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Miscarriage journal

Maria recounts her story of six pregnancies: four miscarriages and two healthy pregnancies in between.

If you know someone who has suffered or is suffering a miscarriage please do not turn away from them in embarrassment. Give them your support. If you do not know what to say just give them a hug as it is what they need.

30 May 2006

I don’t know why I have bought this journal.  I just feel the need to say so much.  This is my book, my story!  It is more than a diary.  This is for me and when I’ve finished I will read it all again and, hopefully, know that I am better than today.  I think I will call my book ‘So you think you know how I feel?’  This is going to be my ‘No Holding Back’ book and I hope that one day my husband can read this and understand what has happened over the last year and how it has affected me.

The last year, May 2005 to May 2006, has been the best and the worst year (so far) of my life.  The best because I married Iain on 21 May 2005 and the worst because I lost two babies between October 2005 and May 2006.  I must also add that on 25 May 2005 Iain’s Dad died.

The wedding was great.  It’s true when they say that a wedding day is for the Bride.  You feel so special.  A Princess for the day.  People said I never stopped smiling and I didn’t, despite the fact that we knew Iain’s Dad was dying and that we both had an awful stomach bug the week before.  Iain was still suffering on the day of our wedding and he nearly fainted on the altar.  However, a lovely day and I got Iain.  My best friend.  I love him to pieces.

The day after the wedding reality hit.  After everyone had gone home we had to face the fact that Iain’s Dad was about to die.  We were supposed to go on honeymoon the Monday after the wedding but we had to cancel when Iain was told a week earlier that his Dad was terminal.  I was so angry.  I wasn’t angry at his Dad as that wasn’t logical.  I was angry at the situation.  I had never been overly religious but I thought I believed in God and he was doing this to us!  I must have really upset him (God) because things just kept going wrong.  Poor Iain.  He didn’t deserve what was happening.  He lost his Dad.  His Dad!  I get so wrapped up in my own feelings sometimes that I forget how hurt he must be.  After the wedding and after the funeral we finally got a break in the June for a honeymoon.  It was lovely to get away and did us both the world of good.  I put on 10lbs which really depressed me.  Weight is the biggest health problem in my life and after yo-yoing for years it was 10lbs I didn’t need.  Confidence started to drop again.

I came off the pill in July.  The worst feeling in the world is waiting to get pregnant but I got pregnant quickly in the August.  I was four weeks in the September and I knew something wasn’t right.  Had lots of pain and started bleeding at 7 weeks.  Lost the baby at 9 wks exactly.  Had an evacuation on 20 October 2005.  Never felt so devastated.  Everyone tells you to be positive and then everything goes wrong.  You fall down so hard that you can’t get back up again.  I felt as if I had spent most of the pregnancy at the EPU (Early Pregnancy Unit).  I had 5 scans before I lost the baby.  The worst thing is that people don’t treat miscarriage like the death of a baby.  The baby might not have been a physical child but I believe that a baby is a baby the moment it is conceived.  How dare people treat me like nothing has happened?  People don’t think and don’t understand.  They tend to say ‘You know it’s more common that you think.  One in four women has a miscarriage.’  Thanks for reminding me that I’m a statistic.  Another classic is ‘It’ll happen for you’ or ‘It just wasn’t meant to be.’  Patronising!  I know people just don’t understand and don’t set out to hurt you but why can’t they think before they speak.  I don’t feel positive.  I’m angry and hurt.  The thought that this is fate kills me.  Why did we deserve this?

Suffered badly after first miscarriage.  Ended up seeing a psychologist.  I’d like to say that he helped but it really just gave me the opportunity to cry for 3 hours.  Told everyone is helped.  It didn’t.  Nothing changed.  Nothing!  Hated work.  Couldn’t stop crying.  Everyone moves on but you.  Still there.  Still hurts.  Put on another 10lbs.  Great!

Found out I was pregnant again on 24 March 2006.  Up until that point each month was sheer torture.  The all consuming fight to get pregnant.  That hole inside you will never heal until you have a baby.  Cried on the way to work.  Couldn’t keep the tears at bay.  I was 4 wks pregnant on 28 March 2006.  I found out early this time.  I was terrified.  Iain tried to calm me down.  Told my parents.  They were delighted but they didn’t understand my fear.  ‘Don’t be negative’ they said ‘why would it happen again.’  Don’t be negative!  People don’t realise how hard it was for me the first time.

