Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Being Pregnant At 19 & Dealing With Miscarriage | TMI Tuesday

Being a 23 year old female with a few friends here there and everywhere, every week, someone I know announces they are expecting. Although the joy of having a child is without doubt, magical. Unfortunately, some of us do not make it to the end of pregnancy and that something we need to remember. This is a different kind of blog post for me. A fresh new TMI Tuesday series that falls on the anniversary of my own tragedy.

I have never had a problem with girls/women having children early in life. I just never thought i'd be 1 of them. Growing up I'd always wanted to travel, get married and then have a family. However at the end of October/beginning of November 2012, that completely changed.

Note - THIS MAY BE TMI FOR SOME. About 2 weeks before any of this happened, my parents decided to end their 20+ year marriage. My mum was preparing to move out of our family home, it was a big shock that it was actually happening, it also made the coming months much more complicated.

I'd had a pregnancy scare before, so I had a spare test at home. At the time I was getting up every morning at 5:30am to get to work for 7:15. That morning my alarm went off, I checked the time and took a pregnancy test. It was not pre-meditated and I didn't actually realise what I was doing until I was mid-toilet, it was like I woke up and just knew. I took the test and left it on the bathroom side. I didn't look at it. I got my shit together, picked up the test, put it in my pocket and left the house, half way up the road, I discovered I was in fact pregnant. In a state of shock, exhaustion and generally running late, I didn't think of it. I got to work and my closest girl friend asked what was wrong, I replied nothing. I didn't want to tell anyone, it was her birthday and I hated the idea of making it all about me. But she kept asking, and I eventually told her. I confided in 2 of my other colleagues, we were all a bit shocked. 1 of them went over the road on her lunch and picked me up a second test so we could be positive. There it was again, In the toilet at work - a children's day nursery - I held in my hand, another positive test. I had no idea what to do. 

The girls were ecstatic - I was happy, happy but scared. I had no idea how to tell my strict parents, or my boyfriend - we'd not even been together a year! I remember going home that night and my dad had to take me to some appointment or another anyway (perfect timing), we spoke to the doctor and I asked him to leave the room to discuss another "issue", obviously as my dad sat in the waiting room he saw me go to the toilet to do another test. The doctor confirmed it, there was a little person growing inside of me. I left the doctors and said nothing. My dad asked me about it, suspiciously - I had to think fast and I told him I was being tested for an STD! I was hoping it was all going to go away. I was 19 years old, working full time, making money and going out every weekend with my girls. Was I just never going to have a life again!? 

We got home and I remember my mum asking me about it - my dad had obviously told her, and I confessed. My heart was in my throat and I was shaking. I still hadn't told my boyfriend, I needed to tell someone. I was so worried that as soon as I told him, he was going to leave me to it (of course I was worried, I was 19 and really, I was still a child), I couldn't do anything without him, especially not this. I literally told mum, left the house and got on a bus to Darren's. He asked how I got on at the doctors and I told him I'd speak about it when we got to his - he wasn't thrilled and was concerned about what was wrong. I ended up blurting it out in the middle of the street at 9pm, knowing it was going to lead to a night of talking when I needed to go to work the next day. Neither of us knew what to do, I remember he told his family and they were super happy & supportive. Mine, not so much. 

My parents were not thrilled in the slightest, after a few days both me and Darren had decided to keep the baby - I say this, but I have never been supportive of abortion, but when in the situation it is something we considered, I'm not gonna' lie. Every night I would get in from work and they'd have another reason as to how I couldn't cope/couldn't afford a child/I hadn't lived enough to have a baby, they had a point but I had a solution to every problem. I remember my dad confiding in his best friend and the advice he got was "kick her out, she got herself into it, she can get herself out of it", I think this really opened his eyes. The next day I came home expecting the same conversation. I think my mum did to. They were both sat on the sofa, she did all the talking, I did all the answering. All of a sudden my dad just said "If you've decided to do this I will support you", it was over whelming. My mum was not impressed but I'd cracked one of them, that's all that mattered, I was no longer going home to a house full of people that couldn't accept my decision, I was finally going home to a parent that had my back. In all honesty, it is the moment of my life that taught me to respect my father and that he really did have my best intentions at heart - I had never had this impression from him in my whole life. My mum was just going to have to get over it. She had me do additional tests, I was literally only 3 weeks gone - I must have found out at the end of the second week! We were finally excited, we were going to have a baby in the family again to love and laugh at. Days went by, my mum moved into a pretty little flat up the road and all was good. Plans to sell our family house were scrapped, it was decided we would scrape together and keep it. We would have somewhere stable to raise our child that was really our own. We had a space for a new generation of being to create the best memories of its life, just as I had done. We had our own space where we would all be able to be together & build a hole new relationship with another new - to the world - person. 

