This will be one of the more painful posts that I will share with you all. 2015 has been the worst year of our lives so far, but we did have a happy ending. I found this incredibly hard to write, it took me a long time before I could be open and honest about it. However I feel that the more we share our tragedies the more that we’ll be able to find some peace, comfort and support in others.
The year started out well. I was enjoying my job, spending time with my family and friends and starting the process of having my house built. Life was pretty good. Then I started to feel incredibly tired, I was napping in the day which is unlike me, so like a sensible person does I went to the doctors. They sent me for a blood test, pregnancy test, general check over. My sister came too as she needed to have blood taken, and a hand to hold whilst they did it! So we sit there, waiting for someone else to try and extract blood from my sisters tiny veins and the nurse comes back with a test, smiles and hands it to me. I look blankly at her not really understanding what she has just passed to me. My sister realises before I do….I’m pregnant! Now my partner and I had literally just decided the night before to start trying, turns out we didn’t need to! It’s safe to say I was shocked, happy of course, but I was overwhelmed for sure. Once out of the hospital I found my partner to tell him, had a good cry and felt much better. We were going to have a baby and we were so lucky. Or so we thought.
Time went on and I didn’t feel all that different. I think I felt a little queasy but in hindsight not all that different aside from the exhaustion. Weeks went by, we told a couple of people. Although here that means you’ve told about 50 more and it quickly multiplies, but we didn’t care really. Hey we were going to have a baby, what did we have to worry about. We had our first scan before Christmas as I wasn’t exactly sure when my last period was but we had an educated guess. We had no idea what to expect or what we should be seeing. We went in for the scan to be told that I was probably around 6 weeks. On one hand I was relieved! I’d had a few drinks before finding out and was terrified I done some sort of harm to our unborn child. The radiographer zoomed right in to find what she thought was our baby but said it was too early to detect a heartbeat, seemed logical enough. The scan was finished up and we were given another date just after Christmas to check how things were going. We didn’t think too much of it. On our way our we saw the nurse that had taken my test and told her what they had said, she looked confused as if the dates didn’t match up but seemed to think better of saying anything and walked away. I now know why she gave me that look.
If I remember rightly it was boxing day (it’s all a bit of a haze around that time, but it was Christmas time anyways) and I noticed a very small streak of blood. Nothing really dark, I’ve heard of implantation bleeds and various other reasons but something just didn’t feel right. Of course I panicked, confided in a few friends and my Mum. All of whom tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing, especially seeing as I had no pain. I brushed it off and it stopped within 24hrs. Our next scan date arrived and we hoped to see the heartbeat and finally be told everything was ok. A different woman did our scan. Within seconds, but it felt like hours, her words cut us like a knife. ‘I’m so sorry, but your pregnancy hasn’t progressed’ our baby had stopped growing. She said some other things along the lines of that whilst this was upsetting it was also very common, gave us her condolences and said she would go and fetch our midwife. I think one of the first feelings I had was stupidity. Why didn’t I know that my baby had stopped growing? Why didn’t I realise that my lack of symptoms meant this wasn’t meant to be. Why didn’t I know that the dates didn’t make sense, hence the nurse’s confused look! It all made sense now. Our midwife came to see us and said lots of lovely, reassuring things and gave us our options before we were sent on our way to try and pick up the pieces we’d been shattered in to. Our options were to choose how I would ‘pass the pregnancy’. I understand these medical terms are there for a reason but they aren’t always the most sensitive, particularly in the case of miscarriages. Apparently the term for what had happened to us was a ‘missed abortion’. How horrific is that? We lost a baby that we loved! A baby we had dreamt about and imagined in our lives how could our baby ever be referred to as an abortion? It made me angry, and desperately sad. Another term is a ‘missed miscarriage’ which I prefer to use. It’s when a baby has stopped growing, but your body hasn’t made the connection so hasn’t expelled the pregnancy.
To talk about my options the first person I chose to call was my Mum, she would know the right thing to say and she did. We decided on a D&C. Whilst there are risks involved we felt that they were minimal and seeing as my body hadn’t miscarried on its own up until this point we thought it might not happen. I also wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through that. Having the operation took away the waiting game. A date to ‘end’ this horror so that we could move forward. Everyone at the hospital was amazing, our doctor was delicate and understanding, in fact everyone was. We couldn’t have wished for a better team. Their kind manner just made me cry even more. The operation went smoothly and we were able to leave a few hours later. Before leaving we met with the doctor who told us again how normal this was and that a miscarriage was no reason to assume the worst for next time. He said ‘We’ll see you again when you get pregnant again and give birth to your baby’. Yeah bloody right I thought at the time, but secretly I hung onto his words, they were the hope I was looking for.
