pregnancy

'I screamed.' Tahyna MacManus wants to talk about the hidden side of miscarriage.

This post deals with miscarriage and might be triggering for some readers.

From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. 

The instinct first arrived around the same time as my little sister did. It was as if my doll had come to life and although I thought of it as mothering, I’m sure to most it more closely resembled smothering. 

I’d fuss over my dolls and my sister, while waddling around the house with a basketball under my dress mimicking the beautiful big pregnant belly I had seen on my mother and my favourite fictional characters. 

Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Motherhood and pregnancy seemed easy to me. 

So, as an adult, when my husband and I decided to start a family, I naturally assumed it would just happen. I was 28 and just as I had expected and assumed, I fell pregnant on our first try. 

From the moment I saw the two pink lines indicating a positive pregnancy test, it was like my mind had jumped into hyper speed. 

Within a few hours I had decided she was a girl, we imagined she would have my hair and Tristan’s eyes, we named her, pictured her, planned our future around her and loved her. 

These were blissful and beautiful moments together spent staring at the life we imagined growing somewhere behind my belly button. I constantly felt nauseous and exhausted but was full of pride knowing I was growing our baby. 

Around the six week mark, I woke up early one morning and everything felt different.

As I got up and walked to the bathroom, I felt something thick and warm trickle down my leg. As I sat on the toilet, my dreamy haze immediately turned into a nightmare as I noticed the bright red blood drops on the bathroom tiles. 

Then everything went into slow motion. I looked into the toilet bowl which was stained with bright red blood. I screamed out to my husband for help. He told me not to panic, but I knew it was too late. 

The cramping came on almost immediately and was growing in intensity.  

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As I sat in the hospital waiting room feeling my pants soaking through with blood, I could hear my husband growing anxious as he asked questions to the receptionist. 

I sat on my iPhone, searching for any indication of hope.  

As I googled Is bright red blood normal in early pregnancy? Is cramping normal in early pregnancy? All search results led me to the same heartbreaking reality. I was having a miscarriage. 

Listen to Tahnya MacManus on the Misunderstandings of Miscarriage. Post continues below.

After what felt like hours a nurse called me into a room. I laid down on a bed, at this point sobbing from the pain. A sonographer came and asked, “How many weeks do you think you are?”  I wasn’t sure, I was just about to book in my first scan. 

She said nothing else after that except, “Lay down”. As she started dragging the probe over my stomach studying the screen, I was studying her face hoping I was wrong.  

“There’s nothing here.” she said. I felt the pain spread from my stomach into my chest. “Are you sure?” I asked in desperation. “Go home and take a Panadol,” she said.

I left the hospital completely devastated. 

I felt like my body was broken and I was so ashamed of it. I felt like I had failed to do the one thing my body was genetically built to do. I was so embarrassed to tell my friends and my family; I didn’t even want to look my husband in the eye.  

Miscarriage is so common; it happens to 1 in 4 women.  

I made MuM: Misunderstandings of Miscarriage, to help families experiencing miscarriage comprehend their feelings and emotions. 

MuM is not an answer to a problem, but it is the start of a very much needed conversation between a woman, her partner, their friends and family. 

It is my hope that you will join me in this conversation so that the more we talk, share and learn, the easier it will be for us to meet miscarriage with a lot more acceptance, understanding and a little less pain.  

Misunderstandings of Miscarriage will premiere Thursday, October 1, 2020, only on Stan.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24 hour support line on 1300 072 637. 

You can download Never Forgotten: Stories of love, loss and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death for free here.

Join the community of women, men and families who have lost a child in our private Facebook group.

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