I guess I should start by saying that if the title of this blog looks at all distressing to you, or you aren’t in the best frame of minds or places right now – you might want to step away from the triggers. This isn’t the cheeriest of posts.
On Monday, we miscarried.
I was 6 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
We were due to have a scan tomorrow to hopefully see a heartbeat.
It has been a stressful past few weeks. Only a few days after finding out we were pregnant, I started spotting and was catapulted into the anxiety of ‘Pregnancy After Loss’ in an instant. We fought so hard to remain positive. To fight the negative thoughts. We had a too-early scan that gave us some relief but nothing conclusive. On Monday, the relief just came in the form of the anxiety ending, and in the knowing of how this part of our journey was playing out. I’ve found early pregnancy incredibly lonely – no-one can help you, no-one can give you answers.
From starting treatment, I wrote still. I had to write. Its too much to process, and since loosing Leo, writing has become my drug. I didn’t publish because I wasn’t ready to have it public. We would have ‘announced’ after seeing a heartbeat, although still incredibly early, we value each day now and we wanted to be able to celebrate in the way that you celebrate a pregnancy after loss. And I also knew I needed to be able to share, express, be open, honest. That need doesn’t change now we are no longer pregnant – in some ways, it becomes greater.
I’m sure there are many who question why on earth we are sharing so much – but I am over privacy, I am over questioning what people think of us, or me. Life is not all Instagram filters and Starbucks specials. Stillbirth happens. Miscarriages happen. Shit happens. And people need to talk, share and learn.
I think the easiest way to share this, is by sharing my journal over the past few weeks. I’ve edited some of it, mainly because it would be a rather long read..
Yesterday, we found out we are PREGNANT! So surreal. Two best scenarios ticks achieved. And both of us got excited and we’ve talk a lot about things about it in a positive way. We told some family and two closest friends. Yes, in a normal situation you’d wait. But this isn’t normal. It was nice to give people back some excitement and joy from us. We need to just be positive each day and take each day at a time. It’s hard though, our brains are programmed to think the worst now.
We found out that Leo has a neighbour now, and I felt rather strange about it because we only said the other day, that hopefully that plot would remain free so that we could bury our next child in it (yes, that’s what loss does to you) but I know we could still have the plot directly behind him and they’d still be together. If we needed it.
I felt a slight pang of nesting need yesterday only in the sense that I wanted to revamp healthyness, clean the house and get organised and know what we need to do. I feel we need to protect this baby so much and I know I’m going to be pretty anal about that food list.
I’m annoyed because I think my BMI is now 30 or pushing it, which is pretty high for me but the weight just hasn’t shifted – I was only full term five months ago, and the past month or so have been rubbish for me, and 30+ has an increased risk of miscarriage so that scared me a little. So I need to be healthy and make sure I get out everyday – I was doing it, but then I stopped for no real reason, but now I have a reason, just frustrated that didn’t kick in beforehand. Each day at a time. Need to just tick off each achievement. The first being a 7/8 week scan and make sure this baby is actually developing into a baby and not a phantom.
I think I’m having a miscarriage. I phoned Tommy’s Midwives yesterday and was reassured. Now it’s a little worse, I think, and I have left a message with the clinic. I feel so alone in that I can’t do anything to maybe help this little life. There’s no emergency. No one would try and fix it because they can’t. I’m taking hormones to help this little life and it’s still not enough. Why can’t things just work out. Why is any good thing just too good to be true. Why do our hearts have to keep breaking. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to give up. But this road. This feels endless. We told people straight away. Not everyone. We wanted to celebrate the time we had. Four days without too much worry. Four days of thinking this could be fine. Why? Please hold on little one, please. I promise we are worth it. We really are. You will love it here and we will love you so so so much. Leo will be a brilliant big brother, guiding you. Please help your brother or sister Leo. As best you can. I know you have already, but please keep trying. I love you little one. I love you Leo.
