It's been almost five years since we lost our first baby, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. Myself and my husband, Luke, were very fortunate to discover I was pregnant in July 2011 only a month after deciding to try for a family.
We excitedly told our close family and friends and straight away began imagining life as a family of three. As soon as I saw the words 'pregnant' on the pregnancy test I fell in love with our baby. I imagined Christmas time with a small baby bump, excitedly testing prams and picking nursery decorations. I imagined our whole future, cuddling our baby in our arms and watching them grow up.
The first 12 weeks went so smoothly, no sign of bleeding, some morning sickness and tiredness but no signs that anything was amiss with the pregnancy. In the September we went for our 12 week scan and we were so excited to see our little baby on the screen (even now, when I think back to that unknowing excitement, I feel my heart break a little bit more).
As soon as the scan began I could see that something wasn't right, I could see our little baby on the screen but the image was so still. The lady doing the scan said that the baby wasn't measuring the right size and could I have got the dates wrong, but I knew I hadn't. From this point on everything became a blur, a living nightmare, as we were told that our precious baby had stopped growing at 8 and a half weeks, and I had suffered what was known as a 'missed miscarriage.'
For weeks afterwards I couldn't get the image of the stillness of our scan out of my mind. I remember lying in bed hitting my head against my hands hoping that I could somehow rid my mind of the image causing me such unbearable pain.
I opted for a procedure under general anaesthetic to remove our baby. I remember crying as they wheeled me down to theatre and a lovely nurse asking me if I needed some more time. I remember replying that nothing will stop the tears so they might as well knock me out whilst the tears still flow.
When I awoke I just felt empty. I don't think I fully realised how much grief I would feel, but I felt absolutely stricken with grief for such a long time afterwards. I felt so cheated, and felt that we had not only lost our beloved baby, but the precious memories of our happiness when we found out we were pregnant had been tainted, and a whole future that we had already planned had disappeared before our eyes.
Luke was absolutely amazing, he was suffering and grieving himself yet somehow found the strength to support me through the darkest of days. I think that going through the loss of our baby certainly brought us closer together.
We actually found out that I was pregnant again a few days before Christmas 2011, so we tentatively shared the news with our families on Christmas Day. I hung a beautiful angel decoration on the tree as a reminder of our precious angel baby. When I pulled open a cracker during Christmas dinner, a heart shaped photo key ring fell out, with a stock picture of a baby wearing a Christmas hat inside. Many people will say that it was just a coincidence but I took it as a sign that everything would be okay with the baby I was carrying. As we celebrated the following Christmas with our four month old baby, Max, I hung that keyring on the tree alongside the angel decoration, and shed a little tear, a tear of sadness for our little angel, and a tear of happiness that we had been blessed with our beautiful son.
Almost five years on and our lives are busy running around after our lively three year old, yet my mind sometimes still wanders back to that scan room, and I feel a pang of pain. I think that it is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and in a way I find that comforting because the memories are the only thing I have left from our first baby's existence.
I think that it is so important to talk about miscarriage so that no one has to go through it alone, I was so fortunate to have an amazing support network of friends and family around me, and I genuinely couldn't have gotten through that time without them.
Please let's end the silence for all those angel babies who deserve to be spoken about and for our own angel baby, you will always be in my heart forever.
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