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Miscarriage: A personal experience

I looked at the gynae’s face and could tell something was wrong. Her brow was knotted, her eyebrows narrowed, she had fallen silent and was no longer chatty. She moved the probe around on my belly some more, and then she spoke:

 

“I’m really sorry, I can’t see a heartbeat ‘.

 

I nodded I think, I looked up, I tried to keep the tears from coming.

 

“I’m going to do a vaginal scan to make sure, is that OK? ”

 

I nodded.

 

Then afterwards…

 

“I’m sorry, there is no heart beat “.

 

She was as nice as anyone can be under these kinds of circumstances. I heard her say,

 

“I’m sorry we met under these circumstances. We’ll meet again in happier times.”

 

She explained to me what my options were. I could either have surgical miscarriage management or wait for everything to come out naturally. I opted for the former. The nurse who took my blood test afterwards affirmed I’d done the right thing.

“I’ve been through the same situation before. You don’t want to have to do it naturally, I wouldn’t go through it again.”

 

At the time I saw the GP for the scan, I thought I was 11 weeks pregnant. I was feeling optimistic. I only had a week to go before I would be out of the 3-month danger period. That wasn’t true. My baby/foetus/collection of cells in my body measured 9 weeks and 6 days. She had passed over a week previously. There had been signs. Two nights before I had had some light spotting. A web search suggested that, in most early pregnancies, that was a sign of miscarriage; though many women went on to deliver normally. I hoped I was one of the latter. I had also experienced some abdominal pain during my pregnancy. The pain would travel around different parts of my stomach. I thought it was normal. How was I to know what was normal or not?

And even if I knew, what could I have done? You can’t stop a miscarriage when the foetus is that young. All the evidence seems to point out that this is just nature’s way of selecting healthy babies. That doesn’t make it easier to understand or recover emotionally. The doctors have been stressing to me in words such as, “this has no impact on your ability to try again.” But I have no desire to try again. At least not now. People have been saying to me not to make up my mind now which I understand, but for fucks sake, I went through weeks of nausea and exhaustion for what? And even though I tried my very best not to get emotionally involved, I had a name for my little girl. And she was absolutely going to be a girl because I willed it so. And she was going to have both my name and my boyfriend’s name. We had already agreed on that. And she was going to be a little feminist, and we would have had a great relationship. No Alice Walker versus Rebecca Walker drama was going to occur in my relationship with my little girl. And I was going to be an attachment parent, and breastfeed her for a year, and take her to work meetings with me cos what else is the point in doing feminist work if we can’t combine our labor with our care work? But SB was not to be. Good bye SB. Mummy loves you.

 

Scan of SB

Scan of SB

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Published on: 15 February 2016 by in General Issues

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27 Comments
  1. Malaka says:

    Ugh God. I’m crying so hard right now.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this with the whole wide world and letting other women know it’s ok to grieve and more importantly, that they are not alone.

    Love you, MASI.

  2. Ronke says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. You have helped so many by sharing. Your bravery and courage are inspirational. X

  3. Akua says:

    Nana, all I can say is thank you for your honesty and truth.

  4. Kofi Blankson Ocansey says:

    Ku se!

  5. Rissi Assani-Alabi says:

    Courage ma grande Titi. C est la vie. I really appreciate your openess in this matter which really affects lots of women. I encourage you to try again n u know it. Little SB would happy about that. So don t give up girl. Alutta continua. Stay well.

  6. Anna says:

    So many of my close friends have had miscarriages -we all feel so frustrated that this is not more openly talked about. It shouldn’t be a taboo to discuss it more openly. It’s a (very painful) fact of life, made all the more painful because women are not made aware of quite how common it is. I also had no idea quite how difficult the first trimester would be, “morning sickness” does not remotely cover how terrible you feel constantly and yet women are meant to keep going/keep quiet/keep the pregnancy a secret before the 3 month scan in case of a miscarriage? We need to be more open about all of this. The fact women go through this so discreetly is not right. We should celebrate the strength of women to do this and make things more equal by acknowledging it all. Having said all this-I am not saying everything is born by women. My friend’s partners have obviously also suffered when they have lost a baby. I have huge respect for you being so open-your piece will help lots of people.

  7. Panji Anoff says:

    Great but painful read… Xx
    More vim… More pikins…

  8. Rissi Assani-Alabi says:

    Courage ma GRANDE Titi. C’est la vie. You have indeed broken the ice on this sensitive issue which affects many women. The power of story telling in the movement. However I will still encourage you to try again and this time it will be nothing but joy. Sis in the movement don’t give up the struggle. Aluta continua.

