Here is a little of our story from the lady who started ‘The Tent’, the group from which Saltwater and Honey was formed. The tent is a safe place for women struggling with childlessness to be open and honest and support each other. We always meet around a table, share food, share laughter, share tears and talk about the messy unhealed bits in our lives that are normally deeply hidden. Look out for more ‘Tent’ related posts to come soon as we share more about what we do and how you could start your own tent……
I am a mum of four children. Last year I trained to be a doula. Someone who provides emotional support to a woman giving birth. I wanted to watch the miracle of life, to witness the joy and awesomeness that a new life brings. I immersed myself in the training, surrounded by all things “baby” heaven. In the midst of my baby indulgence I got a text from my friend to say she had miscarried…… again.
Something in me changed. My heart broke. I had only ever known babies as being about joy, only ever known a pregnancy seen through to completion. Yet there were people around me hurting in silence as their dreams were once again shattered. I saw their raw emotion and witnessed their pain and watched them try to face the world like everything was normal,
but it wasn’t.
God placed this on my heart and I knew there was no going back. I cringed at every smug or ridiculously insensitive comment that had passed my lips. I cried at my ignorance and my blindness and I made a pact with God that weak as I am, I would somehow try to help.
The Tent has been an incredibly humbling privilege. There are no glib words to make it all better when someone loses a baby. There is no answer or quick fix. There is rawness, emotion, honesty and deep, deep pain. The tent is a space to be, just as you are. No pressure, no expectations and certainly no answers. We don’t have solutions or knowledge or experience, but we will 100 % love you and support you and journey with you through this really shitty time.
God has taught me that when people are suffering, you don’t tiptoe around or avoid them, you confess to not having a clue what to do, and you barge in and love them. Don’t talk about them with others, don’t offer them pitying looks but talk about the weather – talk to THEM! Believe me, they don’t need to be worrying about you in all of this and how you are being affected, they just need to be held closely and loved.
The tent is not a miserable place. We don’t sit immersed in misery and negativity. Yes, we cry.. a lot, but we also eat.. a lot! And laugh, man, do we laugh.. a lot! I have never left a tent meeting feeling drained or miserable or depressed. Instead I have been humbled by the openness and honesty of these strong and incredible women and blown away by their ability to hold onto hope.
Parenting is big in our society. And so is childlessness. Let’s not ignore it because it doesn’t affect us. Let’s not wait for the right words or leave it to someone else, let’s be aware of those who are isolated and suffering, and just maybe take a risk and barge in and love them!
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
Maybe you have already posted something on here about how you wish people reacted to what you are going through. A sort if do’s and don’ts. I know sometimes I worry I am saying a hopelessly insensitive thing and almost feel nervous to say anything in case it’s wrong.
This is such a brilliant blog. Amazing. xx
Thank you Lucy. This is a great idea and something we really want to do. We also want to do it well so we can’t say for definite when it will get finished but it is on the list. For now, the fact that you are aware is wonderful and there is nothing you can say so don’t worry about that, just listen and hug and laugh and cry (at the appropriate moments).
Thanks for the great idea Lucy, we’ve finally done it:
My wife and I found out two days before Christmas, (2015), about our first baby. It was amazing. Lots of dreams started to be made about the future. This past Sunday, my wife lost the baby. The only way to describe it right now is bittersweet. Thank you guys for the website
Hey Nathanael, thanks so much for your message. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, it can’t be an easy time for you both. Please know you’re not alone and if you and your wife do want to talk further as you work through your grief over the next few months do get in touch, there is an email address on the ‘contact us’ page. Sending lots of love to you both xx
Hi Lizzie, a great article and thank you for sharing this site. I myself suffered my 6th miscarriage last year and currently trying to conceive and start the process again. As you are aware so many mixed emotions, and such an isolated ‘disease’ , even my darling best best friend and partner don’t really get it right! Thank you for creating this site……Sarah
Hi Sarah, thanks so much for your comment. I’m so sorry to hear of your losses, basically, I know how painful it is and, as you said that complete mix of emotions. I’m so glad you found us and that you’ve found this site helpful, I suppose we know what it’s like to feel isolated and didn’t want other people to feel alone. It’s funny how those who used to know us best can struggle to know how to offer support when you’re living a story that’s rarely talked about and one that is so painful. Basically, I suppose I’m saying ‘I hear you’ and you’re not alone. With much love xxxx
Hi I have discovered your website by chance and wanted to share our story to give hope like it has done for us ….we have suffered loss and grieved for the family we so long wanted…we were childless for such a long time …in January last year we met our daughter for the first time, she was 15 months old and we had been matched through adoption……almost 12 months on and we cannot imagine life without her….. she may not of grown inside me but our love for her has grown in our hearts…. without the rain their cannot be the miracle of a rainbow x
Hi Nelly, thanks so much for your comment. It’s so amazing to hear your story, thank you so much for sharing it! What a wonderful tale of redemption. Adoption is something we all support at Saltwater and Honey and it’s just great to hear such a wonderful story. With much love xx
Hi all – I saw a link to this blog in an article in The Guardian, and wanted to share my story in the hopes that it might help someone out there. When I was 38, divorced, and not in a relationship that could handle a child, I tried to freeze my eggs, but was told that I had diminished ovarian reserve, and would likely not be able to have a biological child. I mourned, but decided that I wasn’t going to give up on having a child.
I saw a therapist who dealt with fertility issues and explored the possibility of using a donor. I asked her about the outcomes she saw for women who used donor eggs. She said that, in her experience, people tend to project a lot onto biological children, but she hadn’t seen a real difference between people who carried their own eggs and people who used donor eggs in terms of the parenting experience and bond.
So, a few years later, newly married and at the age of 43, I had a gorgeous baby boy – great pregnancy, and all of the love and challenges that come with a baby. It was expensive though, and so, as we look to have a sibling, we’re planning to go to a clinic in the Czech Republic, where the entire process can be done for around $6,000. Everyday, I am grateful for my son, and think of him as my own flesh and blood. I carried him from the very beginning, breastfed him, and almost never think about the difference in our genes. (He looks like his dad!) So if you’re out there and still want options, I encourage you to explore this process!