Then came the next step - how was I going to tell my boss? I confided in the girls a lot. One day we just decided I was going to do it there and then. I sat in the office and cried, I wasn't able to say the words. I just felt like I was going to lose my whole career. Fortunately, my boss was super supportive and said she'd do whatever I needed day by day to get me through. Weeks went by, we told other people, it was all good. I remember my nan told my dad she thought I would be an amazing mum, it brang tears to my eyes. We didn't do the whole traditional wait till you've had a scan then get prepping - we just didn't think anything would go wrong. My auntie took me shopping, specially, in Windsor for baby's first outfit, and a few other bits. All my Christmas presents were money/vouchers - everyone knew i had to be organised! Everything was just falling into place. 

Time went on. We saw the midwife and arranged for a scan for 2 weeks time, I was around 11 weeks pregnant, I'd just not been able to see the midwife sooner so was late on getting booked in for my first scan. I remember, it was the 7th of January - the day after my mums birthday, we were buzzing. My mum came with me and Darren, I thought that if I could get her involved she'd warm to the idea a lot more. Me & Darren went in alone at first, we wanted first look at our little rolo for ourselves - you don't even want to know where the Rolo part came from - but its different from "bean"! I remember laying there when she put the gel on my tummy full of excitement. The nurse was super chatty for about 2 minutes, all of a sudden she stopped talking and looked at us. Tears filled Darren's eyes and I didn't understand what was wrong. The nurse told me that she could not find a heartbeat with the ultrasound and that she wanted to do an internal scan to be safe. TMI - It was cold, it was uncomfortable and when you're crying, it's just unpleasant. After no luck, the nurse left the room to try and find another doctor, I told Darren that I needed my mum and he left the room. She knew what had happened, I don't know weather it was the nurse leaving or our tears, she just knew. The same nurse came back, stating she wasn't able to find anyone else. She said I needed to come back in 2 weeks for another scan as confirmation. I asked "so is my baby dead?!". She told me she wasn't allowed to tell me without a confirmation scan but as I left she took my hand and told me "I'm so sorry you have experienced this" we all knew, there was no need for a confirmation scan really. I wanted to get on with life, I went to work for the afternoon! Well, I tried to, I was there all of 10 minutes before leaving again, I couldn't stand the sight of the beautiful children I worked with every day. 

10 long, gruelling and cruel days later (Jan 17th - hence this repost date) we finally went to the hospital. We had the scan and it was confirmed, I had had a missed miscarriage, our baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks but my body didn't register it, I was being sick through the day, my boobs were still hurting and my tummy starting to grow - I was practically pregnant with nothing. I was given 3 options, I could either take some pills to pass the baby at home, surgery or I could wait for nature to take its course. By now I was 14/15 weeks "pregnant" - it'd been weeks since my baby had stopped growing and there was no way to tell when my body was going to "let go" naturally. We opted for the tablets, I took 2 there and then and was to return the next day to have a pessary inserted. That whole 24 hours was a blur at the time. So we went back the next day, to the maternity ward. I remember 1 of the nurses calling my name saying she just needed me to fill in a form. She took me into a room and then told me she'd just said that to get me front of the line! I panicked and would not do a thing without my boyfriend in the room - they actually laughed at me! But complied. What felt like 2 seconds later they'd inserted a pessary and I was getting ready to go home. Now if you know me - I am sooooo afraid of pain. I've never been in hospital or had an injury - you can poke me and it will hurt. I asked the nurse "is it going to hurt?" She smiled and said "it's just like having a period! You'll be fine" I took her word for it, and left. 

