J and J’s story

J shares her story of an unexpected pregnancy and the sadness of her and her partner's loss.

The surgery was uncomplicated despite my absolute terror of being under general anesthetic for the first time ever, and I was able to start recovery.

I found out I was pregnant a couple of days before my missed period due to accidently miscalculating my cycle by a day or so. Me and my partner were not trying for a baby and I had a feeling (thinking my period was a day late and my cycle being totally regular) that I should check. The test came back with two bold lines, which were unmistakable for a positive yet I still felt I needed proof so I forked out for a digital one that came back displaying the word “pregnant” even before the 3 minute window. My emotions were torn as at this point my partner and I had not been together long and worries surrounding financial stability were at the front of our minds. However deep down we both knew we wanted our baby now that it was here and would make it work.

As the first few weeks passed we become more excited about the thought of a little baby until at about 7 weeks of gestation I got hit with hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) which landed me in hospital. I was poorly and feeling extremely anxious so the nurse asked the sonographer to slot me into her morning clinic in the hope that this may ease some of my anxieties. My partner was not with me as this was about 10:30am on the ward I was an inpatient on. I did not know the nurse had asked for this, so even if my partner could miraculously get to the hospital on time, I didn’t know it was being arranged to even inform him.

So sitting feeling awful in my hospital bed after forcing myself to shower with dripping wet hair due to no hairdryers being on the ward, a lady in a different uniform comes over and asks “Jemma?”. I nod and she continues with “do you want to follow me please”. Something about being in hospital makes you very passive, if I was out of hospital I would ask “who are you and why do I need to follow you” before just following and doing as asked.

I enter the scan room with her and she explains she’s been asked to give me an early pregnancy scan and how far along I was. I answered 7/8 weeks and she attempted an abdominal scan and said “gestation sac is in the right place – I think I can see a little flicker” I was instantly relieved. But then she went quiet and told me she would need to put the “wand” into my vagina with a condom on it to see internally. I instantly just knew something wasn’t right and already tears filled my eyes.

The internal revealed an identical twin pregnancy,  with two small fetal poles but absolutely no flicker of either babies tiny little heart. She apologised and said “I was sure I could see a small flicker, but this more detailed image is very different” and called a more senior sonographer who agreed with the diagnosis: a missed miscarriage of identical twin pregnancy. I called my partner crying, apologising profusely for having to tell him over the phone, then my mum.

The sonographer whisked me back to my bed and then the doctor who had said I would be able to go home later that day came to me explaining all my options for removal of “the remaining products of conception”. He leaned strongly to surgical management due to my being so unwell and how I would cope with the bleeding at home. I agreed and I’m so glad I did – the surgery was uncomplicated despite my absolute terror of being under general anesthetic for the first time ever and I was able to start recovery.

The only problem with surgical management was the waiting for 7 days knowing my little ones had died inside of me. Before this the NHS doctors and nurses refused a second scan so that my partner could see the babies for closure, being told it “was a strange request”. Which I guess for some it may be, but for us it was almost a chance to say goodbye and for closure before they were removed from me for good.

We ended up paying a private centre for the scan who were unbelievably helpful, fitting us into a heavy schedule and the lady who dealt with us totally understood as she had suffered a missed miscarriage herself. We saw them and tried to make our peace with the fact we would never meet our little ones. We have a spot for them in our garden, a water feature and small tree as a memorial to them.

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