I sit here writing this on the eve of my D&C relating to my 4th miscarriage. I have never had a D&C before and to say I am bricking it is an understatement but more on that later. I am 28 years old and by medical standards healthy, maybe a bit chubby but I'm size 14. I feel fairly normal only I suppose I am not because my body is unable to do the one thing it is supposed to be able to do.
I had my first miscarriage at 25. It was a very short but stressful pregnancy and it went like this.
A Monday morning in August 2013 i found out with a home kit I was pregnant. Tuesday and Wednesday my boyfriend and I got excited looked at cribs and buggys on google, debated whether the baby would actually arrive on my birthday and not the predicted due date of 11/04/2014. We generally felt warm and fuzzy.
Admittedly this baby was not planned but the baby was very much wanted. By Thursday we had an appointment to see my GP to confirm the pregnancy and get the ball rolling. She took a urine sample and told me I was wrong and quite bluntly said. "Nope your not pregnant"
You see what the Dr and I didn't know at this time is that actually I WAS pregnant but the baby was not developing as it should have been. My HGC levels were actually decreasing not increasing as my body was getting ready to miscarry the baby. She sent me for blood tests which I had immediately but was told I would not know the results till Monday or Tuesday.
Friday I rested and chain watched Breaking Bad. Saturday I woke up in a pool of blood and knew that whatever the blood test results would say this was not very good. I drove myself to a local hospital where the nice Dr on call told me sadly it was a miscarriage and if it was any consolation a very early one. I went home upset, confused, pained and just infuriated that this had happened to me and to us!
My boyfriend was working nights, self employed, had a boss that would have sacked him (probably) for taking a day off so he went into work and tried to pretend everything was ok. While he was working nights I stayed up all night. The time seemed to slow down into a dull repetitive nightmare. Existing on cereal and living in pyjamas it was the hardest time of my life.
I remember a call from my Dr that Tuesday afternoon she told me that I was about to have a miscarriage if I hadn't already. That she was sorry and that these things happen and its nothing some heavy duty sanitary towels and a hot water bottle couldn't help with.
Fast forward 18 months and my boyfriend became my fiancé who in turn became my husband. We had a great wedding and our miscarriage became a distant memory albeit still a painful one. It became filed away with 'one of those things' and we chalked it up to experience. It didn't kill us but it did make us stronger. A cliché maybe but a truth that couldn't be denied.
Three weeks after we were married weeks I found out I was expecting again. I was a bit panicked as it had happened much much quicker than expected we were about to go to Mexico for a fortnight and then a week later I was changing jobs. I worried how this would all pan out but I need not have as this pregnancy lasted a week before I bled, and the baby slipped away from us. This time i sought no medical help it was uncomplicated and we had done 'this' before. I had no complications, no side effects and the honeymoon and the new job helped ease my grief.
Almost a year later on an anniversary trip to Brighton I found out I was pregnant again. This time it was meant to be because WE FOUND OUT ON OUR ANNIVERSARY!!
This was more than coincidence it was fate. This time I told myself we were 3rd time lucky. This was a baby that was destined for us and although i grieved the others this one was the one. I just felt it. Only I was completely and utterly wrong.
We were so excited we told some people before the 12 week mark. We had good-ish reason to. We had a scan at 8 weeks, we had seen our little baby, we had seen its tiny heartbeat. We knew statistically the scan result meant that the odds were on our side. Plus after being unlucky twice how could this time be bad? It just couldn't be.
But sadly at 9 weeks it wasn't to be. I woke up on a Saturday to light bleeding. Phoned NHS 111 they told me not to worry and that this was common but to get checked out if it got worse. We carried on as normal after all we had never gotten this far into a pregnancy before.We went shopping, went to dinner and tried to pretend the bleeding was nothing to worry about.
We went to the EPU that Monday. Yes there was bleeding but the Dr said my cervix was closed, there was nothing drastically wrong. He gave me a cheeky scan himself and there was the heartbeat and our little baby. He booked me in for a scan by a sonographer this time for the Wednesday with an instruction to go home and chill out where the scan on Wednesday (the official one) would hopefully confirm everything was fine.
We were so elated by his attitude we stopped off at toys r us we looked at a really cute Winnie the Pooh travel system. Why the hell not? We knew this pregnancy, this baby was going to be fine.
Then on the next day, Tuesday afternoon I got quite bad stomach cramps so I took some ibuprofen.... they didnt even take the edge off. As the afternoon progressed I became more and more pained, more and more distressed.
I knew I had to go back to the EPU immediately. I phoned my husband he was at work and miles away. I had two choices phone an ambulance and loose control of the hospital i was taken to; or phone my Dad and get him to take me back to the EPU i had been to the day before. I went with the latter option and although I'd never choose to involve my parents in such personal situations needs must.
I was in complete and utter agony by the time he arrived. I sat in his car crying, moaning, swearing and knowing it was all over. All over once again. It was done. There was no recovering from this pain and this amount of bleeding. As soon as I arrived I was whisked to a room where I could be examined. I was very hot and begging for pain relief that I couldn't have because the Dr still hadn't assessed me. The nurses looked at me apologetically knowing I was in agony but that they couldn't do anything. They tried to reassure me it really wouldn't be long and then I could have some codeine.
My husband arrived hot, sweaty, flustered and stressed from the hellish journey he had taken from work to get to me. Then the next 3 hours became blurry but I remember the following:
A female junior Dr with no bedside manner whatsoever examined me. She was rough, unapologetic and matter of fact. Yes I was bleeding but my cervix was closed I should remain calm was her very blunt opinion.
She made me get dressed and asked me to make a decision on whether or not I should go home or be admitted to hospital to control the pain. I had no bloody clue! I felt like I was dying and quite frankly thought I would rather go home and see my cat one last time.
