"At 14 weeks I miscarried our baby, the Radiographer telling us ‘sorry I can’t detect a heartbeat’- I have no words! I couldn’t even cry, I just felt this numbing sinking feeling. I turned to my husband and apologised which I know seems ridiculous! But at the time I felt like I’d let us down and our two boys. We had been happily planning how we would tell them the news that mummy was pregnant, but instead we had to hide everything from the boys in order to protect them- How could we ever explain that to them?
Then the next job, letting all our close family and friends know, who are all waiting eagerly by the phone for the happy news. My husband had to, I couldn’t face telling anyone. I felt a failure! We had been transferred to the early pregnancy unit and were sitting in a holding room waiting to see the nurse about our options. It was sinking in slowly, I was hurting and it felt so raw. How could this happen? We are both fit and healthy, my husband plays football professionally and I’m in the gym most days. We eat right, take our supplements so you’d think we were the ideal candidates to produce a healthy baby. We didn’t deserve this and I couldn’t believe we had to go through it all again...this is so unfair I thought!
My first miscarriage came at 11 weeks in 2012 when my eldest son was 3. We made the decision to let nature take its course and without medical intervention, I was housebound for 3 days while (to put it bluntly) I could bleed out naturally. I was upset and low, but my disappointment was eased 3 months later we became pregnant with our second son.
I am not afraid to say that my second miscarriage shook me inside out and I was distraught. We decided that surgery with a local anaesthetic was the best option for us. I am a busy stay at home mum and I wanted to be back to normal with my boys as soon as I could. The procedure would take around 20 minutes, I would be awake throughout and I could be up and about straight away. The procedure itself was painful and uncomfortable at times. I felt humiliated laying with my feet in stirrups and three strangers looking up my lady parts! I’m told myself, "just grit your teeth girl and do your best to relax". I mean come on, how do you relax in that situation?! The doctor used a suction tool (I really don’t need to go into details here), and that’s the worst part, knowing that what was going to be placed in the tray - 'tissue' that should have been my baby. My lovely glam consultant who was wearing a bright red dress and black heels (no hospital scrubs here), very kindly asked if we’d like to see "the remains" but we politely declined. I gripped my husbands hand so tight, poor fella. Without him being there I would have crumbled.
The procedure isn’t 100% as they can only measure what is extracted by sight and as it turned out, after another internal scan, I needed further medication to fully clear all the tissue. Just when you think you’ve had enough, there’s more cramps and bleeding to come but the process worked and my body began to recover. I was sore, but I was okay.
To me, the NHS have been amazing and the service they provide in times like this are worth every penny of our taxes. My consultant, junior doctor and nurse were unbelievably kind, respectful and reassured us at every moment.
Now I can’t imagine how it feels to lose a baby during the later stages of pregnancy and be induced to bring on labour knowing there’s no happy ending. I don’t know the hurt and pain to carry full term and to then lose the baby during labour. Both must be soul destroying. I am blessed with two boys already so I have no idea how a woman deals with multiple miscarriages. That huge desire to have a baby, being denied what you want most in life. What I mean is this: everyone's experience of loss is different and we all deal with loss in our own way. It's clear that a miscarriage can happen to anyone during early pregnancy. In my opinion, growing a human being in your body is a miracle and when that miracle doesn't work out, in most cases you will never know why. Just that this time, "it wasn’t meant to be", which is incredibly hard to hear especially when a new baby is so exciting and with that excitement comes so much happiness. I felt this and then it was quite literally ripped away from us. It’s heartbreaking.
I decided to speak out about my miscarriages because miscarriage is a lot more common than we think, so why not speak up? We don't talk about miscarriage enough. I am a shy and fiercely private person when it comes to my emotions and I don't speak up for sympathy or attention. I speak up because writing this down has helped to make things clear in my own head and help me find some closure. I speak up because someone who reads this who has gone through the loss of their baby might be able to empathise with me and find comfort in my words.
My advice to anyone going through miscarriage, is talk. Talk until you’re sick of talking. To your husband, partner, family and girlfriends, even your GP. Bottling up your thoughts will never help. Never feel ashamed or embarrassed like I did for breaking down in front of others, it’s completely normal and sometimes a good cry is what needs to happen. Don't blame yourself for what happened, it isn't your fault!
I think it's important to keep your mind busy, keep active and get outdoors. Getting some fresh air always helps me clear my head. Time is so very important, take all the time you need, it’s an incredible healer. It could take weeks, months or years! Do what YOU need to do to move forward and find happiness in life. To the Dads' going through this: it’s totally normal to feel helpless, upset, confused and angry. It’s okay to talk about your feelings too, no one will think you’re weak! We must not forget that Dads suffer too. Make sure you support each other.
Trying to explain to someone how it feels to suffer a miscarriage is hard. It’s a grief like no other I can think of. You’re grieving for something you haven’t seen, heard or even touched but it leaves you with a huge empty void in your life. To have something growing inside you and then suddenly it’s gone away and you have absolutely nothing to show for your loss.
Often people’s first reaction is ‘it’s okay you can just try again’ a statement I’ve heard so many times. Obviously, it’s meant with good intentions and kindness but it’s just not that simple. In reality, at that moment you don’t want to try again, you want that baby you have just lost.
I don't know if we will try for another baby or not. I'm scared that miscarriage could happen again. Although it hurts, I try not to focus on what could have been and instead focus on what I do have - my boys, my husband, my wonderful family and friends. I am forever grateful for them.
Please let’s not suffer in silence....be kind and listen to each other. You never know whats going on behind somebody’s smile