In my last blog post back in October I said I hoped to do more posts but life got in the way, as it so often does. Third year deadlines loomed and I got a part-time job so my spare time became a time where I wanted to do… not much at all, really. I’ve also done a few gigs after having got back into guitar earlier on in the year which was something I’d wanted to do for a long time. Most notably, though, I got engaged to my lovely boyfriend in November. 2013 was a pretty great year for me.
Unfortunately, though, the very end of 2013 turned out to be the worst time of my entire life and I suffered a miscarriage. Writing has always been a passion of mine and at times has been very therapeutic, so I have decided to write about my experience.
My fiancé (Sam) and I discovered I was pregnant in early December. It was unplanned and a total shock but my first instinct was I would without a doubt keep our baby, the alternative was something I could never do. Of course we had to think everything through, seeing as the pregnancy was unplanned we had to discuss finances and getting a house and all those fun things. What followed was a very stressful few days of worry and wonder that culminated in the decision we knew we’d been heading to all along. We knew having a baby would be tough but we also knew it would be the most rewarding thing we’d ever do. Once the initial shock had passed the thought of a little us filled us with elation and joy that is totally incomparable to anything I’ve ever experienced before.
We began to talk excitedly about what it would be like to have a baby. Who would he or she look more like? What colour eyes would it have? What should we call it? We talked about it all the time and it was so exciting, we were so innocently naivé. I felt desperate to shout it from the rooftops but we kept it to family and a few close friends, eagerly and impatiently awaiting my first midwife appointment on 3rd January when I could find out how far gone I was and know how long it it would be until we could proudly tell everyone we loved about the bundle of joy that would enter our lives. I went to the pub a couple of times, drinking non-alcoholic drinks unbeknownst to my friends, all the while thinking about how I just couldn’t wait to tell them. Everything seemed to be going fine, I had several symptoms reassuring me I was going through the normal stages of pregnancy.
Tuesday 31st December started out like any other day, although I had a lie-in for the first time in a few days which I was way too happy about because I was exhausted as I’d worked the previous three days. I got up to go for a wee and my heart sank when I noticed a very small amount of light blood. ‘It’ll be fine’, I thought. There are many reasons why a woman can bleed in early pregnancy without it meaning it is anything too serious. However the worry remained, especially when I began to feel slight cramps in my tummy and the blood got a little heavier. We got an appointment with the GP straight away who had a chat with me about what had happened. He said it could just be something normal, as many women bleed in early pregnancy and go on to have healthy babies, but he also said 1 in 4 pregnancies do end in miscarriage and we were at the time where it is most common – we estimated the baby to be about 8-9 weeks old. He booked us in for a scan in a couple of days and off we went home. We both tried to stay positive and I proceeded to relax in bed for the rest of the afternoon but impending doom creeped up as I was sure my cramps were getting worse. I decided to check if the bleeding was any worse and to my horror I went to the toilet and the bleeding was much heavier and like a typical period.
I cried to Sam that it had got worse and continued to wipe the blood away, I was desperate to remove every drop, to see it come to an end and for everything to be ok. I think I knew in my heart what this meant. But it was still the most shocking and traumatic moment of my life when a few moments later I passed the gestational sac, a mere ball of cells at that point but completely heart-breaking and traumatic to have to see none the less.
As clichéd as it sounds, what happened directly after this becomes somewhat of a blur. I was completely drowned by my emotions and I felt absolutely traumatised by what I had seen. It was pain on a scale I’ve never felt before and all I could do was cry. Sam ran to me putting his arms around me desperately asking what was wrong but I couldn’t even speak, I collapsed on my knees as pain completely took over. He helped calm me down, I was crying so much I couldn’t catch my breath and I am certain if Sam hadn’t have been there I would have had a panic attack. That night became of blur of hospitals, waiting rooms and doctors, repeating my story over and over, all the while trying to process the fact I’d lost my baby.
Without Sam, I don’t know how I would have coped. He kept me calm and was there for me through everything, despite the fact he was trying to process what had happened too. He focused on making sure I was alright and for that I will be always be grateful because he kept me sane. The days after it happened were extremely difficult. The tiniest thing triggered me to cry. Having a miscarriage is a strange experience because the grief you encounter is a type that I have never been through before. You’re mourning for something you never really had to begin with. All the hopes and dreams you had in pregnancy are dashed and you can’t stop thinking about what could have been. Seeing babies on Facebook, or out – even pregnant women – makes my heart ache for the baby I wanted so dearly that slipped away from me.
As days plod on I am starting to feel better and Sam and I agreed to take one day at a time. Family and friends have been extremely supportive and I’m being as positive as I can. I tell myself it just wasn’t meant to be this time around. I feel grateful that this situation happened so early as the later the miscarriage, the more traumatic it must be. I cannot begin to comprehend how hard it must be in later stages, particularly stillbirths. I have so much respect and admiration for people that go through that as I don’t know if I would be able to. The one thought that has been echoing in my mind ever since it happened was something the Doctor told me at my original appointment before the miscarriage happened. ‘It’s natures way of getting rid of babies that aren’t developing properly and wouldn’t have survived in or outside the womb.’ That offers me some comfort, I wouldn’t have wanted my baby to suffer.
It breaks my heart I never got to see my child, or hear its heartbeat. Hold its tiny little body or hear it cry or even find out whether it would have been James or Ella. One day I will hold my first baby in my arms and it will be the happiest day of my life. But I will forever remember the first little star I carried inside me. You helped me realise Sam and I are more ready to be parents than we knew and you helped me be stronger and braver than I ever thought possible. You were with us for such a short time, but you gave us so much and we will never forget you.