Thursday, 7 September 2017

Our Journey Through Miscarriage by Kendall

I would like to start this story by sharing that we have a beautiful 3 year old daughter Aileana; my pregnancy with her was unremarkable and to be honest I experienced very few uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Labour on the other hand was another matter (18+ hours of labour & then a C-section), but thankfully we came through and now have a healthy, happy & vibrant toddler.

When Aileana turned 2 we felt we were ready to try for another baby. Just like with Aileana I was fortunate enough to fall pregnant almost right away and we were thrilled, so thrilled in fact we shared our news with Aileana who, whilst not understanding completely, appeared to be excited too. When I was 10 weeks, I started to experience bleeding. As this never occurred with Aileana I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. Whilst waiting in the emergency department another woman came in who was obviously pregnant, unlike me (as I wasn't showing yet) and I overheard that she was experiencing bleeding too. Whilst waiting I was provided with a handout about bleeding in pregnancy and sometime later I met with a doctor.  The doctor was amazing and explained and reinforced what I had read in the handout that bleeding in pregnancy can occur  and that you can lose (according to his analogy) blood from 3 of the 4 walls of the room that we were in and the computer (symbol for our baby) could still be ok. The focus of this consultation was to reassure me that there was still hope and I was referred for a scan the very next day;  and as instructed I booked an appointment afterwards with a GP.

The next day with my husband and daughter I presented to the local radiology clinic where my worst fears were to be realised. I had a young male radiographer whom I would say had very little experience with breaking devastating news to people, but I know he did his best. I really felt for him, it would be the toughest part of their job. I will never forget the words "I am sorry I don't know how to tell you this, but you have a sac but no baby". Of course I broke down crying and then my daughter started touching my belly and saying "baby" and by this point I was inconsolable. Devastated and numb we left the clinic and headed to the doctors. Unfortunately I was unable to get an appointment with my regular GP and I was meeting with a young doctor in training, not the best situation for him or me.  Whilst in with the doctor in training my GP did come in and discussed the scan findings with me. I was told to go home and basically wait to miscarry.

It wasn't until a couple of days later on the day before my birthday I started to bleed heavily. By now I was starting to think more about things and realised I knew very little of what to expect and what I might experience. My bleeding would be in fits and starts for over the next 2 weeks. Some days it would be really heavy and other days I would have very little. One dreadful day whilst I was toilet training our toddler (we had just started before I knew I would miscarry) and she had an accident I had a massive bleed. I called my husband at work crying because I was in one bathroom unable to move whilst our daughter was in the other wet and crying! To make matters more challenging we are a defence family and we have no family members nearby to assist in such difficult times. My husband came home and we went back to the hospital.  The doctor this time wasn't as helpful or understanding but did request a further scan to see if I had completely miscarried - more about this later. During this 2 week period I began to ask myself questions about miscarriage and all the questions I never thought to ask the GP at the time (obviously due to shock) started cropping up. Thankfully I came across your organisation and found an information sheet about miscarriage (I had not been given any such information). This was the first time that I learned that there are actually many different types of miscarriage that couples can experience.

Throughout this devastating period I was fortunate enough to have great emotional support from family. Our family hadn't yet been told we were expecting but they were told when I was miscarrying and they were wonderful listening to me talk and often just cry. Furthermore my mother-in-law is an ex-midwife and was able to answer a lot of my questions and my own mother has also suffered a miscarriage and a stillborn birth. I had a brother Damian that neither I nor my parents ever met. I also had wonderful friends who made meals for us and cared for Aileana when we were at the hospital, doctors or having a scan. So whilst we were going through something so devastating we felt supported, cared for and loved.

After more than 2 weeks of bleeding on and off I had the second scan to see if I had completely miscarried. I thought I had as I thought I had lost the sac. I was wrong, I still had the sac. I remember asking the well experienced female radiographer "if I still have the sac what came out of me", her response was "most likely a blood clot". This was a rather scary moment and I wished I had been more informed about what to expect. After this scan I called both the GP and my obstetrician (whom I had yet to see for this pregnancy but I had seen the midwife who works with her just before I hit 8 weeks). The midwife did check base with me after I was first told I would miscarry. I called both GP and OB as I now knew I wasn't miscarrying naturally and would need a procedure to complete the process. I was informed on both accounts that I still was unable to get an appointment for another week. By this point I was beside myself and broke down with the receptionist at my specialist’s office, she was kind enough to open an early morning appointment for me the very next day with my obstetrician.

