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The truth about miscarriage

The following piece has been submitted anonymously. Despite the painful experience being described, one writer has shown great courage in opening up and allowing us all to understand her feelings following a miscarriage. From all of us here at Women Make Waves, we send love and best wishes. xx

After being with my wonderful husband for 5 years, getting married and renovating a house together, we decided we were ready for the next step in our relationship; trying for a baby. Having worried about my fertility, as my periods were very irregular due to previously taking the pill, we were very pleased to fall pregnant just 4 months into trying.

The pregnancy went smoothly; I coped with the tingling nipples, sore back, smelling things from a mile away and the nausea and even embraced my growing stomach. I felt healthy and content and we were very much looking forward to the next stage in our lives. Then something happened.

The day before reaching the ‘safe’ 12 weeks mark, and just 3 days ahead of my 3 month scan, I started to bleed. We raced to A&E, where we were told there wasn’t much cause for concern but booked me infer a scan the next day at the e.p.a.u (Early pregnancy assessment unit) to be sure. After a sleepless night we went for the scan and discovered that the baby had stopped growing at around 6 weeks, meaning there was no longer a heartbeat. The ultrasound still showed a small baby, but I had to have an internal scan to see if there was a feral pole; which there wasn’t. This is classed as a ‘missed miscarriage’ or a ‘blighted ovum’, meaning that you still have all the symptoms of pregnancy but the baby doesn’t continue to grow and your body doesn’t realise this.

We spoke to the doctor and arranged a scan for a weeks time, in line with standard policy in case the conception date has been miscalculated. We knew this wasn’t the case as we hadn’t slept together since conception, but we were left with the knowledge that there was an 80% chance this wasn’t a feasible pregnancy. We were told that I may have a period-like bleed in the meantime and that was it. We were just left to come back in another week.

Later that same afternoon it all kicked off. I bled so much that I’m surprised there was any left in me. There was no prior warning, it just happened, as though someone had turned a tap on inside me. I was passing clots the size of my hands for roughly 4 hours, in horrific pain. It felt like someone was clenching a fist around my insides. I turned white, began to shake uncontrollably, was dripping with sweat and my vision was blurred. Only one thing was of any comfort; surely it was all over now. We were gutted, but relieved that it had happened so quickly.

We went back for the scan the following week, where I discussed with the doctor what had happened and I made my feelings clear that I should have been given more information as to what to expect.  I understood that this was part of her everyday job and she may be desensitised to it, but to us,  it was our baby. The scan showed that the sac was still inside me and despite the massive bleed that I’d suffered, it hadn’t come out. I also had an internal bleed where the placenta had been attached, and my body hadn’t realised it did not need to feed a baby anymore and was continuing to try. This is still ongoing, 4 weeks later. We then had to decide wether to have ‘medical management’ or ‘surgical management’.

I decided to try medical management as I find the idea of surgical management (d&c) quite invasive. The medical option involves having 4 x 200mg misoprostol tablets inserted into your vagina to irritate your cervix and encourage the passing of the ‘products’. It is quite a painful procedure as the pills are inserted dry, as lubrication can affect the way it works. The pills cause a feeling like a fire in your nether regions, which then brings on contractions. It all takes place in hospital, in the day procedure unit. This does not work in 15% – 20% of people and I have had this done 4 times now (once per week for the last 4 weeks) the last being 2 days ago. This was more successful, but unfortunately still hasn’t worked completely.   

So I have now decided to take the surgical management route and this was booked for 14/11/14 (yesterday). In hindsight I wish I’d  done this initially as it has been a horrendous ordeal and prolonged it. Maybe we would have been nearer to trying again by now but my initial fears of the d&c were linked to rumours of inhibited fertility and a quite unheard of condition called ashermans syndrome.

Fingers crossed the procedure has gone to plan as you read this and my head and body can get back to normal.  I can see how some couples split up over the likes of this as it is so stressful, but my husband and family have been absolutely fantastic. Hopefully, we can eventually try again. The chances of having another missed miscarriage are very slim so we have to focus on that and the doctor has told me that what was removed will be tested as he and his team have never come across a situation where it has ‘stuck’ so much. Must be stubborn, like it’s mother.

I have friends that have had miscarriages and I have been sympathetic but I must admit to never giving it much thought. Once you go through it yourself however, it changes your feelings towards other people who have experienced it.

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