#misCOURAGE story by Laura,
So exactly a year ago, I went for an overdue smear test, one of those things that every lady puts off as long as possible. The results of this smear test came back very quickly, which I knew was bad news. I had to have a section of my cervix taken away because of the risk of developing cancer in those cells. Anyway, after the operation, I was told that there would be a certain amount of bleeding because of the healing process.
A couple of weeks went by and I was kind of concerned that I hadn't bled, at all, and some alarm bells rang. My boyfriend and I had been trying for a baby for several months so I had a cheap pregnancy test stick in the cupboard. Low and behold, the test was positive. Now I have all sorts of feelings surrounding the fact that I'm not only pregnant, but my cervix was weekend by the op, what does this mean for my forming baby?
After eventually getting seen by a nurse and a doctor, and having an early scan, I was told that I was around six weeks pregnant but not to get too excited because I was very likely to miscarry. I was treading on eggshells, I really wanted people to know the news but they advise you not to share the news until after the dating scan. This couldn't come quick enough. Weeks went by, no signs of miscarriage, still getting those pregnancy symptoms. The dating scan is normally scheduled for around 12 weeks, but due to one thing and another, my scan was scheduled for around the 14 week mark. ..I couldn't help but tell my family, and close friend, at the 12 week mark.
The scan day is here, and I'm apprehensive but excited. The wait in the waiting room seemed to take forever. Then suddenly I'm on that bed, jelly on my belly and my boyfriend by my side. Silence. The sonographer kept asking for my dates, and how far I'm expecting to be, which seemed odd. Then she said "I'm sorry but I need a second opinion, I can't find a heart beat"
In that moment my world fell apart. This moment that I thought would be amazing suddenly smacked me in the face. The baby hadn't grown past 11 weeks and 2 days. I was devastated. I was told to make an appointment to discuss the next steps, obviously how to 'get rid of it' to put it bluntly. I walked out of the scan room and my legs went to jelly and I collapsed in my boyfriend's arms sobbing my heart out. Once I composed myself enough to walk, I had to walk back through the waiting room, full of expectant mothers and their partners, it felt like the walk of shame.
I couldn't tell my family that I was a failure, I wasn't able to keep the baby alive. My boyfriend had to do that for me. He was my rock.
I just couldn't believe that I had no signs that anything was wrong, no pain, no bleeding. I thought after the initial obstacles I had a fighter on my hands. I had, what they call, a missed miscarriage. They gave me a few options, tablets to make my body reject it and some other option which, to be honest, I wasn't really listening to. But I decided to have a procedure to remove the baby, I couldn't bear the thought of carrying it any longer, I'd already carried it for a few weeks without it being alive.
Laying in the hospital bed waiting for the procedure was horrible. They weren't going to let my boyfriend stay with me but I was historical, so they let him in. We could hear other couples talking in adjacent cubicles, who clearly didn't want their babies. I didn't know what to say to my boyfriend, but I was so glad he was there. After the op, the hospital offered a shared cremation service. For all the babies that reach a certain stage, it just gives them a dignified send off. After weeks of following up on this shared cremation, the day for it finally came around and I felt like I could say a proper goodbye. There was only one other couple at this service, they had called their unborn baby "soldier" and I felt bad that we hadn't named ours. Ours was just known as "little one".
While all of this is going on, time off work for the op and for the cremation, I had to lie to people about the reason for my absence. Only my line manager knew the real reason for my absences and my 'mood'. I had to hide the fact that I was broken inside and that all I wanted to do was curl up in a corner. My situation exaggerated by the fact that my supervisor was pregnant too ( she got pregnant after a one night stand, didn't really want the baby but was convinced to keep it for the benefits it would bring!) I hated her for having a successful pregnancy. Why could the roles not be reversed, she doesn't want her baby anyway, and I was desperate for one. Every working day was so hard, none of my colleagues knew (because you don't tell anyone till the 12 week mark) and it just made it harder to bear.
Fast forward a few months of heartache and a roller coaster of emotions, I finally tell myself I'm ready to try again. I had gone through not wanting my partner to touch me, to using condoms again because I couldn't bear the thought of going through the early stages of pregnancy again. But, I'm ready.
Oh wait..I need a follow up appointment from that cervical operation. 6 months gone by and they just wanna check that the op was successful. It was. Everything is fine. Then, a missed period. Nerves, excitement, worry, everything comes flooding back. And again, the 12 weeks scan can't come quick enough. I can't bear to look at the screen once we get into that scan room. Not until I'm told it's safe to look. My boyfriend, holding my hand, can't look either. Then we hear the flutter of its heart beat. We are told that we are 11 weeks and 4 days, almost exactly where we left off with our first baby. I was still very insecure about the viability of this pregnancy, being on antidepressants I was offered a couple of extra scans to help my mental health. Each scan was another step forward for me. I have a survivor on my hands.
I'm now in the final stages of this pregnancy, and can't wait to have him in my arms. I know that, realistically, there could still be complications. But at this stage, the important people in my life will be more understanding and helpful if anything goes wrong.
I'm just thankful, that my rainbow baby has come this far. I have not complained once during this pregnancy, because I know what a blessing it is.
Real life can be extremely challenging sometimes. But I am a stronger person because of the hard times I've been through. As dull as some days look, the sun will shine again.
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