Originally posted on 24th June 2018
Even as I am writing this, I’m not even 100% sure I will publish it, because part of me thinks – really who wants to read this? Yet the reason I am blogging this is not for sympathy, not to be pitied or to be looked at like a victim, but purely because it seems to be the unspoken story for a lot of people.
My own mum had a miscarriage two years before she had me, yet we had never spoken about it, my sister has also had one yet I couldn’t tell you anything about it. So when it came to these past few weeks and it happening to me, I was completely naive, I had absolutely no reason to think I had miscarried, I wasn’t bleeding, I had no aches in my tummy. I was still having all the pregnancy symptoms that I had been experiencing since week 3. I also didn’t know that miscarriage happens to 1 in 4 women.
I feel the last week has been a blur of sadness and overwhelming guilt, along with realising people do not know what to say to you, so they distance themselves. I’m not sure if me talking about it makes other people feel uncomfortable, yet even though I am aware of this I’m struggling to make normal regular conversation. I know it’s still hugely early days and I’m well aware, hopefully it won’t be like this forever. It has brought back a lot of the emotions I felt when my Dad first passed away, where again, people don’t know what to say to you or even how to act around you.
I’m not placing blame on anyone else at all, I completely get it. People don’t want to upset you further, these things just aren’t spoken about, after all we’re British, we’re known for being awkward.
However, one of the things I am finding super difficult is everywhere I look it seems to be baby related. I don’t think I have ever noticed, or ever paid attention before but now it is all I see.
I have found online forums hugely helpful, if a little scary these past two weeks. Reading other people’s stories has made me realise how hugely common this is. As I didn’t miscarry naturally I was given a leaflet with the options for the next stage, however imagine being handed a leaflet 10 minutes after seeing your baby on the screen, and being told there is no heartbeat. I didn’t even read the leaflet until the next day, and then faced with the awful options I literally felt I had no where to turn.
There was a telephone number you could ring for the Miscarriage Association, but I don’t find it easy to speak to someone I don’t know, so I knew it was only me who could make this decision.
So what does every millennial do in times of need? We google, we google every which way we can, and that’s what I did. Reading other peoples stories helped me immensely, and although I didn’t ask for help or comment on these posts, reading how supportive these women where of each other gave me huge comfort.
The options I was given where; to wait it out and miscarry naturally – this was my first thought but then after waiting five days for something to happen I just knew mentally I couldn’t continue like this, it was horrendous just waiting for something to happen, even though knowing when it did it would be heartbreaking.
The second option was medical management, which involved being given two sets of tablets over a period of 48 hours and then managed throughout the process within the hospital. Again I felt this drawn out process was just too much for me.
So that left the surgical management option, which was what I went for in the end. After reading many many stories I felt this was the best option for me, emotionally and physically. After experiencing this, I wouldn’t say it was the easiest option but felt the right one for me. The part I was anxious about was being put to sleep, for many reasons that I won’t go into, this scared me probably more so than the operation itself.
After going into hospital at 7:30 am, I naively thought I would be done and dusted by lunchtime, this wasn’t the case, there is a lot of waiting around which only added to my anxiety. Although I couldn’t fault the hospital itself, they have a policy of not allowing anyone to be with you, which to me is a ridiculous policy. You NEED someone with you, you need that person to calm you down, distract you, tell you everything will be okay. Facing the process alone is extremely emotional and scary.
After hacking into my arm and taking my blood I was told the next stage would be to go through my options and sign a consent form. Who do you think they brought in for that? Only the most ridiculously handsome doctor I have ever seen in my life. Cheers for that. Although for at least 10 minutes it took my mind off what was to come, so silver lining I guess.
I was decked out in the most over sized gown, fluorescent green socks and paper slippers by 9 am. At this point I felt a little let down, everyone else had there own pyjamas, dressing gowns, slippers the works, no one had told me I could bring my own, not that it mattered I guess but it would have given me a little bit of comfort. I then sat, and waited, watching Jeremy Kyle feeling like right now I looked like I could be one of the guests of that show.
I was then taken through to another room where the nurse took my blood pressure, asked me the same 101 questions I had been asked 3 times already and slapped a wristband on my wrist and sent me back out to the waiting room. For the next hour, I just sat watching other women come and go. This was tough, I felt emotional enough already but having that extra time to worry just added to my anxiety levels. I was then called through again and told I would be given a tablet to start the process off. This, I wasn’t prepared for and believe me, if you’re thinking you can keep any sort of dignity you lose it at this point when the tablet is inserted into your cervix as far up as it can go.
Finally at 11 am it seemed to be my turn, walking into theatre was possibly one of the scariest times I have had, I was literally talking to myself, telling myself to stop being so dramatic and people go through operations every single day, but when it’s you its hard to stop your emotions from taking over completely.
Just before 11:30 I was finally on the bed waiting to go into the theatre, as they attached the wires to me and the cannula in my arm I’m not going to lie to you, I got extremely upset, and I honestly think if they hadn’t whacked that general anesthetic into me quick it would have escalated into a full blown panic attack. The last thing I remember was the woman asking me what I did for a living.
And then the next thing I knew, was coming round feeling extremely distressed, I had an oxygen mask on my face and someone talking softly to me and stroking my hair. I also remember looking at the clock in front of me and wondering why it said 1:15 pm (my op should have been 15 mins).
Without going into a huge amount of gory details, I had lost over 5 units of blood hens why I had been under for so long. I don’t really remember much about this point, I just felt so weak and so so sleepy. They left me in recovery for probably just under an hour and then I was taken onto the ward. At this point all I wanted was a drink of water I felt so dehydrated and weak. I’d say from this stage I just kind of felt left to it, I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for, I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep with so many other people around me, but I also had no clue what I was supposed to do?
Again, I don’t want to gross anyone out but even though I was fully aware I was in a lot of pain and I knew I was bleeding, nothing could prepare me for when I attempted to stand up. I am not great with blood anyway but seeing how much I was losing freaked me out, and then seeing the nurses face didn’t particularly make me feel any better. I would say at this point, although they were nice enough I did feel like I was left to deal with it myself which I did for the next two hours. I felt a little lost, this was something I had never experienced before and I felt like I was left not knowing whether this was normal or not?
Luckily this did subside over the next two hours enough for them to discharge me with the promise that I would be able manage it from home. I genuinely couldn’t wait to leave I felt so vulnerable and poorly, all I wanted was a change of clothes and my bed. The past couple of days post operation, I would say it has gotten easier. And for anyone, who is yet to go through this I would say rest as much as possible and keep on top of any painkillers.
If i could give anyone advice if you know someone who is going through this i would say the following:
- Check up on them a few times a week, especially in this first month it doesn’t have to be much, just a message to let them know they’re not alone, and that someone is thinking of them.
- When you do speak with her, let her talk about it if she needs to.
- Share a post similar to mine, so she realises shes not the only one going through this.
If you’ve survived a miscarriage yourself, do what is best for you, but share your story if you feel like you can, you may not realise (like me) how many people around you have gone through the same thing. Hearing stories from women, who now have healthy babies has given me an awful amount of hope and those short conversations have brought me back to life.
What I have learnt the past week, is no matter what I unfortunately can’t control my life completely. Due to some sort of higher power, some things are just not meant to be.
I hope and pray that one day will be the right time for me, and hopefully under better circumstances. I wish someone could tell me that it will definitely happen for me, but I guess that’s not real life. Real life is never knowing what will happen.
I hope this post helps anyone who may be going through the same thing.
Lots of love xxx