Miscarriage: A positive message

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This has been sitting unpublished for over a year:

If you’re reading this expecting the usual light hearted look at the world of parenting small children then click here and go watch a monkey riding a pig instead.

Also if you are still recovering from a miscarriage please get off the Internet now. Google is not your friend, your friends are your friends.

Right who’s left?

I am a mum to a beautiful baby boy and a daughter who refuses to have her nappy changed. And I, or rather we, (sorry Mila we both went through it) suffered from recurrent miscarriage.

The first time we got pregnant we were surprised at how easy it was. We had only just met and expected it to take a while.

Pregnancy was a breeze, I kept running. Having a baby was easy!

Then at 13 weeks, just after we’d told everyone, I started bleeding. 

We went to the hospital and they said we hadn’t miscarried.

Yet.

The next week we went back to the hospital, this time in an ambulance with the blue light flashing.

I can’t remember much as I was drifting in and out of consciousness but I remember being mortified as Mr Eeh Bah was handed an armful of maternity pads, told to change them and monitor my blood loss.

We had been together for 6 months, and still in the honeymoon period, I was wearing matching Agent Provocateur underwear for fucks sake.

There was a car crash that day so we had to wait for my operation, but the bleeding got worse and suddenly I was the priority. Mr Eeh Bah was asked to sign the consent forms – he didn’t even know my middle name.

So we lost the baby.

It happens.

We tried again.

Better luck next time.

This time we got to the scan which was perfectly timed for the day before our friends wedding. This would be our moment, obviously it would be rude to upstage the Bride & Groom on their big day, but when people started asking me why I wasn’t drinking, well, it would be hard to hide.

The sonographer positioned Mr Eeh Bah so he could see the screen as she talked through the scan. First the heartbeat thumping loud and strong.

Then the screen was gently turned away.

I can’t remember exactly what the sonographer said but she was sorry.

Looking back I feel sorry for the couples sat excitedly outside the scan room. Sitting waiting for their big moment as sobbing woman ran through the waiting room with her pants halfway down her legs.

I locked myself in the bathroom and had to be coaxed out by the consultant who explained how unlucky we’d been. Anencephaly is a serious neural tube condition and our baby had no chance, bad luck again.

We decided to terminate the baby we so desperately wanted.

The next day we went to the wedding and do you know what?

We had a good time.

Whilst we were there we were struck by inspiration.

We would go away.

Have a break from baby making.

The next week we went back to the hospital this time to the Day Treatment Centre (reducing disruption to your daily life) and then we came home and started planning our three months in South East Asia.

Six months later we were tanned, full of noodles and ready for third time lucky.

At 12 weeks the bleeding started and third time lucky became three times unlucky.

I was beyond angry.

With everyone.

The hospital and their shitty explanations, Mr Eeh Bah and his crappy sperm, my own useless body, people who felt sorry for us, people who didn’t know what to say anymore.

The whole fucking world.

We were booked in for tests, under a second consultant, lots of tests. Even more than very nearly an armful. And the news was good.

We were lucky.

At fucking last!

We were lucky because there was nothing wrong with us.

Whoop de do.

Welcome to the wonderful world of sub fertility.

You’re not infertile. Some people can’t even get pregnant. You should be grateful. You’re lucky.

As the consultant sat us down and talked us through how lucky we were he watched me getting more and more wound up. He suggested seeing an acupuncturist. Chill out man, relax!

We were booked in for more tests after Christmas.

We had been trying for 2 years. I had been pregnant for over 9 months in total. We were both exhausted. So we took another break, got drunk, went skiing.

And I felt sick.

This pregnancy we both felt sick.

Every time we went to hospital for a routine appointment both Mr Eeh Bah and I would throw up with nerves. Worried our luck would run out.

But there was no stopping this baby.

She kicked and punched and turned.

She is strong and willful and full of life and she is outside bouncing on the trampoline with a fork.  (Where the hell did she get a fork from? Put that down, NOW!)

We were lucky.

We are lucky.

And we love her for hanging on in there and never stopping.

I’d love to say that after Eeh Bah Daughter things were plain sailing with Eeh Bah Son but again we couldn’t quite get past those magic 12 weeks and it was third time lucky for us.

Seven pregnancies for two babies and I don’t think our story is even all that unusual.  Lots of couples struggle with fertility issues and miscarriage is very common.

So what have I learned from it all?

I’ve learnt that I didn’t want to hear people say that there’d be another baby.

I wanted that baby.

The one I was grieving for – even though no one else in the world had got to know them.

If you are reading this and hoping to find out what you should say in this situation then I’m afraid I can’t help.

There are no magic words.

But there are positive things that I have taken from my experiences.

Before I tried to start a family I thought that with hard work and determination I could do anything.

I attacked the problem like I was at work researching, organising, controlling….. and it had no effect whatsoever.

Struggling to have a baby taught me a huge lesson about parenting:

You can plan and organise all you want – children don’t do what you want them to. Not mine. Not ever.

