Content warning: This post deals with themes around missed miscarriage and may be triggering for some readers.
My husband and I arrived at the hospital day procedure centre early in the morning.
There weren’t many words to be said between us, it was a mutual silence, a mutual time of mourning for the baby we had lost but was still inside me.
Today was the day that it would finally leave the body that was meant to have carried it for another seven months, the one that had failed.
Around me were many other people, men and women, old and young, arriving at the hospital for mostly minor procedures that would see them in and out in the same day. Technically mine was the same, I would be put under a general anaesthetic, operated on, ‘recover’ and return home in just hours.
For me though, this day felt much longer because unlike many of those around me. I was here to have a part of me removed that I had wanted to stay with me. A part of me that I wanted to grow, that was there because I had wanted it to be and that I was completely devastated about the prospect of losing.
Tina Arena speaks to Mia Freedman about her miscarriage. Post continues after video.
My baby’s heart stopped beating eight weeks into my pregnancy but I didn’t miscarry it, the foetus stayed within my body. This is technically called an ‘incomplete abortion’ or a ‘missed miscarriage.’
Because of this, my obstetrician booked me in to have a dilation and curettage (also known as a D&C) where the foetus is removed surgically.
The procedure, which is also used to perform surgical abortions and to remove polyps among other things, scrapes away the lining of the womb. The cervix is dilated and the lining of the womb is scraped by an instrument called a curette.
In this case, it wasn’t just the lining of my womb being scraped away but also my baby. The thought of that was shattering and not how I had imagined or ever wanted my first baby to leave me.
After waiting what seemed like hours, my name was called by the anaesthetist.
“Why are you here?” he asked me.
It was one of those questions they already know the answer to but have to ask anyway, one of those horrible formalities that are seemingly there to make you feel worse that you already do. Although I knew the answer to this question I didn’t know how to actually put it into words.
“I was pregnant but now I am not but my baby is still in there,” I replied, a complete jumble of words.