Thursday, 8 September 2011

My Miscarriage

The story of my miscarriage starts at our first scan. To begin to understand how devastating this whole experience was for us, you'd have to know how we felt about our baby.

We could not wait for our first visit to the Obstetrician at 9 weeks because we were desperate to catch that first glimpse of our baby. After what felt like forever going over our medical history and details, we finally got to see our doctor and could not wait to get in the hot seat. We happily passed over our USB stick to our doctor so he could download pictures of our baby for us to share with our family and friends and for us to keep and treasure forever. My husband was standing by with his phone ready to capture a video of our baby moving and for us to swoon over the sound of her heartbeat.

Using the wand our doctor could only pick up the sac but no baby or heartbeat. I think the moment I knew something was wrong was when he mumbled to himself, "That doesn't make sense..." After a long silence and some more looking around, he started to ask questions about when my last period was and how far along the pregnancy was.

He gave me the choice of doing an internal scan or waiting for a week to see if perhaps we'd gotten our dates wrong, to come back for another scan. I wasn't crazy about the idea of an internal, but did it because that sinking feeling was growing exponentially with every passing moment. The internal found our tiny pip laying very still, still no heartbeat and no blood flow. Pip was supposed to be 9.5 weeks, but only measured the size of a 6.5 week baby.

He showed us these blue and red dots all around Pip in my body indicating bloodflow all around her in my body, but there wasn't even a single miserable dot on her :( He looked at my husband and said quietly, "I didn't take any photos" and told me I could get dressed. I dressed as fast as I could and the silence in the room was becoming quite oppressive. 

We talked about how the scan did not look good and what it could mean. It could be that we had gotten our dates wrong and weren't really 9 weeks along after all, perhaps just 6 or 7 weeks. But it could also be that our baby had stopped growing. Naturally we latched on to the first option and decided to come back in a week to check if Pip had grown. By the time we left his office, we were both wrecks. I could not stop crying and somehow we stumbled to our car and made our way home in shock.

Needless to say we were in shock for quite a while after that even as we told our close family and friends who knew. All were very supportive although some just didn't know how to react and a few said things which in my oversensitive mode, I may have been extra hurt by. That week between visits felt like the longest week of my life. I had long talks with Pip telling her a little bit about everyone who's waiting to meet her, how much we love and want her and what we'd love to show her in the world once she gets here. To help keep myself positive I put together a playlist of "happy music" on my ipod which I listened to and even visualized our next scan where she'd have a heartbeat and bloodflow and maybe be moving a little. I can't tell you how difficult it was to try to be strong in this time, but we coped the best we could.

A week later, we were back at our doctor's office. This time the wand didn't pick up anything at all. An internal picked up the sac but no baby. It appeared that Pip had left the building, so to speak. The sac itself was also measuring smaller than before and our doctor said that it appeared to already be collapsing on itself.

I don't know how I managed to stay calm enough to talk, through tears, but nonetheless remain calm enough to hold a conversation when all I really wanted to do was rage at the world. We talked about where to from here, we were given the option of a D&C but although this may sound strange, I just could not bear the thought of any surgical instrument touching what was left of my baby in my body. We did not know when my period would start again and were warned that a natural miscarriage could range from bleeding to painful cramping and heavy clotting. Our doctor talked us through what we could do and pain relief options.

I believe our miscarriage is medically known as a "missed miscarriage". Our doctor told us that there was no reason why this was happening, it wasn't because of anything we had or hadn't done. Sometimes babies grew without essential genetic material and organs don't form properly, so they don't survive. There was a very high chance that even if our pregnancy had continued, our baby may have been "incompatible with life". Don't you love medical terminology? 

I am so very thankful that our doctor was so patient, kind and compassionate with us. He was so human and gentle as he explained everything. We never felt rushed at any point and I never felt like I was dismissed or treated in a clinical way, which I know other people have felt and can't imagine how much more distressing that would be in a situation like this. He had a waiting room full of patients to see, but I will always be grateful that he gave us as much time as we needed, passed the tissue box over, said he was so sorry for our loss like he really meant it and did not charge his private consultation fee for our appointment, aside from bulk-billing the government. I will forever be grateful that my doctor was wonderful.

Although it wasn't looking good that week, I don't think a parent's heart ever stops hoping that maybe, just maybe a miracle would happen and somehow we would walk away from this with our precious baby. We had so many lovely people thinking of us and so many prayers which were very gratefully received and much appreciated. 

Four days after we saw our doctor, my period started. Five days after that my miscarriage took place. 


 ((Please be warned that the following description of my miscarriage is quite graphic and some may find the content upsetting. If you don't want to know the details, please stop reading here and just know that it was painful, upsetting and horrible.))


It started shortly before midnight. I was in agony with the cramps so took two panadols (haha) and tried to get comfortable but couldn't. When I was curled up into a tight ball in bed, I wanted to be on the toilet. When I was on the toilet I wanted to be in bed. It was almost like someone had turned on a tap in my uterus and the bleeding just went crazy and didn't stop. The cramping came in waves and the whole thing felt like a "mini-labour" even though I've never experienced childbirth myself so can't tell but that's what I think it felt like. There was nothing I could do but try to breathe through it the best I could.

