Trigger warning: This is a story about miscarriage and loss.
“On the 26th of March 2012, I had a miscarriage. The next day I wrote down my entire experience.
My hope is that this can help anyone who is unfortunate enough to be having this experience themselves at the very least to have some idea of what to expect. For those who are lucky enough to not have gone through this, I hope it can give you an understanding of what it is like for those who have.”
“This really happened … I really had a miscarriage.
I wanted to write this down while it’s fresh in my memory because, as hard as it is, I don’t want to forget it. I had little doubt when I peed on that stick that I would be pregnant. My Grandad had passed away and I knew that I was so close to him that only I would conceive a baby on the day of his death. It was a small bit of comfort to get me through his funeral knowing I was pregnant. If it was a boy, I was going to give him the middle name of William – Grandad’s middle name.
At 7 weeks, the day after I got back from a trip to Melbourne, we had our first scan. We saw our little baby with its heartbeat. The baby measured small, only 5 weeks and 6 days and had a low heartbeat of 68bpm but it was there. That was on the Tuesday, on the Friday I freaked out and organised another scan which both my husband and the doctor talked me out of doing. The doctor said that a scan wouldn’t do anything, if a miscarriage was going to happen then a scan wouldn’t stop it.
I had started to feel better. I had bleeding at 4 weeks, just a tiny amount, nothing to be concerned about. It happened again at 8 weeks. I told myself that it was just because my body had been expecting to have a period. I travelled down to Bunbury with a friend who was visiting from Scotland and my parents, we had so much fun on the way down and I made lots of jokes about being pregnant.
My aunt and uncle were down there with Nanna and I told Nanna in secret that I was pregnant because I still wasn’t ready to tell everyone since I was only just 9 weeks. I’d planned to tell my cousin who was about 4 weeks further along in her pregnancy than me while I was down there as well.
That night when I went to bed, I had some bleeding. It was different to the other bleeding, still light but I just knew it was different. When I woke up at 1am, I went to the toilet and discovered I had bleeding that was more like a period bleed. I told Mum I needed to go to the hospital and she got my aunt who is a nurse. She told her I might be having a miscarriage and my aunt’s response was “are you sure she’s pregnant?” because she’d had no idea I was!
My aunt was amazing and drove us without a second thought to the hospital. So I was bundled into the car and considered myself lucky because in Bunbury I was five minutes from the hospital as opposed to 30 minutes in Perth. I was admitted to the emergency department and the doctor did a speculum examination to check my cervix and to see if there were any clots. I need to add here that I was terrified. A close friend of mine had told me about her miscarriage at 6 weeks in which she passed a clot into the toilet that she had to scoop up and take in a jar to the hospital for them to look at, it was her baby. I knew that I wasn’t strong enough to do that.
After the examination the doctor told me that my cervix was closed which was a good sign and that she’d cleared out a clot that was there. She told me that I would have an ultrasound at 8am but to go home and come back if the bleeding got worse or I was feeling dizzy or had cramping, etc.
We left the hospital just after 3am. I got about 40 minutes of sleep before I went to the toilet and passed a large clot. By this time I’d started to have cramping that was so painful I had began to feel sick and I begged Mum to take me to the hospital again. We woke Dad and he drove us to the hospital. They said they would keep me there until my scan in the morning.
I was given painkillers but the pain was still so intense that I was given a morphine shot as well which allowed me to doze off and on. The doctors and nurses were absolutely fantastic, they never said to me “you’re having a miscarriage”, they would say “what do you know about the situation?”.
At one point when the day nurse changed my pad she told me that there was about a 20c- piece sized clot. When she came back she gently told me that the doctor had looked at it and thought that it looked like it was indeed part of the pregnancy sac. The doctor told me I was quite probably having a miscarriage and they would need to see if the ultrasound to decide if I needed an operation to clear out the rest of the pregnancy.
As I lay there dozing in that hospital bed, each time I woke up I would have the horrible realisation of what was happening to me. I had my mother by my side, a woman who had her own experience of losing twins at 26 weeks, but I had never felt so lonely in my life.
8am came and went without a scan but just before 9am the nurse came with a jug of water and told me I needed to drink a glass every 5-10 minutes because my scan would be at 9.30am. We worked out that it was a litre of water that I drank. By the time 9.30am rolled around, I was in agony. I had sat myself up on the bed and was arching my back to try to relieve the pain. I had pain in my stomach and back that I had never felt before. I begged Mum to go ask them when my scan would be because I had to pee and I couldn’t handle this pain. I told her that I needed to get off the bed and stand up because that’s what had helped with the bladder pain at my previous ultrasound. A different nurse came and said they had been going to give me another shot of morphine but I just asked her to drop the side of the bed so I could stand.
As I got off the bed I felt a gush between my legs. I told Mum that I’d either just passed a mass of blood or urine and the pain intensified to the point that I couldn’t even stand upright. I was leaning over the bed in so much pain that I once again felt nauseated. The nurse told us that my scan had been moved to 10.30am because they were doing a long scan and that I could go empty my bladder and start again.
Mum and the nurse both had to help me to the toilet. I took tiny steps and was still hunched over, holding on to both of their arms. When we got to the toilet, I told Mum I needed her to come in with me. I took down my pants and told her that I needed her to check the pad because I couldn’t look. I feel relieved and guilty that I did this because Mum took one look and started crying. She told me not to look and left the room to get the nurse. I sat on the toilet and looked anywhere but down, I kept repeating to myself “what has been seen cannot be unseen”. I knew I did not want to have that image in my head because I would not be able to deal with it.
Mum told me later that when she saw it, she felt a massive rush of love for “the blob on my pad” and she just thought “that’s my grandchild”. It turned out I had passed the entire baby in one hit.
I went back to my hospital bed and we started again with the water, it was so different to the first time. We had the scan where the ultrasound technician told me that unfortunately there was no sign at all of a pregnancy in my uterus. I was actually glad about this because I really didn’t want to go under general anaesthetic to have the D&C. There was no pain in my bladder and I held my pee with no concerns, I didn’t even need to go until about 15 minutes after the scan was done.
Shortly after I was wheeled back to the emergency department, I was released to go home. That was it. In a 24-hour period, I had gone from being pregnant to not being pregnant. As I was walking out of the hospital, a woman was walking in who was heavily pregnant and that hit me hard. I still can’t believe that come November, I won’t be holding my baby.”
– thank-you to our forum member Sian who bravely shared her story with us. xx
Image credit: sunshinesmile/123RF Stock Photo