When I woke up on Thursday 28th January 2016 I was pregnant and had no idea, I’d be going back to bed with only my heart beating inside of me; a broken one.
It was like any other day, we woke up, got ready and went about our daily tasks. While I was cooking lunch I started to get a stabbing pain on my left side – I ignored it – I knew I had an ovarian cyst, so it was probably just that being temperamental. Having had cysts in the past, I recognised the pain, and felt no reason to be concerned. Evening arrived and the pain was getting worse. When I lifted Nikki into the bath, my body shuddered in sheer agony. I managed to get an appointment with a doctor at the hospital later that evening and asked my younger sister to babysit Nikki or take me as driving wasn’t an option.
My sister and I finally arrived in A&E, I’m checked over by the doctor and referred for a scan to find out what was causing the pain. I still have selfies we took that night of us smiling away, unbeknown to us, that smile was to be wiped away within an hour. I’d been sent for a scan to the usual place of the previous weeks’ scans. Except this time, the corridors were dark, the silence was eerie and the atmosphere was unpleasant. As the Sonographer had left for the day, I was admitted and would be seen the next morning. Despite being admitted, I felt out of place, I felt like I was meant to be at home and for that reason, I didn’t get comfortable. Within ten minutes of sitting on the end of the bed, I got a visit from a Sonographer who kindly said he’ll do my scan before he goes home. I was so scared that he would say I’d need emergency surgery for the cyst, as I’ve had in the past and my only concern was what the general anaesthetic would do to my unborn child and if I would risk losing the baby as a result. I feared the news of needing surgery, so I had prepared myself mentally to hear those words.
I walked into the same room I had my scan the previous week, it was a familiar yet scary feeling. My phone was constantly vibrating, Jay had been messaging to see how I was, but I was so focused on being told I may need surgery, so I kept the phone in my bag. Instead, my sister messaged him to keep him posted. Crazy thoughts ran through my mind and tears were pouring down the side of my face – I felt like this scan was taking forever! I was sure the previous weeks’ scan weren’t as long, what was he doing? what was that cyst up to for him to have prodded about so much? what if I had to have surgery and I lost my ovary, I felt I couldn’t go through surgery again, the previous time took so long to heal. Would this ruin our chances of having another baby?
Silence filled the air and I had built a scenario in my head that may not even be true. I looked over to the sonographer and asked ‘is everything ok with the baby? he looked at me softly in the eyes and replied ‘I’ll talk to you once the scan is over’. WHAT THE HELL? That was unexpected, that line was a game changer.
Forget the cyst, what was wrong with the baby? Surely it was ok? I didn’t have excruciating pains all over; I wasn’t bleeding, surely I wasn’t miscarrying? Tears were running down the sides of my face at a new pace, my ears were wet from crying, my heart had started to ache and I had no idea what ‘he’ll talk to me about’. He finished the scan, and placed the sheet back over my tummy and looked me dead in the eye, and said, “I’m really sorry to tell you this, but your baby no longer has a heartbeat”.
My heart was hurting hard, my pain was screaming from within, but no one could hear it. He was talking to me and I was nodding away without knowing what he was saying. I felt like I’d entered a new vortex of pain, I didn’t say a word to my sister and I walked out. I know he needed to give me a letter, I know I needed some medication, so I went out to the corridor and let my sister deal with that.
I cried. I cried so bloody hard, from the fourth floor and stared out the floor to ceiling glass windows. I could see the night sky and wondered how in the hell could this happen. The tears didn’t stop, my tissue was soaked, my nose was running, my cheeks were tingling, I felt like my chest was tight, and someone was stabbing my heart over and over again. My body entered a stage of hurt I had never experienced before.
I loved this baby more than anything, and at the very moment, I felt so ashamed and embarrassed to call myself a mum. I had failed my baby; I had failed my body and I had failed my future. My phone was constantly buzzing, I’m sure Jay knew it wasn’t good news as I hadn’t messaged him for some time. How could I tell my husband that the baby inside of me no longer alive? Is there a comforting way to ever break such news? My cheeks were wet, my neck and top were soaked, and the coldness in the air was sharp on my skin. Not a single word was exchanged on the way home, two people who always laughed and talked were now sat in silence. I don’t remember what was going through my mind, it’s all a blur, I was scared to tell Jay the sad news and I was also scared of the unknown.
I’d put the key in the door and walked in with a heavy heart. Jay shouted down ‘is everything ok?’ I silently cried up the stairs to him, and the rage inside of me had intensified. I saw him, and said ‘I’m really sorry but I’ve lost our baby’ and that is when the hurt poured out. He held me so tight, but I was brought down to my knees from the agonising hurt that passed through my body. I was finally in my safe place and able to release my hurt how I wanted to. I cried into the night and finally fell asleep when the drugs kicked in.
I’ll continue to blog about our journey in the coming months. The baby loss experience has had a massive impact on my life. If there is one thing I have learnt it’s that, no one likes to talk about it and as a result, so many women suffer in silence especially in the Asian community where it is still such a taboo subject.
Don’t blame yourself, it is not your fault, and know there is always support available from many out there including Tommy’s the Baby Charity.
I am running the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Tommy’s the Baby Charity. If you’d like to make a donation, I’d be ever so grateful if you could do so via my Just Giving page. Any amount is hugely appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of my heart x