Last Christmas we decided that we were going to go for it. We wanted to bring a mini us into the world. It was exciting, a "grown up" decision. I had my coil out and we set off to let nature take its course (with a little help dates to try from a fertility app). Just 5 weeks after my coil being out we got our positive! This was it! No going back. We were going to be parents!
I did everything right. I had quit smoking as my new year resolution and had improved my diet ten fold.
At 6 weeks I phoned and arranged my booking appointment, things were getting exciting. But I was never to see the midwife.
Two days after booking my appointment I had pink spotting. Shaking I phoned the GP and got seen within the hour. My GP put me off work and booked me for a blood test the next day and advised me not to go on the hen weekend I was meant to be part of.
Everything was fine, the spotting stopped and our hope began to build. Spotting can be OK right?
Well later that night the bleeding got heavier. I phoned 111 and spoke to a wholly unhelpful doctor who then booked me for a scan on EPU for the Monday.
A long and stressful weekend passed before Monday arrived.
We were given a scan where the sonographer confirmed something we were scared of. A pregnancy of unknown location. We went home devastated, told to come back the following day for further blood tests.
Later that night I passed our baby. Another unhelpful 111 call told me to go to A&E, where after a 2 hour wait they told me there was nothing they could do and booked me another EPU appointment.
That appointment confirmed my hormone level had dropped and they were fairly certain what I had saved from going down the loo was our baby. Heartbreak isn't a strong enough word to cover it. But if we are one thing as a couple it is resilient. We were going to try again.
Fast forward to July. Another positive! This one was met with less excitement from both of us but we were happy none the less. After all, lightning doesn't strike twice.
I phoned my GP because I had been told to arrange an early scan as last one was unknown location which was arranged for the following Monday.
This scan showed a little heartbeat flickering away and confirmed our dates as being approximately 6 weeks. We breathed a sigh of relief.
A site I had found told us that seeing a heartbeat at 6 weeks carried a 78% chance of the pregnancy continuing, this made me feel a lot better! I saw the midwife who confirmed this was a good sign so I relaxed a bit and tried to enjoy the pregnancy.
All progressed well in the following weeks, if you can call sore boobs and morning sickness well! Until 9+5 weeks. My symptoms dropped off a cliff. I was panic stricken.
I tried the Tommy's helpline but there was no midwife available. I needed to talk to someone NOW. So phoned another helpline and spoke to a lovely midwife who reassured me that loss of symptoms around 10 weeks is normal.
I felt better hearing this from a trained professional, but the niggle that something was wrong remained in the back of my mind. I had repeated nightmares of getting to my 12 week scan on Friday 19th August and the sonographer telling me there was nothing there.
My partner and close friends assured me I was being paranoid after our previous loss, but I just couldn't shake it and spent the next 3 weeks expecting to see blood whenever I went to the loo. I never did though and we made it to the 12 week scan with no problems.
I was feeling good, we had made it this far with no bleeding, loss of symptoms was apparently normal and despite my anxiety was excited to get the scan done and go to our parents to tell them the news and show them scan pictures. We checked in and were called in almost straight away.
Within seconds of the probe finding my baby the sonographer confirmed my worst fears. My baby was dead. It hadn't grown past 9+3. Around the point my symptoms had disappeared.
The moments after are a bit of a blur and I think I screamed NO and told her to check again, but the evidence was there, no movement from our tiny little bean.
I felt like someone had cut out my lungs. I had known something wasn't right and my worst fears had now come true.
The sonographer told me I needed to go to EPU to discuss our "options" but having waited 8 excruciating hours there with our first loss, without so much as an offer of a cup of tea I told her there was no way in hell I was sitting around all day again. So an appointment was made for the Monday.
Another weekend wait. We went to my parents house anyway and broke the sad news instead of the news we were expecting to announce.
Monday came and was very straight forward. I was booked for an ERPC on the Wednesday. At no stage in any of this process was I told why this had happened, if it was related to our first loss, what the chances were of it happening again.
Post surgery I wasn't told what symptoms to look out for, when we could try again, or any form of follow up. I was in emotional limbo and now physical.
After developing pains and a lot of bleeding I saw my GP again the following Monday who was wonderful and signed me off work for two weeks and confirmed I had developed an infection. She took the time to share her story of loss, something I hugely appreciated and she was extremely reassuring that my chance will come.
It's two weeks today since my surgery and I'm beginning to feel more positive about trying again. I know our next pregnancy will be marred with anxiety and symptom watching, but I WILL have my rainbow. We will have our happiness.
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By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Oct 2016 - 12:16
Thank you for sharing your story, it is so heartfelt and will resonate strongly with so many couples who have been affected by miscarriage.
Please know that we have a phone line if you would like to talk. It is staffed by midwives 9-5 weekdays- 0800 0147 800.
