This is a guest blog, written by Natracare’s Digital Marketing Manager, Jess.
October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month, and we’d like to shine some light on an often forgotten type of miscarriage – the missed miscarriage (sometimes called a silent miscarriage).
According to Tommy’s, a silent or missed miscarriage is when a baby has died in the womb without the mother experiencing any symptoms like bleeding or pain.
Despite 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage, the topic remains taboo amongst many – this is something we want to see change. Our Digital Marketing Manager, Jess, has agreed to share her experience of missed miscarriage, her symptoms, treatment, and her feelings, to help raise awareness for those of us who might experience the same or similar kind of pregnancy loss.
Jess’ missed miscarriage story
In September 2018, myself and my now husband, Stu, were excited to find out that we were expecting and that I was 5 weeks pregnant. As soon as we saw two lines on the pregnancy test, we felt as if our lives had changed; we were planning what the nursery would look like, thinking about baby names, and I was even researching birth plans.
I was experiencing all the usual pregnancy symptoms; morning sickness, bloating, a round stomach and food cravings – everything seemed to be going well!
At first, I didn’t experience physical symptoms of the miscarriage, but more of an emotional one. A few weeks after the positive test whilst on a trip to Krakow together, I had a strange feeling that something was wrong. Some may call it ‘Mother’s Intuition’, but what I experienced was a gut feeling that things weren’t as we expected them to be.
A week later I experienced some very light spotting and decided to call the Early Pregnancy Unit to book a scan to confirm that everything was okay. This was the only physical symptom I experienced.
I knew that something wasn’t right when, during my scan, I was asked if we were sure on the date of conception. That’s when we found out that it was most likely that our baby had passed away a few weeks prior, but my body hadn’t yet recognised that our baby was no longer alive – they explained that this was called a missed miscarriage.
We were taken to a side room in the Early Pregnancy Unit and told what we could do next, I still hadn’t processed what had just happened in the ultrasound room and was in complete shock.
The next steps were to explore and decide on the treatment I’d receive for the missed miscarriage. I was given a few options in terms of treatment:
- Wait and see if the baby passed naturally, and re-explore other options later if this didn’t happen
- Take medicine to help induce the miscarriage – this is called medical management
- Have surgery to remove the pregnancy
I opted to wait and see if the baby passed naturally and if not, I decided I’d go through with surgery.
Once two weeks had passed and nothing had changed, I was sent in for surgery – I was still being sick on the drive to the hospital and experiencing all the pregnancy symptoms that I had been this entire time. Experiencing pregnancy symptoms while knowing I had miscarried felt like my own body was playing a sick joke on me.
Surgery was quick and easy, the hospital staff were great at managing my pain and advising on pregnancy after loss. They reassured me the entire time and answered all the questions I had – it can be a confusing time so having this support was essential.
Throughout the pregnancy and loss of the baby, myself and Stu experienced a variety of feelings. I blamed myself, thinking I’d done something wrong or lifted something too heavy that had caused the loss, we felt empty.
Over the coming weeks, our baby’s loss brought us closer together as we grieved and helped each other through the motions.
We even discussed trying for another baby, getting married, and what that would look like for us. Despite being through an incredibly traumatic event, it felt like we were stronger than we ever were before.
Four years have now passed since we lost our baby and we’re lucky to have been blessed with our 3-year-old rainbow baby, Darcey. Though the pregnancy was somewhat traumatic and we had a few scares along the way, we’re so grateful to have our happy ending.
If you’re struggling with pregnancy loss or have experienced a missed miscarriage, here are some organisations that offer support: