Although I wear my heart on my sleeve and am known to be a chatterbox, sharing this story is one of the scariest things I have ever done. My situation is not unique, I am so lucky in so many ways, I have two beautiful daughters, I don’t want people to think I feel sorry for myself. However, as I sit here going through my fourth miscarriage, I decided now might be a good time to get this written down. If my story gives hope and comfort to anyone out there suffering through miscarriage then its worth it.
For us, miscarriage been unexplained and recurrent. We endured two miscarriages before our first daughter was born, one afterwards and now another following the birth of my youngest daughter. I am not sure which miscarriage was the worst, but if I had to choose probably the second. It came about 8 weeks after the death of my father and I guess when it happens twice you start thinking ‘geez, we may really have a problem here’. We had also by this stage been trying to conceive for a couple of years so it was the double whammy, infertility and miscarriage.
Miscarriage sucks. Everyone tells you how “common” miscarriage is and they are right, it is “common”. The statistic that is thrown around is 1 in 4 however, that statistic means nothing to me and it does not comfort me in anyway. I don’t care how ‘common’ it is it hurts, it feels cruel it feels like the universe has it in for you.
When you suffer from recurrent miscarriage, the whole pregnancy journey changes. The elation you are entitled to feel when you find out you are pregnant diminishes with each pregnancy because you know that a positive pregnancy test does not mean you are going to have a healthy baby. It’s just the start of a process, a process to get through those 12 weeks and see a heart beat. You dread going to the toilet because maybe you’ll be bleeding, you lay awake at night anticipating that first scan. You stop talking in absolutes and all conversations regarding the pregnancy are started with ‘if it works out’.
Then the day of the scan comes. With my most recent miscarriage I really believed that I had fully prepared myself that it may not work out, I had done a great job of tricking myself into believing that regardless of the outcome it didn’t matter I would deal with it with courage and that I would not cry, particularly during the ultrasound.
As soon as the picture came up I knew. The baby was not even nearly as big as it should be, no heart beat, just like the other times. The sonographer was trying to give me hope, maybe my dates were out? But they weren’t, I knew that without doubt and I could see in his face he did too. Despite my mental preparation going into the scan, my heart broke a little bit again. Was that little baby a girl or a boy? What would have life been like with he or she in our family? Did I do something wrong? Is it my fault?
Then comes the worst bit, the waiting. For me, as soon as I know that its over, I want to have the clinical side of it dealt with immediately. Having to exist with the remnants of a failed pregnancy inside of you is the most soul destroying and heart breaking feeling, your hormones are still raging and you cannot move on. However, I have had to wait up to a week for a D&C, this is a long time when you are going through hell on the inside and something I am struggling with at the moment. I find myself bursting into tears at the slightest thing and feeling frustrated and angry that I’m waiting. I know for some women they prefer to wait and let nature take care of it but I don’t have the strength.
I still have road ahead of me dealing with this latest loss. I know I am going to be okay, my daughters are the best thing that ever happened to me and not a day goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to have them. My husband is wonderful and an incredibly energetic and loving father, none of this is easy on him yet he is supportive and brave
This is the end of the pregnancy journey for us now, my heart does not have the stamina to go through any more losses, I want to spend my energy living in the moment with my girls. To our four angel babies, you are always in our hearts. We didn’t meet you but you will always be a part of us.
Anyone out there going through recurrent miscarriage, you are not alone. Push for answers and don’t give up. It’s easy to be bounced around the medical system. There is hope, and as my best friend said to me this morning, everyone is entitled to have hope.
Bronwyn, 37, mum to Astrid & Esme.
Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, marked specifically on October 15th. Being a voice on what was once a silent topic is one way we can celebrate and honour babies who have passed away through miscarriage, stillbirth or postnatal causes. Speaking out may also be a way for some parents to work through this heartbreaking experience, help create awareness and support others. For helpful and supportive information about miscarriage please visit COPE.ORG.AU