It was Mother’s Day 2010 and my husband Scott and l were renovating our new house. Hmm no period… Surely not…. First month of trying…. No way. Well YES way! The pregnancy test was positive. I still remember that moment in time running down the back yard with the pregnancy test to show Scott. I’m not even sure if l had any pants on! Anyways the joy, excitement and anxiety l felt at the same time was overwhelming. This is what l always wanted & my dream to become a mother had come true.
Fast forward two weeks. Hmm a small amount of blood loss that morning sent my anxiety skyrocketing. Trying not to worry too much as l was at work, l got through the day but when l got home the bleeding worsened. My worst fears were coming true. I was losing my baby. Being a practicing midwife at the time l struggled between my professional knowledge and personal experience. Ok l was only 6 weeks, only early in pregnancy. Best it happen now than later on. My heart at the same time was aching for the baby l had longed for. It didn’t matter at what stage l was, all of my hopes and dreams of motherhood were being crushed.
Sitting in the Emergency Department that night, l was scared, in pain, afraid of the unknown and feeling very alone even though Scott was sitting right next to me. Name, address, Medicare number…. I know that you are not meant to feel like ‘just another patient’ but you do. You wonder why it’s taking so long for them to see you. Don’t they know I’m losing my baby! A cannula, some fluids, a blood test and an ultrasound later it was confirmed: l was having a miscarriage.
Home again, feeling alone, frightened and shattered, all l could do was cry and cuddle my teddy in bed. Scott wanted to be there for me but he didn’t really understand. How could he? He did not experience the physical changes and sensations of pregnancy. This was a dark time, but thanks to some close friends and my family, the grief l was experiencing slowly lessened but l was determined to get pregnant again.
Five months later and a different experience, l got a very short period. Hmm could l be? POSITIVE! This time the anxiety and fear were greater but l couldn’t miscarry again.. could l? All was going well and l was experiencing morning sickness. My doctor told me this was a good sign. My midwife expertise confirmed this as my BhCG levels were rising well. Excited to be at my 7 week scan, Scott and l were anxious to see our little blob. Again being a midwife, all l was looking for was that little flutter of life. Waiting, waiting, waiting…. but it didn’t come. Grief tore through my heart yet again as l was told l was having a missed miscarriage. This time l had to go into hospital to have surgery, but not for two weeks after l found out. This time was hell. My mother had arrived from another state to look after me. I felt like that little girl again needing her mommy.
Heartache, grief, despair, broken dreams, pain….. Every single miscarriage is just as important to the woman and her family experiencing it. I’m telling you this story because it is ok to feel a dreaded sense of loss. It’s ok to be not ok. No one can tell you how you feel or what to do to ‘get over it’. You are not a number, you are a human being with hopes and dreams. Time does make it easier but you never forget. What if, could l have, should l? Get rid of those thoughts. You did all you could. Thinking as a midwife, miscarriage is very common estimated at 25% of all pregnancies. It doesn’t feel ‘common’ to the woman experiencing it. It’s actually a very traumatic event for some. For me two miscarriages spiralled my downturn towards depression. I was 36. Time was running out.
After seeking help through counselling and commencing on medication, l was able to grieve less and continue to live my life. There was not a day l didn’t think of my babies, but it didn’t quite hurt so much.
Two years later and l gave birth to my first son Ryan. I will save that pregnancy story for another time. Another miscarriage and another son Luke three years later has made me the luckiest woman in the world.
I still think about my babies, but not as often anymore. They are a part of me. Seeking help and turning towards friends and family was very important for me. If you experience miscarriage, let yourself feel what you need to. It’s ok to grieve…. love to you x