Every woman who has ever had a miscarriage carries a tiny scar on their soul - the baby that never was.
I have five beautiful children so almost feel I have no right to the tears that are falling as I write this - I hope that by sharing my story and adding my voice to the Mumsnet Better Miscarriage Care Campaign I can turn a great sadness into something positive.
My miscarriage was discovered at a dating scan - I had two children already and had no reason to think that there would be any problems with this third pregnancy. Ironically I had had early bleeding with my first two babies but with this baby there was no bleeding so I had gone to the scan with my DH feeling completely sure all would be well. It was my DH that noticed something was wrong soon after the sonographer started scanning - I heard the panic in his voice and watched his face crumple as she told us that the baby had stopped developing at 6 weeks.
We were quite quickly put into a side room where a doctor explained briefly I would need a d and c. I was completely numb and terrified - I just wanted to go home to my two little girls. They left us in this side room (which was actually a storage cupboard) and we just cried and held hands - we were so shocked and devastated we just couldn't speak. We were told to come back in the morning after I had been nil by mouth for 12 hours to have the op and briskly sent on our way. We passed lots of pregnant ladies with their partners on our way out and I knew they knew by our tear stained faces and frozen expression we had been given bad news. I felt guilty in case seeing me in the state I was in spoilt their scan visit.
Telling our parents was hard but telling our eldest daughter who was 5 was harder - she is 13 now and still remembers the baby that never was. I went back to the hospital the next day onto the surgical ward and that was where things went from bad to worse. I was due to be one of the first to be taken down to theatre but I kept being put back due to "urgent" cases - by 5.00pm in the afternoon (I had arrived back at hospital at 8.30 a.m) a nurse found me to be so dehydrated that I needed a drip putting up - this led to the suggestion that the operation would need to be put off as I was too dehydrated for it to go ahead. This is when I completely broke down - a passing hospital chaplain hearing my crying came in to offer help and with his intervention the doctors agreed to go ahead and I went to theatre at about 7.00pm. As much as I didn't want to say goodbye to this baby the thought of having to come back and wait all over again the next day was unbearable.
I have had three more babies since then - I have had scans in the same scan room as the one in which we had the bad news - those scans were heart stoppingly awful until the point at which the screen was turned to show me our baby moving. I know how lucky I am, as so many women have miscarriage after miscarriage and never get to see the flicker of a tiny heart beating.
So that's my story - I join with Mumsnet to demand on behalf of all women compassionate, appropriate co-ordinated and ongoing care after miscarriage - if it wasn't for forums like Mumsnet many women would struggle to cope once the immediate "medical" situation is dealt with so women should have better access to help even some time after the actual miscarriage.
As for my baby that never was - I believe that although he or she never had time here on earth my baby waits for me in God's arms and one day I will be reunited with my little one - and in truth I'm a mummy to six.