One of my Dad’s favourite stories from my childhood was at my school’s sports day when I was five years old. I was running whatever race it was across the school lawn and actually winning, that was until I reached the finish line and I didn’t know what to do. Parents were screaming at me to run keep running but I just stood there as someone else whooshed passed me to claim 1st prize. Believe it or not, that would be my biggest sporting success as I have no aptitude for sport.
That was until we lost our third baby – our daughter – at Christmas. You can read more about that experience in a guest post I wrote for the Uterus Monologues. I would later find out that she had trisomy 16, a chromosanal abnormality that is incompatible with life. Our little girl with the mismatched chromosomes.
After three pregnancies and three losses in quick succession I didn’t recognise my body anymore. I’d also inevitably put on weight during pregnancy and in the aftermath when cooking and eating were distractions from my sadness.
As I recovered from my surgical management of miscarriage, I realised I was fed up of feeling like an empty shell, being this shadow I didn’t recognise. I needed to feel good about myself and find a purpose now that I wasn’t going to be having a baby. It’s not that I didn’t have work or hobbies, but my old life felt a bit grey after so much heartbreak. I needed a new challenge that would push me out of my comfort zone and bring some sparkle back into my life.
Which is why I had the crazy idea to sign up for 10K run to raise money for the Miscarriage Association. Okay so maybe it was more sweat than sparkle but it was more healing than I could’ve imagined. You can read more about my running journey in a blog I wrote for the Miscarriage Association.
Running made me realise we can still be parents even when we don’t have a living child; every step was for her (and me). After three months of training Kyle and I completed our 10K run in 66 minutes (and raised £2,256 for the Miscarriage Association) – a stunning result considering that both of us peaked athletically in primary school. When we collected our medals, it was like receiving a medal for being an awesome parent – I still look at it on my low days.
This wasn’t the first time our daughter inspired me to do better. When I was still pregnant with her, before I knew we’d lose her, I was offered a new role at work. I was nervous about the implications of accepting a new role whilst pregnant but I did accept it because I wanted our child to be proud of what I do.
Our daughter may have been small (so so tiny) but she had an impact on us and pushed us to do better. She’s not with us but I still think about her every time I go for a run.