This post deals with miscarriage. For 24-hour support after pregnancy loss, stillbirth or newborn death, please call Sands Australia on 1300 072 637.
There was a rhythm to my steps. I couldn’t help myself, it was like a terrible ear worm, the worst kind. Every step tapped out the words, “Dead baby, dead baby, dead baby”.
I was supposed to be seven weeks pregnant, but had just found out the child didn’t make it much past six.
And this is where I feel like I was let down by life. That somewhere in my education, in my research, in everything, I had let myself down, my husband down, my family down. That I was a failure who couldn’t science my way out of a black hole.
Mia Freedman talks about feeling lost after miscarriage.
One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the highest risk is during the first six to twelve weeks. I knew this going in. I thought I was aware. I read the blogs of women who had lost their children, I had watched shows that feature death as a storyline. Having fertility trouble as well, I read everything and thought I knew what was to come.
I didn’t know that you stayed pregnant for sometime even when you stopped carrying life.
I didn’t know that it doesn’t always end up with some pain and heartbreak in a bathroom. I didn’t know that a child could be dead a week and you have no physical idea until the ultrasound.
That they’ll hand you a specimen jar, some saline fluid – likely not enough, so you’ll need to go buy some more. They’ll give you another week to see if nature will take its course, otherwise they’ll book you in for some surgery.
When you have little personal leave, you are left holding this jar and wondering just how would it look to miscarry in a work bathroom? Will I get any warning signs, or will it just slide out one day? How am I to discreetly walk about my office with a specimen jar when women’s clothing is not blessed with such things as pockets, and you can’t exactly keep going to the bathroom with a bag every time you think something may be happening.