That’s still my baby.
I remember it so vividly, waking up to a smear of red blood in my pants, around 5 weeks pregnant,
Googling ‘blood at 5 weeks pregnant.’ Choosing to avoid all miscarriage topics and look at the positive posts.
Friends saying ‘it’s probably just implantation’, ‘it could be a burst blood vessel’, ‘have you had sex? It could be that’ not one wanting to mention the M word.Although no doubt its the first thing that came to mind.
I phoned my early pregnancy unit and the soonest they could see me was 5 days away, the blood continued, I began to lose clots, every clot I lost I was examining to see if I could see a small sac of any kind. Convinced by this point, I’d lost my baby.
Too early to explain to people – I carried on going to work at my new job like everything was absolutely fine! Going to the same toilet I’d taken my pregnancy test in nearly 2 weeks before – to now change my pad and examine clots and be sick, was it pregnancy sickness… or worry?
The scan day came and against all of what I’d thought, there was a happy baby there, heartbeat and all. I couldn’t believe it. How could a teeny tiny baby still be there after all that blood – a miracle.
The bleeding continued, every clot I was still examining, I was still being sick, I squeezed my boobs daily, to check they still hurt. I paid for a private scan. I couldn’t bear the thought that I may have passed my baby and not realised. It was a miracle… 8.5 weeks full of blood and clots, my baby STILL there – heart STILL beating.
9 weeks came, my follow up scan at the early pregnancy unit and I just didn’t feel sick. Everything google told me was ‘hormones calm and sickness subsides’. I was optimistic…
But on edge.
My mom came to the appointment, my other half had already taken too much time off work. She waited in the waiting area whilst I was scanned.
I could sense it, staring at the ceiling, amongst the sonographer and health care assistant… Something was wrong. It wasn’t the usual jolly turn-the-screen-around- here’a-your-baby-type scan. Everything seemed to be slow motion. ‘your baby is here- can you see the heartbeat flickering? It’s going very slow, I’m going to book you in with a consultant for a review now.’
I ambled into the waiting room for the consultant where the radio was on low, women all sitting round with partners and just me… Staring into space with my mom… Not saying a word. I got called through, and he said ‘so what would you like to ask? ‘
‘Well… I’m unsure, the sonographer sent me here as I’ve been bleeding for the whole of my pregnancy and my babies heartrate is slow.’
He decided to take me to a scan room and scan me himself, ‘ah, I can see, your baby is only doing half the amount of beats it should be- I’m afraid to tell you but-‘
‘Its dying. Isn’t it. My baby’s dying’
‘I’m really sorry.’
I couldn’t really hear anything after those words. I got some ‘what to expect’ leaflets shoved into my hands – and I sent the blunt message to my other half. ‘The baby is dying’.
And that was it. The car journey home was silent. I spent £4 at the local shop on batteries for my doppler, trying to get the babies heartbeat at home, I wanted to know whether he or she was still there. I tried for hours. I cried for hours. I never knew whether the baby had already died, whether I’d already passed her. I never knew. I fished giant clots out of the toilet checking for my baby.
And then. Whilst walking the dog, I felt a pop. I waddled to the closest house I knew. My moms.
I ran upstairs, and there it was, in my pants. The baby. What are you expected to do at this point? I wrapped it in toilet paper and took it home, buried it under my little tree.
The whole experience BROKE ME. And still I carried on as normal. Like nothing had happened. I heard phrases like ‘you can always try again’.
‘It probably had a problem, that’s why you lost it.’
‘Perhaps now just isn’t the right time.’
‘Let your body heal.’
But nobody acknowledged the fact, that I’d just lost my baby, the baby I’d planned a Cosatto pushchair for. The baby that would be around 6 months at Christmas. The perfect age gap for his or her big brother. It was all forgotten about. But not to me, to me – it’s still my baby.
So please don’t shy away from mothers who’ve lost their babies, ask questions, what was the babies name, is there anything you can do, just acknowledge that there was a baby that is no longer there.
3 weeks. 3 months.6 months. 9 months.it doesn’t matter, it’s still your baby.
Dedicated to Sydney, and all the other angel babies gone but never forgotten.