(Trigger warning: worry about a potential miscarriage)
At five weeks pregnant, I start cramping very badly.
I know what cramps in pregnancy feel like, I know the pulling and stretching sensations, I have felt it plenty when I was pregnant with Freya. I have never felt this though. It lasts for a few hours, then fades. The next day it comes back even stronger. Then again the next.
Eventually I ring the hospital. I’m not bleeding, but it hurts so badly that at times I can barely stand up straight. They are worried that it might be an ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus). That can be a serious medical emergency, so I’m told to come in for a scan even though it is so early that they might not see anything at all. Jo goes with me, and we both worry all the way there.
The doctor performs the scan and finds a dark spot on the screen. A baby, or what will perhaps become one. Only one. We are so relieved that we don’t really consider or grieve the fact that it might have been two until later. We just hug in the hallway. It’s okay. We’re okay.
And then… that same night I start bleeding.
It’s the most horrific feeling to wake up with cramps and to realise that that’s blood, proper blood everywhere. I can only think ‘Well that’s it. I’m having a miscarriage.’
The bleeding is bad right then, but throughout the day it gets better, not worse. By the evening it has stopped completely, and we’re back to feeling anxious and unsure. Is the worst yet to come?
I’m fine for a few days, and then bleed again, less this time.
By the time that we go in for the next scan, 6+3, the heartbeat scan(!) I’m feeling waves of nausea, I’m spinny and easily out of breath. I feel pregnant. But it seems impossible to me that I hurt that badly and that there is still a baby in there. So we are both again prepared to hear the worst.
The doctor is rather insensitive congratulating us immediately when we walk in. it’s hard to hear as both Jo and I feel like it’s probably bad news, you would think that fertility doctors have some more sense than that!
But we do the scan, and there, the black spot, and is it… There is! The baby has a heartbeat, an impossible wonderful flutter to see.
We are elated again, relieved, all of it.
The doctor can’t tell us why the bleeding and cramping was there. Part of me suspects that it might have been the other baby, our second embryo, trying to implant and that I miscarried that one, but there’s nothing to confirm that. Or it might just have been random, ‘these things happen’, they don’t know.
They double my already considerable daily doses of medication to prevent more bleeding and miscarriage. All the way until 12 weeks I’m on a monster dose, with all the unpleasant side effects that come with it…
But it works!
I purposely waited a very long time to post this update as I didn’t want to end it on a hopeful note and then still miscarry. So I’m happy to report that we are now many weeks beyond this and that both I and baby Moonshine are doing well <3