.
But when Lisa did finally reach out to Red Nose, Lisa says she is so glad that she did.
“My Red Nose Counsellor was so lovely and kind.
“She gave me permission to feel how I felt – and gave me a safe space to grieve and think lovingly about Jack.
“The memorial service was a big help too, and I still sleep with my teddy bear every night.
Lisa says she understands why other women, mothers, don’t want to talk about miscarriage or pregnancy loss – why they want to stay in their bubble.
But this can be so isolating for parents who have experienced a loss.
“It feels like you shouldn’t be talking about it, and when you do talk about it, they say ‘you can have another one’, or ‘at least you got pregnant’’’.
“It is really hard to talk about, but your baby isn’t something you just forget about,” explains Lisa.
“We want to be able to talk about our baby, talking about Jack helps me remember him.
“The other thing I realised is that many other women have been through what I’ve been through, so when I talk about Jack it gives them permission to talk about their baby too.
“Speak up because you never know what other people are struggling with and how you could be helping them by speaking up yourself.
Red Nose provides free, specialised bereavement support for anybody affected by miscarriage or pregnancy loss. Call our 24/7 Support Line on 1300 308 307 or visit rednosegriefandloss.org.au