Story by Julie
Our journey started in March 2009, on our wedding day. As society expects, we started trying for a baby straight away, but month after month we got the dreaded 'not pregnant'.
By the summer the question started: 'When are you going to have a baby?'. We laughed it off, but we were trying and it wasn't happening for us. Until finally on 6 December 2009, I took a test expecting the same disappointing news. I was delighted when I found out I was pregnant! We were so exited. It seemed we'd been trying forever.
"Unfortunately, less than a week later, I started bleeding heavily. This was our first of 8 losses."
2010 brought a new year and a new pregnancy. Unfortunately, just days after three positive tests, it all was over. We decided to take a little break to allow ourselves to recover. I remember celebrating our first wedding anniversary and feeling a like failure because I wasn't pregnant.
In July, I took a test (or ten!) and I was pregnant again. Now, instead of being exited and planning three steps ahead, we were terrified. I was constantly checking for bleeding. The weeks passed us by: six weeks, eight weeks, ten weeks. We even got to see a tiny baby with a strong heart beat. We'd never got this far and started to have hope all would be ok. But In September, I went to my local hospital for a scan after a bleed and pain.
"We went in smiling and came out heartbroken."
I was devastated and felt like an utter failure. How and why did this keep happening? We took some time off trying as I was a total shell of my former self. It seemed every one around us was getting pregnant successfully and the jealousy was overwhelming some days. We were referred to the recurrent loss clinic at our local hospital. We had lots of blood taken and had our baby tested. But there was nothing wrong, we were told we were young and just to keep trying. This is how I came across Tommy's, I had looked to find stories of hope.
I fell pregnant again in June 2011, but unfortunately, at eight weeks, we were told that our baby was not viable. My mental health took a massive hit. I went for a few months of private counselling which really helped me. We saw a specialist in December 2011 and started lots of tests the following January. We tried one more time and got a positive test. It was a scary pregnancy from start to finish. I had lots of bleeds and was at risk of preterm delivery.
Eva Anne arrived in August 2012. Holding our rainbow baby was worth all that pain. Then a surprise came! In October 2013 Archie James was born. We'd not planned such a close gap but had no problems conceiving successfully after taking so long to have Eva.
Our journey started for baby number 3 in 2017. We lost our first baby that May, at 6 weeks. Our second pregnancy loss of the year was heart breaking and nearly sent me back to my dark times. All was well until 11 weeks when I had a familiar stabbing pain, and then that feeling of dread. A scan confirmed my fear that our baby had died just days before. We’d had scans weekly from 6 weeks and had started to have hope. It's not so easy to grieve and recover with two lively children, but they kept me going and gave me a reason to smile.
We were referred back to the recurrent loss clinic and saw a lovely consultant who agreed to help us. Next time I fell pregnant I would be prescribed Heparin injections and progesterone. We felt happy knowing we had some help and support, so we tried again. I fell pregnant again in December 2017, but the bleeding started again just days later before I could get my prescription.
I fell pregnant again just days after this loss. In August 2018 Emily Louise arrived! Our final rainbow was here, after all these years our family is complete.
"We still think of what could've been and light our eight candles every October for the pregnancy and infant loss wave of light. The pain is still there, but has eased slightly with our three rainbows."
Pregnancy loss, is such an isolating lonely experience. It's a club nobody wants to be part of or talk about. It's taught me to be less judgmental and be careful with my words. I decided to share our story to give others hope to never give up your dreams of having a family. Talk to your loved ones, take the help and support if you need it
My lovely husband and my sister in law are running Newcastle's Great North Run for Tommy's in September. We'll be doing so in memory of the eight babies we never got to meet. Good luck and love to thoses braving this loss journey, a rainbow maybe just around the corner!