Chenay found out that she had experienced a missed miscarriage at her 12 week scan. Here, she talks about going through medical management but then requiring surgery, and her recovery.
My heart was broken. I wondered how I would ever get back to the person I was. I was filled with so much sadness and negativity, the person I saw staring back at me in the mirror somehow felt like a stranger.
My husband and I arrived for our 12 week scan. We were filled with pride. I became pregnant almost immediately after our wedding. The family we had always dreamt of was already beginning.
The sonographer began to scan my notably very small belly. She pressed harder and harder until she could see what looked like an empty pregnancy sac. She asked how far along I thought I was, I answered and she then explained the pregnancy didn’t look as if it had developed as expected.
The internal scan confirmed this. The baby was approximately 6 weeks and there was no visible heartbeat. We needed to wait a week for a second scan to confirm if the baby had in fact died.
My mind was spinning. I didn’t know what questions to ask. We were told to sit in a waiting room for someone to come to speak to us. We sat and we cried. We didn’t need confirmation, there was no doubt about our dates.
Our baby had died but no one could tell us that. As our minds attempted to come to terms with this devastating news, another woman was invited into the next room where we could hear her having her scan. It all became too much and we left before we could ask our questions.
When I did get to speak to someone I asked about the possibilities. There were none – the only one being that we got our dates wrong and I knew that wasn’t true. But a little bit of hope remained in my heart. They wouldn’t discuss anything else. I didn’t know what could have happened. My body was still carrying my baby with no signs of problems.
After a week of endless googling I had my answer, I had had a missed miscarriage. My baby had died and my body didn’t know.
When I went back, now having carried the baby for 13 weeks, they confirmed what we already knew. They wanted to discuss options but thanks to the resources available from the Miscarriage Association I already knew I wanted a medically managed miscarriage. If my body didn’t naturally miscarry, I didn’t want to wait any complications to arise.
They booked me in for the next day and the procedure was pretty straight forward. They discussed all of the possible problems but assured me that most women are fine.
I wasn’t ‘most women’.
Within 8 hours the bleeding was uncontrollable. They say you shouldn’t bleed through more than two pads per hour. I bled through that every 5 minutes. The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and before long I was rushed into A&E and was being monitored by 2 nurses. They told me my medical miscarriage had failed and I needed to stay in to be observed and have more scans.
In the morning they confirmed there was little they would be able to do and I would need emergency surgical management. That was the one procedure I didn’t want, but I did it, not wanting to face what had happened the day before again.
It was short and easy and I was back to health quite quickly. The weeks after I waited and waited for the bleeding to stop, but it didn’t. At the three week mark I took another pregnancy test and it was positive. It was a bank holiday, so I waited a few days and took another, still positive.
I was called back in for more scans. The tissue hadn’t been successfully removed and there was still a lot left. They told me I’d need more surgery and I’d need it soon.
The next week I went in and had the surgery. They told me the tissue they removed had become infected. This for me was the worst possible news. The one thing that terrified me the most. They put me on a strong course of antibiotics and sent me home. The nurses and midwives were so kind. So many told me “this never happens”, but it was happening to me and I just couldn’t understand why.
I was surprised, my body recovered faster this time, but my heart didn’t. My heart was broken. I wondered how I would ever get back to the person I was. I was filled with so much sadness and negativity, the person I saw staring back at me in the mirror somehow felt like a stranger.
In total it took 2 months to actively miscarry and 3 medical procedures. I wondered how I would ever pick myself back up from this.
Then the bleeding stopped. The pregnancy test was negative and for the first time I felt like I could breathe. My heart began to heal. We decorated what would have been their room and it became my safe space. My period came back exactly when it should have and I could feel a little bit of myself returning.
I wanted to share my story, not to scare anyone but for the women who shared their stories and helped me through my darkest days. And because I needed to hear my story when I was going through it. I needed to know I would be okay in spite of all of the heartbreak I was facing. Now I can honestly say I am.
I am hopeful and my experience has taught me so much. I will never be that person again, because I know more. My heart is stronger. If I could go back and do things differently, I wouldn’t.
For the 13 weeks I carried my baby I was a mum and my husband was a dad. They filled our life with joy, and that joy will remain with us forever. Our ending wasn’t what we had dreamt of but it was the one we got and I am still grateful for every moment that I was pregnant. Our baby will remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives.