17 weeks + 2 days pregnant
‘Traumatic’ is the only word that comes close to describing my day. When I woke up I had more spotting but it seemed a larger amount than I’ve experienced before. I did a sharp intake of breath before promptly bursting into tears. I stopped my blood thinning injections a fortnight ago so I now know that it’s not caused by those. I called the Early Pregnancy Uint but was referred to Triage as I’m now 17 weeks pregnant. It was the same department I’d visited when I went in with my reduced movements with Nieve and the woman on the phone repeated the exact thing that was said to me seven months ago when I went in then, “Make your way up to see us at Triage.”
I went in to that same department and was taken to the same room I’d been taken to to be assessed the night of Nieve’s reduced movements. The midwife pulled a Doppler out and I felt instantly terrified. What if they couldn’t find a heartbeat? She put the Doppler on my abdomen and tried it in several positions. We heard my heartbeat but not baby’s. I was inconsolable. I was so terrified that it had happened again, that my baby had died. I was crying and shaking and the midwife sent me straight across for a scan.
They applied the gel quickly and through the blur of my tears I saw my baby on the screen in front of me. He was still. I sobbed even harder… “There’s the heartbeat,” the songographer confirmed. Thank God. It was the same room they’d confirmed Nieve’s death in and I’d expected the same outcome. Through my sobs I’d already begun to envisage myself calling Matt to break the news and imagined myself labouring another still baby. My fears may not have transpired in reality but for those five or so minutes, I lived through another loss. My baby was safe and well but I couldn’t relax. I was totally traumatised by the whole experience and felt unsafe, unsure…terrified.
The midwife took me back to the assessment room and I just sobbed and sobbed. I sobbed for my lost daughter, I sobbed for the fear I have that I’ll lose this baby too, I sobbed for my lack of control, I sobbed for the trauma of it all.
The Doctor came to assess me and carried out an internal examination. When she pulled the speculum out, bright red blood covered the tip and I found myself shaking uncontrollably, terrified that something was seriously wrong. The Doctor concluded that the bleeding was most likely caused by irritation to the the neck of the womb, something that happens quite commonly in pregnancy and isn’t problematic, although she said she couldn’t be totally sure. Her uncertainty frightened me. I quizzed her. Could it be a problem with the placenta? Unlikely. Could it be things ‘breaking down?’ Probably not. Her uncertainty left me shaken. I’m scared and I feel totally out of control. They advised me to ‘monitor the situation’ and contact them again if the bleeding persists or becomes heavy.
As I got up to leave the Doctor remarked , “Don’t get yourself so stressed, it’s not good for you.” I probably would’ve gotten angry at this comment if I wasn’t so emotionally broken.
When I got home I felt exhausted. Today I lived through the trauma of thinking that my baby had died. Today I relived the horror of Neive’s death. It felt like my worst fear was materialising and I’m still trying to settle my shaking hands and calm my beating heart. I feel emotionally raw and fragile, exhausted. I feel frightened about the implications of the bleeding even though the Doctors seemed unconcerned. I feel haunted by the memories of the midwifes wrestling with Dopplers to find my daughter’s heartbeat, and now my son’s.
I don’t know what to tell myself to steady my nerves. I can’t tell myself that everything will be ok this time, that this pregnancy will have a successful outcome, nobody can. And that’s the reality that I realise I am living with day to day, as all us pregnant ladies are, only, I have an acute awareness of it while most have the luxury of obliviousness.