This is an emotive subject, I am sure to get upset writing it and you may find it upsetting to read. There may also be a few points of graphic detail that you find upsetting, as I will be trying to both cover my own experiences as well as offering advice both for the sufferer (and her partner) and those they will come into contact with after their loss.
Although I have five healthy children, I will never forget my three little stars in heaven or the days I lost them and they will always have a place in my heart. My first miscarriage was fifteen years ago, while I was in an abusive relationship and I received no support from the father and in fact told nobody while it was happening and suffered in silence. Although that little star has always been in my heart, I have to admit that I have tried to block that experience out as far as possible and for many years I bottled everything up, refusing to admit that it had affected me at all. The second two miscarriages were a lot more recent, with one being just before I fell pregnant with my youngest son three years ago and the last being less than a week ago. Both of these were very different experiences, but equally broke my heart and it's these two that I am now going to talk about.
In January 2009 I met the most wonderful man and although I'd never believed in it before it was love at first sight. We quickly started a relationship and less than a month later I realised that my monthly visitor hadn't made an appearance. Cue several pregnancy tests before the realisation hit me that I was expecting a little one. Although termination didn't once cross my mind, I dreaded telling my new partner, not knowing how he would react, not realising that he'd be absolutely thrilled to discover he was going to be a Dad for the first time. Everything seemed to be going well, I was regularly sick, felt pregnant and spent time each day stroking my stomach and talking to the baby inside me as I waited in anticipation for my first scan.
The day of that scan still holds as the worst of my life, to be laying on the bed while the sonographer scanned in silence and then be told that my baby had died inside me was truly devastating. During that scan we discovered that the baby had died at eight weeks and I had been carrying it for a further four weeks. Words cannot describe how I felt, I was distraught as I tried to convince myself it was just a bad dream and that I'd wake up at any moment. Of course I didn't wake up, it wasn't a dream and things were just about to get worse. Without any real explanation of what was happening I was told to go and see my GP, who would explain what would happen next. I couldn't believe I was treated in such an off-hand manner, but did as advised, much to the confusion of my GP. I was not to know, but the sonographer was a locum who did not know the procedure should the mother be suffering a miscarriage, which was actually to immediately refer to the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) so that options could be discussed. The GP did refer me to the EPU, and I was seen later that day, but with what was a significant delay of several hours.
Once at the EPU I was examined and it was finally explained to me that I had suffered from a Missed Miscarriage and that there were two options available to me, either to allow nature to take it course or have a minor operation to remove the baby (I could not and can not ever think of my baby as "products of conception"). I agreed to have the operation, but due to the delay in me being sent to the EPU this could not take place until after the long bank holiday weekend, meaning that I had to wait another five days. Words really cannot describe the distress of knowing you are still carrying your dead baby, I cried for hours on end and found it impossible to function, let alone sleep. A visit to the GP the following day lead to me being prescribed sleeping tablets, so I could get at least a little sense of peace over the following nights, even if it was drugged up peace.
The day before the operation was scheduled I started to bleed and that night I went into what I can only describe as labour. I was having regular contractions that soon became to painful to cope with and I also started bleeding heavily, so heavily in fact that I was soaking a maternity towel within ten minutes, so an ambulance was called to take me to the local gynea ward. I remember thinking that no-one had warned me just how painful this was going to be, or how hard it would be to go through what was in all aspects labour, while knowing that I wasn't going to have a baby at the end of it. I was scared, crying, distraught and really not copying with either the pain or the reality of what was happening. Having been using gas and air throughout the ambulance ride and into the EPU, I asked for stronger pain relief, to be offered co-codamol. After a blast of expletives at the doctor, asking how co-codamol would help if gas and air didn't I was finally given a shot of morphine that relaxed me and did relieve a lot of the pain. To be brutally honest the rest of the night is very vague, I was very much doped up to the eye balls and even now have absolutely no sense of how much time passed, it might have been minutes but it could equally have been hours. Once I was drugged up I was moved into a room and as I transferred into the bed I felt an almighty urge to push and passed my baby. The nurse immediately removed my baby, not allowing me to look, which is something I regret to this day, it feels like I wasn't given chance to say goodbye.
I was sent home later that morning, feeling drained and empty, with instructions to return the following week for a scan to ensure that everything was going back to normal and then my partner and I had to come to terms with what had just happened. We're lucky, we are a couple that can talk to each other about anything and we did, we talked together and cried together as we got used to the idea that we weren't going to have a baby in six months time. And this talking and crying together helped us both immensely, our mutual love really did help us to cope and I don't know how I would have managed without him. He was fantastic, he wouldn't allow me into the bedroom until he had packed all the baby bits away and it was him who told everyone when I couldn't, if any man deserved to be a Daddy it was him.
After my poor treatment at the initial scan, I did expect to be treated more sensitively when I went for my follow-up appointment, but this was not to be. After the scan to check that the bleeding had stopped I was sent to the EPU, where the clinic was running late. That I could have coped with, except that a nurse was visiting with her newborn baby and was sat in the waiting area. This left me in streams of tears, as I sat listening to the nurses cooing over that baby after just losing my own. Remembering that this was at a unit where woman are sent when they are losing their baby, this behaviour was incredibly heartless and the last straw in as far as how I'd been treated. My partner did write a letter of complaint and we did receive an apology, but as far as I'm concerned the catalogue of errors made an already distressing experience into the most traumatic event in my life.
My most recent miscarriage only happened on Sunday and was a very different, while still heartbreaking experience. I had only found out I was pregnant a week before, was very excited and had stupidly announced it to the world at large. While we hadn't been pressurising ourselves, this baby was very much planned, but it was not to be. On Sunday morning I started to bleed, it was only a smear of brown blood, but I knew what it meant and made my way to A&E, where I had another positive pregnancy test and was sent home on strict bed-rest in the hope that I would hold on to the baby. Although deep down I knew that I had lost the baby, that hope refused to be quenched, even when I had started to cramp, pass red blood and clots and even when I passed what I assume was the baby I still held on to a glimmer of hope that it was one of twins. This hope stayed with me right up until I had an emergency scan on Wednesday, which revealed that I had had a complete miscarriage and had passed the baby. Two days later, I'm devastated, but coping, unlike with the missed miscarriage I was dealt with sensitively (perhaps lessons had been learnt), with everything fully explained to me.
Although I have had the three miscarriages, I have also had five successful pregnancies and have five wonderful children. With two of these children I once more fell pregnant within three months. When I asked when I could try again, I was told that although I could try straight away, it is better to wait for a period, but that is only so that the pregnancy could be accurately dated. I was given exactly the same advice this time around, with the only difference being that as I've now had three miscarriages I must go to my GP as soon as I get a positive test so that I can be referred to the EPU for early scans. Although these scans won't in themselves prevent another miscarriage, they will at least reassure me that everything is going OK.
==Some Facts About Miscarriage==
It is believed that up to three out of every four pregnancies will end within the first three months, with the majority of these ending before you even know that you are pregnant. Many years ago these losses would not have been discovered, but with the advent of early pregnancy tests more women are discovering they are pregnant before their period is due and then losing the baby as their period arrives. Rather than being known as miscarriage these losses are known as chemical pregnancies.
Generally a miscarriage occurs within the first trimester (thirteen weeks) of pregnancy and there are various types. A threatened miscarriage is when there is bleeding, but the baby is still viable. A complete miscarriage is when everything passes naturally without intervention, while with incomplete miscarriage some tissue may remain in the womb. A missed miscarriage is where the baby has died but the body has not recognised the fact and so it has held onto the baby. With a complete miscarriage no further medical intervention is necessary, but an incomplete or missed miscarriage may require further intervention. In most cases the first option is to wait and allow the womb to evacuate naturally, but there is also the possibility that you will be offered either medication or an operation to remove the tissue.
The risk of miscarriage increases with age, the risk for a 20 year old is only 10%, while with a 40 year old it is 40%. This risk increase is down to the fact that in the vast majority of cases, miscarriages are believed to be due to a chromosomal deformity and the increase in age reduces the quality of the genetic material in eggs. A miscarriage is not your fault, they are not caused by stress or having a drink, in the majority of cases no reason can be found. The vast majority of women who have miscarried go on to have a successful pregnancy, often falling pregnant again quite quickly (it is believed you are more fertile for a few months after a miscarriage). You are unlikely to be offered any testing until you have three consecutive miscarriages (as I have discovered).
Although a miscarriage can be painful and you will bleed, if you are filling a pad every hour or experiencing pain that isn't resolved with painkillers, then you should make your way to either the GP or A&E. If you begin to feel very hot, with lots of pain, a smelly discharge and temperature, you may have an infection and once more should get help. Different people will bleed for different amounts of time, you may only experience bleeding for a couple of days or it might be a couple of weeks. Your first period may also be delayed, it may come exactly as expected or it might take a couple of months. If you are at all worried, see your doctor.
==What to say==
This section isn't for the couple who have experienced the loss, but for those around them, including medical professionals.
**Explanation** - If you are a medical professional dealing with a couple going through a miscarriage, then please explain what is happening as sensitively as possible and don't try and gloss things over. OK I really didn't want to hear that my baby had died, but it would have made the process a lot easier if I had known what was happening and how much pain I may have experienced.
**I'm here if you want to talk or need a hug** - for me these are the words I need to hear more than any, that someone is simply there for me, in a completely non-judgemental way.
**It's not your fault** - I may not be ready to believe it yet, but a little reassurance goes a long way.
**Don't Avoid Me** OK not words exactly, but one thing that really hurt was people avoiding me simply because they had a baby or were pregnant. Yes it will hurt to see you enjoying your baby, but it hurts even more to lose my friends.
==And What Not To Say==
I'll try and keep this short as there are so many throwaway comments that can hurt without intention.
**At least you know you can get pregnant** - Yes I know I can get pregnant, but that doesn't help when I've had trouble staying pregnant.
**At least you weren't very far along** - I may have only been six weeks, but I still loved the baby and it still hurts more than words can say to know that I won't be holding him in seven months.
**At least you've already got children** - I love all my children dearly and those babies I've lost would have been loved just as much and in fact were loved.
**Nothing** - I need to talk about my lost babies, I may not have had them for long but I loved them and had hopes and dreams of their futures, I don't want to forget them or think that they are forgotten.
There are many more comments that can hurt, so please think before you say anything.
==Don't Forget The Daddy==
Something I have really noticed is that people will ask how I am coping, but no-one seems to ask how my partner is. He is hurting too, I may be the only one who has gone through physical pain, but he has still lost his baby and needs to grieve. I wish that people would remember that both of us made and loved those lost babies and would remember that he needs to talk about it too.
Although I know I am incredibly lucky to have five children, nothing will ever replace my three little stars, or make losing them a less painful experience. Time is a great healer, and I have learnt to deal with each loss, but it does get difficult each time and takes some of the joy out of my successful pregnancies. Miscarriage is simply an experience that I would not wish on anybody, it is a soul destroying experience, but one that you can survive, no matter how impossible that feels right now.
