Story of #miscourage by Christine,
As I sit here writing this I still cannot believe the events of the last two years and where I find myself today. I want this story to offer a glimmer of hope to others and to always, no matter what always carry a bit of hope.
I am an only child and it was very important to me to have children. My partner and I were engaged and I wanted to have children first before marriage as did not want to leave it any longer before trying.
It took 8 months to fall pregnant but I was elated. The line was faint but it was still a positive! All my friends had started having children and I felt so happy about being able to share this wonderful experience. A few days later I took the test again, still faint but there. I decided to take another test the next day and it was negative. My partner reassured me I just needed to relax and it could be a dud test. The next day I started to bleed and everything happened naturally. Although so bitterly disappointed and sad I knew how common it was and wasn’t overly concerned about my future prospects.
Not wanting to wait we began trying straight away and I got pregnant on my next cycle. I couldn’t believe my luck, the line on the test was so strong I felt certain that this time it was meant to be. A couple of weeks later I had some brown discharge, not overly concerned I rang my GP who referred me to the early pregnancy unit for a scan that day. I went along and was so happy to hear that I was definitely pregnant and even better there was a heartbeat! The nurse asked me if there were twins in the family as she thought she could see a split in the egg. This made me even more excited and that night I went home and told my parents who were elated. I was due to go back in two weeks for another scan but two days later out of nowhere I saw bright red blood when I went to the toilet. In a panic I rang the out of hours number who said it could be implantation bleeding and that they could not scan me for another week. The bleeding stopped that night but I felt sick with worry. The scan came and there was still a heartbeat but I had to go back again in two weeks as they could see something that wasn’t normal. All my family reassured me it would be fine as the bleeding had stopped but I had a nagging doubt all along. The scan confirmed my worst fears when the sonographer said ‘I’m sorry there’s been no change’ To this day I wish she had been clearer as I didn’t understand fully that my baby had died until they started talking about management options for the miscarriage.
I opted for medical management as it seemed less invasive and I was off work for a week. It didn’t work as expected so I had another medical management two weeks later. I was continuing to bleed for three weeks and a lovely fertility nurse scanned me at a routine appointment and found a large piece of tissue still inside me. I would have to have ab operation. I was devastated as I had a real phobia of GA and being put to sleep but there was no option. I was also due to go on a long planned family holiday abroad in two weeks so it was awful timing. The management of the miscarriage took a total of 7 weeks where I was constantly in pain or bleeding. I remember screaming at my Mum that I felt like the bleeding was never going to stop. It did eventually but the emotional trauma was so much worse.
I got pregnant again a few months later before Christmas and had an early scan which didn’t show much. Just a small fetal pole. At a scan two weeks later it was confirmed I had another missed miscarriage. I opted to have new operation where you stay awake and they numb your cervix. Although this was excruciatingly painful for me at the time, it was quick and over sighing 20 minutes. I felt so crushingly low at this time. I was now the 1 in 100 who suffer recurrent miscarriage. Everyone around me seemed to keep a pregnancy so easily it was devastating.
I was referred to Professor Quenby for the natural killer cells test by a very kind consultant. Before I even got the appointment I got pregnant again. Instead of excitement my partner and I just felt dread and anxiety. Although I was happy I was pregnant I was terrified of another miscarriage. I realised at that point I would never be able to enjoy pregnancy and felt robbed of this experience. An early scan confirmed that the baby was measuring a week behind what it should be. The Doctor was frank with me and said with my history it was very likely to be another unsuccessful pregnancy especially as I had a positive test on day 25 of my cycle but they would scan 10 days later to confirm. I spoke to my boss and advised her I would likely need time of for another operation and my Mum made arrangements to support me there. I have never felt so low in my life and had started with night terrors every night where I would wake up screaming. Looking back I think this was because I was so secret about my experience. I felt I had a dark secret that would make people very uncomfortable if I were to talk to them about it so it was the only outlet for my grief.
The morning of the scan I lay on the bed staring at the ceiling not daring to look at the screen. As it started my partner rubbed my arm in support in support no doubt because of what he saw on the screen. The rubbing turned to a quick tap and I heard the words ‘There’s a heartbeat’ I went from complete despair to elation, my baby had somehow caught up in size and had a sting heartbeat. More scans and we reached the massive 12 week mark, this was really happening....
Unfortunately the pregnancy didn’t go without issue and extra growth scans revealed my baby was dropping in percentiles. At my last growth scan they found I had low fluid and my baby had dropped percentiles again to the 10th when he had started at the 75th. The consultant made a decision to induce me three days later at 38 weeks. Those three days I was beside myself terrified my baby could die at any moment. The day finally cane and after a long labour and eventual C Section my little boy arrived. He was perfect, breathing and alert. He was tiny though and so thin. Thankfully he thrived after birth putting on weight rapidly and going up the growth graph.
I was never given any explanation for this and was told my placenta looked small but was healthy. I am so fearful for future pregnancies but I desperately want to find my little boy a sibling so am willing to go through the pain again.
I found the support of Tommy’s invaluable and would often ring the midwives for advice who were fantastic.
My experience of trying for children was traumatic and I hated being pregnant because of the crippling anxiety. I don’t regret anything though and believe it was worth the pain xx
Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer
By Ds (not verified) on 20 Jul 2018 - 07:33
I needed to read this today, thank you Christine. Best of luck for the future, for yourself and family xx
By LP (not verified) on 19 Jul 2018 - 10:55
Thank you for sharing your story, I’m going through something very similar myself now although at the early stage of pregnancy so still have huge anxiety so it’s nice to see a happy ending to keep me feeling positive. Good luck for the future x
By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Jul 2018 - 11:26
Hi LP, Thank you for your comment.
Hope all is going well in your pregnancy, if you would like additional support or advice then please contact us on email [email protected] and we will be very happy to help you in any way we can. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x