Story by Anonymous,
The only thing I've ever wanted is to have a baby.
While on our honeymoon we decided that we should wait a few months before trying to get pregnant, we'd had a crazy time leading up to the wedding and just needed some time to relax. We had also spent A LOT and I wanted to ensure we boosted our savings before trying.
As usual, my impetuousness got the better of me and I simply could not wait any longer to try for a baby. I had convinced myself that we probably couldn't conceive due to being described by my doctor as slightly poly-cystic.
So I downloaded an app which would track my cycles and show me when I was ovulating. A couple of months later we found out that I was pregnant! We couldn't believe our eyes that the digital test was reading 'pregnant 1-2 weeks'! I immediately called the doctor and got an appointment. After an exciting first midwife appointment we waited for our 12 week scan to come along.
I am a massive worrier and the waiting for the scan was awful, I kept fearing that the worst would happen. I just wanted to see my baby and know that everything was ok. Also, keeping this a secret was so difficult! Where did this culture of not telling anyone before 12 weeks come from?
The scan was early in the morning so when I left work the day before I knew the next thing would be the scan. I was so excited but mainly nervous. We got to the hospital and paid for our scan photos, I was imagining the Facebook post I would write and how I was going to tell everyone. Couple after couple went in and it felt like ages before we were called.
We went into the room and I laid on the bed and looked at the screen above me. The sonographer started to scan and I instantly started to panic, I couldn't see anything on the screen. He then said to me 'your bladder is in the way, just pop to the loo for me.' This was a relief, the baby was hiding behind my bladder! I came back into the room, laid down and watched the screen again. What I then saw on the screen, confirmed my deepest fears. The baby didn't look how it should, it was small and not like all those other pictures you see over social media. He then said to me 'I'm going to have to do an internal scan to get a closer look, how many weeks do you think you are?' I knew this was bad news but part of me still clung onto hope, that everything would be fine, the baby was just small. The scan started and they found another baby in there - I was having twins! They seemed to scan me for ages but once they stopped they turned to us and said the most heart breaking words 'I'm really sorry but we couldn't find a heartbeat, I'll give you both some time.' I don't think I processed this immediately I was in a room with a stranger and I'm not a public crier. I got dressed behind the curtain and began sobbing, I had some tissues handed to me. We left the room and had to walk past the remaining couples waiting to see their beautiful babies, I could feel their eyes on me.
They took us to a quiet room where they said the doctor would come in and see us. We both sobbed and exclaimed that it wasn't fair. I couldn't help imagining holding those little babies in my arms and giving them the biggest cuddle. Our dreams came crashing down around us in the matter of minutes. It's amazing how a day can turn out so differently to how you imagined it. Instead of showing off our baby we were sat in a quiet room discussing with a doctor which procedure I would like to go ahead with.
I long to be one of those couples that came out of the sonographer's room with their photos. I long to plan my nursery and buy too many baby clothes. I long for my belly to grow as my baby gets bigger and stronger.
All I had at that moment was trying to choose the best way for my babies to leave my body and the overwhelming feeling of guilt and inadequacy. My body had let me down and I felt that I had let my husband down.
We chose to go ahead with medical management as I thought a more natural way would be better for us all, I have written a diary like entry of exactly what that was like below:
I've started the story from the day I went back into hospital to have the MVA procedure.
**I have included all details - even some that people may find too much**
On the day of the 12 week scan we decided with the doctor that an MVA (Manual Vacuum Aspiration) was the best option for me. I got to the hospital early the next day and was taken to the ward. The doctor tried to take my blood but couldn't from either arm so she left and said she would come back later. A nurse then came in with a clear plastic tray and explained to me that in the tray was a tampon with 2 misoprostol tucked in the top of the applicator. I went into the bathroom thinking it would be easy as I have used tampons before. However it was very difficult as the applicator was cardboard and I couldn't get the tampon to come out correctly inside me. I came out of the bathroom and told the nurse what had happened, they said to take it out and they would have a look inside me to see if the one tablet was in the correct place. So I was inspected by the doctor and the nurse (like when you have a smear) and they couldn't locate the tablet but assumed it was in there. I then said is it too late to change to the medical management option? They said I could change if I wanted too but we will give you some time to think. As soon as they left the room I burst into tears and just wanted to go home. I was emotionally drained and fed up of being pulled around, my body didn't feel like my own any more. We decided to have the medical management as I had had enough of being pulled around and inspected and the MVA would be very intrusive.