I recently suffered a miscarriage, and I have to admit it has been one of the most devastating and traumatic events in my life. I already have two children, both girls, but had been desperate for a third child. I eventually managed to persuade my husband that it was a good idea, and I fell pregnant soon after. We were both over the moon and began planning our life with a third child. I was experiencing nausea and extreme tiredness, but then at about 8 weeks into the pregnancy, the symptoms began to wear off; I didn't think much of this because I had very few symptoms with my previous pregnancies so I tried not to worry.
However, when I reached about 9 weeks I noticed some brown discharge, which went on for a couple of days, and while I tried not to worry I booked an appointment to see my GP. He basically laughed at me and told me it is perfectly normal to experience brown discharge during early pregnancy, but he booked me in for an appointment at the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit for the following day. I left the doctors feeling relieved, but there was still a worry in the back of my mind that the pregnancy was not right. And my feelings were correct. At about 4am the following morning I awoke to find myself completely saturated in bright red blood, and so my first instinct was to go to the toilet where a massive lump fell out of me. I immediately thought I had just lost my baby down the toilet, so I rang the midwives. They told me to either go to A&E or to wait until the morning for my appointment at the EPAU. I decided to wait because otherwise I would have had to arrange care for my two young children, not something I wanted to be doing in the middle of the night. Waiting for morning to arrive felt like waiting for the middle of next year, I tried to keep myself busy but I was losing huge quantities of blood and soaking through sanitary pads every hour or so.
I arrived at the EPAU at 8.30am and was seen straight away by a nurse who assessed my situation and sent me straight for a scan. I was prepared for the worst, I expected to see a blank screen, but instead I saw my baby, my dead baby, because there was no heartbeat. The sonographer was very kind and told me that the news was not great and that the baby had died at around 7 weeks, so what I was experiencing was a delayed miscarriage. I was then escorted back to EPAU. By this time I was emotionally drained, I had already accepted that my baby was dead but it is so much to take in and extremely upsetting. I was taken into a quiet room because I was visibly upset and shaken and I suppose they didn't want me upsetting the other women in the waiting room. The nurse then explained to me the 3 options for completing the miscarriage.
The first was to let nature take its course and go home to let it happen naturally, seeing as though things were already happening. The second was to opt for 'Medical Management' where you are given some tablets to induce labour and hurry along the miscarriage. And the third was to have it all removed by surgery. I initially chose to have the surgery because I didn't really want to go home and bleed everywhere because it's not like I would be able to just lay in bed all day waiting for the baby to come away, and to be honest I did not want to have to dispose of it myself, and I also have two children who want my attention, and I would have struggled to look after them whilst I was trying to lose a baby. So I was booked in to have the surgical procedure in 2 days time, and then I was discharged, sent home anyway, bleeding as heavily as I was. I made it as far as the hospital exit and then I started passing huge clots, so was rushed back into EPAU. And I think now I had their attention.
A doctor was brought down to examine me, and again to discuss options. The examination didn't reveal much, just made me feel even worse about myself. And then another doctor was brought in. Both of these doctors were foreign and I was struggling to understand their accents, and bearing in mind I was emotionally wrung out by now, and to be bombarded with all the options of miscarriage management again was just overwhelming. I had no idea what I wanted to do, and to top it off, these two doctors were not aware that I had been in hospital all morning, they presumed I had just arrived, so they were about to take some unnecessary blood samples, which considering the amount of blood I was already losing would have sent me over the edge.
Anyway, after a lot of explanation, tears and confusion I decided (this time) to opt for the 'Medical Management' - this way I got to stay in hospital which is where I think I needed to be. I got transferred straight onto the Gynaecology ward to a private room, where I was left to wait for the ward staff to see to me. The nurse came in at 1pm and administered some tablets to induce the labour, and I was also given some pain killers. She explained to me that I would feel like I was experiencing a mini labour and that I should stay on my feet to keep things moving, and that if I needed the toilet I was to use the bedpan, so that anything I was losing could be examined. And then she left me to it.
I spent the next 5 hours in my room, without seeing any medical staff whatsoever, I was passing huge jelly-like clots; I never in my life imagined that a miscarriage could be so horrific. Every time I filled the bedpan I rang my bell and an orderly came to take it away; I think I must have had maybe 5 or 6 replacement bedpans, and I was changing sanitary pads every hour. Everywhere I sat or laid down I left a patch of red, it was completely awful. And to think that the nurse never once came to check on me during the first 5 hours, well I think that is disgusting. When my bleeding slowed, and I guess I hadn't buzzed for a bedpan change in a while, the nurse came in to see me. It was now 6pm, and she decided I was ready to go home. I was shocked she could suddenly make such a decision, I queried her choice but she made it quite clear that I had passed the 'remains of conception' and I could go home. I was feeling rather exhausted by this point and was quite ready to go home, so I rang my husband and he came to collect me.
I was not prepared for how I was going to feel over the following weeks. In the days that followed the miscarriage I felt exhausted, lightheaded, and very stiff; I could barely walk more than a few metres without feeling like I was going to pass out. And then the headaches started, my head pounded for about 3 days after the miscarriage and I didn't even realise that this was a side effect. After about a week I started to feel a bit better and I was trying to get my life back to normal, but I continued to bleed.
I'd guessed that the bleeding would last for a couple of weeks (because I was never told by the nurse what to expect when I was discharged), similar to what you experience following giving birth. But when I was still bleeding 3 weeks later I began to worry so I telephoned the hospital, and they advised me to see my GP who would refer me to the Emergency Gynaecology Unit (EGU). Unfortunately the GP that I saw had no idea what to do, and he referred me to A&E, which I was greatly disappointed about because I knew for a fact that the doctors in A&E would not be experienced in dealing with problematic miscarriages, and I knew I would be wasting their time.
So off I went to A&E, where I spent 4 hours before being transferred back onto the gynaecology ward where I was when I first had my miscarriage. They did a pregnancy test and it was still showing positive, then they examined me, and basically said that if I had been bleeding for 4 weeks then there would be intervention, but because it was only 3 weeks then I would have to go home, but I should come back in two days for another blood test to make sure the pregnancy hormone in my blood was dropping. Trying to arrange this blood test was like pulling teeth, the doctor had left it to me to telephone the hospital the following day to make an appointment, and of course nobody knew who I was or what I wanted, I was transferred through 5 different departments before I managed to get an appointment.
I saw the nurse before I had the blood test, she was confused as to why I was there, and she told me that I should have been told to 'expect to bleed for 7-10 days' - she'd failed to notice that I was now on day 23 of bleeding, but anyway I was sent straight home again. I was then telephoned and asked to come back into hospital because the hormone level in my blood was not dropping as quickly as it should be. I went back, but the doctor told me to come back after the weekend for another blood test - they could have told me this over the phone. I was spending a fortune on bus fares!! I went back on the Monday for another blood test, only to find out there had been a lot of confusion about when I should have returned, and it should have been Sunday, not Monday as I was told, and in fact the doctor had written in my notes that I was to return in a week. As you can imagine I was now beginning to get a bit fed up of everything, all the medical staff through their lack of communication were causing more confusion than necessary, and the plain fact was thatl I was still bleeding way past the recommended amount, and nobody seemed in the slightest bit bothered by this. I felt like they were more concerned about why I was wasting their time coming in and out of hospital asking for blood tests.
The blood test they took on that day showed that my levels were still dropping, but still not as much as they should, so I was asked to come back on the Friday for another blood test. By Friday I was on day 30 of bleeding and it was showing no signs of stopping, and the nurse I saw on this particular day was really quite shocked that my condition had been allowed to drag out for this long. She arranged for me to have a scan straight away which revealed some 'retained products of conception' were still in my uterus. She wanted this to be sorted for me once and for all and was quite upset by the way the other doctors and nurses had been messing about with blood tests when they could have scanned me for a clearer picture.
I then had to wait to see a doctor, where once again my options were discussed. She offered me tablets (the same as I had almost 5 weeks ago when I first miscarried) or surgery, which would be at least another week's wait. I insisted that I did not want tablets again because they obviously hadn't worked the first time round, and I most certainly did not want to wait that long for surgery. I explained that I had been through quite enough and wanted it over and done with. The nurse said she would arrange for me to come in for surgery earlier than anticipated and ring me later that afternoon. I did not receive a phone call until the following Monday when she explained to me that surgery was not an option because there was not enough left inside of me to warrant a surgical procedure so I could either let things carry on naturally and have a camera in 3 weeks to check everything was okay, or come back into hospital for more tablets. I chose tablets; I did not want to wait another 3 weeks - what if I carried on bleeding for that length of time!
I went into hospital the following day and had the tablets straight away and then I was sent home. Nothing really seemed to happen and my bleeding had practically come to a stop anyway, so I am wondering whether the tablets were too little too late. I have stopped bleeding now, and it is over 6 weeks since I first started miscarrying my baby. It is not a time period I would have associated with an early miscarriage.
I really did not expect a miscarriage and the after affects to last this long, and I felt like my life was put on hold until it was all resolved. I wanted to grieve for the baby that I lost, and then put the whole episode behind me, but it was just staring me in the face every time I went to the toilet, and I could not stop thinking about what might have been, and the child I would never have. What makes matters worse is the care I have received from the NHS has been, to say the least, not what I expected and really quite disappointing, especially since most of the doctors/nurses I saw had not even read my notes so they were not prepared for my situation. It seems that once you have a miscarriage then you are more of a statistic than a person who requires sensitive care.
The range of emotions I have felt since miscarrying my baby has been huge, at first it was sheer devastation, and then it went onto anger that my baby had died, why did it have to happen to me? Then I felt guilty about wanting a third child, and as people keep reminding me I should be thankful that I've got two gorgeous girls already, but why shouldn't I want a third child? (So far I have provided a healthy happy home for my two girls, so I would love to bring another child into the home, and I have always wanted at least 3 children). And then as the bleeding dragged on I just became depressed and fed up that I could not move on with my life, and thoughts of trying for another baby were just being pushed further and further to the back of my mind.
If you know anyone that has suffered a miscarriage, do not be afraid to talk to them about it. Some people have shied away from mentioning it to me, but I have found it quite comforting when people have asked me about it; it's quite therapeutic to be able to talk about my experience and get my feelings off my chest. Miscarriage should not be a taboo subject, especially since I recently learned that it happens to around 1 in 4 pregnancies! If it happens to you, make sure you get the correct care you need and whatever option you choose, make sure you get a call back appointment so they can double check that everything has come away, do not sit at home festering like I did, because it will only prolong the situation.
Thank you for reading this, I have had little information available to me about what happens during and after you have a miscarriage, the side effects, and the length of time you may bleed for, so one of the reasons I have written this is to make other people aware that you do not just bleed for a few days, it can last for weeks, and there are unexpected side effects! If you experience any sort of bleeding during your pregnancy, please go to your GP as soon as possible, do not sit at home wondering if you are okay, because one way or another your GP should be able to advise you and perhaps even help you.
I sit here writing this with tears rolling down my face, cramps in my stomach and so many emotions running through my head so please bear with me.
