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5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks

On the Seventh of August 2020 I woke up excited, I had been experiencing pregnancy symptoms for the last week – my breasts were sore, I hated the taste of peanut butter and coffee and couldn’t stand the smell of bread. I’d never felt like this before, so as I was collecting my pee (Sorry TMI) I knew that the pregnancy test I was about to take would be positive, but I was still scared, anyone who has been trying to conceive for a while will know that sometimes we psych ourselves up for that positive but it’s just our imagination. I dipped, set my timer, and then tried to distract myself for the longest three minutes of my life – which was sitting on my bed with Rick and Morty playing, while I watched the time count down. When the alarm went off I felt my stomach drop – was this really going to be it? After everything that had happened was this going to be the road to our baby. As I looked at the pregnancy test and saw the two brightest red lines I ever have before, I screamed my head off and jumped up and down, thankful that I wasn’t crazy – I was pregnant.

So many things ran through my mind, how will I tell my husband (Colin), how will I tell my family – what the hell do I do now? It was Colin’s first day back at work and for the first time in five months I was alone, I had so many ideas about how to surprise him when he came home but when I glanced down and the two lines screamed in my face I quickly picked up my phone and started sobbing. My poor husband was on the other end terrified that something had happened at home, till he heard the two words I managed to gasp out through my tears – I’m pregnant. The break in his voice when I heard him say - “Really” made fresh tears roll on, he was so excited but now had to work another six hours before he could come home and celebrate, but that night when he did come back and see the tests (Yes by this time I had taken many more) he was over the moon. We called our doctor, set up our midwife appointment and bathed in the bliss of her congratulating us. For the first three days of this pregnancy everything was perfect, I had the worst morning sickness but I couldn’t have been happier to feel nausea, I stopped drinking coffee and I downloaded an app which told me I was four weeks four days pregnant and that our baby would be here in April. From previous experiences we decided to wait until at least eight weeks to tell anyone, but I would say a mantra every night when I went to sleep and every morning when I woke – ‘You will still be pregnant tomorrow.’ And it worked, it calmed me to think that I was somehow controlling what was happening inside of me, till day four came along and I noticed some spotting, my heart dropped as soon as I saw it but I tried to convince myself that it was perfectly normal – which it is – it just didn’t feel right. I called my doctor straight away and she told me the same thing, it is normal to spot in early pregnancy while the baby implants itself, just try to relax and sleep as much as possible so your body can do its thing. I could do this, I would do anything to make sure the miracle inside of me kept happening, Colin was amazing, even though he was still working he would set me up in bed with snacks and books to read and would assure me everything was fine. Two more days passed, and it seemed to be working, I had minimal spotting and I felt good in myself but sometimes things happen, and we can’t control it, even if we try everything to make it work.

On day six of finding out I was pregnant my bleeding got very bad and from the painful cramps I was feeling I knew what was happening. I was losing this baby. I don’t really remember crying; I remember silence and numbness. Everyone experiences miscarriages differently; (including men) I had already had five in the past and they had all been different, but this one, this one is the worst. We had named the baby – Little wookie and bought gifts to tell our family, we had planned so many things that we’d never planned before, because we had never had a test this positive before. No faint lines, no squinting, it was there. I didn’t think things could get any worse till the morning of the seventeenth, my alarm went off but I wasn’t excited, I had to get up and pee in the cup but this time I was testing to make sure the lines were fading away, it was like torture. It put a whole new light on testing, I actually don’t know how I will feel the next time I need to take a pregnancy test – dread or excitement?

I started to miscarry a few days before I was due to go back to work, so I had two options – stay home and sit in everything or get back to some kind of normality after five months at home. I chose to go back to work, two days into my miscarriage. For the most part I was feeling good, I had more energy than I’d had in the last few months because I could see my friends, I work at an extremely special place where my colleagues are like family. All seemed good, I was happy being busy and not having to think about it, its now been a week and a half since I started to miscarry, and I am not ok. The problem with hormones is they can hit you at any time, I was sat in the office having a good day and out of nowhere…slap. A wave hit me, and I was down for the count, I lost my breath, tears started to stream and showed no sign of stopping, I was having a panic attack and felt like I was dying. My chest felt tight and my stomach felt empty, Colin was there and able to talk me through the panic attack, but I did not really feel any better. I mean I could breathe normally but my chest felt as hollow as the pit in my stomach and the tears were still there, but I felt nothing. I felt no need for the tears and I myself felt like nothing which was terrifying, I’ve had many times where I’ve questioned the universe and what is the point – why are we here? But this punch to the gut that knocked the wind out of me said – ‘There is no point to you being here.’ I’m not a doctor but I’m guessing this feeling is biological, because we are all mammals that just want to procreate, the only way I can explain this whole experience is to say I am not just emotionally being thrown through the wringer, but physically my body is mourning the loss too.

I know I am not in a good place, right now I am making sure to tell Colin exactly how I’m feeling and not keep it to myself, I’m talking to my doctor and I’m trying to be easy on myself – this is not easy for me, as the saying goes – I am my worst enemy – and I never let myself forget it. But I have to remind myself that this feeling is temporary, yes it may last a while, but it will soon fade, and the waves won’t make such a huge impact. Should I have taken time off when it happened – honestly, I think if I did this whole eruption would have happened sooner, but I also think it could have been worse. Anyone out there who is suffering with the heart-breaking loss of a miscarriage – listen to your body and mind, never try to copy someone else’s way of coping – I went back to work but if you don’t feel like you can yet, don’t. It doesn’t matter if you knew about your baby for five hours, five days or five weeks, it is a huge loss, you deserve to feel that loss, give yourself the time. I lost my baby at 5 weeks and I still feel like my heart will never fully heal; any loss is a loss. I hope telling the story of my experience can help anyone who is going through their own, we will make it through this. I miss myself; right now, I’m scared I will never be myself again, but I have to keep hope that it will get better.

Little Wookie, thank you for bringing us so much happiness, even if it was only a week, we will love you forever <3


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