Pregnancy, Miscarriage and Recovery
Overwhelmed with emotions, I didn't know what to think. At forty-three what was the world going to say about me being pregnant? I had also just had started my new dream job and was on probation for nine months.
How did it even happen? I thought I was going through perimenopause, but obviously not.
I wondered whether women my age were even having children this late. I thought it wasn't even possible to conceive after forty-three, or at least it wasn't meant to be easy. The funny thing about it all, is that we didn't even try. Not only was this pregnancy a shock, it felt like I conceived through immaculate conception, because as far as I was aware, we had been careful.
It was time to stopping wondering how? What? Why? I had to face the reality of it all. I was pregnant and I needed to decide what I was going to do about it.
How was I going to carry a baby with my recent blood pressure issues? Furthermore, how were my other children going to feel? I was scared, anxious and in denial. I was worried that my baby would have a chromosomal issue of some sort, because you always hear that there are complications in pregnancies in older women, but at the same time, women in their late forties can also go onto have successful pregnancies.
So many questions ran through my mind, but I was running way ahead of myself. The tears ran down my face. I felt sick and confused. Instead of feeling overjoyed, I felt overwhelmed. Financially, how would I cope, especially in the current times when things within the economy are getting worse?
I didn't want to be that mother who walked her child to school, and other parents thought I was the grandmother, as much as I didn’t look my age. I didn't want to be mothering a child when it was possible my oldest child would in time start having his own children. I wanted to enjoy being a grandmother and be able to hand that child back, not cradling my own, feeling tired, going through the sleepless nights again. Not only that, there was my figure. I had just got my body looking how I had always wanted it to be. I had been working out to be in costume for Notting Hill Carnival 2023.
Having a baby at forty-three wasn’t in my plan. Maybe a few years ago, the idea had crossed my mind, but at that point of seeing those two lines on the stick, I just wanted to enjoy life, travel, enjoy my family, my partner, and fulfil the remaining goals I had on my to do list. I was happy and I didn’t want any more children.
I loved being a mother, but motherhood had been one of the hardest things I had ever had to do, especially being a single mother for over fourteen years. However,, I was at the end of that dark tunnel, finding myself and loving myself again. I had already dedicated most of my life to raising my children, so how was I going to go through motherhood again for another eighteen years? I looked to God for answers, but he didn't respond. All I knew was, he clearly had his own plan for me.
In a panic, I made an irrational decision. I told myself that I couldn't go through with it. I was frightened. I'd be at risk of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and most of all, I would be trapped.
My partner told me he would support me with whatever decision I made, and if I decided to keep it, he would be there no matter what.
Having a termination was another option, but I felt guilty, because I had never been raised to terminate a life. I needed advice, I wanted counselling, so I turned to my counsellor friend who calmed me down and told me to make the best decision for me.
It was my body, and it was only going to be me that had to live with the decision. I picked up the phone, dialled the number and made an appointment for a phone consultation. Did it seem like the right thing to do? No! But I was just going through my emotions. I knew deep down in my heart that my baby was our blessing. This was my last chance to embrace motherhood with a partner who loved me whole heartedly. He wasn't going to be like any of the other the men who had let me down. He was loving, he was different, and I had nothing to worry about. Everything was going to be OK. I had my friends, my family, and sons who were of an age to help me. This baby was going to be loved unconditionally.
However, my whole world came crashing down on me a few days before my twelve week scan. I started bleeding and at that point, there was nothing I could do. It was out of my control, and in the hands of GOD and the hospital staff whom I had put my trust in.
I never knew at that point, that my life would never be the same again. I had never experienced that amount of pain, emotionally and physically. Having a miscarriage took me on a world wind of emotions. It broke me, it surprised me, it taught me many lessons. It showed me who my true friends were and it also showed me how broken the NHS is. I was neglected, treated badly, spoken to with no empathy and left to bleed to the point where I almost passed out. When a woman is crying out for help in pain, in a hospital, where the professionals are supposed to be in charge of her care, she would at least expect a high level of service. In fact, I received less than the basic minimum and instead of mourning my loss, I was forced to take action. I had to take matters into my own hands and complain to the Complaints Management Unit at the hospital.
Miscarriage seems to be a topic many women avoid talking about and it shouldn't be that way. As women, we should be able to hold each other up, empower one another when we are down, offer support and show compassion.
I was surprised to see how some people avoided contacting me when they heard what I had been through. I also felt anger towards others, because of the insensitive comments that came out of their mouths, but then, I realised that I had to forgive them, because they didn't know better.
There seems to be a lack of understanding in general regarding miscarrages and I feel that a small percentage of people who have never been through such a traumatic experience, don't seem to understand the hurt and pain involved.
Over the next year, I will be working on a journal, describing my journey from conception to miscarriage, which I hope will eventually be published into a book. My miscarriage journal will be designed to help women process some of the complex emotions that come in the days and weeks after they lose a baby.
In this book, I will discuss my own experience and weave other women's stories into a exploration of grief and recovery.
The purpose of this book is to help other mothers process their loss after a miscarriage, by using it as a place to reflect and explore their feelings and emotions.
This will be a book of remembrance for the many women that have been unable to share their stories, and it will hopefully bring empathy, understanding and compassion from those who have never had to experience this type of pain.
Writing can be therapeutic when you write down your thoughts, and this can often provide comfort and healing.
Remembrance is truly important and I have kept ultrasound photos, as a tribute to my baby.
What I suggest for every woman who has had a loss, is to indulge in some self care. Many people do not realise that, 'Journaling' is a form of self-care. I have found in the past, that it helps me to express what I am feeling deep inside, when it's difficult to find the right words.
Also alongside writing this book, I am fighting for a change in the UK hospital system regarding the care of women going through a miscarriage and I have set up a petition on Change.org to raise awareness.
Please read, sign and share to support the cause.
Thank you to my amazing friends and family who reached out to me from day one. Who comforted me, listened to my cries, who lifted my spirits when I was down and helped me to be positive again.
To anyone who has loss a child, you are not alone. Your babies will never be forgotten. May they rest in eternal peace.
Would you mind taking 5 minutes to complete this form to help me with the research for my propsed book? It would be great if you can submit your response by 14/03/2023. Thank you!