It’s been a week since we discovered that our third baby had died. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’ll try to explain.
After leaving the Early Pregnancy Unit on Monday morning, the plan was to go back on Saturday for medical management, basically like being induced.
A couple of my girlfriends had taken me out for some lunch Wednesday afternoon, and whilst out I began to get those familiar heavy period aches like when I went into labour with Guy. As we left to head home I had already began bleeding heavily. By the time I got home I was passing clots. I somehow remained calm and unfazed by what was happening, perhaps because I knew what it was. I knew that my body had started to miscarry all by itself. If anything I felt slightly relieved. Relieved that my body was doing it naturally and that I wouldn’t have to spend a day in hospital having pessaries.
What bothered me most was that I hadn’t been told what to if things happened naturally. We just left with an appointment to go back for medical management, but no-one had said whether to go back or stay at home if my body decided to naturally miscarry. I also never thought to ask because I didn’t expect my body to do it on it’s own, it didn’t last time.
I didn’t particularly want to go back to hospital, quite frankly I’m sick of the place after three (invasive) visits in just over a week. Equally, I didn’t like the thought of staying at home and passing our baby down the loo! I decided to ring the EPU and ask for their advice. I explained that I knew I was miscarrying, I just needed to know if it’s ok to stay at home or whether to come in. I was advised because the bleeding was heavy and I had to come in a see a doctor.
As soon as Martin came home from work, we headed straight back out to the hospital. We had to go through the triage process, although it was much quicker this time. The nurse was really lovely. She explained I would have to have an internal check by another nurse to assess how things were progressing. By this point all my aches had gone, and the bleeding had settled slightly. They told me my cervix was closed, so I may have already passed everything, or it might have only just started. Either way, I had to return the following day for another internal scan to see if the miscarriage was complete or not.
I went home armed with bed pans and gloves, because I really didn’t like the thought of flushing our baby down the toilet. It didn’t feel right. Whether it looked like a baby or not, it was something we had created, it had a heartbeat for a short few weeks, it was a little life.
The scan the following day showed a complete miscarriage. I had a feeling it would. One of the first clots I passed I suspected our little bean was in there. It makes me a little sad to think it was just flushed away like waste.
In all honesty, this miscarriage was a lot easier than I expected. I’ve read so many stories about experiences of miscarriages, some of them are like horror stories with days worth of excruciating pain, cramps and bleeding. Within about 2-3 hours mine was all over. I’ll take that though, I don’t need this to be more traumatic and upsetting than it already is.
It bothers me that I haven’t really grieved for this miscarriage. I’ve spent a few days trying to figure out why. As I mentioned in my previous blog, it’s partly because there’s nothing new to grieve for. It all becomes part of the same grief. Maybe it’s because it’s not our first loss? Maybe it’s because I was in control? Mentally I had prepared myself since the spotting for a miscarriage, then we found out our baby had died, so expected what happens next.
If I hadn’t of had a scan on the Monday and not already know that the baby had died, maybe I would have reacted differently when the real bleeding started. Been more scared, been more upset. I know I’ve said it before, but I’m extremely thankful that Jenny and her team were happy to see me on the Monday, or I’d have miscarried naturally the day before my follow up on the EPU. At least this way I knew what was happening.
Miscarriage Vs Stillbirth
I don’t like that I feel as ok as I do about another miscarriage, I feel a little guilty. On the scale of things, this loss feels minor in comparison to losing Guy. It feels completely different, almost insignifcant. We’ve both said we would rather have lost it this early than in another 20 weeks time (although not losing it at all would be most preferable). That is definitely something we couldn’t go through again. Perhaps we have found our threshold for what we can handle. Losing Guy was ridiculously hard. It’s incomparable to a miscarriage. We had to deliver him naturally, we saw him, we spend time with him, we had to have a funeral for him.
If anything, this miscarriage just makes me grieve for Guy more. He should be here. If he was here we wouldn’t be going through this. We shouldn’t be going through this because he should be here.
I was watching Giovanna Fletcher’s latest ‘MumDays’ vlog on You Tube yesterday and cried my eyes out. Her and Tom take Buzz to the cinema for the first time, and watching his first impressions and reactions to the experience had me in tears. We’ll never get this with Guy, any of those ‘first times’ in fact. Hopefully we will get to do these things with a child one day, but it highlights that we’ll never get to do them with Guy.
Closing the chapter
I have been having a little read around this week and came across a page on the Miscarriage Association website about scan results. I found this information to be really useful, and it backs up my concerns when I first visited the EPU:
An ongoing pregnancy that suggests a problem. Perhaps the pregnancy is much smaller than it should be according to dates or the heartbeat is particularly slow or faint. Perhaps there is something that suggests a problem with the baby’s development…. You may be asked to come back for another scan, possibly in a week or two when things should be clearer.
I’m not saying I know it all, far from it, but I think I’d like to work on an EPU in the further, try and use my experience to influence practice and help other women in a professional capacity. Advocate that from experience, Nurses shouldn’t feel they need to dampen bad news with hopeful ‘maybes’. They should be giving women all the information, good and bad, and show them where to find support.
I also had a mooch online to see if theres any information on the recurrent miscarriage team and find out what to expect from them. They had a really useful page explaining about various blood tests and pelvic scans that will be done to get as much information as possible. Just waiting for our referral letter to come through.
So this closes the chapter on the pregnancy that inspired me to start blogging in the first place. I will post updates when we have appointments, and anything else relevant I can think of in-between.
Hopefully we can follow the next pregnancy through the whole 9 months!