Heartbreak

I started writing this post on the 18th of May and only now do I feel able to share it. Writing blogs and posting on social media is like my therapy and I think of it as a safe space. However because of other people’s opinions I was nervous to share my journey with others in fear of people thinking I was attention seeking; when in fact it was an outlet, I therefore found myself sharing ‘cryptic’ quotes which would only make sense to people that knew and hopefully didn’t make people roll their eyes. I know I shouldn’t care what others think but I’ve been very vulnerable. During my experience I found myself googling other people’s story for reassurance that what I was feeling and physically experiencing was normal, therefore, I want to share my story too.

On the 11th April I took a pregnancy test and was so excited and happy when it was positive. I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant and could look forward to a lovely little Christmas baby; and yes I complained I didn’t want to give birth on my birthday but really it would’ve been a lovely gift. I can’t describe the sheer elation I felt and I just wanted to shout it from the roof tops.

As per the unwritten rule of society, I only told our immediate family so they could share in our excitement until we could get a scan to confirm our news. We booked an early scan and were able to get confirmation of a heart beat and that everything looked healthy just 3 weeks later. I wasn’t ready to share the news with the world but over the next week we shared the news with our closest friends.

It seemed absolutely perfect. Two of my other friends are also due right by me and it just seems like it was absolutely meant to be. Like all mams-to-be I was nervous and worried something would go wrong but I was so grateful that I was finally getting to have my own little family.

I got this excitement and happiness for 37 days.

33 days after I found out I was pregnant and 11 days after getting confirmation of a heart beat and scan I had a tiny little bleed. To the point I wasn’t even totally sure it would be really classed as a bleed. The next day I decided to ring my midwife just to give myself some extra reassurance. This was Friday morning. She told me not to worry but she’d get me in for a scan just to double check. She informed me the clinics run 7 days a week so she would book me in as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as soon as possible was Monday.

After a horrific weekend of uncertainty trying to be optimistic but realistic and prepare myself. I attended the clinic on Monday morning, to be told I wasn’t on their clinic list and they couldn’t see me. At this point I think I knew. I spent the rest of the day pretty much inconsolable. They managed to book me in for an appointment the next day in the afternoon.

However, Tuesday morning came around and I had managed to find myself some positivity and told myself everything would be fine. As much as you see the 1/4 figure everywhere about miscarriage, I had read that once you’ve seen a heartbeat that reduces to 1/10 so I was feeling a lot more confident.

I attended my appointment and of course it was running late. When I finally went in for my scan I was nervous but no longer as worried as I had been. That was until I saw my baby on the screen just as I had two weeks ago, but this time there was no little heart fluttering in their chest. I knew straight away. A second midwife came to confirm and I was moved into another room to discuss my options.

Apparently what I’ve suffered is a ‘missed miscarriage’ in that my body doesn’t realise my baby is no longer alive. I’m still experiencing symptoms of pregnancy and my hormone levels are all still the same. The decision from there was really easy for me. Waiting for things to happen naturally is absolutely not an option, the fact that my baby is still inside of me is just too painful. I never expected that such horrific news would be followed by a painful series of appointments to ‘complete’.

Although I am truly heart broken right now, I’m not sharing my story for sympathy. I’m sharing it because it’s raw, it’s how I feel, I’m not editing to make it more readable I am simply sharing my story. I also feel like I owe it to my baby to tell people about it, and I never did that when it was happy news.

I truly hope you never go through what I’m going through right now. But, what I’ve definitely learned is that nothing is too small to get checked out. Also, when people say you can’t miss something you never had that’s bullshit! My life changed the moment that I go that positive result and I’m not sure it’ll ever change back.

It has now been just over 5 weeks since I got the news. First I want to share my experience of medical miscarriage treatment so if you are faint hearted I would recommend you skip this bit…

Two days after my heartbreaking scan I had to attend the hospital to get some medication which I was told would notify my body that I was no longer pregnant in order to adjust my hormones. I have since learned that not every hospital offers this stage in the management despite it being proven as a more successful option. I got onto the ward and everything was still so raw and emotional I couldn’t even tell the staff why I was there. They put me in a side room and although they did their best to comfort me in a pandemic I was ultimately left sitting alone and upset for about 40mins whilst they waited for a doctor to complete my prescription. This made no sense to me as they should’ve known I was coming but never mind. I was warned that the medication may make be bleed but if it was heavy to call them straight away. Otherwise I would come back on Friday (this was Wednesday) for the rest of my treatment.

