Our first missed miscarriage
In June 2021, when I was 11 weeks pregnant, I had a scan and was told my baby had stopped growing at 7/8 weeks. I’d had a missed miscarriage and needed an operation; it was such a shock.
By October my partner Aaron and I found out we were expecting again, but at 7 weeks this was sadly discovered to be an ectopic pregnancy. My baby was alive, but wouldn’t survive and I needed surgery straight away to remove both my left fallopian tube and our baby.
The following year I became pregnant again, and this time with twins. Unfortunately one twin didn’t develop early on, and I lost the remaining twin to another missed miscarriage around 8 weeks. This was followed by another operation.
With each loss, my body carried on thinking my babies were alive. I carried on with all the symptoms and my body wouldn’t let go of them.
Seeking a referral to the Tommy's clinic
I knew I needed help but there weren’t any local services available in Kidderminster where we live, so I reached out to the Tommy’s recurrent miscarriage clinic in Birmingham. They explained their referral process to me, saying I would need to get my GP to do it on my behalf.
My GP was reluctant to refer me to a service out of our area, but I explained the service the clinic offers to them. Eventually, after over a month of calls and appointments, my GP finally agreed to the referral and I received confirmation from Tommy’s that I was on the waiting list.
Aaron and I had agreed to stop trying to conceive until after we’d been seen by the clinic so they could do any tests they need, but I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant again while still on the waiting list. I contacted Tommy’s as soon as I found out and they advised me to ask my antenatal team for progesterone pessaries for the first 16 weeks of my pregnancy.
Despite this advice, and my history of miscarriages and loss, my antenatal team said this pregnancy would be classed as ‘any other pregnancy’.
This meant they couldn’t/wouldn’t prescribe progesterone until they could see it was a live pregnancy at a 12-week scan or if I had any bleeding before this. I knew they were simply following procedures, but I couldn't believe it – it's like my experience and medical history didn't factor in at all.
I got back in touch with Tommy’s after this conversation, and they arranged for us to have a scan with them at the clinic far sooner than 12 weeks.
The anxiety leading up to a scan
Having been through missed miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, Aaron and I had been used to horrible experiences at our scans, they’d meant finding out the worst news about our babies. So we were extremely anxious when we came for our first scan at the clinic.
Thanks to Oonagh and the team at the clinic, it was the most wonderful scan we had attended. Tommy’s made us feel relaxed, supported us and went through everything.
After this appointment, the clinic team got in touch with my GP to arrange for the progesterone to be prescribed. They also pushed for me to be under consultant-led care throughout my pregnancy, which nobody had suggested in the past.
Alongside my regular antenatal care I also had regular scans booked in at the Tommy’s clinic to help ease my anxiety and to talk through anything else I was worried about.
Reaching 12 weeks
At Christmas, we reached the 12-week mark and together with the Tommy’s team we discussed my being discharged from the clinic. They really took their time to discuss this, it wasn't just a by-numbers process – together we celebrated that I’d reached 12 weeks but still spoke about my anxieties of being discharged.
After I was discharged, I was still able to have regular contact with Tommy’s for advice, recommendations and guidance. This included discussions around the impact a previous procedure I’d had on my cervix could have, and it gave me the confidence to push my antenatal team for a scan. The scan detected a funnelling cervix which required a stitch.
By the end of my pregnancy, my baby boy was breech so little William (Billy) arrived by planned c-section in June 2023.
I truly believe if it wasn’t for Tommy’s, baby William wouldn’t be here today.