Last year I had my heart broken. Broken by someone I had never met before.
Her name was Poppy. For 10 weeks our lives revolved around Poppy. What she was like, who she would be and what she might look like. Poppy was going to be the best thing that ever happen to us.
Until she wasn’t.
Poppy was our unborn baby.
My Heart Bleeds
Three weeks before we were going to be meeting her for the first time I started to bleed. I had felt something change in me. Something told me this wasn’t meant to be and when the bleeding started I immediately went to the local early pregnancy unit to have the symptoms checked.
I laid down on the table and waited patiently for the cold probe to tell me our fate.
And then I saw her. This tiny little dot on the screen. Somehow I knew that would be the last time I would get to see my tiny baby.
The doctor asked me if I was sure of my dates. I had known since before I was due on. I was definitely sure. He winced and my heart sank. Waiting for him to tell me the worst.
Except he didn’t. I had to wait a whole week before I heard that fateful phrase “missed miscarriage”. I will never forget the doctor putting her hand on my knee and giving me that sympathetic look.
That’s when my heart smashed into a million tiny pieces.
Twelve months on and I have had to endure that same experience twice more. That look that you get off the doctor. That look of sympathy without even having the slightest idea how that could feel. I’ll tell you how it feels. It feels like someone is punishing me for every mistake and bad decision I have ever made.
I have always expected having children would be hard for me. My mother takes great delight in watching me cringe as she tells me the ten year gap between me and my brother wasn’t intentional and it ‘wasn’t for lack of trying’. Bleurgh!
Then 8 years ago my brother and his wife had to endure the trying procedure of IVF before my gorgeous niece and nephew came into the world.
Reproduction is not my families forte, lets just say that.
I guess I was given false sense of security when I saw the BFP (Big fat positive, when you’ve been on all the chat rooms, you get to know the lingo). I thought I had skipped all that drama and been lucky. No. Not me. I was to endure the long, drawn out pain.
History Repeats Itself
A year to the day later I was told I had had my third miscarriage. I had been for an early scan and was told there was a heartbeat, only to start bleeding a few weeks later and hear the familiar ‘I’m sorry’ all over again. Now things are serious. Now I have to have blood tests to see if it’s me who’s the problem. I’m considering alternative options like adoption. Now I have to be an adult and think about all those things I never thought would apply to me.
I am sharing this story not because I want your sympathy. I am telling you about this because nobody ever talks about it. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage.
ONE. IN. FOUR.
Did you know that? I didn’t. Not before it applied to me anyway.
I guess I am writing this to reassure all the parents going through this. Yes, parents. Just because you never got to hold your baby in your arms doesn’t mean you haven’t been a parent. Anyone who tells you otherwise has clearly never had to experience miscarriage. They are the lucky ones.
What the Future Holds
My journey is still going. One day I hope to be lucky enough to carry my own child and endure the pain of labour to bring them into the world. I will enjoy every contraction.
Before that though I have long path of blood tests, scans and other invasive procedures. I hope by writing this piece I will feel more comfortable talking to people and sharing my experiences. Miscarriage can be a lonely experience. I would love to see it talked about more.
I hope by sharing my story it helps someone. Even in the smallest of ways. I would love to tell someone that they are not alone. That it isn’t their fault. I know how they feel.
If you need help or support with miscarriage, check out: Tommys.org