I am also including the link if you would consider adding your story to our book of MisCourage which has a permanent home on our website.
By Laura (not verified) on 10 Oct 2016 - 22:00
After been together for over 11years we decided that as soon as we got married in July 2015 we was going to try for a baby. It took a little longer than we first thought (silly us) but finally in June 2016 we found out that we was indeed pregnant. We were both shocked but absolutely over the moon. We was unsure how far gone we was due to some spotting the month before. So we booked a private scan just to reasure us. We had the scan and sure enough there was our little baby, very small, estimated to be 5weeks, but sure enough the baby was there with a good strong heartbeat. I booked my appointment with the midwife and explained to her about the private scan and all about how the sonographer has estimated me to be 5 weeks pregant and that there was a good strong heartbeat. She booked me in for my hospital scan for 3 weeks later.
Before we found out that we was pregnant we discussed and decided that if/when we got pregnant that we would keep it to ourselves until we had our first scan, but my husband was absolutely beaming with pride and could not keep his excitement contained so we decided on fathers day we would tell our parents and grandparents.
We went along to our hospital scan on the 3rd July 2016, 10:30am (I will never forget that date).
Our turn came, she popped the doppler on my stomach and commented that I must be really early as she couldn't see a heartbeat. She gave me two options, an internal scan or wait another 7 weeks until my '12weeks'. We decided to go for the internal.
So we had the internal scan, she made that face that no pregnant women wants to see, that screwed up look of concern. " I'm sorry but you must be in the very early stages as I'm not picking up a heartbeat". My mind starts racing, I look at my husband and he hasn't clocked....could the doppler at the hospital not be as good as the one at the private scan? Yes maybe theirs was more advanced. But I didn't see that little flicker on the screen that I did at the first scan. Shall I speak up?
"Actually we have already heard a heartbeat, we had a private scan" I knew as soon as I had said that sentence what she was going to say, but it still shocked me " well I'm sorry but this looks like a pregnancy that hasn't progressed" as simple and straight to the point as that....that is exactly as she said it.
This was the moment that changed our lives and broke our hearts.
We was put in a side room.....wasn't told why . After what felt like an eternity the same lady came back in and explained that I had to have a second scan to confirm the baby had died. So I was made to go through it all over again..... for a split second made to see the screen again....my baby for one last time. Then I turned my head away...i just didn't want to see.
We was put back into the side room. We sat in that room for an hour.....listening to everyone outside, all the couples waiting to have their scans. Listened to the two women who had scanned me in the next room talking about what they watched on TV the night before. I wanted to storm in there and scream at them......my baby just died and your talking about TV.
Eventually a nurse came into the room, papers in hand, made some passing comment , something about condolences and how she was sorry...." sorry about your loss, so I have booked your appointment for Monday, you have 3 options but if you read these it will help you to make up your mind" ....."hang on a minute, what appointment an make up my mind about what?"
Stupid me hadn't even contemplated what would happen after.....but hey who does when you have just been told your baby has died. She went on to tell us how common it was, that one in 4 pregnancies end in misscariage. Every cliché thing your are told about misscariage she said.....i wanted to punch her. I know she was only doing her job but she was so normal about it.......our world had just fell apart as she was telling me that I was a statistic.
I was booked in to go to hospital on the Monday and was told I would have my operation on the Tuesday. I begged for them to operate straight away, I just didn't want to go home for the weekend, knowing my baby was dead inside me. But they wouldn't do it.
I went to hospital on Monday, I got to the the ward and I stopped in my tracks when I saw my appointment was on the maternity ward.......i sat in a room surrounded by pregnant women....God knows what they thought about me, looking like a wreck. After waiting 30mins after my appointment time I had to leave the room and went to sit outside the ward. I couldn't sit there anymore listening to them talk about their babies. One woman asked the woman sat next to me how far gone she was. I remember thinking please don't ask me, I don't want to have to explain that our baby is dead.
The nurse finally came out to find me in the corridor. Isat down with the doctor and I was booked in for the operation the next day. The doctor went on the explain how the opperation works, I told him I didn't want to know and he stopped at that.
I went the next day completely unprepared for what awaited me. As I arrived there was a gown on the bed and some paperwork which I overlooked.....eventually we found out what it was when a nurse bluntly told me that I needed to decide what we wanted to do with our baby remains....you could have knocked me down with a feather, but it was decision we had to make.
The worst part about this experience (apart from the obvious) was how completely unprepared we was for what was going to happen. We was offered no help after, no explanation nothing. We still don't no why and I understand we never will. We had no after care, just a bunch of leaflets......they didn't even let the midwife know what had happened. To say I was gutted when I had a reminder of my midwife appointment was an understatement.
3months later I have just watched Eastenders and Whitney has lost her baby. It has just brought it all back.
I'm not sure we will ever get over it, we just hope we can learn to move on.