This is going to be a tough one to open up to you about, I bury these feelings in the bottom of my heart, they make an appearance on occasions when I feel vulnerable or without any warning whatsoever. I’ll briefly start from the top to bring you up to speed.
At 20 I met Simon, knew he was the one from the moment I laid eyes on him, we’ve been together ever since. At 21 I was having gut feelings about the inner workings of my body, something wasn’t right. I went for a whole year only having one period then when they came back they were highly unpredictable. I would have two cycles in a month, go months without one, and just to throw me off further I would go two to three months with a regular cycle.
Knowing I had to get checked out I went to the doctor who I had to push to get further investigations done. I went to the hospital for some scans where I was told I had PCOS and large ovaries at that. PCOS is a problem when your eggs aren’t maturing leaving ‘cysts’ on your ovaries and enlarging them, on a scan it looks like a string of pearls or so that’s how they put it to me anyway. I was plonked into a room and told if I wanted children I needed to do it pretty much there and then, I was 21 only having been with Simon for little over a year, I was terrified and heartbroken. I wasn’t ready for a family, I wasn’t in a long term relationship at that point. Knowing I would have difficulties conceiving I made the decision not to try for a baby at that time in my life. Simon was supportive and was open to the possibility of children with me, but it was me who made the decision to not try for a baby not knowing if we were a lasting couple at such an early stage of our relationship.
Fast forward to 25, the time was right to start thinking about having a baby and building a family our own, knowing I had a challenging journey ahead of me and the words of the consultant ringing through my brain I was anxious, excited, sad and happy all at the same time. After 3 months of trying to conceive I made the decision to go back to the doctor, my cycles still weren’t right. It was a long process of tests, hospital appointments, surgery and consultations before I was referred to the fertility clinic. Walking into the fertility clinic with other women sat around me was a sort of weird comfort, knowing that other women just like me were going through fertility treatment too made me feel less alone. I had my meeting with a lovely, kind lady who then prescribed me the entry level drugs in the form of Clomid. I was to wait until I had a cycle and take as advised. I pretty much ran to boots, got my subscription along with a carrier bag full of all the ‘trying to conceive’ vitamins you could think of.
I ate well, exercised and drank the recommended daily amount of water, my lifestyle was verging on perfect. I downed the handful of pills like smarties each day and recorded everything I needed to which became a bit of a stress trying to pin point the exact phase in each month to jump under the covers. After three months of taking the Clomid I fell pregnant. To say I was over the moon was an understatement. As a patient at the fertility clinic I was able to get an early 8 week scan to check on everything, I was scared. What they didn’t find a heartbeat? So many ‘what if’s’ entered my mind, pushing them aside I walked into the room for my scan. She found our baby with a heartbeat as strong as an Ox. Both simon and I were overcome with emotion, relief flooded over me. Everything was going to be ok.
I took a picture of the dogs with a sign reading ‘Guard dogs to baby D, duty starts 2015’ and sent pictures to my friends a week before my 12 week scan to tell them. I was certain everything would fine, I was adamant that the only problem I had faced was the conception, after that it was going to be plain sailing after the years of trying, stress and upset of not knowing if I would ever be able to have children.
9 weeks pregnant, a week after our scan I was getting craps, I would walk the dogs in the afternoon and have the sudden urge to need the loo. Having no option but to go behind a bush and pray that no other dog walker passed I had a painful experience, I sat there for a good 10 minutes wondering if I had eaten something that hadn’t agreed with me. I was worried but pulled myself together thinking it was just my body adjusting to the changes being made inside me. After that my pregnacy symptoms faded, no nausea, no sore breasts although I did still feel exhausted but energy levels were increased. In my heart I knew something couldn’t be right but I ignored those feelings as hard as I could and focused on being elated about having our first child. I was blinded by the excitement and joy of starting our own family.
My 12 week scan rolled round, I sat in the waiting room watching all the pregnant mums to be go in for there 20 week scans, I felt nervous still feeling like something wasn’t right but telling myself everything would be fine at the same time. I laid down on the bed and had my stomach covered with gel, the scan commenced and as the lady scanned my baby and talked to me tears cascaded down my face. ‘I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t find a heartbeat.’ I have never been so crushed in all my life. My world had smashed into tiny fragments before my eyes burning the last pieces of happiness along with it. All I could do was repeatedly apologise to Simon ‘I’m so sorry’ is all I was able to say to him, I felt like I’d failed us both. I was informed that our baby had stopped growing at around 9 weeks making me hit rock bottom knowing I was carrying our baby for 3 weeks in a watery grave.
