30 October 2018

I got pregnant in September 2018, one month after my husband and I married. We were delighted and told family members early on. I have a 6 year old girl from a previous relationship and so felt confident and calm, perhaps naively so.

When I was around 7 weeks, after sex I had some bleeding. My cousin is a midwife and booked me in that day for a scan in my local early pregnancy clinic. I felt a little nervous as I waited alone, especially after seeing a poster stating it was national miscarriage and pregnancy loss day. But, the scan showed a beating heart and a tiny little baby. I was relieved.

Three weeks later I had my routine first midwife appointment. During the usual questions, she asked me about discharge. I told her i had brown spotting all week. I didn’t think this was unusual, but she looked alarmed. She tried to book the early pregnancy unit so I could have a scan but there was no answer so she advised me to call myself later and book an appointment to make sure all was ok. I remember smugly thinking this was great it meant my husband would get to see the baby in an early scan with me.

I rang later. The nurse asked me if I felt pregnant. This threw me a little. No, no I didn’t. I’d had no sickness and my sore boobs were no longer sore. I felt anxious. I was booked in for a scan two days later.

The next morning I couldn’t eat. I felt strange and kind of a dooming feeling around me. My vagina felt tender, almost sore. As it was the Halloween holidays, we left my daughter at my mum’s house so I could rest. As soon as I got home, my discharge turned from spotting to pink and brown and my stomach hurt. We sat on our bed both Googling my symptoms. “It says this is totally normal,” my husband told me.
I went to the toilet again and passed a lot of blood and clots – I’d never seen them so big. “This isn’t normal,” I cried hysterically.

The pain and the blood kept coming that evening. By 10pm my cousin the midwife told us to go to A&E they would scan me there.

Probably my biggest regret going there. Sitting for hours, in pain and crying as I watched a miscarriage unfold on Eastenders on the large TV on the wall. After I painfully got a cannula put in my arm and was told there would be no scan, to go and wait again for a doctor, I went to the toilet. It was here that I felt myself pass something with more substance than a blood clot. I put my hand down the toilet and pulled out a tiny placenta.

A perfect, little placenta. And what could I do, but flush it away? I came out crying and told Jack I wanted to leave, to tell them this cannula had to come out of me now.

I remember the nurse saying to me, “you know yourself, don’t you?” I couldn’t answer her. She rubbed my hand and told me I’d be ok.

I cried the whole drive home. I told Jack about the placenta and that it was definitely over. We went to bed and I cried all night and wondered how he could fall asleep.

In the morning, Jack rang early pregnancy and they told us to come in straight away. I could barely speak. I remember the scan, and a part of me still hopeful that maybe it was twins and one died and the other will still be ok. The nurse said I’m sorry there is just the sack left.

She called in a consultant to see if he could get it out. I screamed and cried, the pain. The emotional pain and the physical pain and feeling like I was this specimen. I made him stop. He told me I’d have to be admitted and given a drug to help pass the sack. I asked why couldn’t I do this naturally at home. He agreed I could try this. The nurse looked at me and said I believe you know your own body and can do this. She booked an appointment for a couple of days later.

I was so weak. I couldn’t make conversation or smile. That day was Halloween and we had to dress up my daughter and go to the fair with her. I was so unhappy. I hadn’t felt this type of loss before.

The next day I woke up still lightly bleeding, but not sore. We decided to go to the beach for a walk. When we got there, I started to get cramps. stronger than period pains. I took paracetamol and slowly walked. I couldn’t really speak or concentrate. That evening, my mum came round to cook for us. As I was walking upstairs I felt this urge to sit on the toilet, as if something was about to come out of me.

When I sat down, I could feel something leave me, it was uncomfortable and strange. Again, i delved into the toilet bowl to see what my body had expelled. This large grey lump, the size of a tennis ball. Veiny and ugly and tumour like. What was this? Am I ill? Is this normal? I called up my mum, a nurse. She gasped when she saw it sitting in the sink and held me. “You poor thing”, she said. She wasn’t sure what it was either. I flushed it away. I regretted that flush as soon as I did it. I googled and Mumsnet soon answered that it was in fact the sack, my baby was inside there. I just flushed away my own baby. How could I live with that?

How was I not warned by nurse or consultant, about the size or shape or contents of this “sack”? The word sack sounds soft, jelly like. empty. Poor women who are led to believe even by healthcare professionals that miscarriages are these heavy periods, this invisible loss. When in fact it’s very visible, very real. I was only 10 weeks pregnant, and the baby may have stopped living at around 9 weeks. I dread to imagine the pain women further along may feel, what they see, what they regret. Perhaps if we were spoken to we may have an idea of what to expect, alone in these bathrooms, scared and clueless. We might be able to plan whether we want to keep these parts of us we pass, to bury or plant or show our partners.

That was my first miscarriage, my second happened three months later at 7 weeks and I was able to keep and bury the placenta in a honeysuckle tree which id bought to remember baby one by. My third miscarriage was in March at only 6 weeks, no scan was needed as it was too early. All three were natural miscarriages at home and I still can’t believe I am writing this, that this is my story.

This week we are getting blood tests done: genetics on Jack and 9 others on myself. We will start trying again after these tests and will see a private consultant when I get pregnant again. I really hope we don’t go through another miscarriage. It really takes its toll on our young marriage. I am only 32 so we have time, but this type of pain really chips away and I am feeling depressed and lonely and anxious. There’s no local specialised counselling in my town, I am on a long waiting list for general counselling. I became distant from my husband during these past 6 months, I have been engrossed in my own self pity and found it hard to show him love. We are working on this now and realise I am not alone in my grief.

My daughter often asks when will it be her turn to be a big sister, why do other children have siblings and not her? I find this so painful, I really cannot wait to tell her some good news one day. That she will be a big sister, to a very wanted and special little baby.

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