"So if you just wait for one of the nurses, they'll be with you in a minute to take your bloods"
"Sure, thank you"
[ 5 minutes go by ]
"Erm, can I have a quick word with you?"
I didn't really understand what was happening at that point. The doctor had literally just told me a nurse would come and get me, but then again it was the NHS and so they were probably just short staffed.
"You're pregnant but losing a lot of blood, I think you're losing it". She probably spoke for 10 more minutes after that and I did not hear a single word she said. I mumbled responses when I saw her waiting for my replies but if you asked me what she said I couldn't tell you for the life of me. I just wanted to get out of the room. I was not going to cry in front of her. I wasn't. I woke out of my trance when she started talking about abortions and that there were places I could go if that was what I wanted. I definitely wanted out at that point. I just mumbled, she handed me some leaflets, smiled and said I'd be okay. I walked out, turned the corner and ran for the nearest toilet and screamed. Why do bad things happen to good people, why do they always happen to me?
Whilst I won't go into the ins and outs of my life at that time, I was in a volatile situation that would have been hell for my child, I knew that. That didn't make it any easier to accept. I sat on the toilet at home in floods of tears hours later and felt a pull and heard a splash. My child. Pulled from me before I had the chance to love them. To even know they were inside me. For almost 2 months my child was growing inside me without my knowledge. And there they were. I don't know if that's even scientifically correct to call them a child at that stage. Maybe I'm supposed to say foetus or whatever but to me that was my child. That still is my child. And I had to flush them down the toilet, I had to do that. Within the space of 5 hours, my life had come to a halt and honestly I could not pull myself together. How? My truest hope is that any other woman who finds themselves in that situation has a loving partner by their side - that wasn't my reality. He knew, but wasn't ready to come to terms with what happened. So it was just me. Thank God for my mum and my siblings.
The next day I went to A&E. I joined the queue. Numb.
I walked up to the desk.
"Hello how can I help?"
"I...I..." and I started crying uncontrollably. I had to tell this strange man that I had just lost my child, in front of everyone.
"I'm really sorry I can't hear you. Do you want to write it down for me?" He felt sorry for me but I didn't want his sympathy. I wanted my child. He read the paper and told me to sit down.
About 20 minutes later, I was called to do my bloods and thought that it would be soon that I saw an actual doctor. 2 hours after that I was finally called. I was drained by that point. I had cried the whole bus ride to the hospital but no-one had noticed. I was tired and had hardly slept. Numb.
"So what number is this then?" The doctor said as I entered the medical room.
I was confused. No hello, nothing.
"What number pregnancy?" She looked at me as if I was stupid for asking. But I genuinely didn't understand why she was being so mean. What did I do to her?
"No, no I've never been pregnant before. This was my first"
"Well women miscarry everyday, take some paracetamol and carry on". The doctor was a Nigerian woman. Proud and stubborn. I love my Nigerian people but I could feel her judgement as soon as I entered the room. I felt that maybe because I didn't have a ring on my finger or Mrs before my name that she felt I was just some whore who got pregnant for fun. Well, that's how she spoke to me. I asked if she was going to check my stomach or do a test or something(?), she said if I wanted her to (?). She asked me to lay down and prodded my stomach and then asked me to do a urine test. She then went to speak to her colleagues and I could hear them laughing in the room next door about their personal lives. She came back took the test and went back.
After a while (again) she came back. I asked her what it said and she said "well it would just say your positive if you said you miscarried". I knew the appointment was over from there. I couldn't say anything more so I left it. Me being me, I went straight to Oxford Circus in an attempt to bury my feelings with some retail therapy. I bought some jeans and bled straight through. Running from trauma is what I did but I couldn't run from this.
Needless to say the weeks and even months to follow were dark for me. I had failed. Someone I love so much had experienced something similar a few weeks before and I told her "it was probably for the best" and all of a sudden I realised just how harmful that phrase was - I vowed to never say it again. It wasn't for the best that I lost my child. How dare anyone say that? They have no idea ...
I am lucky enough to say I have since had the most beautiful boy who is so loved but sometimes I break down over how traumatic that situation was. I speak about it in therapy and perhaps its an ongoing process. It is ongoing. The guilt I feel. Could I have stopped it? Did I do something to make it happen? It's funny because a guy I once dated told me that I would never be able to be successful AND have my own children. He said it had to be one or the other. When he found out about my miscarriage he said to me that he "told me so". lol.
I think maybe I am an easy person for people to make assumptions about or come to conclusions about because outwardly I like to appear to have it altogether but I am working on myself inwardly just like everyone else. My miscarriage changed me forever, I started to learn that I had to listen to my vulnerability which was not comfortable for me. I'm still coming to terms with it. The week before my miscarriage I had cried every day at work because I was so stressed. I quit subsequently after. Nothing is worth your health, your sanity, your child.
This is raw for me. Raw because I don't see or hear many women speak about their miscarriages other than a favourite of mine, the beautiful Kelechi Okafor. It is women like her who have made me feel less "alien".
So if you clicked this post because you too have lost, or are grieving your own experiences - my heart is truly with you.
My son today is the purest beacon of light and I am forever grateful. I cannot change what happened but I can say that I would have been and will continue to be, a loving mother - heartbreak and all.