The magic number.

Exactly three years ago last Friday, I was on a maternity ward being induced at 41+2 days pregnant. I sometimes catch myself reliving my whole birthing experience in my head and wincing. But being at that same hospital at the same time three years later, I smiled at what would have been happening at that very moment. Smiled at how unknowing I was.

I've always believed in fate and often noticed 'signs' and to some extent I believe in 'The Universe' and everything it has to offer you. And on Friday as I was walking into the hospital at the same time I did three years ago, I thought it must be a good omen. I hadn't miscarried, I wasn't having an ectopic pregnancy, It was a viable pregnancy. Three days prior I'd sat in A&E for six hours, I was told at first I'd miscarried and then hours later I was still pregnant. Which was it going to be? Deep down I knew it would be good news, it was too much of a coincidence that I'd been here three years ago heavily pregnant and ready to give birth. It was a good sign!

After blood tests and a scan and lots of waiting, I was told that it was an ectopic pregnancy. I won't go into detail but it just wasn't possible that it could be a viable one. I felt a flood of different emotions in the space of three seconds, the most intense wave of mixed feelings but mostly I was frightened. I knew what was going to happen next, I'd spent the night before looking at my options even though there was a glimmer of hope it wouldn't come to this. As the doctor explained what those were, my mind whirred and whirred. I never knew it was possible to think so many things in a split second, the brain is a phenomenal thing. But still I was shocked that The Universe hadn't delivered, the 'sign' I thought there was simply my imagination running away with itself. I felt foolish.

It took seconds to decide that the medical route was best. The nurse gave me a shot of methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug - yeah, intense... I feel like I've been hit by a truck) and just like that I wasn't pregnant anymore (in my mind, not yet in my body). I have to go back to the hospital every week for the next month to ensure the hcg levels in my body are dropping (they've dropped by 2000 in four days so the drugs are working). My fingers are crossed this drug will continue to do what it's supposed to and that it doesn't result in a ruptured fallopian tube because that can still happen.

I've never found it easy to write about feelings of sadness or grief, my speciality is generally rage(!). But I am sad, I do feel as though I've lost something. I am terribly sad, I feel withdrawn, I don't want to be around anyone. I feel wretched and I'm in pain. It's a hard thing to grieve, a pregnancy that wasn't 'quite'. It's as though I have less of a right to feel this than someone who has lost a pregnancy further down the line and I know it's ridiculous. Every pregnancy that's lost should be grieved. I'm angry too, angry at others ignorance. I think people expect me to be up and about and doing things but ectopic pregnancies can be life threatening and until my hcg levels drop back to zero I've been told to rest. I could feel the effects of the drug for a month and I have to avoid exercise, alcohol, foods rich in folic acid. I'm exhausted and nauseous. But I'm trying to direct my anger into looking after my body (does that even make sense?), not at the ignorance and selfishness of others (I'm sorry I've lost a baby, have just had chemicals pumped into my body, am still at risk of a ruptured fallopian tube and an operation and have been instructed to rest. I'm sorry but this isn't a straightforward miscarriage!). People are dicks. Everywhere I look there are women pregnant and I feel jealous and I hate it. I'm not a jealous person but this whole experience has left me bitter. I know time is a great healer and this won't be forever but I'm finding it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank goodness for Lil.

As I write this, my almost three year old is playing with her princesses. Three years ago today I had a baby who was a day old. I am so lucky for what I have. I still believe this is a sign. It wasn't meant to be, as vomit inducing as it sounds.

A sign (perhaps) that three is still, and always will be, the magic number.


14 comments:

  1. Nicola Gibb (@nicgibb)April 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Let yourself be sad. Give yourself time to mourn the loss. And be kind to yourself.

    I had a similar experience with my second pregnancy. They never found out if it was ectopic but it took me a long time to fully miscarry, in fact I refused drugs with deluded hope that they'd got it wrong. I had three weeks of visits to hospital every other day as by body denied what was happening and kept trying to grow the baby I'd already lost.

