Miscarriage Stories: I lost a baby and I am pregnant again

We asked readers to share their experiences of miscarriage. These are their stories
Miscarriage Stories: I lost a baby and I am pregnant again

First person accounts of miscarriage in a pandemic

‘I lost hope, but I’m due next week’ 

I had my first baby in 2016, a year after we got married. We were thrilled to conceive easily and have a great pregnancy and birth, we knew we were lucky. In February 2018 we fell pregnant on our second, again it didn't take too long and this time we were less nervous.

At 8 weeks I had a little spotting. Scan didn't look good, no heartbeat and the baby measured 5 weeks.

As per protocol we had to sit right for a week and have a repeat scan 7 days later to confirm, as they can't take the chance that dates may be wrong. The next scan confirmed no growth and we had in fact had a ‘missed miscarriage’. As there was no further bleeding I was then faced with a decision. 1. Confine to wait for things to happen naturally 2. Take the tablets which "should" bring on the bleed 3. Come in for a surgical D&C to remove the contents of the womb.

I chose number three as I wanted to get it over and done with as quick as possible. The following morning my husband and I attended the hospital day ward for the day along with many others facing the same procedure. The staff and process were fantastic but of course it was one of the toughest days of our lives.

We also consented for the embryo to be buried in Glasnevin. We returned to normality and I went back to work ASAP. I told my boss and my mom and sister, we carried on and focused on conceiving again.

We were lucky and fell pregnant in May. Due to the previous miscarriage we were monitored closely and initially everything looked good, however slowly but surely from 8-11 weeks we began to lose him, finally confirmed at 11 weeks, when we had another devastated D&C, we told no one, we didn't want the pity.

The cycle continued and we lost our third baby in October; a third D&C in 9 months. I had the same nurse in the hospital and the pity was written all over her face. We were numb, we almost had expected this one.

Tests were carried out, two of the babies at a chromosome disorder - a common cause of miscarriage, odds would say it shouldn't occur twice, but it did. We continued to try whilst also contacting an IVF clinic to explore PGS testing, this would mean the embryos are tested for chromosome disorders before implantation, therefore decreasing chance of miscarriage. It's a long, expensive process but we were desperate and a little naively went ahead. We ended up with three viable embryos, we were assured this was fantastic as they had been tested. I missed two big trips/holidays to prepare for the first transfer. Unfortunately I had issues with getting my lining to the required thickness which meant two cancelled rounds.

Finally in November (after beginning medication in April) we went for our 1st transfer, we did our test and December and it was negative. We repeated the process in February, also negative. Covid hit and we were glad of the break from constant appointments and internal scans. We fell pregnant ourselves in May and started bleeding almost instantly, our 4th miscarriage. In July we had our final embryo implanted, it was also negative.

I gave up. I felt my body was done, I wasn't able to do my bit, I was a failure. 

I just wanted it all to stop, to focus on our four-year-old and move on. I had been in limbo for two years, making every decision plan based on - ‘oh I'll probably be pregnant or have a newborn for that wedding/event etc’.

My career stalled as I wouldn't move companies due to maternity leave. I had drifted from friends, I avoided their calls and the ‘any news??’ questions that were all too frequent. I was sad, my husband was sad, we felt we failed everyone.

I told only a few close friends, I didn't want to talk about it and I didn't want the pity. My husband is pretty private also. I felt an enormous guilt that my daughter would be an only child. Family outings were hard as I saw other kids with their siblings. It broke my heart that she might be lonely.

In October 2020 we fell pregnant naturally, the bleeding started immediately and then stopped. I went for scan after scan, it didn't look good but had to come back the following week to confirm. At 6 weeks it was confirmed the sac was empty, another loss. But there was something else on the scan. I was directed to another doctor and a better machine to identify it (at this point I had decided I must have cancer).

The screen popped up, the sound came on... and there was a heartbeat... the empty sac had another sac behind it, it had been a twin.

