*The first part of this blog was written when I was only 14.5 weeks pregnant. The post-script section was written at 24.5 weeks. I am now 31 weeks, and myself and bub are happy and healthy and looking forward to meeting each other in a few short weeks.

It started with heavy bleeding.

I’m sitting in a hospital bed writing this. I am 14.5 weeks pregnant and yesterday afternoon at work as I stood up from my chair at the end of my working day I felt a gush of what I soon discovered in the toilet to be fresh blood. I freaked out a bit then stuffed a pile of toilet paper down my knickers and as I was in Mandurah jumped in my car for the drive home. By the time I reached my mother in laws house the blood had soaked my pants down to my knees. There was some cramping and a few brief sharp pains, but other than that I felt relatively fine, but scared. My mother in law took me straight to ED at King Eddy’s where they took bloods, poked my belly, inspected my cervix with a speculum (three times!) and told me that bleeding wasn’t good but there was nothing to be done but wait and see and have an ultrasound the next morning (as it wasn’t available until then).

A medical student came in to get a history from me. He started by confiding in me that he was really nervous and I told him “Hey dude, I’m pretty effing nervous, I think I’m having a miscarriage”. He started asking me about my first period and menstrual cycle since then…..I’m afraid I wasn’t the most patient historian. “Can you please tell me what is going on? Can you please find someone who can tell me if my baby is ok?”

Waiting for answers felt like an eternity.

I had a couple of episodes of close to panic attack crying. But both times I was ‘saved’ by a friendly bustling nurse coming in to do something and I pulled myself together. Isn’t it funny how strong the urge is to behave a certain way in front of other people? To not completely lose your sh*t in front of strangers even when your heart is breaking as you consider the consequences of what might be happening inside your body which you are helpless to change or prevent.

I barely slept last night and woke from a doze with a very stiff sore neck. The sense of heaviness and crampiness down there remains unchanged and it doesn’t give me confidence. I am still waiting for the scan and no one can tell me anything. It’s tedious and frustrating and endless. I’m trying not to think about what all this means. I want the scan so this can be over, but I’m dreading it and dreading my response to what it tells us. I am aware that miscarriage is relatively common. The difficulties we went through (IVF) to fall pregnant and our decision to not go through it again should things not work out this time around meant there was a sense of dreadful finality about what the scan might show.

I know deep in my heart that whatever the outcome today, I will be ok in the long run. I am strong and resilient and an optimist at my core. This waiting and not knowing is hard though…..

In strength, love Michelle

PS – I’m now 10 weeks post bleed and still have a healthy viable pregnancy. I had to wait until 4.30pm the next afternoon for my scan. Throughout that day no one could tell me anything or give me any information other than I just had to wait. I’m not complaining about the staff, it wasn’t their fault. I just wasn’t a priority apparently over other more urgent cases that needed the scanner. Anyway, my beloved husband sat with me all day while my MIL looked after our son. Only once did I broach the subject that perhaps our baby was dead. Other than that we browsed the internet and watched boring daytime TV. When we were taken down for the scan I felt sick with apprehension. I was so worried about the outcome and how I would respond. But luckily, as soon as they put the ultrasound head on my belly we could see bub wiggling about and it’s little heart beating merrily away. What an enormous relief….words can’t describe.

What caused the bleed?

Turns out I had a large 8cm haemotoma (bruise) in my womb. No-one could tell me how it got there, apparently it’s just one of those things that happen sometimes. Perhaps the placenta grew or moved and sheared a blood vessel. I was advised my risk of miscarriage remained high as a haematoma releases chemicals that make the uterus unstable. The only thing I could do was ‘take it easy, no exercise and no sex’ and wait and see. Since then the haematoma has been reabsorbing and at my last scan 2 weeks ago it was no longer visible.

1 in 4 pregnant women has a miscarriage prior to 20 weeks gestation.

I feel confident that we are past this ‘hiccup’ but boy….do I feel for those women who suffer miscarriages. To lose a life inside you is one of life’s greatest heartbreaks surely. And it happens so often….and yet seems to be hardly talked about? Shockingly more than 280 couples miscarriage EVERY DAY in Australia, that’s 103,000 couples per year. Even more shockingly, I don’t think (in fact I know) I would have had any real idea of how devastating it might feel prior to having a baby myself. So maybe this is why it’s kept so hush hush. I hope women seek the help and support they need to get through the grief and loss of a miscarriage?

Have you suffered a miscarriage? It would be a privilege to hear your story and whether you felt you had adequate support? Drop me a line at thrive@michelleleonie.com.au or leave a comment below.

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