You can follow my journey through miscarriage from the start here.
Chemical Pregnancy. Like so much of the terminology surrounding miscarriage, pregnancy and birth, this title makes my stomach lurch.
I always thought a chemical pregnancy wasn’t a real pregnancy. Somehow the pregnancy test was falsely positive because of some chemicals floating around your faulty womb. Stupid, I know. But it had never happened to me and that’s just the meaning I inferred when I read it.
I was wrong. A chemical pregnancy is a real pregnancy; however, it can only be detected through the chemicals it emits. It cannot be seen on an ultrasound. It is too small to detect physically. It is there though – only a pregnancy will produce HCG (the pregnancy hormone) and make a test positive. Once a pregnancy can be detected on an ultrasound – usually after 5 weeks – it is deemed a clinical pregnancy. If either a chemical or clinical pregnancy is lost, the result is miscarriage. So a chemical pregnancy that ends is an early miscarriage. A miscarriage nonetheless. Just as awful. Just as sad.
Since starting to miscarry, I’ve been reflecting on this short pregnancy. Would it have been better not to know? Should I count this as my second miscarriage in a row? Do I have the right to grieve or should I just act like this is my period? Should I have shared so openly on this blog? Do I look like a fool now? Have I upset people by being so honest on here – particularly my family? Yesterday, I took a day off from life. On top of miscarrying, I picked up Boo’s sickness bug so decided the best place for me was bed. I stayed there all day (in between trips to be sick) and got some things straight in my head.
I am glad I knew
Test or no test, I knew I was pregnant from shortly after conception. I am so sensitive to changes in my body and started throwing up shortly after the baby was conceived. I documented how I knew here. I took lots of tests once I knew they would be positive. I have always done this. I enjoy seeing the lines get darker. I love having proof. Years ago, I was in an abusive relationship and since then I have always doubted myself. Solid proof always makes me feel reassured. Let’s me know I am not crazy and imagining things. I am not a liar. This baby is real.
Test or no test I knew I was losing the baby. I knew what the cramps meant the moment they started. I knew the test would be fading. Again, tangible proof is comforting for me. Having the doctor tell me it was a miscarriage despite his test being negative was also hugely reassuring. This baby was real. I loved them despite them only being with me for 2 weeks.
Yesterday, as I lay in bed, I held one of the positive tests. I was comforted by the presence of proof of my baby’s existence.
A miscarriage is not like a period
This miscarriage has been far more painful than when I lost George. I was almost 8 weeks when I lost him. I felt my body push his tiny body out. I met him. It was a familiar feeling and helped me cope with the pain. This has been different. Searing pain. It makes me catch my breath and has had me curled up all day. Paracetamol and ibuprofen did nothing so I took oramorph and finally got some relief. The physical pain made the emotional pain too much to bear. Like pregnancies, miscarriages are all different. Just because this pregnancy ended a day before my period was actually due, it doesn’t mean losing the pregnancy feels like a normal period. It hurts more in so many ways.
Sharing really helps ease the emotional burden
Since starting this blog, I have felt stronger than I have in a long time. I place my feelings here and they stop tormenting me. People email me and I know we are in this together. The sisterhood is real. And I love it. Sharing has been such a massive support to me. Miscarriage is isolating and lonely. It is difficult to share the grief with others; as a society, we just don’t have the appropriate responses to deal with it. We mumble, stumble and often say things that do more harm than good. So we don’t talk about it. We suffer awful pain alone, or with only those extremely close to us. And even then, we don’t share it all. We hold back. We censor the rawness of it to stop other people feeling uncomfortable. But I don’t have to do that here. I can say it all uncensored. It is such a relief to be able to say how shit it is! I know from the messages I get that my honesty is a comfort to others. If something good can come of this, then I am all in.
This miscarriage is just so sad. I feel raw. But I don’t feel alone. I am glad I knew and I am glad I shared. This baby stayed a short time. We have had to say goodbye far too soon. I know I am now going to face more milestones all over again. But I have strength. I will get through this.
A note to my family
I know it is hard for my family that I can share my feelings with the internet when I haven’t shared it all with them. We hadn’t announced we were pregnant again but I had openly written about it here. Some people knew, others didn’t. I know it must be hard to feel out of the loop – like I haven’t bothered to tell you. I wish I knew how to remedy this. I love my family dearly. I don’t want my honesty here to be a burden to them. I need to learn to be able to be this honest in person too – maybe then it won’t be such a shock when they read it online. I’m thinking about delaying my posts next time I fall pregnant. I will write them but publish them a little later. Maybe that will help. If making myself feel better, harms others, I need to do something to fix it. This is something I need to reflect further on. Thankfully though, it isn’t making me feel anxious. I just feel like there’s a solution I am yet to find. I really feel like I’m making progress with my mental health.