Late in September, I was feeling odd. Couldn’t put my finger on it.
Not part of the “plan” but the news was met with feelings of “oh well, we can do this”.
We were happy. So we got on with things and began to enjoy the idea of a fourth baby. I began to feel all the symptoms of a regular pregnancy and we told some close friends and family. During weeks five and six I got some light spotting and bleeding.
I did NOT feel overly concerned though as I had bled in all three of my pregnancies before and gone on to have healthy baby’s. I headed to the hospital to get it checked out in week 7 as it was getting a bit heavier. After bloods showed great HCG levels, the doctor ordered an ultrasound for the next day.
"Much to our surprise I was most definitely 100% pregnant with baby number 4!" Image via iStock. [/img_caption]
So off we went to see our little bean on the screen. And yep, there it was. A smudgy little flicker. Heart rate 118bpm, measuring six weeks one day. Hubby was happy, there’s a heartbeat so all must be well.
But in the pit of my stomach I had a feeling. According to my dates I should have been 7 weeks 2 days. Over a week less just didn’t sit right with me. But I tried to put it out of my head as we were going away camping for a week. I was determined to enjoy some very rare family time.
I called EPAS (early preg assess unit) and arranged an appointment for two days after our camping trip. The week of camping went well. I was nauseated, tired, hungry, not hungry, clad in pimples and had little to no bleeding. Well maybe my feeling of dread was wrong. All these pregnancy symptoms, surely it’s ok.
This week marks the start of Never Forgotten: Mamamia's Pregnancy Loss Awareness Week.
Tuesday, nine weeks three days. I go to the EPAS feeling a bit annoyed I have to spend hours at a hospital when all they’re going to do is say everything’s ok.
The midwife takes my history, the registrar comes in to do the ultrasound. Right away I see he looks a bit baffled. He tells me there’s a heartbeat but he can’t see much else. "It’s a low resolution machine," he says.
I’m not convinced. He tells me I need another ultrasound with more accurate equipment. I ask the midwife, “Did you see his face? He thinks it’s not ok.” She assures me its for peace of mind. Hhhmmmm ok then. So it’s two more days of waiting for another scan. I keep busy with the kids and try not to think about the blood that’s changing colour, getting brighter.
Thursday 9 weeks 5 days. I do some Christmas shopping and drop my 16-month-old off with a friend. I go for my scan. I tell the lady straight away that I feel it’s not right. Something isn’t ok. She gets things going, does some looking using the regular ultrasound thing then says we need to do an internal ultrasound.
Sure, ok let’s do that.
Two minutes later I’m staring at the screen and can see what I know is supposed to be our baby. She says, “Do you want me to tell you what I can see?”
Yes! Of course I want to know.
She says what I’ve been dreading to hear, even though I knew it. There’s no heartbeat. This little Bub stopped growing at seven weeks two days. So between Tuesday and Thursday our little smudgy has stopped beating. I hold it together at the ultrasound place.
I walk very quickly along the hospital hallway and start crying, ridiculous stupid tears. I knew it was coming. Why am I being so silly.
'We are sad, we are getting used to the idea of another squishy little baby.' Image via iStock.
Hormones maybe? I call my husband. He’s sad too. It’s been a crap year, lots of loss and this is yet something else being thrown at us. We are sad, we are getting used to the idea of another squishy little baby. I cry some more and then it’s time to pick up kids.
Act normal. I even play touch football, have a glass of wine. Why not right? I send out a text message to the 12 or so people that know.
Their messages are lovely, kind and sympathetic. But I don’t want to hear it. I want my mum! Instead, I curl up and have a restless night's sleep.
Friday, I go to see my GP. She’s wonderful. Tells me exactly what to expect. Says it can take up to a month for my uterus to empty. What?! A month! I can’t do a month of waiting. What if it happens on Christmas Day or at one of the kids' Christmas concerts? I tell her I’ll give it a week and then see my ob/gyn about it. Maybe talk about a D&C.
So two days later the bleeding is getting heavier, there’s definitely clots. Not big ones. A bit of mild cramping. But do you know what’s bothering me most? The hush hush surrounding miscarriage. I ran a fundraiser last night. Lots of people there I know, friends and acquaintances.
They ask me how I am and my response is “good thanks”. Why do I say this? If I had a headache or the flu I’d say I felt awful. But for some reason it’s not ok in our society to say: "Well I’m not that ok, I’m in the throes of a miscarriage."
Why do we do this? Why isn’t it ok to talk about it? Miscarriage is normal! It happens to as many as 1 in 3 women. It’s not our fault and it’s not something we should be ashamed of. I feel like I need to help lift the veil of secrecy on this topic. It’s an emotional and physical roller coaster.
We shouldn’t have to hide it. So what if it makes people feel a bit uncomfortable. That’s only because it’s been made to seem like some secret miscarriage club.
So now I’m waiting. Will it be painful? Will it come flooding out? Will I be able to handle the whole thing? With the support of my loved ones I’m sure I’ll be fine.
Emotionally, I think I’m in the twilight zone. The waiting for “it” to happen is what’s on my mind. I don’t think the sense of loss has quite hit me yet. I think it’s time we allowed women to talk openly about pregnancy loss at any stage without making them feel like they’re talking about something that isn't normal. In the meantime I’ll keep waiting for “it” to happen.
This post originally appeared on Mummasite and was republished here with full permission.
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