I’ve agonised about whether I should write this post. It’s about something that only a few people knew – not even some close family. However, in the press over the last few months there have been examples of people coming forward to tell their story, although mostly from a Mum’s perspective.
It was May 2015 my wife and I decided to try for a baby. Jen has a chronic condition and was having a procedure done at the beginning of the month that would help keep the pain at bay for a while, so this was the perfect time try. We were so excited so we went to Tesco and bought all the pregnancy tests we could (They are so expensive!), desperately searching for the one that would tell us the soonest.
When we thought we were close to when the test would tell us we did the test. Actually, I think we did it a couple of days early as we are so impatient. We waited, and then squinted, is that a really faint line? It must be? Look, right there?!
That was a bit inconclusive, but we started to get even more excited anyway. A few days later we did the test again. This time we didn’t have to look so close – there was definitely a line. We were having a baby!!!
In our minds we were prepared for the fact that it may take a while to conceive, we’d heard the stories, so the fact it happened first time was incredible.
We knew it was still early days, but everything had gone so well up to this point, what could go wrong now? We started to prepare in our minds; What did we need to buy? Who could we borrow stuff from? Names?! Where will they sleep? Will we be good parents?
We couldn’t hold the excitement any more! Jen has a small family so we decided we would tell her parents and sister when we got to just over 7 weeks. We knew it was earlier than the usual 12 weeks and anything could happen, but again, what would go wrong? We found out that at that point baby was the size of a seasame seed, so we made a small card with a seasame seed and due date stamped on the inside. (Jen’s idea!) I rang my parents to let them know, but we decided we would tell my brothers nearer to the 12 weeks (I’ve got a big family!)
The day came, Jen said she felt a bit different. I said not to worry. We went for lunch at her Mum and Dad’s and eventually managed to get every one in the same room (surprisingly tricky for a small family!) We told them, there was a mix of excitement and shock. The secret was out at last. Woo.
Then Jen went to the loo and noticed some blood. She was worried but we allayed her fears, assuming it was just spotting – very common in the early weeks.
That evening, once we were home, there was more blood. A lot of blood. We rang our local Early Pregnancy Unit, who gave us some advice, although couldn’t really do much at that time.
Jen was due to work the Sunday, and Jen being Jen, in she went. She’s a nurse and the last thing she wants is her problems to change how she does her job. I seem to remember we woke up a bit more positive that perhaps it wasn’t our worse fears – a miscarriage.
A couple of hours in to her shift I get a phone call from her, in tears, saying there was more blood, a lot more. My heart sank. A friend picked me up and drove me in. Jen was currently in Urgent Care at the hospital, being seen by a doctor. I’m a massive fan of the NHS and all they do, but I’ll be honest, this doctor wasn’t very sympathetic. He basically made Jen do a pregnancy test, which still showed positive, so said she was still pregnant. However, pregnancy tests work by detecting a hormone that appears during pregnancy, just as it doesn’t appear fully straight away, it also doesn’t just disappear in an instant. He booked us in to the early pregnancy unit for later in the week and off we went, resigned to the fact Jen had miscarriage, and annoyed by a really unhelpful doctor.
Although we tried to stay positive the scan later in the week confirmed it, at 7 weeks 4 days we had lost our baby. I know 7 weeks 4 days doesn’t really sound very long, but in the 4 weeks we knew she was pregnant we had prepared ourselves for the biggest change we would have in our lives. We wanted this baby like nothing else. We’d prayed for them, we’d thought about names. We’d got excited. It was devastating.
The whole event was horrible. The high of finding out, to the slow realisation things aren’t right, and not being able to do anything about it. Seeing the person you love most hurting so much, in shock at events happening inside of them. The helpless feeling whilst you just wait for confirmation.
After reading more about it during this ordeal, it seems early miscarriages are really common. 1 in 5 babies miscarry before 12 weeks. It had an enormous effect on us as we tried again. Fortunately, we were successful very soon after and now have a beautiful boy, Zephaniah, but there were anxieties throughout the pregnancy, and they remain now. I wonder if they will ever fully go.
I would love it if people were able to speak about it more. A baby doesn’t suddenly become more important when you hit twelve weeks.If you have been through/are going through this, talk to someone, be open. I don’t necessarily mean tell the world, but at least find someone. You may be a man, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show emotion. Whether you do that in front of your wife/partner or not is up to you, but if it is affecting you, find someone. Maybe it hasn’t really affected you emotionally at all, but I’m sure it will have affected the Mum, so please support them as best as you can.
I hope this helps.