Hello, I'm Natalie, mummy to Elin, Nia and not forgetting my four- legged fur baby Lyra! My eldest Elin was born in the summer of 2018. Apart from awful morning sickness (which never actually occurred in the morning) I had a relatively straight forward pregnancy.
Fast forward two years and we were living in a lockdown world due to COVID. My husband, Carl and I were shocked but excited to find out that I was pregnant. We had always talked about having a sibling for Elin but hadn't quite decided when would be the best time (if there ever is). I started to feel nauseous but it seemed much more manageable compared to my first pregnancy. One morning I went to the toilet and noticed blood. I was 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I started to have very mild, what felt like period pain cramps. I rang my GP who said the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) at the hospital couldn't see me until midday the following day.
By lunchtime the bleeding had increased along with the cramping. I knew what was happening. I couldn't say it out loud as I didn't want it to be real. When I passed my first piece of pregnancy tissue I remember sitting on the toilet sobbing. My baby, why me, why now, what was wrong with my body? By morning Carl had rung the emergency services, who promptly dispatched an ambulance. I had lost too much blood, along with clots and was now to the point of almost passing out. I remember the paramedics coming into the house and seeing me being helped down the stairs by my husband. They instantly made me sit down and took some observations. They wanted to use a stretcher but I was terrified that my daughter would be worried seeing mummy being taken away. I insisted on walking so I told Elin that mummy had a sore tummy and I wanted to show the ambulance men where I worked (I work at the hospital). With it being COVID Carl wasn't allowed to travel with me so off I went. To add to things, we have no family close by but we have some amazing friends who looked after Elin whilst Carl came to the hospital.
Once in A&E it wasn't long before I was whisked off to EPAU. Carl had arrived at the hospital by now but because of COVID he wasn't allowed into the unit. Instead, he had to wait outside the main doors of the unit or at the front entrance of the hospital. So off I went to be examined, alone, bleeding, in pain mentally and physically. The sonographer concluded there was no life form. Even though I knew this, I still felt numb, empty. I kept apologising about all the blood. It's all I could say. After a brief chat with a nurse, I was examined again but by a doctor this time. All I remember her saying was she couldn't 'scrape anything as there's just too much blood. I didn't need reminding! It was all over my clothes, the floor. I felt embarrassed, but more than anything so so alone.
By this point I needed another sanitary pad. They didn't have any, only a panty liner. Are you kidding me?! Great I thought. That'll last 5 minutes (if that). I had already bled onto my pyjama bottoms. What a state.
After that ordeal I was given a leaflet of 'useful numbers' and instructions and sent on my way. As I shuffled to the exit I fainted. At this point Carl was waiting looking through the doors. The last time he saw me was being carted off in an ambulance and now he sees me crumpled on the floor surrounded by nurses.
I broke down in the car on the way home. I never want to go through that again. Alone. Never. No one should have to go through that alone.
No one prepared me for the physical pain that came that night and the next few nights. I felt
I was in labour again. No one at the hospital said anything about intense cramps. Emotionally I was drained. A mixture of sadness, grief, anger and frustration. Close friends and family sent flowers which I know is very thoughtful but it just reminded me of it all. I couldn't bare to look at them. I wanted it all to go away.
People asked how I was and instead of saying the usual 'I'm fine', I thought no, I'm not fine so I said it how it was. Some found that awkward and uncomfortable but I couldn't pretend I was fine when I really wasn't. Along with my emotions I was also worried about Carl and the impact on him. Some days he was closed up, other days angry.
The one useful bit of information I found on my hospital leaflet was Tommy's. A great website with lots of information. But what helped me was to talk about it. I'm extremely lucky that I was able to talk to my sister, a friend who had experienced it and also a close friend who kept checking in with me. They were my life-lines in those first few weeks.
When I fell pregnant the following year it was a range of emotions. High on the list was anxiety, with a dash of excitement.
It was a long 9 months of checking for blood every time I went to the toilet. I couldn't help it. I was petrified of it happening again. Would I cope if it happened again? I cried at my 12 week scan, the relief of seeing a heartbeat. I still couldn't quite relax until she was here, and at 13.14 on October 13th 2021 Nia Annabelle was born weighing a healthy 8lb 10oz. I remember both myself and Carl having tears when she was handed to me. Our little rainbow baby.
I wanted to share my story in the hope it helps someone, even just one person that they're not alone. It's reported that one out of 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. It shouldn't be a taboo subject, I feel it should be talked about, it definitely helped me.
It's coming up to three years now and I still think about it- and talk about it, helping others who have experienced a miscarriage. If you can, reach out, the love and support is there...
Love Natalie xxx