“Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise.”
*If you haven’t already signed up for the August TTC Exchange click here!*
Just 30 minutes before i had been stood in this same carpark, i vividly remember wearing a colourful summer maxi dress to match my mood, the sun was warm upon my shoulders and it felt like a day ill never forget, but of course it was a day i’d never forget, but for all the wrong reasons, we have stumbled back out into the carpark, the sun still shining for everyone else but a large dark cloud above us, still in shock, we had lost our baby.
We sat in the car and just stared, no tears, no screaming or talking, we must of sat in silence for 30 minutes or so, i knew then i had to be pro-active and spread the word, i needed to let it all out, i remember the first person i rang was my Dad, he answered his mobile within a heartbeat, i could hear the excitement in his voice as he asked how it went. I couldn’t find the words to say, it was then that it all came tumbling out, sobs,gasps, retching, somehow it was harder saying it out loud, it was as if it was real if i spoke the words.
He knew, the sorrow in his voice told me so, the tears he tried to hide, the words he didn’t say, the words he hadn’t prepared for summed up how the conversation went, but i did hear his tears and his heart break. My next call was back to my clinic, i needed to hear the familiarity of my nurses voice, i needed comforting, Erica picked up the phone and again, as if it was all a new experience the words came out, along with the emotions, my chest was getting tighter with every phone call i made to family and select friends, others i sent a quick text, i couldn’t bare to look at my phone full of message of support, how would i explain to everyone id lost my baby?
Erica took control immediately, she listened to my concerns of doubt over surgery, my long standing fear of anasteathic and what was best for my body, i was given the option of a D&C or a medicated miscarriage, I opted for medical intervention, Mr.F was happy to support any decision, he knew this was something I’d need to take control over. Four days later i make my way back to the Assisted conception unit at 8am as advised with a small holdall packed with magazines, HUGE Bridget Jones style knickers,bottled water, slippers and some Pjaymas, the night before i was parading around Tesco’s clothing department pondering over slippers, which are comfy? which are the nicest looking? which are the softest? Which will match my new Pj’s? i must of spent an hour deciding, looking back it was more than likely my hormones and fear kicking in, i don’t even bloody wear slippers! .. although the large knickers where a trusted favourite from my underwear drawer, more like my comfort pants (I’m not the only one that has these right?) I just wanted everything to go as planned, as if somehow without the slippers i wouldn’t be able to cope with this.
I was scared of what to expect, i chose to go alone, poor Mr.F but i needed to conquer this and show my body that i could do this alone, i needed time alone to grieve, i have always been a sole griever, i much prefer my own company than to sob into the arms of others (hence the ice queen nickname!)
I don’t know why but i assumed i was being led by my usual nurses Helen and Erica to another department of the hospital, but i was in fact led to the ward opposite the conception unit, a ward i’d passed so many times before without a second thought, it turned out to be a ward where ladies of all ages and situations came to for medical intervention, including abortion. My views on abortion are dependant on the situation, everyone has their own opinion, but one thing i am strongly clear on is that i most certainly did not want to be surrounded by ladies who had chosen to abort their child under personal circumstances when i had just lost my child without a so much of choice. Again, speaking out about my experience has given me to opportunity for strangers to speak out and express the same views, the inappropriate placement of maternity units up and down the UK,i’d had scans within the maternity units amongst heavily pregnant ladies, i’d been to appointments with midwifes and been given information and leaflets on natural pregnancies,but none to suit my situation.
I was however extremely lucky that i was given my own private room, with the most wonderful nurse, a real down to earth lady from Liverpool, she sat me down on the bed and explained all id need to know about the procedure; ‘We insert pessaries into the vagina to induce contractions, helping your body naturally pass the remainder of the womb,there will be cramping and moderate pain but it is all mirrored on a natural miscarriage, it can take upto 48 hours for the sac to pass but hopefully we can monitor you whilst you are in here and guide you along‘
I unpack my comfort pants and lie on the bed, the pessaries have been working for 45 minutes or so, and with nothing happening, i am offered round after round of hot buttered toast, milky tea and support. ‘Movement often helps speed up the process of the bodily functions’ i am told, so there i was pacing the room, in silence, i found myself cradling my stomach as if to protect my child, mindlessly dreaming about what could of been, I also remember looking down at my slippers thinking ‘what the hell have i bought? They are the ugliest, cheapest looking slippers that i had ever seen. It angered me so much more than it should, they didn’t even match my PJ bottoms! Luckily i didn’t have much time to care about my fashion disaster for much longer because suddenly i felt a wave of pain in my abdomen, woah, it came on thick and fast.
I buzzed for the nurse and she paced with me, trying to keep up with my frantic motions, rubbing my back whilst holding my hand, she said words of comfort, but it didn’t help, this was it and there was no turning back, i was given a bedpan and told to go to the toilet to pass the movement, my dignity was stripped when i had to retain my product and leave it in the bathroom for the nurse to collect anD assess, i sat on the toilet and sobbed, i couldn’t understand why this was happening, it was emotionally draining, but I soon got used to visiting the bathroom every hour to try and pass more retains, sometimes i sat alone, sometimes i sat with the nurse, sometimes i cried, sometimes i sat in silence, from toilet paper to sanitary towels, it all had to be kept and assessed for development, one thing i will always vividly remember of my experience was when the nurse assured me that the remains will go to a crematorium for a dignified disposal, it then dawned on me that i hadn’t just lost a 10 week old baby, id been robbed of the chance of a child, a toddler, a teenager, id lost out on it all, id never get the chance to see this baby grow, id missed out on school sports days, cuddles and love & memories.
4 hours later and I’m advised that as the process had slowed down and my pain was manageable i had the permission to go home and complete my miscarriage, i was confident now, i knew what to expect, i knew how this process of events would occur, so Mr.F promptly picks me up, and i cry all the way home, I’m sat curled up ball in the passenger seat and he holds my hand all the way home.
No sooner had i stepped out of the car when i felt pressure between my legs, presumably from the fetal position id been sat in, it had helped the natural movement, rushing to the toilet i sat down and i felt the motion of a large clot passing, or so i thought, it hit me instantly that it wasn’t a clot, it was my child. It was then i really broke down, i cannot explain the feeling of grief at that time, it was honestly horrendous, it was terrifying, it was heartbreaking and it was over. I stood up,not knowing what to do,how do you ever prepare for that situation? I walked away without looking back and went straight to bed, Mr.F knew what he had to do, he took a deep breath of courage, flushed the toilet and closed the door behind him as he left, his head bowed, as simple and undignified as that, he knew it needed to be done, i heard his slow footsteps climb the stairs, and no words where spoken as he slid into bed, held my shaking body and lay his head next to mine.
I bled for another 3 weeks, sometimes heavier than my normal cycle, sometimes average, the days got easier as the bleeding eased, it was like a weaning off process, the memory still hurt but the pain didn’t, i had to get on with life, i couldn’t let this take over, i opened up to friends about the experience and talked more freely, i sat and looked through my scans and notes, it all helped the process, i still have kept my notes in a folder and often get them out, only this time I’m not breaking down, i smile fondly of our experience of happiness and i remember the anticipation and excitement of the news we were expecting, it takes me 3 months to move on, I’m ready to get that excitement back, surely it can’t happen again…. Can it?..
“Never give up on the good times, gotta believe in the love you find ,Never give up on the good times, living it up is a state of mind.”