#misCOURAGE 04/10/17 by Jemma
We lost our baby at six weeks to the day.
We had taken a test at 4 weeks and we're so excited to become parents we told our friends and family right away. We talked about what life was going to be like, how we would decorate the nursery - we even bought a few small items of clothes and a teddy.
On the evening before we hit the six week mark I noticed the tiniest drop of pink in my underwear - probably no more than a pin head in size... a quick Google was enough to reassure me and I took myself off to bed quite happy that this was normal and nothing at all to worry about. In the morning I got up to go to the bathroom and noticed that the spots had turned crimson red.
It was at that point that I had the gut wrenching feeling that something was horribly wrong. I burst in to tears immediately - my husband was out of town and I was at home alone and convinced I was miscarrying.
I went downstairs and found my midwifery notes to ring the number I'd been given in case of any problems - but they were unable to help - I wasn't pregnant enough.... my next phone call was to the doctors.
The receptionist was lovely and incredibly sympathetic as I blubber my way through the phone call. I was booked an appointment at 9am with a gp who would assess what was going on. Next I had to phone someone to come and calm me down - naturally I called my mum who arrived with my dad in tow in less than 10 minutes. She settled me on the sofa and told me to put my feet up whilst she made some breakfast and we waited until it was time to go to the doctors.
The lady doctor was lovely - I explained about the spotting but it being bright red, and having a mild stomach ache. She was very matter of fact and explained that there was a good chance I was correct, and arranged for me to go to the hospital the following morning for an early pregnancy scan. I was advised that if the bleeding got worse I should go to a and e and ask to be seen there.
The rest of the morning passed in fits of crying every time I went to use the bathroom. I did not have a 'typical' miscarriage - there was no gushing blood or soaked sanitary pads, I simply passed huge clots in to the toilet each time I went. By the evening the clots had become very frequent but I had become very ill. I had a mild fever, the most intense stomach cramps of my life and intense dizziness.
My dad suggested I might need to go to a and e, so I agreed and he drove my mum and I up to the hospital. We waited to be seen for a very long time. When we were eventually seen, my blood pressure had become dangerously high, which was causing the dizziness. I was taken to a small waiting area to wait for a bed in and and e to become free but fainted whilst waiting and was subsequently given the next available cubicle.
A gynaecology doctor came to assess me. He asked about symptoms but was mainly concerned with the frequency of pad changes - I explained that I had only had to change the pad once as it was coming away in clots with an urgent need to go to the bathroom. He looked dubious but decided to do an examination and take some bloods to confirm what was going on. The exam felt humiliating and uncomfortable and seemed to last an eternity (though in reality it was probably no longer than 15 minutes), and the doctor suggested that my cervix was still firmly closed and the bleeding was stopping - both promising signs and it looked as though there was nothing to worry about.
At this point my husband had just got off his train and my mum asked him to bring some things to the hospital for me. I was transferred to the early pregnancy assessment ward to await the results of the blood tests. We must have waited for around three hours before a doctor came to see us, all the while fairly happy that baby was just being naughty and giving us a scare, as the doctor who examined me seemed happy that a miscarriage was not occurring.
Eventually a doctor arrived to let me know the outcome of the blood tests. She asked me what her colleague had already done and told me, and I explained that he said things looked hopeful and that he had advised I come back in the morning to have the scan the doctor had booked in to confirm that things were OK. Her face fell and instantly we knew something was wrong... 'I'm not sure it will be worth you having the scan' that's how it was broke to us. 'The scan will only usually show anything with a beta HCG count of over a thousand... your blood test has come back with a count of 12. I would advise you do a pregnancy test in the morning, but it should come back negative' I couldn't think of anything to say... we were then asked 'have you already had a positive pregnancy test' as though we had never even been pregnant. From my own Internet searches after the event, I can find no other reference to such a sudden drop in HCG - references seem to suggest a fortnight for it to have gone back to a negative result at six weeks, but ours was less than 17 hours from first noticing something was wrong to having categorically lost the baby. 'I'm sorry' said the doctor, 'it's nothing you have done wrong, it's surprisingly common - one in three early pregnancies end this way' and that was it.
Discharged and sent home to grieve by ourselves with no understanding of what had gone wrong or why it had happened so quick.
I decided then that I wanted to talk about my miscarriage, so that other women knew they weren't alone, and to raise awareness about how frequently it occurs.
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