A different kind of birth story – miscarriage 

You can read from the start here

I have spent a lot of time working through all the feelings associated with my miscarriages and the aftermath – how I have felt since it happened. But I’ve avoided talking about what it was like to realise I was miscarrying. I’m going to write about that today because I don’t think I can try again with out facing what happened.

When we fell pregnant with George (who I miscarried), we knew straight away. It was a bit of a shock! We had been thinking about trying for number 2 for a while but hadn’t committed to trying yet. Then one evening we had a long chat and decided we were finally brave enough to try. My pregnancy with Boo (our daughter) had been ROUGH and full of fear and worry. It took a long time to think we could put ourselves through another pregnancy. We were in a good place financially and I was in a good place physically and mentally. So after a few drinks, I decided I was brave enough. I could cope with another pregnancy if it meant Boo having a sibling. Approximately 6 hours after the conversation I woke up and felt dizzy. And foggy. It was 4am. I knew in that moment that I was pregnant and felt instinctively that it was a boy.

10 days later a pregnancy test confirmed I was pregnant.

I was so so happy! But also stunned that a conversation had become a reality in an instant. There were lots of times M and I would look at each other and say ‘we are having a baby’. We were overjoyed but it took a while to sink in. This was really happening.

To help it sink in I bought clothes for the baby. I had no doubt that the baby would be here and pet of our family. My due date was Christmas Day 2017. But I knew baby would be here before Christmas as I would be induced early again. I felt sure that I would get ICP again as the chance of recurrence is high and I hadn’t stopped itching from my last pregnancy. So this Christmas we were all set to be a family of 4. It had sunk in. We were having another baby!!!

I proceeded to throw up many times a day and feel like all I could do was sleep. I looked pregnant. It was crazy but my belly instantly took on a bump shape. There was nothing about the pregnancy that made me think I would miscarry. I expected hyperemesis gravidarum and ICP. But I never even considered miscarriage. It was not on my radar.

Then for a couple of days I didn’t throw up. And I could open the cupboard with coffee in it and not gag. I told myself it was because I was carrying a boy so maybe I wouldn’t have full blown HG this time. I told myself I was just lucky.
Even though miscarriage wasn’t on my radar, I still checked for blood every time I wiped. Habit I guess. I had been cramping a lot and it felt like my period starting so I guess subconsciously I just checked. Of course I told myself the cramping was normal. I’d been pregnant before so I knew that cramping was normal. I was cramping more and the cramps were quite painful but I knew that was normal! I was fine. We were having a baby!

Then it happened. I looked down and the tissue was pink. Really faint pink but pink nonetheless. I still didn’t panic. I had a bleed at 15 weeks with Boo and it turned out fine. It’s normal. It was early so I called 111. I knew it was best to check but I was sure everything would be fine. I explained the bleeding and the cramping and they told me they would call back. I went to the toilet again and this time there was a rush of blood.

Shit.

In that moment, everything changed. I knew. I knew that we were going to lose the baby. The sickness. The smells. The tiredness. The cramps. And now the blood. I knew. I felt like an empty shell.

My husband came home from work and 111 called back saying they were sending an ambulance. I told them to cancel the ambulance and we drove to hospital. If 111 were worried too, I knew my feelings were going to be confirmed.

But then something unexpected happened. We had a scan and saw our baby, George (Boo had also decided the baby was a boy and had named him George). We had a baby with a heartbeat! Our baby was alive! The technician was kind and M was overjoyed. I was happy but, being me, needed facts to reassure me. So I asked for measurements. We were told that George was measuring 6 weeks and 3 days. The technician explained that our dates could be out. But I knew that there was no way they were 2 weeks out. The moment of hope was gone. I snapped at M for being happy. I told him we were losing the baby. The doctor who discharged us said it was all very positive and it was likely just a threatened miscarriage and everything would now be fine. I knew otherwise. George was too small. His heart was beating but something was stopping from developing properly. We were told to go home and rest. I was instructed to avoid stress and rest up in bed until the bleeding stopped.

That was on a Monday. On Friday at 4am, I woke up. I knew it was time.

My bleeding had increased over the week and I’d failed to convince myself that the baby was OK. I knew what was coming. I felt distraught knowing that George was alive and his heart was beating even though he was dying. I didn’t want him to suffer. I wanted it to be over for him. So when I woke up at 4am on May 12th, I was relieved and at peace. I felt my uterus contracting and the familiar sensation of pushing contractions moving a baby down the birth canal. There was no pain. My baby was tiny. But the sensation was the same. It lasted for 5 minutes. I was so grateful to be awake and present at George’s birth. I had been told that I wouldn’t know the exact moment it was happening and that George would be too small or would have broken up. But when I felt the pushing cease, I put my hand down, as I had with Boo, and there he was. My tiny baby was in the palm of my hand. Smaller than the tip of my finger. So small but so precious.

That was 4 months ago now. I still can’t believe it happened. I’m still in shock that we lost George. But I will be forever grateful that I got to experience his birth.

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