12 June 2020

When we found out about our ‘Little Bee’ we were absolutely overjoyed. Early in the pregnancy I’d considered myself lucky, as other than a swollen tummy and sore breasts, it appeared I had avoided those more unpleasant symptoms such as morning sickness and food aversions.

Throughout my pregnancy I’d had a sharp pain that came and went in my lower left abdomen. That day, the pain had been present, but no worse than on other days early in the pregnancy. I went to the toilet and as I wiped I noticed some bright blood on my tissue, not enough for a period, just spotting. Instantly I panicked as I’d had no bleeding at all throughout the pregnancy and had almost fooled myself that I was over the most delicate part. On speaking the emergency doctor, we were advised to go to A and E.

When we arrived at A and E it seemed cruel that a husband had to leave his wife in tears as she waited to be triaged. Adam waited in the car and I waited in the waiting room, not knowing what was just around the corner. When the gynaecologist arrived, in a cruel twist of fate, the lovey doctor was about 30+ weeks pregnant herself. She completed a cervical test and informed me that it was unlikely that I’d had a miscarriage as my cervix was still tightly closed… relief. However, due to the pain I had reported, it was possible that my pregnancy was ectopic… despair. Due to the late hour of my visit I was told that I needed to come back for a scan early in the morning… fear. All of this alone, without my husband to comfort me. I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through his head at that time, but when he picked me up in the car he was strong in his resolve and comforted me as I wept.

That night, I thought I would never sleep, but having cried for hours on end, sleep came easier than you would imagine. I kept holding on to the thought that I would meet me baby a week earlier than I thought, played it out in my head that the nurse would say, ‘everything is fine, it must have been a little spotting, nothing to worry about at all.’ How misplaced those hopes and wishes had been.

On arriving at the unit, Adam was once again told he would have to wait outside. The secretary must have seen the look of fear on my face as she offered to sit me next to an open window so Adam could stand on the outside and talk to me as we waited.

As I lay on the bed in the scan room, alone, I kept repeating the same line over and over in my head, ‘It’s going to be ok!’.

The nurse prodded and poked around, until she uttered the words that no expectant mother wishes to hear. ‘I’m sorry love, but there is no baby in there.’

The words crushed me. No baby! What? That’s impossible! Of course there’s a baby! Even if it’s heart wasn’t beating, there was still a baby. I had done about 6 tests over the course of the pregnancy, before we told any family members I would always ‘double check.’

She asked me to do an internal scan, but first I would need to empty my bladder. As I went to the toilet, in the middle of the waiting room full of other happy expectant mothers, with tears flooding down my face I could see my husband in the distance, unaware that I was there, unaware of the news I had just received about our baby.

I cried to the nurse that I didn’t understand and she tried to explain that I had a pregnancy sack, but no baby. She explained that I’d had a missed miscarriage, but due to the fact the sack was viable, she would need to confirm the death of my baby. The doctor came, looked and left.

The nurse looked at me again and apologised. She explained that my baby had likely died at around 7 weeks but my body hadn’t registered the miscarriage and as a result the baby had been ‘reabsorbed’ back into my body. Reabsorbed!

My body was still acting as though it was pregnant and therefore the miscarriage hadn’t triggered in the typical way.

A missed miscarriage- this is something I had never heard of!

The nurse kindly asked someone to go and get Adam to comfort me. A kindness she didn’t have to extend to me given the strict guidelines. My husband arrived and I broke down in his arms; our baby, all of our hopes and dreams for our little one had been taken away in an instant. The feeling of loss was instant, overwhelming and unbearable.

We were left with three options;
1. Let nature take its course
2. Medically managed
3. Surgery

Option number 2 it was for us. We were told it would be inserting a tablet into the vaginal opening that would bring on the miscarriage. We were advised that I could go home and it would take affect there. I had the procedure and then headed home to rest and wait for it to take effect.

I wasn’t prepared for the pain that followed.

‘Chronic period pains’ could not possibly cover the pain and delirium that I experienced. My husband called the hospital, certain that I shouldn’t be in so much pain… the response ‘you can bring her back, but she’ll have to wait on her own in A and E.’ Not an option.

Every bit of pain was a contraction, reminding me that I wouldn’t have my beautiful baby at the end of it.

When the pain began to ease, the bleeding still did not start. I took more pain killers and tried to settle into sleep. I woke to sharp pains and a sudden need to go to the toilet. I felt something pass and caught it on tissue. This was all that was left of my baby, ‘the product’. As I flushed it away, I felt like I’d lost a limb.

Over the next few days I questioned everything, what did I do? Was I a bad person for something like this to happen? What had I done that had brought this on? Did the fumes affect the baby when I was cleaning the shower? Did I lift too heavy a weight? The self-blame was endless and it didn’t matter how many times I was told, it was nothing I had done. I was a mother and now I am not.

We were told we could keep trying once I’d had a negative pregnancy test and a period. All this happened when it should so I considered myself fairly lucky – at least we could try again. I am currently undergoing counselling in order to support me through the grief that at I am still feeling 6 months after the loss of our ‘Little Bee.’

Remaining hopeful is all we can do right now. We have to believe that after every awful storm comes a beautiful rainbow. We might not be able to see it yet, but it will arrive, and when it does it will be more beautiful than ever.

 

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