I think what terrifies me the most is having to relive that day again, having to have a scan and hearing those words, having to make those phone calls all over again. I can’t do that again. I don’t want to ever have that day again.
We have a scan on Tuesday at the clinic although I think they calculated my date wrong so I’m not sure it’s going to be conclusive. The bleeding had eased off to almost non existent since yesterday morning, but it’s just come back quite a bit. I don’t get what is going on. We are going from defeatist to grief to hope to positivity and then round again. I just need to know for sure so we can move forward with whatever forward is. It’s so frustrating. I’m concerned that my drugs are preventing an actual miscarriage or at least the bleeding, but my body is trying to have one. I don’t know what that would be? Is the embryo not developing and my body is trying to deal with that, and the drugs are stopping it and what if the bleeding is just the bit the drugs can’t stop ‘cos it really really wants to miscarry? Is it just normal bleeding and all is okay? Is it going to be like this for a whole pregnancy? I’ve had no pain, just a few short cramps or twinges but nothing you’d even notice unless you were listening out for it. So what does that mean? Hmm. Just need to wait for the scan and go from there.
Well what a fucking rollercoaster this week has been. I feel like I’ve ran a friggin marathon and we only took the test 10 days ago. This is going to be a hard long slog. I need to find a zen. Whilst I think I’ve done well, I have also had a few massive meltdowns and declared it over several times in my head. Going to the scan today was fucking scary, doing THAT drive, sitting and waiting, nervous to the point of nausea.
The sonographer was lovely and could tell I was not in a good mood as soon as she saw us. She scanned Leo too. I got The Wife to explain about the dates and she confirmed that I was right and it was too early to scan but she scanned anyway to just see what was going on. I explained my bleeding and she said it sounded perfectly normal and that lots of women experience it. She said if we were at the hospital they’d probably classify it as a threatened miscarriage, but that would also mean a lot of women get that umbrella. So the lining is still in place, and she could see a pregnancy sack and egg sack so for where we are now (5+5) it is looking spot on.
Such a sigh of relief when she said she could see something, I wanted to shut my eyes the whole way through – I didn’t want a visual memory of it all again, but luckily we have dodged the first bullet. We just need to get to next Thursday and make sure there’s a little heart beating in that little Robin of ours!
I’m determined to experience joy. To not have the whole pregnancy full of fear or denial. If this is all we get, I want it all. It’s going to be hard and I doubt we’ll be able to live up to that very well – but we sure can try. Just need to take it a day at a time.
It is so fucking hard to remain positive. I don’t want to completely loose positivity but it’s near impossible. Is it the start of something, but like slow and torturous? Is it just the pessaries irritating? Or is it just one of those things, with nothing to worry about? Pregnancy is such a mind field of emotions, let alone after loss. Just need to push through until Thursday. I need to be open about this pregnancy, I need it out of my head, to vent, to believe and to make it real but I just can’t do it until I’ve seen a heartbeat. I don’t know why, even if there isn’t one, I’ll still talk about it – I’ll need to even more. But I just feel like I’m telling people a lie until I know for sure its not a lie. We know so much about how vulnerable pregnancy and life is, it’s so delicate. I wish people would talk about that more, I get its the happiest time in people’s life’s, but sometimes it’s fucking difficult.
Well, it seems we have some conclusive evidence that this pregnancy is over. That these two weeks of torture weren’t just a case of spotting and positive thoughts. I’m pretty beyond certain that at 4pm I started full on miscarrying – we have to be some of the most unlucky beings. Yes, I guess there are actually still people who have struggled more than us. I just feel so helpless. So early in a pregnancy wth nobody to do anything. The fertility clinic is closed. Tommy’s Midwives are closed. The Miscarriage Association is closed. No one to offer advice of what to keep an eye out for. So I guess we just play this out and see how it goes.
