WARNING: THIS BLOG POST LINKS TO MISCARRIAGE WHICH MAY BE TRIGGERING TO SOME. IN THIS POST I TALK ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE AS THINGS HAPPENED AND MY EXPERIENCE COPING WITH THE SITUATION AT THE TIME AS WELL AS LATER ALONG THE LINE.
I have sat here trying to write this forever. Typing and then deleting… typing… deleting. This is one of those experiences I wish I didn’t have in my mind in order to share. It’s one of those things that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. It’s something that is extremely difficult to heal from, I don’t think that any of us that have gone through it ever truly heal fully, physically, sure, but not our minds, not our hearts. It’s taken me well over a year to feel comfortable talking about it, comfortable enough to write a post anyway.
I think the best way to start this is at the very beginning, which takes us back to May 2017, which is when I got pregnant with baby number two. I found out at around 3-4 weeks. We were really excited and happy, of course. Once all the celebrating and all the excitement calmed down, I booked my 8 week midwife appointment, the surgery was fully booked for an extra week so they booked the appointment for when I was meant to be around 9 weeks and 3 days along. I never made it to the appointment, but we will get there.
Everything seemed to be going fine as far as I was concerned. I didn’t notice anything strange throughout the pregnancy, I didn’t even have spotting, or any cramping or any other indication leading up to it that something wasn’t right. Honestly, miscarriage wasn’t something I researched into much when I got pregnant because it didn’t cross my mind at the time.
The week leading up to it, I was under some stress. I think we all experience stress no matter how much we try to avoid it. It’s life. During this stressful week, I felt my pregnancy symptoms were more persistent… more obvious to me. I felt more nauseous than before and for longer periods of time than before, I also had headaches (which could be linked to the stress, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor). But still, no indication something was about to go wrong.
And then one morning, I woke up. I can’t remember what time it was now but it was a dumb time like 4am, it was still very much on the dark side outside. I woke up with slight cramping. In my previous pregnancy, I did experience mild cramping in the first trimester so I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep. And then I woke up again at around 5.30-6am. This time the cramping was worse than the period cramps I’m used to (and my period cramps usually have me on the floor with hot bottles on my lower abdomen because painkillers don’t always work), so I automatically knew something wasn’t right, the ‘M’ word just hadn’t crossed my mind yet at this point. Then I had a sudden feeling like I needed to pee, as I stood up to go to the bathroom, I saw that my side of the bed was just full of blood. Somehow it still hadn’t hit me. I was freaked out but continued to the bathroom and honestly, I know it’s tmi, but I sat down and there was just blood everywhere. I didn’t need to pee, it was a massive blood clot my body wanted to get rid of. It was quite gruesome so I don’t want to be going into too much detail about that. That’s when it actually hit me, I sat there quietly for about 2 minutes just trying to process everything in my head. I eventually broke down and called for Alex and just cried when he came to see what was going on. I think he pretty much knew straight away what was going on.
The next hour or so is still kind of a blur to me, maybe because I was on painkillers for the pain as well as tired and the pain was also extremely intense. The last part of that hour I just remember Alex comforting me and calling 111 for advice. If you don’t know what 111 is, it is a non-emergency service available in the UK where you can speak to an operator that asks you a bunch of scripted questions and then advises you depending on the boxes you’ve ticked on their system and often refer you to the right professional. The 111 operator decided it was best for me to have a doctor call me back. The doctor called within about 15 minutes. They said it was most likely a miscarriage and because I was continuing to lose more and more blood, he wanted me to go to A&E as soon as possible, he explained that because I was only 9 weeks, an ambulance would not come get me and I would have to make my own way to the hospital. Which I totally understand, now that I look back, a whole year on, I know that there would have been no point in an ambulance coming out to get me when there could be someone in a life threatening situation actually needing an ambulance, I don’t think there’s anything the doctors could have done to save my baby so an ambulance wouldn’t have made a difference.
