Last night I had a conversation with my 10yr old son about when he and his sisters were born.
It started off because of a conversation I had had with his teacher that morning. She had told me he had been telling her that he blamed himself for my miscarriage 9 years ago. That it was his fault because he had made me go to the zoo and he was the only child so he must have been naughty and that the baby was a boy and because he killed his brother that's why he only had sisters.
When I heard this my heart broke, as I realised he knew more about my miscarriage than I realised and the time had come to tell the truth.
The comment about the zoo really got to me because my biggest secret is I fear I am to blame for the loss of the baby!
I found out I was pregnant again around his first birthday and we were all thrilled as we wanted a brother or a sister for him. At the time I was working for social services as a support worker working with adults and children with special needs in the community and one of the clients I looked after every other Saturday was a teenage boy with a mental age of a much younger child.
I knew I was pregnant and had informed work so that changes had been made to ensure the safety of myself and my unborn child and this boy was one of the clients that I kept. One Saturday when I went to pick him up his mother suggested I took him to a nearby petting zoo and I agreed thinking it was a good idea. It was spring and whilst I knew to stay away from sheep because they carry a disease which causes a miscarriage, it never occurred to me to keep away from lambs!
About a week or so later I was walking down the main high street in the busy city centre of Chester when I was tripped up by a blind man with a stick. Now whilst I could see him coming and I tried to get out of his way, he obviously didn't realise how busy the pavement was and he was walking pretty fast. We collided and both went flying and whilst everyone rushed to his aid, no one came to me at all and I remember bursting into tears, worried I had hurt my unborn baby. My fears soon became true as a few days later I began to bleed and discovered I had lost my baby (see my miscarriage story here and here)
After my miscarriage and the D&C I received a telephone call from the hospital who said that the results had shown I had an infection but they denied that it had caused my miscarriage and I was given some antibiotics. I trusted what they said and took the medication. Two short weeks after the miscarriage I conceived my 8 year old and went on to have a trouble-free pregnancy (her delivery was something completely different read about it here and here!)
As time passed I learnt that you should stay away from lambs as well as sheep and I began to wonder about the miscarriage, the petting zoo and the infection and wondered if they were linked. Then a couple of years ago I spied something on my notes saying that the baby had died at 6 or 8 weeks pregnant, even though I was 13 weeks pregnant when I miscarried! I realised that that was the time I went to the petting zoo and this meant that I had caused my miscarriage! Something I will have to live with for the rest of my life!
So last night I sat with my son and reassured him that he was not to blame for my miscarriage. That no matter how naughty he had been, it would not have caused it and that sometimes, for no reason at all, sometimes babies died and women suffer miscarriages or stillbirth. That sometimes there was no reason at all, they just happened!
I admitted to him about the petting zoo and that it wasn't him I took. That if anyone was to blame, it wasn't him it was me! He gave me a hug and told me it wasn't my fault either and he didn't blame me!