I just want to talk about my miscarriage that happened in August 2016. I think I’m mostly writing this for myself, to help me heal and get over what happened, but also to help anyone else who might go through this. Anything I write is just my experience, it’s not medically proven or 100% sure that the same thing will happen to you.
I feel like miscarriage isn't talked about enough in our society. People see it as a little thing that happens sometimes. But it happens so often (1 out of every 4 or 5 pregnancies), and people need to be more aware of it. It can have devastating affects on couples and their lives from that moment forward. I know I'm not going to change the world, but I hope to help just one person. Let's start a discussion, let's talk about these taboo subjects and make them more accepted and known about.
I met my now husband in 2010. We got married in May 2015 then went on our honeymoon in May 2016. We had talked about wanting children but I always wanted to be married first, then after the wedding I wanted us to have a fantastic honeymoon away, so waited until afterwards before we started trying to conceive. June & July we had unprotected sex and fell pregnant at the end of July/start of August. I had used the app Clue to record my periods (how long they lasted, time between each period etc) which also tells you your most fertile week. I used this as a kind of guide as to when might be the best days to get pregnant.
The 23rd and 24th August was when I started to feel pregnant. I had sore breats in the mornings and just felt pregnant. It’s something you can’t describe. On Friday, the 26th I did the pregnancy test and it was positive. We were so excited and happy! I already knew I was pregnant from how I was feeling, but it was nice to have it confirmed. We didn’t do a 2nd or 3rd test, like many couples do, as I believed the 1st one. So, we spent Saturday & Sunday talking a little about it but trying not to get too excited. I know a couple of women who have miscarried, but you never think it will happen to you. Then Sunday evening my husband went away for 4 days for work.
Those 2 days we had together, knowing we were pregnant were so special, happy and exciting. We talked about if we wanted a boy or a girl. Potential names. What we needed to do to prepare ourselves and the apartment. We even bought a little rabbit teddy bear for our baby.
I went to work as usual on the Monday, and that evening I was bleeding slightly. I Googled it and read that it was normal to have some blood in the first couple of weeks as it was the egg attaching itself to the lining of the uterus. Although I was still slightly worried, this calmed me down a little. I woke up on the Tuesday 30th August to really bad period pains and heavy bleeding. I knew I was having a miscarriage. I’d never had one before, but I knew what was happening to my body. I went to the doctors crying my eyes out and had my husband on speaker phone to explain what had happened and how I felt as I couldn’t speak from crying so much. He examined me and told me it was either heavy bleeding due to the egg attaching which will pass, an ectopic pregnancy (which would have hurt when he pressed on my tummy) or a miscarriage. I was heartbroken that we had potentially lost our little baby so early on.
He sent me to have a blood test and a scan of my uterus. I had to sit for over an hour drinking water to fill my bladder which helps in early pregnancy scans. My husband’s aunt who lives close to us came to be with me for the scan and they saw no foetus in there. He scanned the ovaries and they seemed fine but I had miscarried. It was exactly 5 weeks since the 1st day of my last period.
It was so hard being away from my husband and feeling all alone at such a sad time. I went home and sobbed for 2 days straight. It’s a weird one because even though I knew what was happening, it was still hard to hear the news and try to process it all on my own. This may be too much information, but I remember crying every time I went to the toilet as I wiped away the blood. I knew that was my baby and that if I hadn’t miscarried, in 8 months I would be the happiest person in the world.
It was devastating having to un-think all those happy thoughts I had just several days earlier. We were no longer pregnant. There was not a baby growing inside of me. In 8 months time, I will not be welcoming my gorgeous baby into the world. I can't go baby shopping. I can't buy cute outfits and toys. Being a mum has always been my "goal" in life. I don't care about work or being successful. All I ever wanted to be was a mum. And that had just been taken away from me. The worst feeling though, was feeling guilty. As though it was my fault. I felt even worse that it happened when my husband was away. I kept telling myself "he leaves you alone for 4 days, and you can't even keep your baby alive!". As if it was my fault. I should have done more to keep this baby alive. "I will never be a good mother if I can't even keep my baby alive for more than 5 weeks" (technically more like 2). I know now that it wasn't my fault. I did nothing wrong. But at the time it was killing me.
