Welcome back to the second week of the “Share Your Story” series. Last week I shared my story. It was the first time I had ever spoken about what had happened to us when we had our miscarriage.
This week I have the lovely Melanie from Fraser’s Fun House sharing her story on reoccurring miscarriage.
Melanie is a fun, slightly crazy 30–something Cumbrian Stay At Home Mum to her three ‘adorable’ children. She has a passion for writing which inspired to start her blog Fraser’s Fun House in October 2017. She writes about everything and anything to do with family life as well as her other passions which include books and Christmas! When not blogging she enjoys visiting the loo without an audience and picking up after her family!
(We hear you Melanie)
Anyway, without further ado, let me hand you over to the lovely lady herself.
When I met and married my second husband I already had two children from my previous marriage and to be honest I had always thought they would be my last. However once we had been married a couple of years we decided to try for a child together and I had my faithful Mirena coil removed. We truly couldn’t believe our luck when I fell pregnant the very first month of trying – although I shouldn’t have been surprised as I fell quickly with both the girls!
I took a couple of tests just to be sure and was over the moon to see that all important second line appeared as strong as an ox! Literally nothing could wipe the smile from our faces knowing that we were keeping such a huge exciting secret! Weeks went by until one morning on a trip to the loo at work I discovered some spotting when I wiped. To a lot of people this would have been quite alarming, and don’t get me wrong I spent the rest of the day on edge making frequent trips to the toilet. However when I was expecting my second child I had also experienced spotting which had continued for a couple of weeks despite a scan revealing all was well – I also discovered that both my Mum and Auntie had experienced this so thought perhaps it was something genetic?
I contacted the doctor on the day I discovered the spotting and was advised to take it easy and they would be in touch with an appointment time for us to have an early scan at the hospital. After a couple of agony filled days that seemed to last forever we arrived at the hospital and sat in the waiting room surrounded by happily pregnant Mother’s which to be honest was the last place I wanted to be when I was so anxious and worried about my own pregnancy. Eventually we were called and I laid down on the bed ready for my ultrasound. The sonographer seemed to scan my belly for an eternity before asking if she could perform an internal scan to which I agreed – this she said was to see if I was earlier on in my pregnancy than I first thought so a belly scan may not show anything. Even before doing the internal scan I knew deep down that my pregnancy had ended as I was certain of my dates and if viable should have been seen on a regular scan.
After the scan she informed me that I had in fact miscarried and advised me to go home and treat it as a heavy period and be in touch if there were any concerns. She may as well have ripped my heart out with her bare hands and popped it in a doggy bag for me to take home. To hear your much wanted ‘baby’ referred to as a heavy period was heartbreaking. Yes the pregnancy was still at an early stage, but when you discover you are pregnant you don’t just think about having a baby it goes beyond that. For me hearing those words all of those hopes, dreams and memories I harboured for my ‘child’ were dashed and I was bereft.
Luckily the scan had been scheduled for a time when the girls were at school so after driving home it was all I could do to muster the strength to crawl into bed and cry until I could cry no more, before having to put my game face on for the kids who knew nothing about it. We were both heartbroken and initially I felt that I couldn’t try again ever as I couldn’t face that kind of pain again.
After the miscarriage we talked to close friends and family about it and it was only then that we realised just how common our situation is and how little it is talked about until you have actually been through the experience. Of course when I was pregnant with the girls I was aware of the risks and complications that can arise at any time throughout a pregnancy but I had been terribly naive and extremely fortunate to have relatively problem free pregnancies.
Despite originally not even wanting to contemplate trying to conceive again after a few months we decided to give it another go. Again relatively quickly I fell pregnant and whilst we were happy there was definitely a cloud casting a shadow over our happiness and we spent weeks on edge – I spent a lot of that time in the loo checking. We got past the stage we had reached first time round and the tension eased a little. It didn’t’t last long as a few days later the spotting started again. This time something in me just knew it was over – call it instinct if you will. I called the doctor and explained and it felt like we were trapped in the worst version of Groundhog Day possible.
Again we had lost our ‘baby’ and this time it hit me much harder. I carried on with my day-to-day trying to ignore the sound of my heart breaking until the day that a colleague announced his wife was expecting a baby which would be due around the same time as I would have been. Of course I was happy for them, a new life is something to celebrate, however I went home and knew I needed to take a break and get some help. I spoke to the doctor on the phone and he signed me off work to allow me to take time out. I have suffered with anxiety and bouts of depression for as long as I can remember and I just seemed to fall into the black hole again.
With help and support I managed to get through what was a really bleak time for me and get myself back to work and move on – if that’s ever really possible. We decided at this point to not actively try but to see what happened and not get too hung up on things. Having asked after the second miscarriage about testing to see if there was a problem we were told that the NHS don’t investigate until you have had three losses, which was really hard as we had no idea if there was a problem that would mean any trying would be fruitless and end in exactly the same way.
The relaxed approach obviously worked as we discovered I was expecting again and to cut a long story short I miscarried once more bringing our number to that magical 3. Feeling like we had been to hell and back, we decided we really couldn’t do it anymore and that was it. However a month later, after having that familiar queasy feeling, I decided to take a test and to my shock it came back positive! We couldn’t believe it and after a visit with the doctor she suggested there could be a possibility it was the same pregnancy we thought we had lost the previous month. Again we were booked for an early scan to determine just how far along I was. The appointment was booked for a couple of weeks time which just felt like forever. We got to the date and despite frequent checking there was no spotting in sight which we took to be a good sign.
We arrived for the scan and were shown into the scanning room, our anxiety was through the roof, we had been here before and had our dreams dashed. The warm jelly went on and the sonographer started to move the scanner on my belly. Eyes glued to the monitor it was immediately obvious that something was there – it was small but could clearly be seen. I held my breath for an age whilst she took measurements and fiddled with the machine before she turned to us and said that the measurements indicated this was a new pregnancy and everything looked good so far!We were of course delighted, but knew how far we still had to go. We made another appointment for our 12 week scan and it was a waiting game.
Before we knew it we were back in the very same waiting room for our 12 week scan – it was actually 13 by the time we went – and the nerves were there in full force. I spent the entire time in the waiting room picking the skin next to my nails – something I do when my anxiety is high – and barely speaking to each other. As before when the scanner was placed on my belly we could see something and even better it was baby shaped! After all the checks we were again told everything looked good. Armed with our precious scan photos we more or less skipped to the car delighted to have made it past that all important 12 week stage. Also we were given the due date of 9th September which was the same as the first pregnancy we had lost – it had to be fate!
We were extremely blessed that our fourth pregnancy was a sticky one and our little boy arrived on the 5th September, four days before his due date. The pregnancy wasn’t easy though and I can’t say I truly enjoyed any of it as my anxiety about the possibility of miscarriage denied me any pleasure. I can honestly say I visited the loo at least once an hour during waking hours and regularly woke during the night scurrying to the bathroom to check then double-check I wasn’t bleeding. I also developed a back problem late in my pregnancy which saw me barely able to walk from the bed to the loo for the last 6 weeks – we discovered months later that I had actually slipped a number of discs in my back, but he was worth every minute of pain.
I wanted to share my story of recurrent miscarriage with you to tell you that if you have ben affected by this issue you’re not alone. If you are struggling to cope with your emotions, reach out to a GP or professional for help or speak to a friend or family member please don’t suffer alone. I feel genuinely blessed to have my little rainbow baby and I look at him every day, pinching myself at just how lucky I am, he is our little miracle.
Thank you so much for sharing your story Melanie. Miscarriage is hard to talk about but the more people who do talk about it the less taboo it will become. I’m glad you got your rainbow.