If you read my last post you will remember that honestdad and me started trying for a baby and were surprised when we were successful the first month out the gates. I wish that was the end of my ttc story and that i could launch into the next 9 months of being a mum. Sadly it didn’t turn out that way.
I guess now is a good time to tel you a little bit about myself. I’m short, chubby and what you could call ‘sickly’. I have asthma, a stomach condition and arthritis. A real catch right?! Luckily I had been quite healthy for a while when we started trying for a baby.
To err on the safe side, my GP referred me to a special clinic at the local city hospital. It is a charity funded unit that cares for women who are likely to have a complicated pregnancy. My first visit there was at about 6.5 weeks, to have a chat about the upcoming 9 months.
So far pregnancy hadn’t made me feel any different. In fact I think I felt better than ever. I drove to the hospital, about an hour from home. Honestdad didn’t come as he was saving his holidays for when the baby arrived. I wasn’t expecting a scan on that trip was pleased when they could fit me in. I lay on the bed and the nice lady put the gel on my stomach and moved the ultrasound wand. “I think we’ll have to use the internal scanner if you don’t mind’, she said explaining that this was standard so early in pregnancy. So she lubed up the wand, inserted it and moved it till a glorious little bean could be seen. The lady explained it had a nice heartbeat. ‘Oh there is another amniotic sac, you know what that means’ – I did… twins. She moved the wand around again and took a deep breath. There was no heartbeat for baby number two. It looked like it had stopped growing shortly before as it was a bit smaller than it’s twin. THe nice lady gave me free pictures and explained that twin without a heartbeat would probably have been absorbed into the womb by my next scan.
I took the scan pics home to honestdad who was relieved that we weren’t having twins. Another example of his brutal honesty. I agreed it would have been tough but i secretly wished that there was a mistake and that the little twin just needed another week to grow and get a heartbeat. Google is wonderful place where you can always find the answer you want instead of the cold hard truth.
I had another appointment at 9.5 weeks and was hoping for another scan. This time honestgran came along for the trip. I did the usual, peed in a pot, had my blood pressure taken and waited. A consultant called me in. She didn’t seem like the sort of person you would expect to be a gynaecologist as seemed a little uncomfortable with people. She explained that she wanted to do a scan to check whether the ‘dead’ twin was going to cause any issues. She moved the outside scanner over my belly, frowning away. I thought that was her way of doing things. She said that we would have to move to another room that had an internal scanner. I wasn’t worried. She put in the wand and stared at the screen for 10 long seconds. ‘I’m sorry, the second baby has no heartbeat. It hasn’t grown since your last scan. I’m afraid there are no heartbeats anymore.’
My heart stopped. I swear it did. I can’t remember everything from that day. I remember I had to go and get my mom from the waiting room, trying to get her attention without crying. I wouldn’t let her hug me and i couldn’t look at her. I can remember every detail of the horrible flower pattern from the chairs in the room. I stared at it the whole time we were in there, just so I didn’t look at my mom. If she’d have shown me any affection I would have fallen apart.
The consultant explained my options. Wait for a miscarriage, take a pill that they use in abortions or have a d&c. I wanted it over. I chose the d&c and asked for it to be done asap. They fit me in the next day.
Now was for the worst part. I had to call honestdad and tell him. I hated him for putting me in this situation. If he was a better husband he would have been there with me but instead I was all alone, trying to ignore my mom so I wouldn’t fall apart. I don’t think I got the words out well, but he got the jist. He’s not good with emotions and I didn’t expect much from him. I was angry with him.
I was angry when he left me at the hospital the next day to go through the procedure alone. I hated that he wasn’t there when i woke up. I hated him. It didn’t occur to me that he had lost his baby too I don’t suppose i cared. I only felt my own pain and that was enough for anyone to handle.
You need a general anaesthetic to have a d&c. It made me feel ill enough that I could stay in bed for a few days. I cried and cried and didn’t want to see anyone as they didn’t understand. When honestgran tried to talk to me about things from her ttc past i cut her off because i could only deal with my own feelings.
Honestdad and I had it out one night after he’d been drinking. He was honest and harsh and it hurt. I needed to hear how he felt, i needed to stop thinking it was only me that was effected. We both cried that night and it made us stronger, it helped put us back together.
The pain you feel losing a baby is absolute. I felt like my heart had been stomped on. I felt like i had let everyone down. I felt guilty as it must have been something i had done to cause this.
A tough reality about miscarriage is that no one talks about it. You can’t bring it up at dinner, you can’t announce it on your return to work. A sad fact is that no one can understand miscarriage unless they’ve had one. other people feel uncomfortable and you feel bad for bringing it up. it is one of those subjects that our open society hasn’t really found a way to handle. This fact only adds to the loneliness.
Another tough reality is that it often happens for no reason. I wanted answers. Why? Who could I blame? How could I stop it happening again? There are no answers. There is not big truth. It just happens.
My advice to other couples going through this is to try and go through it together. Take things slowly. After a few weeks things will start being funny again and you will want to try again. Take pleasure in the small things. My husband laughs when i say that glee will always hold a special place in my heart. He bought me the season 1 dvd the day of the d&c and watching every episode got me through the next few weeks. I laughed, I cried and I found the old me.
The old adage ‘time heals all wounds’ isn’t really true. I have tears in m eyes writing this and I hold my daughter close every night remembering what we lost before we had her.
So here we were, September 2010 and feeling pretty lost. Something within me would not be beaten, the first thing I wanted to do was start trying again.
Here we go again…