Having a miscarriage is such an unspoken topic and many people shy away from the conversation or they keep it bottled up, yet it’s such an emotional and devastating experience for a couple to have to go through. When you’re younger you just assume that you’ll fall pregnant, without any complications, and have the perfect pregnancy but I think that’s because miscarriage isn’t talked about. I think it’s time to speak up.
According to the NHS website 1 in 6 women, who know they’re pregnant, will have a miscarriage within the first 23 weeks of their pregnancy. 1 in 100 women will have 3 or more miscarriages in a row, a bit more uncommon but still not unheard of.
The main thing to remember, and what I always remember being told, is that the majority aren’t caused by anything you’ve done. Most of the time it’s to do with abnormal chromosomes in the baby.
My first miscarriage happened in April 2010. I was 20 years old and had already been in a relationship for 2 years prior. The pregnancy was very unexpected and I’d been mega busy at work to realise that my period was a week late. I took a test with a friend at the time in a public toilet and saw the words clear as day “PREGNANT” written on the Clearblue pregnancy test. I phoned my boyfriend at the time and told him, he wasn’t best pleased but he came around to the idea. I told my parents a week later and I received a very negative response, maybe my age had a part to play with it but it was what it was.
A week later, I woke one morning feeling as normal as I had done the day before and went to the toilet. As I sat down I realised there was a gush of blood and the toilet was full. I had no way of contacting my boyfriend at the time as he’d left his phone at mine the night before. So I called my friend and explained to her what had happened. She met me nice and early that morning, I was supposed to be going to work, and she rang work for me to say I wouldn’t be in. I eventually got hold of my boyfriend and he picked me up and took me to the hospital.
We were sent to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit where we had an internal scan. The scan confirmed that we were indeed experiencing a miscarriage. I was roughly 6 weeks according to my last period but there was no way of knowing to be sure. We went back to his house where he told his parents what had happened and I eventually told my parents over text message.
It was a heartbreaking experience, something I would never wish on anyone. Its so hard to put into words the emotions I felt and how it made me feel. It felt as though something had been ripped out of my body, as soon as I saw the words pregnant on the pregnancy test I instantly fell in love with that little being.
My second miscarriage happened in March 2012. I hadn’t been with Darren long when it happened but we were happy when we saw the positive pregnancy test. I automatically decided not to tell anyone until after the 12 week scan, after what had happened last time I didn’t want to risk it. A week into knowing I was pregnant I started getting cramps in my lower belly. I was aware that you cramp in early pregnancy so I assumed it was just that. Throughout the day the cramps got worse, to the point where I began to worry about them. By the time Darren got to mine after he had finished work (I was supposed to be spending the night at his house) the cramps were really bad. So I called NHS Direct and spoke to a doctor who advised us to go to A&E as it was quite late at night. There was quite a long wait at A&E and it seemed to take forever to be seen. When we were finally seen, I had a doctor perform my first internal check. She said she was checking if my cervix was open as that would determined miscarriage. It was in fact open and she said I’d need to have a blood test to check for the pregnancy hormone and a repeat blood test in 2 weeks time to ensure the levels had dropped.
A day or two after our hospital trip the bleeding started and that’s when it all felt real. 2 weeks later I went to the hospital for a repeat blood test, when I got there they said there was no need for me to have a blood test as my hormone levels were already at 6 at the last test. So I’d lost the baby way before I’d had any cramps.
Miscarriages can have such a devastating affect on everyone involved and it made me even more wary when I fell pregnant with Keira about it happening all over again. I am so very grateful that I haven’t had to go through it since and I’m now on my third pregnancy (with everything looking good so far).
Miscarriage shouldn’t be kept behind closed doors, it happens to so many women and it’s much more common than you may think. It’s okay to grief the loss of a “sack of cells” because when you see that positive, those cells are your baby and when you go through a miscarriage it’s heartbreaking.
If you have been affected by miscarriage or stillbirth and need someone to speak to, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am always willing to offer a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.