5 weeks ago today, my body sadly began the process of a miscarriage…I was 6 weeks pregnant and full of lofty dreams, excitement and anticipation of a growing belly.
This is one of those personal posts where the writer (me) contemplates – hard – about whether or not to hit the publish button and release their story into the world.
I’ve meditated on this decision, asked my beloved and confided in a few people I trust. In the end it was my heart and soul that softly nudged me to share my story so other women could read it. It’s not easy being vulnerable and opening up like this, but I believe it’s important that we share our experiences – good and bad – as this is how we grow, learn and connect with one another.
This is my story…
On the 26th of May my period was 2 days late. Now this might not ring alarm bells for you, but I am like clockwork! Every 28 days to the day, my cycle begins.
I told my fiance Gav that I was a couple of days late which was very unusual for me, and his response was…”off you go to the chemist baby.”
As I was walking up the road to the chemist to buy a pregnancy test, I let my mind wander off into the possibility of the test being positive. My heart skipped a beat at the thought of this…I felt excited yet totally terrified! ‘But I’m not quite ready’ I told myself. ‘I still need to do this, work on that, complete so and so’…but amidst the nervousness I was completely delighted with the possibility of being pregnant.
When I got home I could sense Gav was equally as excited yet nervous! The fidgeting was a dead giveaway…plus his request to watch the stick together like hawks! I swear our faces were only centimetres away from the stick for the full two minutes.
But it didn’t take that long for the result to reveal itself.
Me…”Oh my god babe, that definitely looks like a cross (+).”
Gav…”Nah babe, it’s a bit faint…give it more time.”
30 seconds later…
Me…”Oh my god babe, that’s definitely a cross! I’m pregnant!!!”
Gav…”F*ck. Oh my god. Are you really pregnant (insert look of shock/disbelief/happiness)? How could it be this easy?? It was our first try! Nah babe, I’m going to buy a couple more tests!”
After peeing on a couple of more sticks that all revealed a positive sign, the tears of happiness started to fill my eyes. Both Gav and I were completely in shock but overcome with joy.
The next moment, I found myself on the phone to my local medical centre to book myself into my doctor for all the formalities. Next phone call was to my Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist…it was beginning to feel real.
Gav didn’t want to tell his parents until the blood results from the doctor came back (he still didn’t quite believe it, bless his heart), but I just couldn’t contain my excitement! That evening I saw my mum and sister and told them the wonderful news…my mum nearly fell off her chair! I guess hearing that her youngest daughter of four was the first one pregnant (even though I was nearly 36!), came as a little shock! My family were over the moon for us.
Wednesday the 10th of June, started out as a normal morning for me. It was 7.30am and I was training my second client of the morning at the gym when I suddenly had this strange sensation down there…I kinda felt like I was getting my period.
Panic set in and I excused myself so I could rush to the bathroom.
And there it was…what no pregnant woman wants to see. Blood on my underwear.
I immediately went into shock and burst out into a silent cry. I was at work after all and completely surrounded by people outside of the toilet cubicle…I didn’t want to crumble, not there.
Unbelievably, my next client was Gav (he finally allowed me to train him!), and as I was walking back to my client, I looked at Gav who was warming up and mouthed the words ‘I’m bleeding’.
There was only 15 minutes left of my session with my client, but after 5 minutes I told her I was feeling unwell and both Gav and I promptly left the gym.
I immediately got on the phone to my client who I was meant to train after Gav (she is an obstetrician) and burst into tears as I told her that I was bleeding. She asked me a few questions and then told me to go straight to King Edward Hospital which was 5 minutes away.
Walking up to the receptionists window at the hospital and having to explain why I was there, was devastating. I was absolutely terrified that I was having a miscarriage, but the leaflet that was handed to me brought a glimmer of hope to our hearts. It explained that bleeding is common throughout the first trimester and often nothing to worry about, but that one of the signs of bleeding could indeed be the early signs of a miscarriage.
We held onto the former…
After having a blood test to see what my hCG levels were, we waited for what seemed like eternity, to see an obstetrician (OB) for an examination.
The OB first explained to me that my hCG levels were on the low side, which wasn’t a good sign. He then explained that he was going to check to see if my cervix was opened or closed – if it was open this would mean that my body was preparing to expel the embryo…I was praying for it to be closed.
Waiting for him to tell me the news was like torture. But finally, he revealed that my cervix was closed, which was a good sign. I looked over at Gav who whispered…”see baby, everything is fine.”
