Thursday, 28 January 2010

Giveth with one hand... taketh away with the other

When you know you want to, why hang around right? After all, we had no way of knowing how long it would take us to fall pregnant. I know a number of couples who have had to have help of one kind or another to conceive. I also know others who still need that help and have yet to see any results. For them the dream of a natural family seems to be fading with every passing cycle; heartbreaking.

So why wait? Especially, as my husband keeps offering, 'at my age'. He is just a little younger than I and takes great pleasure in reminding me of the fact at every available juncture. Oh how I laugh...

Here's the exciting bit.

When we fell pregnant within the first six weeks of trying our emotions were almost too enormous to contain. I refrain from referring to those emotions purely as positive ones because, undoubtedly, mixed in amongst the undeniable excitement and joy was a rather striking crimson shade of terror. While my husband's reaction was mostly restricted to the joyful side of the spectrum, mine swung like an over enthusiastic bungy jumper swinging over a river valley from overwhelming happiness to white hot terror and back again within minutes.

But pregnant I undoutedly was! And off to the doctors we trotted at a rate of knots to make sure we hadn't got it wrong. I don't know what I was expecting the doctor to do for us but I guess I'd expected him to double check our self-diagnosis. No need apparently. The pregnancy tests one buys over the counter are every bit as accurate as those available to NHS staff so he merely congratulated us and calculated our due date. I was officially five weeks pregnant.

Off we skipped, reminiscent of a pair of 11 year olds racing off to the sweet shop, to tell both sets of parents our happy news. We couldn't contain our delight and our beaming faces gave us away as soon as we stepped through the door. But both sets of parents stood by their duties to wait to be told the news before bursting with excitement and squeals.

Our world was a happy place.

All this happened on 21 December 2009.

Over the next few days I tried to come to terms with the fact that I had a life beginning to grow inside of me. At that time is was a mere cluster of cells but it was my cluster of cells and I loved it for the potential baby it was to become. Hubby and I raced out to the nearest book store to buy some guide books on pregnancy and parenthood. We even stopped by Mothercare for a pregnancy journal which I began to fill in as soon as I got home.

I learned straight off that doubts and worries are commonplace, especially in a first pregnancy which, while doing nothing to alleviate those doubts and worries, made me more comfortable in experiencing them: a strange kind of equilibrium.

I started a journal to record my thoughts, feelings, doubts, anxieties. I began to spot a little the day after we did the test but a second test confirmed our initial hopes so all was well with the world.

I woke on Christmas Eve 2009 with joy in my heart, a developing foetus in my womb and a lifetime of plans doing the rounds in my brain. 'This is the last Christmas we'll have as a childless couple', 'next year I'll be buying 'baby's first Christmas' gifts', 'this has to be the best Christmas present ever'... However, as the day progressed the spotting I'd experienced the day before became more insistent and I developed a nagging, incessant ache in the pit of my stomach. Deep in my heart I knew something was wrong but, like the ostrich, I buried my head, hoping it would pass on by, hastened by the spirit of the season, and leave us good folk to enjoy our pregnant Christmas.

By late afternoon however, I could no longer ignore the pain. I called NHS direct and was told by an out of hours doctor to get myself to the hospital as soon as possible. Before we left, my husband and I agreed, without words, to prepare ourselves for the worst. With a heavy heart and the best game-face I could muster we headed out in the snow and ice.

Four and a half hours later we arrived home again, exhausted, drained of energy, emotion and a little blood. But most of all, we arrived back home without our pregnancy.

It was confirmed. We had suffered an early miscarriage.

Apparently almost one in four pregnancies end that way in the early stages; a fact that did nothing to ease the sense of loss I already felt after only three days of knowing I was with child.

My heart broke just a little that day.


Anonymous said...

i admire you for writing this i think you are very inspirational to others. i wish you all the best, it will happen and you deserve it.x

Vonnie said...

We suffered an early miscarriage at 7 weeks in 2008, made all the more upsetting by my manager telling me not to discuss it because "other women in the office have had more serious miscarriages". It's heartbreaking - you get yourself to a point where you're planning for this massive life-changing and life-giving event and it's all taken away from you.

I hope it brings you comfort to know that we fell pregnant two cycles later with our baby daughter who is now 8 months old. I'm so sorry that your first experience ended in loss, but hope that you do fall pregnant quickly with a sticker :) x

Potential Mummy B said...

Thank you both. It's unbelievable just how common early miscarriages are... but that doesn't stop it hurting does it!? And Vonnie, to be treated like that by your manager is disgraceful! Your story does bring me comfort and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some luck soon!

Thanks again x

Kelly said...

Haven't cried since Saturday and now I find myself tearing up again. Wow. I am so sorry for your loss. Your story was beautiful though it ended so really have a way with words.
I can completely relate to everything you said...dreaming of baby's first Christmas, the pregnancy journal, and the denial that is finally forced from you as you come to terms with your miscarriage. So painful and disappointing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sweet husband. And as sure as I am that a successful pregnancy is in my future, I am sure the same is true for you.
Thank you for your kind words and thank you for sharing this very personal, very honest and very sad post.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave to share your story and it is so beautifully written, despite the heartbreaking topic.

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