7 June 2006

Haven’t written for over a week.  I was told on 17 May 2006 that my second miscarriage had arrived.  The baby had stopped growing, probably a few weeks earlier.  I was lying on the bed in the EPU (Early Pregnancy Unit) with an internal scan still inside me when they confirmed it.  Iain wanted to see the screen.  I didn’t.  I felt so alone at that moment.  Everything was still.  The tears just kept rolling.  They were the only thing of me that moved.  I stopped breathing.  My heart had stopped.  Iain was there but I just couldn’t acknowledge him in that moment.  I couldn’t move.  They booked me into theatre the following day for another evacuation.  We walked outside and I felt sheer desperation, grief, devastation, emptiness, loneliness.  My world had fallen apart.  My baby, inside me, was dead.  Why had this happened?  I had prayed to God so hard.  A God that obviously wasn’t there.  God? Who is he/she?!  Fate! Only fate exists and this was mine.  Well, thanks a lot!  The midwives said that they would book me in to see the consultant midwife for some blood tests to see if they could find a reason.  What if they find nothing? That is worse for me.  Nothing means that there is nothing to fix and that all this was meant to be.  The thought that I had this to look forward to all my life fills me with dread for the future.  What next!?

So, I lost the baby at 10 weeks.  I won’t go into the evacuation other than to say that they are horrendous.  When I asked the Doctor what happened to my baby when they took everything away, the heartless excuse of a medical professional told me that the baby would be incinerated with the rest of the human remains.  I swear at that moment I wanted to roll over her head with a truck.  I told the consultant midwife about her.  I screamed at the Doctor to get out of the room.

Iain’s just been on the phone.  He’s away tonight.  I’m having a bad day today.  It’s my birthday on 9 June and I know it’s going to be hard.  He wants to know what I want as a present.  What can I tell him?  A baby, please!  He is so good and I am just grumpy.

15 July 2006

So much has happened over the last month.  I saw the consultant midwife who was lovely and we are having tests done.  They took blood from me and Iain.  We get the results on 31 July.  I went back to work on 3 July, part time.  Work is awful.  Nothing means anything anymore.  I feel pressured to go back to work full time.  They say, ‘work will take your mind off it.’  How so?  Like I forget!

My birthday was terrible.  I got drunk and had a fight with Iain.  I didn’t mean to.  It just happened.  I spoke to a be-friender from the Miscarriage Association.  She was lovely.  There is a support group at the Queen Mother’s Hospital.  She sent me a Magazine from the Miscarriage Association.  I read it today and cried buckets.  I have just taken the scans of my two babies from their hiding place.  I haven’t been able to look at them until now.  I’m going to call my first baby Gabriel, a boy.  My second baby will be named Margaret, a girl.  I’m going to keep their scans in this journal and never forget that I am a mummy with two children.  Why does this pain never go away?  People are so insensitive.  Nobody understands.  I will go to the Miscarriage Association support group in August.  Can’t write for the tears now.  I will write again soon.  Sleep tight Gabriel and Maggie.  I love you very much.

5 July 2008

We moved to Canada in November 2006 and we had Jessica Caroline Rose on 12 November 2007.  My greatest achievement.  My wonderful baby.  I found out I was pregnant again in May 2008.  The due date was 25 January 2009.  I miscarried at home this time.  I am still bleeding.  Worst experience of my life.  I flushed my baby down the toilet.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I can’t say any more about this.  It’s too painful.

Iain took me to look at houses today.  Our intention is to buy something here.  I confess that I am throwing myself at this to keep my mind off my misery.  I need a project. Every time I look at Jessica I want to cry.  How on earth did I manage to give her life?  I must have done something very terrible in a past life to deserve 3 miscarriages but at some point I must have done something wonderful.  She is the most beautiful baby.  I love her so very much.  She keeps me going every day.  I don’t understand how my body could get Jessica so right and get 3 babies so wrong.  I blame myself.  Stress and work with the first two and a trip to the UK with the 3rd miscarriage.  I should never have flown.  The trip was very stressful.

So, here I am, nearly midnight and I am going to hit to the pillow any moment.  I am exhausted.  Bottling my emotions up inside me is exhausting.  I just cannot breakdown yet over this miscarriage.  Jessica needs me.  And I need her.  I am so tired of feeling lonely, not physically, just emotionally.

July 2012

It has been so long since I wrote in this journal.  A lot has happened.

I had my second child in December 2009.  Her name is Isla Maria and she is perfect.  She came to us with the help of a doctor I was referred to after the 3rd miscarriage.  He was involved in research into miscarriage and placed me on progesterone and aspirin.  They wondered if my problem was an attachment and blood flow issue.  My pregnancy was tough but worth it.  We were thrilled.

Iain’s mum died in April 2010.  Again, anger and resentment.  Hadn’t we suffered enough.  Iain was gone a lot that year spending time in Britain dealing with the estate of his mother.  We moved into our new house in the July and things seemed to settle down.

