A note to the reader: This story is confronting and graphic, I have chosen to share it in detail for people to understand a little more about the experience of a miscarriage, something I wish I had of understood before as I feel it would have helped me in this whole experience. Please know that this is my story and my opinion, we are all different. If you have recently experienced a miscarriage or feel a bit fragile with this topic please know that my story may be confronting for you and only read ahead if you feel its something you can be with right now. So much Love, Estelle xx
I held this bundle of love in my body for 9 weeks – who knew a love this strong could flourish in such a small amount of time, the connection could be so strong and then it could all be taken away in just moments.
Ive spent the last few weeks envisioning my life for the next year ahead, I was so excited to be a mum again. We were choosing two children to be our number, and not only was I imagining the next year ahead but what my life would be like for years to come, where I might be at in 5 years time, where my business would be, how my life would look… and it all changed in a flash.
I have cried, howled and felt numb from the deep sadness I experienced in this process, its been like nothing I have experienced before. Everything my heart and my mind was set on would now be totally different.
The days that feel like a dream…
It was the day after I started experiencing what felt like period pain that we had booked in for a dating scan prior. I guess you could say we were lucky to not have to wait for a booking at the ultra sound centre. Waiting from Wednesday evening after my visit to the doctor (who had said there was a 50/50 chance that I was experiencing a miscarriage), to Thursday at 2:30pm for the scan with the final answer was like waiting a life time.
The day of the scan I held it together, as the lady started the ultrasound I could see things didn’t look right. She finally expressed her apologies and confirmed that it would be a miscarriage. I responded with the logical response of “Its ok, it wasn’t meant to be, our body does what it needs to sometimes.” I almost said it robotically. Scarlett said to me as she cuddled her dad, “Mummy, you got a baby in your tummy?”. She could sense my pain and I said to her (still holding it together)…”Im sorry honey, not anymore, sometimes babies choose to go back to the stars in heaven because its not the right time.” To which she responded very matter of fact “The baby died?” and I whispered the words “yes darling”.
I stepped out of the appointment and whaled in pauls arms. We cried together as everything ran through my head and I couldn’t help but blame myself, I kept asking myself what I had done wrong, thinking that if maybe I had eaten better, stressed less, relaxed more. Paul said to me, “I feel like its my fault!” and I said in disbelief “How?!”. I reassured myself and him that these things happen and that we cant blame ourselves because its not helpful. He agreed and reassured me that we would get through this together. Grief has a funny way of bringing you closer to loved ones, revealing your tribe and showing you how much love and support you really have, if you allow yourself to be open to it (more on this later).
I was in shock and I went into autopilot, we were moving house that afternoon and the next day. I told myself that I had to get my shit together. That night as we moved stuff to our new home getting ready for the removalists the next day with the help of our beautiful friend, we just got it done, stopping in between to have a cry and be with the intense period pain that was beginning. In hindsight I may have done things differently and postponed the move but I think we were in shock, we got through it with some amazing removalists and the help of our friends and family.
Everyone kept telling me to rest but I chose to keep busy, it was distracting me from both the physical and emotional pain. On friday night I passed what felt like the biggest blood clot I could imagine. It was traumatising, I burst into tears as I ran to the toilet and cried to my Mum and Paul saying that I thought it was the baby. Im so glad they were there with me because I really had no idea what to expect and knowing I wasn’t alone was so comforting.
Later that night I experienced intense like contractions, having to moan and breathe through them unable to talk, they were happening every couple of minutes. After about an hour they finally passed and I fell asleep utterly exhausted. The following day I woke up feeling fine pain wise and Paul had a couple of hours of work so I decided to head to the shops with Scarlett down the road to grab a few things. I didn’t realise how difficult that would be, I wasn’t ready to face the general public, holding back my tears many times, even when just being asked if I had a Woolworths card! We got out of the shops quickly because the pain was also starting to return.
Once home the pain continued and started to get quite intense again. I was breathing through the pain whilst telling Paul we needed to call the plumber because the hot water wasn’t working #priorities right. Paul tried to take over for me but I wouldn’t let him, I had the task in mind and I just didn’t want to accept my reality, I wanted to distract myself and just get it done. In between running to the bathroom (as I continued to lose more blood) and handing the phone back and forth to Paul so we could explain to the plumber what was happening with the hot water system, I eventually asked Paul to hang up and take me to the hospital. I couldn’t handle the pain anymore and I was losing what seemed to be a lot of blood. Upon reflection of this situation I can see how much I was trying to hold onto control of the situation and everything because this total experience was out of my control.
In the Emergency Department
Paul and I arrived at the Emergency Department and I burst into tears having to say out loud to the nurse that I had a miscarriage. When saying those words out loud it made it all the more real, there was no distractions now, it was just Paul, myself and hours of waiting. As we waited we cried together and laughed together as he tried to cheer me up with ridiculous impersonations on the floor in our room. He was my rock, holding my hand both while he was going through his own emotions of the experience. After an internal assessment (like a pap smear) we were sent home to return the next morning for an ultra sound. Where I was asked to return in the new week to see the gynochologist as their was still “product remaining in my uterus”.