We found out on the second of december that I was pregnant, after the roller coaster of a year we have had we thought that our luck was finaly changing and things were starting to look up, me and my husband joked with each other that it was our christmas present to each other and with our due date being our wedding aniversary it would have been a double gift.
Everything was going well, I was being careful and taking things easy, I hadn't had any morning sickness which could have been an early indication that there was something wrong but I wasn't concerned as I had not had any morning sickness with my eldest two either.
I got up on Sunday the nineteenth of december and had a few spots of brown blood, I phoned the hospital and was told it wasn't unusual to experience spotting but to call back if it got any heavier, on Monday morning it was a bit heavier but still dark brown which the hospital said was old blood and nothing to stress about but booked me an early scan for Tuesday.
Tuesday the blood was still the same colour and very light, the scan showed that baby was fine and the doctor assured me the blood was nothing to worry about and said it was probably a break through bleed when my period should have been.
We went home reasured with our minds at ease, I didnt have any more bleeding from dinner time that day and went to bed quite calm and content.
Wednesday i didnt have any bleeding at all, Thursday at eleven a.m I began to bleed heavily and this time it was bright red and very thin, I went back to the hospital and was scanned again this time there was no heart beat, my baby had died, we were sent home to let nature take its cause. At this point I wasn't in any pain but was told to expect period like cramps, heavy bleeding and to pass some clots. I was told the bleeding should stop in ten days or so but if it didn't to go to my doctors and to come back to the hospital if the bleeding was heavier than a large sanitary towel per hour.
By late Thursday night the cramps were excruciating, nothing like period pains but more like contractions, paracetamol alone wasn't strong enough so i took ibuprofen aswell which made the pain bearable but didn't take it away completley. My bleeding is in surges rather than constant like it is with a period, there will be nothing wholst I am resting but if i move my pad floods, I have had the urge to wee more often too except when I go to the toilet I don't need to weee its another clot, the clots have been a lot larger than I was expecting too I have had lots of fifty pence sized clots but also a couple conciderably larger.
I am now five days in to my miscarriage, the pain has eased a lot but is still there when the paracetamol wears off, my bleeding is still heavy but with less clots, I just have to waite and see if it stops on its own now.
Physically I think my body is over the worst of it but emotionaly I am a reck, I knoe realistically things like this happen for no reason but its easier to have some one to blame and there is no one to blame but me it was inside me after all, having to tell close friends and family was the easy bit listening to what they had to say was the hard bit, it wasn't meant to be doesn't make me stop wanting my baby back, there will be other babies, I don't want other babies I wanted this one, its gods way, then he's a cruel man.
I just want to avoid the world right now, my heart is broken the pain is fresh and my tears still fall,the tears will dry, the pain will stop and my heart will mend, there may well be another baby in the future but right now I need to grieve for this one.
I am writing this in the hope that it may help someone who is reading and may have gone through a similar situation.
When my oldest son, who is now 9, was seven months old, I became pregnant with my second child. I was overjoyed at the prospect of having two children so close together, although a little daunted for the same reason! I had no reson to believe that I would have any problems with the pregnancy. As far as I knew, nobody in our family had ever had a miscarriage before, and I suppose I felt "immune", like it could never happen to me.
When you first find out you are having a baby, all you can concentrate on is getting to the magical 13 week point, at which the risk of miscarriage is greatly lessened. I remember getting to that point and heaving a huge sigh of relief, glad that the pregnancy seemed to be going so smoothly. It was a few days after that, when I started to notice a few drops of brown blood when I went to the toilet. I was a bit alarmed, but a visit to the doctor reasured me that there was nothing to worry about.
However, the bleeding did not stop, and a few days later, I checked into the early bleed clinic at the local hospital to have a scan. I was due to have a scan anyway that week. I still felt confident that there was no problem with the baby, and that this was just a "blip" in proceedings.
As I lay down for the scan, the sonographer rubbed the scanner over my belly. She seemed to have trouble finding anything. She kept moving the scanner around for what seemed like ages, before a small mass appeared on the screen. It was not moving.
I looked at the mass, and started to worry, as it looked so different from the scan I'd had taken in my first pregnancy. The sonographer seemed to take measurements and zoom into the picture before telling me that she couldn't detect a heartbeat. I kept looking hopefully at the screen, wishing that I could detect some sort of movement, but the horrible truth was that I was looking at a dead baby. When I realised that, I turned away from the screen.
Apperently, the baby died at 10-11 weeks. On the day I had celebrated reaching my thirteenth week, the baby had already been dead for some time. I felt very numb, upset and unreal, as if all this was happening to someone else. I left the hospital in a daze, hugging my little boy, who had no idea he had just lost a sibling, and couldn't understand why mummy was crying.
I got home and phoned everyone. It was horrible having to break the news to my family, especially dad, who started crying. I felt so many emotions over the following weeks and months. Firstly, I felt quite bitter towards my husband, who didn't seem to be grieving as much as me. He hadn't thought of it as a real baby, so I felt quite alone in my grief, and this was really hard for us both. I also seemed to notice baby things everywhere, on posters, on TV and moms with prams wherever I looked! These were harsh reminders. I struggled with the idea that I must have done something wrong, or maybe I had simply not wanted the baby enough. Well meaning friends felt they needed to share their stories of miscarriage with me, but I didn't want to listen. It was all too raw. Of course, you also have to face people who don't realise what has happened and ask how the pregnacy is going, and you find yourself having to relate everything all over again. It is awful.
Time passed, and we decided to do something positive in memory of our baby. We paid the woodland trust to dedicate a tree in memory of the baby. They sent us a certificate, with a short piece I had written in the baby's memory. The woods where the tree is located were in Devon, a favourite holiday destination of ours. This would serve as a reminder that the baby had existed, and would never be forgotten.
I think about the baby from time to time, but the pain becomes less every passing year. A year after the baby would have been born, in December, I gave birth to a daughter, and in June, exactly four years after my miscarriage, I had a baby boy. These happy events helped to ease the pain that these times of the year held for me. The children know about what happened, and occasionaly ask questions about it, wondering what their brother or sister would have looked like, but the irony is, that if that baby had been born, I would have had a completely different family, and my daughter wouldn't have been born.
Everyone deals with these things in their own way. For me, time has been a healer, as well as the joy I find in my family. I hope that this experience has given my more empathy and understanding towards others, and has contibuted something of worth to who I am as a person. My baby may have had a very short life, but it did exist, and holds a cherished place in my heart, and that is what matters to me.
Thank you for reading. I hope this helps someone.
This is very fresh to me, I have only received the all-clear from the hospital today so please excuse me if my writing is a bit disjointed. It has been a nightmare week. I lost my pregnancy only a week ago. My third baby who I had been delighted to find out I was having is no more.
I underestimated how much pain a woman goes through when she loses a baby in early pregnancy. The bond that you create in those first weeks is much stronger than you would imagine. The hormones that come crashing around you when the pregnancy ends are intense. I would say I am a strong person, but my loss has left me quite broken. I have cried randomly at anything kind people say to me. I weep on my own, then at other times it is almost as if I understand. I understand that something was not just right for my baby.
I thought that by recording my recent thoughts and a little diary of what happened, it might help someone going through the same traumatic event. So here's how it happened to me. If you are quite squeamish, then this probably isn't a good review for you to read.
Small amount of pale pink bleeding. An overwhelming sense of having lost all pregnancy symptoms makes the day feel "wrong." Having bled throughout my previous pregnancy, I still could not relax... perhaps it was intuition, but I braced myself for bad news. It seemed ominous.
I spotted lightly throughout the day. I went to bed and found it very difficult to sleep, worrying about what the morning might bring me. My husband was very positive, he kept saying "It'll be fine, wait and you will see" However I knew in my heart it wasn't fine.
We were eight weeks pregnant.
Up at the crack of dawn I found that I was passing small clots. As I could not get an appointment at my own GP, I visited my local A&E department. They could not have been nicer. I was taken to an assessment room, and given a quick check-up before they took me up to the gynaocology ward to be scanned and have bloods taken.
When we reached the gynae ward, I was taken to a room to have an internal scan. The thought of the internal scan was worse than the actual reality. In reality it didn't hurt at all. They covered it, lubricated it and in honest truth, I couldnt feel any pain or discomfort at all. After a few moments scanning, the doctor apologised to me very sincerely and said she could only see a small sac and no heartbeat. I didn't cry. But my husband was devastated.
She explained to me that she would like a blood test to check my hormone levels. I agreed in a daze and a test was taken quickly and painlessly. The internal scan had dislodged some bleeding and from that point a miscarriage was more evident. It was almost a relief to start bleeding "properly" as I had been in limbo with the vague spotting.
The hospital sent us home and said they would ring with the blood test results in a couple of hours. We got home and an overwhelming tiredness consumed me. I slept for two hours. The bleeding was quite painless- I was very lucky in that respect.
Two hours later the hospital rang. Hormone levels in the blood were still higher than they would have liked, so they arranged for me to come in for a further check up in seven days.
I slept for most of the day. I questioned why I felt so emotionless after such news. The truth is, I had not registered the loss.
I spent Friday with my feet up, just coming to terms with things. Family called to visit. I wish that some of them had stayed at home; you would not believe how insensitive people can be.
On Sunday all my hormones came crashing down and the loss finally registered. I cried over what could have been, the baby I didn't get to meet. I grieved over my plans.
On Monday I tried to go back to work. It was much too soon. I cried to anyone who even asked how I was. It hurt so badly. I took two more days off work. It helped. I started to come to terms with things.
Thursday (today) I had my follow up appointment at the hospital. They scanned me again to check my womb was empty and then took a blood test. They rang a few hours ago to say that the hormones were only at 14. The pregnancy is offically over. Despite feeling sad about this, it is a relief to get the all clear.
The thing that struck me was people's insensitivity.
What NOT to say to someone having a miscarriage:
Although I know that I am fortunate to have been through two healthy pregnancies, and I do take comfort in the two children that I have, nothing prepared me for the way I would feel when I lost my "baby"
I can honestly cope with the loss in myself, but I have been useless at work. Should anyone dare care about me, I burst into tears. My head knows that I am crying for a baby who barely was a baby, but that doesn't help. And it certainly does not help to have others tell me that. I had no idea how insensitive people are until I received a barrage of unhelpful comments this weekend. What is worse, is that some of these comments are coming from family, and others from mothers who should really know better.
I don't mind being asked "I heard what happened. How are you doing?" It gives me the opportunity to open up if I want to, or I can put on the "I'm fine" facade that I have been using most of the weekend. But people seem to feel the need to quantify the above question with
"At least you weren't further on"
Oh my God! I am passing parts my pregnancy down the toilet, I am devastated and you seriously think that is a good thing to say? Yes, I do know that it is unbearable to think of a late loss, but this isn't a competition. For 4 weeks I dreamed a life for my baby. I bonded and thought of names. Keep that line to yourself.
"It wasn't meant to be"
Yes it was. It was meant to be my new arrival in June, a little person to complete our family. It was very much meant to be. The little life was cut short and I am gutted.
