I experienced two losses which left a hole and changed the way I looked at things.

After 2 heartbreaking losses, Rumbi sought advice from Tommy’s. She was advised to have a pre-pregnancy TAC in 2019, and welcomed her son Levi the next year.

Ready to settle down

I was the neighbourhood childminder in my teens. I loved looking after little ones and always wanted to be a mum myself. The dream was to be married and a mother by 25, but life had a different plan.

In 2015, I was 31 and living with a lovely man. He was keen to be a Dad and I felt ready to settle down, so when I fell pregnant we were happy.

Around 11, weeks I started to feel heaviness in my lower abdomen. My GP sent me to hospital in Kent where the consultant told me my cervix was opening. They explained they were giving me a rescue stitch because my membranes were coming out.  After surgery, I went home with antibiotics. At the time, I just thought everything would be fine but, having since done lots of research, I now know the chances were slim. 


The next morning I felt uncomfortable when I woke but it wasn’t until I went for a shower that all hell broke loose. My waters started gushing and I was in floods of tears, terrified, because I realised I was in active labour and that there was no chance, at 13 weeks, this baby would survive.

At hospital they confirmed there was nothing they could do, they removed the stitch which was traumatic, then induced labour. After 2 or 3 hours I gave birth to Gideon on 20 July 2016. I was devastated, just couldn’t understand why this was happening. Afterwards, they investigated and said I’d lost my son due to infection.

Our second loss

Being older, my partner felt that time was ticking so we tried again and I got pregnant fairly quickly. This time they were proactive. At 12 weeks they gave me a stitch. At that point there were no signs of a problem, I did have that heavy feeling but not as badly and no loss of water. With the stitch, I felt more optimistic that I would carry this baby to term but, at 16 weeks, it happened again. 

I think trauma erases memory and I really struggle to remember the details of losing Mika. I just know that I ended up in hospital again, the stitch had failed and the membranes were coming through. They induced labour and I knew I was going to give birth to a baby born sleeping again.  

Time does have a way of healing, but I remember clearly feeling so angry with myself, with my body, blaming myself for not being able to carry to full term.  

They investigated and, again, said my loss was down to infection and that’s when I started doing research, I knew I could not go through a third loss. 

The support I needed

I came across the TAC UK Facebook group and that’s when I heard about a trans-abdominal cerclage. At the time my relationship was falling apart but I knew that, whatever happened, I’d still want to be a mum so I needed to know what help was out there.

That’s when I also discovered Jenny’s team and became part of a pre-term focus group at the Tommy’s clinic at St Thomas’ where we’d have discussions around interventions, medications, new things coming into the medical world to reduce pre-term labour. 

Welcoming Levi

In July 2019, I decided to have a pre-pregnancy TAC and soon after, met a lovely man who became Levi’s dad. 

The TAC did its job, there were no complications and it was a relatively easy, albeit anxious, pregnancy. But, as I progressed beyond 12 weeks, then 16 weeks, then 24 when baby became viable, I became more confident.

We agreed Levi would be born by c-section on March 31 and it was the best day of my life. He came out crying, was so loud, but it’s the best sound I’ve ever heard.

Levi has healed me. When you lose a baby, you lose a part of yourself, and I experienced that twice. It left a hole and changed the way I looked at things. Since Levi was born I can see colour in the world again. 

The importance of Tommy's

There was a lot of support made available, especially from Tommy’s, but I’ve never really been ready to talk about it before. Tommy’s is extremely visible and the work they do is incredible. 

Having been a part of Jenny’s group for 6 years now, I can see how things are advancing and it feels very promising. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone and knowing Tommy’s are conducting trials and working hard to potentially eradicate such loss is amazing.

I’m also grateful that my Christian faith helped carry me through the dark times, I prayed and felt very supported by people at church which is so important when you feel so vulnerable.

You also feel so isolated after loss. I felt so alone until I found that Facebook group which took that isolation away. I think that’s another important thing that Tommy’s does, helps us share our story. I only hope mine helps other women who have suffered loss feel less alone.

My own GP had to Google what a trans-abdominal cerclage was. There’s not enough information widely available and that’s why, 3 years after becoming a mum, I’m still advocating because that information needs to be available. Mothers need to be signposted to those that can help, like Tommy’s, because that’s the only way to spare more women losing a child.