An unexpected miscarriage

"It has been one week since my world came crashing down!"

This time last week I was having a very normal, boring day at work when my bladder was calling for the bathroom once again. So far I had a pretty uneventful and easy 14 week pregnancy. Besides from extreme exhaustion, I had hardly any morning sickness, only a few moments of nausea here and there.

At the end of January we went for our 12 week scan where our little one's heartbeat was strong and he/she was growing nicely and our Down Syndrome screening went well. However, 3 days later while at work I had a sudden bleed, it was extremely brief and had stopped by the time I got to my Gynae's room 30 minutes later.  He checked everything, baby was still very happy and everything else looked normal and he put it down to the Placenta perhaps embedding itself further into my uterus. But nothing to worry about.

Then two weeks later I went to the loo once again (my bladder was so far my only source of complaint as I was going to the loo more times than I could keep count). This time, however there was no blood but a very strange long, slightly solid, mucous thing - roughly 15 cm in length. I immediately phoned my sister to ask her if she thought it was normal as she's a Mother of 2 and been through it all before. She said she had never seen anything like that during her pregnancies but had heard of women losing their mucous plug and then needing a stitch to keep their cervix closed.

I immediately phoned my gynae who unfortunately was stuck in surgery and would then be away for the weekend, however I could call his colleague and try get an appointment with him. I did just that and went straight to see him. He scanned my tummy and everything seemed fine with our baby, he was lying in the right position and looked very happy (according to the doc). He then did an internal scan and his reaction was very different.

He was concerned as my cervix had definitely started to open and my membranes surrounding the baby were being exposed to the vaginal environment. He said I wasn't in labour as my cervix hadn't started to shorten despite being open. He booked me into hospital straight away as he wanted me flat on my back and he would then do a procedure in the morning where they put in a stitch to keep your cervix closed. 

An incompetent cervix

Although he said it was not an ideal situation he never once mentioned that I could miscarry and as I had never heard of any of what was happening to me I didn't think I had to worry. So off I went to admissions and was booked in to a general ward as the maternity ward had no space. I had been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix and put on antibiotics as a precautionary measure. At about 3:30am Saturday morning, my world came crashing to a panicky halt! I went to turn over in my bed and suddenly felt like I had 2 bubbles moving in my pelvic area and then a gush of liquid. I was so frightened I quickly got up in a panic to go the toilet as I thought it was blood. It wasn't blood but a clear liquid that had now drenched my pyjamas, so I rushed back to my bed and called the nurse. I was absolutely taken aback when the nurse came and after telling her what happened, she looked blankly back at me and said, "And so..." I snapped back at her, "well I'm 14 weeks pregnant, that can't be normal!?!" She had assumed that I wet myself and couldn't understand why I didn't just change my pyjamas.

Thankfully they called a maternity sister who then contacted the doctor, who came immediately. I was taken to his rooms downstairs and as soon as he put the scan on I knew it was too late. Our baby had moved into my vaginal passage already and there was nothing he could do. My husband was on his way to the hospital, and it was almost as if I switched off when the Doctor told me my baby was no longer. I felt completely numb, as if this couldn't possibly be happening to me. My husband was devastated, how could this happen to us, we had thought that since we were over the first trimester it would be plain sailing from then on. The doctor recommended that I try 'deliver' naturally as this would cause less problems to my uterus. About 6 hours later, after being put on a drip to bring on contractions, the Doctor was able to pull out our almost perfectly formed tiny little boy. I had to have a D&C anyway, as the placenta had broken off and he thought I had been through enough and the risk to my uterus was now minimal as everything had dislodged itself.

I have been through all the emotions of guilt, anger, sadness and then back again. How could my body let me down so terribly? And the worst is that it is not something one can ever control of their body, an incompetent cervix cannot be pre-diagnosed until you've had a miscarriage and they almost always happen during your 2nd trimester. The only glimmer of hope I feel is that now with any future pregnancies I will be monitored from early on for the condition and as soon as I pass the 12 week mark they will immediately put a stitch in to avoid this happening again.

A broken heart

I obviously know that I wasn't far enough along for my foetus to be classified as a baby, however my loss and my broken heart don't understand the difference. I've had so many people who try console you by saying that we should be thankful it happened now and not further along during the pregnancy and people sharing their experiences of just that happening to them. And with no disrespect I just want to tell them that what they are saying just feels dismissive. I have no idea what level their pain and loss were, I only know my feelings of loss and pain and right now they are overwhelming and sometimes suffocating. I'm sure it would be much worse if I was further along, however I only know what I'm going through now and telling me it was worse for you doesn't make me feel any better. I would never dismiss someone who was 5 weeks and miscarried, as only they know the pain they are going through. We all share a common heartbreak, however each individual bonds to their unborn baby/foetus at different times and in different measures.

I have found that reading others experiences has made me feel like I'm not alone. Its still early days for my husband and I, however with the wonderful support of our family and friends and counselling sessions we will hopefully emerge from this stronger. My husband has been absolutely amazing and if anything positive can be said about what happened, it's that I love him even more now than I did before!

Have you experienced a miscarriage? How did you deal with the loss?

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