My Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 5-8
Sub-Ed Note: This article goes in to some detail and readers may find the content upsetting.
My first scan, I caught the bus from town with my partner and I had been drinking a bottle of water. You need a full one bladder for your scan so the nurse or doctor who does your scan can use your bladder to see your ovaries and womb. They use it as a centre to work from; for example I guess you would use the Capital Tower or Cardiff Castle as a meeting point for people or to find other places here in town.
Anyway back to my scan, so I had a full bladder by the time I got to my appointment but I ended up having to go to the toilet twice before I was called in; I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to find my womb but I was OK. I was then worried when they couldn’t find anything in my womb except the sack, which is basically where the fertilized egg grows into a foetus and then a baby.
The nurse called another in and I was told that because I was only seven weeks that the foetus could still be too small and so they arranged another scan for the following week, I was asked if I had any questions but at the time I was so worried I just wanted to get home. After that I worried during the week, I was terrified that something was wrong or, as I had heard from other people’s experiences, that maybe something had gone wrong or that I would never be able to see my baby.
On Monday morning I started getting pain and I noticed that it looked like I had started my period, I went straight down to the A+E at the University Hospital of Wales (Heath Hospital) and was seen by a doctor who referred me onto the emergency gynaecologist. The next day I had a scan set up for me for early in the morning and I didn’t even need a full bladder.
I was sent up to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) clinic or in the Heath. I got there and was expecting good news. I had to have an internal scan, which is where instead of the ultrasound scan over your belly they have a probe, which looks like a long stick that they put into the vagina and up to the womb. It wouldn’t harm a pregnancy and does not hurt but can be uncomfortable for you. At this point I was shaking and terrified but the nurses were very helpful.
The scan went through perfectly fine but the nurse said exactly what they were able to see and then told me the words I was terrified I was going to hear - “I’m sorry it’s bad news.” I began to cry even though I didn’t know exactly what I was being told. The nurse doing the scan started to explain while taking measurements and then looked at my ovaries. My partner finally arrived and the nurse explained what had happened to him and as soon as he came by me he fell to his knees by my side and cried with me, we were then taken into a private room to have some time to ourselves. We both cried our hearts out and talked, both of us were feeling blame, both of us confused and wondering what we did wrong, even though we both knew there was nothing we could do.
We were then told that even though my egg had been fertilized something must have gone wrong early on, there was no explanation but I was told I had had what is called a missed miscarriage, which is where the body has a miscarriage with no blood, then you bleed a few days or in my case weeks later; by my scan the sack was the size of six weeks where as my calculations said eight weeks.
I was told there were three things I could do next. I could take a pill which would make the womb contract and the pregnancy miscarry, which is called medical management of a miscarriage and then in two days you put four little pills up into your vagina that then finishes it off, or I could have a minor operation to remove the sack and egg from my womb under general anaesthetic and the final thing was to let nature take its course in time.
I was so distraught and horrified at this point that I just wanted it out of me in the fastest way. I had to go and get some lunch with my partner then when we came back a doctor came to speak to us and explain what would happen, then the nurses took me into a side room to take some blood and give me medicine and some leaflets to help me process what had happened. I was given some antibiotics and painkillers with the other pills and took the one that would start the ball rolling so to speak, I made a joke about the hospital always wanting my blood and then said thank you and even that I would be back one day soon to have a baby.
I then chose to go and see my mum who had been through the same thing before having me. She understood how I felt and listened to everything even to the point of saying, “Back in my day we didn’t have any of this.” I was about to leave when dizziness swept over me and I had incredibly overwhelming pain in my stomach. I chose to try and relax by having a bath but soon wished I didn’t, I got out and noticed the bleeding I had been having was getting more and seemed to just seep through everything, I was starting to feel sick and the pain had me unable to get comfortable or even move. I was terrified as I had no idea what was going on.
I called my mum and ended up being violently sick. She stayed by my side and tried to keep me calm, she used to be a nurse yet she didn’t know what to do except tell me to keep breathing and calm. She got me into my old room and gave me water, even offered me some pain medicine and to call my partner. After being sick more and losing I don’t know how much blood I was finally able to move and so I went downstairs, but I felt like more blood came out onto the pad I had on my underwear and thought I better change it.
When I did I could have cried; in amongst all the blood was something that looked like a goo ball or alien, which I guess was the sack or egg which had finally dislodged and come out of me. I felt sick again and just put it into a nappy bag my mum had given me. I told my mum and she suspected it was what I thought. Later on I called the EPAU and explained the situation, they said I could either make an appointment to go in for another scan to check or wait until my clinic appointment in four weeks, which I decided to do. That night I had to take one of my painkillers and settled down for sleep after talking with my partner about what had happened; we both had another big cry and just tried to think more positive things.
If you ever find yourself in the same or similar position, don’t worry as you will be given lots of help and you can call the EPAU if you think you have problems after you have been seen; they are very understanding and helpful and talk you through things, you're not rushed on decisions and after what I went through I would highly recommend having the operation instead of taking the pill as I did.
As ever those who know me can get advice from me and those who don’t know me I am here too, comment on this article or even come see me at the editorial meeting to talk in private. Although I have found this painful I want to help others so they do not have to worry or feel like they are going to go out of their minds. I am lucky to know this is a one-off thing that unfortunately is in my genetics from my mother, and I know now that I can have children, the only downer will be that I will have to tell any daughter that I have she will go through this as well. And once again thank you for reading this and I send good luck to any young mothers-to-be out there and my heart goes out to anyone who has experienced this or something similar.
Related Article: My Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 1-5