Dec 31 2010 – 6 weeks
April 2012 – 5 weeks
14 June 2013 – 7 weeks 4 days
Taranaki, New Zealand
Our journey began 9 months before we lost our first pregnancy. We had been trying to get pregnant and when it finally happened we were really happy. I did everything right; I had quit smoking and drinking prior to trying to conceive, I ate lots of leafy greens and fatty fish to give our bubba the best possible start, I exercised and got early nights. At the time we were living in Whakatane, NZ. I had a great job, it paid really well and the opportunities for me to have a successful career were limitless, according to senior managers I was the next best thing “miss 110%” was my nickname. I was doing everything right in my career and my pregnancy, life was perfect.
Our bubble burst abruptly when on the 28th December I started spotting, my mum, sister and niece were staying with us at the time over the New Year break. We went on picnics and outings like normal, they didn’t know we were pregnant or that I was spotting. I got worried as the pain and blood increased. My partner took me to the hospital, they said not much about it all but if the pain wasn’t too bad I could go home, so we went home only to go back later that night in severe pain, so much so it made me throw up on the way to the hospital. The next day my mum had to ask if my partner if it was ok to visit, in her words “Kate can be funny sometimes” meaning, I like to go through things on my own, which I do. We figured that this just wasn’t meant to be and that our next pregnancy would be successful. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be.
It took us over a year to get pregnant again, my periods stopped and didn’t return for over nine months. We were referred to a specialist someone we thought was clued up on fertility issues, unfortunately this wasn’t the case and we wasted nearly two years with this doctor going nowhere. I ended up getting referred to another specialist, I specifically asked for a fertility specialist. The specialist got me in for a laporoscopy, which she said was clear of cysts and endometriosis. My next cycle I became pregnant. The day the nurse from my General Practioner (GP) office rung I was at work having lunch with my partner. I told him the news, we were so happy. I got up and went to the bathroom and saw blood, I knew it was happening again. I walked past my managers office and grabbed my stuff from my desk and told my partner we need to go home. I saw his heart break again in his eyes and there was nothing I could do to make it hurt less. He had the job of telling his manager he wouldn’t be coming back to work that day, he broke down in his office. His manager was extremely understanding and said he would take care of everything for our time off. I passed this pregnancy at home. When I returned to work my partners manager tried to ask how I was, I replied unemotional that I do not talk about these things. My partner had told him not to say anything to me and that “she keeps her cards close to he chest”, obviously he ignored that advice and was given my full ice cold blast in return. By this stage, I was no longer enjoying my job, I missed my home, my friends and family, I cried a lot when I was on my own, I didn’t sleep well and I believe I was living in a very dark place. I could no longer walk into a room and spark a conversation with anyone in there, I no longer lit up a room, in fact I tried my hardest to hide. I was withdrawing myself from the world, I was exhausted and I wasn’t talking to anyone about it. I would carry my grief and my partners and it was taking its toll, I no longer knew who I was and it scared me.
Our next steps were clomid and visits back to the specialist at $350.00 a pop. Our specialist said one miscarriage is common, two is bad luck, three is rare and she had every confidence our next pregnancy would be a success. It felt like an eternity to get pregnant again, but on May the 4th what I felt was confirmed, two lines on a home kit, YES! this was our chance, it was our time. I had all the symptoms which was great, I said to my partner this is it, I have a good feeling about this one. We got in for an early scan at six weeks because of our previous miscarriages. I was so nervous, not to mention busting for the toilet. The scan showed a normal pregnancy and when I lay still we could see the heartbeat a healthy 116 beats/minute, our baby would be due on my mothers birthday 28th January 2014, I told my partner I think it is a girl not just think I knew!
