I’m spotting, brown discharge. My midwife reassures me. I am reassured. This could be normal. Yes – I know it can be. Cling on to that hope.
I’m spotting pink discharge. My midwife reassures me. Only fresh red blood should be a concern. Cling on to that hope.
I’m spotting fresh red blood, EPU ask me their tick list of questions. How painful are the mild cramps on a scale of 1-10. Take Codeine for the pain. Call back on Friday if you are still bleeding. Its Tuesday. If you drench a pad within 30 minutes go to a and e. 3 more days of hel. Of not Knowing.
I book a private scan. I have to pay £105 to find out if our baby is dead or alive. I note my privilege that I have £105 to find out. What about the ones that dont?
I meet my sister in the car park, we exchange a look, the knowing kind. Will we leave here, grief stricken? Or will we be releived and celebrating?
We are given instructions, foot covers, wash hands, confirm details, pay £105, empty bladder please. Waiting room. A cream sofa. I wonder if i’m bleeding again. A dolls house for children to play with. We try to find things to say,
For fucks sake, hurry up.
She invites us into a room, mentions her usually using another room, this is the wrong room. She hasn’t read my pre-booking forms which explain why I am here. She asks me to confirm my name, Is it a dating scan? I reply – yes it is – but I have also been spotting. She asks abruptly have you called EPU. Yes – they dont want to see me. She almost shouts ‘Bleeding is not normal in pregnancy’
No shit sherlock.
I want to say it can be normal, I bled in my 2nd pregnancy and everything was fine. Desperate to convince myself.
Instead I say nothing……..
She asks me to roll down my trousers and underwear, move up my top, exposing my swollen uterus that is still telling me I’m pregnant. She places the warm gel, and runs the machine over my bump. My sister grabs my hand and squeezes it. The screen shows an empty space, an empty, mishapen uterus. The measurements are wrong for my dates. She can’t see the yolk sac. She keeps looking, searching. Then she finds my embryo, in the corner of my womb, measuring 4mm, and predicts roughly the size of a 7wk pregnancy. She concludes that there is no heartbeat.
My body tricked me for 5 weeks…….Why? for what reason would my cruel body do this?
I’m crushed. My sister squeezes my hand again.
Shes saying things. I’m not listening. I need to feel a sense of control.
None of it is in my control.
She says she will do a TV/Internal Scan. I say no. Whats the point?
She then admits that this will all likely need repeating at EPU anyway. EPU that didnt want to see me until i’d been bleeding for 5 days.
I’m tired, and sad. She keeps talking, saying stuff. Shall she call EPU or will I? to arrange a follow up appointment? I ask her to.
Shes on loud speaker, in a queue. Like I had been yesterday, and again this morning. She gets through, Hello Lucy, – shes on first name terms with the triage at EPU. She references me as though they’d remember me from this morning. Lucy confirms it was not her that spoke to me
(that dismissed me, that fobbed me off.)
She says she knows they are very busy……
(Busy sieving through woman with early dead babies. Busy only offering the ones with extreme symptoms appts)
The ones like me can wait in hope, desperately hoping for the symptoms to go, to return to brown discharge or old blood – as though that might indicate everything is fine again. Stop you from worrying. Wait without conclusion,
Lucy says I can call them if I need anything between now and my appointment next Tuesday. What, so they can tell me to take paracetemol or codeine?
Does Codeine take the pain of grief away?
An appointment for them to chek and confirm there is no further growth. That it is dead. I know already it is dead. I’m 12 weeks pregnant with a foetus measuring 7 weeks.
No one tells me a thing about what to expect next. What might happen. What I might need to buy in order to prepare myself practically and emotionally for the next part.
I have to find that out for myself on the internet.