Story by Helen,
It's been exactly two years to the day since my miscarriage and I thought I would like to share my story.
Finding out that women I knew had been through such similar experiences was one of the biggest comforts at the time. It was my first pregnancy, we were over the moon but still cautious - we only told close family, and one of my closest friends guessed out of the blue. A few days before my 12 week scan she texted me to see how I was doing.
I realised I hadn't felt nauseous for a few days. 'You're having a boy then' came the reply. Two thoughts crossed my mind simultaneously - 'no it's definitely a girl' and 'or maybe something's wrong'.
That night I started to bleed. Only a little. But also an ache like period pain began.
I remember lying in bed with my legs raised holding my belly and talking to this tiny thing inside me. Please be OK. I read to her - 'Twelfth Night', as we had tickets to see it soon - and told her that if she was OK - please be OK - her name would be Viola.
I called the maternity unit the following morning and they told me to sit tight as my scan was only 2 days away. I spent the day in bed sobbing. I was already mourning, I knew in my heart it was over.
The bleeding got a bit heavier and I passed some clots so I called again the next morning and they called me in for an early scan. My husband kept saying it might still be OK. It wasn't of course. The foetus had stopped growing at around 8 weeks but everything else carried on, the egg sac was the right size. A missed miscarriage. My body had still thought it was pregnant. I didn't even know this was a thing. They told me my options and home we came. I decided to wait it out, it couldn't be long.
The worse thing was telling people, it made it all real but I also felt like I had let them down somehow. The next day, around the time I should have been having my 12 week scan, I started to miscarry properly.
It hurt a lot but it was oddly OK. It was like it was something else to focus on other than grief. I was by myself, just the cat for company who stayed as close to me as she could.
The grief came in the days, weeks, months that followed. And the questions going around my head, why us, what did I do wrong, is there something wrong with me, what if that's our only chance?
That's where talking to others helped. I'm so grateful to the women who opened up to me and shared their story, their grief and their eventual happy endings. I wish there had been more support for my husband though, he was so upset too but didn't really have anywhere to turn.
It took my body a good 4 months to recover properly, but 2 months after that I got pregnant again. I was so scared I kept it to myself but my husband worked it out pretty quickly. We weren't excited, we held each other and cried.
The day of my first scan it felt like a lead weight of dread on my shoulders.
When I saw it was the same technician doing the scan as before I thought 'that's it, it's over' and tried to steel myself for the bad news.
I shut my eyes as the probe ran over my belly. 'There's the heartbeat, lovely and strong' she said. I burst into tears of relief. I didn't stop worrying for the rest of the pregnancy, obsessively counting movements and not doing too much preparation for the baby's arrival. I knew it could still all go wrong.
But we were lucky and now we have a beautiful healthy daughter.
It did change how I feel about the miscarriage, I'm still sad and I will never ever forget, but it seems strange to think 'what if' when I am holding a warm bundle of pink skin and gummy smiles who is mine, and who wouldn't exist if it had worked out the first time.