I went back to work on the Thursday, although I should have taken more time off to grieve. I saw my husband again that evening. It was such a sad time for us both as we were so excited and happy to be pregnant. It would have been a May baby too which would have been lovely as we got together in May, married in May, Honeymooned in May, so a May baby would have been lovely. (How many times can I say May in 1 sentence!!)
Work was hard for a couple of weeks as I worked in a shop in the centre of Aix en Provence and always had families and pregnant women in the shop. I had to stop myself from crying on several occasions, put on a brave face and help with their questions. I should have taken more time off work to deal with my emotions and what had just happened. But at the same time, keeping busy was good to keep my mind off it - apart from when I saw the families or pregnant women.
It took 6 weeks before my period came back. I remember after the miscarriage I wanted to get pregnant straight away. I was looking at the Clue app more & more and trying to have sex on certain days to conceive. I wanted to fill the hole that had been left in my heart, but I wish I had given myself more time to grieve. September & October I did pregnancy tests before my period was even due because I was so desperate to be pregnant again, but both months, the tests came back negative. I fell pregnant again in November. A week or so before we did the pregnancy test and found out, I said to my husband that if I’m not pregnant this month, we should wait a couple of months to give me time to recover from my broken heart, but I was pregnant. In hind-sight we should have waited longer before trying again.
Don’t get me wrong, we were so happy to be pregnant again, but this time was different. We were less excited about it and didn’t let ourselves think about it too much as we knew what could happen. It’s a shame as it totally changed the way we were about our 2nd pregnancy. We knew how common miscarriages were and how often they occur. I spent the first 3 months convincing myself that I wasn’t pregnant, as I couldn’t deal with the heartbreak of getting attached to and excited about a baby that I would lose. I just told myself that my periods had stopped for a while, that I was exhausted for no reason and my breats hurt, but it was nothing to get excited about. It was only after 3 months and the 1st scan that we started to get excited and talk about the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the 2nd pregnancy didn’t end well either. I might write a blog post about it in the future, but for now, I feel it is still too soon.
So my advice after all this?
- It’s not your fault. Around 20% - 25% of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage. Lots of women don’t even know they’re pregnant when they miscarry. It wasn’t your fault, you did nothing wrong. Unfortunately, it’s just what happens in life.
- Most women go on to have a normal & healthy pregnancy after a miscarriage. Try not to worry about this happening with future pregnancies. I know that’s easier said than done, but you need to stay positive.
- Use the Clue app as a guide to when you might be most fertile and also to track your periods (apparently, there are lots of apps out there but this seems to be one of the most reliable ones, and I like the layout too).
- Don’t do pregnancy tests until your period is late (it gives you false hope).
- Give yourself time to grieve properly (the amount of time will depend on the person, the length of pregnancy etc).
- Don’t get pregnant again until you are ready and have given yourself enough time to grieve properly.
- Make sure your head and heart are both ready for all the excitement that will come with another pregnancy.
- Remember that another baby will not replace the one you just lost.
- It’s ok to be devastated, even if you are only a couple of weeks pregnant, or you only knew for several days. Let yourself feel how you feel.
- You will probably never forget this experience and this baby you lost.
- Mother’s day will be hard but remember, you are a mother, you carry your baby in your heart.
- It’s good to talk about it with friends/family/your partner. I spoke to my best friend via Skype when it happened and she really helped me through it all. It’s good to feel supported and to have people you can talk to.
- You are allowed to feel exactly how you feel. You may feel guilty, angry, sad, envious of other women, alone, or disappointed, but all of that is ok.
- Time heals all wounds. I strongly believe this. I will never forget about this miscarriage or the heartbreak, but I have learned to move forward.
- Lastly, I always try to think that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason isn’t clear to begin with, but you will see it. Everything comes right in the end, and we go through these things to make us stronger.
I really hope this helped even 1 person deal with a miscarriage, or maybe 1 person understand a little more what someone else has gone through. As I said, everyone’s experiences are different, this was mine. Talking about it, and now writing about it has helped me come to terms with what happened, and has helped me recover from a broken heart. I will always remember this baby, always wonder who they would have been, how they would have looked etc. But now it’s time to look to the future.
If anyone wants to speak to me about their miscarriage or anything else, please feel free to message me. You aren't alone.