I just want to add a note here that when we experience a miscarriage our hormones plummet, just like after giving birth and the big probably obvious difference is that we don’t have a new born baby to feel so much love over. Which in my experience makes navigating the emotions quite difficult. Dealing with this loss and sadness is enough as it is and then to be experiencing the low of emotions from our hormones plummeting adds a whole other element. Talking to my doctor and my family really helped me to know that yes these feelings were so so real and also my hormones were adding to that.
After I lay on the floor sobbing and Scarlett and our Roxy comforted me. Scarlett asked to take a “camera” (photo)
The night before my appointment with the gynaecologist I was having a shower and I felt a hard clot trying to make its way out. My instincts kicked in, so I got down into a position like giving birth and breathed and pushed it out. I had no idea what was going on and it was a hard clot that was ultimately part of what made up my baby, seeing it on the floor in the shower was really confronting and Paul was there with me along with my mum on the phone. Tears ran down my face as I looked at what had just come out of me on the ground in the shower knowing that part of that made up my baby. The baby I was so excited to bring into the world, the baby I didn’t realise how badly I wanted until I was told I had lost it. (please note that I have no idea if I was suppose to push, I had what felt like more in there but decided to wait to see the doctor then next day because I wasn’t sure if I could cause a prolapse – if thats even possible?)
I was sure that had to be everything and that it could all be over after that but after my appointment, another ultrasound and another internal assessment their was still a lot left in my womb. I was asked to come back to have a D & C the following day to which I agreed. The next day I spent 9 hours waiting, 12 hours fasting and unfortunately I didn’t have it done due to emergency procedures coming first. I wasn’t annoyed, a little hangry but happy to have been gifted a day of nothing other than rest, to journal with no distractions and allow my healing to take place as I wrote this story and put pen to paper. Writing has always been so healing for me.
I write this today and choose to share it in so much detail in hope that we can bring more awareness to this experience. Every experience of miscarriage is so different just like pregnancy and birth. In my experience I had no idea what to expect and for me that made the whole experience somewhat traumatic.
1 in 4 women experience miscarriage and I feel like we get to speak about it more, share our experiences, take the power away from our fears by sharing them. Heal our hurt and our pain by sharing them in anyway, whether that be with the world, with your family, your tribe, a psychologist. This isn’t something that has to be kept hidden from the world because its real and its not uncommon and it’s really hard for a woman to go through.
We chose to go against the grain and share our pregnancy news with the world very early and at first when I found out the news I thought how terrible that people might think and say that we shouldn’t have shared it so early and thats why you should wait 12 weeks and etc. But If I hadn’t of shared I would have personally felt so much more alone in this experience. I received beautiful, heartfelt messages of love and support from women who had experienced the same thing, women I didnt even know had experienced this and others that I knew had. I was offered support and love by my beautiful friends and family, by strangers, by my realestate, by nurses and doctors. I was open with my experience and with that the love and support has been incredible. I responded to people as I felt I could and often said that I needed time to process right now. Everyone respected my space and also let me know that they were there if I needed anything at all.
To know that I was being held through this both physically when I needed and energetically by every thought, prayer of love and gesture from others is what got me through this.
Bathroom hugs (we seemed to spend a lot of time in here over the last week)
In saying that though I totally and utterly respect anyones decision to wait to share, I totally respect and want to give so much love to every other woman that has experienced this. No matter how far along you were, if you got to hold your baby in your arms or if you didn’t. The moment we fall pregnant a bond is formed, an energetic bond of love. When we have to part with that their is an emptiness that I don’t think anyone understands except a mother who has experienced it. We become a mother as soon as we fall pregnant and that deserves acknowledgement.
This experience I can now comfortably say has been a gift and gee was it difficult to see that gift but here I am a week later and I can feel it. The lessons of this experience for me have been my gift and Im sure their will be more to come as hindsight is a beautiful thing. My lessons have been finding the beauty in mourning and sadness and how powerfully healing that can be to allow sadness and to be with it, to let it flow through me and heal my physical vessel as it does in the mourning process. The experience has also shown me how to trust in myself and trust and listen to my body and it has shown me how to truly receive… the love, the support, a simple smile or hug, the help and everything else given from beautiful souls in the last few weeks while experiencing nausea through pregnancy and then this experience as well.
The sunset after my operation and saying goodbye to our little love at the beach.
I am not the Woman I was before and I will never forget the little soul I was blessed with for this precious time. We are incredible miraculous beings us Women and as we share ourselves openly in both the light and the darkness our tribe will reveal itself, we create relationships and connection with women and gather to heal our wounds and reclaim our power. Thats the kind of tribe I have built and what I wish for all women.
Woman supporting, holding and raising each other up so we feel safe to share our experiences.
And to my little bundle of Love, I feel you with me and I know that the world wasn’t ready for your light, they needed you back with the stars <3
All My Love Estelle xx