It’s the aspect of pregnancy that’s just not talked about, it’s a part of pregnancy that I thought would never happen to me, but it did…my baby’s heart stopped beating.
8 weeks ago today I found out that I had lost my baby, I had miscarried at 9 weeks. I had absolutely no signs, no pain and no bleeding, up to that point, life was full of dreams and excitement for our new baby, due September 23rd 2014.
Unlike my pregnancy with Elliott, I wasn’t very sure about my dates because I fell pregnant so quickly after having my contraception removed. Because of this, I went for an ultrasound to get a better idea. I then booked myself in to see my obstetrician when I was 8 weeks. I felt different this time, I was accompanied by a two year old instead of my husband.
It came time to have an ultrasound to have a look at the baby, the obstetrician couldn’t see anything using the external ultrasound and had to use an internal one. I wasn’t too phased at this stage because the same thing happened when I was pregnant with Elliott at 7.5 weeks. Then the image came up on the screen, it wasn’t what I would have expected for 8 weeks gestation, well at least not compared to what we saw with Elliott. My obstetrician went on to say that it looked like the baby was only about 6.5 weeks but that she could see a flicker of the heart. She reassured me that she had seen this in many women before who had gone on to have healthy babies. I told her I was a little concerned because it was pretty much impossible for me to only be 6.5 weeks considering the dates I was aware of and the fact that I had my first positive pregnancy test a whole 5 weeks before that. She quickly typed up a referral for another ultrasound.
I was 9 weeks pregnant when I walked in to have my next ultrasound. I was confident because I had no signs of something bad going on and I still had pregnancy symptoms – nausea, sore breasts, and fatigue. But, as soon as the radiographer put the ultrasound on my stomach and couldn’t see anything, I started to worry. My worries were confirmed when he used the internal ultrasound and there was a baby that had not grown since my very first ultrasound and no longer had a heartbeat. Even a layperson who didn’t know what they were looking at could figure that out.
I went to my appointment alone that evening because Mr. G was at home with Elliott. I tried putting on a brave face as I walked out through the reception area of the imaging clinic. As soon as I walked outside into the dark car park, tears started rolling down my face. I got into my car and sat bewildered and shaking over what had just happened. All my dreams and plans had just disappeared in an instant, my poor baby had lost its little fight and never got the chance to live in this amazing world of ours. I felt angry, I felt guilty, I felt such a deep sense of despair.
As I drove off out the car park I just wanted to keep on driving into the distance and not stop. I didn’t want to return home because that meant the start to life being back to what it was. I just wanted this horrible nightmare to disappear, I wanted to be able to see my precious baby, what she looked like, the sound of her cry, to touch her soft skin. But, I did return home to break the news to Mr. G who was clearly devastated, but showed immense strength to support me when he too was hurting.
The day after having my ultrasound, I was contacted by my Doctor and given some options. There was no way I could emotionally cope with waiting for my body to naturally miscarry. The fact that I had no signs and still felt as though I was pregnant hurt me enough already and to continue to have those feelings, possibly for a number of weeks, well I just couldn’t do it. It was recommended that I go to the hospital to have a Dilation & Curettage procedure and the hospital booked me in that afternoon. I remember putting on my gown and having my leg stockings put on. I sat and waited while reading a book until I was collected, hoping that reading would take my mind off things. I was taken into another room and asked to lay on a bed, the bed was wheeled into another room where curtains were pulled around and where I lay to wait for the anesthetists. It was at this moment that I broke down in tears with the realisation of what was about to happen.
After having a drip inserted, I was wheeled into the operating theater. Looking up, I could see big lamps and about 5 or 6 people scurrying around to get things prepared for the surgery. Two people on one side setting up the anaesthetic, two on the other side saying things to me that seemed clouded. It was overwhelming and worse than before, I broke down again. It was now that my baby was going to be taken from me, I kept thinking about what they were going to do, it was the most horrible day of my life.
I woke up in recovery with a nurse by my side. When I came to, I realised what had happened, that I was just one person now. Silent tears rolled, the nurse comforted me, she had gone through the same thing too.
For a good few weeks after the surgery, I would wake in the morning thinking I was pregnant but then reminding myself that I was not. I would go to eat something and think to myself ‘should I eat this if I’m pregnant?’ and then I’d remind myself that I was not. Days have progressively become easier and I remind myself of how lucky I am to have Elliott and the crazy love I feel for him. I know that my miscarriage was a way of my body telling me that something was not right and that there was something seriously wrong, and I accept that.
This miscarriage experience has completely changed my perspective on life, to make the most of every day, to be thankful for the gorgeous family I have and the time I have to spend with them, life can be taken in an instant. It has also made me more understanding of others and that you never know what has gone on in someone’s life, it is so important to consider this before criticising or judging.
The other thing I learned is that it’s a good thing and perfectly OK to tell those who are close to you that you are pregnant early on, I’m so glad I did, because it’s those people who showed complete understanding, love and support through the process and I’m not sure what I would have done without it.
As for trying again? I’ve been asked that question and to be perfectly honest, I’m not ready just yet but, time does heal and I’m taking the time to really appreciate the great things I have at the moment.