Dealing with Pregnancy Loss
Truth be told, there is no real way to 'deal' with pregnancy loss. Its one of those things that happens, its out of our control, no matter what we did or what we could have done better would have stopped it from happening. I often sit and think, why me? why is it always me! But its not just me. 40 percent of pregnancies end within the first 12 weeks (most before a woman even knows she's pregnant). That is such a massive number, I didn't ever think that was the case. I think its because its so 'hush hush' and never a topic that is discussed.
Before I became pregnant with Bowie, I had an ectopic pregnancy, this is where the egg is fertilised and implants outside of the uterus. It is very dangerous and can be life threatening, so its always good to know the signs, and to get checked out early on if you think it could have happened to you. The main symptoms are similar to a normal miscarriage, bleeding, pain usually on one side of the abdomen and cramping, also shoulder pain! The embryo is still developing as if it is a healthy pregnancy, so the majority of the time, your body will still be creating pregnancy hormones and giving you normal pregnancy symptoms, so don't let this put you off getting checked out. A woman knows her own body, if you have even a incline that something is wrong, PLEASE go and get it checked.
When I suffered the ectopic I thought I was fine mentally, i had been googling miscarriage on the first month of trying for a baby and read everywhere that it was normal to miscarry your first time. I felt myself getting frustrated more easily than normal, and snapping at my friends and family whenever they asked if I was ok, because i thought I was. I also thought it would be stupid to think any different because it was so early on, it wasn't even a 'real' baby yet. I was so wrong! I was grieving, hard. I spent hours and hours trawling the internet for posts on how quickly people became pregnant after miscarriage, It seemed to be that the first 6 weeks following a miscarriage was extremely high fertility and a huge increase in the chance to conceive successfully. So that was it, my mind went straight onto making it happen. I got straight back to tracking my ovulation (bearing in mind I hadn't had a period yet) and hoped for the best. Luckily enough, we fell pregnant straight away. Now I definitely am not a doctor, so I don't know if this was definitely due to the increase in fertility or just a coincidence, but it seemed to work for me. I had a healthy baby growing inside of me and I thought life was good. Until it wasn't. Until I realised I actually wasn't over the loss of the first pregnancy. Yes, I was pregnant again and I was ecstatic, but it was still in the back of my mind, eating away at me.
I realised, actually, I needed to grieve, I needed to talk and I needed to accept that at that time, that place, that moment of my life, it wasn't right. The universe always has a plan, and sometimes its hard to understand what that plan is and why things happen the way they do, causing us such upset.
Fast forward two years.
I now have healthy, beautiful, 14 month old boy, Bowie. He keeps me on my toes! But we're ready as a family for baby number 2! Yes, last month we had our first meetup for insemination. I was pumped! I had been gifted the most amazing fertility monitor, Lotus Fertility Monitor, which tracks your hormones throughout your cycle, giving you the exact day that you need to inseminate for optimal chance to conceive. I was SURE it was going to work, I just had a feeling.
The two week wait was insanely long, and I did the usual peeing on a stick every day from 8dpo. It hit 11dpo and I got a faint positive, OMG YES, I'm pregnant! I knew it was my month! The symptoms hit me like a brick the same day, sore boobs, waves of nausea and extreme tiredness. Each day my line got stronger until 14dpo, I decided it was time to take my digital test. Negative. What? Surely not? I went and bought a further 4 stick tests which all still had a clear line. I'll wait a few days and test again. 17dpo arrived and i tested again. Negative. Not Pregnant. I was so confused, so frustrated, I had spent over £100 on tests and they all said I was pregnant! I called up the helpline for my digital test and they said my HCG levels were not strong enough yet and to try again in two days. I'm a self confessed, internet expert on pregnancy, and I know that the HCG hormone doubles every 2 days, so there's no way that I wouldn't have hit the 25mlu threshold yet, especially since I had been getting positive tests for over a week!
I was so frustrated, but still, so sure I was pregnant! I went out to buy some more tests and decided to wait another 2 days and try again.
That evening, my period arrived, accompanied by cramping. That was it. That horrible rush of dread and guilt washed over me. What had i done wrong this time, why is it me again. That quickly turned into one of those fake laughs where you know if you don't laugh you will cry. I came out of the bathroom and told my wife 'I've come on my period' and i laughed it off with 'oh well its early so i was only a clump of cells'. But really I was holding a frog in my throat. I just wanted to go to bed and cry and cry and never wake up. Being on this fertility journey on social media is good sometimes, but others its awful, I knew I'd have to have that conversation of I've lost the pregnancy' and everyone say how sorry they are. But I didn't care. I don't want to hear it.. Again i feel like an incompetent mother, unable to carry a pregnancy. Obviously I have something wrong in my genes, maybe its because I'm over 30 now and I'm over weight. The midwives always say you're a risk when you hit that age and a certain weight. Is that it? Will I never get to feel those little kicks in my tummy or spend 4 months curled over a toilet. What I'd give to be sick right now for a year straight to have that baby at the end.
Its just happening all over again, I know I'll get through, and I know in a weeks time it will be time to try again, and maybe this time will be like the last.
But it still hurts, like hell. And its okay to be sad, its okay to feel incompetent, its okay to beat myself up, because deep down I know it wasn't meant to be, and the universe has my life in its hands. If its meant to happen it will.
But for now, I'm going to let myself hurt and then, let myself heal, again <3