Don’t miscarry in a pandemic…

I mean, I say that like you have a choice, or like miscarrying any other time in history is a walk in the park. It’s not, I know it’s not. Although I’ve got to be honest and didn’t realise how fucking horrific it would be. And I don’t want to play Top Trumps when it comes to miscarriages, but doing it in a pandemic is really, really shit. How is it shit? Well let me count the ways…

  1. It’s shit because you have to go to the hospital on your own and you have to go to the Early Pregnancy Unit where there are clearly people who are pregnant who you have to try not to feel jealous of because, you rationalise, if they’re here they’re probably not having a straightforward pregnancy. But still, says the voice on your other shoulder, at least they’re pregnant. You’re not. Because I definitively wasn’t. The very kind sonographer compared the size of what was inside me to what the private scan had shown last week and confirmed that not only had it not grown, it had shrunk. She asked me if I wanted someone else to check. I didn’t. I knew she hadn’t made a mistake.

  2. It’s shit because once they’ve told you that you’ve definitely had a missed miscarriage, you have to wait, on your own, until you can speak to a nurse who can discuss your options with you. And because it’s the middle of a pandemic and they’re understaffed or overstretched (or maybe just because that department is always like that, I don’t know) you have to wait Two Fucking Hours on your own, snotting into a mask, feeling about as shit as can be and not caring if anyone sees you snotting because you just want to be at home.

  3. It’s shit because if you have a missed miscarriage, you normally have a few options — a procedure under local anaesthetic, a procedure under general anaesthetic, or the medicated option, where you basically go home, give yourself abortion pills and wait for your body to start having the sort of contractions you might have during labour, only this time there’s no baby at the end of it so it’s like all of the pain for nothing. And that last one was the thing that I really didn’t want to do. At all. I didn’t want my home to be a part of this misery, I wanted the hospital to just deal with it quickly and efficiently. But, for boring medical reasons I can’t be arsed to go into, I couldn’t have the local anaesthetic procedure, and when discussing the general anaesthetic procedure, it was made very clear to me that it was “not advisable” because it was an “intubated procedure” which meant “everyone: you, the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the theatre nurses is exposed to an additional risk of Covid.” I was basically made to feel as if choosing the surgical option under general anaesthetic during a pandemic was selfish and unnecessary. So I numbly agreed to the drugs at home option. And then I waited. On my own.

  4. It’s shit because, see point 2. I had to wait for a doctor to write the prescription and tell me about the anti-sickness drugs that I had to take beforehand, and the powerful painkillers, and the drugs themselves and I had to sign the paperwork that said that this might not work and if that was the case I’d have to have a surgical procedure anyway. And then I had to get the prescription filled. And about five hours after I got there, I was finally able to go home.

So that’s all the ways that miscarrying in a pandemic is shit. And we haven’t even got to the actual miscarriage yet.

18 thoughts on “Don’t miscarry in a pandemic…

  1. Seeing your blog after reading an extract in the Mail. So sorry you are going through all this. It sucks and is unfair. I have been there. 10 years, 13 cycles, 6 clinics. So much heartache, tears, anger. And yes, after much hand wringing (and a bit of therapy) donor eggs. Have not regretted my decision for even one second.

  2. I hope you find solace in your struggle
    I’m preparing for my first round of IVF
    I’m 43 years old
    My husband is abroad- and not very “present” literally nor figuratively

    I wish I could send you a hug- so here’s a virtual one instead

    Wishing you happier times

  3. After a miscarriage you are at your most fertile. I remember when it happened to me I was told to start trying ASAP and I fell pregnant straight away. Same with my sister going through IVF, she had a chemical pregnancy on her first round and was told to try straight away with the second round and she’s pregnant now. I know this has worked for a lot of people very quickly after a miscarriage I hope it works for you.

  4. Hi , oh my gosh I totally feel your pain. I have been through a pretty similar experience to you in that finding myself single at 36, I froze my eggs. Thinking I’d booked my position as a mum! My intention was use them with a sperm doner if I was still single at 40. Unexpectedly I met my partner about a week before I went in to have my egg collection! 2 years later I fell pregnant naturally, had a private scan at 7wks and saw the heart beat… guessed it 8 weeks had an nhs scan at the EPU…no heart beat, it had shrunk and I was told I had a missed miscarriage, I sat alone waiting, I’d gone alone thinking it was just a check after seeing the heart beat. I took tablets which didn’t work and I ended up having the general anaesthetic operation.
    I’ve since had 3 rounds of IVF to date, the first one I got pregnant first time(at 39). I had a blood test to check for chromosome abnormalities as I had a downs pregnancy with my ex at 34. The blood test at 10wks showed high probability of downs…..again, I couldn’t believe it. So then I had to wait for an amnio at 15wks, a very long 5 weeks, which confirmed my nightmare….I had a termination on my 40th birthday. At that stage they won’t allow an operation, it’s tablets and go through hell in hospital, thankfully during a pandemic I was allowed my partner with me on that 1 day, nothing before but that 1, I don’t know how I would have got through it if not.
    My 2nd round of ivf got cancelled halfway through as I didn’t have barely any eggs to grow. 3rd round of ivf (switched to a long protocol) We had tested for chromosome abnormalities, not going through that again (something I swore the first time), this included my frozen ones aswell as a fresh cycle. None of our embryos were deemed as normal and useable and none of my frozen eggs fertilised….so much for the banker.
    So we are left running out of options and considering egg donation. Although we have decided to have 1 last go at a fresh cycle before admitting defeat.
    I’m messaging because I wanted to thAnkyou, I read your article in the mail about having a donated egg , and it just made me feel not quite so alone. It’s something that we are starting to discuss and I’m struggling to get my head around it, but your article helped me feel more normal, so thAnkyou. I wish you all the luck in your treatment, I hope so much to read a positive outcome.

    • I am so sorry you’ve had such a tough time of things – it’s all so emotionally and physically exhausting. Very happy to chat about any of this if you want to speak to someone who just gets it. There’s a contact me form on the site so message any time. Wishing you so much luck xxx

  5. Thank you for sharing and I loved your piece in the DM this morning. I have been on a similar journey for the past 5 years. We found our perfect donor the day of my Grandmas funeral April 2020. The process has taken a very long time, each day wondering ‘are they going to pull out’. But we have 3 wonderful embryos in the freezer – it took 11 months to get there. Now its my time, to do my bit – please don’t give up. There is another Mary Poppins out there for you when you are ready. Sending lots of love to you and B – Sarah xx

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m so pleased you have your embryos, that’s great news. I do so hope that it’s smooth sailing from here for you. Wishing you all the very best x

  6. I’m sorry. When I read that you had managed to get pregnant without IVF, I was really hoping it would be the miracle you’ve waited for. Having a miscarriage during a pandemic does sound so much worse. Look after yourself xx

  7. I am so, so incredibly sorry to hear about your miscarriage. This is BEYOND UNFAIR.

    I just caught up on your blog and your description of cocktails and fried chicken sounds like one of the most wonderful lockdown meals ever. I hope that you and your partner are supported through this grief and that there are more gorgeous moments ahead for you both. You deserve them. Xxx

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