On Friday the 13th March at eight weeks pregnant we met with our Fertility Specialist who confirmed that my pregnancy was no longer viable and I would miscarry. She told me that due to the stage of the pregnancy that I was in I would have to miscarry naturally (as the Doctors don’t like to perform a d&c unless it’s necessary) and they weren’t sure when this would happen but it would possibly be in the next few weeks. The idea that I would have to wait around knowing what was coming but not knowing exactly what to expect was scary.
I asked if I would need to cancel a work trip I had coming up. She told me that we could use the trip as a reason to have the procedure – and she set off to refer me to an available gynaecologist. Suddenly I was booked in for the following Tuesday afternoon with the Doctor who I had previously chosen as my obstetrician for this pregnancy. I wasn’t looking forward to going under general anaesthetic but I was relieved that it would be all over soon and that I didn’t have to wait around for the inevitable.
Standing in the gynaecologist-obstetrician’s office for our first appointment before the procedure was emotionally difficult. Seeing all the pregnant women as we walked through the waiting room, and all the photos on the walls of the babies that had been delivered hurt. But the doctor was really lovely and compassionate, and he put my mind at ease regarding the operation.
On the day of the procedure the anaesthesiologist read my chart and saw that I’d been going through IVF. He shook his head and said how sorry he was for my loss. He was so genuinely sorry for me that I had to hold my tears back when I thanked him. After the operation I woke from the anaesthetic and burst into tears, I kept apologising and was embarrassed at my lack of control. But the nurse kept telling me it was ok and talked to me about what I’d been through. Later they let my husband sneak into the recovery room to sit with me which isn’t usually allowed. Everyone’s kindness was very overwhelming. Weeks later I received a letter from anaesthesiologist to say he had discounted his rate for me so that we were left with no out of pocket for his services that day.
For some reason when I think of how compassionate everyone was towards me I tend to cry like I’m doing now – I’m not sure why. There are some really good people around us, that’s for sure.
I wouldn’t describe this experience as devastating. I still get out of bed every morning. I still have some very good days. I still appreciate the wonderful things in my life. But I would describe it as heartbreaking. And it has changed the way I view my life. Sometimes it all just feels so meaningless and lacking purpose – I feel a lot of doubt. So I just keep going, pushing forward each day at a time hoping that those feelings won’t stick around.
It’s been over four weeks since the procedure, and physically I’m feeling completely normal again. My husband and I have plans underway to buy an investment property. It’s an idea which just came to me for no particular reason and it’s something I wouldn’t have considered doing at this time if our pregnancy had continued, only because I would have been so caught up with the anticipation of the baby that it wouldn’t have even been a consideration. It’s giving me something good to focus on as I spend my time reading and researching the real estate market.
My husband and I also decided to book a holiday for just the two of us to Port Douglas in a few weeks. It is much needed and I just can’t wait for the opportunity to spend time together, completely alone, with no rushing around or sightseeing. This will be a real opportunity for both of us to rejuvenate and start fresh.
I’ve also been trying to focus on healthy eating and exercise as I strive to lose three kilos that I put on during my very brief pregnancy. Despite cutting out dessert and other treats it is not budging. I keep expecting it to melt away with little effort but it is still hanging around. It’s quite frustrating but I also realise that I need to be more patient and persistent, so I’ve been working a little harder in the lead up to our holiday.
My husband is doing well. I think he was more upset than me when we received the final news about the miscarriage because he still had hope that everything would be ok. He is much more optimistic than me. But he seems to be really positive again and he keeps telling me he thinks next time will be ‘the one’. I hope he is right.
Now we are back to waiting. My least favourite part of IVF. I need to go through one normal cycle before we can start tracking my hormones again on the second, during which I might be able to go through with the next FET. They say it can take awhile for your body to return to normal after a miscarriage. Once again I just have to be patient.
I still experience moments that remind me about our loss and feel a little sad. For me, I don’t so much feel that I am grieving the loss of a baby because I was still waiting for that first scan and the heartbeat. But I do feel like I’m grieving the loss of our hopes, and the possibility of what could have been. I feel like I’m grieving the loss of a very special moment in our lives – our first pregnancy.
I am also very grateful for many things – the fact that it happened at 8 weeks, and not at 12, 18 or 22 weeks. I’m grateful that we had warning that something was wrong before the first scan. And for the fact that I could have the d&c procedure to get back on track hopefully sooner than it may have been. I’m so grateful for all the kindness and generosity of the medical staff we dealt with. I’m really grateful for my friends and family who supported us, including all of the amazing women on Instagram who have reached out to offer me their kind words when I posted that things weren’t looking good.
And I’m grateful that we have three more embryos frozen. Although I am a little more wary after this experience and I wonder about their quality, I still have hope that those embryos could become our babies and that I will get to be a mother one day soon.