YOUR LIFE: Every human being has a story to tell. In this series, Your Life features personal accounts by Singaporeans detailing their respective trials in life and their courage to face them.
My name is Daphne, and I had my first miscarriage at 21. Being young and fresh out of polytechnic, it was an experience I could not understand.
I was already seven months into my pregnancy when I started experiencing cramps near the bottom of my chest.
When I went to the hospital, the doctors found that my blood pressure was too high. I was then diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a form of pregnancy complication resulting from high blood pressure, and I was admitted to the hospital for four days. However, I didn’t stay all the way through as I was granted permission to be discharged and go home to rest.
The day after I was discharged, I started various parts of my body started swelling, and I decided to visit my neighbourhood gynaecologist for a checkup. My husband and I thought that since this doctor had been treating me since the beginning of my pregnancy, he would be clearer about my condition.
Weirdly, the gynaecologist couldn’t find anything wrong with me and told me to go home and have ample rest. He even assured me that everything was fine.
I began bleeding profusely the next day. My mother, who was at home with me, immediately called for an ambulance. My husband rushed home from work to accompany me to the hospital.
According to the doctor, I was suffering from a placenta abruption, a pregnancy complication that happens when the placental lining separates from the uterus of the mother prior to delivery.
The doctor added that my baby’s heart had stopped beating and that there was nothing he could do to save the baby.
I couldn’t believe the news – my husband and I had already named her Eleni.
Almost spiralled into depression
Looking back, I still regret my decision to go home instead of staying in the hospital so that the doctors could monitor my health.
I still wonder why the doctor had not advised me to stay, given that I was already diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.
I cried endlessly after the miscarriage. I would be at home every day, engulfed by the sadness and confusion over what had happened.
My husband took a month’s leave from work so he could be there by my side. Other family members and friends would visit me at home, too. But all of that didn’t stop me from crying.
Throughout the years that followed, I would mark Eleni’s death anniversary by placing a white flower at home.
I stopped doing this after realising that it was time for me to let her go.
A second miscarriage
I became pregnant with my second child two years after the first miscarriage. We decided not to name our unborn son because we did not want to be too hopeful, given what had previously happened to me.
I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia for the second time and became more mindful of taking care of myself this time. Unfortunately, I lost my child yet again, this time due to a viral infection similar to the flu.
While I was immune to such an infection, my child was not. I went to the same doctor, who said that the infection had caused an accumulation of water in our son’s belly, adding that our son was lacking in blood.
So the doctor conducted a procedure on me where he would pump blood into the baby by inserting a needle through the umbilical cord.
But our son didn’t make it. I was already three months into the pregnancy when I lost him.
A new beginning
When I became pregnant with my third child, my husband and I decided to see a different doctor at another hospital.
And once again, I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. The new doctor gave me aspirin to keep my blood pressure under control.
Five months into the pregnancy, I experienced a scare when I started to bleed yet again. Fortunately, this time the doctor was able to save my baby. Four months later, in December 2014, I gave birth to our first child – a healthy baby boy by the name of Kayven.
Now three years old, our son is full of life and joy. Though a little mischievous, he is also smart and funny.
While having children from as young as 21 years old might have been uncommon for many people of my generation, I’m happy at how my life has turned out.
At 27 years old, I have a healthy child, a happy family and I’m finally ready to build my career.
I’ve started working part-time, and am now in my second year of part-time studies.
It is definitely not easy to be a mother, a wife, a student and an employee all at the same time. But I know that I have to pull through. I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of my husband, my parents and my in-laws as well, so I’m really grateful for that.
From time to time, I do look back at my miscarriages. To the first two angels I never had, I hope you know that Mummy loves you both and that I will always remember the two of you.
Interview conducted by Kerene Ng.
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