This post isn’t typical of what I’d normally write, it isn’t focused in mental health nor is it a great topic to write about but I’ll try to do so in the best way that I’m capable of. As some of you know, a few weeks ago we found out that after 14 months of ‘trying’, lots of heartache, frustration, tests and a billion pound spent on ovulation kits, me and my girlfriend finally found out we were pregnant. We’d done it, made it happen and we were so elated. Family gathered around, bought us token presents and celebrated with us. Sadly 5 days later, my girlfriend began to shout me in a panic to explain what was happening. I’m going to tell this story honestly, so stop reading now if you don’t like ‘graphic’.
My girlfriend was experiencing bleeding, which to her was an instant disaster. I calmed her down and explained that this happens a lot, is often normal, but we’ll pop to the out of hours to get some reassurance. We drove over in silence, I was secretly petrified but wanted to show a confidence that everything would be OK.
We got to the hospital, and there we were met with a doctor who was absolutely horrendous. I looked on as my girlfriend shook slightly, as she explained ‘I think I’m having a miscarriage’. Those words echoed around a cold and half empty room and really weren’t something I thought I’d have to hear. I saw her eyes well up and she said it, but thought to myself ‘the doctor will reassure her that she’s OK’. She explained what was happening, slight bleeding etc, the doctor’s only question was ‘how far gone are you?’ To which she replied ‘5 weeks’.
His reply was blunt. ‘Miscarriages are natures way of getting rid of disabled children, it’s sad but there’s nothing you can do. Go home and rest’.
That was that. Everything we’d ever wanted was stripped from us. Over the next 5 days things slowly declined, more bleeding, a change in colour and after a hospital trip, me sobbing while my girlfriend had tests, we were told ‘go home and rest’. There was no support at all, no extra information, nothing. We were left alone to deal with what was happening but ourselves. And that we did.
That day, we sat in our PJs, I bought us a boat load of chocolate, popped a film on TV, and we stuck together. I had a small amount of work to do, which I did for 20 minutes upstairs when my girlfriend text me:
‘I can’t believe I’m laid here losing our baby’.
I came downstairs, sat on the sofa, put my hand on her head as tears filled her eyes. I grabbed hold of her and she sobbed uncontrollably. I was her strength at this time, as she clung on while she struggled to catch her breath through the tears. After around 2 minutes of crying, she looked up as I wiped her eyes, and we just laid with each other. She’d gotten it out of her system, gathered herself, and we carried on watching TV, all the while I was watching her endure painful cramps.
The cramps lasted 2 days, and as it subsided, that was that.
In one week, we’d been given the one thing we’ve both prayed for for so long, and had it taken away, and it was absolutely devastating.
Without trying to sound selfish, I found the whole thing so very hard. Not only did I have to watch the one person I love more than I’ve ever loved anyone go through something so mentally and physically difficult, but I lost our baby too. My baby was taken too. Yet at times I felt like I had to be the rock, that was my job. In front of her, I didn’t want to be the one struggling, it’s not like I’m the one having the pains, the cramps, the doctors prodding and poking me. The truth is, inside I was so broken. I may have been the one grabbing her in her worst times and hugging her until she couldn’t physically cry anymore, (and I wouldn’t want it any other way) but at times, all I wanted was someone to grab me and give me the same hug. It doesn’t really happen for the guy though – it’s like a different situation entirely.
I know that sounds a bit self indulgent and selfish, but it’s real feelings. I went through that same event and it broke me, so I can only imagine how my girlfriend felt at that time.
It’s now 4 weeks after she miscarried. She now has a tattoo of tiny footprints on her hip, as a symbol of love for our baby that never was.
And us? We’re good. We took a month off, and decided that we’ll begin trying again next month. Everything we’ve been through is what builds us as a couple. We’ve been through something so difficult and did it between us. It built a bond closer than I thought we could ever have. Our little poppy seed wasn’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have an effect on us and our relationship.
Miscarriage is so devastating yet strengthening all at the same time.