On 20 February 2011 I found out I was pregnant again.  My heart just sang.  I was so happy.  Then doubt filled my mind.  I was terrified.  It would happen again.  I couldn’t do it again.  I couldn’t go through all that pain again.  Should I even have the baby?  That doubt has given me so much pain over the past year.  I should never have doubted.  Was it that doubt that killed my baby!

I lost the baby on 8 April 2011.  A few weeks earlier after I was told everything was OK, I was informed that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage.  The doctor told me that it was common and not to worry.  Again, I was placed on progesterone and aspirin.  This time it didn’t work.  I am still haunted as to why I wasn’t taken off the aspirin after they found out about the hemorrhage.  Was this a problem?  I will never know.

A friend came to watch the children while I had a scan to check my progress.  The technician didn’t say anything to me.  I was worried.  I drove home and waited all day for the Doctor to call.  She finally called me at 7pm and told me that I had suffered a miscarriage.  For some reason, this last miscarriage shook me more that the rest.  I thought everything would be OK.  I had convinced myself that it would be OK.  The Doctor told me that within the first 12 wks an evacuation was not normal in Canada (which was why they had let me miscarry at home the last time).  I cried and begged her to reconsider.  I was nearly 12 weeks.  I couldn’t go through it again.  She finally agreed and told me to come to the hospital the next day and she would do the evacuation herself.

I spent 9 hours at the hospital waiting for my evacuation.  9 hours to think.  When my Doctor finally came to see me it was with bad news.  They couldn’t fit me in.  They had several emergencies that day and I was not a priority.  I would have to come back the next day.  My sobbing must have affected her.  She came back to me a short while later and told me that she was staying late and that she would perform my evacuation.  I was so grateful.  I got home very late that night.  Exhausted and in complete denial.

The following few days were strange.  I barely cried.  People brought me food.  A friend understood my pain and she was worried.  Rightly so.  A few days later I was heartbroken.  People did not know what to say to me.  Some people were kind.  Some people said the wrong things to me.  Some people just smiled and said they were sorry.  I knew then that it was over.

My husband had a vasectomy that year.  The build up to that operation was agony.  Should he do it?  Should he not?  When it was done I was upset.  He went through the operation but to me it was the end of my fertility.  We would never have another child.  My reaction shook me to my core.  The worry about getting pregnant was over.  The pain of another miscarriage would never happen.  However, I was upset.  It was over.

So, here I am.  A mother of two beautiful girls.  I am grateful every day for them but I cry at every anniversary for the loss of one of my angels.  I have learned a lot over the years.  I have grown stronger.  Here are some key things I have learned:

  1. When you have a miscarriage you don’t want to hear about anyone else having a miscarriage(s). You are completely consumed by your own grief.  It is not a competition but some people can make you feel like you are in a competition.  Comments like: ‘I have a friend who has had 5 miscarriages.’ Having one miscarriage is no different than having five.  The pain and emotional turmoil is the same.
  2. Time does not heal your pain but time does help you get through each day/week/month.  You have no choice but to give in to time!
  3. Writing in a diary helps. Write about your feelings each day.  After a few weeks/months look back at your entries and you will notice that the way you write will change. You have bad days but the good days will increase.
  4. Things you shouldn’t say to someone who has just suffered a miscarriage (from experience):
  • There are starving children in Africa.
  • This is nature’s way.
  • Your time will come.
  • You already have 2 children so why are you so upset?
  • But at least you lost the baby in first 3 mths (This generally comes from the older generation who do not understand modern technology, have never seen a scan and do not realise how developed a baby actually is by the end of the first trimester).
  • Do not complain in front of someone who has just had a miscarriage that you are upset that the baby is not the sex you want it to be.  You are having a baby!  Be at peace!

I hope this diary/account of my experience with miscarriage helps somebody in the same position.  Miscarriage is one of the worst experiences of my life and one the worst things that can happy to a woman.  The all consuming desire for a child will keep you going through all the pain and only that child will heal you, in some way.  For me, I wanted another child after the last miscarriage but the pain of the last four was too great.  You reach a point where you say, enough!

If you know someone who has suffered or is suffering a miscarriage please do not turn away from them in embarrassment.  Give them your support.  If you do not know what to say just give them a hug as it is what they need.  Please support miscarriage and I hope after reading this you understand a little bit more about this heartbreaking subject.

POEM

A gift for such a little while, your loss just seems so wrong.

You should not have left before us, it’s with loved ones you belong.

Gone yet not forgotten, although we are apart, your spirit lives within me, forever in my heart.

Maria Wallace

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