You never think it is going to happen to you. The ‘it’ being miscarriage, stillbirth or medical termination. The ‘it’ that happens to so many women around us. The ‘it’ we don’t speak about until it’s happened to someone close to you.
Falling pregnant and becoming a mum was something I had always wanted as a young girl. Shaun and I had been together for years and together, we had made the decision that we were ready to start a family. For us, we fell pregnant easily and couldn’t have been more excited.
Our 12-week scan was the best thing I have ever seen. Measuring perfectly to date and fist pumping to say, “Hey!” Feeling great and with a ‘healthy’ 12-week scan, we did what most people do. We told our extended family and friends. I decided to do a social media announcement, sharing our excitement with everyone. Comments of congratulations poured in. We were just so excited. If only we had known what was ahead. I now have a very different view on the ‘announcement’ of a pregnancy.
More from Mamamia, on loss and grief:
“My friend just had a miscarriage and I sent her a link to this podcast. Thank you.”
“At eight weeks I heard those awful words at the scan, ‘I’m sorry there is no heartbeat.’”
13 things that are utterly awful about having a miscarriage. And two good ones.
Our 19-week scan was booked and the weeks were dragging leading up to it. I couldn’t wait to see our little bub again! Mum even came along, being the first grandchild in the family, it was all so exciting. The sonographer explained that this scan would take longer because she had lots of measuring to do. It was difficult as bub was moving around so much. She was silent throughout, paying special attention to the heart, spine and brain. As a trained paediatric nurse, I just assumed it was due to the importance of these organs.
The lady asked me to empty my bladder and we would finish the scan when I got back. When the lady returned, she came in with another woman and introduced her as the doctor. My heart sunk. I was anxious, nervous and for some reason knew whatever was coming next, was going to absolutely ruin me. The doctor explained there had been some concerns with my scan and that I would need to book in to see my GP that day. I crumbled. Between the tears, I asked why and what. She told me she had to finish the report and my GP could go over the results. I asked again. I begged her to tell me. I asked what part of the body she was concerned about. Five words I did not want to hear… “the head and the spine”.
We saw my GP an hour later, who booked a scan with a specialist at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) that afternoon. She couldn’t give us much explanation until we had a secondary scan. She spoke with that same devastating tone and body language.