On Boxing Day I had a heavy bleed. I knew what was happening, so I took myself to hospital in the hope that they could scan me and confirm the miscarriage (so that I could have a big old drink in the name of painkilling). They were unable to, but did measure my hCG at 45,100 (compared to 11,600 8 days prior). Although this was a number conclusive to a viable pregnancy, I knew it had failed. I just knew it. The following morning I had the miscarriage confirmed with a scan. I had to attend a family party in the afternoon, so I duly did so, and got reasonably drunk.
Back to reality. Back to my reality. Numbers. Dates. Counting. Peeing on ovulation sticks. Keeping an impeccable diet. Taking the metformin. Waiting. Oh, and probably a bit of shagging. I don’t really know what hope is anymore, but I guess I must carry a muted version of it to be contemplating trying to conceive again. There is no question that we will be getting back on the horse, so to speak, as soon as possible. We are now looking at an age gap of 4 years, assuming we get pregnant within the next 3 months; 4+ years is more likely, considering it took 8 months from my last miscarriage to become pregnant again.
The pregnancy still isn’t entirely gone. I’m in limbo, waiting for the worst to come. There is a large blood clot hanging out in my uterus, and behind that, the “retained products of conception”, according to the sonographer, and I am not currently bleeding. The midwife I saw at the hospital in London (we have been staying at Julian’s mum’s over Christmas) was quite insistent that I should opt for natural management, and I didn’t feel like arguing at the time, but I will be visiting the EPU in Bristol on Monday morning, with a view to being referred for an ERPC. I would rather not wait for it to occur naturally, because an ERPC means my hormone levels and body will adjust back to normal more quickly which means we can start trying again sooner.
I am surprisingly chilled out about the whole thing. I guess I had more inclination to believe it would fail after last time, than to believe it would succeed, so I have been subconsciously preparing myself. It helps, too, I think, that the miscarriage occurred earlier than last time: at 8 weeks as opposed to 12. Less time to allow myself to believe it all might be ok. I genuinely haven’t contemplated the possibility of this pregnancy succeeding. Last time I was pregnant I allowed myself to think about names. To get a double buggy. To consider sleeping arrangements in our 2 bedroom house. And I was more heartbroken than I am now, so I feel that my reluctance to acknowledge the possibility of a live birth has protected me. In a sense, the loss this time is just physical. There are no dreams attached. No plans or intentions. We are back to square one. In a few weeks it will be as though nothing happened and we are still trying to conceive, just as we were before.
The fact that I have miscarried again is a bit of a niggle, in the sense that I don’t know what caused it. I don’t know what caused my last miscarriage, and technically, there could be a problem, but I will be unable to get this investigated by doctors until I have a third miscarriage, so I’m trying not to dwell on this too much. All I know is that in this pregnancy I did everything by the book. I ate well. I took my vitamins. I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol. I tried to relax. There was nothing else I could have done and it still didn’t work out, so I won’t be beating myself up (like I did last time about having some wine at 11 weeks after I heard the news that my cousin had been killed).
There is one thing that is no different to my last miscarriage, and that is the love and support I have had from my Twitter pals since sharing the news. I am constantly humbled by the empathy and caring comments offered to me by people, some of whom I know only through reading their blogs and Twitter feeds. It is a huge comfort to know that people are there for me, particularly at this time of year when they are busy with family and travelling. My two best friends are both abroad for Christmas so the support I have received from my Twitter community has felt extra special, and I am endlessly grateful.
So that is where we’re at. I’m talking. I’m sharing. Everything is out there. As in the blog post I shared when I discovered I was pregnant, I won’t be stifled by the stigma of miscarriage. I will keep talking and sharing, and hope that in doing so I am making someone out there feel less alone, in just the same way that I feel less alone by the support I receive from my Twitter pals.
What a rollercoaster 2013 has been for baby making. I hope we have a better time of it next year. I’m not sure how many more miscarriages I can deal with. Although I don’t feel too emotionally affected by this one, I think there may be only so much I can take. Let’s hope I don’t reach my limit because my beautiful boy deserves a small sibling so much. I don’t want to let him down.