#misCOURAGE story, 05/07/2017, by Chloe
I'm telling my story because it feels like such a taboo subject to talk about. Everyone announces when they are expecting but not enough people openly talk about the babies they have lost.
On the 23rd June I should have been having my 12 week scan and announcing to the world we are expecting our second baby. I should be 12 weeks 5 days today and instead I'm sat researching how long it will take to get a negative pregnancy test, that's the final part of this whole process for me.
I feel as though I can't move on until that happens, it's just hanging over me.
Here's my story...I first when to hospital at around 4 weeks pregnant with pain in my right side/ovary. The out of hours Dr sent me there with suspected ectopic or appendicitis. I arrived at 9:30pm and didn't leave until 3am. It took me until early hours of the morning to get seen my the Dr. I had a blood test and after sitting in the waiting room for hours I was finally taken and given a drip with paracetamol as the pain was getting increasingly worse. The gynaecologist came to see me to do an internal examination, he told me that my cervix looked normal and closed and that it looked like I had thrush. I didn't have thrush, I've had thrush a million times and I know exactly what this feels like. I didn't have a single symptom of thrush and he couldn't explain why I had such severe pain in one side. He initially told me they couldn't do a scan until 10 weeks and then when he came back later he told me 8 weeks- both of which I knew were untrue as I had an early scan with my daughter at 6 weeks.
At this point I was exhausted and desperate to get home so I just asked to leave.
He told me my bloods were normal and I could leave. The pain eased and I felt fine for a further two weeks. At around 6 weeks I had the same pain in my side and when I got up in the morning I noticed a small amount of blood. I was terrified. I called my local EPU and explained what had happened 2 weeks earlier and that morning. The nurse couldn't understand why I hadn't been referred to them for an early scan, she booked me in for a scan at 10am that day. I went there nervous but expecting everything to be fine. I wasn't prepared for what they would tell me.
The could see everything was there including the baby but they couldn't find a hear beat. I was just over 6 weeks but the sonographer said it looked more like a 5 week pregnancy and tried to reassure me that everything could be okay and it's more than likely too early to see the heartbeat. The nurse gave me a leaflet, booked me in for 2 weeks time and sent me on my way. I felt very alone with it at that point, I wasn't given much information or even told why the baby would measure behind. They seemed to think my dates were out which I tried to tell them was impossible because I know the day I ovulated, we were trying for a baby so I used ovulation tests and a basal body thermometer. I also tested just 8 days after I ovulated and got the faintest of faint lines but a clear positive 9 days after ovulating. I spent the next week researching as much as I could to try and make sense of it all. I remained positive and put it down to just being too early. I was sure we would see our baby's hearbeat at the next scan. I didn't have any further pain and I only had the tiniest spot of blood in between my first and second scan. We arrived for our second scan and we had a trainee sonographer, he needed to get the opinion of his colleague.
I knew it was bad news, I couldn't see the flicker like I did with my daughter.
I should have been 8 weeks at that point. He told me my baby was there but it wasn't good news, there was no heartbeat and no growth. He said he wanted to get a second opinion so the nurse went off to find a consultant but she couldn't find her. I was devastated, I couldn't get my head around it. I broke down on the bed and all I could think was but I've felt fine. I've still had sore boobs, bloating and generally feeling pregnant. We were then taken into a room and left there to wait for a nurse. She finally came in and the first thing she said was 'well I was going to say there had been some growth but they couldn't find the baby.' immediately I told her that wasn't true as the sonographer had shown me the baby, I told her he was going to get a second opinion and that I wanted a second opinion.
She told me that it wouldn't be that day and I would have to come back. I felt like just another patient, I had been told my baby was there and she was telling me it wasn't!
I couldn't' understand what was going on, I held onto a tiny bit of hope that they had got this all wrong.
She went off to find the sonographer to clear the confusion up but he was with another patient so she found the consultant instead. She agreed to scan me again straight away because my notes were confusing. When they scanned me she did find the baby and there had been growth! That isn't what the sonographer told me and it wasn't what was on my notes. She told me that it didn't look like an 8 week pregnancy, there was no heartbeat and there hadn't been enough growth for 2 weeks but they had to leave it for another week and re-scan me because the baby was still measuring under 5mm. The nurse wouldn't book me in until the following Thursday as she didn't want me to be seen my the first sonographer I had due to all the confusion.
I got dressed and the nurse handed me another leaflet and sent me on my way, as we were on our way out the door I asked the nurse if it was likely to be a missed miscarriage and she agreed.
