My nausea was mild which worried me, but trawls of the message boards showed huge variation in morning sickness among women. I read somewhere that you don'
t get much in the way of cravings or nausea if your body is getting the right balance of nutrition, so I just hoped I was having an easy time due to good nutrition.
I was aware I had a higher chance of complications due to my age and when I went to the doctor for my first appointment I told the doctor about my working arrangement and asked what did I need to know in case something happened while I was in Paris. She just said to see a doctor if I started bleeding red blood and to make sure I carried my notes with me when I was away.
The week before I lost Poppy I was asked to attend a lastminute all day meeting in Paris in the week between my usual scheduled trips. No it couldnt wait. No there wasnt budget to stay the night.
It was a long day with a 5am start, two 45 minutes long tube trips, two 30 minute long metro trips and two 2.30 hour eurostar trips. I got home after midnight exhausted and fell into bed.
The following week I went to Paris as usual, but was feeling off. I put that down to the pregnancy. At lunchtime on the second day I noticed a small bit of brown blood when I wiped. I was concerned, but not too worried. Apparently spotting is common in pregnancy and a little bit of brown blood is nothing to worry about.
During my eurostar trip home, I felt damp between my legs so went to the train toilet to investigate. Ugh. Disgusting. The blood was still brown, but there was more of it. I cleaned myself up the best I could with the non-absorbent tissue. I wanted to phone the doctor for advice, but we were just entering the chunnel.
By the time we got through the tunnel to the UK, the bleeding had increased in volume, but it was still brown. I called my doctors surgery only to be put through to the after hours service which rang and rang. Sometimes I got cut off due to gaps in the mobile service along the rail track.
I finally got to speak to the after hours doctor as we pulled into St Pancras. By this time I was panicking and crying hysterically crouched on the platform as the other passengers disembarked. The doctor said brown blood is not a problem but I should take myself to my maternity hospital for a checkup. Tube? No, cab. I found my way to the exit, but couldnt find the cab rank due to the construction at Kings Cross. Cue more tears and confusion.
Some blessed American tourist asked if I was alright (which I so wasnt) and I sobbed that I needed a cab to the hospital but couldnt find the rank. He stepped right into the road and stopped a black cab for me to get into. I told the cab driver that I needed to go to the hospital but I only had 20 pounds and some euros. He got me to the hospital emergency room in less than 25 minutes during rush hour traffic on a Friday, told me not to worry about the money and that he would pray for me and my baby.
I waited in the emergency room for about an hour. Mr Duncan came and joined me as soon as he could. The emergency room doctor examined me, said my cervix was closed and that given it was brown blood we probably didnt need to worry. The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit had closed for the day, and he didnt want to get an ultrasound operator in if it wasnt necessary, so could I come back at 9am tomorrow for the scan, just to check everything was okay. He assured me it would be. He told me not to worry, I would hold my baby in my arms next January when it was due.
We went home to bed and I started bleeding red blood in the night and experiencing painful cramps. Somehow Mr Duncan managed to sleep beside me despite my constant squirming/getting up to change pads. We arrived back at the hospital in time for our appointment at 9am, and waited until 10.45 to be seen. The ultrasound operator asked I change in the toilet and gave me a robe to wrap around me. As I started to lower my underwear I felt a strange rush and looked down to find something the size of my fist balanced on the top of my underwear.
I screamed for Mr Duncan and explained I was losing the baby. The ultrasound operator came in with a recycled cardboard kidney bowl to collect it. She then went ahead with the ultrasound, but my womb was completely empty.
Or as the ultrasound operator put it, there were no products of conception retained.