How I Found Out My Baby Had Died (My Miscarriage Story - PART 1)Jun 05, 2021
I wanted to start this post by telling you that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
But I realised that knowing this statistic wouldn’t make it any easier when that one person is you. When it’s you left struggling with that tidal wave of emotions that overwhelms you when you realise that you’ve lost your baby.
Last year, I was that one in four. I suffered a miscarriage, and I know how much it hurts.
What made it worse still was feeling like I was so alone in this, that I’d failed as a woman and as a human being.
After speaking to my godmother, my close friends and even my dental hygienist, I discovered just how common miscarriage is. All of these ladies close to me had suffered one or even more miscarriages too. Yet I didn’t know.
That’s why today I want to talk about my miscarriage in the hope that I’ll help support someone who is going through the same challenges as I did. Hopefully, it will also help break the taboo of miscarriage and help us get through this difficult and emotional time without also dealing with that extra burden of shame.
So please, sit down and listen whilst I tell you my miscarriage story.
I didn’t know I could even conceive…
Darren and I had found out we were pregnant a couple of weeks before our first scan.
We were so surprised as I’d been told in March that the odds of conceiving naturally were quite slim. The problem was that I had polycystic ovaries, fibroids and apparently, my left fallopian tube was slightly blocked too!
I took all the information they shared with me at the time and decided to take the health of my body into my own hands! I began with trusted Google and found as much information as possible on what I could do to ease my health situation naturally.
Among the many lifestyle tweaks I made, I did things like improving my diet, eliminating stress, obligations and unnecessary chores, and also enlisting the help of a highly recommended acupuncturist who specialises in fertility issues. I started to spend more time at home with my family and only spent time with friends who lifted my spirits and made me feel great. Thanks to all of this, I started to feel really healthy.
Just two months later, in May, I conceived and didn’t even realise!
I’d just come back from a five-day trip abroad and my period was a few days late. But I didn’t think anything of it because flying sometimes messes with my cycle. It was normal and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
Still, I decided to do a pregnancy test anyway because I was due to see the acupuncturist and wanted to check that all was OK before we continued with my fertility programme…
Imagine my surprise when the test read positive!
I didn’t quite believe it so I jumped in my car and drove to the local supermarket to pick up another test. I didn’t have time to do the test before my session with the acupuncturist so I just took it along with me.
As soon as I got through the door I blurted out “I think I’m pregnant!”
I could tell from my practitioner’s face that he was as shocked as I was. We’d only been working together for six weeks so this was really fast!
“Should I take another test just to confirm?” I asked excitedly.
Without hesitation he said “Yes” and we both waited those agonising few minutes as the test revealed the answer…
Yes! It was positive! I’d beaten the odds and I was pregnant! Best of all I had managed to get pregnant naturally.
The weeks that followed were full of excitement and plenty of anxiety too.
It was so hard keeping the news to myself until it was safe to tell people. Then we could hear the heartbeat and we’d know that this dream of having a baby was a reality!
The doctor said it was all OK...
If you’ve ever been pregnant you’ll know they recommend that you visit the doctor as soon as you can after you get a positive test, which is usually around 5 ½ weeks. This is just to confirm the pregnancy, but in my case, I wanted to let her know that I was getting some cramps too.
The doctor took my blood pressure, weighed me and examined my stomach. She requested I take a urine test just to make sure there was no infection, and she told me that if I had any spotting that I should contact her straight away. Then she just sent me on my way
Whilst taking the urine sample I happened to notice some brownish blood. So I went straight back to her and she sent me straight to the Early Pregnancy unit at the hospital. Here I received an internal scan which confirmed the anatomical sac was in the right place and measured the right size, which was very reassuring to hear.
Then they booked me in for another check in two weeks so we could do the heartbeat scan.
These next two weeks were tough. I was on a constant emotional rollercoaster which took its toll as I waited to hear my baby’s heartbeat. There were several deaths in the UK at the time and it was the second year anniversary of my own mother’s passing, so it was a lot for me to deal with all at once.
I just wanted to hear my baby’s heartbeat
Fast forward to a date I’ll never forget- the 23rd June 2017, 10.00am. The next hospital appointment. The moment when I’d hear that tiny heartbeat for the very first time, and it would all seem even more real! I had already started daydreaming about the new addition to our family….
I remember that morning so vividly. I felt so relaxed and so excited, singing along to songs on the radio on the way to the hospital. Little did I know about the news that was waiting for me.
I remember the lovely technician saying “Don’t worry- I’m going to be really quiet for a few minutes. I’m just concentrating on what I’m seeing ” as I lay there, waiting to hear the sound I’d been so desperate to hear for weeks. My baby’s heartbeat.
After what felt like ten minutes (was probably only five) she looked up and said quietly,
“Unfortunately I’m unable to detect a heartbeat and the measurements are smaller than expected so I am afraid the embryo has not survived.”
Ever so gently and with such compassion, she placed her hand on mine and said “I’m so so sorry. I must get a doctor to confirm my findings and then we need to talk about the next step.”
I kept silent but I could feel the tears running down my face.
After a painful wait, the doctor finally came in and confirmed what we already knew- there wasn’t going to be a baby in February.
Both doctors left the room and Darren jumped out of his seat and hugged me.
This is when I completely lost it. All my emotions exploded out of me and I was overwhelmed by everything from despair, anger, disbelief, guilt and endless questions. Oh, the questions...
What have I done wrong? Was it something I ate? Was it something I did last time I exercised? Why me? Haven’t I been through enough heartbreak with losing mum and having to readjust to this new life without her?
I couldn’t stop the questions from popping into my head. It felt like it was all my fault, like I was responsible for killing my baby. It sounds crazy to say it now, but that’s how it felt.
They don’t tell you about the next step after miscarriage
The next hour was a complete blur as the doctors went through what I needed to do next, whilst I continued to struggle with how I was feeling.
Because I hadn’t naturally miscarried, I had to decide between three options.
One- I could wait for the baby to leave my body naturally. Two- I could take hormone tablets to induce the process. Or three- I could opt for surgery (known as an SMM procedure) to remove the ‘product’ of the pregnancy. Yes, they really did call my baby a ‘product’...
Usually, I would opt for the natural route, but the thought of not knowing when the miscarriage was going to happen would make an already difficult time even more traumatic. Besides, if there was any tissue left behind, I’d need surgery anyway. So I decided to go with the surgery option.
I hate the thought of being put to sleep so this was a difficult decision to make. But I needed to take control of this heartbreaking situation in whatever way possible, and I needed to start my healing process. It broke my heart even more to think that my body still thought I was carrying a healthy pregnancy. My baby…
The doctor booked me in for the following Monday for the SMM. Then once the procedure was complete, I turned my focus towards healing my body and mind.
It certainly wasn’t easy. There were times when I wanted to cry, and scream and shout and to tell the world how I hadn’t forgiven it. How I was still hurting. How I still wanted my baby.
But as the cliche goes, it does get easier with time. That raw feeling of loss is still there, of course. It will never go away. But it’s easier to come to terms with, especially if I can share what I went through.
In my next post, I’ll share what happened during that surgical procedure.
Until then, please be kind to yourself and know that you are loved.
Want to hear more of my miscarriage story?
This is part one of my miscarriage story. You can find the other parts here:
- Goodbye Baby (My Miscarriage Story - PART 2) ...coming soon
- What I Did to Recover From My Miscarriage (My Miscarriage Story- PART 3) ...coming soon
Jenna and I on the Gold Digger podcast
When Jenna told me the date my episode was going to air, I shrieked and got to work to implement the podcast strategies she shared.