PLEASE NOTE: SOME DETAILS OF THIS POST MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME. PLEASE READ WITH COMPASSION AND LOVE.
Well, my story begins with my very first pregnancy.
My husband and I were so excited to see that pink line! I think I did three pregnancy tests, just to be sure, as they were quite faint. Only being a day late in my cycle, I figured it was quite early to have a strong test result with home tests and I didn’t think much about it.
As any newly expecting couple, we were thrilled to finally have a baby on the way! It was just over a year after our wedding in 2008 that we were blessed with the news of our first child. I tried to stay quiet about the news but I couldn’t help it – I threw a dinner party with both sides of the family invited and told them the news, plus, of course, telling a few close friends.
I bought a cute pair of white booties with a little yellow duckling – the first keepsake for our baby, intended to be worn in hospital after we had our baby in our arms.
A few weeks after our first appointment with the doctor I noticed a little bit of light pink bleeding. I had no other signs or symptoms of miscarrying. I felt perfectly well and had been feeling the common nausea of ‘morning sickness’, so I thought. Deep inside though I kind of knew that something was wrong.
It was my first pregnancy so I had no first-hand experience, but I just ‘knew’. We rang the doctor and managed to go for an ultrasound that afternoon. The ultrasound picked up nothing. The technician said she would need to do an internal scan to find our baby.
My husband was with me (he’d been at every appointment and check up). He said nothing, just held my hand in silent support, even when I didn’t want him to.
The technician barely had to insert the camera very far. I knew at that moment that our precious baby was on her way out. It was far too low for the baby to even be in my womb anymore.
The first technician called another colleague in to see the screen. They then called a senior tech who also looked. I couldn’t hear anyone talking. No-one said anything to me, not that I remember anyway.
I was allowed off the bed to clean myself up, and I went to the bathroom to find a lot of blood. While I cleaned myself up, I started bawling my eyes out – I finally let my emotions out – on my own, cleaning up my blood loss, in the toilet. I was feeling sick; I don’t know if it was because of the miscarriage or the instinctive knowledge that my baby was leaving me.
Holding myself together was like walking a tightrope as I quietly went back into the room using all my will power to not cry. My husband and the first technician were there. She told us the news, but I don’t remember hearing anything. I’m fairly sure my husband was told to take me home and things would look after themselves. We left the room, tears in my eyes as I tried not to lose it in front of everyone.
My husband was strong and silent, knowing I didn’t want to talk – my eyes were full of tears for the entire drive home. We got home and I finally managed to tell him how sick I was feeling. After the internal scan, things began happening quite quickly.
I was bent over in stomach pains as the miscarriage continued all afternoon. Our scan was mid-afternoon and by dinner I was in agony. As the pain came in waves, I spent the afternoon and a good part of the night either on the toilet, checking to see what was happening or curled up on the couch.
After hours and hours of the couch-toilet-couch-toilet trip, watching more and more blood loss and more and more clots pass, the last excruciating wave of pain happened while I was in the bathroom. A very large clot passed – the size of a large orange. I sat there and looked at it for a long time, yet again alone while I sat there, until it fell and I kept looking at it for the longest time,the large, clotted mass that was protecting my baby.
Without thinking, I flushed.
It was done. I walked out and my husband was right in front of me, like every other trip to the bathroom. Instead of ignoring him like I had been, I flopped into him and cried my heart out. And he cried too. With my baby gone, my stomach pains subsided quite quickly with that hug – the deepest, strongest, most loving hug I had ever felt. I could see the clock over his shoulder. It said 8:05pm. I don’t remember the exact date.
After a few minutes, I pulled it together and told him what had happened, without so much detail. I didn’t want to freak him out too much; I wanted to protect him from the trauma I had just experienced.
The blood loss continued for a few weeks and I went to the hospital for regular blood tests every week to ensure my hormone levels were dropping properly. I hated the hospital, I hated the nurses doing my blood tests; I had never had such a consistently horrible experience. The nurses were rough, completely insensitive and spent most of my visits chatting to each other about trying to get flights for their next holiday. I just wanted them to be a little more caring and gentle – but they just carried on with their job.
Months and months rolled by and I was often plagued with the memory of my baby in the toilet and the guilt of flushing her away. I still re-live that moment, albeit less frequently than before, but it still happens and at completely random and unexpected times - throughout the day, or in my dreams at night. And those little booties are still sitting on our table of family photos. We didn’t know if our baby was a boy or girl, but we decided to name her ‘Paige’ – a favourite name that we had chosen, deciding for ourselves that our baby was a girl.
In 2009, we were again blessed with the excitement (and fear) of that little pink line. Again, only a day or two after missing my cycle, I immediately did some home pregnancy tests. Only two this time. That pink line, strong and healthy! I had no doubts in my mind that this baby would stay with me.
I showed my husband the tests and he didn’t show a speck of worry or concern. He was simply happy that we were pregnant! We were much more reserved about sharing the news and waited until we reached 12 weeks before sharing with anyone.
Over those 12 weeks, I was constantly checking myself in the bathroom for any signs of blood, sometimes several times a day. Baby was fine, his heartbeat was strong, and the worry slowly subsided the further the pregnancy progressed.Soon my worries were mostly replaced with the discomforts of being heavily pregnant.
On the 1st June 2010, we had a beautiful baby boy in our arms. Our rainbow baby, Simon, was the most perfect baby we could have imagined and we were in love. Thoughts still came to the surface about Paige but we didn’t dwell if we could help it. We knew our baby girl was being looked after in heaven and God would care for her better than anyone could, even us.
The pain, grief and recurring memories faded even further and on the 31st May 2012 – almost 2 years exactly – we welcomed baby Connor to our family as well. Another perfectly perfect baby boy and we continued looking after our boys, always remembering that our Paige was not there.
My story doesn’t end here, with the happy family of two healthy boys, but continues with more heartbreak. In 2013, we discovered another baby was blessed to be ours, but again, we would miscarry and this time it would be much more difficult, much more painful and even harder to bear as I struggled to look after my two young boys.
Please wait for Part II in the next blog post. As this has already been quite long, the next blog post will continue my story ...