Liz's Story

At the second scan the nurse did not find a heart beat.

#misCOURAGE story by Elizabeth

I had my miscarriage in April 2016. This was after three years of trying for a baby with my husband. In the 3 years we had been trying we had various hospital appointments and I was diagnosed with endometriosis and a cyst the size of a satsuma on my left ovary. The cyst was removed in an operation. Seven months later we started IVF treatment. Amazingly the treatment was successful first time. We were both extremely happy and felt incredibly lucky to at last be starting the family that we wanted so much. 

As we had had IVF treatment the clinic scanned me at 6 weeks pregnant to check if everything was progressing well so that I could be signed off and into the care of my GP. At the scan everything looked fine. The baby was in the right place. It was the correct size. However, the nurse was not sure if there was a heart beat. She thought that there could be a faint one but it was not as strong as it should have been at this stage. This could have been because it was still early. We were told to come back in 10 days time for a second scan. At this stage we were fairly optimistic that everything would be fine and that we would see a clear heart beat at the next scan.

At the second scan the nurse did not find a heart beat. She gave us a bit of time to ourselves but then came back and started telling us about the options that we now had. We could wait to see if I miscarried naturally, be booked in with another unit at the hospital to start the process off by taking a suppository or I could have an operation D&C. She explained the processes and risks with each. However, I didn’t hear much of this as it was so hard to take it all in. My husband was in tears but I had somehow managed to keep it together. I broke down on the way home. 

Neither of us had felt like making decisions when we were at the clinic but we knew we could always phone them at anytime if we needed help or reached a decision as to what we wanted to do next. I had been booked in for an appointment a week later. By this time I had started to have some light bleeding. We asked to be booked into the gynaecological clinic to have as they nicely put it a “medical evacuation”. We went in on the Saturday to discuss with a Nurse what would happen and arranged to go back in on the Monday to take medication to get the process going. Again we were given phone numbers and told to contact them at any time if we were at all concerned. 

On the day I was due to go into the hospital I had actually started bleeding really heavily, passing large blood clots. We did mange to get to hospital but I was in a bit of a state by the time we got there. They put me in an examination room straight away due to the amount of bleeding and I was seen by a doctor. The bleeding eased off a bit and we were put in a private side room with my own toilet. Although I was bleeding heavily they still gave me the medication internally. Every time I need the loo I had to use a paper bowl and the nurses would check everything that I passed to see if it contained any pregnancy material. It was a long day and I felt fairly detached from what was going on as if I was watching it happen to someone else. My husband was by my side all of the time, which I was extremely grateful for. 

The nurses gave us privacy that we needed. It was an exhausting day. There was times when I felt shattered because of the blood loss. I was also given injections to help with the pain and told to eat and drink plenty as it would help with the effects of losing a lot of blood. By late afternoon the bleeding was slowing down and I still hadn’t passed any pregnancy material. We just wanted to go home. We were told it could take a few more days for the miscarriage to happen. Again, we were given phone numbers and told to contact them if we were concerned. We could also take in anything that I passed if we wanted them to confirm that it was pregnancy material or to take a photo of it and bring that in. They also told us what the pregnancy material would look like. 

Within half an hour of getting home I passed my baby. It was very obvious because it looked so different from all the blood clots that I had passed that day. We put the baby in a box and sat in tears on the landing completely broken by what had happened. We buried our baby in the garden the next day. I am actually grateful that we got to do that as if I had passed the baby in the hospital I don’t think we would have been able to do that. 

Only some very close family and friends know about the pregnancy and miscarriage because they knew we were having IVF treatment. A lot of other close friends and family still don’t know that I have been pregnant and had a miscarriage. It can be very hard to talk about. I found that with people who have not been through this themselves you often get some well meaning but crass comments. The greatest comfort that I found was talking to a couple of friends who have also had miscarriages because they understand what it is like and the pain of my loss. This is why I want to share my story with other ladies and couples who are going through similar experiences. One person said to me that they were sorry that I had been disappointed. Losing my baby was not disappointing it was devastating. 

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