Miscarriage happened on 13 January 2013 in London.

15 January 2013

It is Tuesday, my research day. I slept until 11:27. Postman woke me up. Failed delivery. I never answered the door. I stayed in bed. I listened to his insistent knocking. I got up after midday. I don’t remember when I last slept past 10am. It’s sunny outside, winter sunshine. It’s cold. I am inside on the couch with the purple blanket over me.

Vast thought landscape is ahead of me. I will be off work for a week. I will be doing this, sitting/lying on the couch and thinking and checking email and baby centre community and facebook and picking up pieces of information here and there on internet. Comfort messages are arriving from friends. My phone has been my saviour in the hospital. You can use your phone now but need to leave it on silent.

There is no baby number four anymore. I feel weak and tired. My legs are heavy.

mc couch

16 January 2013

It is Wednesday. I went to see my GP. I ended up crying in the waiting room. I was waiting for too long. All the other patients were called in before me. I sat there with my pregnancy notes. The GP told me I could put in ‘gynaecological problems’ on my self-certification form. She also phoned Liverpool Women’s Hospital who are sending me a miscarriage pack. It should arrive by post.

When did I pass the products?

Light bleeding started in the Museum of Childhood. I was in the toilet cubicle with Sid. He needed a wee, I went for a quick wee just after him, thinking I might as well since I am pregnant. I didn’t really need to go. As I wiped I noticed some blood, pinkish discharge. I froze for a moment, but I was there with my boys and couldn’t really afford to go into panic mode. This was our London weekend away. I carried on as normal, observing all the old Victorian toys in glass boxes.

Later on I will remember feeling dizzy just as I got up that morning. Low blood pressure, feeling I might faint. The train ride to London was fine though. Gabriel was working on his homework, Sid was insisting I read him some stories. Keith, the cat and his magic hat.

I went to the toilet in the Museum of Childhood three times. Each time the blood was new, but it never increased in quantity nor in intensity of bleeding. Nicky, our pregnant friend, joined us at the cafe. In Gabriel’s words: ‘We ate cake and talked about babies.’

mc diary

17 January 2013

It is Thursday. I bled more heavily last night and this morning. Lorena came for a visit. I laughed some. Sarah sent flowers. They made me happy.

I never thought miscarriage will happen to me. I expected negative scan results, issues with trisomy, bad news… but not the violence of the miscarriage. Abdominal pain, contractions which are in vain, failed delivery.

By the time we got to Tina’s my bleeding hasn’t subsided. It was still there, insistent. Tina reassured me that she bled throughout her pregnancy with Ilia for the first 16 weeks, maybe 20. I knew something was wrong.

Abdominal pain became stronger. I took a paracetamol. I couldn’t fall asleep. I thought: ‘I am not sure for how much longer this pain can go on. I can’t bear it anymore.’ This was after 1am, after an hour and a half of pure pain. My pain threshold has increased with three childbirths. After that thought I felt release in my body. The miscarriage proper started. I was scared in the bathroom. The violence of blood pouring through my body. The gush was unstoppable. Nighttime fear. People in pyjamas, sleepy, out of beds. Blood all over the toilet. Did I pass clots? I was all gone. Children were asleep.

I am not sure how come I never bled in the taxi. Homerton University Hospital. The receptionist is calm and slow and wants to know my next of kin details. She wants me to pee in an urine sample container. I tell her I can’t, there’s only blood. They don’t seem very rushed. I kept telling the nurse I am really bleeding and can’t sit down. In the end I bled through the trousers and onto the floor. That got us rushed into assessment room at A&E.

mc hospital gown

18 January 2013

It is Friday. Where is the baby? Part of it came out in the hospital, part of it must have gone down the toilet. Clots and blood everywhere, Tina’s loo and A&E loo when I was asked to give urine sample. All other products must have been collected, either by my lovely angel nurse at A&E or at gynecological ward later on. I remember the gynecologist coming down to see me at A&E and asking me if I wanted to have a look at the incomplete baby product. At least I think it was incomplete fetus. The report says that there are retained products of conception 14.2mm, but 12 week baby is supposed to around 6cm. Is it worth thinking about this?

In A&E I bled and passed clots and bled some more. I received saline drip and was constantly monitored for my heart rate. At times my heart was too fast as it was trying to pump blood around the body faster – I was loosing too much blood. They wanted to take me to surgery at one point but in the end settled for tablets and medical management. I couldn’t imagine going under general anesthetic whilst my children were asleep in London, oblivious to it all. I resisted.

Am I grieving too much? Am I grieving too little? Do I care what happened to the baby? Am I only concerned about the future and prospect of another child? What is there better to do in life but to have children? Creating performances? Writing books? What kind of a form do I want all these emotions in? Why am I bothered about aesthetic form?

It’s snowing outside. Schools will be closed very soon and I will need to go and pick up the children. I am much happier today. Paula messaged me yesterday, she’s pregnant again, in her 16th week. I am so happy for her. Her fourth baby. She gives me such vital force. I will be fine.

It is 10:40am. I should have been at the scan now. I am not. I feel slightly sick, as if with morning sickness. It’s still snowing. My tummy is flat, I am so relieved about it. Having a baby is such a scary process but the rewards are so massive. Oh, how I love my children.

I am not sure what I think of this little one who has gone. Was she ever real? I will write her a letter on 22 January – letter number 3. Then I will stop, possibly pick it up again on EDD or similar. I must find a way to move on from this state. Maybe completing the writing cycle in this diary on 22 January will give me some closure. I am so glad that these notebooks are thin and thus compose the process for me. I love these notebooks.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital seems so far away now. Postman is supposed to bring me my miscarriage pack, but it’s snowing heavily and there is no sign or anyone coming here today, my missed scan day.

mc discharge letter detail

About Lena Simic

Lena Simic, performance practitioner and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool, UK. Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her family home. Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed b…Read more

Website: http://www.lenasimic.org

More posts by Lena Simic

2 Responses to “Miscarriage Week”

  1. Frances Earnshaw

    Thanks for your courage in sharing this experience.

    When we are ready for the onset of labout and to give birth, the mother’s body and the baby make a joint decision. I hope it is the same with miscarriage. The baby is usually unable to go on because it has a disability. This is why the foetus can’t go on.

    The creative process is a great healer.

  2. Michelle Delgado

    I am curious to know what hospital the above miscarriage report is from.


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