Tommy's charity fundraising story 2021
Ainsley, 20 months, and brother Fraser nearly 4, have been with Water Babies since they were 3 and 6 weeks old. They both currently swim in Loughborough. Ainsely was born thanks to the care of Professor Quenby at one of Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research clinics. Here mum Jade shares their story:
I had 3 losses before our eldest son Fraser arrived in January 2018. We knew we wanted another baby and we began trying again in September the same year. We knew that there was every risk we could miscarry again but were also reassured that we had Fraser successfully after 3 losses so we were hopeful that whatever the problem was it had been solved by the increased folic acid I was prescribed for hyperhomocysteinemia.
It was a sketchy diagnosis as the NHS recurrent miscarriage clinic test results had all come back normal, but the consultant stated she preferred homocysteine levels to be lower than the upper end of normal for miscarriage patients.
I took the folic acid again and we were delighted to find out that we conceived straight away. We let ourselves become excited and booked a private scan at 8 weeks, expecting to find a heartbeat and for a normal pregnancy.
On the 20th December we were told at scan that they couldn’t see much other than a sac which was very difficult to find and they wanted to re-scan in 2 weeks. We were crushed as we had been here before, all my miscarriages were missed and we just knew this was going to be the same. We went back on the 29th, persuading them that we couldn’t bear to wait the full 2 weeks.
Miscarriage was confirmed and we were yet again crushed. I took that night off work while I waited for a hospital appointment at gynae. I went to work on new years eve night shift, knowing I was carrying my dead baby inside me but just wanting to carry on.
I saw gynae on 2nd January and had my D&C on the 4th. No one commented on anything out of the ordinary despite us later finding out that they thought it was a molar pregnancy on my surgical notes.
I phoned the GP on Monday 7th and begged for a referral to Tommy’s.
I had heard about Tommys through a Facebook support group for recurrent miscarriages.
She was very reluctant, said I had to have another 2 miscarriages before that could happen and she could refer me back to the NHS clinic instead. I stood my ground and don’t quite remember how but I managed to persuade her to do it.
We had our first appointment with Prof Quenby on February 15th. I was so ecstatic that the appointment had come through so quickly and was so excited. She is an amazing human being, she has the ability to extract all the information she needs and does so in a personable but professional way. She completely put us at ease and even told us there and then that she’d get us our baby!
She explained that we likely had “hyperfertility”. I never heard of it and she explained how it was a difficult subject to research, but when she explained it we could relate to it entirely.
In a nutshell my womb lining was too receptive to fertilised eggs and instead of rejecting and expelling them as a period for “bad” eggs as a normal woman would, mine just tried to grow them all. Its why we never had a problem conceiving but didn’t carry past 4-8 weeks, and why I held onto them for so long after they had stopped growing.
She ran all the other tests too, and these all came back normal. She advised to carry on with the folic acid and to have vit D too.
In the meantime while we were waiting for her test results I was called back to gynae at my local hospital, and given the news that the pregnancy we had just lost was in fact a partial molar. I had to be referred to Sheffield and wait before trying to conceive again.
I’ll always remember Prof Quenby calling me with her test results and when I told her the news about the molar she said that was fantastic news! She explained that this gave a reason for the miscarriage and we were unlikely to experience that again.
We fell pregnant in May 2019 and Tommy’s scanned us every 2 weeks between 6 weeks and 12 weeks to ensure viability and provide reassurance that we were progressing well. Turns out it was a good egg!
Ainsley arrived in January 2020, exactly 2 years and 2 weeks after our first rainbow baby Fraser.
Had it not been for Prof Quenby and the entire clinic team at Tommys I don’t know if we would have had the courage to try to conceive again. She gave us that mental boost we needed and the meds helped too. We can’t thank Tommy’s enough.
We took part in the last Splashathon event in 2019. We were around 6 weeks pregnant with Ainsley at the time and after seeing first hand the work Tommy’s do there was no way we weren’t fundraising.
I’m all for raising awareness of fertility issues, so many woman feel so alone and ashamed when they can’t easily bring a child into the world and I want everyone to know this can’t be a taboo subject anymore.
This time I’ll be fundraising with both my boys, one after the other as their classes run concurrently. We cant wait!
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