Shannon’s story

Shannon talks about the impact having a miscarriage had on her and her female partner.

We wanted to be mummies... I couldn't talk. I just sobbed. The pain was so overwhelming.

Me and my now ex-partner were together for almost 5 years. Ever since we got together we knew what we wanted for our life together – we wanted to be mummies.

After 3 years of trying to fall pregnant using a sperm donor, and hospital tests to check my fertlity, I woke up one Saturday morning and felt ‘different’. It felt like butterflies going crazy in my stomach. Such a surreal feeling. I rushed home and told my partner, “WE NEED TO TEST”! She agreed, although was very nervous.

I peed on the test and like always we waited… Then I turned the test over and saw the words… ‘PREGNANT 1-2 weeks’!!! We couldn’t believe it and both broke down in tears. We hugged, cried and fell apart, but for the right reasons for once.

We told our close family and contacted the local midwife through the doctors. Everything was perfect. We started buying literally everything, from clothes to furniture!

At 6 weeks I started to spot slightly. We contacted the midwife who arranged an early scan. We went along and emotions flooded the room. The lady who did the scan, faced the screen towards her and started looking. She turned the screen around a few minutes later and said, “Congratulations, the baby is growing nicely”. I couldn’t help but break down in tears. We held each other and stared at the screen watching our little one’s heart beating. We took a few pictures of the screen and left to go home.

The next few days went by and I started passing tissue and a little blood. I contacted the emergency pregnancy unit and they booked me in for another scan on the Monday, so I had to wait 3 days.

When I went for the scan everything was fine. Baby was growing bigger and the heartbeat was good. The nurse said the tissue I passed was from another baby, so I must’ve been pregnant with twins. I felt crushed, but also happy that the baby was fine. Strange to feel two strong emotions at once.

At this point I was just under 8 weeks. The midwife came round to answer loads of our questions and I was given my pregnancy pack. Such an exciting moment! I spoke to the midwife about the bleeding and I was told that some women bleed and it’s normal and not to worry.

That night I felt extreme pain in my stomach and back. Nothing like period pains, it was much worse. I cried most of the night and finally fell asleep at around 3am. My partner had to go to work in the morning, she kissed my stomach and left. I woke up at 11am and felt very strange. Like I was ‘hollow’. I went to the bathroom and wiped… There in my hand was our baby. Our miracle.

I got back into bed and just sat there staring at it in my hand. I phoned my partner and she left work straight away to come home. When she arrived the colour drained from her face. She got me dressed and we left to go to the emergency pregnancy unit. Once we got there the nurse took out the box our baby was in and got us to take a seat. We waited for around 20 minutes – although it seemed much longer – and then were taken into a side room. Just the look on her face said it all. She told us that she was certain I had suffered a complete miscarriage and that I needed to fill out the paperwork for our baby to be cremated.

I couldn’t talk. I just sobbed. The pain was so overwhelming. We had the choice of whether to take the baby home and arrange a private cremation or to leave the baby at the hospital and for them to do a cremation with all the other babies that had died. We were told that the ashes would be scattered among the rose bushes in the garden. We agreed for our little one to have a shared cremation with other babies.

We went home and sat in silence for days. From then on everything went to rubbish. I got depressed and my partner didn’t want to talk about what had happened.

After a few extremely depressing months I was able to receive counselling. And after 12 weeks of therapy I finally came to terms with losing my child and felt there was a reason to carry on with life.

Me and my partner are invited to a remembrance service in February of every year. I’ve been for the last two years and it helps me so much. That’s my place and time to be allowed to grieve.

Every day is a struggle, but with help and support from the counselling, I have managed to become myself again.

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