Welcome everyone! It’s week nine of the “On Being Childfree” blog series and I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your continued support. Every week the post is the most read on my blog and I receive emails from people wanting to take part and DMs on Instagram that people are finding this so helpful. This week I’m delighted to welcome our eighth guest story, Sarah. Sarah’s story is an emotional one and may be a trigger for some since she has encountered a series of miscarriages. I am humbled by her braveness in sharing her experience and how it’s affected her. Please do read, leave a comment and share as much as you can, I’m really willing this to grow and grow so that we can help as many people as possible who may be going through something similar.
I Am: Sarah, early 30s
Home Is: West London
I Do: I work for a local authority in housing enforcement
I’ve never really been the “I want to get married and have babies” kind of girl. However, quite typically when in a long term relationship as I’ve been in the past, you do start to wonder whether maybe marriage and children is the future after all. And to that end, I have been pregnant, more than once in the past 10 years. Here is my story.
My first miscarriage came when I was 22. There’s no ‘easy’ experience where losing a baby is concerned but I didn’t know I was pregnant so it felt horrendously scary.
My second miscarriage then came a year or so later. I’d only found out a few days earlier that I was pregnant. This time I obviously knew what was happening but it was still a daunting time. I remember ringing the non-emergency line and the person on the end of the phone couldn’t be any less sympathetic which in itself is awful to encounter during such an upsetting time. It’s because of these first two episodes I truly believe there should be an awful lot more education, information and support available for all women (and boyfriends/husbands/extended family).
My third miscarriage was the worst experience I’ve been through in my life. After the first two I swore I would never ever fall pregnant again – I took the pill religiously, but I’d had a nasty tummy bug which meant the pill hadn’t been ingested/absorbed and then the obvious happened.
The miscarriage symptoms started, and without going into too much information my bathroom looked like a murder scene. I was in agony.
My boyfriend at the time rushed back from work to be with me and when he saw me he immediately called 999.
The ambulance took over an hour to get to me, the crew were much like the non emergency helpline; non plussed, unsympathetic robots. I was taken to the nearest A&E by which time I’d bled through a bath towel (it was all I could wrap around me).
They tried to find veins to get fluids into me but I’d lost so much blood my veins were virtually non existent. I had multiple scans which revealed the “product” (yes, that’s what they called it!) was stuck at my cervix and wouldn’t move. If it stayed where it was, it would become infected and become life threatening. I was in hospital for 4 days and I had to have surgery on the third day to get rid of everything. There was a huge sense of urgency in the hospital, and the staff there couldn’t have done enough for me, I’m a BIG advocate for the NHS but the ambulance crew were at best, uneducated.
It wasn’t the end though. I was to endure a fourth miscarriage and by this time, as awful as it sounds, I felt almost practiced. It was a mistake and I hate myself for saying it, but I missed the pill and again the inevitable happened. I must be beyond fertile. The difference this time was that I progressed further than my previous ones. I found at 3 weeks that I was pregnant and has time went by and a miscarriage didn’t happen, I started to hope.
I was 10 weeks and went for my booking in appointment at the hospital on 13th Feb 2018. Just one day later, I started bleeding and was back for a scan. To make matters worse, that week I started a temp job and had to keep working as I was desperately in need of money. I was crushed. It ended my relationship, it’s affected my mental health and my physical health. I haven’t had normal periods since.
Sorry if I’ve gone on too long. I think the moral of my story is that there just isn’t enough education and information around miscarriage. There isn’t enough support and advice for people. Family and friends don’t know where to put themselves. Relationships crumble under the strain.
It is something I talk very openly about at work (despite one male colleague, for which I have no polite words, suggesting I shouldn’t talk about it in case it made others uncomfortable) and with family and friends but as you so rightly say, there is this huge taboo around women of a certain age not having children, or saying she doesn’t want children. You’re considered strange, or abnormal or selfish.
For me, I’d opened myself up during my fourth pregnancy to having a child but then miscarriage came back again, does it happen for a reason? Is it fate? Who knows, but the psychological and physical effects are enough for me to make sure I never get into a situation where I’ll fall pregnant again.
Thank you so so much to Sarah for sharing her story as a guest poster and sharing her thoughts and views in this piece. As I’ve stressed from the very beginning, this is a warm, empathic platform for people to share their stories, hopes, dreams, fears. Please do read Sarah’s story, leave a comment if you’d like to and share this series if you know anyone it could help. Together we are making changes.