It has taken me a while to write this post. I was unsure when or if to share it, but decided it would help if I did.
After I had the ‘procedure’ for the SiM trial looking into treatments for recurrent miscarriage, I waited for my next period as instructed, and then we started trying for a baby again. They said to ‘go for it’, which we did.
As the date for my next period approached, I took a pregnancy test a couple of days before I was due as I was travelling to London at the start of the next week and wanted to know either way. I had no expectations but when the test said ‘pregnant’, I was happy, scared, anxious and surprised all at once.
I rang the research unit in Coventry to let them know and they asked me to come up for an early scan at about five and a half weeks. We stayed over with family nearby and drove to the hospital the next day. I’d had a bit of spotting around when my period was due, so was anxious, but had been reassured by the midwife that it was probably implantation bleeding. The midwife came with us when we went into the scan room and the first thing we could see was a healthy pregnancy sac. Then the doctor paused for ages and my heart sank, but she span the screen round and showed me that she had even managed to see a heartbeat so we were really reassured.
We went back two weeks later and had another scan. I’d spotted a bit after the first internal scan, which seemed to settle down, but was still worried. There was a bit of light relief when I walked to my car from the hotel we stayed at and another guest had to point out my dress was tucked into my tights at the back. The scan showed everything had progressed nicely so again my mind was put at rest.
Fortnightly scans were routine from then on so we were due back in a couple of weeks. But the following week, I went to the toilet in the evening and had red bleeding. I’d never had a good outcome once red bleeding had started in the past and prepared for the worst. I couldn’t ring the Tommy’s research unit as it was out of hours but I contacted the midwife who was part of the team and she rang me as soon as she could that evening. She said that they should be able to fit me in for a scan the next day but would get the team to ring first thing in the morning as she had moved onto a different trial in Birmingham and so wasn’t on site. That night my dreams were filled with blood and I slept fitfully.
I had a call at 7.30am in the morning and was told to come up as soon as I could. We got stuck in traffic so were later than expected but they waited for us. I just couldn’t envisage a good outcome and when I went into the scan room, the doctor said they would try and do a scan on the stomach first, and then they would do an internal if they couldn’t see anything. We’d driven four hours and it took a few seconds for the doctor to say ‘it’s fine’. I couldn’t believe it and it took a while to sink in.
The next week I found very difficult as I was still spotting a bit and couldn’t accept that something else wasn’t going to happen. I felt like a spinning coin and I didn’t know which side I would land on – constantly in limbo. I became obsessive about everything – I have to take progesterone and levothyroxine for my thyroid at the moment so I would check and recheck the packets to reassure myself I had taken the right dose that day. Every twinge and pain meant I thought the worst and I spent forever examining the tissue paper in the loo after I wiped. Every time I let myself imagine a positive outcome, my brain dragged me back into this perpetual state of negativity.
As the bleeding subsided, I relaxed a minuscule amount and tried to tell myself that I couldn’t change the outcome so thinking positively would be the better option. Then we all came down with a sickness bug and I had a day of not being able to keep anything down. I worried that this would affect the tablets I was taking so more fretting followed, but I was able to text the midwife and get her advice, and she told me not to worry about missing a dose.
My last scan was on Friday and everything was well. I was still an emotional wreck (I cried at the end music to Steve Wright in the Afternoon as we were driving up). We saw the heartbeat flickering away and the baby flipping itself over and over. ‘You don’t need us anymore,’ the team then said, but I’ll be keeping in touch as part of the trial and can always call them with any worries.
I’ve shared my news with friends, family and colleagues I’ve talked to and this has helped me get through these past weeks too as I’ve felt I had space to be worried and a bit insular without people wondering what was up. I’ve also had my husband to bring me back to earth every now and then. The other day I said ‘I’ve noticed my face has got furrier during my pregnancy, I think that’s a thing.’ He said ‘I wasn’t going to say anything but I wondered why I kept thinking of peaches – you could do something about that you know, you could shave your face…’
I’m now just over 11 weeks according to my last scan and the support I have received from the team in Coventry has been amazing. I would have been even more of a mess without it, and they have been patient and understanding the whole way through, never making me feel like I am being silly or wasting their time. I wish that this was an experience that more women were able to have in early pregnancy.
I have my first midwife appointment locally today and then my dating scan in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I am taking each day at a time and I know that, whatever happens, I have plenty of people around me who will get me through.
Image from Pixabay