  9. Gina says:

    Nana…so sorry. Be strong. You will never forget but do try again. You are an amazing woman…share that with a lucky little girl. She waits…willing you to try again. Love lots

  10. Nana Darkoa says:

    @All – Thanks so much for your comments, empathy and good wishes. Much appreciated.

    @Anna – Yup my mind has been blown by the number of women who have shared with me their own experiences of miscarriage in just over 24 hours. I mean I have always known about the stats – but stats don’t really mean much until you become a stat, and then you think ‘shhhiiiittttt, 1 in 4 is fucking crazy, and why don’t we at least talk about this more, and what kind of support is given to these 1 in 4 women, and you’re right the answer is nothing because we don’t talk about it, no one is even supposed to know we’re pregnant for the first 3 months in case we miscarry…And you’re right, pregnancy was fucking tiring, feeling like I always wanted to throw up was a pain and I kinda feel angry that I went through all that for nothing and if I was to try again like a lot of people want to encourage me to do it could all be for nothing.

  11. Baby girl, it is well. Hang in there. Try again and I am sure you will when you are ready. Lots of cuddles and love all the way from Lagos.

  12. cosmicyoruba says:

    I am so sorry you experienced this. My love and thoughts are with you.

  13. Regina says:

    The things we never speak of and yet experience alone, are the same things that if shared can bring about friendship and build strength within us as women. Thank you for sharing. May you heal and not give up.

  14. Wanjiru Kihusa says:

    So sorry to read this. Losing a baby is devastating and unfortunately a conversation people don’t have. Please check out http://www.stillamum.com we’d love to help. Sending you lots of love

  15. Maame O. says:

    Sending you love and hugs…

  16. Abdurrahman says:

    You women are strong I tell you. May you continue to have strength!

    I believe these are the kind of realities we men never want to hear of, except it affects us personally.

    I skipped your post 3 times before I had the courage to…

    Remain strong

  17. Nana, I’m so sorry this happened. A lot of us have experienced the same in secret. Stay strong and don’t stop trying. Love and strength to you sis.

  18. […] Darkoa, shared in a passionate and personal account of her first pregnancy, and miscarriage, on our blog, Adventures. In the 22 years of our friendship, have never known her to express more grief. Not when our […]

  19. nnennamarcia says:

    I am so sorry to hear this Nana. I’m sending you love.

  20. Nsoromma says:

    Nana, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

  21. Nana Darkoa says:

    Thanks fam, I appreciate all the support and love. Much appreciated

    @Geraldinethegreat – Yup, that’s been one of the big shockers for me.The number of sisters who have told me about similar experiences they have had.

  22. Nsoromma says:

    My sister gave birth in September, but in week 10 or so of her pregnancy she experienced spotting while visiting a friend. She was anxious to get to hospital as soon as possible but her friend was waaaaay more laissez fare about it. And basically implied this must have happened to her a few times so she shouldnt be too surprised, she can always try again. I think part of her reaction was fuelled by the presumtion that this must be why my sis (married for 5 yrs) had no children (it’s not). But also it seems almost common occurance. I thought it was a really callous response at the time but maybe she was also talking from experience? I used to think everyone hid their pregnancies because everyone else is a ‘witch’. But it seems the reasons may more nuanced than I first imagined.

    • Nana Darkoa says:

      @Nsoromma – Hmmm there are levels to this ish. Your sister’s friend on the surface does not sound empathetic but on the other hand I think you’re right, there is the presumption with miscarriages that the best thing you need to do is forget about the experience and just try again, preferably as quickly as possible…
      And hahahaha, yes I also have kinda felt that you’re meant to not tell people in the first 3 months cos of witchcraft but I think the real witchcraft here are the high chances of loosing your baby. Glad you sis had her baby safely. Thanks for sharing

  23. Saffron & Lace says:

    Nana — Sending you love and hugs. I am sorry you lost your baby.

  24. Nana Ntriwaah says:

    Hmmm Nana I can so relate. I suffered a miscarriage 4 years ago and I have never forgotten. That would’ve been my 3rd child. The treatment i received at my hospital was enough to put me off trying again. I went in for an IUD and i’ve been on it ever since.

  25. […] Miscarriage: A personal experience […]

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