We had been trying to conceive for over a year when we got our positive test. My husband and I were thrilled, this was the day we had longed for. We made lists of names we liked and discussed decor for the nursery.
I wanted to shout our excitement to all the world, but we chose to tell immediate family and best friends for now instead.
I felt all the typical pregnancies symptoms, sickness, sore breasts, emotional, etc.
We booked a private scan 3 days after the death of a family member whom I was very close to, it was something to look forward to, and the scan at our hospital wasn't for almost another 3 weeks.
On that day I was 12 weeks exactly. My husband & I excitedly walked into the scan room, I laid on the bed, squirmed at the cold jelly.
I grabbed my husband's hand in delight, this is the moment we had been waiting for! A few seconds later our baby appeared on the screen, but the lady didn't say anything, she just frowned. She prodded and poked with the ultrasound for a few more minutes and my heart began to sink.
I just knew what was coming.
"I'm really sorry... your baby stopped growing at 8 weeks 4 days and there's no heartbeat. I'll leave you alone for a few minutes to take this in and then we will discuss what happens next". She explained how it had been a silent miscarriage and that we'd need to go to the early pregnancy unit to discuss our options.
What options? In my head my only option was to have my baby in 6 months time, bring them home, introduce them to the family. I didn't want any other option.
We didn't really know what to do with ourselves for the rest of that day, the hospital couldn't see us until the next day. We went to my father in law's house and told him. All three of us stood there in the study, hugged and cried for a good five minutes.
Telling everyone who knew was horrendous. How could I tell my dad he wouldn't be meeting his first grandchild in October anymore?
The rest of the day was a blur, until the evening, when we received a message from my best friend saying she had given birth to her first baby. I resented her so much for being able to have a baby. Why couldn't I? How dare she have him on the day I lost my baby.
The nurse at the hospital the next day was lovely, we decided to have the tablet to assist everything along, which I had a few days later. It was the most degrading, painful and traumatic experience I've ever had.
12 hours went by and I'd had nothing but pain. No sign of my baby.
I had to stay in hospital that night as I had become unwell during the day, my blood pressure was high, I'd been vomiting, and experienced excruciating pain. I was distraught as this was the day before my family member's funeral.
At 11pm my husband went home, he had patiently sat by side since arriving and at the hospital at 9am, having been at work late the night before he was exhausted. "Try and get some sleep" the nurse said.
I woke up at half past midnight and went onto the commode in my room. I heard a thud. I knew it had happened. Filled with an even mix of curiosity and fear, I stood up and looked into the bowl. There laid my tiny little angel, in the pregnancy sac.
A wave of relief passed over me that the ordeal was over; but then reality hit me. I'd had my baby. I wouldn't be taking this beautiful little person home. I would never hear this baby cry, never get to tickle their toes as I changed their nappy. No first word, no first steps, no first day at school.
10 weeks later we found out we were pregnant again. I couldn't decide if I was excited or terrified; probably both.
We didn't tell anyone this time, the less people that knew the less anyone could speak about it. I wasn't going to allow myself to become attached too early again. This way we could just carry on and pretend this wasn't happening until we knew everything was ok.
The symptoms were so much worse this time, vomiting more and more.
I experienced a bit of pain around 7 weeks, so my GP sent me for a scan to check everything was ok. I sat waiting patiently, with an ongoing battle in my mind convincing myself it was bad news against statistically everything being fine this time.
I was called in, and much to my surprise, I saw the heart beating before the lady even said it. "Phew!" I thought!
I instantly felt so much more pregnant, and as the 12 week scan drew closer, I couldn't help but feel excited. I'd seen my precious baby's heartbeat once already.
On the day of our 12 week scan, I hopped on the bed, convinced our baby would be so much bigger and developing accordingly. I stared at the space in my tiny baby's chest where I'd seen that tiny little heart beating, gripping my husbands hand excited to show him.
I stared really hard, but I couldn't see it.
I asked the lady and she had that same look as the first lady, and once again we heard those devastating words "there's no heartbeat". She's wrong, I've seen it myself I defiantly thought. She tried an internal scan just to make sure and again I heard that sentence.
I've never felt so angry. Why is she telling me this? Why is this happening to me, again?!
Off we went to the hospital, familiar with this process. After being scarred for life from the trauma of the tablets, I opted for the general anaesthetic. My fear of being put to sleep was significantly less than the fear of going through that again.
The surgical experience was easier to cope with this time, and the recovery was much quicker too. I could mentally prepare myself, I knew I would go in that operating theatre with my baby and leave without. Mentally giving myself that time frame somehow helped me cope that day. My husband was there, along with my best friend. It was an emotional day.
We told our families what had happened, and insisted we didn't want to talk about it. I'd spent the majority of this year talking about my first baby's loss. I wasn't having those conversations again.
I didn't want to hear "at least it happened early", "it wasnt a real baby yet" or "well at least you know you can get pregnant"... all said with good intentions but of no help whatsoever.
I didn't care, nothing would give me either of my babies back. Nothing anyone said made me feel better. I felt angry when I saw someone pregnant, why could they do it and I couldn't?
I noticed every little baby related thing, adverts on the radio, offers in the supermarket on baby products. My awareness for all things baby related reached a new high, regardless of where I went or what I was doing.
We've just passed the due date of our first baby which was really tough. We marked the occasion by lighting a candle. Some family members had forgotten, others sent kind messages saying they were thinking of us. All my emotions of this year came flooding back to me, and I couldn't stop crying.
I should of become a mummy this month.
My husband and I have decided to have a time out from trying to conceive. I can't face the thought of experiencing this again right now. I've spent the majority of this year feeling more sad than I ever could imagine, and after months of counselling and a much needed holiday with my husband, some real quality time together, I am finally starting to feel like the old me again.
I want to enjoy that feeling a little while longer before another pregnancy, and potentially another miscarriage.
My husband has been wonderful through all of this despite sharing the grief. Even though this has been our hardest year together, it has strengthened our relationship and made us grateful for all the things we do have, but most importantly, each other.
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