In April 2014 I got a surprise! I was expecting. At first I was scared I didn’t feel ready to be pregnant and I get very bad anxiety in pregnancy. I also got a great deal of pain in the early days which frightened me.
However the pregnancy progressed slowly as my dates were pushed back but it progressed nicely! It was mentioned Elva was small for her gestation age (SGA) but as she was growing and it was my third pregnancy we tried not to worry too much.
Around 24 weeks I started spotting. My midwife was informed and it was considered normal as it had stopped. Between 24 +5 and 27+3 I spotted on and off. I was getting very worried so my midwife examined me on Monday and took swabs.
We started to relax a little knowing we were being cared for. The next day it was requested I have a scan the following week to check on growth.. we agreed.
The Tuesday and Wednesday Elva was lovely and active. I assumed it was due to me relaxing. Thursday she was a lot quieter. I was worried but grew angry that she was worrying me. A quiet day here and there wasn’t overly unusual for my tiny girl and I thought we were safe enough to wait till following day if she was still a slow coach. Around 11pm she had a mad wiggle nothing major but enough to make me think shes ok just sleepy today.
The following day, Friday, I woke for the first time in weeks without any anxiety. I got up as normal and took my youngest child to a play group. Around 10am holding a friends baby it occured to me I hadn’t felt any kicks that morning which again wasn’t overly unusual but I do remember thinking hmmm.
11am I returned home and expressed my worry to my partner. At this time we had hired a doppler to check in on Elva whenever I was worried (we will talk about doppler another time). So I got it out around 11.30am and proceeded to find the heart which till today hadn’t been too difficult. The next half hour we heard whoosing of the placenta and blood, knocks and bangs but no heartbeat.
I had some water and some food feeling sick because she still hadn’t moved. My partner tried the doppler this time and again still could’t find anything. Now I’ve a high bmi so at this point we tried not to worry considering she was small and I wasn’t she could have been hiding its not uncommon.
Around 1pm I rang my midwife in tears saying I couldn’t feel baby move. She suggested a sweet drink, chocolate and a lie down to try concentrate on movement.
Waiting for the midwife I decided to pack the baby things away in binbags. I hoped in a few weeks I’d be getting them back out ready for her arrival but for now I needed them out of sight!
By 5pm the midwife arrived and it had been 18 hours since I had felt anything at all. She tried herself and there was still nothing. At this point I knew she had gone, the midwife knew but we still had some kind of small hope maybe just maybe she was hiding.
630pm I was in hospital having a scan I watched as they placed it on my belly and my curled up girl appeared on the screen. First her spine then her head and round to her torso. There was her heart the perfect chambers clearly visible and clearly still. I hoped I had it wrong but the words ‘its not good news’ came from the consultants mouth and I told her it was ok it doesn’t matter don’t be sorry.
The scan showed a large clot where my placenta had been and the placenta had moved to the back.
They wanted to check my placenta wasn’t low lying so at this point I needed another scan. I hoped something would appear and they would say we were wrong shes ok! But those words never came.
Next was the task of processing this information. You are numb at first you almost don’t believe them, you hope your baby will prove them wrong. You ignore all the evidence things are not ok and you hope you will be the one to defy medical staff. You start to wonder what you did wrong, why this happened to you and how sudden it happened.
I expressed a comment that it was good job I kept the tag on many of the clothes, that maybe it was a good thing as we weren’t ready for another baby then I said I refuse to give birth and you can’t make me!
My partner was informed in the form of tears over the phone because how can you tell anyone clearly what’s happened. He was in shock too. He hadn’t felt this tiny girl move once from within he hadn’t felt the deafening silence as no more kicks came. He didn’t feel the guilt coursing through his veins because as the mother, the incubator the grower he hadn’t failed.
At this point the consultant wanted to tell me a c section wasn’t possible it carried too much risk to me and future pregnancies………………… sorry what? future pregnancies! I NEVER want to be pregnant ever again, I don’t want more children if this is the outcome. Then comes the pity look of yes we know but we also know you will be back here before you know it with a new pregnancy. I told them I would think about it but I was promising nothing!
When I got home around 8pm I still hoped she would kick. I couldn’t believe this has ended.
I spent the night crying heart broken with my youngest child picking up on the sadness and crying with me.
I was glad I packed the baby things away but as I sat at home with nothing more than thoughts I started to feel immense guilt and shame.