When Spence was about 18 months old, we thought we had nailed parenting and decided we wanted to try for another baby. We wanted a smallish gap between them similiar to the gap length between Mark and his brother. We were quite surprised that we pretty much got pregnant on our first try while we were on holiday on the Isle of Wight, it had taken us 6 months to get pregnant with Spencer.
We told my family at a family BBQ when I was 10 weeks and told Marks family soon after and a few close friends.
Whilst at Waterloo station on his way to a meeting, Mark bought me a ‘Wonder Woman’ mug from Oliver Bonas as a little ‘pregnancy present’. I loved it, I re-wrapped it in it’s tissue paper waiting for the best time to use my new mug.
Our 12 week scan finally arrived and we excitedly waited to see our first pics of our little Jelly Bean when we heard ‘I’m sorry but there isn’t a heartbeat’. I didn’t think I had heard correctly and everyone had gone silent so she turned the screen to face us to show us where the sac was but that there was no heartbeat! I was so shocked, another doctor came in the room to confirm the news but I couldn’t say anything, I clinged to the hope that she had got it wrong. Unfortunately the doctor confirmed the worst.
We were escorted to another ward but as we left the room and I saw a waiting room filled with excited new parents, I burst into tears, I kept my head down, not meeting anyone’s eyes until we had escaped the room.
We were given our own personal waiting room until we were ready to be seen. Neither one of us spoke, I knew I couldn’t talk without crying so I stayed silent. I was in shock and I couldn’t understand how it had happened, I had had no pains, I was still getting morning sickness and unbearable tiredness. I was still clinging onto the hope that it was all a mistake.
When we were seen, the nurse explained that although not confirmed, looking at my scan it’s likely that I had a partial molar pregnancy. This is when two sperm fertilise the egg and instead of creating twins, too much genetic matter is created for the pregnancy to be viable. Apparently the miscarriage happened at 9 weeks but I still had pregnancy symptoms due to the level of hormones in my system. To give an indication of my hormone levels- an average, non pregnant woman has a hormone level of 5, I had 55,000. The danger of a partial molar pregnancy is that this excess genetic material needs to be removed from the body as soon as possible, because otherwise it can spread like cancer. So I had an important decision to make- I either have surgery to remove it or I let it all evacuate naturally. In both cases, the tissue needed to be collected and sent away for testing.
The nurse told me to go home and have a think but truthfully I had already made up my mind- I wanted the surgery.
I felt guilty taking the ‘easy’ route, to easily get rid of my dead baby as if it was nothing. Was the natural way more respectful? Going through this sadness was a lot to deal with, for both of us. The nurse said it could take weeks for my body to catch up and start to let everything go and I didn’t want to go through all this emotional pain again, I didn’t want to be sat on the toilet while parts of me came out of my body and got flushed away. My surgery got scheduled for two days later.
The hospital were amazing, they got the best consultant to do the surgery and I was put first on the list for the day so I didn’t have to do any waiting around. Mark wasn’t allowed to come to the room where it would all happen with me, we had to say goodbye at a certain point in the corridor as he wasn’t allowed to go any further. I was taken to a room to wait, I was so nervous and on my own. Someone came to check my details and to make sure I understood what was being done. Then when I was taken into the surgery room, I had to confirm my details again and I had to tell them what I was there for, saying ‘surgical miscarriage’ felt so surreal. All this had happened in such a short time, I hadn’t had any time to comprehend any of it and take it all in. Before I knew it I was under those bright lights that you see in films counting backwards from 10. And in what felt like a second later, I was awake again.
The surgery went fine, I had lost a bit of blood and my blood pressure was very low but nothing to worry about too much. I was taken to the recovery ward and reunited with Mark. Once I had a drip and some tea and toast, I was ready to go home. I got about 3 metres outside the ward before feeling really weird and faint, apparently I had lost more blood than I thought. I had to go back to the ward, after a bit more time, more tea and chocolate, I was definitely on my way home.
One thing that helped during this time was having Spencer, he was too young to know what was going on. As soon as we got home from our initial scan, he didn’t know anything was wrong, he just wanted me to play cars with him. I couldn’t mope or cry when we had Spence to look after, he kind of forced me to be happy and to take my mind off things.
It took me a long time to get over what happened, I couldn’t understand how this had happened. Over and over, I would hear the words ‘Sorry, there’s no heartbeat’ in my head. I cancelled going to baby showers, I cut myself off from people that were pregnant, I hated seeing pregnant ladies. I felt a bit mean as it wasn’t their fault what happened to us, we were just unlucky. We had already had one child so apparently we were fine to have another one. Although the surgery went fine, I still had to have blood tests every two weeks to make sure my hormone levels were reducing back to normal. This was important, if my hormones didn’t reduce it would mean that it was possible that the genetic material wasn’t completely cleared from my body. It took about 3 months to return to normal which was when we could start trying to get pregnant again. I wanted to get pregnant as soon as possible.
During that time, my Wonder Woman mug was still on our kitchen side wrapped in its tissue paper. Mark asked if I was going to start using it, but I couldn’t. It was a present for getting pregnant and I had failed at that. I didn’t just fail, I had royally failed. I couldn’t do the one thing that my body was designed to do. I didn’t deserve the mug.
After another failed pregnancy, we eventually became successful! We didn’t make a big deal out of it, we didn’t do any fancy announcements or tell everyone. I felt like I couldn’t get my hopes up. We had scans at 6, 9 and 12 weeks, each time we breathed a sigh of relief when we heard the heartbeat. Between weeks 12 and 20, we had no extra scans- it was excruciating, I would worry about every weird feeling I would get. It was a huge relief when I could feel him kick and that’s when I started to relax a little.
Then, arriving on his due date, we had Coen Grayson Humphrey all perfect and chunky.
A few weeks later, I unwrapped my Wonder Woman mug. I decided to let go of the pain of our failed pregnancy and accepted that I earned this mug and that I finally deserved it. Every time I use it, it reminds me of what we went through but also makes me happy for what we have now xx