Nothing had been explained to me, I hadn't been told what would happen next or what was really happening now I had to make a guess and ask the nurse myself. I felt so let down by the care I had received. I went home devastated, I didn't know what to do with myself or who to talk to or even who I could talk to. I slept for the rest for the rest of the day and when I wasn't sleeping I was crying. I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it did but I felt such a great loss, it was overwhelming. My partner tried so hard to be there for me but nothing he could say would make it any better. I then spent the next few days researching missed miscarriage, support, stories and what would happen next. I couldn't face going back to work so I took the time off whilst I waited for my next scan the following Thursday.
I spent most of my days crying and sitting around the house. My symptoms started to disappear and I just knew it was over. I prayed that it would happen naturally and that my body would realise I was no longer pregnant but it didn't happen. I felt dread at the thought of having to do it all again on Thursday, going through the pain of being told that my baby had definitely died. I still held onto a tiny bit of hope that they had made a huge mistake. I felt so foolish. As I expected we had the scan on the Thursday and they confirmed the baby had died at around 5-6 weeks. I was almost 10 weeks. It felt so cruel, I felt let down by my own body.
I started to trace back everything I had done in those weeks to figure out what it could have been. Was I too stressed, did I eat the wrong thing, Did I do the wrong exercise. I needed to be able to put the blame somewhere and on myself.
The nurse asked me if I had thought about what I wanted to do and after researching options I already knew I wanted medical management. That week had been the hardest of my life knowing I was still carrying my dead baby. I couldn't wait for it to happen naturally I just wanted closure. They explained what would happen, this was the first time anything had been explained to me the whole time! They have me my first tablet orally and told me it would block my HCG. I had to return the following morning for the pessaries. Nothing happened that night which was as to be expected. We arrived in the morning and the procedure was done.
I was sent home to wait for it to happen. Straight away the cramps started. It was 5 hours later until anything happened though. The pain was incredible, I tried to knock myself outwith codeine after I had passed most of the clots. I couldn't look and felt cruel flushing my baby down the toilet but I didn't know what else do to. I felt like I couldn't deal with it. That weekend was awful, I shut myself off from my daughter, partner and friends. I spent most of the weekend alone and crying, I didn't know how to pull myself together. I was upset with myself for feeling the way I did. I was still in so much pain, taking codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen frequently. On the Monday I tried to go back to work, I had 2 weeks off already and although I knew I wasn't ready I was worried about pay, the last thing I should be thinking about. Luckily they were incredibly understanding and told me to take more time. That day the pain became increasingly worse, It felt like contractions, they were so sharp I would cry out. I called and spoke to the nurse and explained and she asked me to come in for a scan.
When I arrived at hospital I was in agony. The Dr checked me out and did an internal. She said she couldn't see anything blocking my cervix and that I would need to wait 2 weeks to do a pregnancy test and if that were positive then I would have to come back. I couldn't believe she was going to send me on my way when I was in so much pain, I knew something wasn't right. I told her again I was in agony and the nurse asked to speak to her outside. She then came back and told me to come in the morning for a scan! Even though I thought I was going in for a scan in the first place! Tuesday morning I returned and the scan showed the lining of my womb was still very thick and there was still some of the pregnancy tissue left over which was why I was in so much pain. My uterus was contracting trying to push the remains out. The nurse saw me and offered to give me more pessaries because of the amount of pain I was experiencing. Once again I was sent home to wait for it to happen. The pain got severe quite quickly, by the time I got home I was doubled over. The only place I felt comfortable was sitting on the toilet.
The pain became excruciating, I was screaming out in pain. I tried to hold on for as long as I could but it became too unbearable. After 30 minuets I called an ambulance. Within 5 minuets the pain started to decrease and I could manage so I had to call and cancel the ambulance, I felt ridiculous but at the time I didn't know what else to do. It was far worse than the first time. I had a lot of bleeding but no clots. The bleeding slowed and again I knocked myself out with codeine. Instantly the pain eased, I hardly had any which was the first time since the Friday. The day I passed two very large clots. My bleeding then settled and turned to brown. I finally started to feel better physically. My pregnancy test is still a strong positive, almost 2 weeks after the first dose. It will be 2 weeks next Tuesday that I officially need to test again and report back to the hospital. I still feel as though the ordeal isn't over. It feels like so much has gone wrong already that it's likely something else will go wrong. I am dealing with what's happened and each day is different. I have good days and I have bad days.
We so desperately wanted this baby and we both feel a great loss for the baby we will never get to meet. My heart hurts when I think about our baby, over time I know it will get easier and we hope to have a healthy baby in the not too distant future.
I feel there was a great lack of support throughout this whole process, my partner and I have had to deal with this alone with little information from healthcare professionals. I hope by speaking out about my experience it will help others in a similar situation and reassure them that they are not alone. It shouldn't feel wrong to speak out, we should be able to openly talk about our experiences and lean on each other for support.
Even if my story helps just one person that's still something good to come out of this. Just remember;
You're never alone.
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