Upon seeing my obstetrician she was concerned that I had been let go so long and very apologetic that I had such a prolonged experience. I appreciated her words and knew there was little she could do as she had been on leave for the past 2 weeks. Her personable approach and coming and sitting next to me rather than across the desk whilst we talked did not go unnoticed. I was booked in for a D&C the very next day. I have to thank the nurse at the hospital as when I arrived she informed me that a baby was to be delivered by c-section that day and she knew it would be difficult for me given my circumstances. I appreciated the effort and care she took to do this. The most difficult thing though was when I learned that the mother who was about to have her baby delivered was still smoking, (she was in the bed next to me and I could hear the discussion she had with the nurse) this made me go through those thoughts about how "unfair life could be" and "why me".

Nearly 3 weeks after I knew I would miscarry it was finally complete (the physical part of miscarrying that is). Occasionally I would think about the woman I saw in the emergency department that first time and I would wonder what happened for her, I hoped with all my heart for a much better outcome than what I had. Moving forward from our miscarriage was really hard for both my husband and I, I was mindful to think of how he felt and how our miscarriage affected him as I think often the males are forgotten in this process as it is us women who physically go through it. With the love, support and understand of my husband, family and friends slowly we started to heal. The toughest times where when these wounds were re-opened inadvertently by my daughter who would often pat my belly and say baby -  we tried to explain to a 2 year old that there was no baby now but maybe there would be again one day in the future.

Almost 6 months after this first miscarriage I suffered a second at just over 9 weeks. This time I experienced a chemical pregnancy and miscarried naturally. Whilst this miscarriage was again devastating I felt more prepared from my earlier experience and felt I had developed better skills to deal this time around. In addition I had supported a close friend who also suffered her first miscarriage after my first one; I found this to help me as well.

Now almost a year to the date I started experiencing my 1st miscarriage and on this day (3rd September) my birthday & father’s day we have been able to share the exciting news with our family that we are 16 weeks pregnant and due with our second child in February 2018. I find I worry more now since I have had 2 miscarriages but it has been helpful to talk with my husband, family, doctor and others who have gone through similar experiences. Whilst I have not accessed Sands counselling services myself, the handout I accessed from your website was very helpful. The work that you do is amazing and I cannot thank you enough for getting the taboo subject of miscarriage and infant loss out in the public eye. I have made it my mission to also assist in raising awareness and starting conversation about miscarriage. I made my miscarriages public by posting about them on Facebook and I also hosted a Sands morning tea to raise funds for your organisation. Please keep up the great week it is sorely needed sadly by too many people.

Multiple Miscarriage sufferer
Birthday Girl (3/09/17)
Pregnant again

If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637


My name is Kendall - I am a married mother of Aileana, my 3 year old daughter. I am a registered psychologist and I have worked in a variety of different fields including; sport & performance enhancement, assessment & counselling and education & deafness. I am currently a full-time mum but I hope to return to performance psychology work in the field of aviation once we have had baby number 2 and adjusted to life as a family of 4. I have had 2 miscarriages in the past year and I am now 16 weeks pregnant due in February 2018. I am also the youngest of 5 children, with my eldest brother Damian being stillborn 45 years ago. It wasn't until having my own experience with miscarriage that I learned how many friends and people I know have had similar experiences. I have a mission to assist in anyway I can to create awareness and discussion about miscarriage as it still currently seems to be a taboo subject. Mental Health awareness is vastly improving and I would like to be apart of the movement in conjunction with Sands and fellow bloggers to help do the same for miscarriage and infant loss.


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  2. Thank you so much Zoe, I wish for a healthy and happy pregnancy for you very soon. If you would ever like to chat more you can message me via Facebook (I responded to your comment their too).

  3. Thank you so much Zoe, I wish for a healthy and happy pregnancy for you very soon. If you would ever like to chat more you can message me via Facebook (I responded to your comment their too).