    I am sat here now feeding my youngest, now six months old and the result of pregnancy number three, and in a weird way I know that this is how it was supposed to be, or I wouldn't have her. But I didn't feel like that at the time and it took me a longer than I expected to pick myself up, so don't rush.

    Thinking of you and sending lots of love.
    @nicgibb

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  2. Let yourself grieve. Loosing a baby no matter how early is traumatic. I lost my second pregnancy very early but it still hit me like a ton of rocks. It took me a good few weeks to get back to a place where I felt normal and that's without a ton of hard core drugs. I hope you find time to rest and heal. Take care of yourself x

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  3. So so sorry for your loss and hope you manage to rest and recover. It's a shitty stick being a woman sometimes. As your hormones rage, look after yourself and although it's a rubbish saying, time does heal slowly. Take care x

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  4. That's rubbish! I'm a big believer in fate and what will be will be but sometimes it's easy to lose sight of this when things seemingly happen unfairly. Stay positive. x

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  5. I have been in your shoes. Although it took a month for them to answer the 'so am I pregnant or aren't I?' question. I carried on working all the time carrying this terrible, heart wrenching secret. And my nextdoor neighbour offered words of consolation like 'at least you can get pregnant!'. This is shit and I can't do anything to take the pain away. But if you wanted to talk or rant then my ears are always available. Unfortunately, although I work in central London I don't think I am near you otherwise I'd offer to grab coffee and just sit if it helped.

    Amy x

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  6. p.s. Crying big fat pit of the stomach tears in the shower used to help me.

    Amy x

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  7. I'm so sorry gorgeous.
    I know this pain all too well. I had miscarried and because that passed naturally they missed the fact that there was a continuing ectopic pregnancy.
    It ended up rupturing and was excruciating, nearly died (blah blah).
    But that pain is nothing compared to the hollowness of the loss compounded by the fucked up things people say. The one that I found hardest was 'at least you have a child already' coming from a nurse.
    Try not to let the idiots get under your skin and in your head.
    Rest and do not feel obliged to give a crap if someone doesn't like that.
    If you feel weird, shaky, prickly skin and nauseous don't be afraid to get straight to the er and make them check for a ruptured tube, so important to make sure you get through the physical side so you can untangle the emotional side.
    Message me if there's anything I can do for you lovely.

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  8. I'm so sorry Charlotte. It's a heartbreaking time that you are going through, take your time to process it all by whatever come natural to you, don't listen to people telling you how you should be feeling, or what you should be doing. I'm thinking of you x

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  9. Heartbreaking. Thinking of you xx

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  10. I'm so sorry Charlotte. Do what you need, and don't listen to anyone else...you were pregnant and in my book that equals baby so you should take time to grieve as much as you need. I hope you are being will looked after by T and L. Babies, pregnancy, fertility etc is a tough thing...I learnt a huge amount in my short time trying to conceive no2. It was only a year and a half in the end, but it felt like a lifetime and every month I became sadder and sadder and definitely started to 'hate' other pregnant woman....and people with stupid advice. Life is such a bitch sometimes...Thinking of you xx

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  11. Oh Charlotte, I am so sorry to read this. I hope time will make things better. One blogger friend whom I really like in real life wrote this http://grenglish.co.uk/need-talk-m-word/ a couple of weeks ago. Maybe you guys should meet on twitter as I believe that sometimes it helps to hear how other have managed / manage (just about) to cope with similar experiences. As for me - I'm sending you the biggest hug xxx

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  12. My heart goes out to you, Charlotte and I wish you lots of support and love. I would have noticed the symmetry with the hospital visits too. It's a funny old universe. xxx

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  13. Hi Charlotte, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. I had an ectopic pregnancy last year with a 2 month old foetus, which was so sad as I had been trying for a while. Since then though I have had a gorgeous healthy girl, Edie who is 10 weeks. My heart goes out to you as it is such a weird time, you feel empty and think of what might have been. But look at your lovely daughter and know that it will happen again. x

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  14. I am so sorry for your loss :( x

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