Having a miscarriage made me feel like I had failed as a woman

Caroline suffered two miscarriages before she had daughter, Daenerys, 14 months.

Heartbreaking stories. Devastating stories. The miscarriage story needs to change. That's why we've created Tommy's book of #misCOURAGE. Read this story now and help spread the word that miscarriage can no longer be ignored. Help us change the story to save babies' lives.

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Caroline Baker with her baby girl

by Caroline Baker

March 2016

I’d written off the idea of having children after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and told that conceiving would be difficult, if not impossible. So a positive pregnancy test in October 2012 was a very happy surprise, and we were thrilled.

Two months later I miscarried. I started bleeding and called my midwife, who made an appointment for an early scan. I was nervous, but hoped it was just paranoia and they’d tell me everything was going to be okay.

When the sonographer said, ‘I’m really sorry’, I actually asked her what she meant. I just never expected anything to go wrong. I still don’t 100% understand what did; they told me the sac had burst and there was no heartbeat. I was devastated, and before I had time to process what had happened, I was being asked how I wanted to get rid of the baby inside me.

Someone suggested a D&C with the words, ‘we just hoover the baby up’, and I was horrified. In the end I chose to let my body miscarry naturally, I don’t know if I was clinging onto some small hope that they’d got it wrong.

It was May before my miscarriage completed and we went for several scans, each time being told there was no heartbeat. It wasn’t the easiest way to go through it, but it was definitely the right choice for me. I hadn’t had a chance to process that I’d lost a baby, I couldn’t begin to deal with decisions on ‘how to get rid of it’.

I remember someone coming into the café where I worked, and wishing all the mums a happy Mother’s Day and she said to me: "I can’t wish you a Happy Mother’s Day because you don’t have any children". I was carrying my dead baby at the time, and something said so innocently was terribly painful to hear.

I was at home when I eventually miscarried. Blood and then a tiny blob, which I flushed away

It was month later that I saw pictures online of a miscarried baby, and felt horrified to think I might have flushed mine away. I still feel guilty.

The hospital confirmed the miscarriage, which was heartbreaking because as much as I wanted it to be over, I didn’t.

I had gallbladder surgery at the end of May, which put trying for a baby on hold. But, by October 2013 I was pregnant again and it was brilliant. I just felt like I’d been terribly unlucky and it couldn’t possibly happen again.

Then the week before Christmas, all my symptoms disappeared and I started bleeding at work. The time of year meant I couldn’t get a scan until the New Year, and it was the longest three weeks of my life, not knowing whether my baby was alive or dead.

The scan showed I’d miscarried, and the sonographer said she’d not seen ovaries that bad with PCOS for a long time, and it would be hard for me to conceive. Although, she did mention that I was ovulating and showed me the egg on the screen.

I went home from the hospital and conceived our rainbow baby that day. I remember thinking that I could be depressed or take a chance, and I’m so glad we did 

CarolineBakerpicture

When I found out I was pregnant the following month I couldn’t really believe it. I actually thought I had food poisoning and must have done about 20 tests, just to be sure.

It was a relatively good pregnancy, but I was so anxious. Any problem and I went straight to hospital, desperately seeking reassurance. I was refused any additional scans, so we booked a private one. Seeing our baby was the best thing in the world, so magical.

As my pregnancy progressed I felt more confident; she was such an active baby, kicking me all the time, but I still couldn’t bring myself to pack a hospital bag or have the new pushchair my parents bought us in the house.

Daenerys arrived on her due date, October 17 2014 after a four hour labour. They were planning to induce me, but she made her own way into the world.

When they handed her to me it was the best feeling, although surreal because I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was.

I’m so grateful for my precious daughter, but you still wonder about the one's you lost, what they would look like now, what their favourite things would be, and you miss them so much. That grief and loss is not acknowledged.

People say the most hurtful things, ‘Maybe it was for the best’, and ‘It wasn’t really alive yet’. They aren’t trying to be cruel, they’re actually trying to reassure you, but all you can think is, ‘I am a Mum, I carried that baby’.

People wonder why you aren’t getting over it, but losing a child isn’t something you ever really get over. It changes you.

I was that person who unfriended all my friends with children on Facebook, not because I didn’t want to be friends with them anymore or didn’t like them, but because I couldn’t face seeing their happy family pictures. I’ve re-added them now, but at the time it’s what I needed to do to cope. Does that make me a terrible person?

Having a miscarriage made me feel like I had failed as a woman. The one thing that my body was biologically wired to do, that should have come naturally, and I couldn’t even do that. What was wrong with me? Was it something I could have prevented?

It’s so hard to comprehend because you desperately want a reason as to why it happened, and in most cases, you'll never get one.

There’s such a stigma around miscarriage. We don’t talk about it because people really don’t want to hear about it. That’s why Tommy’s #misCOURAGE campaign is so important; women need to know that miscarriage is more common than you’d think, but they also need to know that there’s hope. You can go on to have a healthy baby, there can be a rainbow after the storm.

 

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Disclaimer

Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer

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