I didn’t plan to have such a long gap between posts but after taking myself back to that first scan and reliving that moment so vividly I knew I needed a break before finishing the story. So somewhat renewed and refreshed I feel ready to share today’s post which continues on from the last.
Trigger for pregnancy loss, please read with care
I went to my local early pregnancy unit the following day willing with all my heart that I’d hear better news, that the first sonographer had made a mistake and it’d all been a horrible nightmare, but again they confirmed the worst.
I was moved into a tiny room with no windows. Furnished only with a small sofa and a plastic chair it felt like a coffin, which suited me as I didn’t want to see the sky outside and be reminded that life continued while my baby’s has stopped.
A Dr eventually came to talk to me, explaining that they’d need to repeat the scan in a few days to confirm as occasionally a heartbeat could been seen in a later second scan. I held on to this teeny bit of hope and booked in the second scan as late as possible, hoping to give my baby enough time to prove the first scan wrong.
I was given a leaflet from the Miscarriage Association about missed miscarriage and wasadvised to think about which option I wanted.
-Natural miscarriage, which would just be waiting for it to happen naturally, but there would be no way of knowing if this would happen in days or weeks
-Medical management, which would involve inserting a pessary into my vagina which would open the cervix and induce the miscarriage
-Or Surgical management, a procedure under general anaesthetic where they remove the baby surgically
I went home and furiously searched the internet for stories of scans that’d been wrong and babies that had survived an early diagnosis of no heartbeat
The following 10 days were unbearable, I didn’t feel able to tell people my baby had died as I was still hoping against all odds the repeat scan would show a heartbeat. But deep down I knew and I didn’t know how to behave, walking around with my baby within me but no longer alive. I lay on the sofa all day watching Miss Marple while simultaneously doing jigsaws or adult colouring in books.
A few days later my birthday loomed and I was persuaded to go to a previously planned lunch with friends and family. I’m not sure how I made it out of the house but somehow I managed to dress and brush my hair. But I spent the whole time terrified I’d start bleeding and was glad to leave and hide in the comfort and isolation of my own home.
Birthdays have always held a little bit of sadness for me since that day.
Friends and family kept in touch with flowers and cards, sending text messages and dropping round food but I could also see the pain in their eyes at the loss for them too and the discomfort of not knowing how to help me
Days later the repeat scan confirmed the devastating news and I choose to go on to have medical management. Surgery felt too clinical and unloving (not an opinion I now hold, just a snapshot of how my mind worked at the time). I felt I needed to be present to bring my baby earth side.
I was sent home to self administer the pessary and advised to take paracetamol and ibuprofen
During the night I gave birth to my baby, my first love. I say give birth because it actually felt just how I’d imagined labour to be. The pain was excruciating and I had to rock back and forth on my hands and knees for hours while vomiting into a bowl.
I experienced a popping sensation and felt my baby leave me.
I’d been anxious about what to do with my baby when I passed them but some quotes and advice on the Miscarriage Association helped me prepare, I knew I might instinctively flush the toilet and that that was ok.
I bought a starfish charm and it helped me to think of my baby flushed out to sea, travelling the worlds oceans under the starlit skies
I still wear that charm today ✨
I took 4 weeks off work and then things kind of went back to normal, even though I felt anything other than normal
My friends and family were wonderfully supportive but most of them didn’t really understand. I did find a lot of support from online groups, being able to talk, day or night to people who really got it made a huge difference
And being creative was another way I managed to curate my emotions.
I let words flow from my pen and drew how my heart felt
I’ve wondered a lot while writing this what it is I hope to gain from sharing this story and to be honest I’m not sure.
In part it’s because I want to share my Solo Motherhood story and I can’t share that part without too sharing this
But also I think I just want it in writing, as evidence, that my babies existed and I loved and love them all ✨✨✨✨✨✨
For those that know the pain I stand with you