I was 13 when I had my miscarriage (July 2004). I was exceptionally young but I was one of those girls who fell in love with a boy (only a tiny bit older) and submissed to everything he said; so I wouldn’t lose him. My Mum had left the city and my Dad was overseas a lot… My friends, well, at 13 they come and go don’t they? So he was all I had, and all I had known for the past year or so.
I never knew I was pregnant when it happened. I was at school when I started getting horrific pains, which I never felt again until I had my daughter in 2010. I didn’t know what they were, so I crawled to the sick bay. The nurses called my dad (as I lay on the ground) and he told them to send me back to class with a drink of water. I went to the bathroom (can’t remember HOW I got there) and called my dad, begging him to answer, but it went to voicemail- he was ignoring my calls.
I somehow ended up in the counsellor’s office- I spent a lot of my time there, I had bad anxiety problems and the warm, quiet room where I could cry, was my safe place. She thought I had appendicitis so called my dad, but of course he didn’t answer.
I had my friend with me and we went to the bathroom together; I remember it all like it was yesterday and I have had to replay the whole painful memory in my head for numerous doctors, specialists and midwives over the years. The door was heavy and yellow, it was the toilet by the staff room and it always had this horrible cleaning-product smell, it was like stepping into the bottom of an insinkerator. The light was grey, no sunshine, barely creeping through the windows.
*this part is quite graphic, so don’t read if you’re squeamish*
Standing in the cubicle, I had just shut and locked the door when an incredible amount of (what I can only describe as) “Matter” passed through my body. The pain slowly subsided as I slid my underwear down so I could go to the toilet. As a 13 year old who had only just begun to get her periods, this was an unusual but not ‘frightening’ thing- I had no idea what was normal at this stage. There was about a handful, maybe more, of solid ‘stuff’. I couldn’t compare the ‘stuff’ to anything, really. Maybe jelly, maybe the brief glimpse I got of my placenta once I’d given birth, I’m not sure. Had I known what happened, I wouldn’t have flushed it down the toilet- but I did.
I was relieved the pain was gone so carried on with my day as usual. When I got home I collapsed (how 13 year olds’ do after a tough day at school) on the stairs and called my family friend to tell her what had happened. She said that it sounded like a miscarriage, I just listened I didn’t say much more.
Months, maybe a year had passed and I decided to tell my doctor what had happened, as we were discussing my irregular and painful periods (which turned out to be PCOS and Endometriosis). He said I would have been roughly 8 weeks along. No investigations were done and things were back to ‘normal’. As I’ve told my story over the years, people have treated me differently to how they did before they knew. I get the “Oh my god, your poor, poor thing” speech and I’ve come to realise that what I went through was actually a very, very traumatic experience. I didn’t tell my Mum until I was 15, my Dad was a long time after that. I used to downplay it and didn’t think it was a big part of my life but I’ll never forget it.
My Ex, Ben, just laughed it all off as a 15 year old would. He continued to play with my heart and soul for the next few years.
I don’t know if this will help anyone but I will admit after writing it down, and ‘telling’ someone new, I feel lighter and stronger.