• Polly Thompson


Updated: Jun 10

Dear Baby,

I miscarried you. There, I said it.

Just the word makes it sound like I did something wrong. I ‘miss carried’ you, I carried you in the wrong way, if only I’d carried you in the right way you’d still be here and I’d still be pregnant. But I didn’t and you’re not and I’m not.

I’m going to tell you what happened, because by the time it happened, you’d already gone and I think you’d like to know.

I woke up 2 days ago - which means that 3 days ago, everything was normal - and when I went to the loo, just before leaving for work, I saw blood in my knickers. Rust coloured, not bright red blood, the sort that you’d associate with something catastrophic about to happen. I phoned my older sister. She is pregnant, almost full term, so I thought that she would know what to do. Like every other woman in my massive, hugely, painfully, fertile family, she has never had a miscarriage.

She dutifully got out her ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ book and after a bit of reading pronounced that it was most likely implant bleeding. Feelings of hope flooded through me, I felt that it was probably going to be ok but agreed that I should phone the GP, just in case.

‘Probably nothing’ the GP declared, but told me to ‘nip along to the EPU, to be on the safe side’. I agreed to meet my partner at the hospital as soon as we could.

The process of finding a parking space - extremely expensive and unfair to have to pay to be told that your baby has died - and getting booked in took ages. I was triaged by the midwife and sent to sit in the waiting room until I was called for a scan. No sign of your Dad. I felt caught between waves of panic and hope:

It wasn’t going to be ok.

it was going to be fine!

it was going to be a disaster!

Don’t be silly you’ll be going home reassured.

It was like being on a very high seesaw, swinging wildly up and down. All the while feeling horrendously sick - surely a good sign? Everybody says that morning sickness is a sure sign of a healthy pregnancy.

Your Dad finally arrived and I felt astonishingly relieved to have him by my side, not alone anymore. We were finally called through for our scan and I remember that the room was enormous, it looked like a disused science lab and in the middle was a kindly looking woman who ushered me onto the trolley bed. Your Dad by my side, clutching my hand as the woman pressed the scanner gently into my slightly domed belly. She talked all the time, explaining how this often happens when everything is ok and then very quickly said ‘but I’m afraid it’s not going to be good news today’. I felt my entire world implode as she talked on, it was as if I tuned the world around me out as I lay on the trolley with silent tears streaming down my cheeks. Everything recessed as the pain of those words sat with me. I both knew what they meant and at the same time was entirely flummoxed. I had woken up 11 weeks pregnant this morning but now all of a sudden it was over.

Later your Dad filled me in on what had been said, the words that I hadn’t been able to hear. A blighted ovum. A what?! There was a gestation sac but no baby. Another horrific way of describing baby loss, just another way to make your bereaved mother feel even worse. It felt so painful to hear that there was no baby, that you weren’t there, that I’d missed the moment when you’d left. Arguably, the most important moment of my life and I hadn’t even known it. It added insult to injury, as if I had been fantasising about being pregnant. Bizarrely, I felt embarrassed as well as devastated.

We stumbled out to the car, having been told to go home and wait. We waited all afternoon. I phoned a few people. Mum, my sister, my best friend because I thought I should. No one could say the right thing, because no one could reinstate you, the only thing I wanted, no matter how hard they tried.

Eventually we went to bed as nothing happened. Then at about 11:30 pm I woke to horrendous pain in my abdomen. This went on for a few minutes before your frightened Dad phoned 111 and was told to take me into hospital. Back to the scene of disaster from earlier in the day. Although this time we were directed to A&E and bundled into a cubicle, me with a couple of paracetamol and the most intense pain I had ever felt increasingly overwhelming me. We were generally ignored whilst we were in A&E as the nurses were busy and they didn’t feel there was anything they could do for me. Apparently they couldn’t give me anything stronger for what I now know were contractions - we were in a hospital for God’s sake, the shrine to all the most powerful drugs known to man. I felt abandoned as I laboured you, my tiny blighted ovum. It felt as if we had been given up on already, no one had a shred of compassion for us. After several hours of increasing pain for me and helplessness for your Dad, I went to the loo. The pressure in my bladder was bearing down on me and I unexpectedly I passed your gestation sac into the toilet bowl. I looked at it, unsure of what it was and so eventually, overcome by embarrassment and shame at my epic failure, I flushed the loo and went back to my cubicle.

The pain instantly subsided so, having told a completely disinterested nurse what had happened, we gathered our belongings and went home.

The next morning we returned to the EPU for a scan to confirm that the pregnancy, your tiny life was over. After waiting for our turn, watching excited couples being released from the too big room clutching their pictures of their babies waving at them, I was led alone into another room, this time the size of a shoebox. Yesterday’s compassionate sonographer had been replaced by a surly woman who told me to take my knickers off and hurry up, she was due to go on her lunch break. I wept as she gave me a vaginal scan accompanied by the words ‘yes it’s all gone’. No kindly words this time, just a wad of tissues to clean off the jelly. I felt stung, I really was wasting everyone’s time now. I pulled up my knickers and ran. And this time I really cried, I howled for what I’d carelessly lost and for how carelessly I’d been treated.

So I’m at home now trying to make sense of it.

I miss you. I miss you so very much that I don’t even know where to start. Stay safe little baby, I will always love you.

Your Mummy xxx

If you need support in coping with miscarriage please follow me on social media.

You can find me on Instagram @the_miscarriage_therapist.

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