49. You Are Not Alone – Lyndal Redman
"I met my husband later in life, although not so late that I thought we needed to talk about babies straight away. He already had children from a previous marriage so we took our time. We waited, we talked, argued and finally got to the point where we started trying." Informed Pregnancy+ is Dr. Elliot Berlin’s brand new multi platform streaming channel dedicated to pregnancy, postpartum and parenting. The Filmmakers Spotlight blog series features creators whose work is showcased on the channel. To learn more or sign up for a yearly or monthly subscription, click here!
Having a child will be easy, you have time, it’ll happen. Protect yourself from getting pregnant they say… take the pill… use condoms… withdraw they say. Little did I know just how heartbreaking my journey to have a child would be.
I met my husband later in life, although not so late that I thought we needed to talk about babies straight away. He already had children from a previous marriage so we took our time. We waited, we talked, argued and finally got to the point where we started trying.
My husband was working FIFO (fly-in fly-out) at the time, and although he was away for 3-4 weeks at a time we were blessed with getting pregnant pretty quickly. Knowing the short window we as women have and the fact I was getting closer to 40 it was even more exciting.
We got our confirmation from the GP, and they told me I wouldn’t need a scan till later, my levels looked good. As it was my first pregnancy I didn’t question anything. My boobs got bigger, they were sore, all my symptoms and my body told me I was pregnant. So for the next 8 weeks we went blissfully about our business. We even started talking names. Eventually I requested a 12 week scan, just to make sure all was ok.
The morning of our first scan was a Tuesday. We spoke excitedly about the future as we headed to see our baby but once there – heartbreaking news, it was a non-viable pregnancy. In that moment my heart broke. That baby was wanted, loved already. Although I had a friend who had gone through a loss, nothing could have prepared me for the pain and grief I felt in that moment.
We rang my mum, we told those close to us. And at 2am in the morning I wrote a SMS to my friends who knew about the pregnancy with the news. I explained what had happened, then I told them not to contact me till later. I knew they cared, but the reminder of my loss would break my heart again.
I thought it must have been something I had done… I worked too hard, got too stressed. I thought I had lost our baby. The next day I threw myself into work. I had back-to-back clients and because I didn’t know how to process everything, work meant I didn’t have to think about it. During a break, I rang my doctor, who hadn’t even looked at the scan yet, so I had to tell her about the miscarriage. She gave me the number of an obstetrician whose receptionist was rude and unhelpful. They didn’t have an appointment for 2 months, I was almost at breaking point when I pleaded with her to give me the number of someone who could help. I didn’t want to wait for it to pass naturally, how long would that be? Eventually I found someone who was understanding to help me get a DNC as quickly as possible.
Afterwards, I had to ring a client to cancel an appointment later that week. While on the phone she asked me if I was ok. I broke down and told her that we had lost our baby. I distinctly remember her saying, “oh I had one last year.” That was the start of a discussion I had with many other men and women in just a few days. They had all experienced loss, some of them multiple times.
A week later another very good friend of mine sent me a text message, one similar to mine, she too had lost her baby. It was in that moment that ‘You Are Not Alone’ was born. I thought, why don’t we talk about this, why is this something we suffer in silence? In pain? In grief? Why should we hold it in? I wanted to do something to help all those other women and their partners. So many people like me are going through this, but still feel so alone.
The production of the series was cathartic at times, and bloody hard at others. Just over a year after our first loss, we finally got pregnant again. Once again, excited was an understatement, but with a little more trepidation. It was super early – I was testing as soon as I was a day late. That week I headed on trip for work where I was to work a twelve hour day on the hottest day on record in full PPE on an iron ore barge.
Throughout the day I started spotting. It was hot and my body wasn’t coping. But when I rang the GP clinic they told me it was probably normal. The following morning it was more than a spot or two. I knew in my gut that this one wasn’t going to continue. I sat on the bed, took out my phone and recorded that moment. Part of me knew that if my documentary was going to happen I needed to record my journey. If I wanted others to tell me their stories, I needed to tell mine/ours too.
So I filmed moments along our journey – our journey to the ultimate joy of holding our beautiful child in our hands. Six months after our miracle was born we began filming the series proper. I watched as our wonderful subjects cried at the babies lost. I hugged them tight when we could (Covid was here) and I grieved again for ours. After a couple months of filming interviews I moved onto editing then finally the series was done. I hope that myself and the wonderful men and women who shared their stories will help someone on their own journey. My series “You Are Not Alone” is for those women, their partners, friends and families who have lost their baby, those who tried, suffered, grieved and yearned.
With over 15 years experience working as an editor and camera person at some of this country’s leading television and media companies, I have had a wide range of experience.
My knowledge of video principles, technologies, and methodologies is sound through the previous positions I have held. I have excellent communication skills, which have developed through my previous roles and exercise daily through my current role. I am passionate about producing high quality video stories for any medium.
I was honored with a Commended in the Best Current Affairs and Highly Commended in the News Camera categories of the SA Press Club Awards for my documentary on the Kapunda murders for “Evil Up Close”
In 2015 I worked as a Field Producer for Channel 9’s Alysa and Lysandra to the Rescue and as an Associate Producer for Channel 7’s Seven Year Switch..
Most recently I worked as a Shooter/Producer for season two of Seven Year Switch, as well as documentaries for Moving Visuals, Singapore and WAG TVs ‘What on Earth’.
For more information check out redmanmedia.net.