I really didn’t want to tell anyone and neither of us knew how to drive nor had a car so I had to wait for the buses to start for us to get a bus to the hospital. It was hard. Being on public transport, a crowded bus full of college students and people on their way to work, and I was just sitting there trying my hardest to look ”normal” despite what was happening. By this point, I was still bleeding crazily heavily, the pain was horrendous and everything was still very new in my mind too. When I got to A&E, they already knew I was on my way so I was called in by a doctor straight away. This doctor had been the student doctor that was assisting my surgeon the year before when I was rushed in from A&E to have an emergency surgery. I had a few invasive tests done that just had to be done to determine it was a definite miscarriage, my doctor had actually stepped out while we were waiting for the results and a different doctor actually came in and just said ”you’re definitely going through miscarriage, your doctor will be back with you shortly”, just like that. When the doctor came back, she went on to explain the results in the nicest way possible, she told me her and the other doctor had been discussing and they thought it was best for me to have a scan to determine it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy due to the amount of pain I was in. She gave me some very strong painkillers as well as some other tablets I can’t recall and off I went to the Early Pregnancy Unit.
I had my scan and the lady said straight away that I had obviously lost the baby, and that it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. However, they wanted me to go back and do blood tests (I think it was every few days or once a week) to make sure my hcg levels continued to decrease normally until the pregnancy levels were completely out of my system. And that was what I did, I went for blood tests on the days they booked me in for and then waited for my results every time in the Early Pregnancy Unit. My hcg levels were going down at the rate they expected so they eventually said I didn’t have to go in anymore as my body did everything on its own. My GP decided he wanted to see me so he called me and booked me in for an appointment. I think it was more to make sure I was doing okay and that my body was doing well afterwards. He asked me if I had anything particular going on the week leading up to it and I just explained I had some stress but nothing out of the ordinary, all he said was that he couldn’t guarantee but in his opinion, it was due to the stress.
I felt like it was my fault for a long time. That it was my fault for letting the stress get to me and that I should have tried harder to ignore things. I just kept telling myself I should have tried harder. I think what made everything so much harder to deal with was that I continued to feel pregnant. My pregnancy symptoms persisted for weeks after the miscarriage and I hated my body for it. Why was my body doing this to me? The symptoms took a few weeks to go away. And even know some people always told me, ”just don’t think about it” but how could I not?
I think miscarriage and what we are left feeling after one is something people will never truly understand unless they go through it. I don’t even think we ever truly heal from it, our body definitely does but it’s always something we think about. It’s a pain that is so difficult to describe to someone else. I did eventually tell a few friends I trusted at the time which made things a little easier for me too, I didn’t feel like I had to hide it so much. But we only told family very recently. Along the way, we had a little ornament specially made for little Peach, with the date we lost him/her on and we have had it in the living room ever since. I don’t see it as a reminder of what happened, when I look at it I don’t feel anything negative, I don’t know how or why but I somehow feel closure when I look at it. It makes me feel better. Like, that little ornament shows that baby Peach isn’t with us but they happened.
The good news is that (at least for me, I know everyone is different) things did get easier and better with time. I now see that things weren’t my fault. I had no way of knowing anything like that was going to happen and I now finally see that there’s probably nothing I could have done to actually prevent it from happening. Miscarriages during the first trimester can happen for various reasons, sometimes because the baby has stopped growing or there are abnormalities. The other good news is that many women go on to become pregnant again after a miscarriage and have a healthy rainbow baby. So there definitely is hope.
Do I want another baby? Of course. Am I going to be shit scared when I do get pregnant again? Definitely. I don’t want to go through that again. And I know I shouldn’t but I know, I just know that I’m always going to be panicking it will happen again but I’m going to try super hard to make sure that I don’t overly stress about it because that won’t be good either. It’s so important to keep positive even if it’s hard.
I wanted to share my miscarriage story with you all. How things happened, and how I felt. In the hopes that this will raise awareness. If there’s something I noticed when I was pregnant with our son was that you see successful pregnancy stories everywhere. But for every successful pregnancy story, there are so many more miscarriage stories that are unspoken about. We often try to hide our stories when they’re negative. When I was going through this, I was searching for other stories but the truth is that all I could find were health pages that explained all the medical side but nothing further. So I wanted to tell my story.
If you’re going through this or have recently gone through this, I want you to know that you aren’t alone and it’s okay to talk about it. If anything has helped me, it’s definitely talking about it. And if you feel like you can’t speak to anyone close to you, I’m only a message away on social media.