I think prior to this experience I believed that because pregnancy was a physical change that happened to your body it was pretty black and white as to what was happening whether this was good or bad. Apparently I was wrong and that is one of the biggest lessons I learned from my pregnancy.
In an older post I talk about how I found out I was pregnant. At the same time as this I was booked in for an ultrasound to check that it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy and maybe to double check I wasn't a few months pregnant. As I figured I would be sent home from the scan as I must only be the tiniest bit pregnant I had insisted Husband stay at work.
I went in for my scan which ended up being internal as nothing could be seen on the normal ultrasound (lets not go into exactly what an internal scan entails, my mother reads this after all).
After only a few minutes the sonographer turned to me and said ‘I’m really sorry I can’t see anything, I think something has gone wrong with the pregnancy. There are some tissues on the side there, you can wait in the reception area and a nurse will speak with you shortly’. She then walked off to her desk to record my scan.
Devastated is only one part of what I felt. I also equally felt embarrassed, humiliated not to mention completely bewildered. I had three tests confirming I was pregnant, I’d had no bleeding, what was going on? I have never felt so vulnerable in my life up until this point. I put my clothes on as best I could and returned to the waiting room. I began scolding myself for ever believing I could have been pregnant, I started to tell myself that I must be so desperate to have a baby my body produced some kind of hormone and tricked all three tests. This sounds preposterous now but it felt very logical at the time. All of a sudden the tears came just to add to the feeling of utter humiliation.
After what felt like hours I was called back in with the nurse. I was not shown a picture of the scan. She explained to me that I had what was called a molar pregnancy and she was very clear that this pregnancy was not and would never be viable. I had no idea what she was talking about, I had heard of miscarriages, missed miscarriages, stillbirth but what on earth was a molar pregnancy? According to her it affects around 1 in 600 pregnancies every year and is a genetic abnormality caused by a faulty egg or two sperm fertilising one egg. To be honest the scientific mumbo jumbo isn’t important. The rest of the conversation I had with the nurse isn’t important, what is important however is that she was insistent that this pregnancy would never develop into a healthy baby. She did reassure me however that I could and would have lots of healthy babies in the future.
Speaking with a couple of friends who have experienced miscarriages I am aware that this seems to be a common phrase to say to women who have experienced or are experiencing the loss of a baby. I’m sure it comes from a good place; people want to reassure you that you will have a family in the future. Although this comes from a good place, here is how it sounds to the women who are going through a loss or how it at least sounded to me.
A life was created inside you and now it is dying or has died. There is nothing you can do to stop it and there is no reason why it has happened. You will have a baby in the future however and forget this one ever existed as you all walk off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
Wherever you are with your grief the last thing you wish to be told is that you will one day move on. It made me feel dirty, how could I ever forget this tiny life? The first tiny life I created that was so cruelly taken away. For me (and maybe for other first time mums) it took away the wonderful feeling of excitement of finding out you’re pregnant, that no matter how many positive pregnancy tests you get from now on they would all be tainted by this loss.
After this devastating news I still had to walk home, collect my car and pick Husband up from work.
I still had to phone him and break the news to him, how was I going to tell him his baby wasn’t a baby? Even though I knew it was absurd I felt that in some way this was my fault, that I had raised his hopes of becoming a dad only to crush them. I think I phoned him and said ‘it’s not good news’. I can’t remember much else of what happened before getting home and I don’t want to. I do remember being at home sitting on Husband's knee crying my heart and soul out; I don’t think I have felt so awful emotionally in my entire life. The feeling of loss and disgust was indescribable. I felt disgusted and spooked by the idea that there was a strange cystic mass inside me.