Thursday night at around midnight I woke up covered in blood. I started hysterically crying and hyperventilating, as much as everybody kept telling me this would happen it was still so traumatic. I tried to call the hospital but it took about 20mins for the switchboard to actually get me through to the right ward; not helpful when you’re in this situation. The nurse was really nice to me and told me to monitor myself and if I needed to call back in an hour with an update I could. In reality I didn’t really bleed anymore after that, however, it also meant I didn’t get any sleep as I was so worried I would.

Friday morning I checked back into the ward. I was given a side room which I was very grateful for; although I was warned that this isn’t always possible, and my Mam was allowed to accompany me; unfortunately my boyfriend works off shore and wasn’t home to be with me. This was honestly one of the worst and more embarrassing days of my life. I read the information prior to attending so I knew that the first tablets were pessaries and would be inserted by a nurse, however, I wasn’t prepared for how humiliating it would feel, and if we’re being frank, how far they would need to go. I was so lucky my nursing team were lovely as I can’t imagine a less sensitive individual being involved.

I was told it could take a few hours for the tablets to start working but I would start bleeding heavily and I needed to use bed pans everytime I went to the toilet so they could make sure the ‘pregnancy tissue’ had passed. There are two things I would like to warn others about, 1. It is impossible not to look, I tried, it is devastating and the most overwhelming feeling I have ever experienced. 2. The medication upsets your stomach and unfortunately those bed pans were often filled with shit. Literally the most disgusting and mortifying thing, but I honestly wish somebody had warned me so I’m warning you.

It was a really long day, I was admitted just before 9am and allowed to leave at about 7pm. I told myself the worst was over and I could start healing now. That was 100% true, but I absolutely didn’t acknowledge how traumatic what I had been through was and that it would take time for me to deal with.

I couldn’t stop crying. And I’m not talking about loud hyperventilating sobbing, it was quiet tears streaming heart broken not sure how to move on crying. I think it took me almost two weeks to have a single day where I didn’t cry. Even now over five weeks on I still cry. It also took me more than four weeks to stop bleeding. It was that cruel thing where I would have half a day of such light bleeding I’d think ‘thank God it’s finally over’ and then it wouldn’t be. What I’m saying is be more prepared than I was to need time to heal physically and emotionally. If you’re stubborn like me and used to being the person who fixes everything for others and just gets on with it, let people help. But I also had to draw boundaries and be selfish and say this is about me and not you and I don’t have time to deal with your problems right now. If I’m honest, some people I thought were my closest friends have shown themselves to be self-indulgent and ignorant to my pain which is really disappointing.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over this experience. Everybody tells you ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’ or ‘you’ve got time to try again’, and I have probably said that to people in the past. Let me tell you, being told my baby wasn’t meant to be is devastating, please don’t say that to people. And yes we’re lucky we can try again, however, I will never enjoy pregnancy the way I expected, I will now always be worried, we were that 1% who miscarried after a healthy heartbeat at 8 weeks how will I ever feel confident I won’t fall into that minority again? Also, because of how the system works in the UK, we wouldn’t know if there is a genuine reason for our miscarriage unless we experience three in a row. I literally cannot even fathom having to experience miscarriage three times; and to people I know that have, I am genuinely in awe of your strength. What I am trying to say is we will try again, hopefully we will be lucky but you never know what somebody’s story is unless they choose to share it with you, so let’s stop telling people ‘everything happens for a reason’ or asking ‘when are you going to have kids’ because it hurts.

Sorry for the rambling. This is my story I wanted to share. I wanted to educate others on how it feels to go through something like this; or how it did for me anyway, but I also wanted to prepare others like me for the reality of what is still to come. Thanks for reading.

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