I first spoke about our miscarriage almost a year after it happened. Anything earlier was too painful.
I posted a message on Facebook. Once I clicked ‘post,’ I knew there was no return. It would be out there for everybody to know. But apart from the welcomed support I received publicly, I was also sent several heartfelt private messages from women who had too suffered early miscarriage or were dealing with fertility problems, and that’s when it hit me. Roughly one in four women in the UK will experience early miscarriage, but because nobody talks about it you would never really know it happens so frequently. And of course, those women who privately messaged have the right to keep their experience private, because miscarriage is extremely personal, but it’s also isolating and devastating.
When I first saw those specks of blood, I knew deep down it was the end. But I was working at the time in London and I had no choice but to bury my thoughts and carry on. I rushed back to Manchester and headed to the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) at St Mary’s where I had an internal scan. Everything was fine, or so I thought. At roughly eight weeks I had another check up and the scan revealed I was actually carrying twins, a big shock for us both, an even bigger shock was that they had stopped growing. My little babies didn’t have heartbeats, they were floating in my graveyard of a womb. To make things worse Ricky was working thousands of miles away in Brazil, covering the Olympic games. I felt so alone.
I remember lying on my back as the sonographer desperately searched for heartbeats. When I saw her face, I sank into the chair and hoped the world would suck me into a black void so I wasn’t there anymore. I lost my voice and couldn’t speak. A few moments later I wiped the gel off my belly, it was warm by then and I sat up. What had just happened? I was taken to a room away from everyone else to talk about the “evacuation process.” …
One of the hardest things I found about this time was how I lost my voice. My body had failed me desperately and nobody knew the pain and grief we were both going through as a couple. In some ways, I wish I had been brave enough to talk about it sooner – I think it would have helped. I didn’t post anything on social media to begin with because often it’s just a place where people celebrate the good in life. A new job, pictures from a holiday or in some cases the inevitable pregnancy announcement. The reality is, in life, things do go wrong but life very rarely stays still. Maybe if we’re encouraged to talk about all aspects of life on social media and not just the good, perhaps miscarriage doesn’t have to be a lonely place after all?