The Loss Of A Pregnancy And A Dream
I can honestly say without a question of a doubt that this last week and a half has been the hardest I have ever had to get through. Last week I lost my baby.
I know there are people that don’t particularly think a miscarriage is actually losing a baby because it’s so early but let me tell you; to that mum, to that family, it doesn’t matter how little the baby was, it was still loved and dreamed about. Sacrifices had already been taken to ensure it grows healthy. I may have only been pregnant for 11 and a half weeks, but that tiny little baby had made a huge mark in my heart. I wanted that baby and was excited about having another child, so when that all ended, I was devastated.
I feel it is so important to get this blog out there for a number of reasons. The first is to help everyone understand that miscarriage is real. It occurs in roughly 25% of pregnancies. We don’t hear about them though. No one seems to talk about the baby they lost. Why? This brings me to another reason I want to get this blog out as soon as possible – to let everyone know that it’s okay to tell people you are pregnant before that 12 week mark. Of course, not everyone will want to, but some do, and here is the reason I felt like it was okay to tell my family and friends.
I thought to myself that if anything was to happen to the baby whether it be a miscarriage or potential defect with the baby that meant it would not likely survive (potentially found out at the 12 week ultrasound) I would definitely need the love and support from those around me. Unfortunately this came true for me and when I needed everyone the most they were there for me. My family and friends have carried me through this last week. They have given me a shoulder to cry on (and there have been a lot of tears), came to my house and cooked us meals, dropped meals off to the door, brought us chocolates, flowers, teddies and beautiful cards filled with comforting words. I would have survived without any of them, but they made this week so much easier for us. The most important part was knowing I wasn’t going through it alone.
Letting my family and friends know early was also a great way to help me get excited about the baby! I suppose I didn’t have too much choice in everyone finding out because I get so sick in pregnancy and it would have been difficult to hide anyway, but I am so glad everyone knew. Obviously we were still selective in who we told. Every time we knew we were going to be seeing someone or chatting to someone we would discuss if we should tell them about the baby before the meeting. There were some people we felt didn’t need to know for whatever reason. Maybe we knew they wouldn’t cope with finding out bad news if it happened or maybe we just didn’t feel like we were close enough to need their support if something had happened. Either way, I feel so comforted in the people who did know and were there for us when the worst happened.
I just want every family out there to have the conversation when they find out they are expecting… who should we tell? I don’t want you to think you have to hide it or keep it from people if you don’t want to. Miscarriage shouldn’t be a dirty word. If your grandma dies you wouldn’t think twice about telling your close friends so they can support you through it, so why should the loss of a baby be any different?
The other reason I feel like I should write this blog now is to educate and inform women of their choices if this does happen to you.
I had absolutely no idea about early pregnancy loss. We have a clinic at work called EPAS (Early Pregnancy Assessment Service). It has been set up to monitor and support families when an issue is picked up with the pregnancy in the early stages. Most women who come through EPAS have already, or are about to miscarry. It’s sad and I never wanted to work there. I was worried I wouldn’t say the right thing. I didn’t want to be there when someone was told the news that their baby had died. I avoided it at all costs, so when I did experienced it I had no idea what to expect.
I found out a bit differently to most women though. I was at work and had been feeling pretty good all day. No nausea and felt like I had some energy. Most people would be happy thinking their morning sickness was finally coming to an end as they neared the 12 week mark but I knew my body NEVER felt that good for the whole 40 weeks I was pregnant with Stella and for the whole of this pregnancy up until a few days earlier when I had stated to have periods of feeling well. I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. At the end of my shift I asked one of the Doctors to do a quick ultrasound so I could have peace of mind. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a heartbeat. She was excellent comforting me however I was in complete shock and organised a formal ultrasound ASAP which happened to be the next morning. It was then confirmed and we went back to the clinic to discuss our options.
I always thought that your body would just bring the baby out by itself and if it hadn’t by a week or two you had to have a D&C to bring it out so you wouldn’t get an infection. Well according to the scan my baby had passed away almost a week earlier and I had no signs of birthing it any time soon. The other option of a D&C did not sit right in my mind. I couldn’t stand the thought of what that entailed for the baby. So I asked what my other options were. If there was a medication I could have to help bring it out. Thankfully they were just starting to offer a medical management which would mean I could have medication to help it all happen. That was what I wanted. The thought of waiting another week for it to happen on its own with a 1 year old to look after was not a viable option, and as I said the surgery didn’t sit right with me. So I went back into the hospital the next day to have the medication. They gave me the option to go home after the medication for it to happen at home, or to stay and be admitted which my husband and I decided was the correct thing for us. I had bled a bit after having my daughter Stella and had retained products, so my husband was worried about what might happen at home.
I am lucky that I was able to go through this experience being cared for by some of my closest friends and colleagues. I had the medication at 11am and everything happened at 4pm. It went as well as can be and I was home by 8pm (after a quick dinner – just my husband and I on the local headland overlooking the ocean). Because I was able to have this option I had the opportunity to hold my baby, I know most people wouldn’t want to do this but for me it was important. It was a perfect little baby. Beautiful fingers and toes, a cute little nose and mouth (that reminded me of my daughter’s mouth when she is being cheeky) and I swear we could tell its gender. I was able to say goodbye and get some photos.
I want to make sure everyone knows that there are options in these circumstances. It can be so overwhelming and hard to comprehend when it is happening, but when you look back you will be so thankful you made the decision that is right for you (no matter if that is the wait and see for nature to happen itself, a D&C, or medical management like I had).
This last week after has been very emotionally challenging. I have cried a lot of tears. Some with family and friends, and others just sitting in the shower or snuggled up to my sleeping daughter and the teddy my mum bought for me to remember the baby. This baby will always be a part of our lives and it has helped me to appreciate pregnancy so much more. I hope telling you my journey has helped at least one person out when they are thrown life’s curve ball, and I hope I can make that journey for them a bit easier to go through.
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).