I told Darren, "I feel like I went into this hospital with our child, and left without him". I was already numb, and the worst was yet to come. I had no idea how the evening was going to go and I'm not one for suprise. After a 5 minute walk to the car it hit me. The pain I was in was unbelievable. Basically the method I had gone for "induces" you to give birth, if you like - I was literally having a "contraction". It was snowing and I lived 20 minutes from the hospital on a good day. It took my dad an hour to get me home - respect to him for putting up with an hour of my screaming to be fair. I was so scared. My mum came over, my dad left, they swapped houses for the night! I had to just wait for the baby to pass. It could be 10 minutes, 1 hour or 12 hours. I'll refer to them as contractions properly now - they were 10 minutes apart, coming and going - they were contractions. Every twitch I got I rushed to sit on the toilet, screaming, I was crying, my mum was crying, it was the slowest most painful moment of my life, I just needed it over. After about 6.5 hours and A LOT of pain killers, I sat on the toilet and heard a "splash" like sound, I knew it had happened. I couldn't look, and as directed by the hospital - my mum flushed the toilet. As soon as this had happened, all the pain was gone. I couldn't believe I was still alive, the pain I'd been in! I went downstairs and had a cigarette. Cigarette over, I needed a harmless glass of water! All of a sudden my mum was in shock, blood was dripping down my leg all over the kitchen floor, I hadn't even noticed, I literally couldn't feel it! - it wasn't over. I again returned to the toilet to another "splash", that had to be it. My mum ran me a bath. I got in it and the water filled with blood, I just had to go to bed and sleep, it was awful. 

After 3 days and lots of flowers later I was still in pain. We were worried as we were told if this was the case we'd have to go into hospital. I rang the maternity department at 9pm, unable to move at the time, who directed me to go to A&E. So I did, me, my mum, my dad & Darren - a family visit to the hospital, great! I was seen straight away and moved to a bed - amazing for an A&E experience. However we did have to wait an hour to see a specialist. She had a look at my lady bits and assured me I was fine, she instructed me to come back the next day to Gynaecology to have a scan! They needed to ensure there was no parts of the baby left. 

So there we were, the next day, back at the hospital. Darren had gone to work - I didn't see the point of him coming for a scan of nothing. I saw a really friendly doctor but she wouldn't scan me. She said it was to soon & she wasn't sure why I'd been told that at A&E. All was well, she gave me some pain killers, took some blood and I was ready to go on my way. I decided I needed the loo before going home so off I went. I sat on the toilet and just remember seeing so much blood with a few clots. I literally knocked on the doctors office and said the words "I don't know if I should tell you this but I've just lost a lot of blood". Her face dropped and she immediately called a nurse for "emergency assistance", WHAT?! All of a sudden I was laying on a bed in her office and they were trying to get a cannula in my arm - I wasn't having any of it! I HATE NEEDLES. What felt like 5 hours later, I had a big needle in my arm, was sweating my body weight out, holding my mums hand, crying like a 5 year old with 2 women between my legs. The doctor told me my body hadn't taken to the tablets I'd taken and she was going to have to remove what was left, I was mortified. After a scrape and a lot of rooting around - it was over, it turned out I'd passed barely anything at home!!! I lost a lot of blood and was put on a drip, next thing I knew we were going up to the ward to keep me in for 6 hour observation - I only came in for a little scan!!! We were luckily given a private little room and we just had to wait! Hours passed and I really did begin to feel better, but I was weak, I couldn't move, I wasn't allowed to eat/drink - I couldn't even sit myself on the toilet without my mum coming with me. What a state. In a huge whirlwind the doctors had a look at how much I was bleeding, pulled the awful needle out and discharged me - I could finally rest at home! The nurse on the ward, was unfortunately the nurse that had previously laughed at my panic! She was stunned when she saw me back in a bed! It was time to rebuild our lives. We all had a little cry, my mum left and me and dad spent the night laying on the sofa demolishing a Chinese. I never realised how much I relied on my family until this very moment. 

