I lost my first baby at 7 weeks. So I was barely pregnant, certainly not ‘showing’ – so what was the big deal? Wasn’t it just like a late period?
Miscarriage is one of those subjects which some people shy away from; others would rather not think about; and still others don’t understand.
The NHS defines it this way: ‘A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy during the first 23 weeks‘.
Why, at only 7 weeks, was it such a big deal to me?
- It was my first pregnancy and I had experienced quite a bit of difficulty in conceiving so my Big Question was ‘Will I ever be pregnant again?’
- I believe that life begins at conception so, although I was only 7 weeks pregnant, I did consider my miscarriage the loss of a baby I had longed for.
- The circumstances of my miscarriage were traumatic. I had gone for a scan and there didn’t seem a to be a heartbeat so I was admitted to hospital.
- I was put in a ward with women suffering from all kinds of things. The woman in the bed next to mine was actually waiting for sterilisation and I could hear the doctor talking to her, ensuring that she understood that she wouldn’t be able to have any more children – while the life of my first child was ending.
- My husband wasn’t called; the hospital was short-staffed; occasionally a nurse checked on me, but no one was with me while I passed clots of blood – while I lost my baby and my dreams.
- The clots of blood I had lost were treated as ‘clinical waste’ – in fact, if I remember correctly, they were referred to as ‘the products of conception’. I heard them being incinerated while I wept alone. This is not so much the case nowadays, although it may still be the practice in some hospitals – see this link at the Miscarriage Association. But my baby was not just clinical waste – he/she was already a human being. ‘Around the eighth week of pregnancy…you may be able to find the sac and enclosed fetus….There is evidence of eyes that are sealed up and buds forming for arms and legs.’ (http://www.newkidscenter.com).
- My husband arrived at visiting time and was still not told what was happening – it was only when he came around the screens and saw me that he knew we had lost our baby.
How did I recover?
- Physically, I had a D&C (dilation and curettage) to ‘clean me out’ afterwards.
- I had a good gynaecologist who explained that often miscarriages of first babies are as if the body is having a trial run – that gave me hope for the future.
- Emotionally I grieved the loss of my baby but that was helped considerably by the fact that my husband called him/her ‘our baby’ – it wasn’t just that I had miscarried; we had both lost our baby. By the way, I think society needs to recognise the sense of loss for husbands as well as wives.
- Spiritually, as a Christian, I believed that my baby was now in God’s presence and that gave me hope that I would see him/her again one day; I was also filled with a sense of peace as I reasoned that, if God is a God of love, then nothing – not even a miscarriage – could change that. That gave me peace.
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 8:38.