"I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat"
The words ring in your ears. Everything around you slows down and blurs. The words feel heavy on your skin as they sink in. You can feel your heart beating fast and loud and your chest begins to hurt. Your eyes swim with tears. You feel a slow numbness creep up your body from your toes, until you can't feel yourself anymore. You're hot and numb.
It seems like you are rising up from yourself and looking at the scene from above. You are laying on the bed in the ultrasound room having your first pregnancy scan. Your husband is sitting down to your side, holding your hand. You feel his grip tighten, he's stroking your hand now. The sonographer with the kind face is talking to you with a sombre expression but you feel as if you're under water, you can't quite hear her, but can see her lips moving. You want to scream and shout, even shake her but you are numb. You can't move. You are laying there, hot tears running down your cheeks as you slowly start to realise you won't be having a baby in 6 months time after all. The crashing realisation of what is happening engulfs you.
Your mind is racing with questions. Why is this happening to me? Did I do something wrong? Eat something wrong? Was I too stressed... did I do too much physically? Am I being punished? You glance at your husband and the look on his face makes you want to sob. You see your disappointment and anguish mirrored in his eyes. He puts an arm around you as the sonographer explains the next steps.
The sick pain in the pit of your stomach remains as you walk out of the ultrasound room. You've been asked to empty your bladder for an internal scan, just to be sure. You leave the room and it seems though everyone in the waiting room knows, they can see on your face that it isn't good news. You look around at the happy, excited and expectant couples, all waiting for their own scans. You wish it was happening to them, not you. You're jealous of their happiness. Why don't they realise it's not always a happy ending?
The vaginal scan confirms the same, as you knew it would. You see the consultant to book in your follow-up scan. The sheet of paper you are clutching in your hand reads 'missed miscarriage.' And you wonder how you missed this happening to you? Did your symptoms change? You question yourself over and over, and blame yourself for not being a good enough mum to this baby. Your body failed.
You leave the hospital, feeling exhausted, drained, and your head hurts from crying. The numbness remains. You're walking and talking but you're empty. Your husband doesn't quite know what to say. You feel bad that he feels bad.
You find yourself waiting around for a week waiting for the next scan to double-check, just in case your dates were wrong. You know deep down that they are not, and that the next scan would not bring a miracle. You feel sick a the thought of living for a week knowing the baby inside you is not alive. The plans you'd been making for this new baby have all been snatched away from you, in that one minute that you heard the words. You feel as though your whole life has changed now. This isn't what was supposed to happen. It's not fair. Why me? Why us?
In the days following, everyone tells you the same things over and over. It's not your fault. It's nature. It's 'one of those things'. It happens to lots of people. 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some people ask if you will 'try again'. You don't want to try again. You want THIS baby. The baby you're carrying. They don't understand.
But the more you talk to others, you hear the comforting words: "It happened to me too" and you suddenly share an understanding with other women, who have been there, and had their hopes and dreams crushed too. You can't believe how many women this happens to. You take comfort speaking to these women. They get it. They understand your pain and they have been in your shoes. You feel like people expect you to be 'over it' quite quickly and you feel bad that you are most definitely not over it, and won't be for a long time. If ever.
Now, 3 years on. I still remember. I'm lucky to have my rainbow who is nearly 2. I feel lucky every single day that I have had 3 healthy babies. I'm grateful that my loss was very early on, so grateful, words can not explain.
I'll always think of the baby I didn't have though... it'll never leave me.
For anyone who has been there, hi, and I'm really, really sorry that it happened to you.
For anyone who is experiencing this right now, please please talk to others who have been in your shoes. It's completely OK to feel how you feel. I personally found lots of help, advice and support on an online forum on a website called BabyCentre. Please talk to others about how you feel, it really will help.