My first miscarriage
I got pregnant in 2017 and we were both very happy and so excited, looking forward to a new addition to our family. Unfortunately we never quite got to the stage of finding out the gender but, whenever I talk about our baby, I always think of him as a boy.
I suffered bad cramps and was told that it was my womb growing and changing. Then, at our 12-week scan, we got the bad news – his head was enlarged so they referred me to a fetal medicine unit where it was confirmed our baby wasn’t growing as he should be. They didn’t say it would result in miscarriage, but they implied baby didn’t really have a chance of surviving.
The emotional recovery was tough
I think that I was almost mentally prepared for a miscarriage. I understood that first pregnancies aren’t always straightforward, but it was still heart-breaking. I had mini contractions which got so bad I went to hospital but, because I was under 5 months, I had to go to A&E rather than maternity and they sent me home where my waters broke and I lost our baby.
Physically, I recovered fairly quickly, but emotionally I struggled. It was horrible and I had to take a month off work because there were so many women either pregnant or with new babies and I just couldn’t face that.
I found out I'd lost my second baby at 20 weeks
I went to Las Vegas in 2018 and when I came back I found out I was pregnant again. They referred me to fetal medicine because of my previous miscarriage as I was considered high-risk but I felt confident that this one would be okay, that I would be bringing a baby into the world.
I’d got to 5 months but, the day before my 20-week scan, they confirmed she had passed away. I’d had cramps and pains again and I woke up one morning and didn’t feel right; my belly felt deflated and I didn’t feel pregnant anymore. I had a tiny speck of blood so went to hospital where they couldn’t find a heartbeat.
That loss was especially hard
I had to give birth to her at the hospital. I’d found my first miscarriage so traumatic I didn’t want to go through that at home, so they allowed me to stay in the hospital until I gave birth and gave me a tablet to start labour. I started contractions straight away and I delivered her within 30 minutes. They told me she’d died at around 3 or 4 months but there’d been no symptoms, no signs.
We got to spend around 24 hours with her but she deteriorated rapidly. That was horrible – I cried for days, probably weeks. Words can’t describe how I felt. I still feel emotional today and it happened 3 years ago.
Getting answers for my losses
The post-mortem found a clot in the placenta and, after tests and investigations, I was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome. My blood clots quickly and it only happens when I’m pregnant. I felt reassured to have answers as to why I’d lost 2 babies and wanted to try again, but it took another 3 years.
That wait was awful and getting referred to fertility clinics is ridiculously hard. I’m still waiting – but I did, thankfully, get a referral to Tommy’s and am still under their care as we still don’t know exactly what’s wrong.
Eventually, I fell pregnant in March last year, which resulted in a chemical pregnancy despite me taking aspirin and heparin to thin my blood. I got pregnant again in October and the same thing happened, so I've had 4 losses in total.
It's hard to stay positive but the Tommy's team has been lovely
It gets to the point where you think that maybe it’s just not meant to be, maybe I’m not supposed to have a child. Sometimes you give up hope and in other moments you so desperately want to keep trying. It’s a real struggle.
Tommy’s have been so lovely; the team always make me feel so reassured and are always there when I need them, always making sure that the right treatment is in place.
As soon as I have a positive pregnancy test I have to call them straight away and we put a plan in place but, unfortunately, it’s continued to end with miscarriages so far.
I just want to be a mum
If I’m honest, I just grin and bear it, because baby loss is emotionally, mentally and physically quite draining. I feel incomplete, like I’m missing something. Although I had some counselling to help with my grief, I didn’t find it very helpful. It was over the phone and I just didn’t know what to say, where to start.
People try and offer comfort but, when you hear the same thing over and over again, it becomes meaningless, so I just switch off. They say, 'It’ll happen,’ ‘Don’t stress,’ ‘Eat healthily and exercise’. Everyone telling me what I already know just gets really disheartening.
I feel so hopeless. Maybe it’s not my calling to be a mum, but it’s definitely what I want. It’s everything that I’ve wanted since I lost my first baby over 4 years ago.
I just wonder how much do I have to deal with? How much do I need to go through? What else can I do? I’m just tired, so very tired.