"There must have been something wrong with the baby, maybe it would have been disabled"
Do I need to comment on this one? Insensitivity at its finest.
"You're young, you can have another"
But I wanted this one. I loved this one.
"You've been very stressed lately, it wouldn't have helped"
Yes thanks for that. I need to feel guilt that this was my fault.
"Enjoy those two children you do have and don't think of what happened'
I heard this on the day I had the miscarriage, this person never even gave me a day to grieve. I love my children dearly, I also loved the one I lost. Let me grieve at least give me a day or two to come to terms with it. I was in the worst part of the miscarriage at the time she called in.
Nothing else is coming to mind at the moment although I know there have been others. But if you do have a friend who is currently going through this experience, all you need to do is offer your ears to her. If she wants to talk, she will. If she doesn't, she will appreciate the thought. A card would be a nice gesture. Even if you do not know her particularly well, I was touched by the kindness of people who I only knew peripherally. They were much more kind than some friends and family. Also, do ask how the daddy is doing. My hubby was affected more than anyone would realise although he doesn't say much.
I have found that writing things down has been a touch of therapy for me. I have gotten over the horrible comments, but at the time they were so hurtful. I know that this review is quite difficult to make sense of, but the place I am is quite hard for me to make sense of, so I apologise if this is a difficult read.
Miscarriage in general
This is the first time that I have reviewed something so personal, and I would like to explain that this is just my perception. I absolutely believe that everyone is different, and my feelings are not neccessarily those shared by others.
I have lost 2 babies. This happened 6 and 7 years ago. The first time that I discovered I was pregnant, I was quite nervous as we had not planned a baby at that time. However, after a few days, the nerves changed to excitement and I began to look forward to being a family. I was at work when the bleeding started and obviously I panicked. I rushed to my doctor who told me that there was very little I could do - in effect, if it was going to happen, it would happen. I was scheduled for a scan in a couple of days time and stayed at home until then. I only bled a little in the couple of days until the scan and was unsure whether this meant that things would be okay, or not.
I went for the scan and the staff were quite quiet. I knew that what they were going to say wasn't going to be good. They told me that I was either less pregnant that I had thought, or that my baby had stopped growing. I was scheduled for another scan in a fortnight and given advice about what to do, if I began to miscarry in the meantime.
At home, I felt numb, it is almost like I was scared to hope that things would be okay. A week later, the pain and heavy bleeding began, leaving me in no doubt as to what was happening. I went back to my local hospital, and was kept in overnight, tests confirmed that I had lost my baby. To be honest, I don't remember much about being in hospital. I remember silly things like how dark it was (I went in at around 2am) instead of the important bits. I remember that I didn't cry, and kept telling myself that I had expected it.
My partner, friends and family all did what they could, and I told myself that I had to get on with things. Many people told me that I was young and healthy and there would be other babies. I am not sure if I ever did cry around that time, focusing on being strong and not falling apart seemed to be all I thought about. Looking back, I wonder if I should have dealt with it differently, spoken about it more, allowed myself to cry, or even thought about counselling. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I do know that I wouldn't say to someone else that there "would be other babies", I don't think that is a relevant point. For me, the point is that you are grieving the loss of that baby, and thinking about others feels wrong. You will never replace that baby you lost, no matter how many children you are lucky enough to have and you shouldn't try to.
We decided to try again after around 6 months, and around 4 months after that, I fell pregnant again. I was quite unwell with heavy morning sickness, which everyone told me was a good sign of things going well. Every time I went to the bathroom, I checked for bleeding, this felt slightly obsessive but I couldn't help it.
At 3 months, I was sent for a scan, and couldn't help feeling apprehensive. As before, the staff fell silent and I immediately felt sick with fear. They asked if I was sure about the dates. This time, I was definitely sure so I knew instantly what they meant. They confirmed that my baby had again stopped growing.
This time I cried, I couldn't help myself, and started sobbing. The staff left my partner and I to allow us time to calm down, before talking to us. They then explained that I was likely to miscarry and recommended that I have a minor operation to remove the baby. I agreed to this and was scheduled to come back in 2 days.
At home, I felt numb again, although I knew that the hospital staff were right, I couldn't help wishing they were wrong, that maybe if i just waited, things would be okay. In fact, when I went back for the operation, I almost couldn't go through with it, and had to spend some time composing myself. It was over very quickly and I was able to go home the next day.
Again, I tried to get on with things but found it harder this time. I kept thinking that we should try again as soon as possible, and resented my partner for not being sure that he was ready to go through it all again. In fact, we split up a year later. Now that I look back, I realise that during that year, I ignored all the problems that we were having, convincing myself that it would all be fine if we could just have the baby that I longer for. At the time, I didn't recognise that though, again, the benefit of hindsight.
I have been with my current partner for 4 years and we hope to try for a baby soon, he understands my history, and that it may not be easy. I believe that I now am in the right place to consider pregnancy again. I realise that it may not be easy, and that it may not be successful. I know that I cannot change this. What I do hope is that no matter what happens, I will be more able to deal with it. I now realise that it is important to grieve, and to give yourself time to get through what has happened, there is no specific amount of time either, everyone is different and you need to do what is best for you.
No matter how far along in a pregnancy you are, miscarriage is a huge loss and one that you need to allow yourself to feel. This doesn't change if you have 5 children already or none, and sometimes it seems that people who have not been through it don't understand those facts. To anyone who has been through this, I offer my deepest sympathy, and hope that you are able to cope with it in whatever way works for you. Remember, you are not alone, even if it feels like it, and there is support available if you need it.
If you know someone who has experienced miscarriage, please don't tell them they are lucky to have the children that they have, or that they will go on to have a healthy baby. Those facts may well be true, but at that time, that is not what they want to hear. They are grieving for the loss of their baby and they need time to absorb that loss, not to feel like they should be focusing on other children or babies that they may have in the future. Sometimes, you can be supportive without having to say the "right thing", just to be there can be enough, so that they know that you feel their loss.
Try the below site for further information;
The pain of miscarriage is something which I will never forget, and having read so many of the stories on Dooyoo I thought I would add mine. It happened to me twice in different ways.
When my husband and I married in 1981 we knew that within a very short time we would want to try for a family. I was an only child and I wanted to see if I could have several children to fill the house with joy and laughter, and before too long my son came along. It was so easy, first month of trying, a complication free pregnancy, and a natural birth and he was born. The joy and the happiness I felt was just incredible and later that year I became pregnant again as easily as the first time, and my daughter arrived, again all natural.
3 years later we decided to try again and to my delight I was pregnant straight away, and as I was so used to everything being plain sailing I expected it would be again. This time I was large for dates and the doctor suspected twins. A scan was arranged for a week later, and I thought I was probably going to have two babies. It was never really expected as there are no twins in the family, but the size and the level of sickness I had was a strong indicator that a twin pregnancy was likely.
Sadly this was the case, but at the scan which was done at about 11 weeks there were two babies, one alive and one dead. At first I was horrified, but the obstetrician assured me that nature would deal with the baby who had died, and that I would most likely go on to give birth to one of the twins normally. I went home and I thought long and hard how to deal with this, but I found it easier than I thought because I had never known for sure that the other baby existed. To be told instantly that it was dead meant I had no time to have loved or looked forward to him or her, in the way I would have done had I known earlier. 7 months later a beautiful baby girl arrived, and the midwife asked me if I wanted counselling for the lost twin, but you know I didn't because my new little girl was absolutely gorgeous, and a sister for my other daughter which for me was a dream come true. Yes sometimes now I look at her and wonder if her twin had been a boy or girl, and if they would have had the same interests and aspirations, but the moment is lost by the sheer adoration I feel for my daughter now she is a woman in her own right.
3 years on and simply and without complications my next son arrived. A bouncing baby well over 10lbs and absolutely perfect. So we had two boys and two girls.
About 18 months later in April 1994 my husband and I decided that we would try for a last baby and very quickly I became pregnant. This time I felt different. No morning sickness and no tiredness, but all my routine checks were normal and everything was fine. Then one evening I started to bleed and I was rushed into hospital for a scan where I was told the baby was dead. I will never forget looking at the screen and seeing a perfect image but no heart beating. It was a feeling of utter devastation and emptiness, and it was something which I will never forget. In those days all miscarriages of 3 months had to be helped on by surgery, and so that night the deed was done.
I came home to 4 children all confused and sad, and a husband lost in grief. I felt as though I had been reminded that although I had produced 4 wonderful children that somehow it was a gift that sometimes went wrong. I asked myself why? - time and time again, but there were no answers. I have never smoked in my life, and I gave up the odd glass of wine when pregnant, and I took great care of myself for each pregnancy, it was as if something had gone wrong.
Of course people had mixed reactions. What do you say to someone who already has 4 children when they lose a 5th? I soon discovered that each baby is a precious little being, and that numbers are irrelevant. Each pregnancy is unique and not someone to count in a score card. I had some comments said to me which really hurt, and they still do even today when I remember them.Even my well meaning dad suggested I should give myself a talking to and get on with life and be grateful for the children I had.
To add to this I knew I was so very lucky and kept blaming myself for trying for a 5th child when I already had 4. I felt greedy and I knew our situation could never be compared to the heartache faced by couples with no family and repeated miscarriages. In a way this made it all so much worse because in my head I was so mixed up, feeling guilty for what I was feeling and trying hard to keep going.
So how do you cope? Well I think you have to see it as a loss and be allowed to grieve. I broke down one night and spent 5 hours in hubby's arms because I had to let out all my feelings. I had to talk and we spent hours just saying how we felt. He or she would have been 15 next month and not a day goes by when I don't wonder what that day would have brought for us, how he or she would have looked and what his or her dreams would have been.
When a person dies many people left behind do not see that they are actually going through so many stages, anger, disbelief, grief and then ultimately learning to live without them. This is why the funeral is part of the process, painful though it is it is part of seeing they have gone and learning to celebrate their life, and to say goodbye, and of course to finally accept they are not coming back.
I remember vividly when we were first married when one of our two lovely cats was run over, and I had the task of burying him myself as my husband was away on business in The States. When he came home he was really in a mess because he hadn't been able to see the cat or to say goodbye, and it really haunted him for a long time.
Since that day I always make a big point of having an animal funeral, and it has become something of a ritual in our house as we pay as much respect and attention to it as you would for a person.
However this is where miscarriage really hurts because there is no baby to physically bury, and so it is difficult to say goodbye and to learn to accept what happened. There is no closure, so my advice would be to try anything to mark the event. Plant a tree or a plaque in the garden, or do something annually to remember. It doesn't have to be much -a few words a thought, just a moment of remembrance. Each year I toss some flowers into the sea in The Outer Hebrides where I often see otters playing. I know he or she would love this place, as all my children do, and as I watch the petals bobbing on the water I remember who might have been.
I would have tried again but shortly afterwards I caught a virus related to polio called Coxsackie B and this caused Pericarditis, an infection around the heart, and subsequently M E. I never felt I could try again because opinion is divided as to whether the virus stays in the body and can be passed on or not. I just knew I couldn't take that risk and I wasn't well enough for years, and so I let the idea go.
