I am someone who has held life in my body but I am not considered a mother

We were both so helpless to stop any of this from happening. We could not save our baby.

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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November 2016

Emma

My husband and I had waited for two years to get two lines on a pregnancy test. I had watched friends get pregnant, give birth and enjoy their babies.

I had perfected my happy face so well and had hidden so many tears that it was a natural cycle in my life - have period, try for baby, have pregnancy symptoms, get excited, take test, get a negative, have period. 

So many times I had sat in the bathroom waiting to see the same disappointing thing, that this time I believed it would be exactly the same. In fact, this time I didn't even bother holding it by me on the sink rim, I left it on the window ledge and carried on about my morning routine.

When I finally went over to check, I could barely believe my eyes (I didn't believe them, I called my husband to come and check) because there were definitely two lines. Faint, but there. 

We had an excited squeaky moment and then I called my doctors to arrange a blood test. They took my bloods a little later on and a few days later it came back, definitely pregnant.

I couldn't believe it, all my Christmases and birthdays had come at once.

This moment, I had prayed for. This baby that was suddenly so teeny tiny growing inside of me, was the baby I had spent hours begging God for.

I started thinking about how I could tell our parents, our families, where we would put the nursery, what colours we'd go for... I couldn't get over the fact it was finally my turn. 

Part of the reason for my infertility is due to me having PCOS, and so I am still under a consultant.

Getting pregnant had coincided with an appointment that come around every six months, so in our excitement that we had some good news for the doctor, went into our appointment loaded with my blood results ready to thank the doctor very much for their help, but look what we made!

We walked into the office and sat down, and shared our good news.

The doctor turned to her screen and looked back at my husband and I. She told us that my HCG levels were too low, that this could only mean that my pregnancy was not viable.

I think these words, that conversation, are etched so deeply into my memory.

I pleaded with her to take my bloods, in case they were rising and we were putting the cart before the horse, and she agreed, although she had warned me it was so incredibly unlikely to be a positive outcome.

That night, I begged God to let it be that we had all got it wrong, that the results were an anomaly, that tomorrow the results would come back perfectly fine.

The next day, the results came back, and the doctor was right, my HCG levels had plummeted back to normal for people who were not pregnant.

I took this call when I was stood in the middle of the city centre, at a gathering with friends and my parents, and I had to try so hard to walk to the bus as if I had not just been told all my hopes for the next part of our life had been dashed. 

My GP called me that evening, and even though I sobbed my way through our conversation, she gave me so much help and support and even love.

She signed me off work to give my mind and body time, gave me advice and a timescale to understand what would happen and when.

She gave me a date to go and see a doctor if my body had not started the process naturally, and maybe for the first time I realised that this would be something I would have to do, that I had made a life, and then I would have to let my body miscarry it. 

The day it started, the bleeding was slow and my body ached. I was a mess and was petrified of what I might see when I went to the bathroom.

The second day, I woke and went to the bathroom, and when I sat onto the toilet, sharp hot pains ripped through my uterus. One, then another and another and another, so intense I had to hold onto the radiator for support.

My husband looked on helplessly. We were both so helpless to stop any of this from happening. We could not save our baby, and we could not stop the pain it caused, physically and emotionally. 

I want to say that I have closure. I want to say I believe people when they say it happened for a reason. I want to say that I can handle baby talk and pregnancy talk and I can stay in the same room as people when they talk about it.

I can't say those things.

I think about what happened and the tiny life we lost every day, several times. Sometimes they are fleeting moments, and other times it takes a great effort to hold back the tears. My due date would be just around the corner, my hospital bag would be packed, the nursery ready.

We would be getting ready for Christmas knowing there was to be an imminent arrival.

When people talk to me about it, or I long to know what feeling the kicks would have been like, or when I see others holding their children, or when I hear people announce their good news, I hold on to my faith, trusting God would not give me more than I was capable of dealing with.

I draw my courage from God, because without it I don't know where I would be. 

I am not the same person I was before I became pregnant and lost my baby. I am someone who has held life in my body but I am not considered a mother.

I have felt contractions tear through my body but been unable to hold my baby afterwards. I have hoped and dreamed of the future for my child, but I will never see them grow. 

But I do know this feeling is not unique, that so many women before me have held life and lost it too. I do know that if you go through this terrible time in your life, you are not alone.

Keep strong, keep walking, keep taking deep breaths of fresh air and let those who are around you love you and take care of you.

This time in your life is not a race, it is a marathon and I know it is one I have not yet finished running.

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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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