Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Missed miscarriage, feels like a cruel trick of nature

I wanted to write about a recent personal experience. I didn't think I would be able to but I feel strangely at ease now and thinking positive about the future. This is the first part, some of it documenting how I felt and some to help others. The next part later this week will document the process, the pain and the reality. Then I will write about what we are doing now and how the journey is going.

Becoming Pregnant

Me and my Sweepy decided to try for a baby. I had brought the idea up, wanting a mini homebird-sweep, total love, wanting this physical being, our creation. I wasn't sure if he would be receptive to the idea since his sons are teenagers and he's a bit older than me. I am 40 and he is 50, two Aries peas in a pod. But we had a chat and decided yes we would. It happened straight away and I couldn't believe it, I was pregnant at the end of November.

We were both so happy, we discussed names and things we would all do together, started planning a new bedroom and the future from the small to the big. I started with all the usual pregnancy symptoms, but just nausea rather than full on sickness. We went for a very early scan with a private company and there he or she was, nestled in my womb with a heart flickering away. The can at this stage is done with a vaginal wand as too small to be seen the usual way through the belly. I remarked on this as I thought I was 7 weeks and was expecting the same as with Little Bird but the sonographer said I was more than likely a week behind and queried the date of my LMP (last menstrual period) She said the scan photo looked like a diamond ring, the embryo and the yolk sac, so small, so much developing to do, 7mm.  My dates were put back a week, suggesting I had ovulated late in my cycle so we were due an August baby.

Very early pregnancy

Over Christmas I had a couple of days of being unable to eat much since the nausea was quite bad. I ate when I could and being out in the car made me sick so I was pleased of a quiet Christmas at home. I was so tired, asleep by 8pm each evening and my belly began to become (more) rounded and had a solid feeling. Every so often I had twinges and made me wince, like a sharp pain to the sides. I thought these must be the round ligament pains, the uterus stretching and pulling. Food aversions aplenty, the sight or smell of certain foods like Sweep's game pie or a jar or pickles made me feel sick.

New Year. Too much time on Facebook pregnancy forums started making me anxious, I read about missed miscarriages in which I had never heard of before. I started to worry, Sweep said don't it will all be ok. I thought about having another reassurance scan but decided not to in case the very act of committing to be anxious would bring bad luck.

And then I was not feeling nauseous all day anymore just a little on waking. I was still tired and I started questioning if my breast soreness was as bad. Was it?  Also the food aversions had gone, I was feeling better in myself. I had a 10 week scan booked with the private scanning company towards the end of January, I would wait it out.

10 week Scan

Saturday morning scan day arrived and I felt a little glum, Sweep remarked on this, I said I was kinda worried. Stop going on those Facebook pages he said. I agreed and with a few large glasses of water chugged down to enable the sonographer to see the baby we set off to the clinic. Once there and lay down with gel on my belly, I held Sweep's hand and couldn't look at the screen for a few moment. I caught a glance.
It didn't look right. I had been looking at scan pictures online, sort of excitement about what to expect. This looked in my brief look to be still the same as the 6 week scan.

What was the date of your last period she asked? It was then I knew,  I felt all the joy sucked out of me. She wheeled forward on her chair and said my name in softer tones. I'm afraid the baby isn't developing, I can see no heartbeat.

Missed Miscarriage

It was explained that the embryo had stopped developing at 9mm, around 7 weeks gestation. I had had a missed miscarriage - no signs of blood, no spotting, nothing. My uterus had continued to grow, my body had still felt pregnant - although of course looking back now, did this explain the reduced feelings of nausea and the food aversions disappearing. My body was holding on to the baby, just there, stuck in time at 7 weeks, no heartbeat, the little life lost. My body did not realise that the embryo had died. There is nothing you have done wrong she kindly told me, natures way, a genetic issue more than likely. I looked at Sweep, my eyes full of tears, he looked so sad, he comforted me, I don't know what I'd do without him. We left with a referral for the EPU (Early pregnancy unit) at the hospital scheduled for Monday. After this, I cried a lot. We went for a cup of tea and a walk around a pretty town, yet more cups of tea, discussing everything over and over. Those hours passed by in flurries, tears and cold hands on a chilly day, trying to rationalise and accept - natures way, as simple as.

I spent the rest of the weekend seeking solace from Facebook groups around miscarriage, wanting to be enveloped by others with similar experiences. My Sweep was a great help to me, I honestly could not want for a more loving man, the comforting, the right things to say and keeping me steady. He was sad too, but I think more worried for me. I can remember waking in the middle of the night crying not knowing what to do. He got me to Monday in a stronger place and I love him a million times more for his support.

I flit between using the word baby and embryo, I'm never quite sure why or maybe I am. Embryo makes me feel more at ease I think, such early development. This is not to say the life did not matter, just made me view the first trimester as so fragile and why people don't announce until past this stage. It's like a place of in between, of limbo, life is there but not baby featured developed as yet but what is lost are your hopes and dreams, it's a crushing feeling.

The next stage to be continued.