I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been busy getting pregnant … and miscarrying again. It’s this thing I do. This time the odds were stacked against me from before I even conceived. I began to realise through the summer that I either wasn’t ovulating or I was ovulating so late that I missed it. In September I finally succumbed & bought a clearblue fertility monitor. I ovulated on day 22 of my perfect 28-day cycle & got pregnant. Alarm bells began to ring – I needed 10 days post ovulation for a pregnancy to survive. My GP dismissed my concerns. “Ovulation tests are completely unreliable”, he told me, “you only need to ovulate to get pregnant – timing isn’t important”. I wanted to believe him so I chose to do so & left, happily believing what everyone had told me – that it couldn’t possibly happen to me again. This baby would be fine.
A couple of weeks later I woke in the night & realised that all my pregnancy symptoms had disappeared. If I was going by my last AF I was 7 weeks pregnant so I rang the EPU. As I’d had 3 previous miscarriages they got me in straight away for a scan. My husband & I sat with all the very obviously pregnant women and waited. I’d duly downed a litre of water and the wait was unbearable. I waited over an hour with a full bladder – sheer torture! The scan showed a viable pregnancy sac but no heartbeat. We were told it could be too soon & we were booked to come back in a week.
About 8 weeks earlier a girl that I really dislike at work had told me that she was pregnant. She knew about my losses & she’d had a blighted ovum earlier in the year so we’d shared similar experiences. I’d appreciated her giving me the heads up about her pregnancy but with me being the only person who knew about it I was the only person she then chose to confide in about how awful she was feeling & how difficult it was to hide being pregnant so it was a relief when she finally announced it to the team. That said, her timing couldn’t have been worse. It was three days before my second scan, two days before my birthday. All of a sudden she went from wearing loose clothing to figure hugging outfits that showed off her bump. Knowing my history everyone looked to me to see how I was reacting to the situation (nobody knew I was actually pregnant again, let alone potentially miscarrying) & I had no choice but to smile, ask questions about her latest scan & generally coo over the news.
My second scan revealed a heartbeat but a very slow one. My baby was growing but also probably dying. That day the pregnant colleague wore a tight black & white stripey dress with a red belt around her bump and I signed myself off work. I didn’t begrudge her her excitement but each time I saw her I felt as though I’d been kicked in the stomach. I decided to eliminate the stress factor & took a week off. Sadly that turned into four weeks as the final scan confirmed that the baby had died, funnily enough it died on the day of the red belt & tight dress. I was swiftly put forward for surgery (at my request as natural and medical methods haven’t really worked for me before) & the next day I was first in the operating theatre.
I never intended to take so much time off work. Last year I took a day after the medical management & two days after the surgery. Work was my rehab & I needed it to get me through. This time I barely functioned for two weeks. I spoke to nobody. All I could do was read up on miscarriage and try to decipher why I’d fallen foul to it again and what I could possibly do to avoid it. I read books, blogs, articles, forums. In the final week I took up yoga, meditation and I visited a herbalist who took me off wheat, dairy, sugar and she encouraged me to go organic. She also helped me work out how to get through my first day back at work and somehow I managed it. Gradually my mood lifted & lifted until I was almost alarmingly euphoric. I didn’t baulk at the pregnant colleague who had tied a bow around her bump on my second day back. On the contrary I was amused. I dug out some compassion from somewhere and showed a genuine interest in her baby and in the discomfort she’d been experiencing. I realised that I had to do this if I was going to cope. It was obvious that everyone had guessed my situation and were watching “the show”. My boss sought regular updates and she passed them onto her boss & in turn they fed back their perspectives on the situation & also comments that others had made. Unintentionally and without malice they let it be known to me that I was the office gossip. So I had to cope and find a way to move their attention away from me so that I could get on with the very private process of grieving.
I’m not that euphoric anymore. I feel more like me & this Christmas I should have had a six month old baby, or be happily pregnant and not have the heavy heart that I have instead. Like so many others going through this I’ve held onto the good things in life and this has helped me to stay positive. This is particularly easy for me as I work in a brain injury unit. I’m thankful that I can walk, talk, eat, work, go out when I want and have fun. Plus I still have hope. Whatever happens, one day I’ll be a mum. What I really lack though and what would have been a really useful Christmas gift this year is Patience.