It’s taken me a long time to write this post. I started it in September and have come back to it time and time again. I just couldn’t find the words or express anything properly but I’m finally at a point where I think it makes sense. It’s then taken me a while longer to publish it because it’s still very raw and has left me feeling a bit vulnerable but I wanted to post it as I truly think it needs to be spoken about so much more than it is. To help people understand what it is like and for people to feel like they aren’t alone.
It wasn’t long ago I posted about us deciding to try for another baby. We were really lucky that we fell pregnant quickly. I know so many people who have struggled to fall pregnant and have had the stress of months and even years of trying. We were over the moon knowing we had fallen on so quickly and were able to give Luca the sibling he has been asking us for.
We found out really early, mostly because I just knew. I was one day late for my period and decided I couldn’t wait to find out any longer. It was the day we took Luca to Nostell Priory with his friend in the holidays and I can remember the joy and elation both Ant and I felt all day. We wandered around those woods with ridiculous happy faces and our little secret. After a week or so of knowing we started to make lists of names, Pinterest boards for nursery design and plans for bump photos.
At 7+6 weeks we were looking forward to a Saturday date night, a chance to really celebrate our good news together. Except that wasn’t quite how it was going to be.
I started to bleed that day and by the evening it was more than just a spot or two. I was too concerned to enjoy our date night so we didn’t go. I then spent the evening on the phone to out of hours praying for them to tell me that everything would be fine. The doctor was lovely and tried her best to reassure me but deep in the pit of my stomach, I just knew. They arranged an appointment at the Early Pregnancy Unit for the Monday so we could have an early scan to see what was happening.
That weekend was hell. Waiting around to find out what was going on with our baby was torture and when weekends usually whizz by in the blink of an eye this one dragged on. I had to call my mum and ask her to take Luca to school for us the next day and explain what was happening. It wasn’t the way I wanted my parents to find out we were expecting again.
On Monday, the day I would have been 8 weeks pregnant and visiting my midwife for the first time, I was instead heading to the hospital full of fear of what was to come.
The scan was inconclusive.
They could see a fetal pole at 6 weeks size but they couldn’t detect a heartbeat and it looked to be very far down towards my cervix. Even though they said they couldn’t be certain that I was having a miscarriage it confirmed it for me. I knew my dates were right and that I would be 8 weeks pregnant so the fact that the baby was only 6 weeks big and they couldn’t find a heartbeat said it all.
They took my blood so they could check my HCG levels and sent us home. I would have to go back in 2 days to have them checked again and if the levels had dropped then they could confirm my miscarriage.
It took a while for me to really feel the impact of what had happened. To start with I just felt shocking. Tired, over emotional and in pain. I didn’t feel like I was to blame as I know that unfortunately, miscarriage happens. Usually, because your baby isn’t developing properly. I could deal with that. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t devastated but like I said I really felt like I could deal with the fact. Or so I thought.
The more time that passed the harder it got though.
When the bleeding stopped I struggled. That was it. It was over and now life should go back to normal but I wasn’t ready for that. I still wanted to hibernate in my cosy house and pretend like life wasn’t such a complete and utter bitch.
Then I had to think about going back to work. Back to the place where more people there than in my private life knew I had been pregnant. They had to know because of the nature of my job and so the thought of going back and facing them all caused me massive anxiety. Knowing that they all knew that I wasn’t pregnant anymore was really hard to deal with. With everyone else I encountered I could put on a brave face and pretend nothing had happened as they had no idea, but these people knew. I couldn’t hide from it.
But even pretending to those who didn’t know is hard. Standing on the playground on the school run and catching snippets of conversation about So-and-so who is pregnant or seeing those mums waddling onto the playground with their baby safely nestled inside their warm belly, growing away just as they should be. That is like a small form of torture. My tiny bump that was already starting to press into my clothes was now gone and my tummy now empty.
Pregnancy and babies are everywhere, from random people walking past you in the supermarket to all over tv. It’s impossible to get away from and therefore really hard to not be reminded of every few hours. And whilst it tears you apart, you have to watch it tear your loved ones apart too.
Watching Ant trying to support me and help me, whilst dealing with his loss as well was so hard. He was unbelievably strong for me and I will forever be grateful to him for making it as easy as possible for me to just wallow in my own grief for that first week. But he wanted a baby just as much as I did, in fact maybe more than I did. I had been so excited to tell him I’d given him his dream, only to steal it back away from him again a few weeks later.
Miscarriage is the cruellest thing. It comes along, swoops in and steals your dream from under your feet in a matter of days. All you can do is sit back and watch it happen. That is the worst bit. You have no control over your body and what is happening to it, but you can’t walk away from it either. So you sit and wait whilst it steals your future from right inside of you.
Those dreams of baby snuggles come May. Gone.
Dreams of cuddling on the sofa, Luca in one arm reading his school book to me whilst I feed his baby brother or sister. Gone
The excitement of telling Luca the baby he was so desperate for us to have and the magical way we had planned on telling him. Gone.
And then just when you think you are on the mend and healing you remember it would have been time for your first scan, or you would have been about to announce to the world that you were expecting another baby.
Then within my friendship circles there has been pregnancy announcement after pregnancy announcement. With one friend revealing the gender of her baby on Christmas day. Her baby is due the same time ours would have been and our Christmas present to Luca would have been telling him if he was getting a brother or sister. And although I’m over the moon for every single one of my friends, genuinely, it’s also so hard to hear all their news without feeling a sharp stab of longing and pain.
When May comes around I know it will be hard then too, as we should be welcoming a baby into the world and instead we will still have an empty cot. I know miscarriage is something that we will never forget and will take with us for the rest of our lives. The 25th September will always be the day we lost a baby. And although all those dreams of what our future would look like next year are gone, we have hope.
And so we may have to start again from scratch and hope luck is on our side this time. And we may have to hope that we fall pregnant again just as quickly as last time and that this time it sticks. But that is one thing we haven’t lost. And despite being terrified to try again in case we lose another I know we will. This miscarriage may have stolen a lot but it has also given one thing to us, certainty. The certainty that we want another baby. Before I was nervous about adding another one to our family unit, now I know for sure it’s the right thing for us and so we try again. Because this family of ours has more than enough love to share and we won’t be broken.