Saying Goodbye

Sunday, 9 September 2012

September 27th holds a lot of emotions for us, Barry and I married on that date in 2008, in 2009 we went back to Bodidris Hall for our 1st wedding anniversary, but on that date in 2010, we were in hospital losing our much wanted first baby, 10 weeks 4 days into the pregnancy.

It was one of the worst days of our lives.

We had been through a lot to get pregnant, after a lot of tests and procedures it turned out I had PCOS and Barrys sperm count was lower than average.
The fertility specialist we were seeing put me on a drug used to treat diabetes called Metformin to try to help, this reduced my ovulation from happening around every 100 days to 16 days after I started taking it, we were so excited to finally have a real shot, I had been doing ovulation tests and my temperature daily, we were using every trick you could imagine as well as my husband taking 8 vitamin and herbal pills every days as recommended by our fertility specialist.

The morning of the positive pregnancy test, I brought it downstairs with me where I carried on getting ready for work, about 10 minutes later I sat down and noticed the test on the arm of the sofa, picking it up I saw not one but TWO lines!! I literally screamed my husbands name, he came bounding down the stairs dressed only in his boxers with half of his face shaved and a razor in his hand, he didn't even get through the living room door before I shoved the test in his face shouting its positive there is two lines!

He was dumbstruck! I was dumbstruck! I got an earlier bus to work and walked a fair way to Sainsbury's, bought another 5/6 tests and took them all that day, I just couldn't believe it!

Barry and I spoke several times on the phone that day, I kept updating him that the line was still there, it wasn't a dodgy test!!

Our excitement turned to fear on the 13th of September, spotting, while in work, I called Barry and we went to A & E where I was externally examined, and taken for an ultrasound.

We were terrified, but to our surprise they found our little one, we saw the heart beating away and were told that the problem was that I had a Subchorionic Haematoma which is basically a big bruise where the foetus had dug in to the lining of my womb to secure itself, very common in pregnancy, not linked with miscarriage and there was nothing we or they could do, we just had to hope that it reabsorbed and the baby continued to grow.

I was booked in for a repeat ultrasound for a week later just to check everything was ok, at that ultrasound they measured the baby and put me 2 weeks behind the date I knew I was, that worried me, but even in a week we could see that baby had grown, it heart could clearly be seen beating and the haematoma had shrunk, great news!!

All was well for the next week, we had booked again to go to Bodidris Hall for our wedding anniversary, so the night of the 26th September, we went to bed all packed ready to head off the next morning.

Just before getting into bed, I used the toilet and was horrified to see more bright red spotting, I called to Barry who phoned his Brother and asked him to drive us to the hospital, they again externally examined me and booked me in for an ultrasound the next morning, we were then sent home.

After finally falling asleep, I woke to use the toilet around 5am and found I was bleeding, BADLY. I screamed for Barry who burst in the room and immediately turned white.

Barry is the one person who will keep calm during a crisis, he keeps his cool, calms people down and deals with things, except this time he just couldn't, he began flapping around turning left and right saying, sit down, keep calm, no stand up, no stay there, what do I do, what do I do? He then phoned an ambulance.

I was bleeding heavily in the ambulance, I knew it wasn't good, I felt so numb I just couldn't believe it, I couldn't even look at Barry I felt so so guilty.

When we arrived I was taken into a private room where the nurse helped me undress, put on a hospital gown and pads, one of the other nurses quietly asked if she should get a pregnancy test, the nurse that helped me undress made eye contact with the nurse and shook her head ever so slightly, that hit me like a brick because she knew, she knew there was too much blood, I knew there was too much blood. This was really happening.

I will never forget Barry coming through the curtains around the bed, as white as a ghost with such pain in his eyes, I burst into hysterical sobs and kept apologising, I felt so useless, I mean women are made to have babies right? And I couldn't even carry our much wanted child, I had failed at getting pregnant for such a long time and now I was failing at staying pregnant.

I was booked in for an ultrasound that afternoon, the bleeding stopped and we began to have a little bit of hope.

I was wheeled down, the Sonographer turned the screen away from us and started to have a look around, Barry and I were holding hands, hoping and praying but after about 5 minutes she looked up and said "I'm very sorry" she didn't get any further.
Barry buried his face in my neck, we just sobbed and clung to each other. The Sonographer asked if we would like to see the screen but I couldn't, I couldn't bring myself to look at that screen that had a beating heart on it a week ago, I didn't want that image in my head when I thought about our child, Barry couldn't look either,we just held each other and sobbed.

I have never cried like that in my life and I hope never to do so again, my whole body was shaking and I couldn't breathe, it just made things so much worse that it was on our wedding anniversary, how cruel?

We were led into a private room together and just sat crying and crying, after about 30 minutes we knew we had to go back up to the ward and let my Mum, who was there with us, and everyone else know.

It sounds really stupid now but we just there for a while looking at the door, knowing that everything would change once we opened it, we were about to break other peoples hearts and have to face up to what was happening.

I remember lying in that hospital bed waiting to be dismissed, trying to find the words to reassure my Sister in Law who was 6 weeks pregnant, not to feel guilty or awkward and that we were looking forward to meeting our Niece or Nephew, we are very close and I knew what she would be thinking, that was a very hard message to write but I'm glad I did.

We are very lucky that it brought us closer together, Barry was by my side through all of the contractions, in the bath to try to ease the pain, he saw what I saw, he felt what I felt, and only we shared that, together.

We sobbed, raged and sometimes just sat in silence, but always together. A lot of couples don't make it through and I can honestly see why, I feel so thankful that it made us stronger.

After such a terrible thing happens, a lot of people don't know how to act or what to say, some people unintentionally say very hurtful things like "There was obviously something wrong with it" or "It wasn't a real baby though was it?"
I know it may seem that way to some people, and I would never compare what we went through to losing a child or a baby at full term, but we loved that bunch of cells, we made plans in our head for him/her, we already loved him/her so yes, to us it was a real baby.

After we lost the baby I felt like I needed something physical to grieve with, its hard to explain, but my Mum and Step Dad bought me this beautiful Welsh Gold cross:


Rarely a day goes by when I don't wear it, it really helped me be able to move on and come to terms with things, it made me feel like I had part of my baby still with me.


Two years on and I still think about our first baby, although if that pregnancy had been successful, we wouldn't have Liv now and I wouldn't change her for the world.


Fate can be cruel sometimes, I couldn't believe that of all the days for this horrific thing to happen on it was our anniversary, knowing every year we would be trying to celebrate our Marriage but having this dark cloud hanging over the date. That was until someone said something very wise to us, "I think its a good thing it happened on your anniversary, it is better than just a meaningless day because one day, when it doesn't hurt so much and you have Children, you can raise a glass to your first baby as well as another year of Marriage"



Well Chris, I think this might be that year.