Our journey to get pregnant
I met my husband, Roberto, at work in 2016. He was a chef and I worked on the bar, and when he saw me, he had thought 'that's the girl I'm going to marry'. Here we are 7 years later and married!
In 2018, we started trying for a baby. I already had a son from a previous relationship, who I had conceived at the age of 22. My pregnancy and labour with my son had all been straightforward. I had never considered the possibility that infertility would be something that my husband and I struggled with.
My husband went for tests and was told everything was fine, and we kept trying. What followed were years of frustration, until we fell pregnant in January 2022. We were excited and full of joy at those two lines we saw. I remember also feeling anxious…after all this time, it couldn’t be true, could it?
My world completely changed
At 11 weeks, I started bleeding, had stomach cramps and back pain. I remember having a feeling throughout that something was wrong. When I mentioned this at my midwife appointments, I was told this was normal. But for me, it resulted in me losing my baby.
We went for a scan and were told they couldn't say for sure if this was a miscarriage but to come back. I went to A&E again, and at a second scan the miscarriage was confirmed.
“I felt numb, sad, angry, in denial.”
At that point, my world completely changed, it felt dark and I didn't know how I was ever going to function in the world again or ever feel better. It felt so huge.
What got me through the initial weeks and months, was wanting to keep my baby's life alive and never forgotten, and the hope that my husband and I would go on to have a rainbow baby (although by no means would this take away the pain).
Support from others
I had some absolutely amazing care, compassion and understanding, but I also had lack of support. For me, I needed that immediate emotional support in the hospital and when I returned home.
“Too many women are being let down in this area, and I believe the campaign by Tommy's can help to bridge this gap and support women when most needed.”
I also had some great family and friends around me. My husband was so supportive and without him, I don't know if I would have got through. He was always understanding through the week where we were unsure of what was going on and after our loss was confirmed.
Going back to work
I took a couple weeks off work, but I still went back too early and had to have another week off as I wasn't coping emotionally. My husband took some time off work to be with me too and was by my side throughout, and continues to be.
My work were very supportive and understanding. I work as a young person's counsellor so they had a good understanding of the impact, but at that time, I wasn’t thinking clearly and didn’t feel like I really knew what I needed as it was the first time I had lost a baby.
I wasn't sure what was expected of me or what I should be doing - as if there was a right and wrong. Within myself, I felt that I should be coping, as to the outside world I seemed to look normal but inside I was in chaos.
Looking back now, I would have taken more time off to focus on myself and be with my husband. I felt pressure to return because of the way I experienced my grief and loss, which was a feeling of being invisible.
Hoping for a rainbow baby
Since our loss, we’ve been referred for support on the NHS and this is ongoing. We continue to try, and hope for our rainbow baby. I hold on fiercely to the hope that I will one day again conceive and have a baby with my husband.
My advice to others going through loss would be: Your experience and your pain is valid. Don't dismiss or allow others to dismiss that.
“You have just as much right to hurt and grieve as everyone else.”
I think it's wonderful that Tommy's is fighting for better and earlier care for women and families affected by baby loss, for the little ones lost to be recognised through losses being recorded and for better mental health support.