WARNING: A LONG BLOG CONTAINING SENSITIVE INFORMATION
On the 6th February 2017 I was given the harrowing news that the baby I was growing inside of my tummy was no longer alive.
A baby I hadn’t even met, touched, felt or even heard was no longer living and one way or another it would need to be delivered, not living.
Let me take you back to February of this year…
I’m a type one Diabetic with the beginning stages of kidney failure so any pregnancy is high risk. So when I found out I was pregnant in December 2016, at around 4 weeks, I was ecstatic!
I saw my Diabetic consultant to get a plan of action together about testing my blood sugars more frequently when I was around 6 weeks. I actually started using a Freestyle Libre to get that tight control I desired (which worked wonders). It was around this time that I had an early pregnancy scan to confirm the pregnancy and have a rough look at the size of the foetus. The foetus was coming up around 2 weeks smaller but we could evidently see a strong heartbeat which even the sonographer pointed out. This was complete reassurance for me and I naively relaxed. I started seeing my Diabetic consultant every 2 weeks and at around 10 weeks met my Diabetic Midwife.
On Friday 3rd February, I had a minimal amount of blood whilst I urinated. I immediately called my partner upstairs who was literally leaving the house to go to work. Like everything, we decided not to panic and off he went. Little did he know I went straight onto my phone and googled ‘blood in pregnancy’. All’s I kept reading was ‘Do NOT panic, it’s very normal…’, So this put my mind at ease. This was literally the first day in weeks I wasn’t physically sick, I felt sick but wasn’t physically sick. I took my eldest to play school and went to my Mum’s, like any other morning. I explained to her what had happened that morning to which she replied ‘GET CHECKED OUT! you can never be too careful’, this is coming from a woman who hasn’t just had 5 children, she’s had 7 children; 5 alive but two angels, one born sleeping. I immediately knew that she was right and rung up the appropriate people. Unfortunately they couldn’t see me until Monday 6th February, but this was okay in my head, as everything was going to be okay – Google told me not to worry! I wanted it to be very normal that weekend. It felt so long and the worse thing was not knowing if the baby was okay or not. It was a complete whirlwind of a weekend, my emotions were truly up in the air.
I remember having a bath the night before my appointment. I sat in complete darkness with just a candle flickering. My husband had taken the boys to bed and left me with my bath. Silence. Just the sound of my breathing ant the flickering of the candle’s flame.
On Monday 4th February, I took my eldest to play school and headed to my Mum’s. My Mum and I went up to the hospital at around 10am. My sleepy youngest was strapped into his pushchair and off we went to search for the ‘Early Pregnancy Unit’, somewhere I had never been. It took so long to be seen… I’m not sure if it did or it just felt really long. And then my name was called. ‘C Woodman’ (they always get my name wrong!!)
It’s funny, not actually funny, but funny, how as soon as I walked into that room, I felt my stomach drop and my heart skip a beat, I knew then I had lost the baby. I still tried to be upbeat and sprung onto the bed. Rearranged my Insulin pump and wires and let the sonographer scan. The first one didn’t say a word, I was staring up at the ceiling, bottom muscles clenched, listening to another lady say instructions to her. The second lady then ushered the first lady out-of-the-way and said she wanted to take a look. My heart started to beat quicker whilst the second sonographer whizzed the apparatus all over my belly.
I’m so sorry C, it’s bad news I’m afraid, there’s no heartbeat…
I thought she was joking at first, not really sure whether to laugh or punch her in the face. And then the realisation hit me that of course she wasn’t joking. She was talking about something, I think getting another sonographer to check but I literally can’t remember a thing of what she was saying. Her lips were moving but I couldn’t hear the words. Time seemed to run from then and I couldn’t focus anymore. I had a migraine and felt the emptiness uproar in my body. I remember another lady coming in, I recognised her from a previous scan I had with a previous pregnancy. She confirmed the miscarriage and even showed me from two different views what she was looking for and what she couldn’t see on the screen, I was broken. The tears kept coming and the sickness was outrageous.
I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that these words I was hearing were about me and the baby I had dreams and aspirations for.
It was all a bit rushed from then onwards as I had to collect my eldest son from playschool. We had to go into another room and discuss what sort of miscarriage I wanted. A natural or surgical miscarriage. Half an hour beforehand, to me, my baby was alive and now I’m having to talk about how I would get rid of it. It was all way too much to handle so I decided to go home and was given some booklets and had to let them know the following day about my decision. I just felt so numb!
Stupidly, I drove to the appointment so had to drive to pick my eldest up and then went to my Mum’s. It was hard because she was saying all these things to try to help me but nothing was stopping me from falling into this deep black hole. I convinced myself that they were wrong and that I could feel the baby kicking. I went home later that afternoon and stuck a film on for the boys to watch. I kept trying to read the first line of one of the booklets but I just burst into a stream of tears. How and why has this happened to me? I don’t smoke, don’t drink, why on earth was this happening?
I couldn’t sleep a wink that night. I was exhausted but the fear that I was going to be in pain for a baby that would never live haunted me. I also didn’t want the night to end as the next day I would have to ring the hospital up to tell them how I wanted to have the miscarriage. By the time I closed my eyes and dropped off, I was awoken by the phone ringing. It was the Dr’s surgery asking if I was okay. I was livid. I thought they were being really insensitive asking if I was okay. NO I AM NOT OKAY!!! Looking back, it was actually really nice of them to see how I was doing.
Now, if I have no dependants, was healthy and only myself (& husband) to care for, I would have gone through with the miscarriage with no medical intervention. But I have two little people looking up at me and have type 1 diabetes with added complications. I didn’t want to be cooped up inside the house waiting for the inevitable wondering if I was going to be in lots of pain or no pain at all, whether I would see the baby, it look like a baby or like a blob of blood. So I opted for the surgery and the next couple of days were horrific.
I would love to sit and talk about the day of the surgery but in all honestly, it was just TOO traumatic to go over right now. I hope that one day I will be able to talk about it openly and share just how traumatic it was but for the time being, I will leave this blog here.
I truly thought that once the baby was out of me, I would feel slightly better. That I would be able to move on with my life, but the truth of the matter is, the surgeons removed the baby and apart of me that day. I feel as though a part of my heart has been taken away and I can actually feel it breaking that little bit more every time I think of what could have been.
I never got to meet you baby #3 but I can assure you that you are hugely missed and loved.
Lots of love,