On the 15th October was Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day and I was touched by so many beautiful photos and stories shared on my feed on social media. I planned to do one myself and then suddenly — I froze! Writing this even now I am overcome with emotion. The thing is, I am #1in4 . I am not ashamed or hiding behind it by any means but sometimes (and thankfully now it’s only on the odd occasion) when I allow myself to remember what it was like losing my second pregnancy at 10 weeks tears well up in my eyes and my throat closes over. That’s the thing about grief and loss isn’t it – over time it might no longer be surface level but rather skin deep, etched into our Mama hearts
My second pregnancy started off just as my first … I knew within 4-5 days of conception I was pregnant with obvious changes felt within my body. It feels like forever then waiting for confirmation with pregnancy tests and dating scans between early family and friends celebrations in secret because we can’t contain the excitement between ourselves! My first scan I went right on 6 weeks so they could visualise my pregnancy but not baby’s heart beat as it’s the size of a sesame seed at that point, making it tricky to detect. I left a little deflated but with no cause for concern. My beta-hCG levels were continuing to rise as were my pregnancy symptoms. I re-booked my dating scan for 9 weeks and everything looked fine there too except they noticed I had a large subchorionic hematoma— an abnormal collection of blood between the placenta and the uterine wall. My GP invited me in for a chat about my baby who was the size of an olive at that point. She told me “this does not leave me feeling very positive about this pregnancy”. Hold on I thought – my levels are rising, I feel fine and I know there are cases where women’s bodies absorb this type of bleeding with no issue at all. She gave me her mobile number and said to call her when the bleeding begins! I left feeling like 🤯 This.was.not.happening! Where was the hope? I did everything I could to remain positive and will this little baby to stay but two days later I woke to this feeling like my pregnancy had gone — just poof like that. Symptom-less! I went into the bathroom to discover spotting in my underwear.
I can’t tell you how shocked I felt. The guilt that set in; Was it because I kept forgetting to take my pregnancy multi-vitamin regularly? Was I too busy chasing my toddler around? I messaged my GP’s mobile to tell her what was happening. Her words to me were “ok sounds like you are losing this pregnancy and will develop further bleeding over the next week” with instructions on what to do to follow. Abrupt. Professional. Matter a fact. Detached. Where the fuck was her heart in this I remember feeling?! Is this what support looks like for women suffering an inevitable miscarriage?!
My husband came home from work late that evening as he had to drive back into town and just held me while tears rolled down my face in disbelief. We snuggled up on the couch together after putting Ivy to bed when I noticed tightenings and moderately intense waves/cramps coming and going. Heat packs and ibuprofen plus didn’t even touch the sides – I was in pain. Deciding to go to bed, I stood up to feel a giant gush of blood which ran down my legs. It was expulsive. It was violent. It was for me, the most traumatic experience of my life and still is to this day. It’s not how I pictured miscarriage to be!
My full story doesn’t end there but I want you to know a few things:
- I like to think I am well grounded in Mother Nature with a strong belief system of “what is meant to be will be”. While remaining pragmatic however I have learned that grief is still grief and deserves to be honoured...whenever it shows up! It means you loved and still love!
- We need more support and understanding on a societal level. To be made to feel like you don’t deserve to feel this depth of sadness because others have had it worse isn’t fair. Love isn’t measured in weeks yet we treat women like they should put a cap on it. This is rubbish! It sets heartbroken women up to feel like failures and to remain silent.
- Share your experience if you are comfortable. You will find strength amongst your sisterhood. You will find you are not alone, not even nearly.
- Check in with your partner too and see how they’re feeling. Josh quietly moved the bassinet out of our bedroom — that to me spoke volumes at the time.
- Trust the timing of your life. Whilst allowing ourselves to feel everything we need to feel maybe the only thing we can make sense of is that the universe has its own plans for us. I discovered for me this was Aiden — my s🌞n and rainbow baby!
- If you want to support someone close to you who has experienced a loss but not sure how there are wonderful organisations out there SANDS, Bears of Hope, Pregnancy Loss Australia who can help. Just listen, acknowledge and for me I’ll also never forget the family and friends who showed up at my door with open arms and care packages. I felt seen!
If you ever need an understanding ear then please send me a message at any time! This page is about women supporting women and I am here for you. Jenna.