I've been quiet for the last couple of months. This week I was supposed to have my three month scan, and then I was going to blog about the last three months of pregnancy. However, five days before I was due for the scan, I woke up one morning and decided to see my doctor as an emergency. Slight cramping, and just didn't feel quite right.
The pregnancy was not an easy one. The lack of symptoms worried me, and when I should have been nine weeks gone I went for a scan, on a whim, and discovered that the baby was only at six weeks. A week later, I went back to see how it was progressing, and it had moved on a week. However, the supposed date of conception didn't ring true. According to my doctors, the baby would have been conceived on the 24th December. However, my first positive blood test was the day before.
So, back to my latest visit to the doctor. The scan showed the heartbeat had stoped and the baby hadn't grown any further than the scan three weeks previous. The baby had died just after being reassured that everything was OK, although not quite as it should be.
In short, I had continued to be pregnant for three weeks, with a dead fetus. They call it a missed miscarriage, and I was booked in for a D&C two days later to remove the fetus.
Going into online forums you read a lot about the nightmare that a miscarriage is. I'm writing this account to state that sometimes these things are for the best.
My miscarriage was incredibly untraumatic, compared to all the nightmare stories you read. I felt no pain, other than the light cramps. The operation was done in less than five minutes under a spinal block, which didn't hurt, and the nurses and doctors were amazing. They chatted and joked with me, and totally took my mind off what was going on. I was walking within a couple of hours and was home in the evening, less than four hours after I was taken down to surgery. People sometimes find doctors to be quite cold about these things - mine was one of them. However, on the same morning that I had my D&C, my doctor performed three others. That is how common miscarriages are. And when doctors are too sympathetic, it somehow makes you feel worse. I prefer the scientific, logical and, yes, cold analysis that my doctor gave.
So, a couple of months and we will be free to try again. Apparently there is no reason why I should not try immediately, but they prefer to wait til hormones settle and a couple of cycles have passed - it makes dating a new conception less difficult.
This is how it was explained to me: Miscarriages are a disappointment. However, they are nature's way of removing non-viable babies. If nature didn't do her job, then the world would be even more full of sick children, and parents devastated at giving birth to a less then healthy, or even worse, dead child. They are therefore a good thing, in the scheme of things, and the earlier it happens during the pregnancy the easier it is on the mother's body.
I can't imagine the stress of repeated miscarriages, or the distress of women who lose their babies at 6 months for example, or lose a live baby that they have given birth to.
As bizarre as it seems to the people around me, I am not mourning this baby. It had no hope of surviving, and if it had would in no way have been able to lead a happy and fulfilling life. As one lovely person told me recently, a healthy baby is worth the wait. And if at first you don't suceed, we need to put it behind us, and try again. Of course it is a diappointment - it has messed up our plans. But what plans don't get messed up in some way at some point? So our plans are postponed, and the wait will be worthwhile.
So I may come across as heartless, but I am convinced that despite the disappointment, this is paving the way for better things. The only way now for us is forwards, and we are full of optimism for our future. If the worst happens, and I have to go through it again, I am guessing I will be less practical and philosophical about it.
PS, quick poll. How many hospitals when you are checking in for a D&C give you a goody bag full of luxury toiletries? It was such a nice gesture, but totally unexpected!