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Martha’s story

Two weeks after her miscarriage, Martha reflects on her experience and her feelings about what happened.

What will stay with me most is those dreams and the ‘funny turn’ – I believe subconsciously my body was trying to tell me what was going on.

I imagined the space by my bed where the little cot would be, and would often look over to that space, picturing waking up and looking over at my baby when he or she would be born in April 2016.

I found out I was pregnant on 17th August with our first baby, which we wanted so badly. I cried and cried when I saw the test. I was completely overwhelmed at first and it didn’t seem real. Over the next five weeks we told a small number of very excited family and friends, I had lots of appointments (high risk because of my medical history) and I felt very tired. Every few days I would look in my pregnancy day-by-day book and imagine what the baby would look like, but it was early days – no bump and no movement. I was looking forward to all the different stages and planning the next 9 months in my head. The 12 week scan seemed very far away! Twice I dreamt that if I was very quiet and still, I could feel its heartbeat fluttering. Because of those dreams I believe there was an embryo and that it lived, however briefly.

One Thursday evening at nine weeks pregnant I suddenly felt weak, weepy and dizzy. I thought it was just a funny turn and had an early night. That morning I woke up from a dream that I was bleeding, but everything seemed normal. That afternoon at work, I discovered I was really bleeding. It was the day a close friend was starting her maternity leave but having had a miscarriage herself previously she very kindly drove me home and tried to reassure me. The bleeding continued, with pains, but didn’t get any heavier. I knew the pains were bad news though. I phoned the hospital and they told me not to come in – the idea of miscarrying at home really scared me, and I was terrified of seeing the embryo when it came out. In the end, I didn’t see it – it came out into the toilet and all I could see was blood. After 30 hours of bleeding and pain, eventually very severe pain, I felt something come out and the pain stopped – so I knew the baby had gone. I was feeling numb, just relieved that the awful pain and fear had stopped. When something you fear the most actually happens, afterwards there can be a kind of calm and acceptance. Perhaps it was easier for me to deal with this as I had cancer three years ago – after that I no longer believe bad things happen to other people. But I had thought my partner and I had had enough bad luck and that this pregnancy was safe.

The next day I went into the early pregnancy unit. They were kind, and confirmed that what I described had been a miscarriage. We were booked to go to a cottage on that day, about three hours away, so we went, and getting away from where it happened was the right thing.

Now it’s two weeks on and we feel acute sadness at times but we try to keep busy. I’ve been very tired, and for two weeks I was bleeding, though this has now stopped (the first week I also had cramps as my womb went back to its normal state). I am going back to work in a few days’ time.

What will stay with me most is those dreams and the ‘funny turn’ – I believe subconsciously my body was trying to tell me what was going on. That empty space next to my bed is still there, but I try not to think of it. One day hopefully that space will be filled, though the baby we lost will still always be our first child.

Martha, Cambridgeshire