by Paula McNulty
I had my first miscarriage at 8 weeks, it was my first pregnancy. I woke up one morning feeling ill so I stayed home and spent the whole day resting on the sofa reading. Towards the evening I started to get an annoying ache in my lower back so I went to bed where I fell asleep.
I awoke a short time later in absolute agony. I had severe cramps in my back and all the the bed linen was soaked in blood.
I knew I had to get to hospital (as I had not yet been put in touch with a midwife) so my husband phoned A&E and we went straight through. I had to wait for 3 hours to see the doctor only for them to give me another pregnancy test to confirm that I was actually pregnant.When this came back positive they finally rushed me up to gynaecology where they took various blood samples and then told me there was nothing they could do, my baby had died.
They left me alone for 15 minutes to grieve before the doctor came to perform a scrape to remove my baby's remains. I was kept in hospital overnight, as I had lost quite a lot of blood but was discharged the following morning. My baby's remains were then sent to my local crematorium where we had a lovely little service in the garden.
This was really the only time I felt I was allowed to actually grieve.
I was so sick and tired of people telling me how lucky I was that it had happened sooner rather than later, before it had become a real baby. I don't have anything to remember my first Angel baby by.
As a child I had a wonderful copy of Peter and Wendy by J M Barrie with the most beautiful illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell. There was on picture, in particular, that I always remembered. It was the one where Peter went back to his nursery to find the window barred:
"Long ago," he said, "I thought like you that my mother would always keep the window open for me, so I stayed away for moons and moons and moons, and then flew back; but the window was barred, for mother had forgotten all about me, and there was another little boy sleeping in my bed."
What if I forgot my baby too? What if I forgot that he / she even existed? I was so desperate to have some sort of proof that my baby existed, if only for myself. I was only 8 weeks pregnant when I lost my baby so I never had the opportunity to have a scan and nothing seemed to fulfil my need. I scoured the Internet in search of that one remembrance token that would mean the world to me. I finally happened upon a website, based in America, selling baby remembrance items and among their goods was a beautiful, silver, heart shaped, pendant, with a little baby lying in the centre.
In the end I did not seek any support or advice as I somehow felt a fraud, since my first pregnancy ended so early. I went on to have another early miscarriage before finally falling pregnant with my one and only rainbow baby who was born in 2011. I feel that It is so important to share our miscourage stories so that people like me are not made to feel the way I did and not seek out the help that they need and deserve.
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