My husband and I got married late 2017. We immediately started trying to concieve from our wedding day, we felt very excited about what the future would hold and we never thought our journey would be the most traumatic journey yet!
We fell pregnant fairly quickly, and I tested when my period was due and got a positive result. I immediately felt so excited and thrilled. This is happening so quick for us. Unfortunately this pregnancy ended before it had started. I was 5 weeks when I had a period which was to become the first of five pregnancy losses in 2 years!
I got pregnant again straight away and thought here we go again, this is it this time. Another 5 week marker that ended in sadness. Our third pregnancy was concieved January 2018 around my husband’s birthday ( at the time I thought it was a sign) all seemed to be going well, we had a scan at 6 weeks and 3 days to see a beautiful little flicker of a heart beat. I remember feeling elated and slightly relieved. Third time lucky! My pregnancy symptoms went from strength to strength and I started to feel what I thought was very pregnant.
At around 11 weeks I woke up and felt different … I can’t explain it but I now believe it’s a maternal instinct. I went to the toilet and wiped and noticed a faint pinkish tinge on the tissue. The sheer panic and dread consumed me. I insisted myself and my husband go for a scan that day. We were one week away from being in that “safe period” everyone talks about as if it’s a given . We arrived at hospital and the sonographer scanned me. I lay anxiously waiting for her voice…. To be told the fetal pole was only measuring 7 weeks 2 days, this can’t be possible I’m 11 weeks! It was the furthest along we had been. I sat waiting for something else. ” Im sorry there is no heartbeat ” did I hear right I thought, my heart skipped a beat or so it felt. There was a pause and the atmosphere in the room changed. I looked at my husband for reassurance, he was stunned! We were whisked into a private room which I now know is a Grief room in the hospital. We waited to see a doctor which seemed like at least an hour! Time stood still, we were traumatized and could barely speak but just held each other tightly.
The doctor came in and gave us some leaflets on miscarriage and told me we had just had a missed miscarriage. I was numb! He talked through our options, we opted for medical management but they requested I stay in hospital while a nurse administered the drugs up to my cervix to bring on fake labour, I would be staying in overnight.
I went up to the ward around 3.30 pm and by 4 pm I had the drugs put inside me. I had my own room which was nice and gave me some comfort at what seemed to be such a distressing moment. Looking back I was clueless as to what was going to happen . My husband left the hospital around 8 pm and I remember a dull aching pain coming and going for a few hours. I was now alone and the realisation of what was happening was stunning me like a rabbit in headlights. At 2 am on 10th April 2018 I was now in alot of pain, I felt sick and I was sweating. I felt like I needed to poo, wee and vomit all at once. It was horrific! I was now passing clots and tissue, it was very distressing. If we had known and understood this was going to happen my husband would of stayed with me. We were totally niave and unaware. For the next 3 hours I was in what I now know to be labour. I was feeling intense waves of heat, sickness and on top of it all terrified and alone! Around 5 am I remember feeling, like I needed a number 2 and in the bed pan below me I passed our baby (pregnancy sac). It was the weirdest experience ever as soon as I had passed it I felt instant relief. The pain was over but I bled for 2 weeks after that.
As I tried to pick myself up and dust this experience off the pain in my heart & head continued to grow. Our hearts longed for a baby. As we had had 3 miscarriages in a row, we were now referred to a recurrent MC specialist. These things take time! My appointment was scheduled for Jan 2019.
In the meantime from may 2018 we continued as we were told we could, to try to concieve again! We were mentally exhausted but if you want a baby what other option do we have I thought. So we tried for 7 cycles and nothing! Which is incredibly hard to believe when you have both been trying hard. Finally in November 2018 2 lines appeared on a first response early test. Omg! Its happening! The relief of getting pregnant after a long wait gave us a short amount of happiness.
To say by now I have a severe anxiety about being pregnant is an undestatment. We were completely terrified and we both were very anxious and didn’t know how to play it. Our Parents knew about the 3 MC, do we tell them we are pregnant again?! We did tell them because we are close to our families and part of us didn’t think we could loose another! Number 4 lost, 2 weeks before our Xmas New York trip. We went and had a great trip despite what we were faced with again!
We had an amazing Xmas In the big Apple, although the pain and mental torture never left me. But we got on and created some amazing memories and had a Xmas just for us two! To have met someone that I feel so alive and free with is just the most amazing feeling, I must never forget this. At least I have my life partner by my side, we are so strong we can get through anything!
I have personally held alot of guilt over our pregnancy trauma. Only being married a short time and experiencing such terrible loss so early on, I often feel bad for fixating and spending so much time and emotion on wanting a baby! I felt at times I was neglecting the most important person, and I often questioned have I enjoyed the NOW enough. But I’ve learnt through therapy that all these feelings are ok and natural and I have found a level of acceptance and it’s ok to have bad days.
So in January 2019, we got our much awaited appointment with the specialist. After a blood test I was diagnosed with elevated Natural killer cells. ( The body basically attacks pregnancy) ok I thought finally we have an answer! I started a steriod treatment plan which reduce and dampen down the NK cells. I also started using progesterone pessaries, both around ovulation. My experience so far with the steriods has been difficult to cope with at times. I have up and down mood swings, weight gain and have felt very irritable. But I kept telling myself if we get our rainbow baby it will be worth it! Trying to remain positive has always been an approach of mine, even in such challenging circumstances.
