This blog is going to be longer than the usual ones and will be more of a story! Most people who know me well enough know I am very open about having two miscarriages before Amelia (if the subject comes up) yet I have really struggle to write about it on my blog. I think this is because I worry what people will think of me blogging about it. However it’s a subject I feel should be openly spoken about so I am going to share my story!
Its been nearly two years since my first miscarriage but I still remember the heartache of it as if it was yesterday. I found out I was pregnant in March 2016. Me and James decided we would tell close family and friends, due to having type one Diabetes I was worried about hypos etc when I was around them. I also told my Diabetes team, I remember one part of the conversation with them really clearly, that was the prewarning of miscarriages. I also remember shrugging it off at the time. When you find out your pregnant you really don’t think anything like that is going to happen to you!
Due to having type one diabetes, I got to see my little baby at 8 weeks (April 2016). The day of the scan I was so excited, this is probably the only scan I have ever just felt excited for! The scan went perfectly, I could see our little peanut on the screen and the flutters of a heartbeat. I can’t describe how happy I felt. Little did I know that happiness would soon fade.
It wasn’t until the next day the spotting started. At first I wasn’t concerned, I knew stories of woman who has bled on and off throughout pregnancy and everything had been okay. When I got to work I was still spotting and for some reason I felt different.
I got a phone appointment with my gp who repeated my feelings that spotting early in pregnancy was normal and due to the colouring of mine it was probably old blood. He asked me if I wanted him to book me an appointment with the early pregnancy unit but I said no clinging on to the fact it was probably nothing. Although deep down I was convinced something was wrong! He told me if things worsened over the weekend to go to A&E.
Unfortunately it wasn’t nothing and things got progressively worse over the weekend! The bleeding, intensity of the cramping and the pain were horrific, paracetamol wasn’t touching it. I also noticed my pregnancy symtoms weren’t as noticeable. So I decided to go to A&E, I was triaged by a lovely nurse who was worried I was having an ectopic pregnancy due to my symptoms so took me through to their assessment bay! James was asked to wait in reception area whilst I was in the assessment area but told they would get him soon. It was around an hour and a half before I saw him again, in that time I had blood taken, had been told numerous times I be given pain relief and that was it! (Please note this is not a dig at the NHS they were busy and doing the best they could). When I was finally reunited with James I got some pain relief and saw a doctor who explained my symptoms meant it was likely I was having a miscarriage although blood tests showed I was still pregnant. They had booked me an appointment at the early pregnancy unit for Tuesday (two days away).
The wait for my appointment to be seen was hell! Deep down I knew what was happening but I wanted to be wrong! I wanted the happy ending. My pain was getting worse and worse whilst I waited to be seen and I felt awful! I did the unthinkable and kept googling my symptoms. The word miscarriage kept popping up!
The day of my scan arrived, I had a driving test in the morning before my appointment at EPU. For some reason I decided to go ahead with the driving test. I failed it! I then convinced myself that this was an omen and that the rest of the day would be just as horrific.
Hours after failing my driving test I found myself sat in a scan room in the dark knowing the news the lady was going to give me. I explained the symptoms I had and described that the day before I had seen what I thought was my baby. I led on the bed, praying that I was wrong, watching the woman stare intently at the screen taking down notes. It was a little while before she said anything but I knew before she started speaking. The pain I felt in that instant was horrible. How could my baby have been fine a few days ago? The ladies I saw at the EPU were lovely and explained everything to me; that nature was still taking its course and it could take a little while longer.
I felt broken inside, like I had already failed at being a Mum. I walked out of the EPU in a fog of grief, anger and self loathing! Walking past people with newborns and pregnant ladies and feeling instant jealousy, trying not to cry in public!
I took a couple of weeks off work as I didn’t want to face anyone. I spent those weeks crying a lot and I was so angry with everything. However the benefits of telling people early was I had a lot of support which you really need at that time. The only thing I did find is people seemed to overlook James a little bit! They focused on me when actually he was also been through the same heartbreak.
Going back to work was horrific. When I was pregnant I had to tell a couple of people I worked with due to not being able to see certain patients. Unfortunately whilst I was off one of my colleagues broke my trust. This resulted in me being congratulated on being pregnant by another colleague on my first day back – I then spent 15 minutes crying in the toilet! Then a few weeks later I was told by another that if I had just told them all then they could of help me instead I was just being aloof with them and coming across as aggressive and horrible (I discussed this comment with other senior colleagues who said I wasn’t). I ended up going back for a couple of weeks then going off again with a stomach bug which looking back on it I think was actually stress related. It really was such a tricky time for me and resulted in a lot of meetings with senior staff.
My second miscarriage was a lot less dramatic than the first. It was in November 2016. So early on that we hadn’t really told anyone. It started off exactly like the first with a tiny bit of spotting however the cramping kicked in a lot sooner. Unfortunately the doctors appointment I had made to tell my doctor I was pregnant ended up being about my miscarriage symptoms and once again I was given an appointment with the EPU.
This time blood was taken in the space of three days and my hormone levels decreased which is how they confirmed I was having another miscarriage.
My emotions were the same as the first however this time I was gripped with the fear that maybe I wouldn’t be able to have children. I also felt the sense of failure was heightened. We ended up having to tell close family and friends what had happened which I also found difficult, it wasn’t as easy as the first time when most of them had already known.
I also had family and friends around me that were pregnant at the time and although I was super happy for them I felt like the big green eyed monster when I was around them.
However it wasn’t long until I fell pregnant with Amelia and although we had a bit of a scare at the beginning of the pregnancy with my third trip in less than a year to EPU, I am now a mummy to a beautiful 5 month old! My pregnancy with Amelia wasn’t an easy one and I was constantly afraid that something was going to happen which prevented me from enjoying being pregnant (hence not blogging about it). It really is horrible that once you have had a miscarriage pregnancy becomes a constant worry, I tried so hard to enjoy being pregnant with Amelia but instead I just felt anxious the whole time!
The two miscarriages I had broke me and it took a while to rebuild myself. I truly believe if everyone felt it was acceptable to talk about miscarriages more openly then it would be easier to deal with emotions after having a miscarriage. However even when you talk about it with people you tend to get the same responses;
– At least you know you can get pregnant.
– At least they were early on in your pregnancy.
– Your time will come.
The list goes on. I hated everyone single one of them. I understand people are trying to turn a sad situation into a positive one. But it made me feel like I didn’t have the right to be upset! And yes maybe my miscarriages had been early on but as soon as you find out you have a little baby growing inside of you then your life changes (in my experience for the better) and you create these plans and they were taken away from me. They may have only been growing inside of me for 6 – 9 weeks but they were MY babies and always will be!
So if anyone mentions they have had a miscarriage to you then just be there for them. Allow them to be sad, be sad with them, support them and shower them with love because they will need it. Also don’t forget they’ve got a partner who is also grieving!