2020 was a hard year for everyone, but in September our family had some news, something to finally look forward to! After 18 months of trying for a baby, we were pregnant. We were ridiculously excited and told everyone we knew. My two boys (10 & 8) couldn’t wait to be big brothers.
Not long after, I started to feel the effects of being pregnant, but I didn’t remember it being so draining. I was constantly exhausted and needing to rest. I was getting unbearable toothache so I contacted the dentist for an appointment, but due to covid there was a long wait. I called an emergency dentist every night, crying and begging for help, they told me to wait for an appointment and to take paracetamol. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice.
Finally I was seen and given an Xray I didn’t want. I had infections so they couldn’t do anything until I’d taken antibiotics to take the swelling away. I felt so guilty, what if it harmed my baby? Again, I had no choice. I cried every single day for 2 weeks, whilst taking paracetamol and antibiotics. The pain, the guilt and the hormones caused me to spiral into a depression. The dentist finally did root canal whilst I sobbed for relief. A few days later, my neck had swollen. Another infection.
Something didn’t feel right. I was worried I’d caused my baby harm from all the paracetamol and antibiotics. I felt something was wrong. I told family members and the doctor, who reassured me that I wouldn’t have harmed the baby.
A few days later, I started spotting. The hospital did an internal exam, and everything seemed okay. We were due to see our baby Peach at the 12-week scan a few days later so I waited.
When I got there I was numb and felt removed from the situation. I knew something was wrong but I masked it as my partner was excited, it’s his first baby! I couldn’t join in. I heard the sonographer say there was too much fluid around baby’s neck and tummy, and we needed to come back.
I had already known it was going to be bad news. The next few days dragged, whilst I contacted the midwife to check my bloods and read every article online to find out what this could mean.
At the next scan, we were told our baby had lots of abnormalities and was likely to die in the womb or shortly after birth. We had options. We could wait it out, or we could abort. I asked what the chances of survival were but there were none. Together we cried and made our way home. I couldn’t look at my partner because I didn’t want to see his pain. I physically couldn’t look at his face. I felt like this was my fault.
We held each other for days as we decided the best option was termination. We couldn’t bear the thought of going full term and losing our baby. I told the kids the baby wasn’t going to make it. They were heartbroken. I felt like a failure, like I’d caused this pain and I didn’t know how to make it better.
I explained to the hospital that I needed a surgical termination as I couldn’t mentally go through with it whilst being awake and slowly losing our child. We were booked in, but I was told I had to come alone because of covid.
That morning, I got ready and said goodbye to the family. Everyone cried as I left but I tried to keep myself together. I got to the hospital and broke down. I was alone and this was the hardest thing I’d ever had to experience. The nurses were so kind to me and allowed me to call my partner to come in. The day dragged on forever.
As I was led to surgery, I switched off. I couldn’t think or feel. This didn’t feel real. As the anaesthetic was being administered, I broke down and sobbed till I was out. When I woke up, my baby Peach was gone.
My partner was there for me in every way, but I still had trouble looking at him. The days and weeks that followed are a blur. I cried constantly, I was overwhelmed with guilt, thoughts of what I could have done differently, how much pain I’d caused my family. The loss was overpowering and I never thought I’d stop feeling like that. I couldn’t stop thinking about what should have been our future.
My body didn’t feel different and I was angry that I wasn’t in physical pain, that my body hadn’t acknowledged the loss that my heart was feeling so deeply. Most friends and family didn’t contact me, I guess they didn’t know what to say, but I’ve never felt so alone.
Eventually, the days got clearer and the guilt started to subside. I know I made the right decision, there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. I needed professional support, but unfortunately the follow ups were non-existent.
I found support groups online, I read other stories and knew I wasn’t alone. I was able to communicate with my partner again and look at him without feeling overwhelming guilt. My kids were still here and they needed me too. They pulled me out of the darkness and I was able to function like a human again.
I’ll always think of our baby. R.I.P Baby Peach- 18/12/2020