Sophie shares her experience of a missed miscarriage and how she wants to help others by telling her story.
The hardest thing from it all, I think, is how people don't talk about it and don't really ask or say anything - my baby mattered, my baby died, it's awful and it's lonely.
We conceived in April 2018 with our first baby. We felt all of the normal feelings like worry, anxiety, joy, and immediate unconditional love.
I was due to travel away with work pretty much straight after we’d found out that I was carrying our beautiful little flump (I’m sure most women have the cutesy names for their babies in the first trimester), so I’d arranged a booking appointment with our midwife the following week and for our first scan in May as we’d had a holiday booked for most part of the month.
During our pregnancy we did everything by the book, making sure I’d taken my folic acid, vitamin D, eating properly, getting enough sleep.
Everything was going as expected; balancing all of my pregnancy symptoms, like insane tiredness and morning sickness, with work and normal life.
It was so hard not to buy things, like little unisex outfits, or to obsess on the apps that monitor your baby’s growth to tell you what it’s developed on a daily basis and how big they’ve grown.
You don’t expect to fall in love instantly with the tiny life you and the love of your life have created, but you do, and you’re absorbed into a euphoric besotted love.
During the entire journey, we we’re sucked into the global tradition of keeping our pregnancy a secret, as we were estimated to be in our first trimester. I don’t know why it’s like this.. Colleagues, friends, and family should be aware that you’re keeping a little life alive, right? Except, it’s not the done thing, in case your baby dies and then everyone is aware of your burden – except, this is the only reason why the first trimester is kept hush hush, isn’t it?
On the 16th May 2018, we had our first scan. We were 8+2 weeks with a beautiful healthy little baby, a pulsing little heartbeat, due on Christmas eve. We were absolutely in heaven, over the moon, in tears. On our way out they gave us two bounty packs and booked us in for our next scan to confirm our 13th week of pregnancy.
Roughly 4 weeks after that, I was in work as normal, and started spotting very lightly. Me being me, I immediately went into panic in the cubical. I rang my fiance and my mum, both tried to calm me down and said it was perfectly normal, but I had to leave, I couldn’t breathe with worry. My fiance collected me and said if I was worrying so much, to call St James EPU and try to get advice – so I did. The lady first said I would be fine and it is completely normal, she asked if everything other than that was okay, I said yes and my symptoms were the same i.e. being sick and physical body changes. After hearing my choked voice, she suggested coming in that Friday to double check everything was okay – the following Monday we’d planned to do a public announcement of the baby.
Friday came around and by this point, I was completely confident I was fine. My fiance and I had plans so we were both dressed up to go out after the scan. We walked into St James’ and into the waiting room, feeling like we belonged sat amongst other expecting families.
We walked into the EPU scanning room, all smiles. The lady doing the scan joined in with our attitude, she too was probably expecting the opposite of what actually happened 10 minutes later. She had the scanner on my tummy for about 5 minutes before I started to realise something was wrong. I turned to my fiance, his face grey, full of tears, to at the same time hear “I am so sorry, your baby has died, your baby died about 3 weeks ago”.
I didn’t believe her, I asked for a second opinion. To confirm our baby’s death, the second lady turned to us, trying not to reveal her upset, and agreed our baby had died. I went numb. I thought, this isn’t real, this can’t happen, how can this happen?
With a full bladder I went into the bathroom and my legs fell beneath me, I screamed in emotional agony, my heart has never hurt so much in my life.
We were directed past other pregnant families into a bereavement room to be asked how I wanted to be triggered to go into labour to get our baby out. I couldn’t breathe. Although our baby had died, and had lost its little life a few weeks ago, at least we were together. I didn’t want the baby to come out of me, I couldn’t be empty.
We decided to go home with an induction booked the following week. We’d decided to get Capricorn tattoos for our little angel, in the hope it would naturally trigger my body to go into labour.
On Sunday the 3rd of June, we went and got our Capricorn tattoos (mine on my spine). About 10 minutes into getting home, my waters broke and our baby came into the world lifeless. Perfectly formed, perfect little toes, fingers, umbilical cord, belly button, mouth. Everything.
That day, a part of both of us died with our baby that we’ll never get back. After losing my dad to manslaughter before my 16th birthday, being sexually assaulted and going through other traumas, I thought I’d be okay. But, I have never, felt pain, and still feel pain of our baby dying, like it in my life.
You want to protect your baby, you’d swap places in an instant. But you can’t, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
You know your baby is beautiful and it’s so hard that it’s considered inappropriate to have pictures of your new baby because it’s died. It’s still your baby that existed and mattered.
As long as this story is, there are no words to even describe the emptiness, the heartbreak, or the soul-destroying pain that you feel on a daily basis.
I know that there are millions of people who have lost a baby and know how awful it is.
The hardest thing from it all, I think, is how people don’t talk about it and don’t really ask or say anything – my baby mattered, my baby died, it’s awful and it’s lonely.
I never thought I’d make it, I’d hit rock bottom. But if this story helps anyone, know that you will make it and that you aren’t alone – as much as it feels like you are. My fiance and I take each day as it is, we turned the dreaded period of Christmas around by getting married in Scotland and reminisced of the short but loving months spent with flump. The death of a baby shouldn’t be a taboo subject.