Trigger warning* Please note this post contains sensitive content about a miscarriage.
It has taken me months to attempt to write this. But now I am ready.
Today I should have been 39 weeks. My due date was 10th February. As that date looms around the corner, I have to stop myself thinking about it too much.
There has been a lot that has happened since then which I will divulge in the next post. A lot which I am grateful for. I have healed, but I will always have lost my first baby.
We found out earlier than normal as I was due to have a minor surgery. As routine, they did a HGC (pregnancy test) before hand and after the urine test and the blood test, we were told that I was pregnant. We had joked about it; about how wouldn’t it be funny if the surgery was cancelled because of the pregnancy, but we never thought it would actually happen.
I was in a blissful state for 2 weeks. I couldn’t stop smiling. We called our immediate family as soon as we found out to share the happy news and there were tears all around.
I was going to be a mummy!
I bought more books, downloaded more apps and bought a baby book to record each week. I started to plan for a future with our little baby. We immediately started talking about baby names, I started looking at baby items that we would need and I would go into the man-cave and vision where the crib would go and what we do. I was the happiest person alive. The day we found out we bought a bottle of expensive champagne to celebrate. I mean, if I wasn’t going to drink for the next 9 months then I needed to have one last one!
Those 2 weeks though, I had this niggly feeling. I kept saying it felt too good to be true. That it felt like someone was holding a carrot in front of me and was going to take it away.
And then they did.
On the morning of 15th June 2021 I woke up to see some slight discolouring on my underwear. I immediately knew there was something wrong, but I hoped and prayed that I was wrong. I ran through all the various possibilities that it could be. I looked for all the positive results on google.
I went for a walk with a friend that morning and although we weren’t planning on telling anyone other than family, I told her. She was pregnant too and knew how long we had been trying for so I wanted that support. I told her about what I was experiencing that morning. She too has experienced loss and I wanted her thoughts about whether I should be concerned. Thinking back I can’t remember what she told me other than if I was concerned then I should phone OB or go to the ER.
When I got back from my walk I went to the bathroom again and there was more discolouration. The panic was rising but my hope and optimism were winning. I had another friend come over to cut my hair and I sat through that with smiles, but with a knot in my stomach. When she left, I went to the bathroom again. There was more discharge and it was darker. I phoned OB with shaking hands. They told me if it was blood then I needed to go to the ER.
I remember being on the phone to my mum. She was trying to keep me calm and tell me everything was going to be ok- that it was probably implantation bleeding, but I knew that it was passed that point. I was distraught. I was now beyond the point of optimism. I was falling into this dark hole.
I phoned my husband at work and told him what was going on. He met me at the emergency room. We sat in that waiting room for what felt like hours. It was cold, sterile and had white strip lights. It was awful and to this day I hate that waiting room. When I was eventually seen, the nurses could not find a vein. I was prodded and poked by 3 people multiple times, despite the use of a vein finder. They eventually called over the paramedic who got it in first try. All through this I was trying not to publicly cry. They eventually sent me to radiology to have a scan and I remember telling the sonographer how terrified I was. I remember so clearly the fear I had and that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I asked him what he saw, but all he said was that the Dr would give me the results.
In the hospital room my husband and I sat hand in hand, tears rolling down my cheeks. I can’t remember how long we waited until the Dr came in. He looked defeated and told us it wasn’t good news. My HCG levels which should be in the thousands were well below what they should be at this stage of pregnancy and that there was nothing to be seen on the scan- the pregnancy was not viable.
My world came crashing down around me. As soon as he stepped out and closed the door I wailed. The pain I felt was unimaginable. My husband and I held each other and cried. We cried and cried until I couldn’t be in that room anymore- I needed to get out. I needed to go home and be in my own home, with my animals. I needed to be away from everyone so I could be in pain.
The next few days were days that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. No-one prepares you. No-one quite tells you what to expect (both physically and emotionally). I was told that I would experience more bleeding and period-like pain and I should wear a pad, not a tampon, to avoid infection. But nobody told me that I would have the sac come out of me. Nobody told me that I would sit down to go for a wee and find what was my baby in my underwear.
I thought the pain I felt when I was told I had suffered a miscarriage was too much to deal with. This was a different. This rocked me to more core. This sent me into a panic attack of despair that I could not speak or say anything. I was in a trance of pain. I just remember sitting on the toilet, holding my baby in my hands- my dog trying to figure out what was going on and almost eating it- not being able to breathe, gasping for air and my husband at the door not knowing what to do or say.
He then took our baby in his hands and put it in a container and in the fridge.
I lost our baby at 5 weeks 5 days. To many, “it’s only 5 weeks”, it’s nothing to worry about and we can try again. Those that have suffered don’t understand- I didn’t understand until it happened to me. But the truth is, my baby may ‘only‘ have been 5+5, but they were a baby and it doesn’t matter how many weeks gestation they were. We had created life after over a year of trying. Their life was part of ours the minute we found out. We had dreams and plans and saw them in it, and now it was gone.
I blamed myself for a long time. I questioned every single thing that I did and wondered if that is what caused it. A part of me still believes that it was my fault and I’m not sure if that will ever change. I started going to therapy as I needed to talk about it to someone other than my husband. Whilst he was suffering too- it was different. I was physically suffering as well as emotionally. I struggled to open up to family and friends because I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want to have to talk about it all the time because it was just too painful. I think I was also afraid of the comments of “you can try again”, “at least it was only 6 weeks” and unhelpful things like that.
I think for a long time I didn’t accept that it was ok to feel absolutely fucking devastated. I think a part of me was telling myself what I didn’t want to hear from others- those dreaded words “at least”. But there is no “at least” about it. I conceived a baby and then they died and I had every right to feel as broken as I did. A part of me died with my baby that day and I knew that I would never be the same again.
My husband and I wanted to honour the life that we created and so we built a fire in our fire pit. We put our baby in a beautiful box with notes from both of us and we surrounded it with flowers. We said a few words aloud and we set fire to it. We then swept up the ashes and a few days later I sent a spoonful off to a company that makes jewellery with loved ones ashes and I had a ring made. I wear that ring everyday knowing that they will always be with me.
It has been 232 days. I am ok now and I am happy. I can talk about my miscarriage and I hope that I can help anyone that is suffering too. You are not alone. You do not have to go through this alone. There are so many support groups and pages out there. If you are not there yet, trust me, I understand. If you want to reach out to me, I am an open book. In-case it helps, the facebook groups that I found helpful were @The Worst Girl Gang Ever and @Pregnancy After Loss Support.
Mamas that are reading this that have experienced loss- you became a mama the minute you conceived your baby and nothing can change that. You did nothing wrong and it wasn’t your fault. You have every right to be angry or sad or any other feeling that you have. It will take time, but you will be ok. You will never forget them. And it’s ok if you aren’t the same person you were before- it’s a trauma and a loss. We just learn to be ok.
Sending so much love.