Coping was terrible - every day was a battle to get out of bed, I was signed off of work with depression for 2.5 months in total - I almost lost my job completely! My friends didn't know what to say to me, I went weeks without hearing from anyone. I can't blame them - how can you even attempt to make someone feel better when everything that gave them happiness has been stripped from them? We both made the conscious decision to put the news on Facebook - not the norm but, - the last thing we wanted was people blowing up our phones with "let me see a photo!!!" texts, we were sad, we didn't want everyone making us sadder. I had nothing to fill my days with let-alone any joy or excitement left in me. We disposed of all our "baby prep", ate a lot of takeaways, drank a lot of vodka and watched a lot of films. I had no idea how to get through each minute. The only coping strategy I had was to really mourn. I'd lay in bed at night crying so much I was screaming, whaling, no one knew what to do with me. My mum said I was literally hard to love after a while! I was literally like a walking piece of stone. After a few weeks, we named our baby, we spoke about him, gave him a gender and spoke about what would have been. My parents had no idea how to take my pain away until my dad tuned in, he got the whole identity thing and went along with it. 

Going back to work was a tough one. I had spent 2 years building loving, caring and banter filled relationships with 27ish pre-schoolers, I wanted to be strong for them. My collegues, more like friends, had no idea what to say to me, first day back. Every child & parent wanted to know where I'd been for months! But I had to hold my head high and get on with my job *and have a daily cry or 2 in the cupboard out of sight*. They all really got me through it. I taught amazing, kind hearted children and had a really close 20 woman staff team that had my back. It took a long time for me to return to work, and it was the scariest thing ever! But I don't think i'd be half as strong as I am now, if I hadn't. I needed them to show me that I could get through it, and I needed to know just how supportive they were. 

Here we are, 4 years later, still together and planning our future. To this day, we speak about our beautiful baby every day, there is not a minute nor second that go's by without us thinking of him. When we discuss having children in the future we keep our baby's memory alive and talk about having "another baby" rather then just "a baby". Good or bad, everything happens for a reason, and this has just defined who both me, and Darren really are. Although sad, I speak about this with love in my heart & experience in my mind. Our baby will always be our baby, here or not. I have learnt that really, deep down, your family do want what's best for you, even if it takes a tragedy for them to show it. The loss of a child effects more families then you will ever realise, for some they can never speak about it. I am an incredibly honest person, I have discussed this experience with friends, but not so much family. I don't think anyone but my parents & partner will ever really know what happened on the other side of the front door that night. Some children are just to special to be born into this world. 4 years on, we have not had another chance to have another baby, but like everyone, our time will eventually come. 

Thank you for reading my little story. It's nice to finally speak about this openly, in my own words, after all of these years.

Dedicated to Oliver Long, 20/01/2013.X

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  1. God..
    I wish no one would have to go through this. I've had 3 miscarriages last year and decided to give my body a break for a year. No one realises how much it takes out of you.
    Well done for speaking out about it. Miscarriages are such a sensitive subject and I think most people don't feel comfortable talking and hearing about them.
    Sorry for your loss. You'll have a beautiful rainbow baby someday!

    Tania || www.taniaalexandraribeiro.com

  2. I am so so sorry you had to go through this but you're so brave for sharing your story. I'm so glad you're still together so you're able to remember your baby and how special he'll always be to you. Lots of love xxx

  3. This broke my heart hun. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think you're incredibly brave for sharing this story xxx

  4. Oh Libby, I'm so so sorry to read all of this! My heart absolutely broke for you! You're such a strong woman to have gone through that at such a young age! I'm so glad that you and Darren are still together and that you're so happy! I'm sure that in the future, you will have a wonderful little family, and that you'll always remember the little man who could have been. Sending you the biggest hugs in the world, sweetheart!

