I had a pretty rough time with my first baby - hyperemesis and a premature delivery was followed by severe post-natal depression. Finally after 2 years I was ready to try again - more than anything to make amends for all the time I missed with my son.
By a stroke of luck, I fell pregnant on month 1. A week later, at my sons 3rd birthday party, I miscarried. It was only 5 weeks, and I was gutted, but I put myself into that 1 in 4 category and we carried on.
2 months later and another positive test. I was very anxious, and testing constantly. At about 7 weeks I went for a scan - a perfect little heartbeat was there. So we started telling people, and really allowing ourselves to get excited. On the day of my booking appointment I was spotting a bit so I popped in early so I could go to EPU. I watched the 2 ladies before me come out crying - and thought I should be ok as that beat the 1 in 4. The lady who scanned me said she was just doing measurements - I'd worked there before, I knew the drill.
Scan over, and a hand on my leg, and being told there was no heartbeat
I was asked how I wanted to proceed and opted to wait. By that afternoon I'd changed my mind, I couldn't wait for my body to reject my baby, I certainly couldn't see it happen. So 2 days later I went in for a d&c. I met so many people, some wonderful, some awful. The first nurse referred to it as "that thing that happened to you". When I asked for a scan she said "you do know it will still be dead". Thankfully the lady who scanned me was amazing. She scanned, took a picture and left me to grieve with my baby and say goodbye. It was a rollercoaster day, putting in the pessary broke my heart - I felt I was killing my baby. I went to sleep crying, I woke crying. The guilt was unimaginable - what sort of mother couldn't do her baby the dignity of losing it naturally?
What hurt most was that it was an invisible bereavement to everyone else, no funeral, no memorial, nothing for such a huge loss. A friend brought me a little star charm for my bracelet, I bought a star for my Christmas tree, I made a memory box of scan pictures. It gave me a focus of my grief which I sorely needed. People tried to be kind, but their comments hurt - "it wasn't meant to be", "next time" and the worst "at least you know you can get pregnant".
Time went on, we started trying again and sure enough, pregnant on month 1. Again 1 week later it was gone. I'd stopped telling people. For some reason I knew I was going to lose 4, so when a friend said I should see a doctor, I wanted to wait until my 4 were done.
At the time of number 4 we were going on holiday. I tested 2 days before we left and there was my line. But I knew it wasn't to be, and decided to ignore it
We went on holiday and I broke all the rules of drinking alcohol, caffeine, soft cheese, everything. Even my husband didn't know I was pregnant, until the last day of our holiday when I lost another baby.
In a way this was a good thing - it meant my 4 were done and I could go to the GP. They were excellent and referred me without question. I worked at the hospital so the consultant very kindly saw me quickly, but not quick enough as I lost number 5 in that time - 5 weeks again.
We decided that while they investigated we should stop trying. There were scans, so many blood tests, sexual health checks, swabs. But I crashed - in not trying I had lost my focus, I became so depressed again, the grief really hit me.
My tests were normal. In my head it then meant I was being somehow punished for my PND. On the contrary, the doctor felt that whatever caused me to go into prem labour was possibly triggering me to now reject my babies. I was given a mass of medications to start as soon as I got a positive test, and sure enough, month 1 I fell pregnant. That dreaded 5 weeks went by, the dreaded 10 weeks went. I survived minute by minute. If I was still pregnant at the end of each day it was an achievement, I couldn't look beyond. I kept going that way until 37+1 when my miracle threw herself into my life. She will never replace my 5 little stars, but she is spectacular.
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