I am so very grateful to Enya, originally from Suffolk, UK and now in Leicestershire, UK, for sharing her story to motherhood and her baby Star as part of the LGBT Baby Loss blog series.
My name is Enya and I’m going to tell you a little about my story.
Growing up I was always sure of two things from a young age. One that I was gay, and two that I wanted to be a mum more than anything. As a teenager I wasn’t aware or even knew how this could be possible, as I had never really seen or heard of LGBT parents and how they came to be parents. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I learnt more and realised that there was many different ways and possibilities of me becoming a mum regardless of my sexual orientation.
In 2014 after around six months since splitting from my girlfriend, I did some soul searching and realised that I wanted to try to have a baby on my own. I have had a lot of issues gynaecologically since my periods started when I was 12, and had had a lot of different treatments that I was always unsure whether or not I could actually conceive and carry a baby to term. I had always said I would try for a baby when I was 25, and I knew I’d be able to cope on my own, as it’s something I had always wanted and dreamed of. I knew I’d never have a baby in the conventional way, so I had to decide which way would be best for me. I was very lucky to have found someone who was willing to help and be a donor through Artificial Insemination. I tried in December of 2014 and January of 2015 both tries were unfortunately unsuccessful. It was in February of 2015 that my first donor said he wouldn’t be able to help me anymore. I was very upset as its so hard to find someone genuine and trustworthy and who you want your child to share half their DNA with. I was very lucky that in June 2015 I found my second donor. He was amazing and always willing to donate when I needed him to, even at short notice. Months passed and I still hadn’t conceived but we carried on trying, until finally on the 21st February 2016, after being sure that month was unsuccessful and the only possible ‘symptom’ was a week long headache, I decided on a whim to take a pregnancy test at around 2pm about 12 days past ovulation, and to my complete and utter shock two lines appeared almost instantly. I couldn’t believe it and rang my younger sister Ayesha (who knew I had been trying for a baby) and told her I was pregnant. I took three more tests over the next couple of days and they were all positive. I was pregnant, after all this time of trying, and worrying it would never happen, I was pregnant! I was so unbelievably happy and excited, but also a little bit nervous. I wasn’t naive to the fact that people lose babies, and I just hoped that it wouldn’t happen to me.
The first few weeks of my pregnancy went smoothly, I had my booking in appointment with the midwife and everything seemed to be going well. I got the letter through for my first scan for the 12th April 2016, I decided to take my dad and Ayesha with me to the scan and we were all so excited to see my little baby finally.
Unfortunately I never made it to the scan, on the 7th April I started to bleed. In a way I knew in that moment that I wasn’t going to be bringing my baby home, but I tried to convince myself that everything was okay and it was just bleeding that some women have in pregnancy. As it was a Friday evening I rang the 111 helpline and they said to just take it easy and go to my doctors surgery on Monday as there was nothing that could be done in the meantime. I went to bed early that night and when I woke up in the morning the bleeding had stopped. I was hopeful that this meant things were okay and it wasn’t sinister bleeding. I was wrong, later on that evening I started to bleed again, this time heavier than the night before. I was terrified and heartbroken. I rang the 111 number again who said, again, that there was nothing that could be done and to wait until Monday. I wasn’t happy with this due to the amount of blood and clots I was losing, so I eventually went to the hospital with my friend and brother late that Saturday evening. After a very traumatic and horrible experience I lost my baby, who I later named Star, in the toilet of the A & E department of my local hospital on the 9th April 2016.
It is the single most heartbreaking and awful thing I have ever been through. Still to this day almost two years later I find it very difficult to come to terms with and deal with.
I was offered no support at all, no numbers to call or even leaflets of groups I could contact. I was sent away like it had never happened, like my baby had never existed. I tried to seek help myself and the best I was offered was group ‘Stress management’ sessions. Some of my family and friends support has been amazing, but some have been to be honest absolutely abysmal. I have tried to deal with it on my own and it’s been incredibly difficult and I’m still dealing with depression and anxiety.
In September of 2016 I met my now fiancee Sarah, and in October 2017 I moved from my home town of Lowestoft to live with her in Melton Mowbray. I am enjoying life here a lot more than I did in Lowestoft and Sarah’s support has been incredible. I also have the support of her mum, who herself lost two babies, and it means a lot to have her. I’ve also found a loss support group here called ‘Stephen’s Footprints‘ and through them I have been put in touch with a counsellor who is specifically trained in helping people who have lost children.
However, it is still very hard to deal with, and I am scared about the future. People like to say ‘you can just try again’ but for us LGBT families it isn’t that simple, not that it is for any couple or family to try again but you have that extra hurdle to deal with when you can’t try the conventional way. Sarah and I very much want to have children together after we get married, and I’m hopeful that we will have our baby in our arms one day, I just can’t help being scared anxious. It upsets me a lot that the only experience I have of pregnancy, and my first ever pregnancy ended in loss. It’s such a bitter pill to swallow.
One of the hardest parts of losing my baby is feeling so alone and that they don’t matter or I can’t talk about them. Every single one of our babies whether here with us or not matter, and deserve to be talked about. Continue saying their names, continue celebrating their lives and telling their stories. They matter and you matter.
Should anyone wish to talk or need support, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sending you all love and hugs,
This post is shared as part of the #LGBTBabyLoss Blog Series. To read more, or to submit your own experiences, visit the LGBT Baby Loss Blog Series homepage here.