10th Feb 2021 — Last month period
19 March 2021 — BhCG test done to confirm pregnancy (hCG is pregnancy hormone)
21 March 2021 — Second BhCG test done to confirm everything is normal
22 March 2021 — Gynecologist orders a scan immediately after looking at the low bchg levels in the second report (they had increased by only 40% but should have ideally doubled). Scan is normal. She prescribes progesterone supplements and leaves me with “This is all we can do for now, come back for a scan after 2 weeks”.
Confused, I come back home after buying Progesterone medicine worth INR 2000 (obviously cheaper ones also exist in market!) for 2 weeks. Of course there were too many thoughts running through my mind, enough to quickly turn my confusion into anxiety! I immediately scramble to look for another gynecologist for a second opinion, to put my mind at ease (or not?).
The new gynecologist, though much chattier and cheerful than the last one, too puts me on progesterone supplements (this medicine cost only INR 600 for 10 days) and asks me to return for a scan in 10 days.
6 April 2021 — Scan confirms a case of blighted ovum or anembryonic pregnancy where the fertilized egg implanted in the uterus does not develop into an embryo.
8 April 2021 — I take the abortion pill.
I went from being super happy to start the oh-so-rosy journey called pregnancy that everyone had told me about to experiencing a common phenomenon called early missed miscarriage that no one had told me about…in less than 20 days!
About 15–20% women experience an early missed miscarriage and yet we are encouraged to never discuss it in open nor discuss our pregnancies until the “critical” 3 months are safely over. I don’t know about you, but all this really shocked and made my blood boil with anger at the same time.
Why, you ask?
Pregnancy is a lonely journey for women. Because we and our bodies are unique, so are our pregnancies with its symptoms and its complications! And of course the partners don’t feel anything much observing things from the outside albeit closely. Yet everyone expects pregnant women to suck it up (the irritating hormonal changes) and bottle it up (the emotional changes) too! Its all for our own good though…because the emotional torture of speaking about a loss (which is quite common but still nobody will ever tell you that) will hurt us more than bottling it all up inside! Poof…our uniqueness disappears when confronted with that generalization.
I am an introvert and I could not bottle it up inside me. I talked about my pregancy with a few close friends and family as soon as I got the first blood test done at 5 weeks along. And I did end up telling a few friends about it as soon as I found out about the loss. Each one told me that it is normal!
More than the loss (well I never really got attached to the lifeless cells called ovum) what I really found hard to register in my mind was a case of blighted ovum or an early missed miscarriage is normal in over 20% of pregnancies! I have never perceived a miscarriage as normal before last week. Never, ever. Sure I did read about its possibility in some blogs posts or articles while doing my pregnancy research towards the bottom of those articles. But I guess “losses” don’t hit hard on your consciousness until you or some one in your close circle experience it first hand! Yes we humans are so good at selective hearing and listening and convincing ourselves of any irrational thing or behaviour by telling ourselves such stories: “Nobody I know has experienced this so it probably happens to some obscure part of the population that we don’t have to worry about it at all!”
I am glad I opened up about my pregnancy and miscarriage too with some of my close friends sooner than later. I wish some one had painted this oh-not-so-rosy picture for me earlier. I wish.
But I don’t think its too late to start talking about real emotions or miscarriages. So lets talk about them. Shall we?