I started trying for my first baby not long after I got married. We were thrilled when just a few months later, I was pregnant!
After the initial rush of excitement kicked in, the fear started. I was a regular poster on an online baby forum and had seen other people posting about going through miscarriages. I was really scared that this baby that I wanted so much might die.
I noticed that didn't have strong pregnancy symptoms, just a bit of tiredness. I booked in for an early scan at 9 weeks to try and put my mind at rest. The scan took place just before Christmas and all was well - the baby measured perfectly, and was kicking it's legs around! I was thrilled!
We announced our pregnancy to our family at Christmas by putting a scan picture in the Christmas cards when I was nearly 11 weeks
My husband fell ill around this time, and was told it was probably swine flu. Unfortunately, I contracted whatever it was he had and was really ill. My fever was sky high and couldn't be brought down with paracetamol. I woke up with a high fever one night during it and just felt suddenly worried for the baby, knowing I was too hot. In hindsight I wonder if that's when the baby died.
I went for my dating scan at the start of January, when I was about 12.5 weeks. During the scan, the sonographer was silent. I looked at the motionless baby on the screen and willed it to move, but it didn't. I think I knew before they told me, and before they proved it by showing that blood wasn't flowing to the baby. I felt numb. I was told the baby had probably died the previous week, around the time I'd been ill. I've since found that there is a link to swine flu and miscarriage.
The medical management was started later that day. In a lot of ways, this was the most traumatic bit. I was told it would take a few hours to start and to lay on the hospital bed with the pessary inserted for an hour before I could go home. During that hour, "labour" started. It brought on a panic attack and I felt like I was going to die.
It was extreme pain and I felt so scared and alone - the nurses were in and out
I went home where I started bleeding very heavily with clots. I thought the worst was over. But a few days later I was on the toilet when I pushed out a large solid lump - looking into the toilet I saw that it was the baby. I could even see the little blood vessels. I was home alone and I panicked, distressed, and flushed the toilet. That still haunts me even now 6 years on.
I went on to conceive again a few months later - my eldest son. Without my loss, I could never have conceived him. He is my rainbow baby and I treasured him even more as a result of what I'd been through. I now get the flu jab at the first opportunity when pregnant, and advise expectant mothers to do so too.
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