I never let his or her memory fade. I know that his or her spirit and the sprit of the twin I lost shines through the lives of my other children, all of who are my world and I admire them all so much.
There is nothing you can say to someone who has been affected by this except that you care. No baby who follows is a replacement and no loss is a blessing.
I only hope that if it happens to any of my children I will be there for them, with a deeper understanding than maybe I would have had if it hadn't happened to me.
Women face this every day and men feel so much sadness looking on. They need help too. The miscarriage association is a wonderful place to start for both.
This review is also published on Ciao by myself under my user name there Violet1278.
When I met Jason, my now fiancé, nearly ten years ago- that was it, I was smitten. Within minutes of meeting him, I knew that he was the man I would one day marry. We had a whirlwind romance and one evening, we were walking my dogs along the beach, after dating for only a couple of months, when he proposed. When we had arrived at the beach, he had told me he was going to get a ticket for the car park, he was gone for around ten minutes, which I thought was strange, as a machine was pretty close by but I thought nothing more of it and when he returned, we started our stroll along the beach. We hadn't been walking long when he sent my dog to retrieve a piece of wood lying on the beach, I was moaning at him, asking why he made the dog go all the way over there, but it soon all became clear where Jason had went earlier. As the dog dropped a piece of driftwood, with 'marry me?' etched onto it at my feet, I turned around to see Jason on one knee.
I accepted without a second thought. Our friends and family were sceptical, saying we barely knew one another- that was true I suppose, but we didn't care. We knew enough, and what we didn't know- we'd find out along the way. As time went by, we discovered more and more just how much we had in common- our love of animals, the same sense of humour and as more time passed, another thing that we had in common became clear, and that was neither of us wanted children.
A couple of years rolled by and we were happier than ever, our friends and family realised just how much we were meant to be together and we set about planning our wedding- deciding on two small ceremonies- one in Jason's home town of Middlesbrough and one in my home town of Manhattan USA and set the date for December 2010.
Both our parents knew neither of us wanted children, and they accepted that- even joking that the only grandchildren they would get from us would be 'grandpups' and as time went by, me and Jason were happier than ever, happy than I ever thought I could possibly be infact.
However, you've all read the name of the category I am posting this 'review' in, so I imagine you will have guessed how the rest of the story may go.
In March of this year, my period was late, I waited a week, just thinking stress had delayed it but still nothing, so I when to the doctors just in case. I took a pregnancy test and it was confirmed I was 10 weeks pregnant. It was such an odd feeling, sheer panic infact if I totally honest. I left the doctors and sat in my car for a good twenty minutes, before calling Jason, and telling him I needed to speak to him.
We arrived home around the same time, he obviously knew something was up, but it took me a while to pluck up enough courage to tell him. Sitting down, I broke the news and waited for his reaction. He was the same as me, panicking like I had. We spent over three hours talking things through- there was so much to consider. Jason was a relatively newly qualified Vet and I had a busy carer as a Veterinary Nurse, we had a houseful of various pets and lived in a tiny rural cottage- we wondered how a baby would fit into our lifestyle. I'd be lying if I said abortion didn't cross my mind.
More talking, right into the early hours of the morning, and we decided to go ahead with it. We'd work everything out, we could do anything together. In bed that night, I was so scared, petrified in fact and so was Jason, but good scared and happy. Happy isn't a strong enough word infact- we were delighted, absolutely over the moon. The previous day we were both still content with our decision not to have children, and now we were expecting a baby. Talk about a life changing decision! I'm sure I fell asleep with the biggest smile on my face.
The next day, I went to Boots and brought four more pregnancy tests, I just had to. Every one confirmed the news so I rang my mother in America. She thought it was a joke at first, but soon realised it was all real, and she burst into tears of happiness at the thought of her first grandchild. Over the course of the week, we told everyone we knew, which was perhaps foolish seeing as we hadn't yet had a scan, but we couldn't hold back our excitement. I was still scared, we both were, but more excited than we had ever been before. Despite how early on it was, we decided if we had a baby girl, she'd be called Eva Nicola and if we had a boy, he'd be Harry Scott, his first name in memory of my father who passed away last December. They'd have a double barrelled last name, taking both mine and Jason's, seeing as I was keeping my surname when we married, and that my best friend and older sister would be god mothers and Jason's brother would be god father.
I even typed into my 'about me' text on dooyoo that I was pregnant. However, I had to take an urgent call from work and was distracted, so I never submitted the update and then never got round to doing it again.
The following Sunday, I awoke with terrible stomach pains. I had a warm bath and cuddled up on the sofa, expecting them to soon pass. As the day went on, they didn't go, they got worse in fact, so I called Jason and told him something right, he said he'd be home from work straight away. Whilst he was on his way home, I went to the toilet and I bled- heavily. My heart sank and was barely able to tell Jason through the tears when he came home. We rang the emergency doctor and sped to the surgery.
When we arrived, I started vomiting and the doctor called ahead to the hospital, telling them we were on our way for an ultrasound. As Jason drove there, our song came on the radio, tears were streaming down my face, I looked at Jason, he took my hand and told me it'd be OK and smiled. I wanted to have the same faith he had and I so wanted what he said to be true.
Arriving at the hospital, I was taken straight in for the ultrasound. The minutes they were examining me felt like hours. My eyes fixed on the doctor, studying the look on his face. In my heart of hearts, I knew.
Jason took both my hands in his, and the doctor confirmed it. I had suffered a complete miscarriage.
I can't tell you what I felt, it was surreal. In a matter of a couple of weeks I had gone from being sure I didn't want children, to finding out I was pregnant and being delighted at the thought of being a mother, and then having it taken away. Jason and I left the hospital to go home. In the car on the way back, we didn't say a word. For the first time in our lives together, I don't think neither of us knew what to say to each other.
Arriving home, I went straight up to bed. Completely ignoring everything- the dogs being delighted to see me, my boss ringing to see why I wasn't in work and Jason telling me not to shut him out. But that's exactly what I did, I went upstairs, crawled into bed, and cried. It seems that is all that I did for hours, in fact, it probably was. I must have drifted off however as the next thing I remember was Jason coming up, getting into bed and holding me. The first time in ten years I had seen him cry.
For the next couple of weeks, I didn't really deal with it at all, trying to completely shut it out and try to forget. Of course, I never forgot, it was always there and selfishly, I left Jason to tell everyone. The next few weeks after that were very strange. Everybody knew what had happened, but nobody knew what to say. Me and Jason drifted apart, we were both obviously very upset, and instead of supporting each other, we took it out on one another. It wasn't until I went to stay at my best friends for a few days, to allow us to have a bit of space from one another, did I realise how much I needed him. He felt the same, and I came back home and we've tried to support each other as best as we can since.
There was no real reason for the miscarriage, it was just one of those things. There are times I feel terribly guilty- I think maybe I didn't deserved to have a baby because once, I didn't want children and I was too selfish, considering putting my career and my current lifestyle over having a baby, or that I done something wrong. No, the baby wasn't planned and but god, after discussing it, and coming to terms with it- I was looking forward to having a family more than anything.
We're not trying for another child. If it happens again, it happens, but it isn't something we are urgently wanting at this moment in time- who knows what the future holds though. We'll just have to wait and see how things go I suppose, but now, for me, I feel this has confirmed, it just wasn't meant to be.
I've surprised myself in writing this 'review' to be honest, but I have to say it has helped. I'm posting it on 9th June, but I have had it written for many weeks now, unsure whether to post or not. I'm sorry to those who were looking for a detailed medical info packed review, this was just MY personal experience of how I went from never wanting children, to discovering I was expecting a baby, and then having everything come crashing back down.
Thank you for reading xx
About a month ago I joined Dooyoo in a bid to raise some extra cash as my wife and I were expecting our 2nd baby.
This is my last review...
Today my baby went away
How I wish that he could stay
She was no bigger than my thumb
He should have been safe inside his mum
Today my baby went away
How I wish that she could stay
Today my heart, it did break
The pain too much for it to take
It isn't fair and it isn't right
My wife cried herself to sleep tonight
Today my heart, it did break
The pain too much for it to take
We don't know if she were girl or boy
But he would've brought us so much joy
Her little heart just decided to stop
And then blood appeared drop by drop
We don't know if he were boy or girl
But she wouldve been loved more than the whole damned world
Today my baby went away
He wasn't strong enough to stay
And now our hopes all are dashed
Our future plans torn up and smashed
Today my baby went away
Just in time for mothers day
Today my baby went away
And with her our dreams flew away
Why he went we cannot say
But in my broken heart she'll always stay
Today my baby went away
And now there's nothing left to say
Writing this but I'm unsure whether I have yet have the stength to post it. On the 15th May 2008 I had my son Matthew. I was only 21 weeks pregnant too early to survive.
I discovered I was pregnant at around 3 weeks - very early- but I recognised the signs for having my first son. At first I was shocked, it wasn't planned but that doesn't mean he was any less wanted. Unfortunately my partner didn't feel the same way and I am already a single mum to one my family were concerned for me and wanted me to consider an abortion. I did for all of two minutes, I already loved this baby inside of me, I always would love him or her just like my other son. Everything was fine until I reached 12 weeks, then one evening i stood up and felt a gush. There was blood everywhere and I was devastated. I thought that was the end. I phoned my local maternity hospital early pregnacy unit who booked me in for a scan the next morning.
I went for my scan but refused to look at the screen. The sonographer took my hand and told me to look at the heart beat. I was in shock and so happy I cried. My baby was there, it was fine and moving and it was all good news. I had an internal exam to see if they could find out why I had been bleeding but failed to find anything so I was sent home.
I was ok for 2 weeks or so but then the same thing happened. Slightly less panicky this time I phoned the hospital again and went for another scan and examination. This time they found a small area of ectopy on my cervix (cervival cells that have grown outside the cervix and may bleed if irritated) However they were unconvinced that it would cause the amount of bleeding I had suffered. I bled pretty much constantly from then on . I went to the hospital eveytime i had a 'big' bleed (when my trousers were soaked despite pads) and got to know the staff really well. They used to joke that i just wanted scan pictures.
At 20 weeks I relaxed a bit, I could feel my baby move and loved being woken up with kicks. My son used to sing the baby songs and blow raspberries on my tummy which was so lovely. After some persuasion from a friend I even plucked up the courage to go baby shopping for the first time and chose a cot and pram (although i wouldn't let her persuade me to put a deposit down). At 21 weeks and two days I had another big bleed but this time I didnt phone the hospital, I was strangely used to it by then. However I started feeling sick and was so tired and dizzzy. I put my son to bed and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up there was blood everywhere. I got cleaned up even put some washing on and then crawled into bed. I woke up an hour later and there was no way I couldnt go to the hospital. I was being completely irrational though. It was 4am and I had no baby sitter, no clean pjamamas and hadn't had a bikini wax so i couldnt phone. I did phone at 5.30 and they suggested an ambulance. I told them there was no need.