Due to Covid I was alone but I cried so hard, he looked and sounded good for a 6-week fetus. I'll never forget the call to my husband as I walked out of the hospital. It was a rocky 12 weeks but he hung on and he is due next week! It's been the toughest time of my life, I have reconnected with some friends and explained it's been tough. I kept quiet to protect my family, not out of shame. It consumed our lives, we didn't want it to become a thing when we met friends and family, we wanted to forget.

‘The doctor told me that I had what's called a 'clean miscarriage'

After six months of trying to conceive, myself and my partner were overjoyed when we found out we were expecting our first baby in January of this year. I did all the 'right' things, I phoned my GP, confirmed the pregnancy with a urine sample, signed up for pregnancy yoga, downloaded the gentle birth app and began to make lists of all the things and items our baby would need. I could picture our baby with us.

About a week after we found out, I started spotting. I phoned my doctor who told me it may not be anything to worry about but just monitor if I start to bleed or have any pain. At this stage I was still hopeful and felt as though my body was just figuring this whole pregnancy thing out.

Four days passed and that afternoon I was attending a training with work (online) when I started to experience some cramps. I went to the toilet and discovered I was bleeding. I'm not really sure of the feelings I was experiencing but I went back to my online training and tried to focus on that for the rest of the day.

My GP had told me that should I experience any pain or bleeding I should go into the hospital. Later on that evening the pain got progressively worse.... I knew we were losing our baby. I waited for my partner to return from work and we made our way to our maternity hospital. Given the Covid-19 restrictions my partner had to wait in the car. 

I sat in the waiting room with other pregnant women, one of whom appeared to be in labour.

I was triaged, urine sample given and vitals checked and asked why I was here. When I went to the toilet to give the urine sample I discovered my bleeding was getting worse. I sat again in the waiting room, alone, in pain and heartbroken.

I was brought in by a doctor who conducted an ultrasound. Initially an abdominal ultrasound but as I was six weeks it was explained to me that a transvaginal ultrasound would be probably what's required. I remember the sound of the machine clicking and printing, my first thought was ‘is this doctor seeing our baby and about to show me’.

But the silence was deafening. She turned off the machine and told me she was very sorry but she could not detect a live pregnancy. She told me myself or my partner had done nothing wrong and quoted THE statistic to me. She apologised that my partner was not here with me. I couldn't speak.

The doctor told me that I had what's called a 'clean miscarriage' and that I would not need to return for any procedures. Something for which I did feel grateful for later, hearing horrific stories of poor women whose experience was prolonged by needing to attend the hospital numerous times.

I left the hospital and walked to our car. I can't even remember what I said to my partner but the tears spoke volumes. We sat there crying together, all the while a poor guy in the car next to us was parked obviously waiting for his partner to either give birth or hear bad news. A situation that should not have been the case pandemic or not. Dads deserve to be there supporting mums regardless of the circumstances.

We drove home in silence and I cried myself to sleep.

The next day I told my friends and family (except the one person who I wanted to tell the most, my sister, but made the decision not to as she was about to give birth to her second baby in a pandemic, I didn't want to add to her stress). Sure enough, my sister went into labour that day and the following day my beautiful niece arrived into this crazy world, healthy. A pure example of the beauty and pain life throws at us, where there is sorrow, there was joy.

For the weeks that followed, I guess I just got on with things. I was able to openly talk about our miscarriage to anyone who wanted to listen which I found therapeutic. My friends and family were unbelievably supportive. I was still bleeding, which was a daily reminder of what I had just experienced, not that I needed one.

I was grieving the loss of the plans I had made in my head with our baby. The baby I had longed for.

There hasn't been a day that's passed that I haven't thought about my miscarriage but they are fleeting thoughts now, not all-consuming like they once were.

When our baby's due date comes around, there's no telling the reaction I will have... I will try to just let myself feel whatever I'm feeling.

Nothing prepares you for the pain of losing a baby, no statistic makes it easier. Few words bring comfort. But talking about it has helped me enormously, so let's keep the conversation going.

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