Miscarriage as a midwife

I love midwifery and rarely take it personally that seemingly everyone in the world I meet has a baby, but this time I needed a few days off work.

October 2016

When I was a student midwife I became pregnant. It was a normal pregnancy with occasional bleeds (which I now look back on with dread) which ended in the birth of our beautiful son.

I finished my training and began work as a midwife. All the while, broody for another baby. Once I'd worked for what I had decided was a sensible amount of time, when my son was 3 we decided to try for another baby. 

Having become pregnant within weeks of deciding to have our son I took it for granted that we'd have our second by the end of that year. I discovered I was pregnant a few months later but didn't feel excited or optimistic like I had with our son.

I felt strange about telling people for some reason. A couple of times I tried to listen for a heartbeat at work but wasn't successful. I told myself it was because it was too early. 

When I was about 8 weeks pregnant in a Friday night, I started getting quite severe pain in my left side. So I presented to our local out of hours surgery where they told me it was gas but I should be scanned in the morning to be on the safe side.

When I got to the early pregnancy unit the following morning there was no sonographer so my colleague, a gynae consultant, scanned me. She saw a sac but there was nothing in it. She estimated that I was closer to 5 weeks.

I knew then that the pregnancy wasn't viable but they were optimistic that it would be ok. I went back to work as a midwife, trying to share the optimism but feeling bleak.

A week or two later I started bleeding but continued at work on delivery suite because it was so busy. 

I elected to have a vacuum aspiration under local anesthetic as treatment because I wanted to avoid a general anesthetic and couldn't bear the thought of the medical option. It was traumatic but fast and meant I could go on holiday the following week.

A week after I returned I was alone in the house. I stood up and thought I'd wet myself, I ran to the bathroom and realised I was bleeding heavily. I foolishly drove myself to the hospital and they scanned me and found retained products.

I then found out that the histology of the tissue suggested a molar pregnancy so I was booked for an erpc the following day. It was all straight forward and I later found out that the tissue wasn't molar, it just appeared molar. 

A couple of months later I found myself pregnant again, working in a more supportive environment. I asked the same colleague who'd scanned me before to do so again once I got to 7 weeks.

All looked great, there was a heartbeat, although it was measuring about a week behind where I'd expected. We were so relieved, my colleagues were all fabulous and supported me. 

When I got to 11 weeks I was at work, looking after a wonderful woman who was labouring in the pool. I popped to the loo and noticed a bit of spotting.

I panicked and just left and ran to find one of the sisters in charge. I told her what had happened. We had a little cry together and she rushed me through to EPU for a scan.

By this time there were clots so I knew what was happening. My partner arrived in time for the scan where we were given devastating news that the baby had died about 3 days after our exam. This was a Friday so we decided to wait and see if I'd miscarry naturally over the weekend.

By Monday morning nothing had happened (other than heartbreak and tears). So I asked for medical management. The drugs caused me to bleed but everything got stuck in my cervix so I was admitted overnight and given drugs for the pain. In the morning I begged for an erpc which was straightforward. 

4 months later I found myself pregnant again, with a baby due on Christmas day 2016! 4 days after that I started bleeding and miscarried very quickly at home. Although I'd only known for days I really struggled to go back to work.

I love midwifery and rarely take it personally that seemingly everyone in the world I meet has a baby, but this time I needed a few days off work. 

The next month I got a new job. I now work in abortion care. People think i'm crazy for wanting to work in this environment with my history but these are women in crisis, like me. I love that I can help them in really difficult circumstances. 

The month after I got this job I found myself pregnant again. I was now trained to scan first trimester pregnancy, so obviously I had to indulge. I let a friend scan me as I couldn't see anything myself. She found a gestational sac (possibly two!). I had been very sick and had very strong positive tests so I was very optimistic this time.

I was sure it would be ok and I'd have at least one baby, maybe twins! 

Then I had a very busy night shift at work. I had no break over a nearly 13 hour shift and had a terrible feeling that I shouldn't be there. I was looking after a woman in labour who needed a lot of love and support.

When my shift ended I went to the loo and realised I'd started spotting again. I ran to EPU, had a panic attack and refused to leave until they scanned me. The scan reassured me. There was a sac, the right size.

I came back the following week to find that the sac was all there but was empty.

They decided to give it another week to see what would happen. When I returned it was obvious that something was wrong. My uterus was filled with cysts, my HCG was abnormally high. It was a molar pregnancy. I had another erpc that week and am now being followed up by Charing Cross. Blood tests and urine every 2 weeks. 

I'm currently sitting in a hospital waiting room, waiting for an appointment to find out why this keeps happening to me.

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