My husband and I left our 1 year old with my parents and went on a special weekend away to Prague to spend some much-needed time together alone. I was 7 weeks pregnant.
I had had some minor bleeding at 5 weeks, but as this happened during my first pregnancy, I wasn't worried.
On our second night there I had a terrible headache but we went out to dinner and talked about our excitement and our plans for our new family of four. Would it be a boy or a girl? What would our daughter think of the new baby? What would he or she look like? Would they look alike? Would the age gap work well? We built a picture in our minds of the life we were going to have, and this baby was a huge part of it.
The following morning I began to bleed heavily. I phoned my UK GP in a panic and tears but she said there was nothing to be done. She said it had been known to lose one twin and keep the other, so we scoured the streets near our hotel looking for a pharmacy. The pregnancy test was already a much fainter line and that was when I accepted it was over.
Every time I went to the toilet or had a shower I cried at the blood loss. In fact I cried most of the time. The next day I held the foetus in my hands and I will never forget that moment.
We stayed in Prague for our last day, and rather than sit in the hotel crying we went out and saw the sights, made all the right moves even though our hearts weren't in it.
One of the most difficult parts was not feeling like I was entitled to be upset. Friends' reactions confirmed this: 'at least it was early on', 'oh you were only 7 weeks', 'it's really common', 'it couldn't have been that bad if you were able to walk around sightseeing', 'at least it's not your first'.
I have friends who have had stillborn children or missed miscarriages where they have had to have serious medical intervention. The loss of my baby does not compare to what they went through. But I'm not trying to compare. I just want to be allowed to feel that my heart was broken too.
Another odd feeling I had was that I couldn't believe this was now part of my life story. I would always be someone who lost a baby. I found that quite difficult to accept.
A year later I got pregnant with my 2nd daughter and all was well. She is 6 now and we are blessed with our family, but I still think of the baby I lost sometimes and wonder how things would have been different, and I think I probably always will.
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