Surrogacy part 12…

So, the past few weeks have certainly felt like a rollercoaster ride.

After our 1st go at trying to conceive, I spent the following 10 days thinking about nothing else and analysing how I was feeling to the point where I drove myself bonkers! I kept reading about early symptoms and when was the earliest I could take a pregnancy test. I got that fidgety that I started testing ridiculously early even though I knew I could be pregnant, but it wouldn’t show up yet.

Then on day 10 I did another test and on seeing one line I threw it away but something in my head made me get it back out a bit later and there it was…a second line.

I remember standing there in shock, shaking with shiny eyes and I’ll never forget Ali & Andrews reaction to the news.

We were all on a high and I felt a huge sense of relief particularly as being pregnant explained how I had been feeling over the past few days.

I was feeling nauseous, exhausted, had that pulling feeling in my stomach amongst other symptoms and then a few days ago the nausea disappeared which I just put down to the fact that symptoms can come and go. On top of that my back pain eased, I stopped needing the toilet every 2 minutes and something felt different but again I shrugged it off.

Then a few days later I noticed a little bit of old blood and felt concerned but everything I read suggested it was normal and could be implantation bleeding or to do with hormones. Later that day I spotted a small amount of fresh blood and the panic set in. A few hours later I started cramping and had back pain and that’s when more blood came. At this point I knew I was having a miscarriage.

As I sit here writing this, I am holding back the tears…there is no other word to describe it other than shit. It’s a really shit thing for anyone to go through no matter how many weeks pregnant someone is, and I only imagine it is even shittier later in pregnancy.

The hardest part of it all was telling Ali & Andrew…it broke my heart to have to tell them as it was their future baby. Of course, they were sad but equally they have been absolutely amazing, so incredibly supportive and kind. They reassured me that it’s fairly common and that it wasn’t my fault. I knew this but I imagine a lot of women in this position blame themselves…did I do something wrong? What could I have done differently?

I never imagined that I would have a miscarriage and it has been hard.

There is not enough support available nor enough information out there. The NHS website suggests that some women may not even know they’ve had a miscarriage and that some may have some bleeding and period like pain but it’s only when you go onto the Miscarriage Association website that you find out that it can be very painful and that you can even have contractions.

I had no idea, I thought you bled a bit and that it may be uncomfortable but that it would be short lived. I never expected to be in so much pain, at one point I was doubled over unable to move whilst tears ran down my face. The pain and bleeding haven’t stopped yet, but it can last for a couple of weeks.

I was shocked that there isn’t really any recognition of miscarriages in terms of support particularly in the workplace. I imagine most women feel compelled to go to work possibly whilst they are still having a miscarriage because there aren’t any real guidelines. Do you call in sick? Do you make something up? Most people won’t have told their employer they’re pregnant and may not want them to know.

Again, it was only when I read on the Miscarriage Association website that you can have time off work for as long as you need and that you can be signed off with pregnancy-related sickness. It should be recorded separately and may not be used against the employee, for disciplinary or redundancy purposes or as part of an appraisal and there is no time limit on sickness absence after a miscarriage.

I thought that I would feel fine after a couple of days but soon realised this isn’t the case and so I have given myself some time to recover physically and emotionally.

I have never experienced so much love and support from people…every time someone sends their love or says how sorry they are I have to stop myself from crying.

I like to think of myself as a strong independent woman, yet I didn’t have the strength to stop Ali & Andrew rallying around after me…cooking, cleaning, pampering me etc and it was lovely to be looked after.

I feel lucky to have people around me who are checking up on me, offering to help and being there for me. I’m not sure I could have gone through it on my own. I’m incredibly grateful for their love and support.

I’m hoping that I will soon feel like myself again but I’m also mindful to be kind to myself.

Words cannot describe how someone must feel when they go through this, and it is upsetting to think that there is pressure to brush it off…the good old stiff upper lip.

I considered hiding it from people and coming up with another reason for why I am not my usual sparkly self and I thought, no, I don’t feel the need to lie, women go through this all the time yet it’s something that isn’t spoke about a lot and some people may not understand but actually in my experience everyone has been lovely.

I hope that anyone else who has been through this has been able to reach out to others for support, felt able to talk about it and been kind to themselves.

It’s at times like this that we need a bit of love and TLC.

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