Some people might think this is over sharing but for me it’s just a bit of therapy putting it all down and helping me to move on. Also in a way I feel having this platform and audience it may resonate with someone and help them not feel alone and if I can do that then it’s only a good thing to help make people more aware.
I think it’s sad that it’s still a bit of a taboo talking about baby loss, unfortunately it is all too common and I know going through this if I didn’t have a few friends I knew who had been through this or something similar I would have found it much harder not having anyone to talk to about it. It’s amazing how once you mention it people step up to say they or their friend or even your relatives had been through something similar and you had no idea!
It’s totally personal choice if you share it, each to their own. 100% sharing something so personal isn’t for everyone but for me it helps to talk (type) and with Kerry having her wee boy Rory just the day after my surgery (she was actually set to have the section the day I had the surgery but was sent home as it was so busy).
I feel it’s better for what has happened to us to be known, more so for everyone else’s sake so they don’t put their foot in it with the inevitable ‘does this not make you broody’ or ‘are you not ready for number two?’ Which I am sure is on the tip of some people’s tongue.
. . .
So yes, Chris and I were expecting baby number two in March 2019, Sam would have just turned 2 and we were both very excited for him to become a big brother.
A lot of friends had me sussed at a friends wedding recently as I was carrying around the same glass of prosecco for most of the day, plus Chris wasn’t the most subtle at swapping them or asking me did I want another lemonade!! So we told family and close friends from about 8 weeks.
We personally were of the opinion that we shared our news when we were ready and that god forbid anything did happened we would rather have someone to talk to or people to know what we were going through. Plus it’s SO hard to hide it!
We had to wait until 12 weeks for our scan but I was showing all the signs and going through all of the same symptoms I had with Sam. I was even wondering if it was twins as I had a bump so much earlier on this time and was into maternity jeans. My Mum is a twin and my Dad’s brother had twins so they are in the family and a possibility!
I was up and down peeing, starting to show, had a non surgical boob job (lol), was knackered, having really vivid dreams, had baby brain, found my hair was getting greaser quickly and my skin was breaking out, the carpool tunnel I had with Sam came back in my wrists and I had missed my period obviously!
We had found out at about 6 weeks as my period hadn’t been totally regular since coming off the pill. I had done the test at home and been to see my GP to get my booking date (5th Sept) It seemed like ages away!!
I had no signs of discomfort or bleeding. There was always that doubt in the back of my mind but other than being sick once (which I wasn’t with Sam) and having that hungover feeling for the first 10weeks I had been pretty lucky with my pregnancy compared to others. It was in fact by 10 weeks I started to feel better.
We were almost ready go ‘public’/ tell work etc but unfortunately at our 12week scan we didn’t get the news we had hoped for and it was very clear from the scan that all was not well. The baby was only measuring 6weeks and 4 days but my uterus was measuring 10weeks.
My body still thought it was pregnant and so nothing had been expelled (Known as silent or missed miscarriage). There was no foetal heartbeat and so we were referred to the Ulster hospital for a scan in 2 days time and to look at our options.
It felt a cruel wait as it was clear the pregnancy had ended and I felt I just wanted things to progress to bring things to an end fully to try and begin to process everything.
I had to have an internal scan, which confirmed everything and had bloods etc done and then discussed the options available.
We decided on surgical management (A D&C) I had to wait a further 4 days for this, so it was just shy of a week in full from learning I had miscarried to having to go to theatre.
My other option was to let nature take its course but I was already at 13 weeks and nothing was happening. My bloods showed high pregnancy hormones and my body was obviously confused. Plus I didn’t like the idea of not knowing when or where it would happen.
Chris and I are both quite practical thinkers and neither of us are overly emotional. Don’t get me wrong we have both been upset but we have been trying to just process this and move on.
We had gone to the 12 week scan in separate cars so he could head back to work after the scan and wouldn’t have to wait around for ages while I went through whole booking process but unfortunately it didn’t come to that.
We were Both given a bit of time in the room once the scan was over but we both said the same thing, ‘it’s OK we have Sam’. We have had so many friends have problems and struggle to even get pregnant we just felt so thankful that we already had Sam.
I did cry most of the way home and when telling family, but for us it was knowing how common it can be and that we can get pregnant and go full term which was a comfort.
I could have beat myself up for missing the odd pregnacare tablet, not drinking enough water, lifting things I shouldn’t, having a drink at the wedding and a wee wine at Zac’s Bday etc but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t done with Sam. In actual fact these were probably all things after the six weeks anyway, but there is no point beating yourself up for something that just wasn’t meant to be.
To me (and this is maybe just my way of dealing with it and I really don’t want to offend) it was simply a dot on a page. The cells had not even begun to form into anything foetus like and it was more the excitement and the looking forward to something that was gone for us.
Maybe this is just my coping mechanism but for me there wasn’t a lifetime of memories you make with someone, or a huge void left, it was a little bit of hope and a distant dream. It was just hard going through all of the pregnancy stages and being told it was no longer going to be a reality.
It just wasn’t meant to be and we are both OK with that.
In the same breath I do not want to put anyone else down, and am conscious of upsetting people, it’s still a loss and I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for someone who doesn’t already have a little one to go home to as Sam has been the best distraction or for it to happen multiple times, I am sure there are only so many times you can get back up and move on but now that the procedure is over we want to do just that.
The procedure itself was actually fine. I was put to sleep and didn’t feel a thing. It’s a bit scary going into theatre but I woke up as if I had fallen asleep during a massage or something as I was in the deepest sleep.
Obviously there is the unpleasant thought of what was being done while I was out but the aftermath was really just period cramps and bleeding on and off since. It was the paperwork that I couldn’t get over to be honest.
I also had to get a scan again for the 3rd time because of the law in N.Ireland before we could go ahead with the surgery and I could take the tablets (to relax the cervix so the can carry out the procedure). It was fine, I felt mentally and emotionally ready that day but I couldn’t help think of how painful and heartbreaking that could be for others who were not dealing well with everything to have to go through the scanning process again, to confirm for the 3rd time that your baby has no heartbeat.
The staff were amazing, both the lady Jude who I saw in the early pregnancy clinic in the Ulster and the staff in the Neely unit in the Lagan. Sharon and Gillian were both so pleasant and really helped put Chris and I at ease. My day procedure nurse Maureen was also brilliant, providing all the jokes and putting a smile on our faces talking about the ‘passion killer gown and socks’! I could not have asked for better care.
I am lucky in that I have never been in hospital other than visiting people-or when I had Sam but it honestly made me so grateful of the NHS and everything their staff do for us.
I know this is a bit of a ramble but it’s just helped talking it out. Hopefully we can give Sam a little or brother or sister in the future but for now we just feel incredibly thankful for what we have.
We could not be happier for Kerry and Oran with the safe arrival of little Rory and the newborn cuddles are so welcome.