This is my miscarriage story. I felt like writing it all out today. Getting it out. Please don't feel the need to read it. I don't know if it will help anyone.
I'm about to birth my first child and it's been wonderful, wonderful. But doctors and ultrasound technicians ask how many pregnancies you've had, not how many babies. So occasionally this little reminder comes up. This is my second pregnancy. No, no children. And it's a year today.
It's one year today since our first ever ultrasound. One year, around about now actually where I was not sure why I was feeling so nervous instead of excited. I was about to see my baby.
It took the technician a little while to find him/her. Checking ovaries and fallopian tubs first. And then there. On the screen. A minuscule little shape resting. Actually looking very serene, tucked as if in a hammock. And I think Tim said wow that looks like a little person - there they are. And the click click click of the technicians fingers on keyboard and mouse said nothing. And the mmm of the technician said nothing.
And then she asked me to empty my bladder (they tell you to come with a full bladder) because she couldn't get a heart beat. And that little resting figure was very, very ... serene. I went to the loo with nothing going through my mind. Nothing, I just concentrated on breathing.
I came back and lay down again. More cold jelly.
No I cant find a heartbeat, I'm just going to get my superior.
I don't know if Tim and I talked. Just nothing, just breathing.
She came in, took an infinitesimal look. I'm sorry, handed me a box of tissues.
She found out my GP and said she would call and make an appointment for me. And then Tim and I were left in that room for I don't know how long. I don't know if we talked. I honestly don't remember. I cried. I think he did too.
She said my GP would see me at 11. And Tim paid the $250 bill at the front counter, me standing mute beside him. No cute print outs. Tim steered me back to our car.
We drove home, my brain felt tight. We got in the house and then I sobbed. I think I even threw myself across our bed, wailing. Which seems a little cliched really, but that's how it was.
My GP squeezed us in and let her other appointments wait as she explained our options.
1. Wait and let things take their natural course.
2. Make a time to take a pill and hurry the natural course along.
3. D&C. A day surgery operation under general anaesthetic to have everything... cleaned out.
I knew that little one was almost 5 centimetres long. There was no way I could stomach letting things take their natural course. It may sound callous or something but on reflection I feel lucky not to have miscarried that other way - in a horror shock of blood and the tiny body of our happiness. I don't know if it's like that really obviously, but that's what was flashing through my head.
Our GP didn't charge us for the appointment, nor the follow up. She arranged the meeting with the hospital gyno that afternoon and the surgery appointment the next day.
Tim and I went to the park across the road and called a few people. I had a hard time getting through to my mum who was travelling back in a car with my brother and dad from the music festival we had all been at, they were in and out of signal. But I did, via my brothers phone. The rest of that car journey would have been hard for them.
There was no reason for it to happen. It just does.
We texted the friends that knew, and I said that I didn't want to be called. I didn't know what to say. I imagined no one else did either. These things are easier written down sometimes.
Tim and I went and got lunch at the fancy place in town. We didn't feel like going home. I remember what I ate. A vegetarian salad and a giant, slightly stale macaron. Tim asked if I wanted a drink but I didn't feel like it.
The gyno at the hospital took ages to see me. Poor overworked people. He explained the procedure, I signed paperwork. He gave me a note for work. He was sweet and said he was sure he'd see me in the maternity ward this time next year. We went home. I booked my sick leave. Tim held me lots. Some friends dropped round flowers. But it was hard, because what do you say? And I felt ill, because there was something dead inside me. Thats a strange thing to comprehend. Even stranger than having something living inside you.
And through your head you're going why me? why me? What did I do wrong? I did everything I was supposed to do. We planned, we took vitamins, we didn't drink, we didn't smoke. Is this what it's going to be like? Fertility issues stretch out in your imagination.
Mum made us dinner, which I had late as I wasn't allowed to eat or drink from midnight. I asked for shepherds pie. The ultimate comfort food in my opinion. She also brought round a tub of maggie beer ice cream. True to form I remember the details of the food clearly.
The next day we went through day surgery procedures. I kept my cool.
Things I remember.
Being in a little private curtained off bed instead of in a chair in the waiting room like all the other day surgery patients.
Having a student doctor put in the canulla. It really hurt and she was awkwardly cheerful.
Being in so much "period pain" from the gel they put inside you to dilate your cervix that I was given some paracetamol to help. It didn't, but the sip of water that came with it was heaven.
The surgeon being rushed and managing to squeeze me in before lunch.
Being separated from Tim as I was wheeled out to the surgery corridor and bursting into floods of tears.
The anaesthetist with a german accent and the most incredible clear blue eyes who gave me tissues and didn't ask why I was crying.
The surgeon meeting me and asking if I was crying because I was scared.
"No, I'm upset."
Nothing. Upon reflection he probably tries to distance himself from this stuff too.
Into the surgery room and having to get myself from the bed I was in onto the operating table and realising that there was a huge blood stain underneath me and I was surrounded by men.
Fighting to control myself, I found the anaesthetists eyes as he stood above me and I just stared into his blue blue eyes and breathed and he held my gaze and gave me his calmness.
After that surgery you loose a fair bit of blood. I was wheeled out of hospital because I was so woozy and I stayed at home for a week before facing the year of new students at work.
We were sent beautiful cards and gifts and I tried to work out what to do with the stuff. The positive pregnancy test, the notebook of how I was feeling. The research I had done into baby gear and birth.
A few things are stashed in a little box. And some are hidden in a folder out of sight and mind on the computer. The photos of me, hands on my flat tummy. The videos of our (awesome) announcements to my family and Tim's family.
Twelve friends and acquaintances announced their pregnancies between then and my falling pregnant again. Twelve is a lot in 4 months. Each felt like a little twist in my heart. But I also discovered at least a quarter of those people had lost pregnancies too. I wasn't as alone as I felt. But you do still feel alone. I don't think that can be helped. It's so hard to guard your heart. A little part of me is terrified of loosing this one - at some point. Pool drowning! SIDs! car accidents! flash through my brain occasionally. I don't think I'm alone in this?
But I picture pulling my little one up from inside me into my arms and having them there. And it fills me with unspeakable joy.
Any day now little one.