Miscarriage – The Worst Week was Always Going to be the First

It has been exactly a week since we found out that we miscarried and I think it’s fair to say, that it’s been the worst week of our lives.

They say that time is a healer and from past experience, I know this to be true but time won’t take away this grief we are feeling, it will just make it more bearable to live with…I can’t wait for the day I wake up and life feels a little sunnier again. I know that day will come and I never expected it to arrive so soon after our loss but it’s wanted so so dearly.

The last ten weeks have been some of the most content weeks of my life. There’s something about being pregnant that just makes you feel special. I’ve felt strong, beautiful, happy and loved…all of which is making it harder to accept that it’s over.

I knew I was pregnant immediately. I conceived on the 5th December and took my first pregnancy test on the 7th as I felt pregnant! Obviously, it was negative but I tested again and again until the faint blue line appeared on the morning of the 11th December. I know it’s weird to say that I just ‘knew’, but I did…so why didn’t I ‘know’ that I wasn’t pregnant any longer?

Looking back, maybe I did. I’d worried some mornings that my bump wasn’t as prevalent or that the dog had started jumping up at me again but I still felt nauseous, I still cradled my belly, talking away to the little soul residing inside.

I wish that time could be reversed, I’d do anything to be back in the blissful bubble of believing I was still pregnant, I’d do anything to go back and start again…maybe undo any wrong that might have caused this pain. A little over a week ago, I was happy and content, planning the future and feeling more secure in my relationship and in myself than ever before.

Now, I’m stuck in purgatory – in a perpetual state of torment and regret where obsession grows and lingers with every thought that crosses my mind.

I’m obsessed by the idea that I’ll never know how this happened and although I know deep down, I can’t be to blame, it’s too raw to accept that yet. I’m the one whose job it was to keep this baby safe, I’m the one carrying the full extent of the responsibility on my shoulders. I’m the one who’ll always feel like I failed.

I’m obsessed by the day that baby died, there’s something I can’t quite get my head around. On the 15th January, I had a scan in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit because I was experiencing pain in my life side. I was offered a scan to make sure I wasn’t carrying an ectopic pregnancy. On that day, on the 15th January, we saw our baby’s heart beating so strong. It was a normal pregnancy as far as the sonographer could see – the heartbeat was perfect, my placenta was working hard and everything looked exactly as it should. I was measuring at 8+1 days which placed me exactly where I thought I’d conceived…never did it once feel too good to be true! However, mid scan, the sonographer pressed down so hard on my stomach that I physically jumped from the bed, yelping in pain. I’ve never had a painful scan before and although I worried immediately about the baby, I didn’t think to ask whether it could have caused damage…but here I am, nearly three weeks after, obsessed by the idea that this was the cause.

See, the hardest part of this for me to accept is that baby died the day we saw it’s perfect heart beating. Baby died only hours after we rejoiced that everything was fine! Last Friday, a different sonographer delivered the news that baby was measuring at 8 weeks + 1 day…when I should have been measuring a further two weeks on. How can it’s heart be beating so strong in one moment then stop in the next instance, not even a day later?

There’s a part of me that knows I’m looking for blame, that I need answers to explain why life could be so cruel and maybe one day, I’ll accept that this just happened, but right now, it feels too soon. There’s also a part of me that knows I’m using anger to deflect from the grief I’m feeling. I just wish it was making me feel better.

I’m also obsessing with the insecurities I’m now battling. I can’t stop thinking that this will be the beginning of the end for my relationship. After all, how can I expect someone to love me when I can no longer love myself? How can I expect anyone to admire the body that failed us both or want a future with someone who may be incapable of carrying life ever again?

I know that there are so many success stories out there and that there’s no real reason why I won’t be able to bear another child but I never ever entertained the idea that this could happen to me, so why now would I still be so confident or arrogant? Part of me is obsessed by the idea of being pregnant again, like I can’t wait to feel that way again but part of me is obsessed with the thought that this could happen again and again.

A week ago today, I sat in the Early Pregnancy Assessment unit convinced that this scan would reveal that I was worrying about nothing. I’d spotted on Wednesday evening but I had done so with both Tristan and Siena. The blood had been so pale, so slight, so insignificant, I thought myself ridiculous for even calling the midwife. Yet, I lay on the bed, completely alone, listening to silence. I’d expected an immediate reaction from the sonographer- confirmation that the heart was still beating but minutes passed by and with every unspoken word, I knew then what was coming. Eventually, I asked whether she’d found the heartbeat. She responded with ‘give me a moment please’. Those words will haunt me forever especially as they were followed with ‘I’m so sorry, baby is still there but baby has gone’.

Last Friday, was the most harrowing, most horrific day of my life and since then, I’ve grieved with the same intensity and emotion as I have when I’ve lost those I’d loved for a lifetime…but this grief is different. There’s nothing tangible for me to have lost. My arms ache for cuddles that I’ll never have. My voice shakes for all the ‘happy birthdays’ I’ll never sing. There’s no grave I can visit, no place to mourn. My baby will be cremated with no one beside to say good bye. I think that’s what makes miscarriage so hard. It’s like losing something you never really had but loved with such ferocity.

I’ll return to something I said earlier, I know that time will make this better and that every day, I’ll hurt a little less but right now, life is raw and more painful than I could ever imagine.

Thank you to everyone of you who has supported us this week. The kind words, the messages, the stories you have shared. The patience, the emotion, the knowing that we will be alright – it’s what has kept me going.

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