Story of #miscourage by Demi,
In January 2017, we found out we were expecting our first baby, we were excited, scared and anxious, our only worry was could we give this baby the best possible life it deserved?. we didn't tell anyone because that's the rules right? 12 week mark they tell you, you are safe then and people should only celebrate when it's safe to do so.
We went about our everyday lives excited, talking about our future, with our secret safe inside my womb. a few days later I began to bleed, I knew this wasn't normal.
I called the early pregnancy unit in a blind panic who advised me to come in for a scan. we rushed to hospital, they tried an abdominal ultrasound and found...nothing. they tried an internal scan and found... nothing. I was waiting to wake up from this nightmare?
I was pregnant I seen two lines, multiple times, I seen the word's "pregnant" on a digital numerous times just to convince myself. They took a pregnancy test which showed positive, they took bloods and phoned me later that day to tell me my HCG levels were lower than normal at this stage, it seemed they were failing and i was to go back to ensure they were continuing to decrease, which they were and it was confirmed a complete early miscarriage. The midwife explained it was extremely common and anyway "it was just a little ball of cells", but it wasn't to us it was our baby, our future, our everything.
I googled miscarriage a lot, it was my way of coping, it was something i had heard of, i knew some people that had gone through a miscarriage, but it's not something you fully understand until it happens to you. statistics show 1 in 4 woman go through miscarriage, highly common, it normally only happens once. we were devastated, our world stood still but everyone else's kept on spinning.
In March 2017 i fell pregnant again, we were excited and a little nervous. We told our close families and even bought our younger brothers vests to announce our news. What was the chance of this happening again? slim right?, wrong 2 weeks later I began to bleed again.
It was another desperate rush to A&E this time as it was a Sunday. Filled with fear, confusion, frustration, why is this happening to us again? was it something i ate?, was it something i had done, said previously? was it my karma for something else? this is all the crazy possibilities you talk yourself into. Once again tests showed that my HCG levels were failing quickly and I was sent home to bleed out. Those days are the loneliest, darkest days of your life.
Lying in bed with the pain, cramps and your own thoughts, knowing that the day before you were filled with so much hope and excitement because you were pregnant and today it was all over, life would never be the same again, but you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and continue on with life like what happened was all a bad dream.
This cannot be right? I almost felt like midwives thought I was making this up, that I never was pregnant, it was frustrating and I knew I was, I knew everyday 5 times a day because that's how many times I took pregnancy tests, I compared the lines, were they getting darker? if not in my mind the pregnancy was failing, you go to the toilet 500 times a day just to make sure there is no blood, this is the paranoia you are left with, the loss of faith in being able to trust your own body.
I fell pregnant again in June, I had just lost my Granda the previous month and thought my luck can't get any worse, although we didn't dare get excited, we knew the heartbreak all too well but we were wrong again I bled just 8 days later. I didn't even go to the hospital this time as I felt it was a waste of my time and theirs and also that I wouldn't be believed I knew what was happening, I knew the drill by now, I didn't need any midwife or sonographer to confirm that, I knew I was losing yet another pregnancy.
I went to my own GP the next day and explained that I needed to see a specialist as we cannot keep going on like this and there is clearly something wrong all my babies were lost between 5 and 6 weeks, his answer? "You are young, so what?" we had plenty of time and yes it is extremely common.
I was sick to death of being made to feel like my lost babies were just a common medical condition, that we should continue to go through this without investigation because we are young?. I had read online that you should be referred after 3 miscarriages, so why shouldn't we be? I pleaded and he agreed to refer me, you don't think for a minute that you will need to be in this position in your 20's but that's the harsh reality of it, we are.
We first met with a gynaecologist in July 2017, he told me that as i had never had a pregnancy confirmed via ultrasound then he wasn't too concerned, he guessed implantation issues, chromosomal abnormalities, chemical pregnancies he told me again common, and most woman don't know that they are pregnant, they just assume late periods and we only knew because we were "so desperate" and the solution? "don't test earlier than expected period" which I never have done anyways, and does that help? pretending your baby never existed, if you don't know your pregnant?
This is my third pregnancy of course you know your body, you know when you are pregnant with symptoms alone and every woman who is trying for a baby knows when her period is over two weeks late. he sent me for some basic scans of the womb and blood tests, which all came back normal, he put it down to "just extremely bad luck", which I have had my fair share of in life but this could not possibly be bad luck.
In August 2017 we fell pregnant again, and didn't dare to say the word out loud because the "P" word scares the life out of me, I spent each day reasoning with myself, hoping that this time would be different but never being naïve enough to believe it. A long, anxious, sleepless month passed and i was still pregnant!, we booked a private scan, as even although i had 3 previous losses and am classed as high risk,I was still referred for my first scan at 13 weeks.
The private scan showed a tiny developing baby but behind the 8 weeks I had anticipated. this worried me, but then again so did everything, and I was told it was perfectly normal to be measuring behind early on. We eventually told our mum's that day as we had proof this time, visual proof, i had also never got this far along in pregnancy.
The very next day lo and behold the bleeding started, not the same as usual but i didn't hold out any hope, the next day i went to the early pregnancy unit and got an internal scan, i held my breath waiting to hear those famous words for a fourth time but to my surprise it showed a tiny baby with a heartbeat flickering away, i was sent home and told to rest, this was a good day, I had a healthy ongoing pregnancy apparently, i was even told that the risk of miscarriage after a heartbeat is seen drops to less than 10%, the odds were on our side, so we went home and hoped the bleeding would stop.
I was up all night, heavy bleeding, cramps, clots, being sick, everything i knew before, i was again losing one of our babies right in front of my very eyes, the next day 24 hours after seeing and hearing our baby's heartbeat, i was rushed in for another emergency scan which showed our baby was gone, no heartbeat, nothing.
Miscarriage = 1 in 4, Me = 4 in 1...
I am the 1 in 100 woman who suffer recurrent early pregnancy miscarriages.
This was this week, this has destroyed me time and time again, this time I am finding it harder than ever to bounce back from because I heard our babies heartbeat.
I like to think of myself as a very strong person but I am exhausted, we don't know how much more heartbreak we can take, we don't know what the future holds for us, we can only move forward holding on to a tiny glimmer of hope that we will eventually get our miracle rainbow baby and all this "bad luck" will pass.
I had a very supportive midwife this time, who listened to me and that made such a difference, she gave me advice that when I get a positive again, I go straight in to be monitored and more importantly she did what any normal human being should do she simply said "i'm sorry", it meant the world as if I was finally believed, that my babies did exist.
I chose to share my story not for sympathy but because I feel that the word miscarriage still has a lot of stigma attached to it, a taboo subject even in 2017 people are scared to speak out about it because they shouldn't, we are encouraged to keep our babies a secret until we are classed as "safe".
We all started out as "a ball of cells" and in an ideal world we would all survive and become little people, but sometimes unfortunately that does not happen, we are sharing our story to try and help end that stigma and also wish to raise money for Tommy's, who is a valuable charity and very close to our hearts.