Being a mum to 2 boys aged 3 & 5 following two text book pregnancies, trying for another baby didn't worry me. I felt somewhat invincible, I'd heard the 'm' word, but didn't ever think it would be me. So that day when the two lines appeared I was filled with hope and excitement for our future as a family of 5. My sister had recently announced her pregnancy, it was going to be perfect sharing maternity leave and baby talk with my best friend.
23rd October 2015, 9 + 1, I was at work and had the tiniest spot of blood. I tried to reason with the panic rising inside, it was just a spot probably nothing. My sister and husband begged me to phone a midwife and I tried to write it off 'I'm sure it's nothing, I'll just see what happens'. So on the Sunday when I had another spot I did the same thing. My mind was working overtime, even though there was no major bleeding or pain like you see on TV, I knew instinctively it was over. So when I woke up on the Wednesday with bleeding similar to my normal period it confirmed what I thought I'd known.
I called the midwife who booked me in for a scan the following day. In the meantime I panicked that I was going to bleed to death before I got there, dramatic I know, but I had no information and didn't have any idea what was about to happen. Our scan went ahead the sonographer wouldn't confirm the miscarriage only that there were 2 foetal poles measuring under 5 weeks with no heartbeats. I was sent home without any information and booked in for a further scan in 10 days.
I knew then that there was no hope, the dates just didn't add up.
Friday 30th October I went to my friend's house to let the boys play, trying to get on as normal. I had a niggling back ache but the bleeding still wasn't particularly heavy. I phoned my husband to pick us up as I knew something was about to happen. The minute I got home the worst of it started. I sat in bed my pregnant sister at the side of me running backwards and forward to the toilet. This went on for a couple of hours, I wasn't in severe pain but I could feel the contractions. One final pain and a relief swept over me, I knew it was over. That was when the floodgates opened, I couldn't stop crying. Every time I looked at my husband I started again. I didn't want to carry on, didn't feel like I'd ever feel happiness again. We returned to the hospital the following week after I asked for my appointment to be brought forward. The scan confirmed I'd had a complete miscarriage. I'd lost not 1 but 2 babies, my family was now a family of 6, but I couldn't even share the news.
My period returned 5 weeks later and I fell pregnant again straight after. Knowing that I'd never settle I booked to see the midwife as my GP advised hoping that they would offer me a reassurance scan. I was told that due to budgets our local EPAU would only offer us scan if we'd had two previous miscarriages. So we made the decision to pay privately for one. 28th January 2016 7+6 weeks pregnant and anxious the day finally arrived. I laid down for the scan and almost as soon as the scan started the doctor played us the sound of our baby's heartbeat. I couldn't believe it, and started to tell the doctor about us expecting twins in our previous pregnancy. He turned the screen around to show us our two tiny babies both with heartbeats. To say we were shocked was an understatement I phoned my mum and sister in disbelief. Having seen the heartbeats I relaxed slightly, but we decided to have another scan a couple of weeks later. 11th February 2016, the doctor was scratching his chin nervously searching for something, but no sound of heartbeats or showing us the screen like the first time. I knew something was wrong. 'I'm really sorry' he said, that was it our world crumbled for the second time in a matter of months.
Our babies had died within days of the first scan. He phoned the EPAU and I was booked in to see a doctor the following day. This marked the start of an 11 week nightmare which I'm still not sure has ended. The day after Valentine's day I underwent an ERPC wanting to end the nightmare as quickly as possible. My last miscarriage had taught me that the sooner I got back to 'normal' the sooner I could move on. The surgeon requested that I was scanned before being discharged and it was then that they advised that I still had 'retained tissue'. I was booked back in for an MVA the following week. After that I was advised that the bleeding could last up to 2 weeks and sent home with no follow up needed.
Two weeks passed by and still no end in sight so I called the EPAU and was told to give it another couple of weeks. Again this passed and nothing changed so I called again only to be told that they wouldn't see me again without my gp referring me. After a visit to the gp and a blood test he suspected I still had retained products and that the best option was to have yet another scan, so I was referred back to the EPAU. The scan confirmed our suspicions and yet another procedure, a hysteroscopy was booked for 25th April, 10 weeks to the day of my first procedure.
Now a week on I'm hopeful that this nightmare is finally over.
It's been the longest 11 weeks of my life and I still have days where I feel like it's never going to end, but the hope that one day I'll get my rainbow is still as strong as ever.
My sister has since given birth to a beautiful baby boy and I love him dearly, but I'm sad for the 4 cousins that should have been starting school with him. One day I will share my story, but for now while it's still raw I wanted to share it in a more private way. I don't want the pressure of family and friends constantly wondering if I'm pregnant again so for now it's something only my very close family and a select few friends know. I want to talk about my babies, I saw them and have pictures so to not talk about them for me is like pretending they didn't exist. Everyone feels different about whether it should or shouldn't be a secret, but those who want to talk about it should feel able to do so instead of being confined to anonymous Internet message boards.
I've read so many stories in my desperate fact finding missions and they give me the hope that one day my boys will have the brother or sister we all long for. Although I feel broken in many ways I have made two amazing friends who have been in my shoes and supported me through this. It's also been the biggest test of our marriage, but my husband has been amazing and I know that we will get through it together. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my 4 angels, but knowing I'm not alone gives me strength to carry on.
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