15 October is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Miscarriage, an often taboo subject, is something that has touched me very deeply. In the pursuit of having a family, the only problem I imagined I would have, was actually falling pregnant. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
My first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. The day I found out I was pregnant, I was so incredibly happy. I was aware that people didn’t typically tell people they were pregnant until the end of the first trimester, but I was so deliriously joyful. I felt like all my dreams were coming true. From the start, I thought about my baby growing in me, all day, every day. I was going to have a baby with the love of my life. How could I be anything other than deliriously happy? Everything was good in life. I was over the moon.
Then the doubts started to surface in my mind. I didn’t have morning sickness. I felt kind of normal, except for a desire to eat more fruit and drink less coffee. I tried not to worry, but I couldn’t help it. I started searching on google for reasons why I wasn’t experiencing morning sickness and if it were normal.
And then it became obvious things were turning bad. It was a Saturday night and I started to notice blood. I googled like a crazy person. My partner kept telling me to think positive thoughts and maybe it would turn out alright. I went to my doctor on the Monday, and had scans to confirm my worst fears. I was pregnant, but now, I no longer was. My heart broke. I cried. I sobbed. I continued to cry until no tears came out.
I remember at the time, thinking it was just me. Everyone else seemed to be having babies, yet I couldn’t. I felt like my body let me down in the biggest, saddest way.
Not only did I feel like my body let me down, but I felt like I had let everyone down. My partner was so excited and then, it was taken away. My family and friends were also so happy. I felt horrible when I had to give them the bad news. Each time I had to say it, it hurt so bad. I realized why people were encouraged not to say anything until after the first trimester. I wanted to be pregnant so badly, and it was all taken away.
I desperately tried to get pregnant as soon as I was able. I was told that I would need at least a month to wait before trying.
Again, another miscarriage. The second time was so quick. I barely tested positive before it became a negative again. I cried, but not as much as the first time.
By now, I started to wonder if I would ever fall pregnant.
My next pregnancy resulted in a baby. At the scan, when I was told “good news! There’s a heartbeat”, I cried tears of relief. In fact, I cried at every appointment. I couldn’t believe I really would have a baby.
Following the birth of my baby girl, I had four more miscarriages. Each sad in their own way. Each sad because, each time, each pregnancy was wanted so badly.
Strangely, the last miscarriage was the toughest to deal with. While pregnant, I had every symptom that you would consider normal for a pregnancy. I had morning sickness every morning. My chest hurt. I felt pregnant. At the 8 week scan, we were so excited, that my partner and daughter were there to see the little heartbeat on the screen. It came as a complete and utter shock when I was told that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy and that a miscarriage was in the process of happening. Instead of meeting my little baby, I had to organize a trip to the hospital to have a procedure performed to remove everything. I was so shocked. I couldn’t believe it was happening again and that I couldn’t tell it wasn’t viable. I felt like I got everyone’s hopes up for nothing.
I truly felt like I had let down two people I love with all my heart. I felt completely broken.
The last pregnancy was my last attempt at falling pregnant before I gave up. It had taken a toll on me, and mentally, I couldn’t go through it again. My doctor even advised to give up and travel instead as they had done everything they could.
I grieved. I had to accept that my daughter would never have a sibling. I had to get on with my life and learn to appreciate what I had.
And so I did. For the first time in 2 years, I stopped being so obsessed with trying to get pregnant and knowing what day in the cycle it was. I stopped tracking symptoms. I gave up. I shifted my focus to my family. It was Christmas, so it was easy to do. I was so busy. After Christmas, I decided I would tackle some projects around the house that I had been delaying. I also started to plan that holiday I had always wanted to go on, but never could because I was saving up for when the baby arrived.
It was during this time, that I actually discovered I was pregnant again. This time round, I didn’t even want to tell my partner. I couldn’t do it to him again. I was so scared it would end in disappointment. It really didn’t take him long to guess though. He knows me too well, much to my frustration at the time. I was trying to protect him. At the 8 week scan, I went on my own. I couldn’t repeat what had previously happened. A heartbeat was pulsing on the screen. I was so relieved. I was warned not to get too excited until I was further along in the pregnancy.
Every test, and every scan showed positive results. The baby was healthy.
The previous miscarriages scarred me though. I had lost pregnancies so many times previously, that, this final time, I was scared I would lose it too.
The pregnancy did result in a beautiful baby girl. I still can’t believe she is in our lives. Our little miracle baby.
Why, have I gone on to tell all of this? I have written this out and have shared it, because I truly hope that what I have gone through can help someone.
Miscarriage is not often talked about, and sadly for the couple going through it, it can feel like they are all alone. You are not alone. Believe me. I know what you are going through. I know the pain, the powerless feeling you have, when no matter how much you want the pregnancy, you can’t stop nature. If you are going through this now, I wish you strength to get through your sadness and I hope that your future has a happy ending too. If you know someone who has gone through this, just let them talk and cry it out. Any loss deserves some level of grief. Be there for them and support them, even if you don’t know what to say, just listen.