My missing trimester

People often speak about the things they miss through premature birth and describe a sense of loss. I grieved for my final trimester for a long time after birth and for all that entailed.

What did you miss? What would you add to our list?

  1. Lost – No time to decorate the nursery
  2. I hadn’t even thought about packing a hospital bag
  3. I didn’t get to finish at work, say goodbye to colleagues or begin my maternity leave properly
  4. Nursery furniture, moses baskets and bedding were all bought online; no time to plan, shop or ‘nest’.
  5. No antenatal classes, no NCT, no mummy friends or support.
  6. I missed getting big
  7. Stretch marks that are missing in places where they should have been
  8. Lost – weeks and months of watching my belly grow, feeling my baby move inside
  9. Maternity clothes, bought but never worn
  10. Preparing for the new arrival, no shopping or meals in the freezer
  11. Lost – my final trimester
  12. No chance to make a birthing plan
  13. Lost – my baby whisked away after birth
  14. Missed – a chance to hold him close
  15. I went home empty armed
  16. I was lost and empty
  17. I grieved for the baby that was no longer with me
  18. No congratulations on your new arrival cards
  19. No new born, first cuddles photos to share
  20. Lost – a chance to be a mummy from day one


17 thoughts on “My missing trimester

  1. keepsmeoutofmischief

    Your list made me well up. I missed being able to enjoy being pregnant the second time around after having an early one first time around. It was a hideously stressful experience from the point I found out I was pregnant until after I brought him home. I hated the scans, there was no excitement at seeing him on the screen only constant questions of ‘is he growing’/ ‘how long do you think I’ve got’. Not being able to introduce him properly to his older brother until he came home was another thing we missed.
    Having said all those things, I’m very aware that, although they both arrived too soon, too small and the second one was ill, I’m blessed with 2 wonderful boys that I was able to eventually bring home and I was lucky enough to receive amazing care from the NHS. I have to hang on to the positives.


  2. coalescedreverie

    I never had a baby shower, and he is our first born. What hurt the most is the days it took for my own health to improve enough for me to even see our baby. No “It’s a BOY or It’s a GIRL. We didn’t know the sex. So much missed, but SO glad we are all OK.


  3. Bonnie

    My twins were premies! My husband was deployed when they were born. I missed not having him there with me, I didn’t even get to see them until hours later because I had major complications and was put under a general anesthesia during my c-section. But I thank god everyday that he helped me and my little ones be strong enough to get through it! They just had their 2nd birthday! I love them more than word could ever explain!


  4. Candice

    Yip my son! I missed out on being a mother to my son. He was born at 25 weeks and didn’t make it. All I hear about are the micro premies that survive and wonder why mine didn’t


  5. Debbie

    I read your list and go yes, yes, yes, until I get towards the end. I was very lucky to bring my baby boy home, after a long and stressful stint. He his now a very active, healthy, tall, smart, funny 16 year old and I thank god for modern medicine every single day.


  6. Jackie Smythe

    Missed, the opportunity to have my first ever baby shower and have family and friends ravel in the joy of this new baby and play the guessing games of due date, birth weight.

    Missed antinatial class, preparing us as 1st time parents of what to expect.


  7. Bec

    Goodness – the tears are rolling down my face too. My babe was 5 wks early and I feel some of your list keenly. I think 9 wks into this journey its a little closer to the surface than I thought too and maybe a reason that I haven’t put my finger on as to why there is a bit of a lull in my step currently. Im so grateful and thankful I have my dear baby boy at the end of the journey, but a friend summed it up beautifully sending me a card on a lovely sparkly fruit water the night I first came home … my little man still in NICU. ‘Open me and celebrate …. it may not be the way you planned but you are now a family of four’ Its definitely the little things you have to push to be grateful for. Blessings, love and virtual hugs to those going through the tough early days now xxxx


  8. Tammy Gibson

    Wow that is how i feel. So good to know what I’m feeling is normal. Three years on and I still tear up over the fact i missed so much and never got to experience what a normal pregnancy is like. We had twins so i wont get another opportunity either. Hopefully one day I’ll make peace with it.