A week later I was standing in our lounge, my partner was at work, a feeling came over me, something I had felt before, something wasn’t right with my baby girl. I would start to spot the next day, I got dressed and said to my partner I was going out. I went to my GP, she was brilliant and saw me straight away, on this journey wasn’t just me and my partner but a young, bright doctor who would help us with whatever she could during our struggles. She got me in for an urgent scan. I went home and my partner looked at me and I tried to hide my fear it was happening again but he knew. At the scan the technician struggled, he measured her as 7weeks 4 days which was right for the dates but he couldn’t see a heartbeat. He said he couldn’t give us a conclusive answer, my partner was crying in the corner, I was trying to hold it together. I drew on my project management skills and talked to the technician like he was a stakeholder in one of my projects, I would be systematic, detached from the emotion and process orientated. The next stages of the process would be hectic. Because it was inconclusive another scan would be scheduled for a weeks time. In this time we would have calls from the nurse saying my bloods were showing increases consistent with a viable pregnancy. The day of the scan would arrive and we had to drive over an hour to get there. The news was what we expected but not what we wanted to hear, our wee baby girl was gone, dated 7 weeks 4 days. We were already packed to head to Taranaki, where I am from, my 30th birthday was in two days and we were going to the All Blacks VS France game as well as family lunch with a huge cake. I text my step mum and told her our news and asked her to cancel the cake and lunch. In the car we received a call from the nurse my hcg levels were rising and I explained that it was not viable and that we needed to leave to go Taranaki, she explained that it would be better for me to see my GP in the morning so we turned around and headed back to Whakatane. The next day I could see the tears welling up in my GPs eyes, she felt our pain and disappointment as we talked D&C, I opted to wait for a natural miscarriage to occur, in the meantime I would get a run of tests; lupus, ANA, factor V leiden, thyroid and many more. It would be 12 viles of blood later before we could leave for Taranaki. The family didn’t take any notice of the cancelled lunch and turned up anyway, I was trying to hold it together for me and my partner, knowing that I was carrying something I would never hold or meet but forever love. While we were in Taranaki my partner had a job interview, he was offered the job straight away, this was great it meant I could be freed from my job that I once loved and did so well. Two weeks passed and I handed in my notice effectively giving up what could’ve been an amazing career if it wasn’t for this journey changing me and I told my boss about what was happening and the time I would need off. On our way back to Whakatane the nurse rung, my test results were back, I had positive results for anti-nuclear antibodies and factor v leiden, more tests were required to rule out lupus and hughes syndrome (ironic given my surname I know). I wasn’t sleeping at all now, just waiting for it to happen and when it didn’t I knew we had to go in for a medically induced miscarriage. They put me in a room and explained a process I already knew. They put a symbol on the door and said all staff knew that it meant a lost pregnancy/baby. The cleaner came in to use a power plug and asked where my baby was, I had to explain I was miscarrying, she stood silent with her head down and walked out. It would happen within the expected time frame of four hours. It wasn’t painful and I didn’t take any pain killers, I just tried to focus on finding us a house to buy, because what we were going through wasn’t stressful enough without adding buying a house remotely from a different region! I was discharged and two weeks passed, by now I would’ve been nearly 12 weeks.
That weekend was my partners family dinner for him leaving. I was feeling a bit off colour and sore, I was still bleeding but that isn’t unusual. At the dinner there were two pregnant people; his sister and his best friends wife, there was his cousin with his baby and girlfriend and his sisters, aunties and uncles. The whole night I felt attacked, the constant barrage of “when are you going to give my brother kids” and my favourite “just get ya legs up in the air would ya”, it seemed the whole dinner focused around me and when will I give them babies, they knew of none of our struggles. I had previously told my aunties and mum as I required family history, it was hard and I still haven’t seen them, one of my aunties knew something was going on at my birthday and said she would wait until I was ready to talk about it, I dread seeing her in case I get upset and feel the grief I have pushed deep down, I find the emotional side of this whole thing awkward and I still prefer to block it all out. As the night wore on I began to feel worse, the pain increased and I felt sick. On the way home, I cried, in front of my partner and he knew why. I had been beaten down and he had sat by and watched as his family tore me to shreds about having babies. I was officially broken.
When we got home, the pain was nearly unbearable and I had bled through my pad. I tried to go to sleep but the pain was so bad I got up and rung the hospital, I was told to go into A&E. Once there I was swiftly moved to a bed, a nurse came through took the usual tests; temperature and blood pressure. She left without a word, my partner sat quietly upset as my face went white and I became hot, I sat on the toilet stripping off my extra layers, this grueling six weeks wasn’t over. The Dr came in, he looked all of 12 years old. He asked me to stand up then asked me to sit down, then stand up. My blood pressure was low, very low even for me, gifted with naturally low blood pressure it was dropping and I wasn’t going home that night. I was given morphine for the pain which was immense by now, I was hot and cold and the nurse said I was losing a lot of blood which they will monitor overnight. I dislike hospitals, they creep me out but I knew if I hadn’t have gone it could’ve gotten bad. I passed a huge amount of tissue and I knew that it was over. My pain disappeared and all that was left was my broken heart and a broken man holding my hand. The next day I would be told to get specialist help by fertility associates. We had out first appointment a few weeks ago [at time of writing], it was great, I feel like there is hope although disappointingly he believes my previous specialist missed endometriosis in my laporoscopy. I started a new job after taking three months out of employment, its a part time banking job and a world away from my old job. The pay is crap but I can rebuild myself, my confidence and hopefully learn to me again. We brought a house and we got two puppies, I play in the garden, go to the gym and try and be happy. I still cry when I’m alone, these are the scars I am not sure if I will ever outgrow. My heart aches for the babies I will never hold, we received the results about our last miscarriage a chromosomal problem with our little girl, the sex confirmed in the results.