The wait between 1 scan saying that your baby is not the size it should be and the next scan confirming that your pregnancy really isn’t viable is probably the longest week in the history of time. It makes a 2 week wait post IVF look like a walk in the park. On one hand you know that your baby cannot be small for dates because you know your dates, on the other hand a small part of you holds out for a miracle and because of that it seems wrong to start to grieve and move on whilst there is still that glimour of hope.
A couple of online friends are in this terrible limbo period at the moment and I feel so helpless, I can vividly remember the pits of loneliness and despair that the week brings. I keep repeating myself on threads to let them know that it is normal to feel so bad, I am really not sure it helps but it makes me feel like I am doing something.
So for anyone else out there going through this here are my top tips and thoughts on that week between bad scans:
- Be kind to yourselves – it is not anything you have done
- Be selfish – you are the number 1 priority not everyone else
- Don’t feel guilty about taking time off work – see points 2 and 3
- Distraction is good – post my 1st and 2nd bad 12 week scan disasters I worked, the 3rd time I stayed at home and baked, a cake a day. Millionaires shortbread is great as it involves 3 mini tasks through out the day. The highlight of my days was walking to the shop for ingredients! I watched a lot of TV as well, turns out day time TV is perfect brainless fodder for these times.
- Iron tablets can be helpful especially if you bleed a lot
- It takes your hormones and body a bit of time to catch up and realise what is happening, this means you feel a bit rubbish, this is normal.
- There is no right or wrong time limit on trying again, unless the doctor says otherwise, do what is right for you as a couple.
- In my opinion an ERPC is a great option, for me miscarrying naturally was horrific. I will blog about the details some day I am sure and what a treat that will be!
- Company is great but only really good friends or family, my mum came and saw me every day post my 3rd scan, even though she drives me mad it was actually good to be distracted. 3 days was enough though then I had to sos call my sister to come over the next day so my mum didn’t!!
- Remember that it isn’t fair, it isn’t nice, there is no reason you are being picked on, yep it’s still not fair and it’s OK to feel angry, sad, and anything else.
- It’s also OK to think it’s one of those things and next time will be OK (this is obviously easier if this is the 1st time you are going through this)
- Men deal with it differently, just because he isn’t weeping with you and can function doesn’t mean he doesn’t care.
- Sleep can be hard – rest when you can!
- Once you have had the 2nd scan and confirmed that it is over life does get a bit easier as you can grieve without guilt.
- Time is a healer even though you think it won’t be
- There is nothing you could have done to prevent this – well obviously if you have a drink or drugs problem, then yes maybe you could have but for the vast majority of us the 1 glass of wine to stop people guessing, the 1 cup of non decaf coffee is not the cause, the paracetamol you took for the 3 day headache, the crap food that was all you could stomach none of it was to blame . (Yes I have been down this road)
- Christmas / birthdays / the next few months will be tough there will be moments when you thing I should be xx pregnant or our baby should be xx old and yes some birth announcements will cut you hard but you will survive.
- It can hit you at any point, especially when you are least expecting it, but you will survive.
- By the way it is still a properly rubbish thing to go through and you really don’t deserve it, remember that at all times!!
Much love if you are going through it or have been through it I genuinely mean it when I say I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, no one deserves to come out of a scan room without a smile on their face and glow in their hearts, a scan should be about taking you one step closer to meeting your baby not to smash your hopes and dreams.