"No book is a chapter, no chapter tells the whole story, no mistake defines who we are. Hope makes our lives page turners" - Bob Goff
It's been on my mind for a while that I have not written about how this chapter of my life started, I struggle to find the words because how can you truly write about a chapter when you've not reached the end?
So where to begin...
April 2017 we found out we were pregnant for the first time having been trying for 8 months. We found out shortly after the passing of a close family member which made the positive feel like a gift after months of heart ache. Having enjoyed three weeks of our pregnancy journey I started to experience some light bleeding. Having spoken to a few people I felt reasonably reassured that everything was 'normal' but I went to the EPU (early pregnancy clinic) for an early scan at 7 weeks just to be safe. Seeing our little babies heart beating away was the most wonderful moment of my entire life, our baby was exactly as it should have been for the timings and we got the only picture we would ever have of our baby. A few days later we had our first midwife appointment, the less said about that the better, however I am convinced to this day that she was aware something wasn't 'normal' and cut the appointment very short for this reason. Being our first midwife appointment we just assumed it was normal that they were so dismissive and carried on in our little bubble.
The night before our first miscarriage I remember being sat at my brothers around a fire (it sounds more glamorous than it was) toasting marshmallows and expressing my concerns, little did I know what would follow. At around 6am on Sunday 20th May 2017 I woke up with the most horrendous cramps, I went to the loo and felt a huge gush, I instantly knew something wasn't right. The toilet was filled with blood clots. We decided to call 101 who advised us to go to A&E which we did. Having been asked to provide a urine sample prior to an examination all we could do was wait. The Dr soon explained that without a scan they couldn't confirm what had happened or what was going on so sent us home and assured us we would be called the next day for an appointment.
Our bubble was burst.
It was the day before my husbands birthday and we had planned for friends and family to come round but we couldn't face seeing people let alone celebrating. Instead we were at home going through something we hadn't planned for and weren't prepared for. At around 10:30am I stood up to go to the toilet and fell crippled in pain to the floor, my husband had popped out so I sat alone for a minute crying. I can still feel the depth of sadness I felt at that moment, the fear and the heartbreak still hits me as hard writing this as it did that day, the only difference now is that I know what I was about to encounter but then I had no idea.
Having sat for a few minutes the pains passed, I got up and went to the toilet were I sat and cried. The pain soon returned and the blood started to gush out as it had done before, with every flush I knew that I was flushing away my dream, my baby and a part of my life I would never get back. After about 25 minutes the bleeding had stopped, the pains had eased and looking down into the toilet I knew it was all over. There was our baby, our tiny tiny baby that we had watched two weeks previous happily developing with its heart beating away. There in the toilet was the most heartbreaking sight and in that heartbreaking moment all I could do was lie on the floor and cry.
Nothing prepares you for that moment. Nothing can be said to ease the pain, there are no 'well at leasts' no 'everything happens for a reasons' that moment is pure pain and nothing will ever make that moment go away. Forever my heart will feel heavy, my mind will feel beaten and my soul will feel bruised. Absolutely nothing will make that moment even the tiniest bit OK.
The following day we went in for another scan, I explained to the nurse what had happened and all of our concerns. I was sent in for a scan, anyone who has experienced a miscarriage will likely say the same, the sonographer was one of the most abrupt and dismissive people I have ever encountered. Maybe they have to harden off of these situations, maybe she'd been through similar or maybe she didn't understand what I was going through but as she announced 'there's nothing there, there is no baby' my world collapsed. In reality she was confirming what I already knew, what I had already seen but having it said out loud made it a lot harder to accept. With our brave faces on we thanked the staff, walked out of the hospital, went home and walked the dogs barely uttering a word to one another. We each knew that the other needed to hear something but what could we say, our world had been turned upside down and our reality had become this experience that we weren't prepared for. Our hearts were broken.
You'd think that as time went on the pain would become less but going back to that moment hurts just as much as when it happened. All those questions come flooding back and the tears still fall as freely as they did on that day. Yes we can continue to live, yes we can have a normal life and we do 'get on with it' but we will never hold that baby in our arms, we will never forget that moment and we will never stop hurting.
that experience reminds me just how not 'over it' I truly am.