I don’t even know where to begin writing this, and I apologise if it’s a little blunt or angry… I guess I’ll just continue where the last blog left off.
As planned we went back to the hospital on Monday to see Dr Jenny. I’d had no bleeding over the weekend, which although possibly a good sign, I still had my doubts that this was going to end well.
First we saw a new midwife. I say new, she’s new to us. We’ve just not met her at the Tommy’s clinic before. She took us into a clinic room to do our scan before we saw Jenny. There was no TV monitor in this room, but she had turned the screen slightly so we could still see everything.
Initially I just lay there with my eyes closed. Already feeling I knew what it would it show. Eventually I turned to watch, again eyes fixed to the screen searching for the flicker… I couldn’t see it. There was a sac, but no flicker. It felt like ages between me noticing there was no heartbeat before she confirmed it to me herself.
There were those words again, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”
Here comes the storm
I just nodded. I knew. I knew this was going to happen last week. I felt mad that I had told the nurse I was concerned that the size and slow heartbeat would lead to miscarriage. I felt mad that she didn’t even acknowledge I could be right before trying to give some ‘hopeful’ reasons. I felt mad that she didn’t accept my concerns as an expert patient, from instinct and experience, rather than just general anxiety. I felt mad that had I not gone up to the Tommy’s clinic I would have had to wait until Thursday to find this out.
Jenny came in to confirm there was no heartbeat, then we were taken down to the Early Pregnancy Unit to plan what happens next.
I knew straight away I wasn’t going to have the surgical option. I chose that after the first miscarriage because it was the quickest option, I could be in and out with no hanging around. My local hospital offer a Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA). It was so traumatic, it feels like some medieval torture. I was awake and given gas and air while some doctor suctioned out the contents of my womb. The gas and air did nothing and it was the most uncomfortable procedure I’ve ever had done. Sorry to be so dark and graphic with the description but that moment is still so vivid in my mind, it actually gave me nightmares for days afterwards.
Hence why I have chosen to go down the medical management route this time. I don’t trust that my body will start the process in its own, it didn’t last time. So I’m going to get the tablets and pessaries and spend the day on the ward, basically in labour. I’ve done that before. It’s much more pleasant, even if it is more painful.
The nurse on the ward did say she would refer us to the recurrent miscarriage team, which we are so grateful for. I have no idea if we’ll even get seen as technically we don’t meet the national criteria. Current protocol is you have to have had three consecutive miscarriages before you can be referred for further investigations. This is my third consecutive loss, however Guy was stillborn, not miscarried. So this loss could put us back at one, waiting for two more early losses. Hopefully they’ll be nice and see us, even if they just have advice for us.
Bad things happen to good people
It’s safe to say we feel extremely miffed off at the Universe. Why are we being so unlucky? Why don’t we deserve to have a successful pregnancy and take home our own baby? Why are we being punished for doing things the right way? Dating, buying a house, getting married before having children. We should have just been more careless in our twenties. The universe clearly accepts ‘whoopsie’ babies over carefully planned, much desired babies. I’ll be damned if I can’t have my husband’s children. I’ll have someone else carry them if that’s what it takes.
We are angry, frustrated and disappointed. We don’t feel sad, we have no sadness left in us. There’s no tears to cry because there is nothing new to cry about. It’s the same old shit, the same grief, the same story. We don’t have the energy to sit and be miserable.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that current statistics are wrong. If one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, why have we been unlucky 3/3 times? I’m pretty sure they have this backwards. It should be: One in four pregnancies will be successful. By this rule then next time surly has to be our time, right?
This was supposed to be our third time lucky, and lightening isn’t supposed to strike twice let alone three times.
Out of all of this, I am so grateful for Louise my Tommy’s midwife and the rest of the team on the research floor at Manchester. Their work on Stillbirth and experience from the Rainbow clinic means they have so much understanding for the anxious, pestering pregnant women like me. They acknowledge the worries and anxiety and accept how you feel without trying to make excuses or give you cliches in an effort to be hopeful and positive. They listen, they empathise and they personalise everyone’s care to meet their needs.
Hopefully our journey doesn’t end here. As much as each loss strips us a little more of our strength and hope to keep going, we refuse to give up yet. I saw a quote the other day that stuck with me, not sure who it’s by:
Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.
It’s not game over yet!