Many times I have searched Google with ‘Symptoms of Miscarriage’. However, despite my frantic web searches, I have never seen the symptom I experience mentioned. Maybe it is a symptom of pregnancy and miscarriage that is hard to quantify. With each pregnancy I’ve lost, I’ve always known it was going to happen. Some signs I was miscarrying changed each time. Sometimes I’ve felt less sick, weird dreams have stopped, my boobs have stopped hurting – but there’s one sign that is constant. And when I realise that symptom has gone, in my heart I know it’s over.
This is the moment I finally admitted it was over when we had our third miscarriage:
I didn’t bother to test this morning. I know the faint line will no longer be there.
Keep getting my hopes up but I feel different. The baby has gone. When I’m pregnant my head is foggy. That feeling went at some point on Monday. I knew it then but wanted to still hope.
I’m too afraid to go to the toilet and see blood. M said it hurts because we were excited about there being a baby, then suddenly there wasn’t. He always knows what to say. I told M that it would happen today so he took the day off and is looking after Boo. I’ve been sleeping to try and ignore what’s happening.
I really need the toilet but I don’t want to see blood.
Chemical pregnancy number 2.
It’s a subtle feeling – hard to explain or quantify. The fuzzy presence of a pregnancy has vanished.
When I lost George, I noticed that I wasn’t being as sick first. But when I stopped to think about it I realised that I’d just stopped feeling pregnant. The feeling that your brain is cloaked in a mist, that your thoughts are travelling through water and coming out unclear and distorted. It’s like your body isn’t your own anymore. You’re not in the driving seat anymore. It’s hard to explain but it’s trumped any other symptoms of miscarriage. It’s the absence of that feeling that alerts me that I’m going to miscarry.
During the 4th miscarriage – the third chemical pregnancy I had stronger pregnancy symptoms once the miscarriage started – more heartburn, more nausea, weirder dreams. But the foggy, tired feeling had evaporated. I could concentrate, write, talk without feeling like I was constantly having to refocus my attention.
Of course, I always hold out hope that I’m imagining things. But I also become obsessed with checking for blood because I know it’s inevitable. Early pregnancy symptoms can come and go so feeling less sick or tired can be totally normal. A heavy bleed, however, is pretty conclusive that you are miscarrying (although always go to your doctor if you have concerns). Having said that, I had a bleed with Boo and she was fine – but I’m talking about a heavy, prolonged bleed. Again, if you are unsure or have concerns, go to the doctor.
The other reason I stay hopeful until I finally start to miscarry is that it’s easy to explain and quantify blood – it’s definitive. Feeling less foggy is not. Trying to explain that I feel less foggy, that the passenger has got off the bus, the distraction at my core – the core of my being – is gone. I’m almost tempted to say it’s like their soul is no longer jostling for space with my own. But that makes me feel like a hippy and I’m just not sure what I think about that. But that difficulty in explaining what I mean, is why I hold out hope. Maybe I’m imagining it? But I’ve been right every time. When the fog clears, I know that the baby has died and I will miscarry. Every time.
If you are having a miscarriage, firstly, I am so very sorry. Take time to be gentle with yourself – don’t rush your feelings. It’s a shock and will take time to sink in. There are a few things that have helped me process the four miscarriages I have had:
Saying Goodbye was set up by Zoe Clarke Coates and her husband after they suffered a number of miscarriages. Their website – saying goodbye – has a wealth of support for you and your loved ones. The book written by Zoe shares her story and 90 days of support to help you start processing the grief. I didn’t get her book until I had a fourth miscarriage but wish I had had it from the first. Both the website and book will help you to understand the emotional process of miscarrying. You can use this link to buy the book.
I started this blog to help me process it all. Losing a baby at any stage is devastating. Writing has been a massive help to me so that I can try and sort my way through my muddled thoughts. Blogging was right for me, but you may prefer a diary or planner.
I have immersed myself in other people’s stories. Miscarriage is lonely and isolating. Feeling that other people have experienced the same as you can be comforting. You can read my journey through miscarriage from the start, or read my journals from my 3rd miscarriage or 4th miscarriage. Mrs H’s Favourite Things is a wonderful blog and story of hope. There is a guest series with other people’s stories. I sat for a whole day and read them. Feathering the Empty Nest is a beautiful blog of hope and gratitude written by Elle who lost Teddy at 3 days old and suffered another loss at 17 weeks. I read her blog when I need help finding my smile.
If you are not sure if you are miscarrying, do not worry about seeming like a hypochondriac. Phone your GP so that they can book you in for a scan at the early pregnancy unit. If you are having a heavy bleed, are in significant pain (especially one sided pain), or have other symptoms that make you feel concerned, go and get checked out. When you are pregnant you are looking after you and your baby – there is no shame in asking for reassurance.