Reoccurring miscarriage — the reality. The fourth time was the worst, there was no joy, no secret looks over the dinner table, no high fiving as we passed in the hallway, just a simple acknowledgment.
“It’s positive”
“Oh, okay”
And that was it, we didn’t talk about it, we never made any plans, we allowed ourselves no joy.
We just carried on as normal.
It’s not that we were not happy it’s just we had been down this road a few times before, joy just makes it harder, plans make it hurt more, we thought that if we didn’t acknowledge it then it wouldn’t hurt when it didn’t work out
We were so so wrong
I lost the baby at 8 weeks, it was my fourth miscarriage, my second for that year.
Each time has been so unbelievably different,
The first time we hadn’t been together very long and naturally we were wrapped up in this whirlpool of love and happiness. I called nick as soon as there was the faintest hint of a second line.
“It’s positive!”
“Seriously?”
”Yep”
”absolutely? No bullshit?”
”yes yes yes, you are going to be a dad!!!
Looking back it was all wrong, we had only been together a few months, we lived in different towns, I had only met his family twice. It was all so impractical but we were so happy anyway. We did everything we shouldn’t, we made plans, we picked names and we told a bucket load of people.
Life was sunshine and roses and the possibility that I could miscarry never even entered our minds.
It should have because I did, I was seven weeks and I was commuting every weekend 5 hours to spend time with nick, thankfully I was with him when it happened. I called the local medical helpline and they told me to go to the hospital. The doctor at the hospital shrugged his shoulders and said “these things happen “and that was it.
Dream over.
I cried for days, nick held me night after night as I sobbed. I got all the usual lines from friends and family “there was probably something wrong with it” “better now than later” “it was barely even a baby yet” but it was a baby, it was my baby, the very second I saw that second line appear I knew my life was about to change, 60 seconds after that line appeared I had thought about logistics, I had thought about names, I had decided I wanted a boy, I had this rough idea about how my life was going to pan out
And then the doctor shrugged and said “these things happen”
The Second time was worse, my daughter was 4 months old and although part of me was thinking – holy shit what have you done, there was this other part that kept thinking wow this is awesome. My kids will grow up so close, I can do this!
We decided to keep this one under wraps “just in case “but fate had other ideas. My nana was in hospital and things looked grim, it was a slow steep decline and a very stressful situation. The brandy was being passed around after the priest had performed the last rights, I instinctively declined and with that everyone was on to me, I happily came clean. I was about eight weeks and I had just had a successful pregnancy so what was the harm.
It was one of the last things I told my nana, she held my hand and although she was barely able to breathe at this stage she managed to smile and say “look after yourself“ and I vowed that I would.
A few weeks after the funeral I headed off to my first ultrasound, I had estimated that I was around 10 weeks by then, I took my sister along for moral support.
When I saw that little squishy blob on the screen I was ecstatic and once again I fell desperately in love. The technician smiled and “you are 8 weeks and 1 day congratulations!” my heart sank I knew I was much further along than eight weeks. It was impossible that I could be anything less than 10 weeks, on the drive home I looked at my sister and said “my baby is dead, I know it” I had another ultrasound two weeks later and sure enough the baby was still measuring eight weeks.
It’s called a missed miscarriage, where the baby passes away but my body hadn’t (or didn’t want to) realize.
A few days later my body finally got the message and the symptoms started, I felt so ashamed of myself and stupid for telling so many people, I was consumed by this irrational sense of unjust, I loathed pregnant people. I didn’t leave my house for weeks in case I bumped into someone that thought I was still pregnant. I laid awake at night berating myself because my nana died thinking I was pregnant.
And I did the maths, the baby had “passed” the day after nana had died, I blamed myself, was it the stress? Did I take on to much? Did I accidently eat something I shouldn’t?
This feeling of blame lasted months
It was New Year’s Day when I had my first inkling that I was pregnant again, I messaged my sister with a big “IM PREGNANT!!!” and she replied “ME TOO!!”
Our babies were going to be born a week apart, this time we told only close family and although we were still excited we kept it to a minimum. I miscarried at 8 weeks again.
I couldn’t believe it, I was so extraordinarily angry, I had this rage that had built up inside me that was burning a hole in my heart, why me? What had I done wrong to deserve this again? What’s wrong with me?
I looked at nick and said “I can’t do this, I’m not doing this ever again, how I am going to get through this. Every time I see my sister I’m going to be reminded all over again”
I became completely irrational I cursed all my dead relatives, I figured if there was a heaven then why didn’t someone put in a word with the big guy and stop this from happening. I cursed all the useless parents I knew and scolded them in my head for no cherishing their own kids, I became obsessed with keeping my own children safe, sleeping with them at night, hovering in the playground. I just couldn’t bear to feel loss again.
I asked my sister not to share any pregnancy information with me and then I loathed myself for doing it.
I just couldn’t find peace.
I was restless.
So I got pregnant again.
And that was the fourth time I miscarried.
The fourth time all I felt was this bone hollowing sadness, I felt empty and useless. It would catch me completely unaware, I would be feeling fine and then out of nowhere I would just be overcome by this intense heartache. I struggled to feel joy for a long time, I had two beautiful children but I could help but morn my unborn baby. I guess I knew in my heart that I had to stop, that is was going to be my last pregnancy. I was tired, my body was tired and my heart was tired.
So I mourned, I mourned my 4 lost babies, I mourned the end of my fertility, I mourned when I packed away the baby clothes, I mourned when I gave those clothes away knowing that I probably won’t ever get them back. I shed a tear when we took the cot down for the last time. I let go of all those feelings of anger and guilt. I stopped berating myself for my inability to “stay “pregnant, I started to look for the silver lining in every situation.
And I feel good, I can finally talk openly about my loss and help others going through the same experience. I finally feel like I am more than the sum of my failed pregnancies.
Elizabeth Rae