Precious writes about her miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, and shares her advice on how to comfort someone after pregnancy loss.
The comments that hurt the most were the ones that would say ‘it was only an embryo, it’s not really a baby’ or ‘at least it was early.’
Five weeks into my first pregnancy, I started bleeding. A scan showed a heartbeat, but also a small tear in the sac. I was told it would either heal itself or it would cause me to miscarry, but either way, there was nothing I could do to prevent it.
During the next six weeks, my morning sickness became more intense. By the time of the scan, I was actually quite hopeful everything would be okay. Sadly, it was far from okay and we soon learnt our baby had died.
I could see immediately on the sonographer’s face that something wasn’t right. When he told me I had lost the baby I just felt utter shock. The doctor came in and explained all the options. I couldn’t take any information in, only that I had to go back in three days’ time to have my baby removed via D&C. The tears came hard. It is funny how even in this desperate situation you cling onto hope. There was this small part of me that kept thinking, maybe they have got it wrong. How could I be this sick and not be pregnant?
Going home was awful. I was so excited about the baby I had already started buying lots of things, so back home I was greeted by a roomful of baby clothes, bottles and a Moses basket. I tried to block what had happened out as much as possible and hold together my emotions. I wanted to get it over and done with and be able to move on with my life.
In January 2017, I found out I was pregnant again. This pregnancy felt different straight away and I was in a lot of pain. I had absolutely no positivity within me at all and feared the worse from the very beginning. One evening I started bleeding and was in excruciating pain so called 111. During that call, I passed out and the operator told my partner to call 999. He did so but because I was conscious and talking they decided not to send an ambulance and I needed to make my way to A&E. Despite being advised there would be no ambulance, one did come but we decided to drive ourselves to hospital. A scanned showed it was ectopic pregnancy, approximately eight weeks, and that it had split my tube. I was admitted into hospital where they sent me for emergency surgery to have the embryo and tube removed.
In the back of my head I think; ‘I now have one tube, I am 30 and I have no children.’ It has been a very traumatic experience for me and I suffered a bout of depression, having had two different types of miscarriages within a six month period. I am in a very negative mind-set towards pregnancy. It is hard when it happens a second time because now I feel I will always be expecting the worse. The joy of any future pregnancy will be soon overshadowed by the panic that something is going to happen to the baby.
It’s funny how having children wasn’t at all a big deal for me up until I was actually pregnant. After both experiences, I did fall into depression for a space of time. However, the second time was better because I was more aware of the coping mechanisms to use and support available, whereas the first time I just felt lost.
After my first miscarriage, I received lots of messages. But, I just couldn’t talk about it to anyone. It was months before I could have a conversation about it without crying. I decided not to talk about it because it felt so raw. After my second one it was pretty much the same feeling with not talking about it, although I spoke about it a lot sooner than my first, purely because I had experience the same pain and grief and knew it would pass.
The comments that hurt the most were the ones that would say ‘it was only an embryo, it’s not really a baby’ or ‘at least it was early.’ I never thought of it as an embryo or foetus, to me they were my babies. People don’t mean it, they are just trying to say the right thing. If I could give any advice at all to anyone trying to comfort someone who has lost a child, it would be simply to say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.