The doctor then put tablets into my vagina (so a total of 5 including the one from earlier) and I was instructed to lay for an hour before I came home. After 30 minutes I felt this gush and the bleeding had started already. Although at this point I wasn't in any pain. We went home after an hour and started to watch TV. A couple of hours later the pain started. I have never been in so much pain in all my life. Although I have never had a baby, it felt like contractions. I laid down and waited for it to kick in. The pain eased slightly for half an hour and then started again. After 40 mins of severe pain I felt another gush and the pain disappeared. I raced to the loo where I put on another pad. After this point I was filling pads quite quickly. We went to bed and an hour and half later I woke up and felt that blood had soaked through to my pyjama bottoms. I changed pad again and set an alarm to wake me up in an hour and a half so I could monitor the bleeding. The alarm went off and the pad was full, I sat in the toilet and passed something that felt like the size of a golf ball. I couldn't see what it was as it went straight into the loo and the water was clouded from blood. I then changed and went back to bed. Got up again about 2 hours later and passed another smaller golf ball like clot, again I couldn't see what this was. I can only assume it was the sac or placenta. I went to bed again and slept for a few more hours.
The bleeding had eased a lot but I was very exhausted and felt like I couldn't walk round the house or go upstairs without feeling like I needed to sit down. By the evening I was better and I was able to go out for dinner with family.
The bleeding is still the same as yesterday and not much pain at all. I can walk around a lot more and I managed to get some jobs done around the house, even walked to the shop down the road. In the evening I was still able to go out and enjoy family time.
Bleeding still there but not using as many pads. We decided to go on a walk which included a big walk up a hill. Looking back I know I shouldn't of done this as it was too much for my body too soon. On the way back I started to get a pain on my lower right hand side and started to get cramps again. We made it back home where I sat down to rest. However the pain was intense again, not as bad as day one but enough that I needed more co-codamol. It lasted for a few hours and I passed more clots, at a faster rate that I had been the past couple of days. I also had a shooting pain in my lower left side which made me feel like i couldn't move or walk - I had to sit down immediately and when I sat down the pain eased. I slept all the way through with no need to change pad which I took as a good sign.
I woke up at 6am and decided to change pad, I went back to bed but couldn't seem to get warm again. I was also very tearful as there was still some pain. Hubby got me up and made me a cup of tea and I took some Co-Codamol again. After an hour I started to feel better. I continued to take Ibuprofen for the rest of the day when I started to feel cold and achy again (achy arms and legs). We went to bed that night and I took some ibuprofen to help me sleep.
I slept through the night till 7am when hubby had to go to work. I felt tender still but could walk around a bit more than the day before. I didn't feel any pain so I didn't take any pain relief. After a couple of hours being awake the pain began again. I took some Ibuprofen and layed on the bed to wait for it to take effect. After it had taken effect I felt stronger and could walk about more than in the morning but not for long amounts of time. Before going to bed the pain started again and I needed pain relief to sleep.
Had a good nights sleep and woke up feeling the best I've felt. It wasn't until midday I got the same pain/cramping feeling I had the day before so I took my ibuprofen and layed down to wait for it to take effect. After a couple of hours I felt much better.
I woke up again feeling better than yesterday. The flow was much lighter and was showing signs of stopping. around 1/2pm the familiar cramping started and I passed another clot. But my general physical health and exhaustion is the best it has been. I tried to go back into work but I wasn't emotionally ready and so had to get signed off from work.
