A couple of weeks ago I was listening to this Swedish podcast called Förlossningspodden, which is a podcast about pregnancy, parenthood, birth, labour, ja, all of that!
It made me think of my own story of how we got pregnant. As previously mentioned, we were extremely lucky and blessed to get pregnant so quickly but that doesn't mean that our short journey there was pain free. Because it wasn't.
I have been trying to write this post for a few days now and I don't know how to write it. So I will just write.
Me and my husband had spoken about starting a family together quite soon after our wedding (we got married in May this year). We both knew we were ready and the timing was right, but we didn't want to jinx it or take it for granted by assuming that I would get pregnant quickly because you just never know. Sometimes life has other plans for you!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a bit of a project manager. I like to have a plan. I like to know what I am doing next and why. That goes for everything in my life, so even if our plan was to ''take it as it comes'', I was still secretly hoping I could decide or figure it out beforehand.
I didn't know much about the science and maths behind how to get pregnant, in terms of the different phases of a woman's menstrual cycle etc. All I knew and went after was the accuracy of my own cycle. On time every month and I can feel when I am ovulating so I just trusted my body and decided to not read up on too much and become too focused on it just yet. It was only the first month anyways!
I took a pregnancy test a few days after I had ovulated, thinking it would show if I had fallen pregnant or not. Both me and my husband were excited so when it showed negative I thought, okey, better luck next month. It did discourage me a little bit but we decided to not think about it or let it impact us negatively.
As my period approached, I felt some slight cramps and remember texting with my sister in law, telling her how random my period was behaving. I didn't think anymore of it due to the negative test I had taken a few days before.
After about three days of this random cramp and not much else, I was sitting on the sofa waiting for my husband to finish work so we could go out and have dinner to celebrate six years together. However, I couldn't stop thinking about how strangely my period was behaving and thought to myself to just go and buy a pregnancy test, just to check what was going on. I was more worried of it saying not pregnant and it being my cycle acting up than me actually being pregnant as I was so set on that not being the case.
I got the pregnancy test and peed on the stick, bumbled around for a little bit and when I went back to the check on it and it said ''1-2 weeks pregnant''. I was in total shock!!!
Called my husband several times, sent him a text of the pregnancy test and called my dad straight away. I was so happy and just shouted IM PREGNANT!! He got so happy and my mum just rushed over to the phone and I told her as well and she just didn't know how to react. They were so happy!
My husband called me and was also so shocked and happy, he couldn't believe it. I told my friend as well and we decided to meet in town because I just couldn't think straight. She had rushed and got me Folic Acid tablets and we found ourselves in the baby department looking at clothes, I was so happy that I bought three pieces of clothes for this baby I had dreamt of for so long!
The following day I went to the GP and I told them about the pregnancy but also the cramps I had been experiencing and was still experiencing. The GP told me it was normal and not to worry, I should only worry if it got much worse and was accompanied by blood. I was given a folder with a bunch of pregnancy information and that was it.
I felt quite empty after that appointment, here I am, first time pregnant, no idea what's going on or what's normal and what isn't and all I got was a folder and nothing else. It felt so wrong in a way. I just couldn't shake this feeling off of something not being right, especially as that evening, the cramps just didn't stop.
I went back to the GP the next day to take blood tests but she said that it wasn't necessary for me to take it now as the midwife would do it in a few weeks time. I felt so annoyed and snapped at her a little bit, I told her I have never gone through this before and I don't understand why I am having these cramps? She just told me to relax and not worry unless it got worse and I was bleeding. It felt like the worst advice you could give a woman who's never been pregnant before.
That evening, the cramps started getting worse and I noticed blood. I just felt something was wrong. I had a pregnancy test at home that I took and all of a sudden the second line was quite faint. I called the NHS helpline to get hold of an out of hours GP, after nearly three hours wait, I got a call back and the GP told me I might be experiencing a miscarriage and the only way to find out is to go to A&E.
By now it was nearly midnight, me and my husband made our way to the A&E, we got there and it was so busy, we had to queue nearly 40 minutes to even get to the reception. I was standing up, cramping and feeling so angry. So extremely angry. When we finally got to the reception, the lady barely allowed me to finish explaining why we were there and told me that the waiting time was nearly 3-4h. Again, I snapped at her and told her to let me finish talking, she tried her best to get us seen early or help to check if any other nearby A&E's had shorter queues, but somehow all London A&E's were jam-packed. Just our luck!
We were finally seen and as I was taking a urine test, I noticed some blood cloths, I already knew what we were going to be told so when the doctor told me I was no longer pregnant, me and my husband just sat there, totally confused and empty. We had to go back to the waiting area to wait to be seen by a gynecologist. I just cried and cried. I leaned on my husbands shoulders and was just sobbing in the middle of a busy waiting area in A&E. I can't explain the feeling.
I couldn't bare the thought of sitting there any longer so we decided to leave. By now it was nearly 4 o'clock in the morning and all I wanted was to go home, wash my face and sleep. We barely spoke on the way home and my husband tried to console me while being sad himself, being sad for our loss.
Woke up the next day and it all happened, I was bleeding and felt my body getting rid of it all. The cramping was gone and that was that.
Just like that. Our happiness, joy and excitement was taken away from us, all within three days. I felt my whole life changing from good to amazing and from amazing to pure shit (excuse the language) in just three days.
I was so angry. I felt so angry at my body for failing me. You're told and sold the story, the conception of a woman being able to conceive and give birth. You assume you won't go through a miscarriage or a loss. You just assume that you'll get pregnant and get to keep your baby. I couldn't phantom that my first experience was a miscarriage.
We decided to share this with close friends and family because I couldn't bare the thought of us keeping it a secret and pretend it never happened. Because it did happen. It felt more real than anything I have ever experienced. I had to share it.
When I did, I realised how many women around me and all over the world goes through the same thing. It somehow helped me grief and be okay with it. It somehow pulled me through and the following two weeks I allowed myself to cry, spend time with friends, drink and to just be. I needed it. We needed it.
The thought that kept me going was that I now knew I could get pregnant, it would be okay because we can conceive and I just knew my body wouldn't fail me forever.
I started using Natural Cycles, to keep a closer eye on my cycle and I started to educate myself on the menstrual cycle and its different phases. Somehow all this knowledge made it easier for me to accept what had happened and as much as people, doctors, blogs, websites, tells you that early miscarriage is common and that some women go through it without even realising it, IT STILL HURTS!!!
However, I ovulated two weeks after my miscarriage, started a new job, got a notification for my midwife appointment for the pregnancy that I no longer had. Instead of cancelling the appointment, I decided to take a pregnancy test, it showed positive.
My mum was visiting us and I remember going to her and my husband at the same time, just saying 'Im pregnant again', both of them didn't know what to say as they were so confused, worried and a bit scared. I on the other hand, was calm and just went and saw the midwife, told her my story and all of a sudden, as I sat there, it hit me that I was pregnant again.
X amount of pregnancy test later to keep checking that this is really happening, an early scan to check the heartbeat in week six and the 12 week scan, this little nugget has stuck by us and I hope with all my heart that our little angel rainbow baby will meet us on the other side in April.
I never knew our journey would start so horrible and painful. I never ever knew or appreciated the pain a woman/a couple goes through when a miscarriage occurs. If anything, it has taught me to never take anything for granted. This pregnancy is sacred to me and as much as I still worry and wonder if everything is OK, I am amazed by what my body is capable of.
It has been difficult writing this post as it has made me feel very vulnerable but at the same time, if women don’t share their experiences we wouldn't know that we aren't alone.