My husband and I felt very lucky. We managed to fall pregnant about 3 months after we started trying and were ecstatic. I was nervous in the first weeks but scans in week 6 and week 9 showed a strong, healthy heart beat and baby, I began to relax. My husband I went to our 12 week scan excited and ready to tell more people.
I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t see the little flutter that I had seen so easily in the 9 week scan. At the point when the sonographer said, “I’m really sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat”, everything shifted. In that second, the hopes and the dreams we had as a family of 3 dissipated. The baby was measuring 11w5d. I had a lot of difficulty comprehending why this had happened. My friends who had experienced miscarriages had early indicators so I thought that was always the case. There was no warning for us. A midwife later said to me that the body is just really good at working out what is viable and what isn’t. I felt like a failure but hearing this was re-framed the loss for me in those early days.
I had a D&C the same day. I remember sitting at a cafe the morning after and hearing a baby cry behind me. I remember feeling angry at the baby and then sad. Really sad. I sat there silently with uncontrollable tears rolling down my cheeks. It wouldn’t be the last time that would happen.
I had a new job to start in 3 days time and a practicum student shadowing me the following week. We had a house to renovate. My husband and I just kept going. That was a 9 months ago and while we kept going, the grief nearly swallowed me whole. I I think it about everyday and have felt suffocated by it at times. I have always felt that I am a resilient person and not being able to “bounce back” from this really bothered me. I felt stuck and felt like it was something I should have already moved on from.
I had to have a repeat D&C done 3 months after the initial procedure because of some retained product of conception and we have had difficulty conceiving again. What was initially so easy now feels really difficult.
My husband grieved very differently to me and I understood that. At times, I felt alone in the grief though. We chatted the other day and he told me that he initially thought, ‘that’s OK. We’ll just try again’. However, now that it has taken longer than anticipated he has felt the grief and loss of what could have been. He thinks about the 2 month old we could have now and that makes him sad.
I have felt a huge range of emotions and tried a lot of different ways to cope with it. Some of which have been great. Some days are easier than others but 9 months on, I’m starting to feel like my old, bubbly self. I’m still not the same person I was this time last year but that’s OK. Sometimes a second can do that. It can change you – for better and for worse.