For weeks now I have been trying to figure out how to start this post, going over and over in my head how to write it the correct way, how to find and piece together the right words and debating whether this is something I should share at all. To be honest I’m still none the wiser. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, 1 in 4! It’s true i didn’t realise the extent of how taboo miscarriage is until my own. I want to help break the silence by sharing our story.
Sadly We found out that we lost our baby earlier this year at the routine 12 week scan. The words “I’m so sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat” still circles in my mind. We expected our little plum to be closer to 13 weeks however the scan showed growth had stopped at just over 11 weeks gestation. We had already started making plans for our new arrival, pictured our lives with two littlies, picked out names, I’d started to show, infact it was getting hard to hide bump, We was so excited for the moment Freya would meet her little brother or sister, so excited about adding to our family. In a matter of minutes it all came crashing down.
I think part of me knew as soon as the picture appeared on that screen that something was wrong. Little plum was curled up so tightly and I remember just staring at the monitor and thinking no, no look I can see our baby, our baby is there! how can this be happening! I think the first thing I said to Luke was what are we going to tell Freya? It was soon confirmed after a further 2 internal scans that we had lost our baby. We went home to wait for a call from the early pregnancy assessment clinic, leaving with information leaflets about miscarriage and a scan photo of our little plum. Devastated, confused, angry and broken. I was trying my hardest not to cry because we had to walk past pregnant ladies and couples expecting.
It did feel strange to just go home and wait but we soon realised it was important for us to have that time, there was so much to take in. Freya was at Preschool that morning so for some time it was just myself and Luke, neither of us really knew what to do or what to say. Telling our families was tough, I just couldn’t get the words out, Luke had to take over and the rest of that day just felt like a complete daze.
We attended an appointment the following day to discuss what would happen next. My miscarriage was managed medically and involved having internal and oral medication to help complete it. Due to the stage of pregnancy the medical management had to be done in hospital and so I was admitted on the 15th of march. 2 days after found out. We arrived on ward at around 10:30 and after a short wait and a canula administered we were shown to our room. The process was explained very well but I still found myself googling forums trying to find others that has gone through similar and reading through their experiences, I suppose to try and better prepare myself. I was scared and I know Luke was as well.
I knew it was going to be painful, I’d accepted that. I was terrified about what I was going to see and how much blood I would lose. The first dose of hormone tablets were given internally and then a 2nd dose orally aprroximately 4 hours after. I’d been cramping on and off since our scan appointment, the sonographer did say that now the mind knows the body may react. Strange really. It was after the oral dose that the cramps got worse, throughout the afternoon they intensified and eventually became more like labour pain. It was around 6:30pm that I passed our baby.
I felt like I had kept quite strong throughout that day, I think in some way having the physical process to focus on distracted us from the emotional pain. At that moment though I completely broke down. We stayed overnight so I could be monitored, thankfully Luke was allowed to stay. We was able to go home the following afternoon and given a hospital certificate and beautiful memory box as a tribute to our little plum.
The aftermath of the miscarriage has been both physically and mentally draining. I feel like until the physical problems have resolved it’s impossible to try and start healing emotionally. It’s tough. Putting on a brave face is exhausting. Complications have meant I’ve ended up in A&E due to a sudden heavy bleed and we’ve had multiple appointments at the assessment clinic. 3 weeks after miscarriage you are told to take a pregnancy test to ensure hormone levels have come down, mine haven’t. It’s been almost 7 weeks now and I’m still under their care. I’m due to retest again next week.
I do want to mention how incredibly lucky we are to have the NHS. Every member of staff whether sonographer, nurse, midwife, doctor, everyone that we spoke to or that took care of me made me feel safe through an incredibly freightning time, comforted us, understood, cared. They looked after me so well and continue to do so. They truly are superstars.
Through all of this I have found myself becoming frustrated with feeling like I can’t talk about our loss. Yes I do feel like at times it has been avoided but truthfully It’s more that I avoid it myself. Family, friends, work colleagues, everyone has been so supportive and i know i can talk to them but I don’t really know how to approach that conversation and when asked “how are you?” I’m more likely to say “I’m ok” or “not too bad” because I find it so difficult to open up. I feel like I have to hold back, that some may expect me to be better by now or that they won’t want to know the details of what we’ve been through. People worry about upsetting me and I worry about making them feel uncomfortable. I guess we’re all worried about saying the wrong thing.
The truth is I have been struggling. Alot of the time i feel like i’m just watching everthing carrying on as normal and i’m sort of stuck in my own little bubble. I feel guilty because at the moment i probably haven’t been the best wife or mummy, Luke has been my absolute rock and him and Freya are my motivation but i don’t feel I have been a strong enough support for them. There are times I do feel like i’ve failed although i know there is nothing we could have done and it was nothing i done that caused it, just one of those things. It’s all still very raw and i’m feeling a little lost but they say time is a great healer and it will get easier. Our little plum will always hold a special place in our hearts. Always.
If anyone reading this has been through or is going through similar please remember it’s ok to give yourself time to greive, It’s ok to cry and although it is difficult it is important to talk. I just need to get better at taking my own advice.