Miscarriage at 8 weeks in Cuba

Rosie Andre

Getting pregnant

Jeremie and I decided in September that we wanted to get pregnant again, so in October we started trying and got pregnant in the first month of trying.

We were very realistic about the fact that I might have a miscarriage or need to have an abortion after what happened last time and the fact that we carry this gene defect called Ellis Van Creveld Syndrome. But it was still very sad to lose yet another baby.

We were very sensible about the whole thing and had been to a birthing house in Miami to talk about the pregnancy before we started trying. And I went to the doctors and had a smear test to make sure everything was ok. And it was.

I really wanted to make the most of being pregnant and celebrate every milestone. So I took photographs of the pregnancy stick on the day we found out. And then I took photographs every week to document the process. I installed a baby app to track the pregnancy. I started writing down my favourite baby names again. I was thinking about everything.. having a baby born in Miami, when would we go back to Europe to introduce the new baby to the family, when would I be due, what would the baby look like, where would the baby sleep. All the normal things that parents think about.

Like I said though, any happy thought was interrupted with the thought of having a miscarriage or an abortion. I tried so hard not to get too excited or too attached to avoid heartbreak. But I was so certain that this time, everything would be ok.

The Day Of The Miscarriage

We arrived in Cuba the day before the miscarriage when I was officially 8 weeks pregnant. We weren't nervous about travelling whilst I was pregnant as I know a lot of people that travel when pregnant and everything is fine. So I don't think travelling was the problem, I think the miscarriage was going to happen either way. It's just sad that it happened whilst in Cuba on holiday for Jeremie's birthday.

Anyway, we spent the morning on a motorbike tour that our Airbnb host took us on. We were out for 4 hours and I didn't feel anything wrong. But as soon as we walked in the door, I said "Oh, I don't think baby liked that!". Jeremie asked why and I said "well, I have a bit of a sore tummy.."

I didn't really think anything of it, until I went to the toilet 2 mins later and I was starting to bleed heavily. I just sat on the toilet and sobbed. Jeremie was in shock and asked me several times if I really was having a miscarriage. He was angry, then empty and then tried to process what I was telling him.

I just couldn't believe it was happening again. How can we be so unlucky? Why is it so hard to have the only thing I want in life? What did I do to deserve this? How am I going to tell my family? What's going to happen this week in Cuba?

I obviously didn't expect to have a miscarriage so didn't pack any pads or tampons. So after around an hour of crying, cleaning myself up and talking, we decided to go into Old Havana and look in some of the shops we had seen. I put on my thick black leggings which would soak up and hide any blood and headed out.

We spent around 2 hours walking around, looking in pharmacies, supermarkets, any type of shop that looked like it might sell anything and eventually found some pads. They were better than nothing but no where near as good as the Always pads I am used to using.

We got 2 packs of 10 for roughly $5 and headed to the spot where we could get Wifi and sent messages to our family and friends who knew about the pregnancy. It was hard telling them over text message but maybe it made it easier not having to say the same thing multiple times. We didn't have enough internet connection for phone conversations so we just sent a couple of messages and headed home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in bed. I didn't have period pains as such but I was sore and I was sad. I wanted to sit or lie down rather than stand as that always makes it less painful. If you're a girl, you probably know what I mean.

After several hours of feeling sorry for ourselves, I explained to Jeremie that miscarriages happen all the time. It wasn't our fault, we did nothing wrong and that we could either spend the whole time in Cuba crying and feeling miserable, or we could try to carry on and enjoy our time here.

So we decided to try to make the most of our holiday. We went out for a local easy dinner that night and had an early night so I could rest and process what had just happened.

The Miscarriage Week

The next day was Jeremie's 32nd birthday and the reason we were in Cuba in the first place. I had a little cry in the morning and maybe a couple of times over the next couple of days but there was no more sobbing and feelings of despair.

We tried to enjoy Jeremie's birthday in Havana by hiring a vintage car for a tour of the city. We walked around and explored and did some of the tourist things, but I had to sit down whenever possible to ease some of the pain. I also had to find toilets very frequently as the pads were pretty useless. The blood almost just sat on the pad without being soaked up at all.

I would say I had pretty heavy bleeding for 6 or 7 days, then light bleeding for another day or 2 until it finally came to an end. The worst day was day 5 when we were in Vinales and had gone on a 3 hour taxi tour of the local area. We were walking up towards a huge prehistoric painted wall, and I felt something huge come out of me.

I had to stop walking and waddle over to Jeremie. He told me to go to the toilet and clean myself up. It was the baby. And the weird thing was that I wanted to see it. I held it in my hands. I inspected it as if it were an alien. I even took photographs. And I know this probably sounds like the most mental thing you have read all day, but I think it was my motherly instincts trying to process it all and protect myself. I had to see it, touch it and acknowledge it.

It was the size of a grape or a raspberry. It was a dark purple colour and didn't look anything like a baby. But I knew it was my baby. The one I had hoped would be ok. The one I hoped would survive. The one I thought wouldn't be like the other 2.

I came out from the bathroom, hugged Jeremie and cried once again.

After The Miscarriage

I feel ok now. Physically and emotionally.

It gets easier each time you lose a baby. Especially due to miscarriage. There is no guilt. No tough decision. No hospital visits or psychology appointments. Just a heavy period that could have been something special.

I think the hardest part of having this miscarriage was being in Cuba. I couldn't get chocolate, sit on the sofa and binge watch chick flicks. I couldn't buy my preferred brand of feminine products. I couldn't talk to my bestie about what had happened. I couldn't even clean myself with my usual products. I had to use a 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner & shower gel that smelled of cheap aftershave.

I had to stay strong, deal with this the best I could and try to enjoy Cuba.

We still took photographs & videos of our travels. We still went out for meals. We still went horse riding. We still put on a happy face and made the most out of a bad situation. But the whole time, I was painfully reminded that I was no longer pregnant. I won't be giving birth in a couple of months time. I won't grow a bump. I won't do all of the things I had planned. Not yet at least.

But my desire to be a mother has not gone away. This miscarriage has not stopped me from wanting to try again.

So all I can do is be thankful that I can get pregnant so easily. Be thankful that my husband is my rock and is so incredibly supportive and loving. And be thankful that my body is incredible and strong.

I am lucky in many different ways and hopefully, one day in the future, my dream will come true.

1 Comment

  1. Julián on February 6, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Wow, thank you for the intimate share. Although there are elements of sadness reading this I also feel a strong sense of resilience and hopefulness. Both you and Jérémie are wonderful humans that deserve all the happiness possible and if being parents is in the cards for you two it will happen at the perfect moment.

    Lots of Love <3

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