    Abbey 😘 www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  5. Literally sobbed so much reading this, I am so sorry you had to go through that, one of the worst experiences. Lots of love xxxxxxxxx

  6. You are incredible. I cried the whole way through this, your strength is admirable and Oliver was just too precious for this world. He never felt sad or alone, he was always loved, warm and safe inside of you. You were his home and you protected him from this cruel world. When the time comes I hope you have another gorgeous baby, a little brother or sister for Oliver.

  7. I had a miscarriage at 16 years old for a baby that honestly had been planned at the time. As much as I hate hearing about these cases, it is always nice for all of us to know that we're not alone it in. I'm always around to talk! x <3

    Alisha | http://www.alishaspinkdaisies.com

  8. Thank you for sharing your story, and well done for speaking about this devastating experience. It was heartbreaking to read. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I hope that one day you'll bring another beautiful baby into the world xxx

  9. This is absolutely heartbreaking, I read this last night before I went to bed and it made me so sad, it's so horrible you had to go through this. Thankyou for sharing your experience, and hopefully in the future you'll have a family with your boyfriend x

  10. Miscarriage is something no one should go through. It tears you to pieces, I know - 'cause I've been through that too. I'm so sorry this happened to you,

  11. Big love to you, so much admiration for you posting this!!! xox

  12. I can't imagine what having a miscarriage would be like, but I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I know a few of my cousins have had them, my cousin Claire actually planted a tree in her garden in remembrance of her baby boy... but she was really lucky and ended up with twins, perhaps you'll be just as lucky next time and your second child will know all about the first. x


  13. Libby, I just read every single word of this blog post in tears. I sometimes don't think you connect with a lot of 'bloggers' until you read something other than just a 'review'. Such a personal blog post, so real, so emotional. You're one strong lady and I admire you so much for this.
    As a reader of your blog I feel so much more closer to you, like I know you on a much more personal level and I've never felt that way reading a post before. Your words have truly touched me. Sending lots of love over to you, lots of love, Deb xxxxxxxxxx

  14. Libby this was such a great read even though it was so sad. I am so glad you shared this. One of my best friends just had a miscarriage and it's such a terrible thing to have happen. I don't think a lot of people realize how often it does happen and that it shouldn't be something we hide but rather something we're willing to share and talk about just to help oneself as we as others. I'm glad that you're still thinking about another baby after your first one. (:

    Single Vegas Girl

  15. Thank you for sharing your story I can't imagine how much courage it took to remember that time and write about it. I'm so sorry about your loss but I am so proud of you that you are looking forward to the future :)

    Nikki O.

  16. This just broke my heart. I can't imagine how difficult everything must've been for you and still can be. Thank you for having the courage and bravery to share your story.

    Sian x

  17. My heart was in my mouth throughout reading this. Sending you the biggest cuddles ever darling. You are so strong and I admire your courage for sharing your story - I know you will help so many people for doing this. Have you been watching Coronation Street lately? The character Michelle has been going through a similar thing and it's so important to raise awareness that these things happen and how it affects people forever. I am so so so so deeply sorry for your loss and can't imagine what you have been through. So proud of you for speaking out about this as I can imagine it was difficult to relive every moment whilst you typed but I promise it will bring comfort to someone else who has been in a similar position and it was definitely an eye opener for me. You are so strong darling xxx

    Charlene McElhinney

  18. My heart was literally breaking reading this, miscarriage is something no one should have to go through. Thank you for sharing your story, awareness of miscarriage is so important. Big hugs lovely xxxxxxxx
    Rachel | www.rachelxblog.com

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your story beautiful. Suffering a miscarriage is the most heartbreaking thing and if you ever want to talk, I am always here. I lost my baby girl at 17 weeks pregnant so I can relate to what you're going through. I really hope you're okay darling. πŸ’—✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie. x
    www.AlishaValerie.com | www.twitter.com/AlishaValerie

  20. You are one strong woman! Thank you for sharing your story. You're also an amazing writer! 🌟

  21. Wow, this bought tears to my eyes! You're incredibly strong and should be proud of yourself for getting through it! I hope you have a great future and no more losses 🌸

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