  9. Michelle

    I still feel a keen loss for not being the one who welcomed my daughter into the world. It wasn’t my arms that held her first or washed her or fed her. That privilege was handed to medical staff. But i have my girl and she is now 8 years old and well. I am able to hold her every day and thats makes me very lucky and grateful x


  10. Linda Gemmell

    As I read through your list I found myself nodding and agreeing much of the time.. I’d like to share
    What I oersonally felt was the most difficult time throughout the initial 12 weeks of our preemie girl.
    I gave birth to my baby at 29.5 weeks and although she had more gestation time than other preemies, She was ‘growth restricted’ and weighed on 859grams. I was suddenly catapulted into this chaotic world of NICU, endless trips back and forth to the hospital.
    Our entire lives were consumed by being with our baby girl as much as we could.
    I coped fairly well with everything – I think the 2 weeks hospitalisation and bed rest was very a god send to recharge my batteries I was able to focus on my entire reason to live – My baby girl… When the day of my discharge came I was shattered and devastated when I had to go home and leave her at the nursery.. I felt hollow and empty without her, Like I was missing part of me. That was by far the most difficult day for me. I had been itching to get out of hospital for 2 weeks before she was born. I must have driven the nurses mad!… Now, I would do anything to be able to stay with my baby!
    And it didn’t become any easier for me either.
    The resentment I carried stayed with me for quite a while.
    Eventually I had to accept that it was the way it was and that there was nothing I could do!
    That was the missing part of becoming a preemie parent I grieved for the loss of the most..


  11. Amanda

    I totally identify with the points already highlighted here are some more . Please ignore if already mentioned The opportunity to breast feed not just express milk which was difficult not having my baby at home with me .
    Missed having my baby home with me every night for 22 weeks .
    The loss of every developmental milestone that was delayed or disorganised due to extreme prematurity .
    The loss of having a healthy baby who could fight off a wee cold without it turning in to a challenge for my already ill baby .
    The loss of hearing my baby cry .my baby due to severe chronic lung disease could not produce sound till around the age of 3/4 yrs
    The loss of not hearing my baby babble squeal shout or giggle
    The loss of pink healthy cheeks only seeing varying shades of grey .
    The loss of a happy contented baby disputed how hard I tried
    The loss of going to baby groups to socialise illness /appointments took over .
    The loss of planning family holidays /visiting family who live a distance away .
    Disputes all the loss I just try to get on with life what ever it throws at me . My daughter is 8years old and dispute her horrific early experiences doing ok . Many challenges ahead of her still but trying to make most of every moment to make good memories to out number the not so good


  12. louisaleaman

    A year on, I thought I’d gotten over the trauma of having a baby born at 30 weeks, but this post just rocketed me straight back to the reality. Powerful stuff and so important to acknowledge. Thanks.


  13. Francesca Tucker

    Yes, yes, yes! There are so many things you miss out on that may seem trivial on their own, or to the outside world. But when you experience it, the pain is very real.
    I am blessed to be pregnant with my second, and keeping everything crossed that this baby staus put to full term. But in the meantime, I am relishing every aspect of the pregnancy as I know all to well on how apruptly it can be taken from you. (And trying to do all the “later stage” things (hospital bag, preparing the nursery etc) as early as possible!
    A great piece- thank you for writing it xx


  14. Elizabeth

    I missed my last trimester the water birth I planned for. Saying good bye to work colleagues. My waters broke at 22 weeks I gave birth at 31 weeks but I couldn’t enjoy that time inbetween I was holding by breath between one kick and the next. I missed the excitement of a new born, visitors calling. Life stopped for 5 weeks. I grieved for the pregnancy I didnt get and it was to be my last one.


  15. Amanda Bateman

    I had my daughter 15 weeks early , she weighed 740 grams. I missed everything on the list, I felt like everyone thought she didn’t really exist. She was in hospital for 6 months & the hardest thing was leaving her every day. All I could ever do for a long long time was stroke her tiny hand. All I ever wanted to do was hold her & let her know how much I loved her . I was always worrying that she would never know. My beautiful daughter is now a healthy 19 year old & we are so very lucky to have her. I treasure every moment with her every day & thank my lucky stars for her everyday. I still however on many nights , not all , relive her traumatic start & grieve for what I missed even after all these years.



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