I, like many other women have unfortunately experienced the heartache of a miscarriage. It was without doubt one of the hardest, emotional and loneliest experiences of my life. I am sharing my story because at the time all I wanted was to be able to find comfort in those that had also experienced my pain and loss, but sadly I didn’t have anyone. It was only when I started telling friends what had happened that I found out they too had suffered miscarrages, but never told anyone about it. I know it is very very difficult for some people to talk about, but I think it’s so important to share our stories, because at the end of the day, it is incredibly common, something like 25% of women experience a miscarriage, and if it happens to you, you need to know that you’re not alone.
So my first pregnancy started out great, to my surprise I fell pregnant straight away. One day I started to feel that pregnancy fatigue and some serious pain in my boobs, I was so excited. I left work early, brought a pregnancy test on the way home, and woop woop I was pregnant.
As you are with your first pregnancy, I was insanely excited, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone, but I managed to keep it under wraps except for my really close friends and family. I figured they would be the people I told if I miscarried anyway, so why not share the excitement.
We went away on holidays when I was about 5 weeks and I just remember how tired I was, all I wanted to do was sleep ALL OF THE TIME! We were only away for a week, but a couple of days after we got home, I had some spotting, nothing major only a tiny bit. Naturally I freaked out and rushed down to Freemasons to see my OBGYN. One of the midwives did a scan and there wasn’t any heart beat, but being only 6 weeks she said sometimes you can’t see one yet. So we went home and counted down the days to our 10 week visit.
In hindsight, I should have known something was wrong at that scan because the midwife didn’t really say much. She mentioned that my egg sack hadn’t completely formed, but because she didn’t seem to fazed by it, I ignorantly thought everything would be ok.
Over the next week or two I started to feel normal again, my energy came back and boobs weren’t as sore. In the back of my mind I continually questioned it, wondering if the worst had happened, but then I would tell my self to be positive. I was continually on the phone to my cousin, who was pregnant with her second at the time, asking if what I was experiencing was normal. She’s one of the lucky few that, had NO pregnancy side effects, life was normal except that she had a belly. So this gave me some hope, what if I was the same?
It felt like I had to wait an eternity to reach the day of my 10 week OBGYN visit. I had serious anxiety on the drive there, I kept on trying to prepare myself for bad news just in case it wasn’t good. I had this really bad gut feeling, but then at the same time, I was trying to convince myself that it would all be ok.
Of course it wasn’t. Samantha my OBGYN did a quick scan in her office and found no heart beat. She told me that my 6 week scan indicated an irregular pregnancy, in most cases a woman would just pass it before the 10 week visit, however that hadn’t happened in my case. I was then sent downstairs to get a proper ultrasound. My husband and I sat in the waiting room for over an hour, surrounded by blissfully pregnant women, knowing that it was all over for us, we weren’t going to get our fairytale. I desperately tried to hold it together, to be honest I really don’t know how I did, maybe it was the shock of it all, I was just numb. No matter how much I tried to prepare myself for worst, I really wasn’t prepared for it.
We finally got called in for our scan, and it confirmed the worst, our baby had stopped developing at the seven week mark. We left there absolutely gutted. I managed to make it outside of the building before I broke down, all of that excitement, hope and joy, gone, just like that. My husband and I had met there separately from work, so I had to drive home on my own. My crying was somewhat controlled until I got into my car. As soon as I started driving, I was sobbing uncontrollably, hysterically. I was such a mess, I really don’t know how the hell I got home.
The next few days were just awful. I felt like such a failure. My body couldn’t do the one thing it was supposed to do. Then all of the questions started. What if it happened again? What if I couldn’t successfully carry a baby? What if I had caused this? Did I eat the wrong thing? Did I exercise too much? Did I stress too much? What could I have done differently? Did the flights at 6 weeks contribute? What if, what if, what if?
I was so consumed by my grief that I didn’t even stop to consider what my husband was going through. Poor guy was also hurting, but he was just trying to be strong for me. I look back and I realise that I didn’t even ask him how he was feeling, I was too busy wallowing in my own pain.
Having said that, no matter how supportive and amazing my husband was at that time, I have never felt so lonely in my life. I had support around me, but I felt that I couldn’t relate to them because they had never experienced a miscarriage. They had never experienced this type of loss and heartbreak, how could they understand me?
Naturally as time passed, it got easier to deal with, but I could never stop wondering what that baby would have been like and how our lives would be different. Even now nearly two years on, I can’t help but be overcome with emotion every time I think about it.
After a couple of months we were ready to try again, but this time it took us 6 months to fall pregnant. I was happy to be pregnant, but I really kept my excitement under wraps. I was really scarred from my first pregnancy and terrified that I would miscarry again. It’s terrible, but it affected my ability to really enjoy my pregnancy. We didn’t really tell anyone that I was pregnant until after I was 13 weeks, even then we didn’t really start to show any excitement until about the 16 week mark.
But then at 17 Weeks, I felt my baby for the first time and I knew everything would be ok. I had some serious complications along the way (have a look at my previous blog posts for details), but in the end I had a beautiful baby boy. For all of my wondering about what could have been with my first pregnancy, I wouldn’t trade this little guy in for anything.
For the most part, I think a miscarriage stays with you forever. You learn to deal with it and move on, but I know in my case, it’ll prevent me from having that blissful excitement at the beginning of a pregnancy. It stopped me from connecting with my baby during my second pregnancy, purely out of fear. I didn’t want to have to feel that loss again, but in reality, no matter how much I tried to protect myself, had I suffered another miscarriage, I would have had that same sense of loss, failure and complete devastation.
As much as my experience has changed me forever, I came out of it stronger and now that I’ve been blessed with a child, it has made me appreciate every minute with him so much more than I think I would have otherwise.