When you lose a baby you expect to feel sad, depressed and cry all day. But I never expected to feel so angry. Like an all-encompassing anger. Why the hell did this happen to me? Why are there people out there that can have children so easily, yet don’t give two shits about them? Why did that person get pregnant so easily and tell people as soon as they found out? Their baby is ok! What about me! It was an awful feeling, I would think all of these things, then be wrecked with guilt for being such a terrible person. This was why I lost my baby, it’s because I’m a bitch! I’m a terrible person who doesn’t deserve a baby. It seems crazy now that it’s all written down that I thought all of those things. I was angry and jealous and so desperately sad, I thought I would never feel happy again. I unfollowed certain people on facebook because I just couldn’t face seeing it. I never once thought that anyone didn’t deserve their happiness, but I just needed to hide myself away from it at the time. I needed time to grieve and to heal. Some people found out right away even though we only told very close friends and family as we just weren’t ready to face what had happened. Said people told others and they sent me messages. Livid is a word I’d use to describe how that made me feel. How f**king dare these people message me! Don’t they know that I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!! And I didn’t, I didn’t want to tell anyone. I know that those who asked after me genuinely felt sad for me and just wanted me to know that they were there for me, but I couldn’t cope with it at the time. People gossiped about it and it hurt and it just fueled the anger. Who the hell wants to talk about that??? Through the haze of fury I managed to connect with someone that had also lost their baby around the same time. I reached out to them and we became friends. I like to think that we helped each other through the pain, I know she helped me. She helped me to understand that it was ok to be angry but she is a kinder, calmer soul than myself and I began to feel less furious and more sad, but hopeful.
More bad news
A few weeks after the operation I had a follow up with my doctor. During this visit I also decided to have a mole looked at, it had changed and was kind of itchy. The doctor referred me to the specialist and decided to have it removed. A few weeks later I get a phone call asking me to come in as my results had arrived. Fair enough! Whilst I was waiting on of the nurses on the team came to sit with me. She seemed agitated waiting for the doctor to arrive and tried to hurry him along. What on earth for I wondered. Tell took me into another room, the nurse knelt down beside me and the doctor sat across from me on the bed. Our of the corner of my eye someone had some tissues ready. Bloody hell, was I going to die?!? ‘You have malignant melanoma’ WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL! Cue tissues being thrown at me and kneeling nurse squeezing my leg. ‘We’ve been advised to remove a 1cm margin around the site of the mole’. Ok, so I wasn’t going to die, or even have treatment, just a simple operation to remove the affected area. But boy was I lucky. Had it gone much deeper it would have spread and that wouldn’t have been good news. I’ll explain more about this in another post. I’m still here so you know the operation went well! I did have more moles removed during the year, all those were benign. I also had to have a colposcopy to remove abnormal cells on my cervix. It’s safe to say that it was a crappy year but I now have total faith in the health professionals that are here. They get a bad rep sometimes but in my experience I cannot fault them and I wouldn’t have gotten through this mess if it wasn’t for their dedication, kind manner and hilarious banter.
After a storm there’s always a rainbow
We muddled through the rest of the year, me slowly having more and more pieces removed. There have been jokes that my doctor is making a clone of me somewhere! I went through phases of being anger, sad, a little less angry, scared, lonely and hopeful. It’s a hell of a process. We started trying again, despite all the medical complications thrown my way. Now anyone that’s had to ‘try’ to get pregnant will have heard this phrase countless times. ‘If you stop trying/worrying it will happen’, you know what I wanted to do to people that said that? High five them, in the face, with a chair. It is the WORST piece of advice you can give someone that is trying to have a child. Especially if said person got pregnant at the drop of a hat. What’s even worse is that it is probably true, but you do not need to hear it! You cannot consciously stop worrying and trying, you can’t so don’t even try. Just go through your own process. I had my last operation at the end of November so I assumed that there was no way I’d have gotten pregnant then. I enjoyed a couple of drinks on Christmas day and Boxing day and tried to forget the misery of the previous year. To hell with 2015, screw you!!! We planned to go out to Rincon for New years and we’d have a bloody good time. A thought occurred to me though, I’m late. We were getting ready about half past 6 in the morning. I thought well I’ll just do a test before we go, just to be sure. I did it, left the test in the bathroom and went about getting ready. Maybe about 20 minutes later I remembered, the test! I picked it up, still pretty sleepy. A blue cross appeared…….A BLUE YES YOU ARE BLOODY PREGNANT CROSS. I couldn’t say anything, I just smiled and tears rolled down my cheek. I took the test to my partner, words were just too much! We hugged for what seemed like forever. Cue ‘Oh my god I had a couple drinks over Christmas’ worry and ‘How the hell am I going to tell everyone I’m not drinking without giving the game away’ thoughts. I’ll talk more about the pregnancy in another post, but I will tell you that our rainbow baby is lying next to me as I type this. Dreams really do come true.