by Janae Platt
I'm gonna spill my feelings about miscarriage. I feel like its going to help with my healing process.
On Friday 26th Feb Grug and I were so excited with the anticipation of seeing our baby's supposed 13 week old face on the screen. We couldn't wait to know that everything was OK and to be able to share the amazing news with the rest of the world.
I had been nervous for the last month or so as it had been over 6 weeks since the very first dating scan which showed there definitely was a little baby blob in there - waiting for the next scan was torturous. "Trust in your body and everything will be fine" was the main advice from friends. I had most of the symptoms still - exhaustion, mild nausea, and my favourite - pregnancy break outs.
On that Friday morning when the technician rubbed that goo on my belly I was grasping Greg's hand in anticipation - this was the make or break moment but I was more leaning towards the "make" after countless people told me how amazing it was to see your real baby for the first time on the screen. Emotional it was. We couldn't see anything - it was an empty sac. She went searching in other places, I was praying that my baby did a runner and was maybe somewhere else - up in my ovaries possibly? I feel so bad for the poor techs to have to tell this news to people all the time. The words will never be lost from my memory "OK, we have a bit of bad news I'm afraid, there doesn't seem to be any baby". In my mind - what do you mean no baby? Was I never pregnant? How could this happen? Turns out baby must have passed soon after my six week scan, and when they pass that early they kind of shrivel back up into nothingness. However my good old body still thought I was pregnant.
Nothing could prepare us for this news. I was in shock, smiled and thanked the radiologist and the tech, and said "Its OK, thanks very much, these things happen".
Then began one of the most torturous times of my life. A doctor's appointment straight away, who referred us to the Emergency Department at the hospital. Turns out I have experienced a "missed miscarriage", where there is "foetal demise" but "the body doesn't recognise this and is still producing all the pregnancy hormones as if you are still pregnant". Sitting in ED for 4 hours waiting to be seen, with other people physically hurt also waiting, me wondering "Why am I here? I'm not in any pain" and then moving to grief and crying at the sound of the poor sick babies' painful cries as they also waited to be seen. Me knowing that in 6 months time we WON'T be hearing that sound from our own. Deleting all the calendar updates I had so excitedly put in my phone - how many weeks old baby will be at this date, and the worst, the baby's due date.
Finally at 5pm we were admitted in to be seen, only to be sent home at 6pm to wait until Monday to come back and have the D&C procedure (Google it if you don't know what that entails).
This last weekend was spent moving from extreme grief to numbness. Why us? Why me? I have to tell everyone who knows, what are they going to think of me? How stupid am I for thinking I was pregnant for possibly the last 5 weeks and there was nothing but an empty sac in there? Am I a fraud? How could my body not know that there was no life in there?
To know that our baby had died, and to wait two more excrutiating days being "pregnant" was honestly the worst. Finally on Monday we checked in to the hospital "day procedures" unit to have the procedure to end our limbo. I had fasted since 8pm on Sunday night, and was totally ready for this surgery albeit terrified. Unfortunately they wouldn't let Greg in to the unit to wait with me so we said our goodbyes and I waited in my cute little hospital gown in my cute little cubicle for the life (or non life) to be taken away from me. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. The time ticking past 3:30pm when I was initially scheduled in. Me mentally preparing myself for this only to find out my surgery has been pushed back, and then pushed back again. Understandably emergency c-sections bringing life into the world take priority over D&Cs taking the death from my body. That doesn't make it any easier though. Waiting, more grief, more loneliness, why can't my husband be here with me?
At 6pm the nurse came in (and may I add, all the nurses and doctors I had contact with were amazing, they cried with me, they knew there was nothing they could say to ease the pain, "was it my first?" with that look of pity but GOOD pity that empathised with how I must be feeling) anyway the nurse came in and told me that I'd been bumped again and surgery won't happen until late at night. They needed to move me to another ward to wait and now I will be staying overnight. Thank god Greg was allowed to come back and wait with me in this new ward. The the nurse looked uncomfortable, and proceeded to tell me "Unfortunately the only bed is on the Maternity ward". 'Oh my god are you for real?' (I say in my head),, 'No problems, I understand' (I say for real).
More waiting, more hunger, extreme thirst, I hadn't eaten or drunk anything for over 24 hours. Finally late at night they came and got me, I say my second goodbye to Greg for the day, and they wheel me down to theatre, me silently crying at what is about to happen. Again, the nurses and doctors were amazing, held my hand, looks of sympathy, saying things to make me laugh. Surgery was the probably the best part of the whole experience, nothing like General Anaesthetic to make you forget how much pain you're heart is feeling.
The following night was the hardest night. I couldn't sleep, listening to newborn babies cry and imagining the new mums getting frustrated at no sleep, whilst I wished it could be me and no, I will never take no sleep for granted if only I could have my baby back. I asked for a sleeping pill at 12am, only to get it an hour later. I woke at 3am listening to babies cry. I couldn't deal with it, I wanted to go home. They granted my wish and Greg picked me up not long after.
Now what? I felt closure after the procedure and could try and start the healing process. I knew the next few days/weeks were going to be tough, I had had my pregnancy hormones ripped from me, I'm going to be a little bit crazy (sorry Greg). But we have lost people before, we both know life goes on and we will grieve and we will never forget but things will get better eventually.
So apparently I am one of the 1 in 4. It's that normal. But if it's that normal, why haven't I heard more about it?
I understand it's a super personal issue but I'm definitely one for over-sharing and want everyone to know our story so it can "normalise" it a little and hopefully help someone else that may find themselves in this position. You are not alone. It's not easy. The pain is immeasurable. But it will get better eventually. We wouldn't be able to get through this without our amazing friends and family who have shown us so much support, and we thank you all for this. What would we do without you? Even though we don't feel it so much right now, I know we are very blessed to have you all.
One of our very good friends wrote me the perfect message the other day, and it really helped put things in perspective. He is a lover of analogies and this one didn't disappoint. "Only the lucky ones stand up on a surfboard the first time out there". What a legend and how true this is. It wasn't our time, but practise makes perfect (lol) and once we get through one of life's little curve balls it loves to throw at us, hopefully one day we will be blessed again. If you are still reading this, you are a trooper! I needed to get this all off my chest. And I hope it encourages others to know that this is a normal thing.
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