I think had our first pregnancy been successful I would have been a very different mother.

I think I would have been more stressed and less happy as a mother.

Although probably the house would have been tidier.

My experiences also helped with the whole messy business of giving birth.

Whatever happened I reasoned  it would be over in, say, 3 days max.

And I would be a mum.

I would happily have had the baby yanked out of my nostrils, if it meant I could be a mum.

I also learnt that my boyfriend is amazing.

So is the NHS.

And I am very, very lucky.

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17 thoughts on “Miscarriage: A positive message

  1. I read this with a lump in my throat. I always said getting pregnant was easy peasy, staying that way was much harder. 2 miscarriages before one finally stuck, but even they she only stayed there for 29 weeks. I’m grateful for her determination in those early days and she still has it now. But she is also sometimes a quitter just as she was at 29 weeks :-)

    This time round it’s much harder to get pregnant. 2 years with no luck. I’m hoping this means when I finally have one in there it will stick!

  2. It’s amazing how shitty life can be, isn’t it? I had a couple of losses before Evelyn… I mean Wilf turned up (wow sonographer you really hadn’t seen “lips”..) and I think I only grieved for them after he showed up. I hated the x+0 in my notes showing that it wasn’t my first rodeo. It’s great being a x+1 but that doesn’t negate it. Here’s to trampolining with forks!

  3. You were meant to be parents. It’s as simple as that. The universe wasn’t going to let you stop until you were, because you need to help those children grow through life. I’m sorry about all at the babies who didn’t get a chance to stay, but thanks to your determination and the NHS, you and your children are going to make a difference in the world xx

  4. I love this post, beautifully and honestly written. Nobody who hasn’t been there understands the distress of losing a baby in early pregnancy.

  5. An amazing post and so refreshingly honest. I had one miscarriage and that was hard enough. I still wonder ‘what if…’ five years on. I’m so glad you had your two lovely children.

  6. Cried reading this! Had 2 miscarriages before my darling son and felt all that you’ve described. Marvellous post, thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow. What a beautiful, honest and heart-breaking post. We had one miscarriage at 7 weeks and that was hard enough. I didn’t realise until then how desperately I wanted to be a Mum; until we fell pregnant I was very much “I can take it or leave it” then BAM. With no effort, I was suddenly pregnant and just as I got my head around the idea and realised that our plans of me re-training and us running a pub weren’t really family friendly, it was snatched from us.

    We were lucky. So incredibly lucky that as soon as we “tried” (I use the term loosely, we were simply not using contraception) we fell pregnant again. Almost too soon in a way as every few weeks I would panic and have a reason for a scan until we got the 12 weeks one.

    Thank you for sharing; miscarriage is scarily “normal” but feels so utterly lonely at the time because we aren’t honest enough about it. (My GP at the time said “Well if your periods weren’t so regular you probably wouldn’t have known”!)

  8. I had to terminate a pregnancy due to anencephaly at 13 wks I was “lucky” in that I had no other miscarriages and or complications and am now mother to a healthy 10wk old boy.
    Thank you for writing this. Xx

  9. Love your honest, frank and humorous account. We found that laughing helped us a lot. He made fun of the fact that the hastily thrown on trackys were blood stained and i had to tie his jumper round my waist. You have to look at the funny side. But it is hard and a lot of your comments resonated with my experiences. They are worth all the hassle most of the time ey?

  10. Thank you for sharing your story – I can relate to a lot of what you say, especially about people trying to reassure you that there will be another baby, when all you wanted was that baby. They’re not commodities, not something that can ever be replaced. And yet I can’t regret my first miscarriage because without it I wouldn’t have my son, and I wouldn’t be without him for the world. There are so many thoughts and feelings to process with miscarriage and most of that seems to be done in my head. I think miscarriage has changed me, in some ways for the better, but it has also opened a door to a melancholy place that I would rather not have to visit.

  11. Thanks for all the lovely comments. The response to this post has been overwhelming. Sorry I haven’t replied to anyone but to be honest I just hit ‘publish’ and ran away. Not very good at the serious stuff but sending you all lots of hugs and thanks for your stories. Here’s to better care for women in the future, xx

  12. This is a heart wrenching post. But your children must delight you everyday. Their pics definitely make me smile! As well as miscarriage care you raised the grey area of ‘sub fertility’. I researched the subject of secondary sub fertility for an article, as over time I noticed many women in my small town desiring to, but not managing to make a second child while most of us continued to do so. The women I interviewed had been through the hoops like you, each lacked support in certain areas. As you say, ‘here’s to better care for women in the future’.. And if I could draw any conclusion from the medical professionals I spoke to – it’s that women should be encouraged to have babies younger when miscarriage risks can be lower.

  13. So well written, I had a lump in my throat as I read. Fertility is so complicated and we really struggled although didn’t miscarry. You don’t realise how lucky you are to become a mum

  14. Pingback: Life’s little hiccups | caftales

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