Story of #miscourage by Claire,
A few years ago I was working in a role supporting Breastfeeding Mums. I was a mum of one myself at the time and I loved working with other new and expecting parents. I found out I was pregnant again, for my husband and I the plan was always to have two or three so it was good news.
We didn't wait to start telling people, my first pregnancy went off without a hitch so we weren't worried and everyone was just as happy as we were.
One of the mums who I saw through work was also pregnant, and we worked out we were probably about the same stage with her being a week ahead of me. We both chatted about early pregnancy symptoms and how exciting it was to have a little brother or sister for our children.
A week or two later I saw the mum again, she was bleeding and as I found out later miscarried, it was awful seeing how upset and worried she was. Such a contrast to the previous conversation we had shared, this wasn't her first loss either so she knew what was coming.
I went on holiday a few days later to visit with my husband's parents in France. We had a lovely few days, going to the beach, lounging by the pool. We told them our happy news and they shared in the excitement too.
I was about 10 weeks and feeling like I was coming out of the other side of morning sickness, I was feeling completely well aside from the totally out of the blue nose bleed that occured the day after we arrived.
Then on the morning of the day we came home I went to the toilet and there was blood when I wiped.
I felt sick, I got sweaty and started to panic, I must have looked ill when I came out of the bathroom as my mother in law asked me what was wrong. I told her and she was clearly concerned.
I called the midwives back home for advice, they told me not to worry as it was only a small amount of blood and sometimes women bleed during pregnancy. They told me to seek medical help if the bleeding became very heavy or if I was experiencing any pain. I wasn't at the time, I tried to stay positive, one of my best friends had multiple bleeds during her first pregnancy and she carried to term so maybe this would be the same. But in the back of my mind I kept thinking about the mum from the previous week, her pain, was it my turn now.
The following day I hadn't bled anymore so I got up and went to work. But whilst at work the bleeding started again only this time it was much heavier, I phoned my boss and cried she told me to go home and cell the midwife. My cousin ended up taking me to a&e to get checked out, over 4 hours we waited to be told to come back tomorrow before a scan. So I had to wait another night, knowing but not knowing, not officially anyway. Bleeding far too heavy for it to be anything else, cramping pains setting in as my body expelled my happiness.
The scan proved that what we suspected was true, I was no longer pregnant. It hurt to hear even though I knew it was coming, part of me was probably clinging on to a shred of hope but that was gone now.
My husband and I went home after the scan and cried, I was so sad for me and so sad for him. I'd never seen him cry before and I think that broke my heart more than it already was. Having to tell everyone who knew was dreadful, the sadness in their faces mirroring mine, I never want to see that again.
It took me quite some time to 'get over it', it was about 2 months before I could face work again. Working with pregnant mums and new babies after that kind of loss was too hard, it was still hard after those 2 months away but I had to go back and push through it.
As part of my grieving process I got a tattoo of a forget me not as a keepsake of the life that was lost. Honestly I don't think I'll every really be 100% over it, but I got over it enough to move on and try again.
We did have another child the following year, the whole pregnancy I was anxious though, as was my husband who started grinding his teeth in his sleep out of worry. I had a bleed during that pregnancy too, I thought it was happening again but I was lucky that time.
It's still hard to talk about this time in our lives, and a lot of people still don't know. It's not exactly a secret but it's not something you talk about either. It's unpleasant and sad and people avoid talking about the subject. I don't want to avoid talking about it anymore, I don't want other families to think that they should stay quiet about it either.
It's far more common than people realise and yes it's painful to discuss but it needs to be talked about, to be less taboo. Mums and Dads need to know they are not alone in this and that there is support out there for them.
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