There I was, in utter disbelief that I was pregnant after only deciding 3 weeks ago with my husband that we were ready to try for baby number 2. We felt so lucky that once again we conceived within the first month of trying. We were told that we must have strong genes, that we were lucky....
The weeks went by and my tummy was growing at a ridiculously fast rate. I tried my best to keep my pregnancy a secret, but everybody around me knew. If it wasn't the bump that gave it away, it was the terrible excuse I had used to go to the bathroom to be sick for the tenth time each day. But everyone said it was a good sign, that I must have a healthy baby growing inside. If only I hadn't become convinced that they must be right.
At 11 weeks and a half weeks I had a few small cramps. I was a little worried, but as I was so sure my baby was okay I just put it down to growing pains.
When it came to our 12 week dating scan, I felt excited, yet nervous. My last baby was premature, and I was left with ptsd. One of my biggest fears was returning to the hospital where I had to leave my little 4lb girl every single night.
But it's okay, I told myself that this time I would be walking out the hospital with a happy memory, and a picture of our new baby.
I entered the hospital shaking and crying. I told the receptionist I was okay, and that I'd be leaving smiling. I was so sure.
When I entered the scan room with my husband, the sonogropher looked at my bump and smiled. She asked how many pictures we would want (I wanted as many as we could get!)
As I lay on the bed, I suddenly had a worry that I wouldn't see a baby, that I couldn't be so lucky. Then I saw it, our beautiful baby on the screen. My husband squeezed my hand, his face couldn't hide the pride he was feeling. That was when I looked to the sonogropher and saw her face. I saw nothing but concern. I looked again at the screen. I saw no flickering heartbeat. My baby hadn't moved yet..I think I knew what the sonogropher was about to say. She turned the screen away and said "I'm so sorry, it's not good news"
My heart shattered.
She must have been joking. I told her she should check again, I screamed, I cried, I froze, I realised I had lost my baby. I felt every stage of grief within one minute.
Then she said the word I didn't want to hear. Miscarriage.
My poor tiny baby's heart stopped at 11 and a half weeks, I hated myself for ignoring those pains.
I was asked if I still wanted a scan photo. Of course I did, it would be the only photo I would ever have of my perfect baby.
I was handed leaflets, I was given several options for what I could do next. I didn't want to hear about them. I wanted to leave. I needed to get out of the place I was dreading to go back to. I left, holding my husband's hands as tight as I could. I avoided looking at the receptionist and I left the hospital, with a worse memory than the last time I was there.
I am struggling to know what to say about how I felt. I just couldn't handle my broken heart. I thought of my daughter. I knew she needed me. My husband's heart was as broken as mine, he needed me too. I had to keep my mind on them to stop my mind from going down a darker road.
Once my mind had come to reality, I thought about my options. I decided to go for surgical management. I phoned the hospital and begged them to see me as soon as I could, as I was terrified of passing my baby naturally. I was told I would have to wait 4 days. It was hell. 4 days of knowing my baby was still there, not moving, not hearing me as I sang "twinkle twinkle" and told it that I loved it. 4 days of being scared anyone would see me, notice the bump and ask how far along I was. 4 days of no sleep.
The day of the surgery came and I have never felt so terrified. I didn't want my husband to leave my side, I didn't want to be put to sleep. When that time came, I stopped the anethesist. I wanted to stroke my bump for the last time. I needed to tell my baby that I loved them, and I said goodbye. That was when I fell asleep.
Waking up was awful. The first thing I asked was if my baby was gone. As the nurse nodded, I felt my heart break all over again.
Reality hit big time, I had a sudden feeling of loneliness. I didn't want to think of a future without my baby in it.
Recovery was hard. A hot water bottle soon became my best friend, along with chocolate and painkillers. I was never left alone, not even for a second. My husband wouldn't leave the house without knowing my parents or friends were there to care for me. I don't know what I would have done without any of them.
I took 2 weeks off work. Going back wasn't easy. I work in a nursery. Seeing beautiful babies each day just reminds me of what I am missing.
I had to try and get back to normal life. But I couldn't go shopping without breaking down over the baby events, which apparently were happening in every single store! I'd bump into people who knew what had happened. They would always be incredibly sympathetic, but I would always hear those words. "It's okay. You can get pregnant again!" But I didn't care.
I wanted this pregnancy, I wanted the baby I saw on the screen. I so desperately wanted to wake up and realise this had all been a nightmare.
Today is only 3 weeks since I had my surgery. I haven't gone a single day without crying. I don't feel I will ever be okay with this, but I am realising that I can cope, I have to.
Our scan photo sits in a frame in our bedroom. I kiss it, and I talk to it every single day. We have an olive tree which we are going to grow and care for in memory of the baby who is no longer growing in my tummy.
I may not have ever been able to hold my baby in my arms, but I will hold it in my heart as long as I live.
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