Woke up with lots of energy and was able to do more around the house than before. I went out for coffee and cake with my mother in law which included a small walk and a trip to the park with my niece. When Hubby came home from work we decided to go to Sainsbury's to pick up a few bits. After we had nearly got everything I was in pain and limping and had to sit down, the cramps were back. I sat down while he paid for it all and walked slowly back to the car. The rest of the evening I felt very low and wondered if the walk during the day was a good idea.
The doctors at the hospital advised me that I would bleed for 7-10 days however I am now at day 10 and there is still blood and cramping. I woke up feeling like I did on day 8 and gradually got much better throughout the day. We even had some friends over and I was able to host very well.
The day began as usual with me feeling great and walking about fine but then by midday the cramp were coming back and we were due to go out. I am trying to stop taking so many painkillers but I had to as we were going over to a friend's house and i wouldn't be able to cope with the pain - it also makes me very tearful! After the paracetamol had kicked in I was fine just feeling quite low and not very chatty.
Much the same as day 11 although this time I didn't take any paracetamol and was able to stick it out through the cramping. I am mainly feeling very frustrated at the minute I just want this all to be over and to get my life back on track. I keep getting upset because my body is still bleeding and cramping with no clear end in sight no matter how much I google.
I woke up the next day with a headache. I had to take tablets and lay down. If im not taking tablets for my cramps it's for my headache! Once the headache had gone slightly I was able to get on with the rest of my day.
I woke up in the morning and immediately knew that i should have taken tablets for my headache before i went to bed. As the headache had returned. By about 1pm I had some awful cramps more severe that when I had experienced since last Saturday. Although the cramps were bad the bleeding wasn't any heavier. I took some tablets and although i still felt fragile on my left hand side I went out for the evening.
I woke up this morning and knew I was still fragile on the left hand side with some more cramp like pain. I then took some more ibuprofen and once it had kicked in I felt much better with only little twinges of pain. By the evening I still felt like I couldn't stand for a long time but did feel better.
Woke up and there were still some twinges of pain in my left hand side. The bleeding is still there but switches from hardly anything to slightly heavier. I had a few twinges of pain but was able to go out and enjoy my evening
Day Seventeen - Eighteen
The flow is noticeably lighter but hasn't completely stopped. Today was also the first day I didn't take any pain killers at all. I still had some cramps but not bad enough to need to take anything.
Day Nineteen - Twenty
The day started out fine pretty much the same as the day before. However about 2.45 I started to bleed very heavily and passing large clots. After an hour the bleeding hadn't got any better and the clots were getting increasingly bigger. I went to A&E with my parents and we got there just in time as when I got into the nurses office I nearly fainted and my blood pressure was very low with a very high pulse. I was put in a hospital bed and monitored and also kept nil by mouth in case I needed an operation. I then needed to be examined by the gynaecology doctor, she pulled out a few large clots (very painful process) and they gave me something to stop the bleeding. I was then told I needed a trans-vaginal examination to see if there was still anything left to come out. I had to stay in overnight and had the scan in the afternoon. The scan showed that there were still 'products' in my womb that would need to be removed. This meant that I would now need surgery.
A few hours after the scan I was given a general aesthetic and had a surgical management of miscarriage (like a D&C). I woke up and felt some pain and was given a pain killer. I was able to leave hospital that night. A blood test the next day showed that I was anaemic (no surprises there). After the operation I spotted for about a week and only felt tender for a few days.
I am glad that everything got sorted in the end but at the time surgery wasn't the way I wanted to go. But now my body is all back to normal and I am waiting for my cycles to return.
In 2018, Lucy & Stephen’s first baby, Reuben, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Here, they tell their story to raise awareness of the continued need for the work of Tommy’s.
For such a small person, who only had a place in the world for the nine months he was carried, he has brought so much love and is loved by so many people.
This experience has opened my eyes and I want to be part of that change. I don’t want to stand on the side lines. I and other women should never feel ashamed to talk about pregnancy loss.
I think often about those three missing little ones. They’ll never know it but they’re my strength. They’re my compassion. They’re my drive. They’re my resolve.
Baby loss happens too silently. Every story counts. Add your voice to help us #BreakTheSilence.
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