my story by nicola

I knew I was pregnant before I’d even bought a test. It was just a feeling, a difference in my body, I just knew. Although I did still take four tests, just to make it feel real. 

We weren’t trying for a baby yet. It was a discussion we’d had many times, and while adding to our family was very much on the horizon, we kept saying “not yet, it’s not time just yet”. But, as soon as the tests showed positive, a baby was all we could think about. The first few weeks passed by with growing excitement, nausea and lots of naps. At 6 weeks I had the tiniest bit of spotting, and after a call to the EPU they booked me in for a reassurance scan, and at 7 weeks 3 days we saw a strong, healthy, heartbeat. I didn’t know I’d been holding my breath until I felt it release- there was our baby and they were ok. We watched them flicker on the screen, and went home with three little pictures in my hand. 

The next weeks were uneventful. Food aversions were strong and I was living on mashed potatoes, cucumber and grapes. I could see my body starting to change, and we tentatively started telling close family and friends as we neared the 10 week stage. Just before our 12 week scan we had a weekend full of family events, which we thought would be the perfect time to tell everyone our news, so we booked in for a private scan at 11 weeks. 

Just like I’d known I was pregnant before doing a test, as soon as the scan started, I knew it was all over. Where my baby should have been was a black space, and the little peanut that I saw at 7 weeks was in the corner, only slightly bigger than the last time we saw them. It took the sonographer so long to say anything, but eventually the words came- “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”

The next few days are a blur. We went back to the EPU the next morning and  had another scan to confirm my loss. A missed miscarriage at 8 weeks 3 days. For almost 3 weeks I had been talking to, loving and caring for a baby that was sleeping. My heart was broken. I booked in to have surgical management three days later. The procedure itself was so straightforward and I was home five hours later. Empty, broken and full of painkillers, but I knew that choosing to have surgery was the best option for me. I took comfort in knowing that we had both been cared for, and that I wasn’t going to wait for weeks for everything to pass. The staff at the hospital were so caring- a nurse in the operating theatre took my hand as I cried and was still holding it as I closed my eyes to sleep.

As the physical recovery from the surgical management is minimal, I was able to focus on emotionally healing. I cried, I screamed, I said nothing for hours. I spent days pouring over other people’s stories online and found these so comforting-to know that I wasn’t alone, and that everything I was feeling was normal helped me so much.

I attended counselling sessions for a few weeks, and found the MISS support group, which allowed me to freely talk about how I was feeling without fear of upsetting my partner or family, and to have my feelings validated by others made me realise I wasn’t going crazy. Everything I felt was normal.

I meditated a few times a day which calmed the anxious feelings that surfaced as time went on. As the weeks passed, the tears came less and I was able to see joy again in small things.

My partner ended up going for emergency surgery three weeks later to remove his appendix, and honestly, having someone to focus on and to care for assisted my healing more than anything else.

After my loss, I felt a loss of all sense of purpose, but I was still needed and we still had a life to live. 10 weeks on and I still think of my baby everyday, I still cry and feel angry, but I’m starting to feel hopeful again. 

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