I wrote the text below on the morning of my reassurance scan after I started bleeding when I was eight weeks pregnant. I wasn’t sure if I should share it. I didn’t write it for the blog. I wrote it on my phone to keep my mind busy and to kill some time as I agonisingly waited in the Early Pregnancy Unit waiting room at the hospital. I was trying to make some sense of my emotions, and trying to gain control of a situation that felt like it was spiralling away from me.
Having read this back after the scan, where I had the incredible gift of seeing that little heartbeat flutter on the screen, I thought it might be useful to share how I was feeling. So many women have been in my situation where they experience a bleed in early pregnancy. And many, many women don’t get the opportunity to ever meet that baby. A bleed when you’re pregnant is one of the most terrifying things you can experience. Before you find out either way what is happening with your baby, that waiting time is dark, lonely and feels never-ending. If you’ve gone through this or you’re currently going through this, know that you’re not alone. Here’s what I was feeling…
Today I find out if my baby still has a heartbeat. Waiting to find out has been hard. I still feel pregnant. I want this baby so badly. But I bled quite heavily on the weekend and no matter how much I want this baby, there is a huge part of me that knows that when we get into that ultrasound room, there’s a very good chance I’m going to get the sympathetic look and a squeeze of the hand from the sonographer.
At seven weeks we had a scan and there was a heartbeat. A healthy, strong beat that I watched flicker and fizz on the screen. My baby was in there. It was alive.
I’m not ready to give up hope, and these last few days of limbo have given me that – the time to dare to believe that everything might be OK.
When I do think about the worst outcome, I’m overcome with grief. But in the next moment, I’m flooded with feelings of guilt. What could I have done differently? If I’d have just not had those drinks before I knew I was pregnant. If I hadn’t forgotten my prenatal supplement those few times. If I refused that one runny egg. I tear myself apart with all of the things that could have triggered the bleeding, even though I know that most of the time there’s nothing that can be done. I guess finding the reason, having something to pin all this on gives me back a tiny element of control in a situation that is so unbelievably and unfairly out of my hands.
I also find myself berating my feelings of sadness because in many ways I’m lucky. I have a healthy 22 month-old daughter. I’m only eight weeks along. Some women have it way worse – some women have never got as far as eight weeks into a pregnancy.
I’ve been dying for days to find out whether or not I’m still carrying the baby. And now the moment is almost here I don’t want to know. I just want to go on pretending everything is OK. I don’t want to know that the alternative might be my reality. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that.