Sigh from the soul

This week has been hard. Not editing wise (that’s all good, even if I do overuse adverbs). Work, life and family has been hard. Especially as we are up in Scotland for a baptism.

On 3rd February 2014, my sister in law gave birth to Jessica, a beautiful, precious thing and a few weeks later we went to see her. Of course, we fell madly in love with her.

On the 18th April, we discovered that I was pregnant, due around Christmas.

On the 17th June, we went for our first scan.

There was no heartbeat.

There had never been one. The baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks. I had been throwing up, sore boobs etc. There was no sign anything was wrong. I’d had what is called a silent miscarriage.

There are no words to describe that moment. I”m looking up at the sonographer, excited to see my little one wriggling on the screen but her face remains blank. Then it comes. A flicker of a frown.

‘I don’t see a 12 week fetus here. What was the date of your last period?’

’25th March.’Exactly 12 weeks ago.

Another flickering frown and my world collapses. My baby is dead. She doesn’t say it but I know. Blackness swallows me whole and I know that the blood has drained from my face. My husband is stiff, as white as a ghost.

I am sent off for an internal scan. I have had these before because I have some fluid on my ovaries. He looks and frowns openly.

‘We have a pregnancy sack and a small bunch of cells but no heartbeat. When was your last period?’

’25th March.’Exactly 12 weeks ago.

He calls for a colleague to look at the screen, the fluid on my ovaries is causing him concern. It’s not an eptopic twin, it’s just fluid. I’ve had it checked out before. It’s not in my tubes. Once the colleague is happy, once she has finished probing me with the scanner, evil invader, she asks me the question again.

‘When was your last period?’

’25th March.’Exactly 12 weeks ago.

‘It’s likely then that you have suffered what is called a silent miscarriage. We can’t make a diagnosis just yet. We’ll get a midwife to make an appointment at the EPU, for next week, so you can have another scan to confirm. They’ll take it from there.’

Everyone is brisk and matter-of-fact. They must see this all the time. It must be the only way they cope.

I haven’t cried yet.

We are ushered into a small room, our grief must not upset others, and we wait. For an hour. For someone to tell us what we do next. The midwife is kind. She asks how I am. I have not cried yet. This morning I was going to be a mother. Now I am ordinary again.

I haven’t cried yet.

Again the question. My answer does not change.

’25th March.’Exactly 12 weeks ago.

‘This is your second?’

Adam hurries to explain. When I was 21, and still on the pill, I had a positive test. The next day, I bled. I went to the Doctor who told me that if I hadn’t noticed I was late, I would never have known. He couldn’t confirm it so it doesn’t exist on my records. Put down to problems with the Pill. But I know.

I haven’t cried yet.

On the bus home, we text family, inform our jobs that we won’t be in. I phone my mother when I get in. And then it hits me. I weep. I howl with grief. I am lost. All I am is pain.

The pain burns hotly. When I go to the EPU, they confirm there is no growth and give me my options: wait, surgery or tablets. A surgery feels too much like abortion and I wanted this baby but I cannot wait. I take the tablets. She refers me to a pelvic mass specialist about the fluid.

Melissa takes time off work to come and help us on the day I take the pessary. I weep when I have done it and Adam and Meli hold me as I cry. An hour or so later, the cramps begin. They are so intense I vomit. I strip and plunge into the bath. I shiver and quake as I go into shock. Meli holds my head as I fall asleep. Between them, Adam and Meli lift me from the bath. The blood comes then and I howl again. I am too weak to do anything but cry.

I don’t mean to upset anyone with this. Fertility and miscarriage is such a sensitive subject. We shouldn’t hide from it and I have been determined not to. It hurts, it will always hurt, but the pain is easier to bare.

Playing with Jessica was hard. There was a moment where I had to run upstairs and cry. Today, as family gathers for her baptism, I know people are going to ask when we’re next. Only immediate family and our closest friends know. Mary, my mother-in-law, and I talked and we cried and hugged. I expect the same will happen when I finally get home to see my mum, which I’ve not been able to do yet.

Until next week.

Ellen.

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One thought on “Sigh from the soul

  1. hierath says:

    Oh bless you, my lovely *hugest hugs*

    Like

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