Let others hold the hope for you – that things will get better and you will feel happy again 

India had a missed miscarriage in January 2022, before getting pregnant again 4 months later. She was looked after by the Tommy’s team at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester and welcomed baby Olympia in January 2023.

I found out that I was pregnant in September 2021, and was really excited to tell my fiancé, Josh. Everything was fine initially, but after about 6 weeks I experienced a lot of pain and bleeding. We went to the early pregnancy unit at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester where after a scan they reassured us the baby was fine, however, I had a subchorionic hematoma which is where blood builds up between the wall of the womb and the baby. The healthcare team told us they didn’t think it would be an issue based on where the hematoma was - I might experience some more bleeding but ultimately everything was fine with my pregnancy. I was back every 2 weeks for extra scans just to keep an eye on it, but after a couple of the scans they told me I didn’t need to come back until my 12-week scan.  

I was struggling with really bad morning sickness, but for me this was reassuring because it made me think my hormones were doing the right thing and the pregnancy was progressing normally. We went in for our 12-week scan on New Years Eve. That’s when we were given the devastating news that there was no longer a heartbeat.  

I got off the bed straight away and just said, “no I don’t want to hear this, I don’t want to be here”, but they had to have another sonographer confirm the loss. It was devastating. 

Because it was New Year’s Eve, there were less staff than usual and so we were asked if we could wait a week to see if the miscarriage resolved itself.  Josh struggled to come to terms with what we had been told and dropped me off at my parents’ house so that he could go home and move all of the baby things that we had into a box, so I didn’t have to face it all when I got home. I couldn’t believe that it was happening to us. We didn’t know much about miscarriage, and naively thought that it would just happen by itself and be done in a day.  

We waited but nothing happened. We had to go back to the hospital to have medical management. I ended up staying in hospital for two weeks in total because the drugs just didn’t work. It was so traumatic, especially because of the COVID restrictions in place which meant that Josh couldn’t stay with me all of the time.

The staff were nice and looked after me as much as they could, but it was so isolating because they can’t really tell you what’s going to happen and when. I just wanted it to be over.

I was discharged but kept having to come back in because I was continuing to bleed. The miscarriage finally happened, and they asked me to come back 2 weeks later to check it was complete. I just thought to myself, I need to make myself feel better and start moving on, so we ended up booking a skiing trip to try and get ourselves out of it. Looking back, I must have been in shock, and I don’t know how I managed to do it because I was going through such an awful time. Unfortunately, while we were skiing, I continued to experience really significant bleeding so when we got back home, we went to the hospital to have it checked out.  

The doctors told me that the blood vessels and arteries in my womb weren’t connected properly due to the trauma of the miscarriage, which is a potentially life-threatening complication that I needed surgery for right away. It was just horrendous. To go through a miscarriage was traumatic enough but to continue having these serious complications and it be such a drawn-out process was awful.  

I felt like I had done the physical side and was ready to start dealing with the emotional side, but I wasn’t able to. I was so exhausted and felt like I’d lost the most important thing in the world to us. It was really hard for Josh because we were in such difference places with our grief.  

Due to the amount of blood I had lost, I had to go into hospital for infusions. Going back to the same hospital was difficult and made it hard to try and move on. During this time, some friends and family members announced that they were pregnant. You feel awful because you have to put a smile on your face and act as though nothing has happened to you, and people don’t really know what to say.  

I felt a lot of pressure to go to baby showers and meet new babies and just act like I was fine, I wanted to shut myself away from it all to try and protect myself.

I found out that I was pregnant again in May 2022. I experienced the same early bleeding which was really stressful, because I thought it was all going to go wrong again. We found out that we had the exact same issue as the previous pregnancy with blood building up between the wall of my womb and the baby so were scanned every 2 weeks from that early point.  

After my 12-week scan, due to my history I had contact with a research midwife at Saint Mary’s, Kate Stanbury. She was working in a clinic at the Hospital which offered extra scans and measurements. I thought I would benefit mentally from the additional checks because I was already so anxious - I was scared to even move or walk upstairs and was convinced that I had done something wrong to cause the issues I was having. 

The pregnancy progressed relatively well until round 26 weeks, when my doctors noticed numerous problems with my placenta. They tried to prepare me for the fact I might lose the baby and that the placenta could even come away which would be life threatening for both me and the baby.  

I just couldn’t believe what we were going through. It was a really difficult time because I never imagined that a miscarriage would be part of my story. The complicated miscarriage was enough, but then to have a rare placental issue with this pregnancy was just unbelievable. 

I ended up having appointments every 2 weeks at Tommy’s clinics and the Placenta clinic from around 5 months, and I cannot speak highly enough of the staff there. My midwife Kate and Dr Lucy Higgins were just everything we needed at the time - they were absolutely incredible. I can only describe the care that they provided as gold standard. They knew all the right things to say and explained what was happening at every point so clearly. We are eternally grateful for the incredible care they provided.  

“I think I would have really struggled mentally to go through that pregnancy it we hadn’t been at the clinic.”  

Because of the complications we were having, they said we couldn’t go to full term and would need to be induced. They gave us a few dates, and we decided to choose New Year’s Eve. It just felt like it would complete the cycle and be therapeutic in a way as this was the same date we were told about the miscarriage one year before. The induction process took a little while, but the delivery all went really well, and Olympia arrived safely on 4 January 2023. Kate actually stayed late at the hospital to deliver her, and I think that shows the incredible care and compassion that all the staff and especially Kate and Lucy showed me.  

If we have another baby, I would hope I could come back to the Tommy’s clinic - I cannot imagine having care anywhere else or from anyone other than Kate & Lucy. I would advise anyone (and have already advised some people!) to get in touch with them.  

My advice to anyone experiencing pregnancy loss is to just let yourself feel any and all of the emotions as you are going through them and don’t let your feelings build up.  

Don’t feel any pressure to ‘get over it’ quickly. You’re not a bad person for not being able to put on a brave face all the time or go to a baby shower. You have to give yourself time to recover both physically and mentally. Be kind to yourself.  

Losing a baby is an unimaginable type of grief, because you’re mourning for the future you imagined with your baby, and it can feel like you’ll never be fine again. But let others hold the hope for you – the hope that things will get better, and you will feel happy again. If you’d told me last New Year’s that this is where my life would be now, I would never have believed it, but you have to hold the hope that things can be different, and your journey isn’t over.