Another 8 cycles went by but did not get pregnant, my mental health felt like it was deteriorating by the minute. I was now consumed by grief and not knowing how to deal with it or manage it. Grief is a very hard pill to swallow and if you’ve been through a similar experience you will understand that. There is no on/off button to fertility! The struggles continue, all the time I had to keep smiling, work hard, keep the home and keep an element of normality. Where’s the life manual book I kept the thinking! Friends stay distant or so it seemed and alot of people don’t know how to be around you, so they completely ignore your grief! Which hurts like hell, when your on the recieving end. At this time, I started to review a lot of friendships and felt hurt by what I thought were people’s sloppy reactions and responses and even silence!
We finally went to a different consultant at a different hospital privately, who totally boosted out hopes and moral! We stopped the drugs for around 3 weeks on her guidance and I fell pregnant again for the fifth time! The consultant said start the steriods and progesterone so I did and I tried to clear my foggy miscarriage brain and stay positive this time. I found out I was pregnant on my late nans birthday so another sign I thought! The pregnancy seemed to be going well, I remember feeling calm and the most relaxed I have been throughout the 5 pregnancies. I really believed and had a feeling it would come good this time. I focused on having lots of rest, meditated lots. I ate well, I took things a little easier than normal and kept emitting positivity.
At 6 weeks we had a scan, another heartbeat flicker, we were pleased and I was taking each day as it came, trusting my body.
I felt alot calmer and relaxed than I had before and I found this reassuring as I generally have really good intuition.
Week 7, we went for a scan…. No heartbeat. I looked at my husband he was practically on the floor. I was shaking and couldn’t believe what was happening! Again! Severe distress consumed me all over, I was so dissapointed and completely broken. How can this happen again! We opted for medical management again, but this time I wanted to do it myself at home. We came away with the meds at week 8 and 9 and neither times did it bring on the “product of conception” aka our baby/our dream! It was our wedding anniversary around 10 week’s and we went abroad for a few days. I was in contact with the consultant, she assured me when I got back she would perform a D&C if I hadn’t passed it naturally by then.
So we were away and I was completely aware I was carrying our dead fetus inside me. By now it felt like my belly was slowly growing, I still felt pregnant and had symptoms of sore boobs etc. No one or nothing prepares you for this emotionally and mentally. I was away in the sunshine, I should feel happy but instead this dark cloud is over us. More salt in wound; on the flight on the way home we had a pregnant woman next to us, she was very nice. But it seemed that all the travel we’ve done, we have never had a pregnant lady next to us on a flight. She did ask at one point “do you have kids” to which I swiftly replied no and changed the subject. Society is very much like this I feel! I’ve learnt to not ask questions regarding fertility, as you never know what someone is going through. Another lesson maybe I was meant to learn in this greulling process.
These things seem to become very apparent when you are trying to have a successful pregnancy. Bumps pop up everywhere, you almost become a radar for what seems like easy pregnancies everywhere. Of course every one has their story! Not everyone is open or honest about!
We got back from Our trip and the consultant saw us a week later. She Gave me the third round of misoprostol. By this time I was coming up for 12 weeks . I look back and knowing I was carrying our baby round like my favourite hangbag everyday was extremely soul destroying. How can the body be so cruel!
I decided my body had really wanted this pregnancy and was failing to let it go! I hoped that maybe the next pregnancy would work for us and that this was kind of an extra rehersal and it would all be ok. The truth is we haven’t been able to find that out yet. We are still hopeful but a childless team!
Again when it finally happened, the consultant wanted us to try and catch the sac this time so she could send it off for chromosome tests! This gave us a little bit of a possibility of hope that we would get an answer and then a cure! I finally passed it in our bathroom, one morning getting ready for work! Wow! Just like that again a couple of hours of intense pain and contractions! It was all over and we were staring at our 12.5 week pregnancy sac, too much information maybe, but I’m all for being very honest and raising awareness. Also being REAL. It was the size of my fist and rather large. My hubby was shocked as he had not been with me when I passed our 3rd MC at the hospital. His comment at the time was “I just wanna stay at home and look at it all day!” We bagged it up and I took it to the hospital, another thing no one really talks about and is a very lonely place to be!
This post is very long, but I felt it all needs to be said! If you are still reading this and going through something similar it’s important to know you are not alone! 2 % of pregnant women experience two pregnancy losses in a row, and only about 1% have three consecutive pregnancy losses.Wow! we are in the 1% to which in itself is another traumatic slap in the face.
Our outcome is we are still trying and I’m still on medications to hopefully treat my high NK cells. I try to remain positive but everyday is different! Some are easier than others! some are still very dark days! There is no manual for grief! One thing I can come away learning is what doesn’t kill you brings you closer as a couple or hopefully! We remain strong and focused on getting our rainbow baby.
“I trust my body is doing all it needs to create,grow and deliver a healthy baby” this is a mantra I often say to myself in a moment of doubt and need.
Thank you for reading my journey so far.
Rainbow 🌈 chaser