Losing Lea

Two lines = pregnant!

At age 42, it felt like a miracle to finally feel pregnant. Circumstances and my own thirst for adventure had always kept that miracle away from me. Now in the right place and with the right person, I felt so happy to see those two lines. Of course I didn’t want to get too excited.

Right from the start I felt it was a girl. We both wanted a boy we would call Leo, so I suggested Lea for this little princess that I thought would finally be mine.

I headed off to the local doctor just to check all was in order. She had a basic sonar machine and took a scan showing me a perfectly positioned foetal sac. I couldn’t see much other than a circle but I was just happy there was something to see. I knew I was pregnant when I went off my daily chocolate habit. The rising progesterone levels made me exhausted and a bit queasy but I kept that under control by eating something appropriate. Being quite thin and short, I was not surprised when I started to see a very small bump.

I booked in to see the gynae which would then be around 10 weeks. The week of the gynae appointment I realised that I had started eating chocolate again and did not feel as sick. I thought maybe something is wrong and I grew anxious to hear my baby’s heartbeat.

At our appointment the gynae asked me all the questions related to how I wanted to give birth, would I breastfeed, did we want to know the sex of the baby. I lay on the table and he placed the scanner over my uterus and there it was, an empty sac. Then he said, ‘I’m sorry, we see this often, it’s called a blighted ovum which means the baby has not developed.”

A blighted ovum – apparently happens to one in four women, some who don’t even realise before they have a slightly delayed period and then naturally abort. A blighted ovum is assumed to be the result of a chromosomal abnormality preventing the pregnancy from going to term. My eggs are older and probably not best quality so I write it off to a bad egg.

I had three choices – allow it to naturally abort, take pills to help the process along or book in for a D&C (dilation & cutterage). I decided on the D&C in the hope that I could at least control the process and not just experience it at an inconvenient time. I went home in tears, just accepting the reality of what had just come my way. A friend had said when I expressed my worries that, ‘you are pregnant, it doesn’t just go away’ – well, it does!
They always say you know when something is wrong and perhaps I should have sooner. When I searched the internet for 6 weeks scans, I could clearly see more in those scans than my own. The picture I had printed of that scan would just serve as a reminder of my loss.

Two days later, I bravely went in for the operation, just a morning out of my life. To do the procedure they must not be too aggressive so as not to cause any damage yet aggressive enough to remove what needs to be removed. The procedure takes around 15 minutes.

I go home, tired and dizzy but otherwise fine. I bleed lightly for five days, but then the cramps hit, my tolerance for painkillers increases, and half way through the night I rush to the toilet to feel blood rush out of me like water, with clots everywhere. The reality of what now feels like a miscarriage hits me as I sit there sobbing, my sympathetic husband not knowing what else to do but hold me. I stupidly went to work the next day even though I was fragile and teary. I should have taken that day to process the loss but I didn’t.

Two weeks later the bleeding has finally stopped and my body feels back to normal. I get back into a regular cycle quickly as if that was just a bad period. By now I have done more internet searching and found that sometimes women have been misdiagnosed due to a possible inverted uterus, but I don’t think that was my case.

A few weeks later I find myself sobbing while in the shower, trying to process my loss.

Even though I try to convince myself there was no child inside and thank heavens for modern scans so we can see what is happening inside, I still feel a loss of what at one point, however slight, was developing.

Three months later I’m walking through an art gallery and all I see is blighted ova represented by circles in the artworks.

I am not quite over my loss.

–Amy

Check out Amy’s blog at https://bonusmomlove.wordpress.com/

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