8 October

Please don’t ask me when I am having children or tell me my clock is ticking and I should get a move on, because the reality of it is, I can’t. Your general conversation starter is our stab in the stomach so please… Just don’t.

Originally, I didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened, I felt ashamed and I felt guilty. Scrap that, I still do feel ashamed and guilty. Like most women, if there is a problem or something that needs doing, I sort it; it’s fine, it’s what we do. But this I cannot ‘sort’. I have zero control over how to solve this to make it all better and it’s eating me up inside.

My husband and I have been together for eleven years. He has wanted children for a while but I suppose because of my own upbringing I wanted everything to be ‘right’. We couldn’t possibly start thinking about children until we were married and had moved into a bigger house.

Then, after getting married, moving into that bigger house and finally feeling ‘ready’, having controlled all of that, I had my first miscarriage two months ago. In my logical head, I know that it obviously wasn’t the right time for my body or my baby, but for my heart… It hurts. It is a hurt that I cannot explain to anyone, it goes so deep that it makes me physically sick, it is a hurt that stabs me in the stomach every time I think about it, and however harsh this may sound, every time I hear pregnancy or see a pregnant woman it’s like I have been stabbed in the stomach all over again. I am not jealous of you; it is not you personally. If anything, I am so incredibly happy for you because I know what you may have gone through to get there and this is your dream come true. I absolutely love hearing all of your stories, being around babies and children, so don’t hide from me and certainly don’t feel sorry for me. This is not what this is about. It’s wanting you to know I wish the best of the best for you, and I bet you won’t believe it but I probably actually wish the best for you more than anyone else and I hope you enjoy every single moment. But for me, it’s a realisation. A realisation of where I so desperately want to be, where I was. I was you, but it got ripped away from me in a matter of hours.

Like many, we hear of miscarriage and it is sad; it is so desperately sad. But I never knew the full impact this experience has on couples. I was twelve weeks and due to have my twelve-week scan, but something wasn’t right. I went to A&E, the pregnancy test still said ‘positive’ and I was sent home to come back for a scan the next day. I was told that as long as nothing changed & did not get any worse we should be ok.

That night I hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t get worse. And it didn’t — if anything it was better, so I actually went to work that following morning. My husband picked me up later and we went to the hospital, where I filled out the forms and awaited my scan. I was excited that this could be the first time I heard my baby’s heartbeat, that we would come out with a picture of our scan like everyone else, but I also sat there in floods of tears, absolutely terrified that we could get the heart-breaking news that our baby was no longer.

For us it was the latter. The “I’m so sorry but we cannot find a heartbeat” are words that will never leave me and words I doubt that I will never stop hearing over and over again. A ‘missed miscarriage’ is what they call it. I didn’t even know this was a thing. I went through the first trimester of feeling awful, so fatigued I cried putting my shoes on as I just didn’t have the energy, only being able to eat toast as everything else made me sick, but getting excited every week. I would wait for my husband to get home so we could check the app to see what size of fruit it would be, to see if the hands and feet had developed, and whether it still look like an alien like it did last week. You know the one. We were thinking of names, who to tell first, hoping it wouldn’t get my horrendous nose or his ears. But actually, the reality of it was that our baby died. Our baby had died a few weeks ago and we had no idea, my body had missed it but our hearts were still there every step of the way. That, my friends, is a missed miscarriage. 

The miscarriage itself was horrendous; the pain and everything else that goes with it is indescribable. I had to go back ten days after for another scan to make sure the baby had passed and then wait another two weeks to take a pregnancy test to see if it was negative. That was hard — the last time you were hoping for a positive result and felt so happy, and now you’re hoping it’s negative so you can just. move. on.  Who knew or took the time to think that it would be such a lengthy process? I know I certainly didn’t.

The thing is, even though it is still very early days and my first miscarriage, it’s now two months later and the process still goes on. My body hasn’t recovered and my heart is still utterly broken from the whole experience, so please don’t tell me I can try again anytime soon. I just wanted to let you ladies and gents know that it is ok — it is ok to have these feelings because you cannot help the way you feel, and you cannot help what happened. In a way, I think that is the hardest bit to accept. We literally have no control over this and it is bloody unfair.

I feel so much guilt that almost overnight I became one of the most insecure people. I think my husband’s going to leave; I mean, why would he stay? The one job I am naturally meant to do, I can’t. My husband, by the way, is a total legend for putting up with me. I have not been pleasant to say the least, but husbands/partners, please believe me when I say we really don’t want to feel like this, we try desperately hard every day to be that person we were before but just may need that extra little cuddle to reassure us. Although don’t think that we don’t understand your hurt. Tell us, talk to us, cry with us. You do not have to act strong for us, this happened to US, so please tell us how you feel. I found it comforting when my husband told me, it reiterated that my feelings weren’t stupid or bitter but totally natural, and that as a team we will be ok.

I know deep down it will get better, these deep feelings will subside, it cannot last for ever. But on the flip side, in my heart right now I also cannot see it getting better. How contradictory is that? But I suppose that’s your head and your heart for you. Feelings don’t necessarily make any sense, but that’s ok. This situation doesn’t make sense, but it happened.

My point is, if you’re going through this like I am and feel the way I do, like me, you are not alone; even though you feel like the most isolated, loneliest people on this planet at this moment, you are not alone. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage — that’s 25%! That’s huge! Why do we not know this? I know I would certainly feel less guilt if this information had been installed in me from the very beginning, but I found out when it was happening to me, so in my mind-set that doesn’t compute. I don’t expect you to share your story; I get it, I didn’t want to share mine. I get that we desperately just. want. to. move. on. However, if by sharing my story I can just let one person or one couple know that they are not alone, then the pain of what I have been through the past couple of months is worth it, because I would not wish this on my worst enemy…

And even if you are my worst enemy (which I don’t think I have), I beg of you: please don’t ask me when I’m having children or tell me that my clock is ticking, please save your energy. Because trust me, right now, I couldn’t feel anymore hurt than I already do.

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