My baby was due on Sunday. I lost it at around 11 weeks just before our first scan, but discovered it had died at about six weeks. We had told our families, and was days away from announcing our wonderful news to the world. Plus we had started making plans for maternity leave, thinking about how to manage things at work, childcare, and all that stuff. The plans that will never be were some of the most difficult things to swallow in the following months.
It's not that I expected to lose it, but somewhere deep down I think I wondered if something wasn't quite right.
It felt different that with my first pregnancy; the nausea soon settled down, I wasn't as tired, and I'd had some abdominal aches that my midwife dismissed, etc. But I was steadily expanding round the middle and hadn't had any significant problems/signs. My mum had lost her second though, and I follow after her in so many ways...
At around 11 weeks I started lose a barely detectable amount of blood. After 2 days of rest I called the midwife and was advised to pop to A&E (it was weekend) to get checked, but to be honest they couldn't really do anything, so it felt like a bit of a wasted journey. Then the bleeding cranked up so I went for an early scan. By this point I kind of suspected where things are going, but was still devastated when I was told there was no heartbeat.
I lost the baby that night at home, with my husband holding me tight.
It was a grief like I've never experienced, like I'd lost a piece of me. A primal deep sorrow that completely took me by surprise. I think it's one of those things you can't really explain/comprehend until you actually go through it yourself, I certainly didn't anticipate such strong feelings.
I work in healthcare and have studied biology/health for years, and yet I still hadn't got a clue what to expect (other than googling it when it was all happening), or that I would go through a mini labour. Not knowing what was happening to me made it worse for me. And this is all because we don't talk about it!
But there were some things that I did that really helped me, and I wanted to share them in the hope that it might help others just a little bit.
1) I told people.
After wrangling for a couple of days and discussing it with my husband/family I finally posted a status update on Facebook; not for sympathy but in an attempt to try and break the silence of what seems to still be a taboo subject. In doing so several friends contacted with me to share their experiences which I would've otherwise known nothing about. Knowing I was not alone, and their understanding of my grief, really helped me, as it did feel incredibly isolating. Also since then, other people have contacted me when it's sadly happened to them, and this reaching out to others has also helped me no end in processing my own experience.
2) I bought something to remember it by.
For me this was a soft toy, something I could cuddle when the tears flowed. Having this point of focus was important for me as it filled a void. I'm not usually into teddies, but this one still sleeps next to me every night. But it's not shrine, when my little girl plays with it it makes me smile.
3) As I lost it at home, it gave me the opportunity to bury it in our garden.
We placed it under a poppy plant, so the plant could protect it, and equally it could help the plant grow. My three-year-old daughter is called Poppy, and the plant was given to us for her christening (that makes me fill up every time I say it)
I never imagined before going through this how deeply I would feel for something/someone I had never met. I feel I was given good physical care, but for me, the emotional side of things were largely uncatered for from a healthcare perspective. And it was ultimately social media that allowed me to reach out to charities and friends who had experienced miscarriage that helped me get through this difficult time.
I hope this gives you the strength to share your stories, and to help break the silence.
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