It’s Baby Loss Awareness Week this week and I thought it was time for me to share my story. Before I talk about pregnancy after loss I guess I need to start at the beginning. The loss.
I’d also like to say that I’m in a really good place now to talk about this and hopefully it will help others, at the time I wouldn’t have made much sense, my emotions would have taken over. Now I can talk about it freely. Don’t get me wrong it’s not something I will ever forget and it has changed our lives forever.
Pregnancy After Loss – Baby #1
In September 2013 I found out that I was pregnant. We hadn’t tried to get pregnant but we were overjoyed. We had always wanted children together. I felt nauseous all the time and really rough but everyone told me it was a good thing. I didn’t really have much of a bump but it was my first so I didn’t expect one. Everything was fine, as far as we knew. We went to our 12 week scan and I can remember they were running really late. I can remember sitting there desperately holding in a full bladder.
Eventually we were called through. The sonographer put a dollop of cold gel on my tummy and started to look for the baby. There was more than a brief second but she couldn’t find the baby. She asked me how many weeks I should be. I replied 12. There was silence, it seemed like forever. She then told us that she couldn’t see at heartbeat and it looked like the baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks, but there were some complications. She wanted to perform an internal scan to see more.
I said yes as I held on to last glimmer of hope. Maybe she was wrong. I went to the toilet to empty my bladder, the tears started to fall. Deep down I knew it was over. The internal scan confirmed it was. We were then showed to a little room full of tissues and told what would happen next. I was booked in for D&C for the following week. I felt numb. No emotion just like a piece of me was missing. I cried all day each day, this carried on for about 4 weeks. The day of the D&C came round and my mum and husband (well fiance at the time) stayed with me. I can remember the nurse asked me if the baby was planned. I replied it was wanted. In all honesty I don’t think my heart ever healed until Edith was born.
The D&C confirmed that it was not only a missed miscarriage but it also a partial molar pregnancy, something rare, most people have never heard off. I wish I hadn’t. It’s complicated, but essentially the cells that are there could turn cancerous if they aren’t carefully monitored. I had to have my blood and urine checked every two weeks and then every month. I finished my follow up tests in the March. Not only did I have the grief of losing a baby we wanted I had to go through extra tests that were a cruel reminder of the baby we didn’t have.
Pregnancy After Loss – Baby #2
Once we got the all clear we decided to try again. In all honesty I needed a baby to fill that huge gap I had in my heart, it made me feel incredibly lonely. I found I was pregnant in July 2014. Because of the complications before I could have an early scan to rule out partial molar pregnancy. I didn’t feel sick at all with this pregnancy. I didn’t know if that was good or not as feeling so sick before didn’t mean anything. The scan at 7 weeks revealed that the baby had a heartbeat although was measuring behind slightly. I was told to come back in a couple of weeks so they could check if everything was okay.
A few days later, a Thursday, I had some brown spotting, we headed over to A&E and explained what we had been through before and they checked me over and told me that my cervix was closed at to take it easy. The brown spotting started to turn heavier and the by the Saturday I knew it was over. That night I had awful pains. I sat on the toilet and suddenly I felt a “pop” something came out. I felt relief from the pain but I knew what had just happened. We went to an out of hours doctor who asked us to fish the sac out of the toilet, so he could see it. That was heartbreaking. He didn’t want to confirm it either way but we knew by this point that it was over. We had a scan booked for the Tuesday. It confirmed what we knew. This time wasn’t so heartbreaking, it sound awful but I suppose we had got used to that empty feeling.
We decided that we would try again. I said that I would go through a million loses to have a baby. I found I was pregnant for the third time in January 2015. It was a textbook pregnancy. We had our 8 week scan and the baby was healthy and had a strong heartbeat. We didn’t get out hopes up though we knew that at any second it could be taken away from us.
The day of the 12 week scan I don’t think we spoke to each other much. We were both so anxious. We went into the room, the same room where it had ended the first time. The gel went onto my belly and the baby popped up instantly. There was our baby. The baby we had wanted for so long. Both of us had tears rolling down our cheeks. The baby was healthy, That baby turned into our beautiful Edith.
Once you’ve experienced a miscarriage it changes pregnancy forever. You’re scared to tell people because it could jinx it. I remember not picking up the bounty packs because I didn’t want to get them again and not have our baby. I kept the tags on some of the clothes just in case. Every scan and midwife appointment fills you with worry. Will they find the heartbeat? Will everything be okay?
Loss takes away that naivety that I had the first time I was pregnant. I felt like miscarriage only happened to others. I never thought I would be one of those 1 in 4 statistics but I am.
With this pregnancy I still feel like it’s not real. It happened way to easily and I felt and still feel that it could so easily go wrong. It could all be taken once again. We would have to start over. That doubt and worry will never leave me, never leave us. I’m worried for our 20 week scan, what if there’s something wrong? It really changes it all.
With Edith, and it will be the same with this baby, it wasn’t until she was in my arms I let myself believe it was real. I suppose it was my way of coping just in case something went wrong. When Edith’s head was born and the midwives and doctors said her head was there I said “Is it really?”. I pulled out my cannula in excitement that our baby was finally in my arms. She meant so much to us.
My journey into motherhood was not easy but oh my, it’s made me so incredibly grateful for Edith and this baby that’s kicking as I write this post. I know just how lucky I am to experience it all.
My heart had been healed with Edith and I count my lucky starts each day and keep everything crossed that is baby will be in our arms in March.
The best thing anyone said to me was from my friend. She told me that there will be better days. It was what I needed to hear. And she was so right.
If you’ve experienced miscarriage and need someone to talk to, please email me or turn to the Miscarriage Association. Please don’t think your alone.