In an interview with Mamamia’s No Filter podcast, the Olympic medallist – who is currently pregnant with her third child - opened up about how she managed to stay afloat through the grief.
“It was like I could see what was happening outside of myself. And it was almost like it was slow motion, the way that it happened,” she said.
“When [the obstetrician] said, ‘I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat,’ I just was completely floored, completely sideswiped, I guess, because it had seemed so real and so tangible. This was the next thing that I’m moving on to with my life, and it had seemed so positive.”
One of the hardest things for Libby to come to terms with? Telling her family the news.
“I had to tell my mum, I had to give her a call and in the same conversation tell her that I was pregnant but then that I had had a miscarriage,” she continued. “And there’s a line [in my book, Beneath the Surface] that just says, ‘I was so excited to tell you.’ It makes me cry every time.”
“Because I was. I was so excited to share [the pregnancy] with my mum, to share that experience, and to create that even deeper connection that I have with my mother. So that was really hard.”
Five years later, Libby admits the experience “still hurts” to look back on.
“I know the date that the baby was supposed to be born,” she said. “It was March 25. And every time that date comes around, I’m reminded of what that baby could have been.”
“I’m in my third pregnancy now [since the miscarriage]; I’m well pregnant now. But it’s one of those things that until they’re there with you, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.”
She also feels guilty about mourning the loss of such an early pregnancy – something many women can relate to.
“I still feel this weird guilt [about] feeling such grief for such an early miscarriage,” she said.
“I have come to understand that everybody’s experiences are different, and another person who had a miscarriage at the same point might not experience that grief.
“But I’ve learnt to not compare the experiences, because my grief is my grief, and my experience is my experience. Everyone is different.”
October is Pregnancy Loss and Awareness Month. For more information on miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death support visit Sands Australia.