No one talks about the physical process of miscarriage. My sister-in-law told me she had suffered labour pain and that it was a huge shock to her. She didn’t want me to be surprised and unprepared but I still was.
1 out of 100 women in the UK experience recurrent miscarriages (3 or more). Sadly I’ve suffered 3 in 14 months.
I was 6 weeks pregnant when I first miscarried. We’d known for 2 weeks and that Sunday evening as I prepared for bed I saw blood. I had a gut feeling and I told my husband that I thought I was miscarrying. There was more in the morning when I went to the loo, like I had come on. I knew it had gone, I was sad but pragmatic. My two sisters, my mum and my sister in law suffered miscarriages. I knew it was very common. I went to the EPU and after a scan they confirmed the loss. To be completely honest I felt ok after the first, almost like I had gone through it and all would be fine.
The next miscarriage in April was harder. No bleeding and I had all the signs of pregnancy which was comforting. I booked an early scan at our local hospital and at 8 weeks we were told there was nothing there. On the screen all we could see was an empty sac. The sonographer confirmed an anembryonic pregnancy or ‘missed miscarriage’ where the embryo doesn’t form but your body still thinks it’s pregnant. I waited and when I didn’t miscarry I took misoprostol which sadly also didn’t work. In the end I booked in for an ERPC.
This time was a lot more difficult to deal with emotionally. I felt like that there was a constant layer of sadness fog, a kind of dull ache. I also suffered my first bout of shingles after the surgery, I guess due to the stress of the whole experience. Annoyingly I’m still suffering with repeated outbreaks of shingles and other stress related skin conditions.
The third and last miscarriage was the worst. Again there was no bleeding and we were silently hopeful. I felt physically sick travelling to our 8 week scan but sadly we had the all familiar blank screen again. Another missed miscarriage. It was horrendous and I cried a lot more, the more you have the worse it is. This time I opted for natural management to avoid surgery and three weeks later I started to bleed. No one talks about the physical process of miscarriage. My sister-in-law told me she had suffered labour pain and that it was a huge shock to her. She didn’t want me to be surprised and unprepared but I still was.
The bleeding was so severe and I was passing a lot of blood clots. I was hoping to catch any tissue so I could pass it to the hospital for testing but that was impossible. After 24 hours I couldn’t sit up without feeling faint and I passed out whilst I was on the toilet. I woke up on the floor and had hallucinated that Chris was with me when in reality he had left for work half an hour earlier. Luckily my sister-in-law was coming over to visit me and she called an ambulance. I managed to open the door to the paramedics and I went to A&E. In the end I had two blood transfusions and emergency surgery. My haemoglobin count was 66 on admission, a healthy level for an adult woman is roughly 120.
It took me about 2 weeks to recover physically, I’m still recovering emotionally. Still struggling with shingles! We are very lucky to be blessed with a beautiful and lively 3 year old daughter but 2 children were always part of our plan. I am trying to deal with the idea of this not happening as I’m running out of hope now. We are having tests soon on our wonderful NHS to determine whether it is possible. I feel terribly guilty that I may not be able to give our daughter a sibling, I feel close to tears when I see her engage so wonderfully with other babies. Still so much to be grateful for but the longing is always present. Any pregnancy news twists in my gut and my enthusiasm and positivity are dwindling.
Infertility and baby loss are unfortunately a very real part of life but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. I think about our three lost babies often. I will always be a mother of 4 no matter what happens in the future. I send my love, support and strength to everyone suffering like me. The more we talk openly about this, the better.