I am not okay, actually.
This is the photo we took on the day we found out we were expecting our baby. We cried in happiness, we told our closest friends and family and we unconsciously dedicated every waking thought to the journey we were about to go on together. I can honestly say we had never been more in love with each other or this little dream baby that was about to become reality.
We were so excited to see the little dreamer that we booked a private scan for the 8 week milestone. We drove into Brighton with butterflies in our tummies (and hearts and heads and everywhere really!). Both of my Nan’s are a non-identical twin so we laughed that this was the last time we could safely assume there was just one baby growing inside of me! We arrived at the scanning venue. The sonographer was laughing and joking with us and chatting away. She performed the abdominal ultrasound and after a lot of pushing and prodding, she told us she couldn’t find our baby. My heart dropped, I felt sick, my eyes filled with uncontrollable tears. We were referred to our local A&E to have an internal scan on the same day. A blood test, sweat and lots of tears later as we feared the worst, finally resulted in an internal scan confirming that I had probably inherited a tilted uterus from my Mumma! But there was our little baby, hiding away at the back, heartbeat thumping in all its glory and all was well. We were given a scan picture to take home and treasure and booked to come back in 10 days to see how the little one was growing, just to be sure.
We were so relieved. The tears of fear and worry were quickly replaced with wet faces of happiness, again! We had been on such an emotional rollercoaster in 14 hours but it was okay, because our baby was okay. We had seen and heard that precious heartbeat. I looked up the statistics and knew that we were now with the 98% of couples whose pregnancy would continue. My gut feeling told me it was going to be okay. I was actually feeling lucky that we’re going to get another scan in 10 days and we could see our baby again. Ryan booked the morning off work so we could go together and I was so confident all would be well that I insisted he cancelled it and saved his annual leave for our 12 & 20 week scans we would be having before Christmas. I was planing to pop out on my lunch break for an hour and then go back to work afterwards. The day before the scan I asked my Mum if she wanted to come with me. I still don’t know what changed in my mind or led to me asking my mum to come but I will eternally be grateful that she was with me.
We arrived at the hospital and I held my Mum’s hand as the sonographer performed the ultrasound to show her, her first ‘grand-baby’ on the screen.
The room and chatter went quiet and I just knew. She told us the devastating news that the heartbeat Ryan and I saw beating away just 10 days ago, could no longer be found and we had suffered a ‘missed miscarriage’. My body was still giving me all of the signs and symptoms that there was a healthy baby inside of me even though this had not been the case since the day after our last scan. My heart broke into a million pieces. I instantly felt empty and that my whole world, my whole future, our future, had been taken away. I looked over at my Mum who was silently sobbing and saw the heartbreak all over her face as she kissed my forehead and said she was sorry.
We waited for the miscarriage to be confirmed by another sonographer and were then ushered into a room for a ‘medical miscarriage management’ meeting. Before I had even had the chance to tell Ryan what had happened to our baby I was given two options, surgery to remove the ‘failed pregnancy’ or a prescription of pills which could be inserted at home and would bring on the miscarriage ‘naturally.’ I opted for the pills, wanting to be able to be comfortable in our own nest as we lost our world.
I called Ryan and couldn’t get the words out of my mouth to even try and explain what was happening. My tears were stopping me from making any logical sense to him but I did manage to get out that there was no heartbeat and we had lost the baby. I waited on our sofa for him to travel home from his office in London and I sobbed like I have never sobbed before. Why had this happened to us? What had I done wrong? Ryan walked through the door and held me as we cried and began to grieve together for our dream baby that wasn’t meant to be.
I am now 17 days on from the day we were told there was no heartbeat. After one failed dose of medication, I am 14 days on from the most emotionally draining and physically traumatising induced miscarriage which eventually took place on the bathroom floor and was and the most painful 14 hours of my life. I am 5 days on from returning to work and 2 days on from my first social event post miscarriage and I am still not okay, actually.
I have always been a relatively ‘strong’ person and it usually doesn’t take me too long to get back on my feet after a set-back but this feels like so much more than that. I put my faith into ‘trust the timing of your life’ and look for the positivite outcome during difficult times. But I just can’t do that this time.
I feel like all of my happiness has been taken away from me and my heart is empty. I am mourning my pregnancy and yearning for the feeling of knowing out baby is inside of me, safe and sound. I miss my morning sickness and my nausea-filled bed times. I miss Ryan and I staying up and talking about baby names and the kind of parents we’re going to be. Everywhere I go, I torture myself with the ritual of ‘last time I was here I was pregnant’ and I feel the constant reminder that right now I couldn’t be further from that. My body is still miscarrying and my hormones are all over the place.
I am trying my hardest to put on a brave face at work and for our family and friends who have been breathtakingly supportive and we are grateful to be surrounded by so many good-for-the-soul people in our lives. I so desperately want to be okay for them, to make them feel better and stop them worrying about me but I’m not okay, actually. Over the last few weeks I have had to dig deep into the mind-field that is miscarriage-related grief and reflect on my own mental health right now and accept that it’s going to take time for my heart to heal. I can’t make it to every planned social event, I rarely want to leave the safety of my own home and I’m content enough watching Gossip Girl reruns on the sofa. I can’t reply to every message because I feel like I should be sharing the good news that I feel better when I actually feel worse.
Since talking about our miscarriage, the most common theme has been that nobody knows what to say, which I totally understand, because what can you say? I have personally never spoken about miscarriage before now, yet I am the 1 in 4 pregnancies that ended without a baby in my arms. From the moment we find out we’re expecting, we’re told we must keep it to ourselves for the next 3 months in case it ends in a miscarriage but if it does then you feel you have no choice but to keep that to yourself as well. Nobody should have to grieve silently for their dream that wasn’t meant to be. We need to speak about our experiences to raise awareness for this ‘normal’ but equally devastating outcome of pregnancy and so that the next person who goes through this can talk about their grief.
I have to try to believe that this has happened for a reason, even it feels like nothing could ever be worth this pain and stay hopeful that one day the pain will partially be replaced with love. I have to focus on things in my life I am grateful for, namely Ryan who has kept my water bottle hot, treats cupboard full and given me the strength to keep going. He’s looked after me so well when I know he’s struggling himself and I’m living for the day I can tell him our happy ending is on its way.
For now, we’re a team and we’re sticking together. Our only plans right now are to finish writing our bucket lists for 2019, book more adventures for the near future, remind ourselves of all of our good fortunes and embrace the duvet days a little longer during this Autumn season. 🍂🧡