I wouldn’t say I found my first trimester easy. I was really busy at work and found it hard to concentrate with the spinning head and constant nausea. I hadn’t told anyone at work so couldn’t get them to cut me any slack and even if I had told my boss, I’m sure it would have elicited comments such as “you’re pregnant not sick” or “pregnancy isn’t an illness”. I have decided that people who say things like that have obviously had easy pregnancies and have no idea what it is like for others. Pregnancy is not an illness but it can make you feel pretty damn ill at times.
Anyway, finally its March 2013 and week 12 arrives. We’d done it. Made it through the risky first trimester. The nausea was starting to subside and my tiny tiny (but rock hard) baby bump was slowly appearing. Our scan wasn’t booked until 13 weeks but we were pleased we’d made it to the magical ‘second trimester’. Then, the day before our scan, during a wee break at work, a tiny bit of brown spotting. I was shaken (nothing like that had happened during the previous weeks) but I phoned my best friend (who just happens to be a doctor working in OB/GYN) and she reassured me it was nothing to worry out. Most likely the result of a slightly enthusiastic sex session with the boy (making the most of his nausea free wife).
The morning of the scan arrives. I’m still spotting but only a tiny bit and I’m trying to not worry too much. The boy has subsequently told me that he thought I was being paranoid and he had no doubt at all that everything would be fine. We nervously awaited our appointment (surrounded by other more heavily pregnant people and a few babies).
My doctor friend (Dr C) was working that day and popped down to see us as we waited. She was excited to see the scan pics and told us to phone her when the scan was finished. We were finally called into the dark scan room we couldn’t wait to see our baby for the first time. The sonographer was friendly but efficient. Lay there, unbutton your jeans, the jelly is a bit cold, probe on skin, silence…..moved the probe about….more silence….
The rest is a bit of a blur. I was told to empty my bladder and come back for an internal scan. I didn’t want the boy to have to see that bit so he left and was taken to a quite room. The internal scan was completed. I remember the words, sack, foetal pole, small, about seven weeks (I was definitely 13). I didn’t cry but kept apologising to the sonographer for ruining her day (“I hoped for her sake that the next couple would be luckier than us”). Then it was finished. “You can get dressed”. No scan pictures for me to show friends. I was taken to the quiet room where the boy was waiting. He said that he had seen the scan on the screen and there was just a big black hole with a tiny little white blob at the edge (I don’t think he’ll ever forget that image).
We were met by a nurse who explained that we would need to see a doctor to decide what to do next. I already knew the options and knew I wanted a D&C/ERPC/SMM (or whatever it’s called this week). We were sent up to the dreaded third floor (a place I would come to know better over the next four months). I remember scurrying through the waiting room thinking that I didn’t want any of the other pregnant mums to see us as I didn’t want them to feel worried about their scans (it wouldn’t happen to them, we were just unlucky).
I phoned Dr C and she came to meet us. We were very luck that she was there, she was an absolute star. It can’t be easy explaining to your best friend and her husband the process of removing the remnants of their dead baby. She look my bloods and booked us in for the operation on Friday morning. We drove home in silence. I composed a text to the friends who we had told about the pregnancy (I couldn’t face talking to them). When we got home we each phoned our parents. Telling my dad was the hardest part as he had been so excited about the prospect of being a granddad. I felt like I had let everyone down and I hated ruining their otherwise perfectly normal days. Then it was done. We stood in the kitchen, held each other and had a jolly good cry. Followed by a dog walk and a strong G&T!
As strange as it may sound, that was pretty much that. The next morning we both went back to work. My boss was away and I had a big project which couldn’t wait so there wasn’t the option to stay at home and feel sorry for myself and anyway keeping busy felt like a good idea….. until it got to 7.30pm that evening when I was still at work after an 11 hour day and a particularly horrid client insisted on coming in for a meeting. In fact he shouted, told me to meet him at reception in 5 mins and slammed the phone down (he works on the same road) giving me no chance to make an alternative arrangement (although I had said that tomorrow morning would be better). Well at that point I burst into tears. I had kept it together so well but that was the final straw and I had no idea what to do. Thankfully the head of my department was still in the office so I went into his room, explained my story (missed miscarriage and all) in about 10 seconds flat and asked him what to do. He was obviously shocked by lovely even though there was very little he could actually do to help. I dried my eyes and went to meet with the client with the understanding from my boss that if I ended up crying in front of the client he wouldn’t think me unprofessional and would explain to the client for me. As it was, the client wasn’t too horrid (he could probably tell from my face that I wasn’t in the mood for his ranting) and 45 mins later I was in the pub with the boy. Post MMC Day 1 was over and I had survived.
I ended up telling my close team at work what had happened as I needed to have the Friday off work for the operation and with people on holiday it wasn’t great timing so they were getting suspicious about why I wasn’t going to be in. It actually felt a relief for them to know.
Friday arrived and I had an ERPC (evacuation of retained products of conception – who thought that was a good name for hormonal women who had just lost their babies to have to say??!). It was fairly painless. I was at the hospital at 7.15am. Had my own room (Pembury Hospital is fantastic), was sent down for the op and back in my room by 10.45am. Left the hospital at 1.30pm and by 3.30pm we were heading off on holiday, slightly against the instructions of the doctors to get some rest, but I felt very awake and bouncy and we just wanted to get away and forget about our awful week (AKA the worse week of my life).
UPDATE – We have subsequently discovered that the material from this miscarriage showed signs of being molar. The materials were tested at our local hospital and then sent to St Mary’s in London for specialist review. The results were a non-molar hydropic miscarriage.