At 7am when my son woke I got him dressed, got my bag and called a taxi. Dropping my son at my sisters I headed to the hospital, strangely I was more concerned about making a mess in the taxi and the £30 taxi bill than myself. I got to the hospital and then collapsed at the reception desk. My heart rate was 398 beats per minute. I guess adrenalin had kept me going. I was ordered to not move at all. I was examined by two midwifes and a doctor but was passing clots the size of rugby balls and there faces said it all. I was scanned again and after watching my babys heart beat and movements I was told that my waters had gone.
I was kept in hospital and monitored over the weekend but bled even heavier on the Sunday night. On monday my consultant came to see me and told me i urgently need a blood transfusion and to be induced. I think it was harder as he was still alive and i could feel him moving, i felt my body had let him down. I was taken through to the labour ward because I was too ill for the early pregnanvy ward to cope with. It was awful. Babies were being born in the next room. The staff were great though. After three rounds of inducing me I still hadnt had my baby. I was desperate to avoid surgery, I felt like I would be letting my baby down. On thursday I finally had him.
The staff took him away to clean him up and took him back wrapped in a shawl in the smallest moses basket I have ever seen. I spent some time with him and had him blessed by the hospital chaplain. I was released from hospital ten days later.
The hardest part for me was dealiing with my son. Explaining to him that the brother or sister he'd talked about constantly had died. My parents took him to the hospital and I sat him down and told him that the baby got sick and because he was too little to leave my tummy he had gone to live in the stars. He broke my heart when he replied that stars couldnt talk so the baby would be lonely.
I had a funeral for my baby, he was buried in the baby section of a cemetry close to the sea. I was able to put a blanket and teddy in his coffin. The funeral was conducted by the same chaplain who had performed his blessing and I was able to drop a yellow rose on top. I still go there often.
* The hardest parts
Dealing with my sons questions anger and pain - He was only 4 and went through a stage of hating me cos i sent the baby to the stars. Having to sit down numerous times and explain it was no ones fault.
Dealing with my guilt, I considered abortion, only for two seconds but did my baby die because I didn't love him enough. I knew this was irrational but thoughts and feelings are not the same.
Dealing with people who cross the road because they don't know what to say to you. I made the first move, showed them that yes I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest but I was still me.
The term 'she lost the baby' I found this deeply insulting. I knew exactly where he was I just couldn't be with him. I know it is a figure of speech but it really irritated me.
Not being able to register his birth in any official way. Two weeks later and he might have had a chance. He would have legally existed.
* Things that have helped
Friends and family - I'm lucky mine have been fantastically supportive. I have kept all the cards i recieved and my best friend made me a bracelet with an angel and tiny footprint so i can keep him with me at all times.
The staff - I spent 6 days in the ward and countless hours there before that. I got to know the staff really well and they allowed me to cry. For 4 days I put on a brave face but they cried with me and just held my hand. They see this every day but they were still able to see everyone on a personal level and make time in your darkest moments.
Knowing I wasn't to blame - I had a post mortem done and although it was a difficult decision and I didn't want to hear the results it did help remove some of the guilt.
The chaplain - I am not religous in the fact I don't attend church. Getting Matthew blessed was the one I could actually do for him by way of protecting him. From what or who I'm not sure but it definately helped. The chaplain visited me several times in hospital and at home between the blessing and the funeral and knew the right words to say. He had also held my baby when my friends and family hadn't which I felt deeply comforted by.
Time - I know its a cliche but it has made the pain less raw. At first I couldn't bear to look at babies. My sisters both had girls 10 months and 6 months so I couldn't avoid them.
SANDS and other support online.
I was given a package before I left the hospital. Inside are a teddy and the shawl he was wrapped in. His hand and food prints, information about his birth weight (125 grams) and delivery time. A 'birth cetificate' and photos of him. I have memories, things of his to keep and touch and cuddle.
My son sent a balloon up to the stars and he often blows the stars a kiss.
Realising I'm the luckiest person alive as i have a fantastic little boy.
Thank you for reading. Sorry for long review guess I needed to get it all out my system. My angels memory lives on even though he never had a chance.
Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks. Sadly 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, most before 12 weeks.
My first miscarriage occurred at 5 weeks. I took a pregnancy test on the Monday and lost the baby the following Saturday. I spent a night in hospital, it was very upsetting but as I hadn't quite adjusted to the idea of being pregnant I made a quick recovery and continued with my life. The baby hadn't been planned and although I was happy to continue and have the baby, and I certainly wasn't relieved at miscarrying, I was able to rationalise the loss. My OH and I hadn't been together very long, the time wasn't right, there must have been something wrong with the baby etc....
Fast forward a year and OH and I realised we were in it for the long haul. We both had children from our previous marriages, but we mourned the loss of what could have been and decided the time was right to have a baby together. My OH has three sons and desparately wants a daughter, having lost his only daughter to stillbirth 13 years ago, a wound that has yet to heal.
So we set out on the journey to joint parenthood, enjoying the ride along the way, until the day in November 2005 when I joyfully sent him a picture message of a digital 'positive' on a clearblue test. Fabulous!
The pregnancy progressed. I had a scan at 12 weeks and we saw our baby on screen for the first time. Clearly loving the limelight the baby even waved at us. For the first time I experienced the yukkiness that is morning sickness, not particularly pleasant when experienced over myself in the bath, but I found Ginger Biscuits and sips of water helped, and it was a small price to pay.
February half term 2006 approached. I was 18 weeks pregnant. I did what I do at the end of every half term. I tidied my classroom, filed worksheets (in my favourite place, the bin, leave any piece of paper around long enough and that's where it will get filed) and I carried boxes of files and exercise books out to my car to take home to mark.
I got home at 4pm on the last day of school and cleaned my ensuite. I had a plumber coming to give me a quote for a refit and I wanted the place sparkling. At 5pm, an hour before the plumber was due I went to the toilet and saw what all pregnant women dread, blood on the tissue paper. It wasn't much, but it was there.
I called my OH and told him what was happening. En route home from work there was little he could do. I sat and waited for him to get home. The plumber arrived just as OH did. I rushed the plumber around the en suite and then I waited for my ex-husband to arrive. It was his weekend with my other children, so I sent them off with their Dad. I didn't tell them what was happening.
OH and I rang the hospital to let them know we were on our way and we were told to go up to an antenatal ward. Once there we sat around for an hour before finally being seen by a midwife and a Senior House Officer. An internal examination was performed but the doctor could find no cause for the bleeding. She also listened to the baby with a monitor and both she and the midwife said they could hear a heartbeat. OH also agreed that he heard it. All I heard was a whooshing sound. It didn't sound like a heartbeat to me. I asked for a scan. I knew there was portable scanning machinery in the hospital, but was told that no scans were performed on weekends. The doctor said I wasn't miscarrying, that many women bleed during pregnancy, and sent me home.
And so I went home. I had some cramping and backache, the bleeding had increased, but I was told this was due to the internal examination.
The following afternoon we went to a tile shop to choose the tiles for the en suite refit. While there the cramps I had began getting stronger. I noted the code for my new tiles and told OH we needed to go back to the hospital but would have to return home for my notes first.
Once again we phoned ahead to the hospital and were told to go back to the antenatal ward. This was among many mistakes the hospital made with handling my miscarriage. At 18+2 weeks pregnant I should have been sent to labour ward.
I was given a room of my own on the antenatal ward where I waited for a Doctor to come and examine me. A portable scanning machine was brought in. Funny that, considering I was told the previous evening that no scans were carried out on weekends. The midwife from the night before also came in. She apologised, saying she really had though that I would not miscarry my baby.
After about an hour a registrar came to see me. He carried out an internal examination and said he was very sorry but my cervix was completely open and I was going to lose my baby. I never had a scan. He said there was no point.
I was then left along in the room. A commode chair was brought in and I was told to pull a cord in the room and buzz every time I used it. I used it alot. Each time the nurse came and collected the cardboard bowl to check the contents.
I sent OH home to bring me some night clothes and toiletries from home. Whilst he was gone I delivered our baby into the commode. From the commode I could not reach the buzzer cord and as the baby was still attached to me by its cord I could not get up to pull the cord for help. I had to shout for help for what felt like ages, but was probably 3 or 4 minutes before a midwife finally came in to help me. She cut the cord and helped me back in to bed before taking my baby away.
The midwife then returned to help me clean up and she asked if I would like to see my baby. OH had returned and was distressed at missing the birth, but also annoyed that I had never been taken to labour ward or offered any pain relief. To complicate matters I had not delivered the placenta and was on a drip to increase my contractions and progress to the third stage of delivery. These contractions were much stronger than those I had during the birth, but I was still not offered any pain relief. I was so upset at losing my baby that it didn't cross my mind to ask for any either.
The baby was brought to us resting in a tiny wicker basket with a small white crochetted blanket over it. At 18+2 it is difficult to discern gender. Our baby was still very small, just over the length of my palm. We were asked if we would like our baby blessed, and although neither of us is religious we agreed. Our baby never got to choose whether to have faith or not, so we decided not to remove the option. Now we had to select a name. Not knowing a gender made it difficult, we'd selected a girls name but were still undecided over a boys, and in the circumstances we needed a gender neutral name. We made a list of suitable names and then it came to me, we should call the baby Laurie, a mixture of my name (Laura) and daddy's name (Kenny). It seemed fitting that the baby take part of each of our names as it still felt part of both of us. The blessing was arranged for the following day.
After five hours on the drip I had still not delivered the placenta so at midnight I was taken for an emergency evacuation of retained products of conception (EVAC), also known as a D&C. The staff in theatre were very kind. I cried the whole time they were preparing me for surgery.
The following morning the registrar came to see me again. He explained that I had lost a lot of blood and offered me the option of a transfusion or a course of strong iron tablets. I took the tablet option as a transfusion would mean another night in hospital and I just wanted to go home. He also told me that my late miscarriage was probably due to an incompetent cervix and that I would be seen by a consultant next time I conceived and would have a stitch placed in my cervix to reduce the likelihood of it happening again. I was also asked if I would like a postmortem to be performed on my baby. My OH and I agreed that we would like to find out for certain the cause of our baby's death. We were talked through various bits of paper work, including a sheet on retaining organs and/or slides for research purposes. In the light of the Alder Hey scandal hospitals are much more open regarding postmortem procedures. We agreed to slides being taken, I know that we can only prevent other parents going through such a devastating experience if we allow medical research into prevention, but we asked that the body be returned so that we could hold a funeral.
My baby was brought back to me and a priest came and performed a blessing. We said our last goodbyes and left.
Nine weeks later, and still bleeding heavily, I was readmitted to the hospital. The EVAC had failed to remove all of the placenta so I had to have another one. I remember coming round from the general anaesthetic and hearing a nurse say to the doctor that she could not get my blood pressure to rise. For a fleeting second I actually hoped it wouldn't, but then I thought about my children at home and forced myself to take some deep breaths, much to the relief of the nurse.
