India shares her story of experiencing a missed miscarriage during lockdown. She describes the physical impact, her feelings afterwards and what she and her husband did to remember their baby. If you're looking for more information about the impact of coronavirus on your care please have a look at the link at the bottom of this page.
My baby had died inside of me and for 3 weeks I was unaware. A feeling of embarrassment and failure consumes me.
Being pregnant was such a weird feeling, especially during lockdown. We were overjoyed and excited about our future, the next few months during pregnancy and what the end of the year was going to bring us with a newborn baby. We were also apprehensive about some of the things that could go wrong and being in lockdown only heightened this.
As the weeks came closer to our 12 week scan I was starting to worry more and more, there was no logical reasoning for my worry except for a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was right, on scan day, all our plans that we had made over the past 3 months came to a very sudden halt.
In the waiting room, it was just women, no partners allowed, and every one of us sat two metres apart. When I got called in, the sonographers had aprons and masks on. After the scan the sonographer asked if we could do an internal scan as she was struggling to see baby. I had to empty my bladder and when I returned the screen was turned off. I knew something wasn’t right but I sat there begging for baby to be ok.
Then I heard “I’m really sorry but this pregnancy seems to have ended a little while ago, there’s no heartbeat.” I lay there crying and asked, “what happens now?”. I was allowed to call my husband in. We got taken to a small, quiet room where a nurse explained to the both of us that I had suffered a missed miscarriage, my pregnancy had ended at 10 weeks and what we could expect to happen next. We were told to return a week later for another scan and that in the meantime I might start to bleed.
My miscarriage was long and traumatic. It consisted of a missed miscarriage, medical management, retained ‘products,’ an infection, six internal examinations, an extremely heavy bleed due to ‘caught products’ and a surgical procedure called an MVA. It took six weeks to complete; six weeks of bleeding, hospitals and invasive procedures.
The physical aspects of a miscarriage was something I knew nothing about before it happened to me. Who knew it could take so long and be so physically draining? There is a reason why my first response was “what happens now?” because I had no knowledge about what was about to come next. This is why I now feel so strongly that we should have the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about miscarriage before entering a pregnancy. We need to be prepared about what are bodies might have to go through when our babies don’t make it.
There are so many emotions that come with miscarriage, I can’t talk about them all. But one of them is my feeling towards my body. I hate my body. I hate how it failed me. Not only did it fail to do the one job that it should have been able to do but then it failed to give me any sign or indication that something was not right. My baby had died inside of me and for 3 weeks I was unaware. A feeling of embarrassment and failure consumes me.
Not knowing why this happened is also one of the hardest things that we have to live with. Doctors, nurses, midwives, friends, family all tell me it was not my fault and yet I cannot shake the feeling that it was. Being pregnant and then suddenly not being, is hard. It’s cruel, lonely and makes you feel extremely empty.
And the thing is I don’t want to just be pregnant again, I want to still be pregnant. Pregnant with that baby, the baby that I carried for 14 weeks, the one that should be born in November, the one we talked and fantasised about, our baby April.
We decided to name our baby April to honour the month that we lost them. We have planted a rose bush in our garden; the day after my last procedure the first rose on the rose bush blossomed; we took this as a sign from April. We have found that honouring April in this way has given us something beautiful to physically cherish.
I am 1 in 4. Miscarriage is extremely lonely. People don’t talk about it, but this needs to change and I want to be a part of this change so that others don’t feel so alone.
To our baby April, thank you for the happiness you gave us whilst you were with me, even though it was short. We miss you and our plans for our future with you. We will always love you, we will always talk about you and you will always be the one who made us mummy and daddy.