In a bid to break the silent taboo on miscarriage, this mother tells her story.
This post was written on the 2nd of November 2011 (on a private blog I had for journalling purposes), shortly after I suffered a miscarriage. I'm not sharing this for sympathy. I’m sharing this because I believe the act of sharing stories and speaking about things can help other people going through the experience. To know that you are not alone, and that you can overcome.
And just like that it’s over
All the bleeding… I wasn’t being paranoid. I called the doctor on Monday at around 1pm because when I went to the loo and I wiped it was bright red with some clots. I knew then. I knew right that very moment that this was over. My best friend, Robyn, went in with me because my husband couldn’t leave the office.
“Do you still feel pregnant?” the gynae asked me. I said my breasts were still tender. I think I was in denial about still feeling pregnant because I had so little symptoms to begin with. I think subconsciously I knew already. I kept saying I didn’t feel anything. That I just felt normal. I should have listened a little closer to my body.
“I’m afraid it bad news,” she said, but I knew that already when I saw and heard no heartbeat. My boy (call it what you will – mother’s/women’s intuition – but I just knew it was a boy) stopped growing at 7 weeks. I think she said 7 weeks, 5 days. I’m not quite sure. She asked if I was okay. I said yes and I thought I was. I wasn’t prepared for the crushing blow I felt when I sat up and Robyn just held me.
I can’t recall exactly what happened after that. I was in a daze but luckily Robyn was there. Dr. Basson scheduled me for an evacuation the next morning at 10am. She gave me a permission form to sign. It felt like I signed my baby away.
I called my husband and I was crying too much to be coherent and he rushed over to me. We went up to the 8th floor of Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital for pre-admission and luckily Dr Basson’s receptionist organised my medical aid authorization. I don’t think I could’ve dealt with them too.
My husband was very supportive. He hugged and held me and let me cry.
My dad came to get me from work and I waited for my husband to come get me there. My brother held me and let me cry when I got home but I don’t think he fully understood how I feel. I didn’t expect him to.
We needed to be at the hospital at 8am the next morning. But I had to administer some medication at around 7am (3 hours before the procedure) which meant we got to sit in traffic! Luckily we made it just a few minutes after 8 and we were admitted swiftly. It all went well. The nurses were nice and lovely. My anaesthetist was great. I don’t remember his name and I wish I had asked again. He put me at ease and was so compassionate.
The head nurse held my hand as they rolled me in at 10am and said to me that I should cry if I felt it and not to hold back. But I was trying to be brave and strong. She held my hand as they put me to sleep and having Dr. Basson there was very reassuring. I said my Kalimah Shahada (the Muslim profession of faith) as they put me to sleep and it calmed me down immensely.
I woke up groggy and confused in the recovery room. It was like coming out of a deep, comforting sleep and all I wanted to do was fall asleep again. “I’m awake… I’m awake,” I said thinking that they were still busy. Because it felt like I was asleep for just 5 minutes. “It’s okay,” a nurse said comfortingly. “Is it finished?” I asked. “Yes, dear. It’s over.” It was 10:25am.
It’s over and my baby is gone
As I lay in recovery, slowly waking up and staring at the ceiling, I made a list. I made a list of all the things I wanted in my immediate future:
- Codeine. I just wanted some effing codeine. I was having the worst period pain ever.
- Underwear. You have no idea how comforting underwear can be. All I had was a makeshift pad they had put there for the bleeding. Not ideal.
- The Husband. I just wanted my husband.
When all is said and done, when I’m sitting alone with my thoughts, I’m okay. For the most part. I understand that my body stopped the pregnancy because there was probably something wrong with the baby and God knows best. I am comforted by that. Those are the two things that are really helping me keep the negative thoughts at bay. I find peace in my faith.
Also, my sense of humour is saving me. I saw a tweet on Monday that made me laugh and I realised that if I could laugh, I would be okay. It said:
“That awkward moment when you set fire to Lorraine because you misheard Adele.”
Good lord, that’s the worst joke ever. I love it! I still chuckle when I say it to myself. I am that silly.
But I waited a long time for this baby. I’ve been waiting 2 years. Two years of not knowing if I could have a baby, of starting to believe that we couldn’t even make babies. And then there he was. Growing inside me. And then he was gone. Just like that he was taken from me.
On Monday I didn’t want to think of trying again. “Next time, Inshallah,” is what I heard. Yes, next time inshallah indeed. But not right now. I can’t face doing this again. Next time, I don’t think I will be as excited like I was this time. Next time I will be cautiously happy. Next time I will be scared. I don’t think I can actually be rolled into theatre again and have my baby removed from me like that. Next time I’m rolled into theatre to have a baby removed, I want it to be a live one.
A year later we were lucky enough to conceive again and now we have a healthy, happy and very busy 2-year-old son.