Breaking the silence

”If I can help just one person get through this awful experience, then it is worth it. I want people to know that they are not alone.”
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Story by Danielle

I work for an amazing company called Water Babies, the UK’s leading baby swimming company. We have raised millions of pounds for Tommy’s through supporting their amazing Splashathon event. I’ve even been lucky enough to visit Tommy’s research centre in Birmingham and see first-hand the difference the money we raise makes. The partnership has a special meaning for me, as Tommy’s is working to find the causes of miscarriage to prevent so many families going through heartbreak.It’s heartbreak that I, like 1 in 4 women, have experienced.

I suppose, like most people, I didn’t realise how common miscarriage was. This all changed when it happened to me.” 

A positive test

On 9 February 2019, I found out I was pregnant. We'd been trying for a few months. If I am honest, I didn't expect to get pregnant so quickly. After taking the test and heading back into the bedroom, I sat and waited for my partner to wake up. It was the longest 30 minutes of my life!

The next few weeks rolled by and my symptoms started to kick in. I felt sick all day, especially at night: whoever called it morning sickness was very mistaken! I had no energy and all I wanted to do was sleep. My body craved bread, biscuits and crackers... everything my ulcerative colitis hated, and this was very difficult for me to negotiate.
When I reached 11 weeks, I could feel myself starting to relax into my pregnancy. Throughout the early stages, I felt as if I was in a constant battle dealing with both the excitement and the worry.

Something wasn't right 

My partner went on holiday and that’s when things started to go downhill. I woke up with some cramping and headed to the toilet. As soon as I sat down, there was blood. There wasn’t a lot of it, but I instantly knew something wasn’t right.
 
I called my close friend and got myself booked in for a scan that morning. My worst fears turned into a reality. I should have been measuring 11+5 weeks, but the sonographer said baby was measuring around 8+5 weeks. They couldn’t find a heartbeat.

I was devastated. I remember squeezing my friend’s hand as I tried to process what had just happened.

We were then taken to a private room. Up until this point, I had just about kept it together but as soon as we were left on our own, I broke down. My friend was amazing and just held me. The news still hadn’t sunk in. I’d had what’s known as a missed miscarriage. I had heard of this before but not realised what it was. It also meant I needed an operation to complete the miscarriage. 

Double shock

Throughout my whole experience, I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive group of friends and family. Two of my friends were pregnant at the time and, although it must have been difficult for them, they were there for me the whole time.
 
We hadn’t told our family we were expecting, so they had a double shock when I had to tell them about my miscarriage but, again, they were so supportive. My partner isn’t one for showing his emotions, but this experience brought us closer together as a couple. I really am truly grateful for that.

“I decided to write my blog because no one can possibly know how someone feels after an experience like a miscarriage.”

Initially I didn’t want anyone to see it; it was just a place for me to honestly write down how I was feeling. The more I wrote things down, the better I felt. It really was like therapy for me.

I then thought, why should I keep this to myself? So many women are going through exactly the same thing that I went through and don’t know where to turn.

There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. I can’t tell anyone how long it will take to heal, as every person is different. There will, of course, be good days and bad days. If I can help just one person get through this awful experience, then it is worth it. I want people to know that they are not alone.

To follow Danielle’s story, please see her blog The Frosty Chronicles.

Click here for more information about Tommy’s Splashathon 2019.