Today I’m 15 weeks pregnant. Except I’m not. As of 9am this morning my womb is empty and my baby gone.
I am no stranger to the heartache of miscarriage, but I really thought things were going to be ok this time. This is my first second trimester loss and it is utterly devastating.
On Monday, 2 days ago, I went in to the hospital for a routine appointment. I am classed as high risk due to my antiphospholipid syndrome and my thyroid disorder. At 15 weeks it’s a little early to hear the baby on the doppler but the consultant said she’d try anyway. She couldn’t find a heartbeat, but told me it didn’t mean anything necessarily. Diligently, to reassure me and bearing in mind my history she offered to send me round for a quick scan so that I could see the heartbeat before I went home.
2 weeks ago I had the Nuchal Translucency Scan. It was my 3rd scan as they were monitoring me closely. Baby was so active and wriggly. The sonographer tutted a lot as the baby wouldn’t cooperate and was moving so much that they couldn’t get an accurate measurement to assess my risk of Downs. Eventually after 2 hours, quite a bit of sugar and a lot of jiggling about they got the measurement we needed and I was classed low risk for Downs and Trisomy 13/18.
I wasn’t nervous or worried as I waited for the “bonus” scan on Monday. I know how unreliable dopplers can be, having panicked myself during my last pregnancy with a home doppler. As I went in to the ultrasound room with the registrar all I was worried about was getting back to work as soon as possible.
I knew something wasn’t quite right as he didn’t show me the heart straight away. It’s standard practice that they look for it first and show you as soon as possible. After a few minutes he went to fetch his colleague. My heart started to race. The consultant looked at the ultrasound as the registrar re scanned me. All the while he asked me questions about my previous losses. After 5 minutes he turned to me and said “I’m sorry, we can’t find a heart beat”.
I crumpled. The news was so devastating. In a blur I phoned my partner and my family and the consultant talked me through my options. I was just on the cusp of being able to opt for surgery or I could take some tablets and miscarry the baby “naturally”. With the baby measuring 9cm I didn’t think I could cope with essentially giving birth and seeing my tiny tiny baby. I opted for surgery which was booked for a few days later, today.
They call it a silent miscarriage. My body didn’t tell me that anything was wrong. My baby died and I didn’t know. Its hard not to wonder what I could have done differently. It’s hard not to feel like my body failed my baby, that I, in some way, failed my baby. The physical healing will take a few days. The emotional healing for both my partner and me will take a lot longer.