My Story

My Baby – The Unfiltered View

Filter (noun): a screen or layer which selectively absorbs some of its components

We did toy with nicknaming my second bump “Boccy 2”, but I didn’t like the number element. It felt like a replacement or made me think of a version 2 upgrade, or something like that. Neither of which I liked, so it didn’t stick. Unable to settle on a name, I kept referring to him/her as “My Baby”. James didn’t like this much, he’d remind me that it was his baby too. I was never stressing the MY part though, it just had a nice ring to it, if you said it out loud – “hello, my baby” – try it.

Our experience with My Baby was a perfect example of how you never really know what’s going on behind closed doors. How what social media depicts can be a world away from reality. Even me writing this blog, it can seem upbeat, right? But that doesn’t mean I don’t have tears streaming down my face. I do, by the way. This is the blog I’m most afraid of. This is the blog where I intend to give you an unfiltered view of miscarriage.

Sometimes people bleed during pregnancy. “It’s not normal, but it is common”- that’s what I’ve been told. But of course, when pregnant, absolutely any bleeding is terrifying. And although you spend all your time worrying about miscarriage, convinced it’s going to happen and trying to steel yourself for that eventuality, there’s still that niggling thing in the background. That thing which you never quite register the size of: that thing called hope.

When hope goes though. Woah. Boy do you know it. You never even knew it was there. It’s like falling through a trap door – that sudden whoosh sensation – and in that instant, you just know. It’s all over. Hope is gone.

I’d had a scare that weekend. I’d been bleeding and I had cramps which were getting worse. Classic textbook signs. We’d ended up in A&E on Sunday morning, it was Mothers’ Day. Despite all the symptoms, everything seemed fine. There she was (I always think of this one as a girl), heart beating and super active, twirling all over the place. My little dancer, with James’ cheesy moves. The sonographer identified an explanation for the bleeding and we went on to have the most perfect scan. The baby had grown right on schedule and we were shown the heart, the brain, the bladder, the stomach – we were absolutely stunned. Neither of us knew it would be possible to see such detail, especially not at 11 weeks. We went home immeasurably calmer and in complete awe.

Due to the stressful weekend, I decided to take it easy and took the next day off work. Of all the decisions I’ve ever made, this one was up there. I am so grateful I didn’t go to work that day.

I ran a few errands in the village where we live, but when I got home I felt that I was bleeding and I rushed upstairs to the bathroom. The day before, the Early Pregnancy Unit had told me to collect any tissue which passed and not to come in again unless the bleeding escalated to four or more sanitary pads an hour.

I suddenly felt a big gush, something more than just blood. Oh God, oh God, what was THAT?! I shoved my hand into the toilet, pulled out a large clot and put it on a sanitary towel. Shaking, I called James “this isn’t normal, this has escalated, come home”. The bleeding continued, but I kept saying “it’s ok, it’s ok, 4 pads an hour”. I was reciting a mantra. I was on complete autopilot.

There was just so much blood, it kept coming, and then I felt a further huge something pass. This time I felt a big whoosh and I just knew. I thrust my hand into the toilet bowl, feeling around in all the blood and found something. It was so big, fleshy and big, like a chicken breast. And just like that, all hope was gone.

I was so scared. Home alone, knowing I had just held my baby in my hands. That’s been the most traumatising bit, I just couldn’t get over that. I moved to the bathtub, wailing, hyperventilating. And that’s how James found me. Blood absolutely everywhere, all over the bathroom and me in the bathtub, howling.

I don’t know why, but it didn’t occur to me to call anyone. I could have called a taxi or an ambulance, or my mum, who was only 15 minutes away that day. Instead I just stayed at home and waited for my husband. It must have been horrific for him.

A few days later we flew to China. Despite posting lots of pictures on social media, I was crying every single day. I received a message from a stranger on Instagram, commenting on my travel photos. She said “Looks like you’ve had a fabulous time travelling. Dream life!” Not quite.

(3) Comments

  1. Rhi says:

    Oh Anj, that must have been brutal and so terrifying. I’ve never been through what you’ve been through, in spite of the losses I’ve had, the insight you’ve given is so necessary. Thank you so much for sharing all this. Xx

  2. Samantha Montes says:

    Anjulie, this must have been so hard to write, to remember everything and put it in honest words. But know you will be helping so many women out there who experience miscarriage. Many of whom are told it’s common by professionals and not to worry. Professionals who can sometimes downplay the physical process so not to “frighten” women… when asked what will physically happen are simply told to expect a “heavy period” meaning when the process does happen they are shocked and traumatised by the events. You being so honest in this way will provide some reassurance to so many women who experience loss at whatever gestation xxx my thoughts and prayers to you both. You have so amazingly put together your experiences and thoughts who for so many (including) myself would just be unimaginable to think about xxx

  3. Ruth says:

    Out of all your posts on this blog so far this one stands out for me. We both know of people who have miscarried. We both have miscarried ourselves and so to some degree know how each other felt/still feels/went through. But because each miscarriage is so individual there has always been a part of me that felt like I was the only one in the world it happened too. I felt so alone and scared in the moment. Your very detailed post, of which sounds so similar to my experience where I also held my Baby Ireland 2 in my hands, has just resonated with me. There are so many women this has happened to and will happen to again where they find themselves often alone on the bathroom floor, without their partners, holding their baby in their hands that has just slipped away from them. The biggest feeling I had was the feeling of being so useless as their mum not being able to do anything to help them. Then such sadness. The thought of them not having the opportunity of life, to be a part of a loving family yet so proud that I (we) made them and that they existed. So I just want to say thank you Anjulie for giving us this safe platform to ‘let it out’. I haven’t got a platform as such that documented my experience. Whether I need one or not or regret not writing things down I’m OK with that. I have memories and keepsakes I can hold onto. Thank you. 💗

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