I started to pass clots which grew in size to really big clots towards the end. At one point I was even throwing up at the same time but couldn't leave the toilet because I couldn't change pads fast enough. So eventually I just sat on the shower floor and rode it out. 

After a long time when it felt like the very severe cramps were getting less painful and I was able to stand up again without doubling over, I left the bathroom. I remember glancing at my face in the mirror and noting how white my lips looked. But by that point I had lost so much blood plus the heat from the shower made me feel very lightheaded. 

I almost made it into the bedroom from the bathroom but must have fainted on the dog's bed (thank god we've always had her bed outside ours from the time she was a puppy so she could be close), because one minute I had my hand turning the bedroom door's doorknob and the next I was laying on my dog's bed looking at the ceiling thinking "this is really comfortable, maybe I'll just stay here for a while..." *licks in the face from puppy* Ok maybe not... But that part was funny and I can smile about it at least. Poor girl I must have scared the crap out of her. I just don't remember how I got there. Eventually there was a break in the cramps for long enough that I managed to collapse into my bed.

I was alone that night, half by choice and half by circumstance. Hubby was away for work overseas in a trip that had been scheduled a long time prior. In a way I was very, very thankful that he wasn't around to see all of that. There's nothing worse than seeing the one you love in agony but not be able to do anything about it. 

I was so exhausted that night that I slept the sleep of the dead and woke up the next morning when my alarm told me it was time to get ready for work. I remembered looking at every clot and thinking, "Is that my baby?". I also remember my tummy looking completely flat that morning too (something I never thought i'd be sad about). 

I did go to work that day because I was feeling okay enough to do so. But mainly because I needed the routine and structure plus something to do. I was not ready then to fall apart and process the fact that my miscarriage had literally felt like my baby was being ripped out of my body. I was not ready to process the fact that my baby had well and truly gone. I was not ready to process the fact that I was officially not pregnant or expecting our first child any more.

I do remember one primary thought running through my head and that was, "I just want my baby back". I would give anything to just be able to hold my baby in my arms for a moment in time.

I know that there are people out there who experience so many other worse situations, like multiple miscarriages, or lose their baby prior to or at birth. Our baby was found still at 9 weeks and the pain that we feel at having lost her is unfathomable, I cannot imagine how very painful and devastating it would be to lose a baby at a later stage.

Whether or not someone chooses a D&C or a natural miscarriage is a completely personal choice. Knowing what I know and have experienced, I still don't know if I would have opted for a D&C. I made the choice that was right for me at the time and if you are in a situation where you are wondering what choice you should make, I would suggest talking to your doctor (if your doctor is not kind and supportive like mine was, please, please get a second opinion if you can, there are great medical professionals out there who would love to help you) and choosing what feels right in your heart. No one can make that choice for you but yourself and whatever you decide will be the right thing because you can only do the best you can in any given situation with the resources you have at that given moment.

Again, I'd like to say that if you can relate to any of my story in your own journey, or in the journey of someone you know and love, I am so very sorry for your loss.


  1. Reading this I feel so much empathy and pain for you. I am so incredibly sorry you had to go through this. I had a miscarriage in September and it's killing me. Your story is similar to mine. The first scan there was something, they thought I was probably just not as far as we thought. I had been spotting so they put me on bed rest and said it was a threatened miscarriage. We went back 4 days later and that sweet baby was gone. The day after the clots came. Just like you, I wondered which was my baby. I was 8 weeks. All I could do was cry. It was painful. So painful. And my baby was leaving my body in a horrible way and there was nothing I could do about it. I finally decided to just get in the shower, my husband rinsed my legs as I cried. He looked so helpless, sad, and scared. I wondered how long this would hurt us. Nothing can describe the physical and emotional pain I felt and still feel emotionally. I am so thankful for you, that you are able to write your feelings out so well. Somedays I just sit and think of all the things I could have done wrong. All of the things I would do to have that baby back. Every Thursday is another week further I would have been. I can't help but think of the belly I would have now. I don't know if we will ever stop feeling the pain of losing our sweet babies, but I am so thankful for this blog. Thank you for writing your feelings out so well. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

  2. I'm so sad and so very sorry to hear about your loss. I truly wouldn't wish this on anyone :( We both lost our babies in September and it sounds like our experiences were very similar. It was a very helpless feeling for me going through it because I wanted her to stay so much and couldn't do anything to stop the miscarriage. I am sure that you did everything you could for your baby. What happened wasn't your fault!!

    It absolutely takes a toll on both mum and dad. I've found that experiencing this loss together has brought us closer together as a couple also.

    Thank you for reading my story, I'm so sorry that you can relate to it :( It's such a horrible and heartbreaking experience that has changed me forever. I'm finding that my healing is a long and painful journey, but slowly I am getting there. I am so glad that through my pain I am able to reach out to you. That is a blessing I never imagined. Thank you for taking the time to write, I wish you love and peace in your own journey towards healing. If you feel like sharing, I would love to hear from you - in the good days and in the bad.

    San xxx


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