This week, Jen and I had another miscarriage. Our 4th. This time, the same as our first; ending in the SMM operation.
Going back 6 or 7 weeks to the moment Jen told me that she was pregnant, I was absolutely over-joyed. We’d been trying to get pregnant for nearly 2 years, had the disappointment of what seemed like millions, of monthly negative pregnancy tests and we’d started to have fertility tests. She’d given up all hope of ever getting pregnant and if I’m honest I was beginning to worry.
Then all our hopes and dreams are true. Jen secretly filmed me whilst she told me the news, via a new ‘big brother’ t-shirt for Ted. I was confused when I first read it, then the penny dropped. (Never been the sharpest of knives…)
The following few weeks were very mixed emotionally. I was mainly excited and hopeful but the previous 3 miscarriages in my head reminded me of how quickly life can change. I tried to keep my excitement relatively controlled and remain realistic of the possibility of a further loss. What a good call that turned out to be.
The three weeks following our first scan were some of my darkest, ever.
Due to the multiple miscarriages we went for a scan at 7 weeks. The doctor offered one at 6 weeks but we asked to wait, knowing that the further down the line we managed to get the better the chance of seeing a heartbeat. There was no heartbeat.
Come back in 10 days time.
Words we had heard from the sonographer before and words we had hoped we would never hear again. She told us that it *might be fine. That our dates *might be wrong. They weren’t. We know our dates like our birthdays as we’ve been living the ovulation kit life! She tried to be positive and told us not to worry. We did. We both knew. Those were 10, very long, lonely days.
10 days of pretty shit emotions. And that was just me. Let alone my beautiful wife whose body was still experiencing all the normal pregnancy symptoms; nausea, tenderness, pregnancy spots, exhaustion. Her body had changed and was showing itself to be very pregnant. How she kept it together as much as she did, feeling what she was, I’ll never know. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to. We had no friends or family to talk to. Ten days of heartache and worry all whilst being very ill.
Then came day 10. Back to the hospital and our worst fears were confirmed. Whilst we’d readied ourselves for the news, it was still a shock to the system.
But the foetus had grown a small amount, still without a heartbeat visible, so the Dr refused to give us a clinical decision on whether this was a miscarriage or not. We knew our dates exactly, we’d been here three times before, we knew there was no hope and that our pregnancy journey was over. But the NHS refused to tell us what everyone in that room knew. Because of policy.
And that meant more waiting. Jen cried, I cried. We spoke to three different members of staff asking them to help us and not put us, and Jen’s body through another week of this. Another week of being pregnant, when you know the outcome. The decision was final. Whilst there was pregnancy growth, it could not be classed as a miscarriage and any medical intervention would be classed as a termination.
7 more days waiting for a miscarriage to start, knowing from history, that it probably wouldn’t, naturally. Jen had to continue to carry an inviable foetus, feeling all those pregnancy symptoms continuously and we both couldn’t begin the grieving process. Why?
Because of NHS policy. A policy that I feel neglects the mother and father’s mental health as well as their wishes.
So a final, third scan. Again we were told of miracles and not to lose all hope. This was not helpful. We had lost all hope and rightly so.
We were finally booked in for the SMM a week later. Arriving at 7am and having to walk past the labour ward. Whoever designed the layout of the hospital, needs a reality check. The morning I’d been dreading, and would wish upon no-one, I had to walk my wife directly past the post natal suite, heavily pregnant women and a grandparent carrying a ‘congrats it’s a girl’ balloon. On our way to say goodbye to yet another pregnancy. Is that not all levels of wrong?
I couldn’t believe that we were going through the same devastating experience as we had done, almost exactly two years prior. I struggled with it then, and even more so now.
This week Jen and I experienced our fourth miscarriage. This time we have been offered tests to help us find out any reasons for our losses. I’m unsure how I feel about these tests and the results they might throw at us. I’m unsure of our future and I need to take some time out to digest the past few months and find a way to move on. What I do know is that I am a lucky man to have Jen as my wife. Our journey together hasn’t been an easy one but together we will get through this and come out even stronger than we were before.
If you’d like to read any of our other posts about miscarriage, here’s the links:
Men and Miscarriage – Upload your miscarriage story for other dads to read
Miscarriage. “I feel faulty” – An honest insight into how a pregnant mum feels, whilst waiting to miscarry a much longed for baby.