Elisha’s story

Elisha shares her experience of miscarriage during lockdown, and the heartbreak for her and her partner on being separated during such a painful time.

We don’t realise how strong we are until we go through something as big as that on our own and come out the other end. Having a miscarriage is a horrible thing but having a miscarriage during a pandemic is the loneliest thing I could’ve experienced.

I have always wanted to be a mum, so when I found out I was pregnant it was the best day of my life. Me and my partner had been trying for 6 months and I know it sounds like no time, but when you are trying to conceive it feels like a lifetime.

For the 3 months that I was pregnant it was lockdown. I was a key worker working as a care assistant. My doctor had advised it was safe to work in a nursing home as I was very early on in my pregnancy. I would never change those three months, I was over the moon to be expecting.

The girls I work with were all aware that I was pregnant as I had to be careful how much heavy lifting I did, and they were all so excited for me. Although the world was going through this horrible thing, in my world I was so happy.

Then one shift I did not feel completely myself, so I went home. Later that day I started cramping, but nothing that I worried about. I rested for a week, on my midwife’s suggestion.

On the 26th of June I was 12 weeks and 6 days and I started to bleed a little. I went to the early pregnancy assessment unit for a scan just in case. I arrived on my own as my partner wasn’t allowed in and I never expected to hear my worst nightmare.

As I lay there waiting to hear a heartbeat, the nurse said, “I’m so sorry to tell you this, but your baby has no heartbeat”. Laying on the bed sobbing on my own without my partner was one of the worst moments of my life. After pulling myself together the nurse told me I’d had a missed miscarriage, so my body hadn’t recognised the miscarriage.  All the people at the unit were so caring and did the best they could to help me take in this news.

Usually there are three choices in this situation: surgery, medical management or natural miscarriage, but due to Covid, surgery wasn’t an option. If surgery had been an option it would’ve been my first choice. There was too much risk of miscarrying at work if I was to miscarry naturally. I chose the medical option even though I’d have to stay in hospital alone. Walking out of the hospital with tears streaming down my face, getting ready to break the news to my partner waiting in the car park, was so scary. He was heartbroken and so upset he hadn’t been allowed to be with me when I found out the news.

The time until I went into hospital was a blur. I went in a few days before to have a check up and to take a tablet to start the process, and although all the girls at the hospital were lovely I just wish I had my partner there.

The following night I was rushed into hospital as things had started to happen naturally and I was in excruciating pain. Walking from the car to the ward on my own, bent over in pain, was another time I felt so alone. When I got to the ward they said I had a hidden cervix so doctors had to try to manually help it along all while laying in bed alone. I was just crying non-stop. Crying in pain, crying because I felt so alone and crying because I had lost my baby.

After a long and painful five hours, with a lot of complications, everything was over and I could go home. The following week I was back at work as a key worker and everything that had happened felt like a blur. I was hurting so much inside, but I had to put on a happy face for everyone I look after.

I think one thing that I have learnt looking back, is that we don’t realise how strong we are until we go through something as big as that on our own and come out the other end. Having a miscarriage is a horrible thing but having a miscarriage during a pandemic is the loneliest thing I could’ve experienced. The effect it’s had on my partner not being able to be there for me, and being separated during the worst experience of both our lives, is so hard.