As I write this, it is Monday 9 July and I was due for my 12-week scan on Thursday this week.
For those who don’t know much about the pregnancy world, the 12-week scan is a big one. It’s the first of two scans you’ll have while pregnant. It’s the scan that lets you know the baby is looking fine, normal, growing at a good rate and in most cases it puts your mind at rest and lets you announce to the World, "I’m having a baby."
On Sunday afternoon, I had my brother and dad over for lunch, along with my husband and almost three-year-old daughter. I made a lovely beef stew. I noticed some brown discharge in my knickers during the morning, but from what I’ve read, sure, you can have spotting during pregnancy.
As the day wore on, I had some slight cramping and I slowly started to bleed. It was pretty much like I was having a period. This, I knew, was not good. I put my daughter to bed and told my husband we need to go to hospital.
My sister-in-law came over, and off we went to King George’s Hospital in Goodmayes. There was a man in black wandering around outside with his penis exposed. After checking in at the hospital, they told me to go to a different one that has a dedicated early pregnancy unit. Off we went to Queens Hospital in Romford, again we checked in, provided a urine sample, and waited.
After an hour or so, I had pregnancy test which came out positive. I was moved to an area upstairs -- the ward name escapes me -- and my husband and I sat with two other couples waiting. We waited for three hours and were finally seen.
The first thing the doctor did was an ultrasound. The cold jelly was applied to my belly and I couldn’t wait to see that little baby on the screen. But there was blackness. Where the fuck is the baby?
We were taken into another room, I was told to strip from the waist down and given a sheet to drape over myself. They were going to check inside me -- my if womb was closed and where the blood was coming from. Then I was told by my doctor “Twenty to thirty percent of women miscarry. You might be in the midst of miscarrying. What I know is this: You are definitely pregnant, but at 12 weeks, we should be able to see a baby on the ultrasound. What I’d like to do is a vaginal scan, but we can’t do that right now.”
I asked why? It turns out they have the machinery to do it, just no one to do it. This doctor was not allowed to do it even though he knows how to. So I would have to wait for an appointment to have this vaginal scan on Thursday afternoon. That’s four whole days away. I said to the doctor “So you expect me to go home now, bleeding, possibly miscarrying a baby and wait for four days to know for sure?” Yup.
That was the first appointment that they had available.
As I climbed off the bed and dressed myself, I looked back and saw blood on the sheet. My husband and I left and argued in the car park as I told him we can’t wait four days, and how could he be so accepting of the situation?
We were tired. He soon realised of course we couldn’t wait. It’s now Monday evening and my brain is finally registering there was nothing on the scan. There was Nothing. On. The. Scan. The doctor said maybe I got my dates wrong, maybe I’m not 12 weeks and it can be hard to see the baby sometimes so early.
I know the dates of all my periods for the last six months. I know when we had sex. I know when this baby was consummated. And I will sure as hell never forget the day I started to lose it. I needed to have that vaginal scan, so we dropped my daughter at my lovely in-laws and off we went to another hospital. We waited to be seen again in A&E, did another pregnancy test -- still pregnant apparently, but also still bleeding.
After three hours, we were seen by a GP style doctor. We filled her in on what had been going, she felt my tummy and said in passing, "You’re probably miscarrying,' but agreed to send me for the vaginal scan. It’s tomorrow at 12 pm.
So as I sit here and write this, I’m bleeding. I’m losing my baby right now. I know this is happening, but I don’t think I’ll fully accept it until someone in a white or blue coat tells me so.
My husband tells me to wait and see what they say tomorrow, but I’ve foolishly Googled "12 weeks scan showed no baby" and "bleeding at 12 weeks pregnant" and also "symptoms of miscarrying" and so far, I’ve pretty much ticked all the boxes. I know what’s happening.
Things like this do not happen to me. One of my closest friends miscarried barely weeks ago. Apparently one in four miscarry, but those odds, well, I don’t like them at all. I have become the one in four.
It’s Tuesday 10 July, the day of the vaginal scan. I’m still bleeding. I don’t feel pregnant. I can suck my tummy right in. My boobs don’t hurt. And seriously, if one more person says to me “It wasn’t meant to be,” I’ll rip their fucking heads off. I’m strangely accepting of the situation and very calm. I feel like I need to take to my bed, and not leave there for a week. Maybe that’s what I will do.
I’m home from the scan. I knew in my heart of hearts I’ve miscarried, but as I lay there waiting for my internal scan, I prayed for a miracle. The miracle was never to come. It seems the sac in which the baby grows was misshapen and the foetus never made it beyond the 8-week mark, if it was there at all -- hard for them to say. I cried some more.
I now have three options. I can now wait for the sac and whatever else is inside me to come out naturally. There’s no saying how long this could take. I have visions of being back at my desk next week and gore dropping out of me. Next, please.
Option 2 is to take a pill, and then come back again to hospital to have a vaginal pill, and then stay in overnight to expel what’s lurking in me.
The final option and the one I’ve decided to take is to have an operation this week to have everything evacuated surgically. Let that be the end of it. I shall put this behind me when I leave the hospital after the procedure.
You might be wondering how on earth am I writing about this as it’s happening, but I feel like this is some kind of therapy for me, and seeing as it’s so common, I’m sure some of you xojane readers will sadly know what I’m going through.