“Some time last year, I fell pregnant with my second baby ― it was an unplanned pregnancy. I visited my gynaecologist when the baby was around 5 weeks along because I had some cramps.
During the fifth week scan, everything had looked well and normal. But that changed when I visited the gynae the following week ― he told me that he could see a “blood clot” on the ultrasound scan. He couldn’t offer any reason for it, but put me on strict bed rest until I was to see him again the following week. He also gave me some hormone jabs and medication to stabilise the pregnancy.
During my 7th week checkup, we saw and heard the embryo’s heartbeat. However, since the blood clot was growing in size, my gynae wasn’t too optimistic about the situation. Nevertheless, he was still encouraging. I continued to be on bed rest, jabs and medication till my next visit.
By this time, I was feeling really upset. When I Googled about my condition ― subchorionic haemorrhage ― most of the results I read weren’t very encouraging. Not a lot (though some did) of women with this condition were able to carry the baby to full term. I chose to remain hopeful till my next visit.
I had probably miscarried shortly after my seventh week visit.
When I went to see my gynae on the eight week, he was unfortunately unable to detect a heartbeat. The embryo had also become smaller in size. I had probably miscarried shortly after my seventh week visit, he said.
My gynae was very gentle in preparing me, then breaking the news to me. Till today, I’m extremely thankful for that. However, at that point, I was still in denial. I still felt “normal”, that is, still pregnant.
So, the gynae offered to let me take the HCG test again. The numbers would give me an indication of how the pregnancy had progressed. I agreed. No conclusive reason was offered for the miscarriage ― because since I was still in early pregnancy, it might have been due to any number of many unknown factors.
It was a horrible experience because my husband was not able to make it to the clinic that day because of his work commitments. I was crying alone while waiting to pay my bill. Thankfully, the nurses were empathetic and allowed me to take the express queue.
I confided in some of my friends and continued to pray about it because I still wanted to be hopeful. Shortly after the gynae visit, I realised I had started to spot. I was told that my options were to “let nature take its course”, or to go for a dilation and curettage (or D&C) procedure, where the doctor will remove tissue from inside your uterus.
I remember telling a close friend that I didn’t want to have make the choice. When my friend replied that “God will choose for you”, I felt more at peace. I then received the call from the clinic about the dropping HCG numbers, which confirmed that I had miscarried.
Even though my baby wasn’t alive anymore, I chose not to go for the D&C procedure. It just made me feel like I was ‘removing’ the baby from my body and it would have made me feel worse. I told the clinic that I would wait it out, so they asked me to return to the clinic again a few days later.
I couldn’t see anything that looked like a baby, but it finally felt like closure.
I cried for days ― at every waking moment ― while waiting for the ‘tissue’ to be discharged from my body. I remember days of bleeding slowly before the ‘tissue’ was finally flushed out. I couldn’t see anything that looked like a baby, but it felt like closure.
During my next gynae visit, they allowed me on the express queue once again, so that I would avoid seeing all the pregnant ladies. After I did an ultrasound scan to make sure that there was no big tissue mass left inside my uterus, my gynae gave me some medication to completely “purge” whatever was left.
Are you dealing with loss? Read what Cherie has to say.
It’s never easy for any woman to deal with the fact that they have lost their baby, no matter how early on they were in the pregnancy. I was on an emotional roller coaster during those few short weeks ― from being happy on seeing the first scan, to panicking when I discovered the blood clot, and then denial when I realised that the heartbeat was gone.
I cried for days, but I never got over the sadness and the guilt ― even now, when I’ve gone on to have another child. Because of my Christian faith, I found strength, comfort and answer in prayer. I also believe that my baby is in heaven, with God, and that one day we will see each other again. This has helped me a lot in finding closure and moving on.
I am also thankful for my close friends, whom I confided in during the entire process. Slowly, I even had friends come and tell me that they, too, had miscarried in their pregnancies and who offered me words of comfort and encouragement.
I was on an emotional roller coaster during those few short weeks.
I went on to get pregnant again, about three months after the miscarriage, after taking some time to recover both physically and emotionally. I spoke to a friend who’d previously had a miscarriage ― she was patient and encouraging, as she too had gone on to have another baby.
While I was paranoid during the early stage of this pregnancy, I also chose to be hopeful. Thankfully, I had a fairly smooth pregnancy, even though I had gestational diabetes. I want other mums who’ve had miscarriages to know that we have hope. We might have lost one, or two, or even more babies, but we still have hope for another healthy child.
You may feel guilty, so it’s important to know that it’s not any fault of yours that you have experienced a miscarriage. Although I miss my unborn child, I know that I will see him or her one day.
I also choose to believe that the baby may have had to go through much difficulties if he or she were born into this world, so God chose to bring the baby to heaven, so that he or she wouldn’t experience any pain here.”
Photos: Cherie Goh
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