A story of 4 miscarriages
We found two days before flying out to Kenya for a three week holiday. I thought about not going, but decided it wasn't an option. From the time we landed in Kisusmu, my husband's home town, it went from bad to worse and we cut the holiday short, at this time although bleeding I still believed I was pregnant.
On arriving back in the UK I had a scan where we were told, "sorry there is a baby but the heart beat is so weak it will not last another week." I was sent away with baby to come back the next week when they expected the heart beat would have stopped. I walked around in a daze, it was like being in some sick movie, walking around waiting for my baby to die. Sounds dramatic but that is how it felt. We worked hard on pulling together and found a way forward by praying and letting go through holding our own intimate service.
A year later, March 2002 I discovered I was pregnant again. You try to tell yourself not to feel anything, try to pretend you don't know so you don't get excited, and also you don't allow the dread to take up residence. But no matter how you try you can't but lay hands on your stomach and hope with all your heart that this time it will be different, but then came the pain, and then the blood.
Not again my heart cried out, but you can't stop it no matter what you do or say or think.It is happening and it is out of your control. I think in some ways I shut down and went through the motions, this time asking to allow the baby to go through the natural process itself without the D and C. At these times do you really know what is best? I don't think so, it was awful and haunted me for some time knowing my baby had passed into the sewage system.
I experienced a period of what I call the dark days and the slippery slope, when I just couldn't feel better, I tried hard to 'be better', I prayed and prayed but it just felt like everytime I dug my fingers in the dirt to get up I just slipped straight back down again.
It was at this time my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she was frustrated with me as she needed me but I had nothing to give. My husband came home from work every day to find me just sitting there crying, he became frustrated with me.
How this changed I'm not sure, as a Christian I believe people's prayers for me had much to do with it, but also I think just allowing myself time. Things did change and I went on with my life and in May 2003 my dear, dear mum died after a year of fighting cancer. She was an incredible woman and like most things in life we never really know how great they are until they are gone.
At the time of this great loss I was a carer for the eldrely. After caring for my mum I decided it was enough and I applied to undertake a social work degree and started in september 2003. Around two weeks prior to starting the course I found out I was pregnant again. The world stopped for a short time, this time will be different, my God won't allow me to go through it again, not when I have had so much loss already. We put hands on my stomach and dared to believe, the plans come so easy, the thing I am created to do, to reproduce to become a family, it is going to happen.
No, the day I started my course, the bleeding started. My heart went into my feet and the world stopped again. Life and hope taken from me only to leave pain in its wake, questions and torment. To say life is unfair is somewhat of an understatement. Thankfully I had my degree and I got back up and got on with what was in front of me. I qualified in 2006 and started work as a social worker in a Children and Families team. It was crazy but I enjoyed the work.
Then in October 2008 after feeling unwell for a few weeks, my friend suggested to do a test, I did it with fingers trembling and sick rising in my throat, it was positive, I knew straight away things were not right as I had already had what I thought was a period. I went to the hospital, it was a Friday night so they couldn't do a scan. Going back Monday I heard the same old news, "yes there is a pregnancy but no heart beat".
I then had to sit five hours in the waiting area as they were making a decision about what to do as they were not clear if it was an ectopic pregnancy. I screamed inside for the whole five hours, nothing came out of my mouth but I was running inside, please not again. The dread rising up in me, can I really get through this again, can I really get through the pain of the disappointment will it consume me this time, swallow me up and leave me hanging in the throws of grief? It was a traumatic experience taking seven long weeks of going back and forth to the hospital, with finally going through a twelve hour labour with nothing but emptiness to show for it.
We had all the tests done after the third loss, but they have never been able to identify a problem. It is just this way for some women, is what I am told. It is all so out of your control and leaves you with so many questions, some that go to the core of your being and still you find no reasonable answers.
I sought support through the pregnancy crisis team in Norwich and underwent a six week program.When I started the programme I wanted to use it to take away all the pain, but it did not work that way. I found it was more about allowing myself to say this was crap and to stop feeling like I had to not feel.
It has been around eight months since completing the programme, I still find myself struggling to find a place for the anger that feeds my soul. I don't like it, I don't want it but if I allow myself to feel, it is there not too far under the surface waiting to remind me that I still have not resolved my grief.
But then I ask myself is it ever resolved, do you just have to accept that there are some pains that cannot be erased and actually why should they because the pain is about my babies and not just something I lost? I have a longing, desire, not sure what you call it, to use what I have been through to support other people. I've spent so long trying to move away from it, to get "better" or else I won't be able to help others. I am coming around to the way of thinking that the "better" I am looking for, lies in owning the pain, the loss and the reality that I have lost four babies that will never be replaced.
I don't know if anyone reading my story will take any comfort or reasurrance from my words, I hope you will. I am living a full life, I don't sit around all day or any of the day waiting for life to happen and I do believe that at some point I will make peace with the pain and the dragon called anger.
Thank you for taking time out to read my story. I apologise for the poor spelling (edited) and length of the above, if I stopped to worry about the spelling I wouldn't have written. Thank you for providing this space it has help me to do something I have thought about for a long time in putting my story down. Just looking at it makes you wonder how you do get up and get on and not allow the pain to drag you under. I thank God that it hasn't and I still have hope that good things can happen in my life. Kind regards.