When I was pregnant I never once considered that I would have a miscarriage. We had tried ONCE, and before we knew it, we were already eight weeks pregnant. I was so consumed by everything happening so quickly that organising our life was top of my agenda. I threw myself into planning our move home and panicked about what jobs we needed. I even obsessed about fitting in another holiday while it was still just ‘the two of us’. All of these things were focused on the fact we were having a baby. Every choice I was making was forming a stronger bond with this new little person I didn’t even know yet.
11 Weeks Pregnant
At this point, I didn’t have a clue that 1 in 4 pregnancy’s end in miscarriage. I seemed oblivious to the warnings my family voiced about getting through the first trimester. I strongly felt that this baby had jumped so quickly into our world that it was meant to be. All we had to do was organise for the arrival.
So when on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I started to get painful stomach aches I wrote them off. I decided to go for a snooze. I woke up to the pains growing stronger and just thought it was a stressful day with my IBS. Finally, I had to get up because of the pain, and when I went to the toilet, there was a very thick paste of blood.
Spotting? Is that too much for spotting?
I honestly didn’t know the difference between spotting and too much blood. It was when I saw the look on my husbands face when I told him that I realised something was wrong.
Carl immediately found the number to ring the women’s unit at Warwick hospital. I still thought this was probably an overreaction but when the nurse answered, listened to what was happening, asked how many weeks I was (11 weeks) and then insisted I come straight in for a scan the next day I suddenly felt a sinking feeling.
The next hour kicked off what would become the worst 24 hours of my life. I am not squirmish but to see that much blood and start to feel your womb lining fall away is the most heartbreaking thing in the world.
We were told to go straight to A&E if the bleeding exceeded three soaked pads within an hour, this happened within 20 minutes and I reluctantly let Carl rush me to the hospital. When we arrived and spoke to the triage nurse, she informed us it would be a 6-hour wait. I understand how underfunded the NHS is and the pressure on the emergency services but was confused by the suggestion to go to A&E when every bump I had to endure in the car on the way to the hospital seemed to increase the pain I was experiencing. Plus, the thought of sitting on a metal waiting room chair terrified of how much I was bleeding and what was happening to my body was too much to cope with. I made carl take me home and endured the pain through the night and into the next day.
Women’s Unit, Warwick Hospital
By the time I reached the hospital the following day, I was ready to faint. Standing in the women’s unit with expecting mothers beaming with pride and gently caressing there huge bellies was mortifying. I didn’t want to scare or upset them and I felt strange and out of place. The nurses whisked me into a wheelchair and rushed me straight up to the scan.
I had imaged this moment a hundred times. The excitement of making out a little figure on the screen, insisting I didn’t want to know the sex and the feel of the cooling gel on my growing belly. The reality was, my stomach had not grown one inch, tears rolled down my cheeks as I struggled to manoeuvre onto the bed and the sharp excruciating pain as the probe pushed into my abdomen.
The sonographer confirmed I was having a miscarriage and tried to reassure me that the baby wasn’t the size s/he should be at 11 weeks. But there was one element exactly how I imagined it. Having Carl by my side squeezing my hand. It’s important to acknowledge the things I am still extremely fortunate for even in those darkest moments.
I still had a long night ahead of me. I was put straight on a drip and given painkillers, Carl sat with me until I started to calm down and the morphine was taking effect. The nurses where some of the loveliest people I had ever met and I can not express how grateful I was when they would gently hold my hand while I sobbed through the pain and disbelief of it all.
After Carl left, I lay in the hospital bed texting my sister and even though she was hundreds of miles away I couldn’t have felt closer to her.
Recovery after Miscarriage
During the next few weeks, friends and family showed me so much love and compassion following the miscarriage. First up was my Mum who jumped on a flight …. She hasn’t flown in almost ten years and kept calling it a bus to distract herself. I wasn’t very responsive to affection and love in those first few days. My Gran kindly tried to convince me it was due to the morphine wearing off, but I do worry it was an attempt to push people away and deal with it on my own. Even now I still feel shocked by the whole experience. Was it all a painful dream?
Despite everything I’m still a mummy and have been for the past 11 years. My dachshunds are my beautiful little girls and keep me happy and loved. I’m in the process of writing a blog post about them!
Miscarriage is NOT Failure
Just as every pregnancy is different, every miscarriage is also. The more I read about other women’s experiences, the more I feel connected but also educated by how many different things can happen. Speaking openly about my experience wasn’t a natural choice, but in a world where something so common is still so taboo, we need more people to talk about these things. My miscarriage does not become any less painful because it regularly occurs, but it does become easier to understand when I know the facts and don’t feel to blame.
A few articles that helped me have been:
Plus a few infographics I have made through my research:
Thank you so much for reading. My miscarriage has been a terrifying story to share, but I feel that miscarriage is a topic we need to talk more openly about. If you would like to know a little more about me why not head over to my about section.