When I fell pregnant for the first time in January 2021, I had never felt so excited. After trying to conceive for over a year, it felt like we’d waited a lifetime for it, and we were so ready. Having taken a while to pregnant, I decided to book a private 8-week scan, just to make sure everything was okay.
We headed along to the appointment, anxious but excited to see our little baby but within a few minutes, it was clear something wasn’t right. The sonographer explained that the baby was measuring at six weeks, not eight, and there was no heartbeat. I can’t begin to explain the confusion, panic and grief that immediately hit us.
We were referred straight to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital where we had an internal scan which just confirmed what the sonographer had already told us. We were told to go home and booked in for re-scan ten days later to see if the baby had grown. The next few days were a blur. I went from feeling hopeful one moment to absolutely crushed the next.
Three days after the scan I started to spot and six days later, when I should have been nine weeks pregnant, I naturally miscarried. Naively, I had always thought miscarriage would just feel like a period, but the pain was agony. After bleeding heavily for hours, I phoned the maternity ward and was asked to head straight there so they could help with the bleeding. I’ll never remember how lovely the midwives and nursing staff were. They made such a traumatic experience as calming as possible.
I remember as we left, meekly saying to the midwife, “I’ve miscarried, haven’t I?” but they wouldn’t confirm anything until we had a re-scan. The days after merged into one as I lay on the sofa with a hot water bottle permanently attached to my stomach. It sounds silly given the baby was the size of a pea, but I felt empty. Physically and emotionally empty.
We were lucky to have such an amazing support network around us, and our close family and friends couldn’t have been more there for us. But I still struggled. I reached out to MISS and was pointed in the direction of a counselling service. I’ve now been seeing my counsellor every few weeks and I didn’t realise until I started talking just how much I needed to speak to someone who had an outside perspective.
I’ve been fairly open about my experience with friends, family and colleagues. One of the biggest struggles that I had after losing the baby was how isolating it felt. I didn’t know anyone that had experienced anything similar so I feel quite strongly about making miscarriage a normal discussion and not taboo.
It’s been almost four months and I still think about our baby every day. As painful as it is, I know things will keep getting easier. For anyone going through a similar experience, my only advise is to talk. Talk to a friend, a family member, a counsellor, anyone. It will surprise how much lighter you feel.