A week after the second EVAC I saw my consultant obstetrician. The postmortem results were not back but he told me there was a three month backlog at Alder Hey. He gave me the green light to get pregnant again after my next period. I took him on his word and littlest HonestBob was conceived. At six weeks I saw my consultant and littlest HonestBob on screen. Now the real hard slog began. Most women feel 'safe' when they get to 12 weeks pregnant, I knew I would never feel safe.
At the six week check Laurie's postmortem results were still not available. My consultant promised to follow them up. A month later, still no results, a further month, still no results. Finally in August, six months after losing Laurie, the postmortem results were in. The examination had been carried out in early March but a new computer system had been installed and my baby had been 'lost' within it. The body had sat on a shelf, location unknown, for six months. The postmortem revealed the baby had not died because of an incompetent cervix, but because of a sub-placental haematoma. A blood clot had formed behind the placenta and had grown so large that it had pushed the placenta away from the uterine wall. In later pregancy this is known as a placental abruption. Thankfully the results came through just before I would have had an unnecessary cervical stitch. My consultant promised me that procedures for documenting the location of miscarried babies would be changed, that no other mothers baby would be 'lost'. Recent national news reports about the hospital I lost my baby in suggest that any changes, if any were made, were not sufficient.
We buried Laurie on September 2nd 2006. She, yes - the postmortem revealed we had a perfectly formed daughter, was born on February 18th 2006 but became an angel about ten days beforehand. The doctor, midwife and my OH did not hear her heartbeat when we first went to the hospital. Shifting those boxes did not cause her death. She had already slipped away. Starved by a placenta fighting a blood clot twice her size.
February 18th 2001 - a date which will always bring terrible and sad memories to my mind. At this time of year, with just under a week to that date, I get a little bit melancholy and at quiet times in the day start to think back to what happened. I'd like to share my story because there were awful mistakes made at the time.....preventable mistakes which could have made the difference between a normal grieving process, and something which was like something out of a nightmare. I'll start at the very beginning....
In 1997, after suffering very heavy periods for many many years, it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to have an endometrial resection , which is an alternative to having a hysterectomy, where they use a laser to remove the lining of the womb, and the layer underneath the lining. It means that afterwards periods should ideally stop, or at least become much lighter. The operation is only offered to women who have completed their families, and counselling is offered beforehand, because the chances of becoming pregnant afterwards are very low. This is what I was told anyway, although that's only half the truth. In fact it is possible to become pregnant, it's just you shouldn't become pregnant as it is dangerous for both mother and baby. I was even given an information leaflet before the surgery and there was absolutely nothing to warn about possible complications.
Fast forward four years later. The operation had been a success and after a divorce soon after, I had met the love of my life. He didn't have any children of his own but was quite happy to take on my two! We didn't worry about contraception - I assumed it was so unlikely for a pregnancy to happen, that it wasn't worth worrying over. And if I ever did get pregnant- well that would be a bonus! One day I couldn't stand the smell of my perfume and I was feeling very icky all the time. I knew this feeling! And I knew what it meant! I rushed to get a pregnancy test and we were so excited when we saw the little blue line! My hubby was absolutely over the moon and chuffed to bits!
I was slightly worried about the operation I'd had, and asked my doctor about it. He said he'd never known anyone to get pregnant after this type of surgery, and hadn't a clue whether it would be allright or not, but if the scans were ok, then everything should be fine. I had an eight week scan - everything looked fine. I had a twelve week scan - everything still looked fine. Then one day, at around eighteen weeks, I started to bleed a little. A visit to the doctors told me to go for a scan. Everything looked fine, in fact the sonographer was rude to me and told me my tummy pains were "pregnancy stretching pains!" I went home and rested like I was told and things seemed to settle down. Then I was at my mum's house , doing a jigsaw, and my waters broke. I knew in that moment that my tiny little baby was going to die, this was much too early for it to be born safely. I cried on my daughter's shoulder while we waited for the ambulance and was taken to hospital into a little private side-room, where I was told to wait for nature to take its course and to go into labour. Although I didn't. After waiting for four days, with just increasing tummy pains but no actual labour starting, I was taken for a scan. Heartbreakingly, I saw my tiny baby, still alive, on that screen. They said there was no chance now of it being able to live as there was no water protecting it whatsoever. I had to sign a form for them to give me a termination, but I felt really upset doing that as I wasn't terminating my baby, I was miscarrying it.
The forms signed, it was back in the room, hooked up to drip which gave medication to induce labour. They tried lots of different medication over the next three days - none of it worked. A doctor internally examined me and pulled out my baby's arm. He said "sorry", wrapped it up, left the room. This was getting harder and harder to deal with. After four days of intravenous drugs, they said they would take me to theatre to terminate. I was actually relieved by this- just wanted it to be over.
I had the surgery. My hubby was waiting for me as I was wheeled back into the room. The following morning, the surgeon checked my tummy and gave me the all- clear to go home. I popped to the loo before leaving, and felt something coming out of me - it was two legs. I screamed and the nurses came running in - and I had to give birth to my baby. It was a little boy I dont know what happened in that operation, but something obviously went wrong. But there was worse news - the baby's head was still stuck - it meant another operation to remove it, so I had to go into theatre for a second time in 24 hours, for another operation.
A couple of weeks later, we had a funeral. We named the baby Dominic, and there was just me and my husband there, we wanted it that way. We scattered his ashes in the little children's garden.
I didn't get over that experience for a very long time - I had panic attacks and couldn't go out. And I still remember it vividly to this very day. Especially when february comes around again.
I was told that they had revised the information given to women considering endometrial resection. I hope they have. And I hope my story will be of use to anyone about to undergo this procedure. You CAN get pregnant after this operation, but it's very unadvisable to do so. I didn't have a computer at the time all this happened to me, but I did some research when I did get one and there is a small amount of information on it, but not nearly enough. But nearly all the information does warn about a pregnancy- I think there have been a few babies born after this procedure, but a hysterectomy was performed at the same time. It is common to have a miscarriage in mid-trimester as opposed to the usual first trimester when most miscarriages happen.
All miscarriages are heartbreaking and my heart goes out to anyone who has to go through one. It does get easier to cope afterwards, I suppose time heals most wounds.
I have read some of the stories on here and they are truly humbling and heart breaking.
I have my own story, we lost a baby at 10 weeks in September 2006 and it is one of the most devastating things ever to have happened to me. I started to spot and then after waiting days for a scan I was told my baby had died and sent home to miscarry.
I hope that other people know that it IS amazingly common - 1 in 4 pregnancies will fail apparently though sometimes it might be before you know. The awful thing is that is one of those big secrets, that is why I find what people have written here so courageous. When people such as Ben Fogle's wife most recently speak out and say their own experiences I think it helps in some way to stop ignorance, fear and also people saying the wrong thing.
If you have a miscarriage or know someone that does I found this site so so helpful. http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/ma2006/information/leaflets.htm There is a helpline too. I phoned it as I didn't know what was happening - the grisly details of which I don't want to share here but it is so common in my experience they send you away from the hospital with a leaflet and that is it.
It is not really enough - one minute you are hoping to see your baby on a screen (and having been through pregnancy before I knew there should have been a recognisably baby there) - next off home you go to deal with it. Some hospitals will offer an ERPC (medical procedure) but this wasn't discussed with me.
There is a great leaflet to print out to give to family and friends as they really do not know what to say often, there is good information if you have a miscarriage too.
If you haven't experienced this or someone close to you hasn't this I hope you never do but for me it would have been helpful to know:
- It is not anyone's fault don't blame yourself for something you did/didn't do.
- Expect to feel a rollercoaster of emotions - feel tired. Don't try and carry on and be superwoman. Rest as much as you can.
- You are allowed to grieve. There is no way you should/shouldn't react, it is personal.
- It helped me to plant something to remember my baby
- you may feel you can't put you/your family through a m/c again so you can't get pg again. It is hard and the innocence of pregnancy is gone but you take it day by day.
- Use your support network, talk to friends - online/in forums if need be. This will help you to realise that you probably feel like other people.
To give anyone hope I now have a second child - not a replacement but the most life-loving child ever who shouldn't have been here.
If you know someone going through this
- Be there. Pick up the phone. Listen. Tell them you are sorry for their loss and acknowledge that for the last few weeks they probably have been imagining life with another new person.
- Don't tell them it was meant to be, or that it was for the best as there would have been something wrong - that will hurt well meaning as it is. If they have another child don't say "well at least you have " X" - they know they have another child/children so they know what they have lost.
- Don't tell your friend about someone you know who has had 3 miscarriages and now has a beautiful boy, this may not help them yet.
Men often get overlooked and probably don't have as good a support network as women who will find it easier to talk to friends about it - so acknowledge that they may be grieving too.
I still remember the baby that wasn't who would have turned 3 in a couple of months and I will tell my children about them in fullness of time.
I have rambled a bit and probably not structured this well as it is a hard thing to write/think about but thank you to all the women sharing their stories, and I wish no one had to go through this ever.
Today could have been the second birthday of the baby that I never had. I'm not an overly sentimental person but my estimated due date will always stay etched in my memory, even though the pregnancy only lasted for 8 weeks.
I had my first child in 2002 and the conception, pregnancy and birth were all relatively straightforward and free from any complications or anxieties. We got married in April 2006 and, as we'd planned, starting trying for another baby straight away. Just as with my first baby, I conceived straightaway. In fact, based on my dates, I must have conceived a week after the wedding date so this would have been a real honeymoon baby.
We were both delighted when we had a positive pregancy test result and had no reason to suspect that there would be any complications this time around. In fact, we started telling family members and a few close friends pretty much as soon as we knew we were expecting another baby. Then, 8 weeks into the pregnancy, I noticed some blood when I went to the toilet. As it was a weekend, I managed to see the emergency doctor who just tried to reassure me that bleeding in early pregnancy is quite common and doesn't necessarily mean the worst. I was booked in for an ultrasound scan the following day. Through the night and the following morning, I continued to bleed and it got heavier and more like a regular period. In my heart of hearts, I knew long before we got to the hospital that this baby was never going to be.
The hospital staff were brilliant and we were kept in a seperate part of the hospital to all the regular ante-natal appointments and ultrasounds. This kept us away from all the heavily pregnant mums and eager fathers to be, although it meant that everybody in that waiting room was going through a similar experience to me and my husband. Just as I had feared, the ultrasound confirmed that there was no sign of a heartbeat. An internal scan also showed that there was a foetal sac but that the baby had not developed inside.
It was only whilst talking to the nurse at the hospital that I became aware just how many pregnancies end in miscarriage. Apparantly, as many as 20% of all pregnancies are believed to end in miscarriage. Whilst this doesn't make it any easier to cope with on a personal basis, it does mean that you're likely to know somebody else who has been through a similar experience to you and can understand what you might be going through.
My own pregnancy was what the medical profession term a 'missed miscarriage' or blighted ovum. Although I didn't start bleeding until 8 weeks, the baby had actually stopped developing at 6 weeks. In fact, the pregnancy hadn't really got as far as to make a baby as such and I think this made it slightly easier for me to accept what was happening to us. Nonetheless, I still needed to grieve for what this baby represented and the loss of those hopes and dreams. Even though this was the very early stages of a pregnancy, the baby was very real to us and we both felt the loss of a little person that we would never have the privilege of getting to know.