Why us? Seriously, why? Someone tell me why? I’m not trying to wave a hard done by flag at all, but £20k, 4 years, 6 cycles, so so many ups and downs, one full term stillbirth and now one 6 week and 4 day miscarriage. What did we ever do to deserve this? What did I do wrong? We’ve lost two babies in 6 months. How are we actually meant to get through this and survive? This fucking sucks. I just knew this morning – something felt odd, I just had a feeling it was going to happen. I’m exhausted. So so exhausted. So so sad.
And to top it off, I’m meant to be going to Wimbledon tomorrow. In grand scheme of disappointments, its small fry – but honestly, I’ve wanted to go to Wimbledon longer than I’ve wanted to have a baby. I’ve had two weeks teasing this outcome, with no fucking plans.
9:30pm (At this point, my sole emotion was sarcasm and being pissed off)
So it’s 9:30pm and we have queue jumped through A&E (clearly bleeding out works wonders around here). We made the mistake of phoning 111 who wanted to phone me an ambulance (!) which I declined. But once someone tells you to go to hospital you can’t really ignore them. In two hours we’ve checked in, been triaged by a nurse, been allowed through, had bloods, got wheeled all the way through to gynae (my friend told me to push for gynae, seems to have worked). The porter did drive me into a wall. And is it too hard to turn me around in a lift? Seriously!
We are now sat in some dark round the corner waiting room, waiting for the on call doctor. In tempted to ask for one of their 24/7 meals because I know how special they can be. We are starving. And thirsty. With each step, comes less and less vending machines. The bleeding and cramping had really settled, it feels like there’s no need to be here.
Everything reminds us of being here with Leo. My name tag. The obs machines. But one plus – this waiting room has tissues! There was a rather special looking fish tank in the A&E waiting room with a sign asking for donations for its maintenance so clearly the hospital have far too much money when fish are their priority so I might stop fundraising for them. I wonder how long this is going to take.
I need to repent – we got shitty with someone in the car park for stealing the space we were queuing for as she’d gone the wrong way round the car park. Then we saw her meet her mum (?) from an ambulance. Always pays to not get shitty – someone is always having a worse day than you.
Lots of “oh erm gosh okay” on the history of stillbirth. Mostly all very sympathetic and lovely. Wouldn’t hurt the receptionist though to at least utter the words “well, now you are here, we’ll take good care of you”. I’ve explained whats happening to five different people.
The bleeding has pretty much stopped. Just need to wait until tomorrow to go back to the hospital to have a scan. This is all just fucking shit on top of shit on top of shit.
It’s the fifth, and I already have four appts booked in. 1 scan at the hospital, 1 GP appt, 1 review for Leo, 1 review for… We need a name. Little Robin? Mini Robin? I don’t know. But We can’t just call it “the miscarriage” – that’s not a nice name and we wouldn’t have stuck with it. Can you imagine calling that kid in from the park!
Fast forward back to today…
My emotions have generally been ‘scared and frightened’, ‘pissed off at the world’ and/or ‘sarcastic’ which I think is evident from my writing.
Today, we went back to the hospital to confirm the miscarriage. As if that hospital wasn’t a traumatic place to visit, the doctor we saw was the doctor who told us that Leo had died. She has such a distinctive voice, calm, controlled, soft. As soon as I heard it – bang, right back to the 14th January 2016. I was okay until then. So much of this sadness is sadness for both Leo, and this little baby – shall we go with mini-Robin? I panicked during the scan, and I think the doctor made a clear decision to not speak, and just the sonographer spoke. The scan also took place in the same room where our last scan with Leo was. I could just remember laying there, 37 weeks pregnant, with Leo. He had been right there, alive, kicking, moving.
Another doctor spoke to us, told us that the miscarriage was incomplete, but minimally so, and it should be fine to manage naturally. I’d rather that over a D&C – I do not need any more negative memories from that building.
Oh, and Robin because your loved ones send your robins to come and visit you. We are going to see Leo, and we are taking him the Robin ornament that we have in the background, to place on his grave.
Two gems from the doctor we saw today though:
“It just wasn’t meant to be”
And my favourite, of all time.
“You should be encouraged that you’ve carried a pregnancy until 37 weeks”