Monday, 27 March 2017

When One Helping of Loss Wasn’t Enough…

How did you spend your Mother’s Day? Did you shower your Mum in gifts and make her feel like the most special woman in the world? Perhaps you were woken by noisy kids, jumping on your bed and smearing buttery fingers over a hand-made card, which accompanied your freshly prepared breakfast? I had every intention of joining my Mum for a quiet afternoon tea at a secret location of her choosing, but instead spent the whole day in my jammies, feeling sorry for myself – one week ago today, I suffered another miscarriage.

As if the first one wasn’t enough, striking a fortnight before our wedding, this second one arrived just in time for Mother’s Day. We were happy. Things had progressed further than last time, and we were just starting to ease into the idea of becoming a family of five, then the spotting started…
It was only minimal at first, and I told myself not to worry – spotting in early pregnancy can be perfectly normal, and many women go on to have successful pregnancies without further issues, but that didn’t put my mind at rest.
After the miscarriage back in January, I’d booked in for a private scan as soon as I was able – this was thankfully scheduled for the day after I first experienced spotting, so we didn’t have to wait long for an answer.
We turned up to the little clinic in Edinburgh with me absolutely BURSTING for the toilet. Don’t listen when they tell you to drink a pint of water an hour before your appointment – my bladder was so full that the sonographer couldn’t see a thing and immediately requested I run to the toilet and empty it. After the first manic five minutes, we were back in the room again and looking at the tv, preparing ourselves for the bad news…
But there was a heartbeat! Fluttering steadily on a very small blob, you could clearly see what we’d feared wouldn’t be present, and we immediately relaxed and became excited at the wonderful possibilities that now stretched before us. The baby was dated at 6 weeks 5 days (a week younger than what I’d thought) and, despite a small bruise where the placenta attached, it appeared to be healthy.
I now felt safe to disclose things at work. I didn’t tell everyone, only my bosses and other people who may need to apply safety protocols, but it was still a nerve-wracking step after suffering a loss. We also felt safe enough to tell our closest friends and family, knowing that they could be added support, should something bad still happen. I was excitedly planning how I would tell my Mum – finally having the moment I’d always wanted to share with her – but the spotting started again…
Without the luxury of a private scan this time, I worriedly phoned up my hospital and was transferred through to the Early Pregnancy Unit. Luckily, I’d already been to my booking appointment, so all my details were available on the system for the nurses to check. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and no scanning facilities were available at the weekend, so we had another tense wait until Monday arrived.
Unable to relax, I barged into the ward as soon as I was able on Monday morning. It wasn’t the most polite thing to do, especially as the EPU is not a drop in service, but I needed someone to put my mind at rest as quickly as possible.
A scan was arranged for later in the day and we were sent away for our last nerve-wracking wait of this pregnancy. I knew as soon as we were home again that it wouldn’t be good news. I know many people would dismiss this pessimism, but I just didn’t ‘feel’ pregnant anymore. When we finally got back to the hospital, it didn’t take the sonographer long to confirm – our baby had died at 7 weeks 4 days, and I’d been carrying around a dead baby all weekend.
I was given options about how to now manage this loss, but I knew, before the nurse spoke, which one I would choose. While allowing the pregnancy to pass naturally was fine when I lost it at five weeks (back in January), I’d also chosen that option when I suffered my first ever miscarriage, and allowing an older foetus to pass naturally at home was both painful and traumatising for me – despite the risks, surgery seemed like the best option for our situation.
I was placed on an emergency surgery list, and asked to return to the hospital again on the Thursday, where I would wait until a suitable time slot became available. Because they couldn’t guarantee when I would be seen, I fasted from 9.30pm on Wednesday evening and was immediately placed on a fluids drip on my arrival at the gynaecology ward on Thursday morning. I then had a long six hour wait until timings became clearer.
Prior to my afternoon surgery slot, I was given two sublingual tablets to soften my cervix and make the procedure easier, but this also had the effect of speeding along the natural progression of things. With a further small delay, I was left suffering painful contractions in my hospital bed and wishing for it all to be over.
When I was eventually wheeled down to theatre, the cramping had become almost intolerable and I was bleeding pretty badly. I’m also sure that larger clots were also being passed, but I was too frightened to check in case I saw a tiny dead baby. I was sedated and then given a general anaesthetic, before the half hour procedure of having the inside of my womb scraped clean.
When I woke up, I was informed that the surgery had been successful and that I should have no problem healing and getting back to ‘normal’. It felt like the whole experience had been a dream. I was thankful that we hadn’t become too attached to dreams and future possibilities, but I’m also incredibly bitter at the world for having to experience something like this again – why me?!
After the level of response I experienced from my first post on loss, I wanted to share this experience as well, in the hope that it could serve some good in what is otherwise another crap situation. Both myself and Paul are still hopeful that next time will be successful, but we also know that pregnancy is never simple or easy. So many people around us are pregnant just now, and it is such a struggle to be happy and excited when that could have been us too.
I’d like to hope that I’ll eventually be able to post the happy news we are longing for, but I’m also incredibly grateful to have already been blessed with two children – even if things never improve for us, we know how lucky we are to have such a fantastic family!
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  1. Oh darling, I am so so sorry for your loss x this has honestly broken my heart and I wish there was something I could say or do, but I know, when these things happen no words, no action can truly help.

    xx Bry Jaimea ||

  2. I'm so very sorry. I know how hard this.xx

  3. Sorry you're having to go through all of this all over again. My miscarriage almost killed me and it took a long long time for me to feel strong again, but it was bravery like yours and posts like this that helped me through it. Sending all my love to you and your partner xx

  4. Aww! Bless you! Sending love and hugs.
    I am so sorry you have had to go through this again xxx

  5. I'm so sorry, what a horrible thing to have to go through once, never mind multiple times. Sending love to you and your family ❤

  6. There was one line in particular here that made me sob my eyes out. You're so, so brave for sharing this. I hope you're starting to feel a little better today, and that everyone is looking after you xx

  7. Hi Dad here! So sorry, your mum and know too well how this feels. Be brave because I never thought I would hold you in my arms or be a father but I was blessed with you. You and Paul are already blessed with two wonderful kids but you will add number 3 in sure. Big hug from me to all. Love Dad.


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