Like many people who have experienced a similar loss, we were anxious to try for another baby as soon as possible. In fact, I was not so much anxious as desperate. Whilst it is probably sensible to wait for a while to let yourself come to terms with the loss (as well as giving your body time to adjust), I didn't want to wait, although I fully appreciate that many people wouldn't want to get pregnant straightaway. The official medical advice is to wait at least one cycle before trying again but this is as much to give you some idea of when you conceive as for any medical reason. You are no more likely to miscarry again if you fall pregnant straight afterwards.
It seemed to take an eternity to fall pregnant again and every period just reminded me of the loss that I'd experienced. Just seeing blood every month reminded me of the awful moment when I realised that I wasn't going to have our baby. I was fortunate to conceive again a short while later. The 12 week scan was booked for early January (just a few weeks before the date that our baby would have been due) and we didn't tell a single person (not even parents or close friends) until after that scan. I was crying throughout the scan, fearing the worst and could hardly believe my own eyes when there was a distinct baby shaped being with a strong heartbeat! I did start to relax from then on in, but I still felt some anxiety every time that I went to the toilet throughout the whole pregnancy.
Thankfully, we went on to have another beautiful, healthy little boy called Ben. Ben was born on 07/07/07 so must indeed be a very lucky little chap! We are so grateful to have two wonderful boys and every day they bring us so much love and happiness (not to mention headaches, sleepless nights and sore throats from shouting above the chaos!) We wouldn't change our lives and family for the world.
Even though we have moved on as a couple and as a family, and I am so proud of my two boys, I won't ever be able to forget the baby that wasn't meant to be. My heart goes out to anybody who is going through the pain of a miscarriage. I won't attempt to offer any words of advice as I believe that everybody deals with their grief in different ways. Just remember that you are entitled to grieve, regardless of how far your pregnancy had progressed. The baby was a real unique person to you and will always be part of your life and your history. You need to grieve for the loss you've experienced to enable you to move on. The memory will always be there but it does get easier as time goes on. xx
Until I had my own experiences of miscarriage I honestly didn't realise how common it was. The charity Tommy's estimates that around 15% of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage although it is very difficult to obtain accurate figures as many women will not be admitted to hospital or might not even realise they were pregnant.
My own story begins in January 2006 when my husband and I decided to try for baby number three. Despite having fallen pregnant easily with my two children I was aware that I was several years older and in my thirties instead of my twenties so conception might take a little longer so we were delighted when just six months later the pregnancy test showed that little blue line. Of course, I didn't believe it and needed two more tests before I could take in that I was pregnant again. My other half and myself decided that we wouldn't tell anyone until a little while later so two weeks later when I started to bleed we were still the only two people who knew.
I went to the doctor who said very matter-of-factly that if it was a miscarriage then there was nothing anyone could do to prevent it but booked me for a scan the following day. Over the next few hours I continued to bleed and had period type pains and I wasn't in the slightest bit surprised when I had a scan and was told that I wasn't pregnant. I was a little disappointed but I think I had more or less resigned myself to the fact before the scan. In the following days I was a little bit teary - probably due to hormones more than anything but it really felt as if maybe I had imagined the whole thing. There was only the positive tests that proved I ever had been pregnant in the first place and even a colleague I told suggested it had just been a late period.
Happily, I fell pregnant again very, very quickly. I was a bit nervous around the six week mark but this time I felt very nauseaus and took this as a sign that I was properly pregnant. Just before ten weeks I began to tell people; I needed to let my boss know because of health and safety reason ans one or two other people guessed. Plus I had booked my first ante-natal appointment.
In mid-October, the school in which I work was having a Harvest Festival at our local church. We walked to the church and back, up a steep hill, and on the way back I confided in a friend who had walked to the church with us. The very next day I began to bleed again.
The first I noticed was when I went to the toilet just before school began. I came out in a bit of a daze and another staff member asked what was wrong. I began to tell her and couldn't stop bursting into tears. The rest of the staff in the staffroom urged me to phone the doctor but I didn't really want to as the last time I didn't feel as if I had been taken seriously. In the end one of the older members of staff booked an appointment for me and the Deputy Head urged me to go. The Head Teacher was out of school that day or I don't think I'd have dared ask for the time off.
My appointment was at 11 o'clock and I seemed to be in the doctor's surgery for ages. This time I saw a female doctor and she was quite sympathetic. She asked me to go to the practice nurse to confirm the pregnancy with a test. When that proved positive she again booked a scan for the following day, gave me the same advice that if a miscarriage was going to happen it would happen anyway then asked what job I did. When I said I was a teacher she advised me to take the rest of the day off, saying I probably wouldn't be able to concentrate on work anyway.
I went home and phoned my husband, then phoned school to let them know, then phoned my Mum, as that's who you need when you're feeling down.
The next day, my husband took the day off work to come with me and we went for a scan, in the same room as the time before. It seemed to take an age and I was prepared for the same response as before but this time the sonographer said that there was evidence of a pregnancy but it was very, very small and was I sure about my dates. She asked a nurse to come and talk to me and we were taken into a small room where she again explain that there was a very early sign of pregnancy but at a stage a few weeks earlier than I thought I was. She asked if I could be at an earlier stage than I thought. I was pretty sure that I wasn't but she advised waiting two weeks and having another scan in order to see if the baby has developed. She also mentioned that if I were about to miscarry it would probably happen befor ethen.
The next two weeks were the longest of my life. I spent a lot of time googling miscarriage symptoms and reading other peoples' stories on pregnancy forums. I swayed between being convinced that the by was gone and being hopeful when I read accounts of people having the same thing happening and when they went back the heartbeat was there. I was back at work for the first week and hated every moment of it; my boss in particular wasn't in the slightest sympathetic, if anyone asked how I was she kept jumping in and saying "You're fine, aren't you?" in a manner that dared me to say otherwise and she also tactlessly told the whole staffroom about her heavily pregnant daughter's ante-natal appointments. Looking back, maybe I was just a bit over-sensitive, but it hurt at the time.
The following week was half-term and we had arranged to go to Disneyland Paris with our children and some friends. We were due back on the Wednesday and my repeat scan was the next day. I've got to say it was the only time I haven't enjoyed Disneyland Paris; everything seemed grey and miserable but I think that was probably just me.
On the Thursday I went back to the hospital. My husband couldn't get time off work so my Mum went with me, but as we also had to take my daughter (due to it being half term) who was seven at the time, she stayed in the waiting room so my daughter wouldn't be scared or upset.
The radiographer again took ages. I could see she was measuring something and because I hadn't had any more bleeding I had some dim hope. This was extinguished when she very gently and quietly explained that while it had grown slightly, it hadn't grown as much as it should have and we should assume it had "failed to develop". The same nurse took me into the same room and she said I could either wait for nature to take its course or I could be admitted to hospital and either have it surgically removed, which would be quick but more dangerous or take tablets that would induce bleeding. I decided that I had already waited long enough and chose the non-surgical option.
A doctor came into the room and gave me a tablet to take there and then to begin the process and they booked me into hospital 36 hours later, which was 8am on the Saturday morning.
I went home and again phoned my husband and also phoned my boss on her mobile to warn her I would be unlikely to be at work on Monday.
On the Saturday morning we got up early, dropped the children off with my Mum and set off to the hospital. Weirdly on the way in I bumped into the parent of one of the children in my class who merrily asked where I was off to. Talk about a conversation stopper! We arrived on the ward and I was shown to a private room with its own toilet. From speaking to other people later who have been on that same ward for various things I gather they keep those private rooms for people suffering miscarriages.
We had to fill out several forms and the nurse explained again how the process worked. Then they inserted some tablets and said I had more to take orally later. They also said my husband was welcome to stay with me for as long as it took which they said would probably be that day but could be the next day. I had a bed pan to go to the toilet on so they could monitor any loss - not a dignified process.
For a while I felt nothing then I started getting pains like in early labour. They did get so bad that I was pacing the floor when I had them and the nurses gave me some painkillers. They said I didn't have to stay in the room and a couple of times we went out for a short wander. It felt a bit like being in labour and it was like the early stages where you can still pace about but with the knowledge that there would be no baby at the end.
The day lasted ages without much progress but my husband and I talked all day long and I have never felt so close to him. He is a bit of man's man and isn't known for expressing his emotions but he was really lovely and supportive. Eventually it got to the point where the nurse said I would have to stay in overnight and we decided my husband should go home, even though they said he could stay on a camp bed.
The nurses all day were lovely and the one who did the evening shift particularly sticks in my mind. She said she would give me some pethadine to help me sleep and said I should get into bed before she gave me the injection. After she gave it to me, she tucked the covers round me and patted my knee - her sympathetic manner was really excellent.
The next morning my husband came back and as I used the toilet I felt something come away. The nurse came and looked in the bedpan (I don't envy their job at all!) and said it looked as though it was all over. I had to wait another hour then I was discharged armed with painkillers and a two week sicknote. I was asked if I wanted to have an entry in the book of remembrance but I didn't feel that was necessary and the nursing staff put a sticker with a green teardrop on my file which they said would inform medical staff in the future so everything could be handled sensitively and that was how I felt they handled everything. In fact as I was leaving one of the nurses even gave me a hug.
I went home and felt very up and down - hormones again, I presume. My husband took my sicknote into work so I didn't have to do it. I later found out my boss wasn't very happy about it and had commented to the Deputy Head that "there would be nothing actually wrong with me", which I suppose physically was true. I also found out she's told staff I didn't want anyone to say anything to me when I went back to work, so when I finally went back it was to a staffroom full of people who would leave when I walked in. It took a couple of days before one of the staff whispered under her breath to see how I was and told me what had happened. After I told her I hadn't said anything about not wanting to be talked to a lot more people came and said how sorry they were and how bad they'd felt about ignoring me.
Maybe she felt as though she was doing me a favour but I preferred to have the loss acknowledged. I have always been a person who agreed with not telling peole about pregnancies until after 13 weeks but to be honest, it was easier when people knew than having to put a brave face on it and keeping everything to myself. Also, I think there's a general feeling that you can't miss what you've never had but it's strange how you do. Since talking about my experience to other people I've discovered just how many people I know who've had similar experience but a lot of people just don't talk about it.
Anyway, after a depressing take, my story has a happy ending as anyone who has read any of my other reviews will probably be able to tell. On May 25th 2007, strangely enough the day that would have been my due date, I found out I was pregnant again. I had a bit of a nervous pregnancy where it took ages to actually believe it was going to last but I gave birth to a lovely 5lb 8oz baby boy in January 2008. I do believe that in life things mostly happen for a reason and while I probably won't ever forget the pregnancies that didn't work out, if they had, then I would have never had my beautiful third-born child.
I find it hard to believe that anyone would have actually read this whole saga but I've found it incredibly cathartic - I can't believe how many details I can still remember - so it has been a useful experience even if it never gets read by anyone else.