I always thought that both my husband and I were really pragmatic about having children. If it happened - great, if it didn't happen we loved each other and our life - we'd accept it. I looked at it, naively, in clear-cut terms - either I would be able to get pregnant or I wouldn't. What I never imagined is the limbo, anxiety and uncertainty of recurrent miscarriage.
The torture of being able to get pregnant, but unable to stay pregnant. Having three miscarriages turned me into someone I didn't recognise....I could never have prepared for it.
I stopped taking the pill and first found out I was pregnant in March 2014. I was due to go to Asia on holiday so I booked a private scan at 9 weeks. I could tell immediately that something wasn't right and the sonographer was vague, but told me I should go to our EPU. A follow up ultrasound at the EPU showed that the pregnancy hadn't developed and I'd had a missed miscarriage. I'd had no bleeding or pain. I tried conservative management with medication but it didn't work, and in May 2014 I had an ERPC under general anaesthetic. I came round in recovery and burst into tears, but since I'd had no trouble getting pregnant I assumed we were just unlucky this time.
In November 2014 I found out I was pregnant again. I had decided that I didn't want an early scan this time, and got through Christmas, but a week before my 12 week scan I cracked and had a private one. Instinctively I already knew what the outcome would be - my breasts had stopped feeling swollen and I just felt different. The scan confirmed another missed miscarriage. I didn't wait this time and had another ERPC in January 2015. My husband and I were devastated.
In April 2015 I had an early miscarriage that just happened - at about 5 weeks. Our EPU were amazing throughout and I was referred to a consultant. I was scanned, had multiple blood tests, ovulation checked, my husband was tested - everything was normal.
My sister told me she was pregnant with her second child around this time - I remember getting through the phone call then hanging up and becoming what can only be described as inconsolable. I felt like I couldn't breathe
In early July 2015 I was pregnant again. I was hugely anxious and booked an 8 week scan with our EPU. The days crawled by. I had by this point developed a fear of scans and scanning rooms as all our experiences in them had been so awful. When the sonographer showed us the tiny blob on the screen and the baby's heartbeat I burst into tears. The consultant advised me to take low dose aspirin which I did.
At 27 weeks I had a heavy and sudden bleed and was in hospital in Germany for 4 days. I was given steroids to help the baby's lungs develop and monitored closely. The placenta was slightly over my cervix at this point. By 34 weeks I'd had 8 large bleeds and had spent most of January 2016 in the hospital. The bleeds were getting closer and closer together and the worst case scenario was the placenta abrupting completely.
Unfortunately the consultants could not agree on the best course of action and all had different approaches. We felt hugely anxious and under enormous pressure. They didn't want to deliver so early as the baby was happy, but no one could tell us the risk of continuing the pregnancy further. We were terrified we would lose our baby, after having got so much further than ever before - and that it would actually destroy us completely.
Our daughter was born at 34+2 by Caesarian section following another large bleed. The placenta was in terrible condition and has been sent away for analysis. When I heard her cry I burst into tears - the relief we felt was indescribable. She is incredibly strong and after 5 days on the neonatal unit we both went home. She is now 4 weeks old and we cannot believe she's here with us.
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