Story of #miscourage by Leah
I have PCOS so I always knew trying to conceive wouldn’t be easy. We were fortunate enough to be referred to a private fertility clinic to undergo fertility treatment. This was following a year of waiting and unpleasant tests.
I was prescribed Clomid to induce ovulation and after two unsuccessful rounds, round three finally showed that I’d actually ovulated.
On 3 October 2017, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, as that tiny line started to appear and get darker. A line I had wished for so many times in the 100s of negative tests I’d taken, there it was, proof of our baby.
I was just bursting with excitement and told my husband instantly. By the end of the day I’d told my immediate family and even a close friend. I wanted to share this joy and they knew how long our journey had been, it was finally good news!
The first few weeks were hard as obviously I was anxious, but we still never really imagined what would happen next.
We were fortunate enough to have an 8 week scan because of the Clomid treatment. My husband and I went together and were so excited. We were planning how we’d tell his parents and announce the news to our friends. We were dreaming of baby names and how our nursery would look. Then the sonographer said it, ‘I can’t find a heartbeat.’ Maybe my dates were wrong? I’d never had a natural cycle so in my head I thought that was it. They wanted to scan me in another week as it was too early to determine anything one way or the other.
We left feeling completely numb. What did this mean? Surely my dates are just wrong? I felt so pregnant and had many of the symptoms.
I’d never even heard of a ‘missed miscarriage,’ I’d been so positive up until then because I’d had no bleeding. That week was absolute hell. I couldn’t really confide in anyone other than my husband and immediate family who knew. I was still pregnant so couldn’t even have a glass of wine to digest the news! I just felt so alone.
Finally the day came for scan 2. My stomach was in pieces and I just wanted the answer quick like ripping off a plaster. I will never forget the expression on the sonographer’s face and word for word how she told us that there was no heartbeat. I broke down in the room. She left us in there alone for a good half hour whilst we tried to come to terms with the fact that the greatest excitement we’d ever encountered was now over.
Breaking the news to people was horrible. I felt like I’d let everyone down. My sister wasn’t going to be an auntie, my parents weren’t going to be grandparents and my husband wasn’t going to be a dad.
The next day I was referred to the EPU at our local hospital, as to have treatment on the NHS they also had to scan me. I was sat in a waiting room feeling devastated, surrounded by pregnant people.
I asked them not to say or show me anything when they did the confirmation scan. I just cried silently. My sister was actually a doctor working in obstetrics and gynaecology at the time (albeit at a different hospital) so I’d already had a very long and raw conversation with her about my treatment options. I opted for the D&C as I believed it would be the quickest and least traumatic. Initially I was told it would be a 2 week wait, so I said I would look elsewhere. They soon came back with a slot in the next few days.
On Monday 6 November 2017 I had my surgery. It broke what was left of me. I couldn’t help but question if I was ruining a tiny glimpse of hope (after 3 confirmed scans this was clearly not the case, but at the time you can only question). I felt broken for my husband. The ‘fault’ had always lied with me that I couldn’t give him a baby. Was this something I did? Did I drink too much caffeine? Was it that jog after work? Did I stress too much? My brain was in overdrive and after all I was still pregnant with the crazy hormones!
I also couldn’t believe that in all our friendship circles we didn’t know anyone who’d been through this. We were at the lowest point in our lives, but yet our friends didn’t know? So I decided to do something a bit different and announced our storey on Facebook. Maybe it was some of the anaesthetic that made this decision and I probably upset some people who found out that way, but I wanted to break the taboo and I wanted to be able to help someone else someday. I didn’t want anyone to feel as alone as we felt. Doing this opened up a channel of support from people who we’d never have known had gone through this or something similar. We also now know that if any of out friends go through this in the future, they can know that we’ve been through it and we’ll be there to hold any of their hands along the way.
Even in the weeks following I just felt so low. I was still getting pregnancy ads in my emails and on social media. I still had pregnancy symptoms because you are still pregnant until the hormones have left your body. It feels very strange being excited for a negative pregnancy test. I just wanted to get going again with the Clomid. I needed a new pregnancy.
On 12 November my husband and I went up to Devil’s Dyke (we live in Brighton). It was a gorgeous day and we took our scan, a toy unicorn my sister bought me and a balloon in the shape of a heart. We said our goodbyes to our little poppy-seed and let off the balloon. It was a special moment for us and I’m so glad we did it.
Before going through this fertility journey, I’d never fully understood how painful a miscarriage can be. To us that will always be our baby. I still get a bit choked when people ask if we have kids yet and on Mother’s Day I was a mess!
Unfortunately, 5 months on and despite the Clomid, we haven’t managed to get pregnant again yet. In hindsight I wish I’d taken a break after the missed miscarriage, but I didn’t, I just wanted to get straight back on with trying to conceive, because I thought that being pregnant again would replace this horrible painful empty feeling. I don’t think my body was ready at all and nothing will replace that feeling either, our baby will always be with me.
So that’s our story. We’re still waiting for our rainbow and I know it will come. One of the best things for me has been to be open, if anything I wish I’d been more open. I wish more people had shared in our early joy. You don’t tell people early on in case of miscarriage, but miscarriage shouldn’t be such a taboo subject. When I returned to work after my D&C people actually asked me how my holiday was and I just went along with it. I regret that now, why should I have hid something so special? Why can we not be open about miscarriage? Chances are the person you tell has probably been through it too.
It really was the best and worst thing to happen to us and we will miss our poppy-seed forever.
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