(miscarriage hell; warning explicit language describing graphic images)
Have you ever experienced a loss of a loved one?
In my lifetime fortunately; I have only recently as the last 3 years attended 2 funerals.
The first funeral was of my mother’s step-father also known as my grand-dad when I was growing up. We were never close. He was not close with my mum and therefore what she saw and felt projected onto me. I didn’t cry at his funeral. I didn’t feel as though I knew him well enough to feel anything.
The second funeral I attended was of my husband’s grandmother. I saw her days before they lay her to rest and it was horrible to see her deteriorate after all the wonderful things I had heard about how she had lived her life to the fullest.
I watched my husband cry and this broke me down inside a little. Too see a grown man cry is heart-breaking, but to see your husband cry and feel pain is even worse. I held in tears I didn’t want any focus on me, this wasn’t about me, it was about him and his family grieving.
I have not completely escaped grief over someone close to me dying.
I have grown 3 babies inside me that unfortunately did not make it to full term.
The first and second were easier to deal with because my baby was still technically a form of cells.
The third I took very hard. The last miscarriage I remember all too well and every year I still mourn the loss of that child. Every year I remember the day of excruciating pain like I have never again felt in my life.
The pain was both physical and emotional.
That day I was at work doing all the normal things, nothing too strenuous; booking taxi’s, meeting rooms, ordering stationary, booking in visitors etc.
When I started to bleed I thought nothing of it as in early pregnancy there can be a little blood. And by this time I had already had a successful birth and in the first trimester of that one there was blood. A few hours later there was pain and I started to feel really sick. I asked to leave work early and when I got home things only got worse.
The pain intensified and I was suddenly passing huge blood clots. The pain was so agonizing I could not stand straight but had to force myself up as I would frequently get the urge to bare down and push. I phoned the NHS and they said there was a high risk that I was in fact losing my baby.
I cried in pain for hours. I didn’t want to be alone so I called my friends to comfort me. One friend who was too far to reach me stayed on the phone to me for hours until someone was by my side. My best friend turned up and made me feel less alone and stopped some of the tears streaming down my face.
Another friend who came to be with me in my time of need was no help whatsoever and used the excuse and I quote ‘I feel no attachment to it’. She would later find out she was pregnant with an unplanned child and beg me to be with her and support her while she aborted her foetus. She went on to feel similar pain and heartache to me and to this day I do not judge but wish she had supported me the way I had supported her that day at the clinic and the days after.
As I lay in my best friends’ arms I considered trying to reach my husband. Unfortunately my husband was out at the time and I could not reach him, he was in an area with poor reception.
Part of me didn’t want to get through to him I was scared of contacting him I wasn’t ready to see or feel his pain. I remembered how happy we both were when I realised I was pregnant again. We hugged and kissed and stayed wrapped in each other’s arms until we couldn’t hold each other anymore.
In the early hours of the morning when the pain had lessened a considerable amount and the bleeding had near enough stopped I told my friends to leave as I thought I was ready to be alone and I wanted to get some sleep as I still had work the next day. Although my best friend was reluctant to leave she eventually granted my wish and told me she would be in contact the next day.
I woke up the next day with what felt like a hangover. I was tired, sluggish, had a headache from crying so hard and my eyes had heavy bags underneath them.
I wanted to pretend that everything was alright and carry on as normal, but I realised I was being ridiculous. Although the physical pain had gone the emotional pain was still weighing heavy on me. I went to the hospital to ask for a confirmation of loss.
I was taken from my local hospital by ambulance to a maternity specialist hospital and they gave me an ultrasound scan. They could see the baby in my womb but they couldn’t find a heartbeat. I cried instantly. They told me that my miscarriage was most likely incomplete and to come back in a weeks’ time so that they could scan again to make sure it was then complete or they would have to make arrangements to ‘sweep’ my womb. I was horrified. The staff were very cold and showed no compassion.
It occurred to me that they must see this happen a lot but I still felt they could have been a little bit more compassionate.
I went home to Shaun (my husband) and told him the events of what happened. He was devastated as expected. I sat on his lap in his arms and pulled him in close and tight. We cried hard and loudly. Then we sat in silence, no words to comfort one another. We held hands and exchanged ‘I love you’ but for the rest of the day there was mostly silence.
It was especially hard with our perky daughter running around none the wiser. However we tried our best to put on our happy face so as not to worry her. I had been told by the hospital to keep off my feet and rest until the next scan in case there was a chance the baby could live. Shaun told our daughter ‘mummy isn’t well’ so that she would stay out of the main bedroom while I rested and he done everything to take care of me.
He brought me countless magazines, cups of tea, lots of cuddles and kisses to the forehead.
A week later I was scanned again by another set of cold staff and it was clear that the baby was no more. All that showed on the scan was an empty sac where my baby used to be and the midwife confirmed that the sac would soon disappear also. She said there shouldn’t be any more pain but if there was to come back as maybe there was still parts of baby that hadn’t passed through properly.
For 9 days I bled. My husband and I were miserable the whole time and for months after that time too.
After this heart-breaking experience we decided to hold off on trying for another baby. We wanted to mourn the one we had loss before what felt like replacing him/her with another one.
We mourned for years until we were ready to try again. It was so painful seeing other woman pregnant around the time I lost our baby. I grew so depressed. I even blamed myself even though my husband said nothing of the kind not even once. I felt like I had failed him. I felt like my body had betrayed me. I felt like less of a woman.
Until today only a small group of friends knew I had lost a child (the ones that had been there at the time who I chose to ring and invite around when I was in pain, and 2 others who had realised I was depressed and asked why so I admitted what had happened as I was too tired to lie and hide the truth), I had even kept it from my own mother at the time. I felt so ashamed.
For years people have asked me why my husband and I haven’t produced a sibling for our first child. I would use excuses like money and such which was true to an extent but it wasn’t the whole truth.
The truth was because I didn’t want to explain the real reason and pain behind it. It was painful enough reliving the moment every year on the anniversary of losing our baby. Thinking how old he/she would be right now (3 years old), what they would be like and how different our lives would have been.
However finally only last year we decided we were ready and just weeks after taking out my contraception I was pregnant! We were so happy but nervous too. My husband treated me like a china doll through the first trimester, we want this baby so much.
I’m almost in my third trimester and my husband is still treating me like porcelain and I am loving it.
Although this pregnancy has been hard so far with a lot of pain and ailments and I complain like a hormonal freak, I am so happy and feel so blessed both scans have confirmed our little boy is perfectly healthy.
I know some may find this story more than a little morbid given the fact it is Valentine’s Day but I wrote it because I woke up suddenly reminiscing yet again about me and my husband’s loss. Our current son started kicking, I held my bump and remembered how blessed we truly are.
For that reason I wrote it. To remind you all no matter what remember how blessed you are. If I can move past losing a baby to go on to have another healthy one so can you.
A friend of mine recently lost a baby and felt she could no longer go on. I can honestly say although for a long while it will be hard, it does get better. You will never forget the pain or loss but it will build you stronger if you let it.
Be with your partner, family, friends anyone who you feel could help. Don’t be alone. Sharing your pain will help you alleviate some if not all the pain eventually.
For those of you who feel you can’t relate think about loses you have had whether it be friendships, love, and family losses. Loss is hard but it is most of the time necessary to open up your eyes or even doors to something even better.