I found out I was pregnant early May which delighted us to be expanding our family (we already have a 2 and half year old). From around 5-10 weeks I was so ill due to the pregnancy – bedridden, sick, dizzy, unable to look after our daughter, all good signs of a healthy pregnancy so they say.
Due to a very early miscarriage a few months back and my battle with anxiety, I wanted to have an early scan. We had the private scan at 8 weeks which showed the baby was measuring small (this didn’t concern us too much due to our daughter being small and/or potentially dates being out).
Because of this and cramps I was experiencing, I asked the doctors to refer me to the Early Pregnancy Unit. I had another scan 5 days later at the Early Pregnancy Unit which showed the baby had grown and the sonographer saw flickers and movement, which for us was very positive. We then decided to tell more close family members.
After an agonising 2 week wait for a follow up scan where I was meant to be 11 weeks, I was expecting was to hear our baby’s heartbeat and to see a fully formed baby. As I lay there by myself (my husband was unable to come to the scans due to COVID) I felt the atmosphere in the room change and I knew something was wrong. The sonographer called out what I assume to be a few measurements to a colleague, then I hear the dreaded words, ‘I’m so sorry but your baby has stopped growing.’
I instantly broke down in tears and felt like the walls were caving in around me. To go through 2 months of complete illness and feeling awful which had made me unable to spend any time with my toddler, which in turn made me feel like such a bad mum; I felt like going through all that was for nothing. The staff were great and were trying to comfort me as much as possible.
Attending the scans by myself due to COVID made it so much worse as you haven’t got anyone there even to hug straight after, hold your hand or support you. I couldn’t do their job and full credit goes to the teams at early pregnancy units. The sonographer then discussed my options but advised due to the size of my pregnancy sac (that had carried on growing even though the baby had stopped) surgery will be the best option to avoid further complications.
Normally they would get you in for surgery the next day but again due to COVID they had to test me for it first before I could have the surgery. So I was booked in for 5 days later (to give the results time to come back). Once back at the car and seeing my husband, I again broke down and had to explain everything to him. All I wanted was his support in that room. Lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic was hard enough but to go through this as well during this time was ultra tough.
I had started getting a bump but within 2 days after that scan it had gone along with most my symptoms. Although I still felt like rubbish either tired, slightly sick or emotional drained, wanting this to be over. You are constantly questioning yourself as to why it’s happened – is it because I did this or that…but truth is most of the time it’s nothing you have done and there’s nothing you could have done differently to prevent it.
The terms ‘it’s just one of those things’ and ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’ get used a lot and as much as I believe in that, when it’s you and your body that’s going through it them comments can hurt and aren’t helpful. Miscarriage is also one of them things people just don’t know what to say when you tell them so I also understand why people say them kind of comments as it is hard to know what to say.
There was a risk that I could start to miscarry naturally during the wait for surgery. The wait for surgery knowing that you are still getting some symptoms of pregnancy even though your baby has died was awful – to be carrying around a baby that isn’t alive anymore inside of you is not a nice feeling.
I started slightly spotting in the days before surgery and was so worried the surgery wouldn’t go ahead. Some people choose to miscarry naturally however on the hospital’s advice and my own preference, I did not want to. If I physically saw my baby and the sac pass, it would all sink in just what we’ve lost.
During the early hours of the morning of surgery I started bleeding heavier. I still attended hospital (alone due to COVID) and on arrival at the early pregnancy unit was taken to a ward and given a gown and rather unpleasant knickers to wear. I informed them of the bleeding and they said they would scan me to see what was going on first.
On the scan the pregnancy sac had broken itself down therefore they said there was no need for surgery. They said I would bleed heavily, but I was not prepared at all for what happened over the next 5 hours.
On leaving the early pregnancy unit I felt a gush down below and instantly knew I needed to go to the toilet. As soon as I sat on the toilet something dropped out. I couldn’t see what it was due to the amount of blood also down the toilet. I flushed it and went on my way.
Over the next 5 hours at home at least every 10-20 minutes the same thing happened, a gush and when I got to the toilet then something dropped. I couldn’t get comfy at home and it was the most awful experience. On what I know now was the last of the sac and baby passing, it started normal with the gush and knowing I needed to sit on the toilet so I did. Nothing dropped out…then I had the urge to push and after investigating realised that push and drop was the pregnancy sac and our baby. I felt wrong and terrible when I just flushed it away without thinking, like it was nothing, that was our baby.
After that the bleeding died down, I didn’t pass any other pregnancy tissue. It truly was the most awful experience and when the hospital say it will be heavy bleeding – it is much more than just heavy bleeding. Now it’s just a waiting game to wait for the bleeding to stop. The early pregnancy unit said they will do a follow up call in 2 weeks and ask me to take a pregnancy test, which if negative means my body has successfully passed everything to do with this pregnancy.
Not knowing why this has happened is hard, losing a baby is hard. Somehow we are just meant to move on and forget our little pip even existed. We could try for another baby in a couple of months – yes we can…but I wanted this one.
You think why me? Why us? But the truth is there are no answers for any of it.
Miscarriage happens to 1 in 4 recognised pregnancies however hardly anyone tells their story. All pregnancies should be celebrated and are a blessing, even those which end too soon.