by Laura Lilley
February 17th 2016; the date etched forever in my mind, the day our baby would have been due.
We were already at the 6 month point of trying and, it felt like an eternity. All those years I had spent trying to avoid getting pregnant and, now it was defining every spare moment.
Month on month the disappointment of no signs of pregnancy, even though we were doing everything right; reduced drinking, exercising more, watching what we ate and monitoring my fertility signs. I knew age was on our side and, still is but I cannot tell you how relieved I was, when I had that feeling that only you have about yourself, that deep down something is different.
I waited until 10dpo before taking the first pregnancy test, knowing any earlier I would likely get a negative result and, yet at the same time not being able to wait.
When I checked the test there was the faintest of blue lines
I was relieved that now I knew we could get pregnant and, at that very moment, that life as I knew it would change forever.
I didn’t tell my husband straight away as I wanted to be 100% sure and, wait until the end of my cycle. I had this big idea that I would surprise him, but when I discovered his best friend’s wife was also pregnant the next day, I could no longer keep it to myself. I wanted to share what I knew with him and the whole pregnancy journey with them.
I knew it was early days and, until the 1st trimester was out of the way this would not be plain sailing. Neither of our families lived local and, we decided early on we wanted to tell them face to face. I made the first appointment with the midwife for 7 weeks, 1 day.
I hadn’t had any real pregnancy symptoms apart from really fancying plain food and being a bit more tired than normal.
The weekend before my appointment, I was away with a local Brownie unit I help with. The first day and half were going really well, great weather, having fun, when on the Saturday afternoon I started spotting. Trying not to get too worried, I carried on with my normal day until early evening, it was getting worse and deep down I knew something was wrong. To put my mind at ease I contacted the NHS101 service and, was offered a scan with EPAU at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading for the Monday.
Having headed home early on the Sunday morning, I realised now was the time I really needed my family.
My biggest regret with the whole miscarriage was not telling our families about the pregnancy sooner and, losing out on the moment to celebrate and share in the joy
Instead, my first phone call to my parents was to tell them I was pregnant, but bleeding. Both my mum, who had travelled down from Birmingham on the Sunday afternoon and, husband attended my hospital appointment.
My husband and I went in for the scan and the minute the lady started we knew that a miscarriage would be confirmed. There was no reassurance or tiny heartbeat, just a clinical description of empty sac and, although I don’t remember much more, I’m sure something about the viability of the embryo; a word used to describe a baby up to 8 weeks. This was 6 weeks 5 days and was my baby; a tiny human that had already captured my heart and, for a brief period had made my husband and I parents-to-be.
We were referred to a doctor who gave us our options; I chose to let the miscarriage occur naturally.
The next two weeks were some of the longest of my life
I don’t think I’ve cried as much as I did those two weeks. It has been slow to move on and, as milestones have passed I have got teary. I will never forget this last 9 months and the challenges it has brought. It has certainly made me a stronger person.
I am someone who very much lives by the saying ‘information is key’ and, the work Tommy’s is doing for promoting research into understanding miscarriage and stillbirth is vital for improving understanding, providing support and hopefully preventing others going through the heartbreak it brings.
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