Guest blog by Zara Dawson, 18/05/2020
Laying there with a mask and gloves on
I won’t ever forget that scan, which took place in such a bizarre time. My IVF clinic had already put measures in place which meant partners couldn’t come to any appointments or scans. It was nerve wracking enough going for an early pregnancy scan - as anyone who has been through pregnancy after loss knows - but going in alone was just awful.
I’d got my phone out ready to record the baby for my husband, Lex, who was waiting outside in the car with our 4-year-old son, Jax. But as I saw the sonographer’s face fall, I just knew it wasn’t good news.
The moment I was told there was no heartbeat, as I laid there with a mask and gloves on, is one I won’t forget; it all felt a bit surreal.
The sonographer was incredible. She gave me all the time I needed and made sure I left there armed with all the information and contact numbers I would need over the coming days and weeks, should I want to speak with someone.
Desperate to avoid hospital in the pandemic
Going home, I was hoping to miscarry naturally, desperate to avoid going to hospital in the pandemic. Watching the news terrified me and the thought of having to be on a ward alone gave me sleepless nights.
But things didn’t go to plan, and I did need to go to hospital - 8 times.
Every single time, the nurses and midwives knew how frightened I was to be there alone, and they went above and beyond to calm my nerves and make me feel safe. I have always known how amazing our NHS staff were, but I think this pandemic has made them even more empathetic.
My case took a turn for the worse when, two weeks after I had miscarried, I woke up one Sunday morning and started hemorrhaging. I was absolutely petrified to go to A&E, for obvious reasons, but knew I needed to. And I’m so thankful that I did because, soon after, I collapsed due to such severe blood loss and spent 8 hours on a drip. It was very traumatic.
Again, the nurses and doctors were fantastic.
One nurse stayed by side almost the entire day. She told me she’d been through miscarriage herself and knew how terrified and heartbroken I must be feeling, especially without my husband by my side. She wasn’t wrong.
Obviously, a hospital was the last place I wanted to be with all that was going on, but I knew I had to be there for my own health; I really had no other option. I also know, from speaking with many ladies via Instagram after I’d shared my story, that there are many pregnant women full of fear right now. Fearful of the pandemic and all that entails, but also fearful to seek help and advice because they don’t want to step inside a hospital.
Get checked out if something isn't right
Please, if you feel something isn’t right, speak up and get checked out. Nothing is worth risking yours or your babies’ health. Speak to your GP, speak to Tommy’s and their fantastic team of midwives, or to your local Early Pregnancy Unit.
Things may be very different right now but the experts are all still there, ready and waiting to look after you, so please reach out if you need help. Don’t have any regrets. I know the thought of heading in alone is so daunting, I really do - but so do the staff, and they are there to care for you every step of the way. Please take care of yourself.
You can follow Zara on Instagram, @littlenorfolkcottage