I was sent down to another part of the hospital where I was then sat in a room full of other heavily pregnant women, salt in the wound, a place I desperately needed to get out of. Feelings of hurt and self blame at impeccable heights I felt like I was being punished, I hadn’t stopped crying from the moment I was told the news in the scan room. I was eventually called into the doctors room where she opened my notes with that bright pink slip saying ‘Miscarriage’ and calmly asked what she could do for me today? I looked at her as if she was from another planet. ‘Are you kidding me?’ I replied through a sea of salty tears. I felt insignificant wondering whether the woman had actually read my notes at all or even gauged what was going on by my puffy tear stained face?!
I was given options to which I decided against surgery and agreed to insert the pills to bring on what they called a heavy period to remove the foetus. They were too busy to do it that day so I was sent home and told to come back the next day. It was the most emotional draining day of my life. I will never forget the heartbreak, words can’t fully explain the hurt, I don’t think I’ll ever find the words either.
I went back the next day, emotionally drained and distant. As soon as I walked into the hospital I wanted to leave, it was the last place I wanted to be of even a second. it was the place I was first told I would have problems conceiving and the place I was now ridding my body of the very thing I had wished for more than anything. I did as they asked me with a stored of dignity shoved the sedative up my backside and pushed there rather large pills up into my cervix shelf. I hated myself, I hated my body, I hated the world. I walked out, drove to the nearest shop and bought some cigarettes I sat in the car and smoked like a chimney feeling like I just didn’t care about anything anymore. I was a broken woman who wasn’t dealing with her loss very well. That night was horrific. The cramps started, mild at first then gradually becoming stronger to the point where I was doubled in pain as if I were in labour. I couldn’t stand when a contraction took place and I felt as though I was about to pass out and throw up all at the same time. It’s something I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy. in the early hours of the morning contorted with unbelievable pain I felt an a clunk inside and the pain instantly vanished, I knew that was it. It was over. Physically and mentally exhausted I fell asleep, simon woke me in the morning worried at the amount of blood covering the sheets. It wasn’t pretty. That day I cleaned myself up, took every ounce of strength left in me and went into town to buy a new duvet and bedsheets, looking at the world with a shifted perspective, pregnant woman popped into my line of vision more often the usual making me want the ground to open up and swallow me whole. I bought the new bedding and made my quick escape back to the safety blanket called home where I grieved in a bottomless pit of chocolate in every form.
Simon was my rock, I wouldn’t have got through it with out him, he stayed strong while dealing with his own grief, I wasn’t able to console him in a state of depression, but he soldiered on, comforting me and holding me tight at moments of epic lows. My family and friends were my heroes, they supported me through this tough stage at every given hour of the day and night.
Although it’s fairly common to lose a pregnancy within those first 12 weeks it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. When you’ve waited for years with endless testing, appointments and referrals and fall pregnant there’s a sense of relief and joy that washes over you. Your future is automatically changed and you, rightly or wrongly let your happiness get the better of you planning the start of first baby purchases you’ll need, browsing all the maternity ranges and downloading all the baby apps comparing the size of your baby to a grain or piece of fruit and veg. Having a miscarriage is shit.
I now wear stars around my neck as a reminder of hurt and joy, you could say its my Ying to my Yang. On the necklace you’ll find a blue tear drop, this represents the tears shed during that difficult time in my life and the tears of joy at successfully carrying Dylan. One star is an outline, this represents the loss of our first child and the other is a whole star which this represents Dylan, my little miracle and the boy who I will always be forever grateful to for saving me. I wore a large moonstone necklace and ring during my pregnancy with Dylan, I still wear my moonstone ring as I believe wholeheartedly that it kept Dylan safe during my pregnancy and for that I’m never taking it off! Two pieces of jewellery that are rich in meaning and mean more to me than anything else. Whenever I receive gifts in the form of Moonstone I get an overwhelming rush of feelings, It’ll forever be my stone.