In late October, my husband and I had an “accident” and, despite the fact that it took us over a year to conceive our second child, I somehow managed to get pregnant.
It was my miracle baby and I was so excited.
I had a scan at five weeks and saw my little blob on the screen; everything looked good. I told my family early and they were over the moon.
At nine weeks, they did another scan. The heartbeat was slower than normal. But I “shouldn’t worry”, because it could mean a number of things.
“Go home and rest!” is all I was told.
I, of course, went straight home and Googled what a slow heartbeat could mean. Miscarriage came up as the most likely reason, but I had just heard the heartbeat with my own ears. That kind of thing just didn’t happen to me.
A week later and I was back in to make sure the heartbeat had sped up. I was positive it had.
The technician took a long time swiping the wand over my belly and then asked if he could do an internal ultrasound to see everything better.
The wand pushed uncomfortably around inside me, then he stopped and sighed.
“I can’t find a heartbeat,” was all he said with a solemn look on his face. And with those five words, my world shattered.
An emergency report was made for my GP, and my husband came home from work early to be with me.
I tried to be strong and swallow the lump that had formed in my throat as the doctor asked if I understood what the ultrasound technician had told me.
I nodded. “I lost the baby,” I managed to choke out.
She gave me a speech about being able to try again – sometimes these things just happen and it was nothing that I had done. I just nodded along in a daze.
The embryo and sac were rather big, so she said she would prefer I went with the surgical option of miscarriage treatment. I agreed, just wanting it over with as fast as possible.
The next day, I went into emergency and answered the same seemingly tedious and intrusive questions over and over before I was taken in to have one last ultrasound.
“This isn’t because we think there’s been a mistake,” the doctor assured me as we walked down the hall. “It’s just protocol. You need to understand that we’re not expecting to find a heartbeat.”
I held in the tears as my body was once again invaded by the cold ultrasound wand. A few clicks of his mouse and some pushing on my insides later, and I was told for the third time in 24 hours that I had without a doubt lost my baby.
That night, I prayed it wouldn’t start naturally. I couldn’t bear to think about feeling it. That was too real.
The next morning, I sat gripping my husband’s hand as I awaited surgery in the same room I’d been in when I went for my c sections with both daughters.
It made me sad to see the broken looks on some of the other women’s faces. Is that what I looked like?
They called my name and my husband had to leave me as I followed the nurse through the big swinging doors. It didn’t seem fair that the women who were about to meet their babies got to have their loved ones waiting by their sides, but the ones who would never get that chance were forced to wait alone.
I was prepared for surgery and changed into robes, then taken down to the operating room. I counted down from 10 as they put me to sleep. I awoke what felt like seconds later and tried to focus my mind and shake off the blurry haze that had taken over.
I remember feeling pain, but I just wanted to leave and be at home with my husband and kids, so I told them I felt fine. It worked.
That night, I got some hard painkillers from my nan and ignored all the calls from family and friends. I just wanted to sleep; I didn’t want to hear their comforting words, for there was nothing that anyone could say to make this better.
I found, after only a week, people acted almost as if I should be over it, like I didn’t need to talk about it anymore because it wasn’t that big of a deal. I had people say things to me like, “At least you weren’t too far along; that would have been so much worse.”
So I started to question my own grief: did I deserve to feel this sad? Was I wrong to be this heartbroken?
I searched the internet for answers to try and figure out the right way to feel, and was honestly shocked to learn that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. It made me wonder how many women go through this alone, suffering in silence in fear of what others may think.
The stigma attached to miscarriage is so detrimental to a woman’s healing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. It doesn’t matter how far along you were. The life growing inside of you was real; your grief is real. Don’t let anyone diminish the way you feel or shame you. Don’t allow anyone to place the blame on you.
I know that’s easier said than done and even now, though the rational part of me knows it probably wasn’t my fault, and I did everything right, it doesn’t stop me from going over every little thing that I could have done wrong to cause this tragedy.
It’s been over a year now, and though it still hurts to think about what could have been, the pain I feel in my heart is finally beginning to heal.
Cover by Dmitry Schemelev