Our first miscarriage happened in March 2013 and it is fair to say it was a shock. A missed miscarriage discovered at our 12 week scan (which was actually 13 weeks). Having lived a pretty charmed life and been fairly lucky, I thought that pregnancy would be the same. I’d never failed at anything, not even my driving test!
Our second pregnancy was different to the first. I think that is one of the hardest things about miscarriage. During our first pregnancy we were so excited, we even painted the front room in our house so that it could be our bedroom when the pregnancy progressed and I started struggling with the very steep and narrow staircase up to a our bedroom in the attic. The second time round we were apprehensive. We knew it could go wrong and didn’t want to get too excited. I didn’t even work out my due date, some time in early 2014 was as much as I knew.
We were lucky that we fell pregnant very quickly, after only one month of TTC (I hate that I’ve learnt these acronyms whilst reading blogs and forums in a bid to feel like I’m not the only person going through a miscarriage – it’s like I’m in a group I never wanted to be part of). This time I didn’t feel nauseous but I wasn’t concerned (it hadn’t exactly been a good sign with my first pregnancy). Work had become completely mental, 12 hour days were the norm and that helped me to not think about the pregnancy.
Week 8 came and went and I started to feel more confident. I had got passed the point where my period would have started without the slightest spotting or twinge. I was definitely pregnant although I still couldn’t bring myself to make an appointment with the midwife. I didn’t want another Bounty pack languishing on a shelf!
This time we didn’t tell as many people. I didn’t tell my parents as I couldn’t bear to have to tell my dad about another lost grandchild but I did tell a few close friends. I was going to a big summer party and didn’t want to lie to them about why I wasn’t drinking (they would have guessed anyway). Sadly, I spoke a little too soon. The party was on the Friday night and on Sunday afternoon following a lovely day out with the boy, I started spotting and I just knew!
I phoned the 111 service who were very helpful (don’t believe all of the bad press) and booked me an appointment for an early scan at the hospital the next morning. This time the boy didn’t come in with me. I didn’t want him to have to see another empty black hole scan. The sonographer was upbeat and said that plenty of people have spotting during the first trimester and have healthy babies but for some reason I knew that wouldn’t happen for us. She did an internal scan and there it was again a sack and a foetal pole but it was only measuring about 5/6 weeks and we should have been almost 9 (another missed miscarriage). It was too early (and the baby was too small) for her to be able to confirm a miscarriage and I was told to go home to miscarry naturally and to come back in two weeks for a follow up scan. For the second time since the start of 2013, we were devastated.
Once again I went back to work. This time on the same day as the scan and tried to get on with normal life. This, I have discovered, is easier said than done when you are having a miscarriage. Over the next two weeks a bled (a lot), I got used to changing my pads at work every two hours and to feeling large clots pass whilst at my desk or in meetings and having to make excuses to go to the toilet. It was horrid and I resolved that if I ever had another miscarriage (fingers crossed I won’t), I would have an ERPC straight away.
The boy and I had a long standing weekend away with friends booked in for the second weekend after we discovered we had miscarried for a second time. There were a large group going, including two pregnant couples and a baby. I was apprehensive but the boy really wanted to go and I didn’t want to let him down. Anyway I was sure I would be back to normal by the time that weekend arrived.
Two weeks passed and the morning of the follow-up scan arrived. We were busy getting ready for the weekend away. The bleeding was trailing off and I was starting to actually look forward to the little holiday. I wanted to make the most of the time off work so I booked a hair appointment for 10.30am. The scan was booked for 8.45am. I was convinced it would just be a formality, trot off to the hospital (dreaded third floor again), have a scan to confirm I have completely miscarried, go to hair appointment and meet the boy back at the house at midday to drive to the holiday cottage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how it worked out.
I was seen by the sonographer at 9am (how can they be running 15 minutes late by 9am???) and as she inserted the probe I saw it. The sack, the pole, it was all still there. All of it! There was no baby, no heartbeat, nothing had progressed but it was still here. How could that possibly be? I felt like I had passed half of my blood volume and some major internal organs over the last two weeks and yet my uterus was still full!
The sonographer said that it could happen (although she was a little surprised given that I had been passing clots) so I had to see a doctor, who was lovely and very understanding but a junior who wanted to get a second opinion. I think she was a little surprised that I was very calm (no crying again) and asked if it would take long as I had a hair appointment and was going on holiday in the afternoon. I don’t think I had really taken it all in.
It was decided that I would have another ERPC which was booked for the Tuesday when we were back from holiday. Once again my bloods were taken, consent forms signed and I dashed off to the hairdressers arriving only 15 minutes late. The next Tuesday I had my second ERPC in four months and the morning after I was back at work (you might have already realised but work was mentally busy and this was a really bad time to be ill).
We are now in the process of trying to conceive for a third time. I’m trying to be philosophical about the whole thing, remember that we have just been unlikely and that there is still a good chance that number 3 will stick but I can’t help feeling that there is something more fundamental going on than simply bad luck and I feel annoyed that I will be made to get pregnant a third time and to go through another loss and most likely another operation before the medical professional will take my problem seriously and do any tests to try to see if anything is wrong. Until then we will just keep doing the bits we can control, eating well, taking pre-natal vitamins and having lots of sex in a bid to make baby number 3 (which to all but our close friends will be seen as baby number 1 or maybe not even a baby).