So about a month ago we had a miscarriage. We were going to have a second child and then we weren’t. Say it like that and it’s quite simple really.
I’ve been composing an ever expanding post on the subject since then, and it’s grown and morphed in my head over the passing weeks and in the mean time I didn’t want to say anything about all the other trivial little nonsenses in my life.
Nicki had a miscarriage before having CU-1. At the time I was disappointed, but in an abstract sort of way. I now realise how unsupportive of Nick I was at the time… not by design or lack of care, simply that until you actually have a child, you don’t truly understand the scale of the loss (that, and men are crap as we know).
Also, and this is no insignificant thing, while I understood the reproductive thing in principle, I hadn’t really stopped to consider the physical implications of a miscarriage. Essentially, once the baby dies, the mother still has to give birth to it. This can range from heavy bleeding for an early one, to something called a d&c which is euphemistic way of describing an invasive medical procedure where the cervix is chemically forced open and the contents of the uterus are scraped out–not something I would wish on any woman.
So I did my best to be a bit more help this time round (not sure how well that went but…) and have spent more time thinking about the event as well as talking about it.
As I write this, I realise that I’ve worked out in my head exactly how and what I feel about the loss, but in many ways, I still don’t know what Nick makes of it.
The whole thing sort of spread over the course of a week, from bleeding, through to hospital visits, through to waiting for her to go through final birth stages at home. In the end, her body was able to get through it on her own, avoiding the surgery, which was a relief.
On the down side, I think the process of waiting for the ‘birth’ to happen (the whole cycle of dilation, contractions and birth in miniature) was very scary. She remembered the pain of CU-1’s birth but was sitting at home with no nurses, drugs or doctors present, just waiting for it to happen with the consultant’s assurance that it would be ok… Frightening stuff.
We lost the baby just before our first dating scan was due, around 10 weeks. When Nick went to seek help after the bleeding started, we were given a scan appointment soon after. This scan was pretty horrific, and it’s at this point I started to feel the full impact. The scan showed a tiny, empty bubble.
I’ve personally coped with this by imagining a little person–Probably a guy–in my head the same little Viking called H that I had imagined would be joining us before CU-1 arrived. I can think about him and his very short life, even going so far as transferring his trip down the toilet into some sort of Viking burial involving a burning drakkar being sent out to sea…
OK. Seeing the above in print does make it seem weird. But it is exactly what went through my head. My point, is that by giving the little guy some sort of ‘identity’ I can feel sadness at his loss but not regret at his having tried and lost. He went for the struggle and didn’t make it.
Nicki is pretty sure she knows the exact date and time he went on his way, but not of course the exact time of death. At first, I thought I would try and remember this date, in order to have a thought about that life that never quite got developed, but now I hope that this time next year Nick and I might be back in a maternity ward trying to help the next little guy into this world :-)