My husband and the nurses were horrified by my decision and tried to reason with me. Finally when I stood up to get some air and at the same time began screaming like I was being murdered the decision was taken away from me. I was being admitted and there was no negotiation on this.
I later learned from my husband that the female junior Dr would rather I went home as getting a bed would be difficult. He overheard the Dr and the senior nurse having an argument in the corridor. The nurse was implying she was completely nuts to let me go home and in hindsight the nurse was absolutely F-ing correct.
There is no way in hell I could have managed what was to come from home. I was put in a room with a bed ( I think it's what the nurses use to have breaks/naps although I am not 100% sure)
This room was the furthest of all the other rooms from the waiting room. It was separated by corridors and doors. Yet my parents could still hear me crying and screaming in pain. Eventually it got too much for them to listen to and they made thier excuses and left. When I found out later they could hear me I was pretty stunned.
I have never experienced pain like it. I couldn't keep still and I suppose this is what is meant by 'writhing in pain' I lost control of my emotions, of my voice and all I could do was scream and beg my husband to get someone so they could make it stop. But nobody came for a really long time. I was crying, my husband was crying. I later found out it was because he couldn't bear to see me in such pain. He found it really difficult and he still can't think about that exact moment without becoming distressed. I was so off my rocker in agony i ripped out my canulas and threw them on the floor. That was some pretty severe rule breaking behaviour and not like me at all.
Then the nice nurse came back and sneaked me in some gas and air. She taught me how to use it and it didn't stop the pain but it did stop the anxiety, the fear, the complete panic. I got quite calm. Eventually after waiting for hours for a bed. I was admitted drugged up to the eyeballs on morphine and able to sleep. I totally knew it was over. Baby number 3 was gone but my sister and my husband were hopeful.
The next day i waited for scan. Wheeled back to the EPU by some kind porter I went into the dark small room and the sonographer told me that whatever had been there was no more and that it was complete. Once I stopped bleeding no more treatment was needed. I wondered what happened to the fetus and shuddered when I realised I must have passed it on the toilet and it had been flushed away. Graphic yes but completely soul destroying.
I went back up to my room. I cried. My husband cried. We ate a Mars bar. A Dr discharged me and we went home, to a home where we were supposed to be raising our baby.
The days and weeks that followed were mad. I bought expensive handbags, redecorated the hallway, avoided speaking or seeing everyone. In fact it took me a full 4 weeks just to see my sister and even then I wasn't really there.
I had a ridiculous amount of days off work, i sunk into a depression, i toyed with the idea of committing suicide, i developed anxiety and panic attacks became a regular occurrence. I was pissed off people would not mention the 'B' word around me. I wanted to punch the walls until my fingers and hand was shattered into a million pieces but luckily my better judgement got me through it.
I took anti depressants, saw a psychiatrist and a psychologist and gradually over many weeks I rebuilt my life and my husbands too.
Then we began to try again and believing that it would not happen that quickly we fell pregnant literally on the 1st try . This was my fourth pregnancy. Stupidly i had the same attitude again this one wouldn't go wrong.
This 4th pregnancy for me still isn't over. I am sitting here typing with a fetus inside me who died at 9 weeks. I should be 9 weeks and 5 days. We saw it on the scan today and they looked like a perfect small baby. The only trouble there was no heartbeat. A perfect small, non living baby.
This time i experienced hardly any bleeding but i knew something wasn't right, all of a sudden my morning sickness stopped, my breasts didn't ache anymore, i had a few brown bits of blood but it just didn't feel right so i lied my way to see a dr and a sonographer today where our worst fear was realised.
The sonographer scanned me externally and she was sighing and i worried a little. She then told me to go and empty my bladder so she could do an internal scan instead and then at that point BAM! I knew it was finished.
I knew as i went to the toilet it wasn't good news because why did she need to confirm or investigate further. I came back she did her thing and she simply said. "Ok Laura, I'm very sorry but it's not good news. I can see baby but there is no heartbeat they seem to have stopped growing at 9 weeks and I really am very sorry. Would you like to see?"
I had a look at her screen and that baby, our baby was the most baby looking of all the scans I have had. But there was no flickering circle where the heart should have been.
I was fairly calm i kept it together somehow. I chose to have the medical procedure because I would like to start healing mentally and physically as soon as I can. I am frankly devastated. So is my husband.
I am now sitting here wondering how I am going to cope tomorrow. I have to be put under a general anaesthetic and the baby is literally pulled out of me and I am nervous. But i know this is better than experiencing any pain like I did last time around.
I know that by not prolonging the experience I am doing what is right for me but I am still overwhelmed, devastated and scared. I've bought a shitty dressing gown and a shitty pair of slippers especially for tomorrow. I just hope that now I get through the night with no insane bleeding and more complications so I can get IN and get OUT tomorrow.
So all that is left for me to say is this. I do not have a clue what we are going to do now. We want to be parents so badly but I cannot tell you or express in words how far away that seems to us right now.
We are broken but hopefully we can be put back together again soon but like a repaired cracked vase there will always be obvious scars.
I feel brave today which is why i felt like i could finally write all this down. But i dont know if i will feel brave tomorrow or next week or next year.
Please do not tell me "at least you are young" " at least you can get pregnant" "my friend of a friend went through this exact same thing" because you are not helping. You are trying to ease your guilt about our situation and we do not thank you for it.
Instead ask me if there is anything you can do. Send me cards with cats on them, watsapp me pictures of kittens, offer to play over the PS4 network with my husband, buy me cake, suggest movies to watch that have nothing to do with babies. Tell us you are sorry but do not try to understand how we feel because you can't. You are not us.
If all else fails I like jokes that are tacky send me a terrible joke and I will know you care. The terrible the better.