The next examination was the internal ultrasound to see how the embryo was developing. My legs were shaking throughout the procedure as the midwife softly rubbed my ankles and told me to breathe…I was a trembling and blubbering mess.
After the examination was complete, the two doctors and midwife left the room whilst I got dressed.
Again, more waiting.
They came back into the room to reveal to us that the embryo looked like it was 4-5 weeks developed instead of 6.
My heart sank. Although they couldn’t confirm I was going to miscarry, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t good. Gav was full of optimism but I just knew it wasn’t right.
I’d say the full process of the miscarriage lasted 5 days. The bleeding progressively got heavier and I could see I was passing tissue. We were scheduled in to see another OB at the hospital exactly a week after our first visit, but I knew the process was compete. Our little soul was gone.
The OB we saw this time was like an angel. I’m actually feeling incredibly emotional right now as I write this, as the way he handled the situation – with such sensitivity and compassion – meant the world to both Gav and I.
As I had predicted, my body had naturally completed the process and there was no need to have a D & C (a dilation and curettage – a surgical procedure that removes the remaining contents of the uterus). Later that day I also had acupuncture to help my body expel anything else that may have been left over.
How I’ve healed…
Now to the important part, the reason why I wanted to share my story in case you or someone you know has a miscarriage…
Firstly, I must express that everyone is different. We all handle traumatic experiences differently and there truly is no right or wrong way. Please take what you want from what I write and know that what has worked for me, may or may not be right for you or someone you know…
By the time we went in for our second appointment at the hospital 7 days later, we knew that we would be ready to try again as soon as my next cycle began (which is usually around the 2-6 week mark post miscarriage), or the next one after.
The doctor told us there was no reason for us to wait physically, it was really whether I felt ready emotionally. And this, of course, is different for everyone.
Even though completely devastated and teary eyed, I knew in my heart I wanted to keep trying and Gav was happy to support me in whatever timeline I chose. I also had a ‘healing plan’ all worked out.
This is what I’ve been doing to heal and it’s been working for me:
- I’ve been using a doTerra essential oil called Solace to help balance my hormones and emotions…it’s been amazing!
- I’ve had Reiki energy healing…equally as amazing! I tell you what, after my first session I felt the biggest shift occur. So much more energy and positivity.
- I’ve been having fortnightly Kinesiology sessions to work through the fears I have of going through a miscarriage again. This has been incredibly beneficial.
- I’ve been journalling – such a fabulous way of ‘brain dumping’ everything that’s on your mind. Doing this exercise has made me express things I didn’t even realise I was holding on to. Journalling is such a powerful clearing technique.
- I’ve been nurturing myself. For the first 10 days after it began, I was very quiet. I listened to my drained little body and rested. Reiki really was the turning point for me which I did on the 10th day. I regained so much more energy after that session.
- And lastly, with the help of my incredibly loving and supportive partner (who also felt the pain of this), I have accepted that having a miscarriage was actually a good thing. My body recognised the embryo didn’t have the correct number of chromosomes (it will need 23 from the mum and 23 from the dad to develop) and so it naturally ended the process…and for this I am thankful. The little soul wasn’t ready to come into the world just yet, and I accept it wasn’t anything Gav or I did to make this event happen.
Going through a miscarriage is a deeply painful, draining, traumatic and personal experience. If you’ve had a miscarriage, I want you to know I feel your sadness. I know how hard the loss is to come to terms with, no matter what stage of the pregnancy it happened.
Things that you’d never bat an eye lid at all of a sudden hit a nerve…
Walking down the street and watching a mother pushing her pram; seeing ‘huggies nappies’ ads on TV; being around friends of yours who are pregnant…the list goes on.
It does get easier, a whole lot easier. And I truly do believe that the healing methods I’ve incorporated have helped me immensely.
The thing is, miscarriages are so common. Around 25-35% of women will have a miscarriage (and this % increases over the age of 40). It doesn’t mean you or your partner have done anything wrong. It’s not ‘taboo’ and it certainly should be talked about.
I do get though why doctor’s recommend you wait until the 12 week scan to tell people – it is difficult breaking the news that you’ve miscarried. We’ll definitely be keeping very tight-lipped next time round.
Although writing this post and reliving the experience has made me feel some sadness, there are no more tears being shed. There are only lofty dreams, excitement and anticipation of a growing belly when I think about the joy that will fill my heart when I am pregnant again.
If my story has touched you, I’d be so appreciative if you’d share my post with the women in your life. You just never know who may need to read it. I’d also love to hear from you…please leave your supportive comments below.
Image found here.