(This posts follows on from one entitled 'the end', which can be found here. It's taken me a while to be able to write it, and then to finish it.)
We sat in that room on a bed, unable to really take in what had happened. I cried periodically. Not as much as I would have thought.
The healthcare assistant came in. She was mostly nice, but at one point when I started to cry, she leaned forward, rubbed my leg and said something along the lines of 'aw, you'll be ok!'. I think she was probably at a loss for words, but I felt terribly patronised.
She asked if we wanted the ultrasound picture they had taken. I thought I was going to say no, but some instinct in my brain overtook my thoughts and the word that came out was 'yes'. She passed it to me; I opened it, glanced in and slammed it shut. Told her I would look later.
(I didn't mean it. And it took me a couple of days. But I did. Now I carry a copy of it around with me.)
D's never looked at it. He says he saw all he needed to see on the screen, before they told us what had happened.
If I ever get to sit in a scan room again, I'll make sure that either we can both see the screen, or neither of us can. I think I'll go with us both being able to see. We've faced the worst already. I think I'll expect it every time. Our imagination could never be worse than the truth. Not any more.
Finally a GP came in to see us. She told us how sorry she was. She told us that our loss wouldn't be investigated. But that although in most cases there was no reason that could be found, that the sonographer had seen what looked like a growth on the baby's neck. That that was normally the marker of a chromosomal abnormality.
I think I was aware even at that time that miscarriages weren't investigated in this country unless you have three, although I didn't realise that it needed to be three in a row. I wasn't aware til later, though, that second trimester losses are usually investigated even after a single loss, or I would have fought much harder. It seems unfair that they used the fact that the baby measured 13 weeks to make the decision. I was 17 weeks by that stage. The baby could have survived longer but have been growing slowly. Couldn't they have assumed that and investigated? But I was told the same thing by two different hospitals, even though my midwife said to push them to investigate. I did. I did. But they still refused.
We had three choices of what happened next. Expectant management: wait for my body to expel the baby on its own. Medical management: take medication to make my body miscarry the baby. Or Surgical management: an ERPC - evacuation of retained products of conception - ie surgical removal of my baby under general anaesthetic.
They said we could go away and think about it and call the next day. They said that I would have to go to a hospital far away and in a horrible town I'd never been to before for one of the options. They gave us leaflets. One leaflet for each option, each starting 'you have chosen .... management.' I hadn't! I still hate that there isn't a single leaflet that they can give you with information about all three, so you can go and consider it properly. And I asked if I could go to a different hospital in a different health authority - but closer to where we live - and they said actually yes, we could. And it still makes me angry that they never told us that, either; that we had to ask.
In the end, we left. We paid £1.60 for the car park. That's the third thing that makes me angry, that we had to pay money to find out that our baby had died.
I can't write about being at home that evening. About telling people. About trying to go to sleep. About trying to decide which shi.tty option of our three shi.tty options we were going to go for. It's too much. It's too personal.
But I will tell you that we were due to go to the supermarket that night. We shop for D's grandparents, and we were due to be going round. So we went to the supermarket, shell shocked as we were. It occurred to us that we didn't have to go, but we... still went. We wandered the aisles picking up food like automatons. I picked up some jam cookie things. It was the only thing I could face eating that evening. I ate two.
I don't think I'll ever be able to eat them again.
There was a baby in the supermarket. I cried.
I will write one further post, about being in hospital. But not quite yet.