Throughout this journey for our Rainbow Baby, I made a promise that I would remain open and honest about our experiences. I apologise if this blog makes no sense, or reads like a load of nonsense. I know I could probably cut a long story short, but I felt the best way to process the last few weeks would be to write it all out.
On Friday 13th January, we found out we were expecting again, for the 4th time.
The usual wave of mixed emotions went round; denial, numbness, happiness, anxiety. But ultimately, I felt quite good about it. Finding out on Friday 13th didn’t feel unlucky, I looked at it as a sign from Guy that he’d sent us his rainbow sibling on his anniversary.
The following week I began taking the progesterone as advised and prescribed from the recurrent miscarriage clinic. I rang the doctors to book in with the midwife for my hospital referral and rang the hospital to make my appointment to go back to the miscarriage clinic (as requested by them at our last appointment).
We saw the miscarriage consultant a week later. It was a pretty simple in and out appointment. She just checked what medication I was taking and sent us off for a scan, advising if everything was ok she’d see us again in a week.
The scan was uneventful. They could see the pregnancy sac and the beginnings of a flickering heartbeat. Roughly dating baby at 5-6 weeks (not the 7 weeks I thought I should be). Que the anxieties setting in, then me trying to battle them with logic. My periods have been irregular since the last miscarriage, 5-6 weeks. So I decided I could accept some discrepancy with dates at this stage.
I returned to the miscarriage clinic the following week. Another in and out visit – no advice or recommendations, just referring me on to have a repeat scan at the end of the week.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from attending the recurrent miscarriage clinic in the early stages of a pregnancy. Whilst I am extremely grateful that this service is available to us, and I have been able to get tests done, I can’t help but feel a little dishearted by their early pregnancy input. In all honesty, I’m not sure it has been of any benefit. To be fair, they have no diagnosis to work with, so the best they can offer is early reassurance scans. But I feel some emotional support would have been very beneficial?
Following this appointment I went off to meet Louise, my Tommy’s midwife, to arrange other appointments. I needed to go back under the care of MAVIS clinic for blood pressure monitoring and would also go under the care of the placenta and fetal medicine team rather than Rainbow clinic. This would fit in with my needs based on our history with Guy, and provide continuity of care with the team we already know.
Before heading home, I bumped into Ed Johnstone, our fetal medicine consultant. This was a lovely surprise. He’s left such a lasting impression on us since we met him with Guy. Makes me wish away those first 4 months of pregnancy, not only because those first few months are crap, but to feel safe under his care and expertise.
On Friday we attended the MAVIS clinic to see the lovely Dr Jenny. It had been arranged that she would perform our scan rather than going to the scan department as originally planned.
Jenny tried to do an abdominal scan to avoid the invasive internal scan, but couldn’t get a clear image. So we were then scanned by a specialist midwife, who confirmed what I knew was coming.
There was no heartbeat.
Here we were, 8 weeks in and history repeating itself. My initial thoughts – ‘well why wouldn’t it happen again?’ and ‘I can’t face the EPU, I want to go home’. Jenny and the midwives could feel our pain and were very empathetic. After all, they’ve been on this journey with us for the last 3 pregnancies.
I was just grateful we were in our safe place, surrounded by professionals who knew us and knew exactly how to support us. They happily agreed with my decision to go home instead of visiting the EPU. I honestly couldn’t bare to face that ward at that moment, and felt I could look after myself at home.
We decided that we would give the pregnancy a week to try and naturally miscarry, and if nothing had happened then I would go to the EPU for medical management. The midwife even offered to do a repeat scan next week if the physical miscarriage happened.
We really appreciate the small things like this. One of the reasons I love the team on the research floor at Manchester. They literally go out of their way to care for us and keep us out of the mainstream ante-natal departments where possible. Ed also came into see us before we left too which was lovely of him to do.
Well, I really don’t know. Another unexplained loss leaves me feeling helpless, hopeless and pessimistic. That all too common feeling of failure looms. I know I’ve done nothing wrong, and this isn’t my fault. But I feel like my body is failing us, and it becomes more and more difficult to trust that my body will ever get it right.
I feel sad because I really believed that this was going to be the one that stuck. And like last time, it makes us miss Guy even more. It makes us really, truly appreciate how incredibly special he was to have fought and survived for as long as he did. He is the only one of our little Jonesy beans that made it passed the 8-week mark, and I feel sad that we don’t know his secret. What did he do differently?
Our future is filled with possibly facing an unknown amount of future losses before we eventually bring a baby home. With no answers to justify our miscarriages, we just keep getting told to keep trying and one day it will happen. I’m finding that this is becoming very difficult to swallow with each loss.
Yes, we really want children. But how many more losses can we deal with before we break? I think the desire to keep fighting for your dreams is massively affected by your strength to keep tolerating losses. I don’t see ‘fighting’ and ‘strength’ as things that go hand in hand in the world of pregnancy loss. They are two very separate qualities that don’t work well together, but we try our hardest to be strong and tolerate the fight. Each loss will either make you stronger willed or weaker, but it will always leave cracks that will eventually break. If that even makes any sense?
I am so grateful and lucky to have the best, most supportive husband. We both agree that we can survive these early miscarriages, for now. Obviously not losing a baby at all would be the number one option. What we mean is, losing Guy was a loss on a whole other level, and we never want to experience that again. So for now, miscarriage is the lesser of two evils, and we will continue to fight through it, together.