10 August

A missed miscarriage

A small greyish blob, an embryo no more the size of a blueberry but from the moment we had planned you, you were so much more than that. Those two pink lines! Oh the joy! Another one, a little brother or sister. My secret, then our secret, then not much of a secret as I couldn’t help let my world know of your existence. The nausea, the tiredness the plans to change the bedrooms. Your older sister no longer considered the baby. You had already left an indelible mark.

Then as quickly as you appeared in our lives, it all came crashing down. Anxiety crept over me as the probe was placed on my belly, bringing memories of another baby, another scan. A fatal foetal anomaly at 20 weeks’ gestation. And when I realise my anxiety is not misplaced, the panic, gasping for breath behind my face mask. I cannot see a baby.

“What’s wrong?”

“You would expect it to be bigger at eight weeks.”

The realisation hits me like a tonne of bricks. I stumble down the corridor to empty my bladder for the internal scan.

“There is no heartbeat”.

I believe her, but I can’t quite believe it. I felt pregnant. A D & C is recommended. The idea horrifies me. Unconscious in the lithotomy position my uterus being scraped clean. I listen to the options. I think I will wait.

At home waiting and I am reminded of another wait. A wait of three weeks with a growing living moving baby. A wait for a trip to another country to end that pregnancy and deliver that baby early. To not allow that baby grow any more, only to experience death, or labour and death, whichever way it would happen. I can’t wait.

It’s a Thursday morning. Back again. Another scan. I very much believe it now. I need to know when this happened. “Around 7+2”. What was I doing that day? Was I running? Was I in work? I believe her when she says it was nothing I did, but I need to ask the question. I swallow the first pill and drive home to wait another two days.

It’s Saturday morning, 6am. I didn’t sleep. I shovel in my porridge after the pills and go back to bed to wait some more. Vomiting and diarrhoea; just like it started the other time. My baby then was 23 weeks, but also dead having had a lethal injection into his little heart. I am wishing the pain to start. But there is not much pain. A gush of blood, a pop, a tiny trickle of fluid. And then plop. A meaty sac containing a little grey embryo sitting on a bloodied sanitary towel on the bathroom floor. I don’t know what to do with it. He digs a hole under the tree, beside the dead cat. I wrap you in toilet roll and leave you there. Five weeks and three days after those two pink lines it’s all over.

 

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