The pregnancy that wasn’t.

Supposing you have already read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I was considering whether or not to have a second child and the mental wellbeing consequences that would come from that.

I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything that happens for a reason, right?! Sadly, it would appear the gods aren’t in favor of this time my decision.

Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.

I just want to start by saying until something like a miscarriage happens to you, it’s hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer a miscarriage, especially in the early days; however, I, for one, never really sat and thought about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had enormous empathy for those around me that have gone through it. Still, nobody actually tells you HOW much of a long, messy, emotionally tiring, and not to mention painful time it can be.

I’m still quite raw as mine has just happened in the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to write about it now. To catch the emotions and hopefully help me heal and move on. Writing has always been good at helping me.

I had gone along for my first scan (12 weeks) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules, partners still aren’t allowed to come (I’ll try not to lose my rag over that situation). I didn’t mind as I thought I could video call him while inside if there was much to see. That idea went straight out the window as I entered the cubicle to be greeted by a very short and stern-looking sonographer. “phones switched off in here, please,” she said. Although slightly disappointed, I put my phone in my bag and got prepared on the bed.

After about 5 minutes of prodding and poking but no words, the lady then asked me to go for a wee as she would need to do a transvaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds). I asked if there was a problem and why couldn’t I see much on the screen, but she turned the screen away and said she just needed a better look as I could be slightly earlier than we expected. I went to the toilet with an awful feeling. I knew then something wasn’t right but returned to the room with a smile on my face to not look silly if everything was actually ok!

I stared at the black hole on the screen—a black hole with nothing visible inside. No yolk, no fetal pole …nothing. To be honest, I knew then that this would not be a successful pregnancy but to follow protocol. The sonographer explained I would need to go for some blood tests to see what’s happening. I played along.

I had blood tests every 48 hours, which consistently showed that my levels were high enough to be carrying a fetus…somewhere! Just not where it was meant to be. The stress of limbo and the unknown took its toll on me, and by the Saturday, my blood pressure had gone through the roof, and I had started getting bad cramping. I stayed in the hospital all day, waiting for the doctor to tell me whether he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (fetus grows in the fallopian tube). I knew this to be dangerous, which added to my stress. I begged to go home to be with my partner. He had waited in the car for the whole thing. Not being able to be a part of it or grieve himself, not being able to console me when I cried, and not even being able to listen to the doctors when I had zoned out. That night in bed, I thought I was dying! I was bleeding and cramping and crying and almost passing out with the pain. It felt like actual labor. I called the ward I had been on that day, and they explained I was most definitely experiencing a miscarriage (yeah, no shit sherlock)

To be honest, it was a relief. Not because my pregnancy was failing but because I’d had enough, and I wanted it all to be over. After everything, the most likely diagnosis for the loss was called a ‘Blighted ovum’ (see description below). My body had thought it was still pregnant even weeks after the egg had stopped growing. This made me feel strangely embarrassed. I felt awful that I had been telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry my news even when I technically had no news to tell. It was a hard pill to swallow as I had got myself over-excited to the point I was googling baby names and planning the baby’s room—silly me. I have had to spend the past few days re-texting those people telling them I’m actually not pregnant now. That in itself has been pretty rough.

It’s clear to me now that I really did want another baby, and the last two weeks have honestly been nothing less than hell. I had all the pregnancy symptoms and stopped all the bad habits, i.e., caffeine and alcohol, for almost 3 months. I had felt sick and tired with boobs that felt like boulders for 3 months. All for absolutely no reason at all. This is a type of miscarriage nobody talks about. The loss feels raw, but the baby was never there? So now, I sit here writing it all down, hoping for a bit more clarity from the fog I’ve been in, but it is still yet to clear.

I know I will recover from this, but now I ask myself whether I was only ever meant to be a mother to one? Whether Will this happen again? Whether this is a clear sign, I should take note of? Or whether I need to forget everything I ever believed about how things happen for reasons and try again. Time will tell, I guess, but in the meantime, I will hug my daughter a little tighter at night and be thankful for her and her health.

Blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy)

Blighted ovum and anembryonic pregnancy are both words used to describe a particular type of early miscarriage. You might also hear it called an early embryonic loss or early embryonic demise.

A blighted ovum occurs when the cells of a baby stop developing early on, and the tiny embryo is reabsorbed. However, the pregnancy sac, where the baby should develop, continues to grow.

Doctors think that a blighted ovum pregnancy happens because of an issue with the early development of the baby – for example, a chromosome error. It is extremely unlikely to be caused by anything you or your partner did or didn’t do.

A blighted ovum is diagnosed by ultrasound scan The scan shows a pregnancy sac, which doesn’t have a developing baby inside. This is sometimes described as showing ‘no fetal pole’.

This kind of miscarriage is usually discovered between the 8th and 13th week of pregnancy, sometimes at a routine early scan.

In this kind of miscarriage, the pregnancy hormone levels in your body can stay high for some time after the baby has died, so pregnancy tests can be positive and you may still experience pregnancy symptoms such as sore breasts, nausea and tiredness. Because of this, you may have no idea that anything is wrong, and being diagnosed can come as a real shock.