real life

'I shared a post about being pregnant with you. Minutes later, I was holding you in my hands.'

Warning: This story contains graphic images and descriptions of pregnancy loss, and may not be appropriate for all readers.

And just like that, you’re gone.

The last two days haven’t been easy. In fact, they’ve been a f*cking nightmare.

No more than 10 minutes after I posted a picture of me and my little jellybean on Instagram, my body started the process of having a miscarriage and continued for the next five or so hours. I contracted and pushed out my baby along with the rest of the lining of my uterus. I turned animal-like and needed space, darkness and to be alone. My body was contracting and pushing and then I held my small pearl sized baby in the palm of my hand.

No one can quite prepare you for a miscarriage. Mine are long and painful. This time around I knew what to expect after having had two before. I cried as the blood gushed down my legs as I stood in the shower, I shook as I picked up palm size clots on the bathroom floor, all while trying not to be too loud while I asked the boys to watch a movie on my bed – distracting them as I passed what should have been their future sibling.

Watch: Mia Freedman on the reality of miscarriage. Post continues after video.

In those hours, in between the toilet and the shower, I resorted to Google and YouTube for some understanding of what was happening – but nothing gave me what I was looking for. So, I am writing this for the person who is also on the toilet or shower, waiting for their baby to unfortunately pass.

Our pregnancy had been confirmed with a positive blood pregnancy test after an IVF 5 day frozen embryo transfer. Perhaps I should have known that my body was going to miscarry our baby when at 5+2 weeks I was woken by bright red blood on my undies and cramping that would follow for the next seven days.

I went to emergency and was told everything was good and to just rest. Like my other miscarriages, no one even mentioned the word miscarriage even though I feel like they might have known. I was told the bleeding might be from the progesterone pessaries I had to take for my IVF treatment – but after bleeding everyday with bright red, consistent blood, I knew it wasn’t ‘normal’.

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At six weeks I had an ultrasound, and I heard a heartbeat! I saw the flicker on the screen! I was so sure everything was OK but deep down I had a gut feeling. At the ultrasound I even asked my obstetrician: “Can I have a photo of him?” HIM! The words just fell out of my mouth with no second thought. My obstetrician looked at me and said “him, hey?”

It even shocked me. I didn’t know then that that picture would be the only thing I have left to remember… him? After my scan my obstetrician knew I was anxious and organised another scan in another six days time. A scan that now will no longer show a heartbeat and will show only an empty uterus.

On Friday, November 29 at 4pm I started having solid cramping. It got to the point where I just had to lay down flat on my back and ride the waves. I called an after hours nurse from my IVF clinic and explained what was happening. I even said, “I think I’m having a miscarriage,” and she agreed and said she would call back in an hour to see how I’m going. As soon as I got off the phone, I asked my two sons to come inside and watch a movie on the laptop in our bedroom. I just felt like this would be a long night, and indeed it was.

As soon as I got the boys set up, I laid down again and had what – from my experience of two miscarriage and two live births – were contractions. They weren’t to the extent of a full term labour, but they were substantial enough that I couldn’t talk through them and instantly I turned mute and took each wave as it came.

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I had a really strong contraction that brought me to stand up. It started at the top of my rib cage and pushed all the way down to my uterus. As soon as I stood up, a big gush of blood poured out of me. It splashed on the floor like my waters had broken, and I walked to the toilet. My body was naturally pushing out anything and everything that it had been working so hard to create for the last six weeks. The baby that we made into an embryo was now coming out of my body and was in my hand. In the moment, my mind went blank but also took me to a place that I could only describe as animal-like. I turned off the lights and kept silent, and for the next five hours my body contracted, pushed and passed everything it could. I have never seen so much blood before – especially for me being on my own and not in a hospital setting. I was scared and calm all at the same time because although I knew what was happening, I was upset that I had just lost my baby and I had absolutely no control over it.

At the time of my miscarriage, my husband was not contactable. He works underground in a mine site, so I resorted to texting him updates of what was happening. As soon as he was above ground the worst was over, and he was there to comfort what I had just experienced.

I really do have the most amazing men in my life, because as I was passing our baby, our sons were so understanding of what was happening to them no more than three metres away. I explained EVERYTHING. They were concerned with the amount of blood they saw, but only wanted to comfort me in what would have been a very scary thing for them to see. I remained calm for them – telling them I was OK and everything was going to be fine. I explained that unfortunately our baby didn’t survive and it’s decided to go to heaven. I said Mummy isn’t feeling the best, and just needs to stay in the bathroom for a little bit longer.

Two days have passed now since my miscarriage, and in those days I stayed in bed, I ate what was convenient and did the bare minimum. I have been taking pregnancy tests since to see the line has faded, and the digital tests have gone down in weeks. I’ve spoken to the nurse a couple of times since, and she talked it out with pure comfort for me.

The truth is: It was f*cking hard. Not just emotionally, but physically. When I miscarry, I’m not one who doesn’t notice I’ve just lost my baby. My body lets every nerve in my body feel the impact of loss, and to be honest I’m happy because it sounds strange but I WANTED to feel pain. I wanted to know that I worked so hard for this baby that we’ve been trying to conceive for almost four years now, and I won’t stop trying until I get to hold my baby in my arms and not in the palm of my hand. Life can be so unfair and sometimes not make sense, but I won’t let it stop me. Our future baby now has another angel to watch over it.

I have attached some images below that I want to caution, as they’re VERY GRAPHIC.

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When Google searching I couldn’t find what I was looking for, and so when someone else is in my situation looking for answers or images – I hope they can get some comfort knowing that they aren’t alone.

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This post originally appeared on Everyday Fifo Wife and has been republished here with full permission. You can find more from Bronwyn on Instagram and Facebook.

If this has post 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.

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