Monday, 21 January 2013

Lyra May

I had not written an entry here for several months. Initially this was for the joyous reason of three months of morning sickness. Now I'm writing to help me say goodbye to all of that.

At almost five months pregnant I noticed that my baby was not moving very much. And then stopped entirely.
An emergency scan confirmed the worst - the baby had died.

Typing those words is so easy, it and they do nothing to convey the depths of the pain and panic I felt in the hospital. That moment has formed the worst experience of my life, and I battle daily not to get stuck in the room of that memory.

On the 6th of January I was admitted to hospital to deliver my baby.
Once again these words do nothing to take you into that room with me, nor should they. It was a private place where only me and Andy and our baby-in-spirit were.
Labour was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The pain taught me what to do, and the terror and physical shock burnt away for a few hours.

I delivered my lost daughter, and became her mayfly mother for a few hours. She was beautiful, not scary at all. I held her for a long time.

Leaving the hospital without my pregnancy, without my daughter, was the most painful experience of my life. Once again, typing these words is simple, but putting one foot in front of the other and walking out of that place took more strength than I knew a person could contain.

We named her Lyra May, as we had intended to should she have been born as we hoped.

I share all of this because it is true and real. I share it because I'm tired of our cultures death-taboo. I share it to acknowledge all the secret sorrows our lives contain. I share it because I want to hold the experience in words, to shape it into a story and add it into the chapters of my life.
I must do this to continue.

I write it down publicly too because I've come to realise how sadly common the of experience of losing a baby is. Several women have been generous and brave enough to share their experiences with me. Their stories make me feel less alone, and their strength staggers and humbles me.

My godmother shared a beautiful letter with me. It ends like this:

"For the gift that you were once given will always be yours"


  1. Words fail to offer anything other than the trite. However I do wish all the healing in the world to you both. As I mentioned on Andy's post, my brother and his wife lost their daughter at 9 months. To this day Jennifer is part of the family, just as much as her lovely sisters. Your mayfly will be forever one of the family.

  2. Dear Nomi,
    I have walked this path and your words could easily be mine. I am so very glad you were able to hold Lyra, and that she was acknowledged and named and will forever remain your beautiful daughter, and you her beautiful mum and dad. I sent Andy an email, when he posted about losing Lyra, just to let you both know that if you ever need to 'talk' (rant, sob, howl), to someone who has been through it...just drop me a line. We may be on opposite sides of the world, but I am here if you need, even if it is just to know that you are not alone, and others have come through, changed yes, but not broken. Take care of yourself, and carry on doing what feels right to you in your journey towards healing.

    All my thoughts are with you,

  3. Beautifully worded. As i read this, imagined the moments of finding out that she was gone, of labouring, of holding her and of leaving the hospital. And now there is the rest of of your life to try to come to terms with it, which of course, takes the rest of your life. I lost Jacob 2.5 years ago and living day to day is much easier and less painful now, even before Emily was born, but the ache never entirely leaves and the pain can resurface without warning. Your grandmothers quote is beautiful too.

  4. Nomi,
    I've been thinking of you often and hope you find comfort and peace to help you through. My own miscarriage eight years ago was a quiet sorrow in early pregnancy but I keep a place in my heart and my life for that unknown soul.
    If you ever want to talk about Lyra, or art, or aerial, just let me know. You are not alone.


  5. Hello lovely,
    Would be super to see you and hold your hand for a bit.
    You have been much in thoughts over last few months. Lyra will never leave you completely, she may well smile out from the eyes of other creations. I have my girl who carries the essence of two others in her.
    Here's a blanket of love for you. Xxxx

    1. Thank you Emma :)
      I hope little Lyra got what she needed, and is happy now being in the trees and the grass.
      It'd be lovely to see you another day too xxx

  6. Yes to all the above, to Lyra May, to love, to this strange and terrible strength which is the gift inside the horror. And, I hope, a little reassurance that the memories you return to again and again - the room; the realisation; the walking away - these will haunt you less as time carries you away from that day. Love keeps pace, always, but the pain lags behind a little further with every step. Keep walking. xx

    1. Yes, yes. :)

      As Viktor Frankl quotes in his amazing book:

      "Set me like a seal upon your heart: Love is as strong as Death."

  7. i am so sorry to hear about your loss, I have had 2 misscariages and now the mother of a beautiful 8 yrs old girl. For me it wasn't the death of the babies that haunted me rather it was the loss of expectations and a future. My kindness for your partner too and I wish you all the best.