Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Jellybean

I envisaged this post going a little bit differently than the way it is actually going to go. In fact, I never once thought I would say these words.

You see, I had some news to share with you all. Something I was beyond excited about and couldn't wait for. This news has now gone from something I was giddy to share, to something I can't even comprehend. 

Late Monday evening on the 5th May, I had a miscarriage. 

Even written down in black and white, the word doesn't look real to me. Not something I feel I can associate with what happened to me. It's not a word that can even begin to describe what I went through that night. It is not a word that I want to associate with my unborn baby, but unfortunately, that's the way it is. 

I was 12 weeks pregnant on the Sunday. My scan date was due on the Wednesday. I had planned on sharing the news that evening. 

I won't write about the details. If im honest it was pretty gory, and not something I'm sure I could even write down. I also don't want any expectant mums to come across this post and scare them shitless. 
I don't know what experience you've had of miscarriages.. Hopefully none. But it is nothing how you expect it to be. I don't know anyone personally who has suffered through a miscarriage, so I have never heard any details. I expected a spot of bleeding, a few cramps or maybe even a pill to aid the process along. Never in my life did I imagine being rushed to hospital in an ambulance, an insane amount of blood loss or a life saving trip to theatre. How has this happened? 

Miscarriage was never an option for me. I mean, I know I didn't choose to miscarry.. But it never even occurred to me that it was a possibility. I've already carried one beautiful baby girl to full term and despite a dramatic entrance in to the world, she was perfect and healthy. Why shouldn't I be able to this time around? When I found out I was expecting at roughly around 4 weeks.. I was excited. I never once felt scared or anxious. Not until I spotted that first bit of blood. 

There was every chance it could have just been spotting - very common in early pregnancy. But I knew. It didn't matter how many comforting words and tales of the same experiences I heard.. I knew I was losing my baby. Even though I knew, I refused to admit it. It took until the cramps set in for me to realise the reality of what was happening. 

I don't feel that I have had a miscarriage. I feel like my baby has died. There are no words to describe how empty, angry and devastated I feel right now. I don't know how to move on from this and I don't know how to feel normal again. I realise I need time to grieve.. But it doesn't seem adequate for the pain I feel. 

I was this close to seeing my baby for the first time. We had been discussing pushchairs, names, what sex we thought it might be, how we would lay the nursery out, would I go for normal delivery or a section? 

All of these questions are left unanswered. Questions I will never, ever know the answer to. Questions that only last week were the thing foremost in my mind.. Now completely pointless. 

How do I go from being an excited, expectant Mum to a Mum without a baby? How do I even process that? 

The statistics in miscarriage are shocking. 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage.. But never in your life do you expect it to be you. As soon as you see that little blue cross light up your pregnancy stick, you imagine your future. You see your baby. Now I have nothing. 

I am being as strong as possible for Princess. She knew I was pregnant. We have had to explain that the little brother or sister she was SO excited about, has now gone to live in the stars with her Nana. She understands, sort of. Although hearing "Mummy, has your baby died?" out of your 3 year olds mouth takes your breath away and breaks your heart in an instant. 

Next time, we won't tell her. We won't tell anyone. Not until we can be absolutely sure. I don't suppose you ever can be certain, but I cannot handle the heartbreak of having to break the news to family that I am no longer pregnant. 

People have said that I am lucky I wasn't further along. Lucky I hadn't felt the baby kick, knew what sex he/she was or had a picture. I fail to see how that makes me lucky. Does that mean I loved the baby any less? Because I can guarantee you from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I loved that baby with all of my heart. All of my being was going in to growing that little baby and keeping it safe from harm. Do you know how horrendous I feel having to refer to my own baby as "it" because I never got the chance to know it better? 

I failed. My body failed. I can't forgive myself for that. 

I know it wasn't my fault. Nothing I could have done could have saved my baby. As the midwife said "you can't force a baby to stick". But why couldn't I? What went wrong? Why did my body fail to keep my baby safe? It's easier to blame myself than have no answers as to why this happened. 

The Doctors have said there is every chance it could have been ectopic because I had pain quite high up. They also said that I was "lucky" I "passed the fetus" because it could have been life threatening. 

NOTHING about this situation is lucky. It is fucking cruel and heartbreaking. 

How is it lucky that my family has to once again go through a heart wrenching loss? Why do we have to be the ones to lose something so precious when there are people out there who don't even want their babies? How is it LUCKY or FAIR that I have to sit here and decide what I want to do with the remains of my unborn baby? 

Where is the justice in that? 

I was 12 weeks pregnant. Just out of what was considered the "danger" zone. My blood tests had come back fine. I was all set for my scan, to see the consultant, had my pregnancy apps downloaded. 

Whenever we decide we are ready to try for another baby, I won't be able to get excited. I will be terrified. I will be scared of every single little twinge, every niggle and every pain. I won't be able to enjoy it. Even after 12 weeks, no baby is safe. I will never relax again. Not until that baby is in my arms, kicking and screaming bloody murder. But even then, I can't imagine it will be the same. The fear will not go away. 

After Monday, I am still scared of going to the toilet. I can feel the same thing happening again. Feel the same pains that reminded me of labour, a cruel twist I never anticipated. I can still smell blood. I have flashbacks of lying on the hospital bed barely conscious, mask on my face and in horrendous pain. Being so, so, scared and knowing that there is absolutely nothing myself or anyone else can do to stop it. I can still hear the fear and anxiousness in the doctors voices as they pulled the sheet back and cut the adult sized nappy away from my waist. 

All of it is fresh in my mind and I can't escape it. All of it a reminder that I have lost my baby. I have lost the best thing to happen to my family in a long, long time. Something amazing to treasure and look forward to, taken away. 

I don't know if I'll ever publish this post. It's taken me hours to write and many tears have been shed. If I do publish, it will be the bravest thing I have ever done.. Because I will finally be admitting it happened. I don't think this post will particularly help anyone, but I needed it to be out of my system. I need to make some sense out of it and maybe somehow gain some sort of acceptance. 

If I have any advice, it would be to not take anything for granted. I would give anything for this all to be a dream. To wake up and know I'm still pregnant. Still carrying the love of my life's baby and my beautiful girls sibling. I will never again moan or complain about a single aspect of pregnancy, it will be a privilege and not a burden. 

I don't want anyone to read this and be scared. I want someone to read this and be reminded of how precious life is. If you are pregnant, realise how lucky you are. Embrace the kicks, the heartburn and the leg cramps and just remember at the end of it you are blessed enough to have a beautiful baby. 

I'm not sure how long it will take me to come to terms with this. I don't think I ever will. The moment my baby died, it took a piece of my heart with it. There will always be a hole in my being, an untold story. 

The one positive thing I will say, is the care I received was fantastic. From Ian the paramedic who held me as I cried for my lost baby, to the anaesthetists and surgeons who held my hands as they put me to sleep. And especially to Alex. The nurse who cared for me before and after the surgery. A girl who I went to school with in the same form for 5 years, who barely knew me, but cared for me like a friend. I wish I could thank them all individually for treating me with dignity and compassion. All of the staff were truly lovely and I'm glad that they were the ones to care for me. 

One day, when we're ready, I'm sure we will have another baby. Another child to love and treasure just as we do Princess. But one thing I know, is I will never forget my jellybean. My tiny, unborn baby. I may not get to carry you in my arms, but I will carry you in my heart.