Disclaimer: This post deals with the topic of miscarriage. It is a personal account, nothing medical about it. It involves graphic speech and the female body parts. I just need to share it, I need to get it out so that I can heal.
Two pink lines. The promise of hope, excitement and joy. Maybe a little apprehension and a ‘wtf’ moment, but still the excitement. Or so I thought.
There is never going to be a day that those two lines mean the same to me again.
Miscarriage, only a word until you experience it yourself. And then it's your life, consuming you physically and emotionally each and every moment of your day. It even bursts its way into your sleep. You go about a day thinking that you are finally getting on top of things and then a kitten cries on a funny You-Tube video and the tears start falling again.
I'd never experienced 'spotting' while pregnant with my other three children. So when I first discovered a little something down there whilst going to the toilet, I didn't really know what to do or what to think. So I googled it, as we all do these days. A little brown, that's ok, its 'old blood'. No cramping?? You’re fine.
When you are actually experiencing a medical problem and attend a hospital, things seem so 'clinical'. As I found out on my first trip that day. Living remote and having no access to ultrasound technology locally, with-out pain or cramping they seemed pretty optimistic, monitored for a little, all stats fine, head to the bigger hospital in the morning for an ultra-sound check up. Dot points checked off the list. A million thoughts race through your mind. Some terrible, some over the top optimistic. ‘Maybe I'm pregnant with twins, people with twins spot a little at this stage in pregnancy’ (or so google told me)
An hour and fifteen minutes of travel the next day felt like 3 hours, a full bladder and a sinking feeling in my 'gut' of impending doom. A first scan of a growing baby that sends all those hormones into over drive, waiting 5 minutes for them to call you into your appointment feels like an hour, your boobs tingle (well mine always did, especially after my first) your stomach chases butterflies and maybe even a tear of happiness wells in your eyes. This time I sat in that waiting room, hoping that it would take a long time, because if something was wrong, it was the last little bit of hope that I could hold onto.
Jumping up onto that table, my boobs didn't tingle, my eyes were dry and my stomach was still. I glanced at the screen and saw a little being there but nothing else. No little flutter of a heart, no little tadpole movements. Just stillness and silence. Silence can be the most deafening sound. It was then that the tears came, silently, but they were there. A second Dr enters the room to double check, no words needed to be spoken my heart knew then what my body already knew.
I was left in that room for a few moments, to try and pick myself up for a walk round to emergency ready to start on one of the most emotional roller-coasters of my life, in a waiting room full of the sick, injured and those that had the sneezes and thought they should be there. An audience to watch your world crumble. Almost 5 hours worth of crumbling for nothing that day, taken into a new 'public' cubicle in emergency to again have an audience to my falling, to have a Dr ask why are you here after being sent around from another section of the hospital. No reading of notes, no compassion just straight up facts. Sent home with nothing, no follow up, no anything, told to attend Dr if I am feeling ill at all.
If there was one good thing to the day my world crumbled, was opening up my door to a very trusted friend. All I had sent to her was an emoticon of a thumbs down, and here she was with a bunch of daffodils and two plastic bags of goodies. Ice-Cream, Chocolate, Chips. Frozen home-cooked meals and while most would think a little strange, a packet of pads. It was that packet that made me realise, that even in our darkest days some thing shines out to let us know that things will be ok. Because only the very best of a friend, could give you a 'gift' such as a packet of pads and warm your heart. It broke it a little that I needed them, but it was like a little band-aid at the same time, you still have that hurt underneath but a temporary little cover to hide it away and protect it.
At 10 weeks pregnant, when you miscarry it's not just like having a period. You cramp, like mini labour pains, you bleed, you pass clots and 'matter'. Each and every time you visit the toilet, your brain tries to switch off but your heart cries at the thought of what you are flushing each and every time.
This first week of my new battle has seen a few trips to hospital. Needles because of my blood type, follow up Ultrasound and specialist appointment. Even though I'd been bleeding, that second ultrasound was as much of a crush as the first, maybe they got it wrong. Maybe everything is ok. People without thinking can be so cruel, even medical personnel. '10 weeks?? Gee, that's late to miscarry' (quote, second Ultrasound technician)
I have one word of advice for people when someone you know or love is suffering. Sometimes, things are better left unsaid if you really don't know what to say. Sometimes your presence or just knowing you are there is enough.
I've been 'lucky' enough, if I can call it that to have a wonderful gynecologist who is willing to let me try not to have a surgery. I am retaining left over 'matter' but am so sick of feeling violated that I don't want the trauma of going under for surgery, to wake up the same empty, sad and not pregnant.
Through all of this, I've had the wonderful support of my friends and family, I might not of replied to messages. But they were read and appreciated. I don't feel like talking about it most of the time, heck I don't feel like talking about anything most of the time at the moment. Some days I just feel like sleeping and being sad. My body is having a 'crash' of hormones. I'm tired, I'm cranky. I'm in physical pain and I'm hurting emotionally. Thank-you to my friends that have been sad with me, thank-you for showing me your tears. It makes it feel like it meant something to someone other than just me, like it mattered. It makes it feel like it really was there and even though I never really got to be congratulated, it makes me feel that people cared about it, not just me.
And what comes next? I don't even know. I still have little parts of what was going to be, left inside me so my healing both physical and emotionally can't even begin properly yet. I can't imagine where I will be in a year, maybe holding on the what if's, maybe not. All I do know, is if I ever get the chance to see those two lines again, that it will be possibly the best and worst time of my life. Instead of the stereotype of waiting till that 'safe' 12 week mark enjoying a little secret and planning for an exciting future, I'll be reliving this trauma again even if everything turns out OK. If I don't get to see those two lines again, then what happens to those what ifs. Does it last forever??? I can't tell you that. I can't even tell you that I'm OK at the minute.
All I know is that life can be so dreadfully cruel. Yet at the same time, there are always little hints that even in the darkness there are little rays of happiness. Like a packet of pads, or a message of prayer from a friend. Please don’t ask me if I am ‘still’ feeling crappy, or sick. If you need to ask me anything, just ask if I’m ok. I’ll either say yes, or feel like sharing with you. I don’t have a time frame on my physical or emotional healing. I don’t know how long the craziness of emotions will go on for.
The only thing that I do know is that at the end of the day, sometimes the only thing you can do is just keep on, keeping on.