This post deal with pregnancy loss, and could be triggering for some readers.
I first experienced a miscarriage in 2013 when my son Toby was a toddler. I thought I was happily pregnant with baby number two, but after my daily morning sickness symptoms faded at around the 10-week mark, I instinctively wondered if all was well.
It turned out that my instincts were right. At my pre-booked 12-week scan, the sonographer revealed the fetus had likely died weeks ago, as it was showing up so small.
She was very gentle with me, but I will never forget the shock I felt going from being pregnant, to not pregnant, in a matter of seconds. She meant well when she said 'better luck next time', before asking me to book an appointment with my GP for the following week.
Watch: Tina Arena tells Mia Freedman about her experience with miscarriage on No Filter. Post continues below.
That weekend, I started to bleed, so I went to the emergency department alone while my husband cared for Toby.
I wanted reassurance and advice, but after hours of sitting in the hospital and feeling silly for even being there, I was sent home with a pamphlet to 'let it happen naturally'. As someone who had not experienced a miscarriage before, I did not know what to expect.
I imagined a heavy period and all the literature they gave me told me to expect bleeding. What I wasn’t told is that it can really hurt and that it’s not just blood loss; but blood clots that are visually shocking and painful to pass.
After the initial phase of pain and bleeding settled down, I went back to the hospital for a check-up scan in the early pregnancy unit. The waiting room was part of the general obstetrics outpatients' clinic and so I sat quietly in tears surrounded by happy pregnant women.
The scan showed I had 'retained product', meaning I’d had an incomplete miscarriage. I understand these terms are clinical and perhaps designed to take the emotion away, but the terminology felt so cold.
On a similar screen a few weeks before I had seen my future baby - a little person yet to be - and now it was all 'remaining tissue' and 'product'.