I found out that I was expecting our second baby on Christmas Eve 2014. We were over the moon as we wanted our little girl to have a brother or sister without there being a big age gap.
We were very excited and told our close friends and immediate family straight away. It was the best Christmas present we could ask for! All our friends and family were equally excited for us.
We had no reason to feel that this pregnancy would be any different from our first, with my little girl being 7 months old, we thought nothing of telling our family and friends straight away, rather than waiting for the 3 month scan.
We just assumed everything would be OK.
I started having morning sickness quite early on, which was more severe than I had experienced with my little girl. I went away for a family break to the Lake District when I was 8 weeks pregnant, with my baby girl, mum, dad and sisters.
While I was there the morning sickness subsided. I didn’t think anything of it, I was actually pleased I wasn’t feeling so nauseous all the time and was able to enjoy time with my family without feeling poorly. Thinking back, it would have been during this time that my little baby’s heart would have stopped beating, but I was totally unaware.
A couple of weeks later I chased up my 12 week scan, which hadn’t come through yet. I was given a date which meant I would be 13 weeks pregnant at the time of the scan. The day arrived, and although I was feeling naturally nervous, I was more excited to be able to see my baby for the first time.
We got called into the room, I lay down on the bed and the scan began.
It didn’t take me long to realise that something was not right, but I couldn’t bring myself to even ask what was wrong.
My partner held my hand and squeezed it, and gave me a reassuring smile. The sonographer starting to push the Doppler harder into my pelvis area, to a point it was hurting. Her serious and concerned expression on her face gave it away even more.
She turned to us and said the words I’ll never forget, ‘I’m sorry, there is something wrong with the baby…I can’t find a heartbeat.’ Words completely failed me.
I tried to take it in, but all that came from my mouth was a screaming cry. My partner wrapped his arms around me and the sonographer continued, ‘I’ll get a colleague to come and look, it’s not because I’m not sure, I just need to have someone else confirm it.’
I remember saying to my partner, ‘This is a nightmare, this can’t be real.’ I remember thinking, 'What have I done wrong?, This must be my fault!, How can our baby not be alive?'
Returning to the room another sonographer tried to find our baby’s heartbeat but confirmed that the nightmare was real; our baby measured 8 weeks and 2 days.
According to my dates, our baby’s heartbeat had stopped beating 5 weeks before and I had not known.
I felt my body had failed us, and our baby. How didn’t I know my baby had died?
The sonographer asked me, ‘Have you not had any signs, any bleeding or cramps?’ ‘No’, I said, ‘Nothing.’ I didn’t want to talk, I even felt like her questions were accusing me of ignoring signs that should have alerted me to the fact my baby was no longer alive. I just wanted to run.
We were taken to a private room and a midwife talked us quickly through our three options following a ‘missed miscarriage’ a term I had never heard before.
I thought that there was only one type of miscarriage, when a woman experiences cramps and bleeding and loses her baby. Why did my body not know?! We were given 20 minutes to decide. I decided I wanted to have the medication to induce my body into passing our baby.
The midwife said, ‘OK, I’ll get the doctor to prescribe and administer the medication.’ And with that, she left the room. While she was gone I starting to think about whether I would be able to cope with having the medication, the pains and with all the confusion, I decided I wanted to go home and let my body miscarriage naturally. Once the midwife returned I told her of my decision, she said, ‘I think that is the best option’ and we were sent on our way.
Once home I felt heartbroken. I couldn’t continue waiting each day for my body to naturally miscarry, not knowing when this would be. It had already been weeks since our baby’s heart was last beating.
So many questions were going around in my head, I just didn’t understand.
I phoned up the hospital and told them of my decision to have the evacuation procedure. A day surgery appointment was made for the following day, but I needed to return to the hospital to have a pre-operative assessment. On arriving back at the hospital a few hours later the midwife we had seen earlier said flippantly and with a laugh, ‘So, is your definite final decision now?’
It struck me hard her lack of empathy, in a situation where I felt my world was being turned upside down. Our baby had died, and she is joking about my struggle to come to a decision about how to abort our baby?!
The following day whilst waiting for the evacuation surgery, I still hadn’t come to terms with the fact that soon I would not have my baby with my any more. Waking up following the evacuation procedure, I felt empty. Our baby was gone.
In the following weeks we tried our best we to get back into our daily routines, and concentrated on our beautiful little girl. Then a letter came, telling me that the ‘product of conception’, which had been removed during surgery had been examined and that I needed to attend the hospital to discuss the findings with a consultant.
We were told that the pregnancy looked like a partial molar pregnancy, and would need to be referred to Sheffield Hospital for further examination.
In the mean time I needed to be monitored regularly to check that all the remnants from the pregnancy had been removed, as complications can arise with molar pregnancies otherwise. I was shocked, as again, a molar pregnancy was something I had not heard of before, but it also gave me a strange relief as I felt it provided a reason, an explanation as to why our baby did not survive.
After two months of monitoring the results finally returned. I received a phone call from a woman stating that ‘it was not a molar pregnancy’ and ‘was just a miscarriage.’
The words hurt, how can she say ‘just a miscarriage’?! It was our baby.
Following the miscarriage, I went through a stage of longing to have another baby, I felt empty and my thoughts each day were filled with wanting to be pregnant again.
Although this has become less with time, I still think about the baby we lost every single day. I marked our baby's date by buying a teddy bear and a candle to keep lit throughout the day. I light my baby’s candle on the difficult days when I’m thinking of them.
I have found it difficult to talk to friends and family about my miscarriage. I tended to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself about losing our baby. This included my partner, although he was upset too, he believes that it affected us both in different ways, as I was the one carrying our baby.
I was also worried about upsetting my mum, who although I turn to her to talk about various issues in my life, this particular issue I felt would cause her upset, so I did not want to go into depth about how I was feeling with her.
In regards to my friends, some supported me the best they could, telling me they were there if I needed them. However, not wanting to put them in an awkward position I thought it would be best to keep it to myself.
I did lose my closest friend, due to me feeling that she lacked all empathy towards us for losing our baby. She would make insensitive comments on social media sites status’ such as, ‘With the pregnant ones!’ a week following my miscarriage. Her lack of empathy still upsets me.
Miscarriage is shrouded in a lack of understanding. This makes it an awkward conversation for both the person who has lost the baby and the people receiving that news. I felt that I could not talk about my miscarriage as people did not understand how the event significantly affected me.
It is something I continue to live with and think about daily.
I will never forget or stop loving our angel baby, and will make sure our little girl knows that she has a little angel brother or sister who watches over us all.
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