My story begins the same way that many happy pregnancy tales do. After a week of mood swings, nausea and no period, I used a magical pee-stick to find two pink lines. I didn’t believe it. Off to the shops I marched, with my dear husband in tow, to buy two more packets of tests. Well, several bottles of water and pregnancy tests later, those tiny pink lines physically brought me to my knees and I sobbed on the bathroom floor, in complete overwhelm.
It was 2014, Regan and I had been married only a year. “This wasn’t the plan!” I found myself saying. We’d just commenced a five year degree, together, embarking on our dream careers. In the meantime, my belly and breasts swelled, I had nausea and fatigue like no-body’s business and every night I could be found tucked up in bed reading all of the pregnancy books.
Joy filled my heart, and I can recall this one spectacular autumn day with crisp air and bright blue skies. I was hanging out the washing, beams of sun warming my skin. I closed my eyes and found the deepest gratitude for mother nature and my mother body, working on miracles I couldn’t see or fathom. I was thankful, and in awe. I was a mother.
I had a midwife booked, a birth plan in my diary, and our dear friend Taylor, who was a student midwife waving a doppler over my belly to find there was a little train-like heartbeat, chugging away inside. Regan and I took the pregnancy in our stride, deciding to carry on with studies and our best laid plans. Regardless of the timing we were grateful for our baby, and we were committed to creating and raising our family in our small Melbourne home.
I was a naïve first time mum. I never considered that gifts could be given to me, and then snatched away. It began with some spotting. In my mind, alarm bells were ringing. I searched all the forums (bad move) but figured that the logical answer was some first trimester old period blood. But it continued, and got brighter. I called my midwife, who assured me but referred me straight to an obstetrician. He was a lovely, kind man. He felt my little tummy and measured it, saying that an ultrasound would be helpful. Taylor rode her bike across the city, and waited with my husband and I, in the Imaging clinic. The waiting room was full of heavy pregnant bellies. I swallowed hard, but could feel I had hope stored in all my cells that my baby was okay. I learnt that sometimes, hope is not enough.
We went into the dark ultrasound room. “This will be cold” the technician said, squirting gel on my abdomen. I didn’t feel a thing. I was craning my neck to see the monitor and she pushed it towards me. She waved the wand over my belly for what seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t hear that little train heart, just my own beating loudly in my ears. After an age, she turned the screen back away from me, as she excused herself from the room. My heart sank.
A doctor came in, and suggested an internal ultrasound would be the best way to tell what was going on. I asked if it would harm my baby, and he didn’t say a thing. I got undressed and put a gown on. So many unspoken moments, stretching out across time. Regan never left my side. The internal confirmed the worst. The doctor told us there was no heartbeat, and things didn’t look right. As I looked up at Regan, I watched a single tear fall from his eye. It hit the top of my hand, and opened up the river in me. The doctor left the room, and Regan and Taylor surrounded me in a hug and we cried.
There's no words for the moment you find out that your baby is no longer alive. It's not really spoken about, because it's beyond the realms of what our language offers. It takes the breath from your lungs, as the room closes in. There's no comfort in that cold ultrasound room. I remember walking out into the busy street after that moment. I was almost surprised to find bustle and noise. Life was still moving around me, but everything had changed. I felt as if my world had stopped spinning, and my inner voice was silent. Unsure if my own heart could keep beating, when my baby's had stopped.
We scheduled a dilation and curettage; at 14 weeks along, there is a high risk of infection if my body hadn’t allowed all the tissue and the baby to pass. I had to wait a few days, as the surgery schedule was full. Those four days, I walked the earth knowing that my baby was no longer living inside me. I felt as if I stood at the cusp of the realms between life and death. My womb was meant to be the safe, life giving place; and now it was a tomb.
To me, miscarriage is the death of a baby. A baby I had grown, and grown to love. There is a baby shaped hole in my heart, and in our family. There is always a space where a child was meant to be.
Complications from that pregnancy were revealed after the D and C. I had a partial molar pregnancy, which means that placental tissue can lodge itself in the uterus, continuing to produce hormones with the possibility of becoming cancerous. I began 6 months of testing to make sure that my body was healing. The doctor’s advised I wasn’t allowed to conceive for about a year.
I went on to have a second miscarriage, in 2017.
I would never wish this pain on anyone, let alone multiple times. I have travelled a long journey of physical, emotional and spiritual healing, in the deep places that have been broken.
Moments of joy and fear and miracles punctuated the days I spent, carrying my child. The moment I lost my baby, I knew things about life that I wished I didn't have to. All of these moments were awakening, life changing. All of those moments took my breath away for different reasons. All meaningful, visceral experiences. And loss has marked my world in ways that makes some days much harder than others. And it has also given me an abundance of new moments to appreciate.
We are now in the final year of our degree. Our sights are set on the end goal of graduating to become Chiropractors. Regan and I are passionate about healing ourselves and others. We speak about our babies often, their names are Aila and Lior. We cherish their memories, we hold them close. We don’t have any living children, yet. I think we both have a little way to go before we are ready to try again. But I so look forward to the day when we can both look at our baby and marvel at how wonderful they are. I look forward to carrying a pregnancy to term. I called our collection of affirmation cards “I Carried You” in honour of our babies. It feels like a distant dream, but I cannot wait for the day that I carry our babies, and finally get to hold them.
Listen to their story on our Podcast: NTM 147: Miscarriage and baby loss with Megan and Regan from Aila and Lior
You may also be interested in listening to our own personal stories of miscarriage and our journey from pain to healing, in our podcast THE JOURNEY OF MISCARRIAGE, episode 15, which can be listened to via iTunes for Apple or Stitcher for Android.
Megan and Regan are a husband and wife team, currently living in Melbourne. Megan has a Bachelor of Psychology, and Regan is a singer/songwriter. Together they are completing their final, clinical year of Chiropractic studies at RMIT.
They are passionate about seeing people achieve their full potential, and living their own. They have recently started a business to empower women healing through pregnancy loss and baby loss. They have made it their mission to become more open about baby loss in all forms, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, and still birth. Releasing themselves and others from the stigma attached while bringing healing to countless families who have also been on this journey.
We have created a collection of affirmation-type cards (we call them Personal Declaration Cards), using principles of positive psychology, and functional knowledge of the body. Our own experience of the loss of two babies, has empowered us to address specific needs in the healing process through baby loss.
IF YOU NEED HELP WORKING THROUGH YOUR OWN STORY, CONSIDER JOINING OUR ONLINE TRIBE WITH OUR LOATHING TO LOVING PROGRAM.