After suffering a missed miscarriage, Sharon decided to take on the world's largest half marathon - the Great North Run - in support of Tommy's. This is Sharon's story and reason for running.
On the 17th May 2013 I got a phone call from my doctors to reveal results from some blood tests I had taken and at the end of the call I heard the words “but as you are pregnant we need you to book in with a midwife appointment” – shocked is the only word I can use. I had no idea about this nor had I been trying to conceive!
I couldn’t get this news to sink in I was in total disbelief. I told my family and obviously the baby’s Dad. In the meantime I thought I would just carry on as normal and wait for a 12 week scan date – at this time I was 6 weeks pregnant (explained the desperation I had for coconut ice cream!)
Over the coming weeks I told a few friends of my news and it soon spread fast around my work colleagues.
I was getting used to the idea that I had a little human being growing inside me. Life had totally changed and the reality of becoming a mother was getting REALLY REAL. Although this was unplanned I already loved my baby I had been blessed with this for a reason.
I was planning my upcoming holiday and my scan date finally arrived 20th June 2013 by this time I was visibly pregnant my belly had noticeably increased in size as I was slim at the time.
On the day I drank so much water it was hard to contain, when we arrived at the hospital the receptionist said ‘we have been trying to contact you as we don’t have a sonographer available and need to rearrange your scan’. Disappointed, I scurried off to relieve my bladder, but as I returned to the reception desk the lady said they had got a sonographer to do my scan. Excitement soon returned. We entered the room and I lay on the bed, and the lady put the cold gel on followed by the scanning device.
I waited patiently. I had never experienced this before except with friends, after around 10 seconds she asked if I had any bleeding, I replied with “no”.
I knew something was about to go badly wrong. I couldn’t look at my boyfriend nor could I bring myself to look at the screen so I stared at the ceiling as my eyes rapidly filled with tears.
She said ‘I need to do an internal scan’ but wouldn’t say anything else. I waited in silence with tears falling off my face and eventually she spoke ‘I need to get a doctor to have a look’. After a short while the doctor entered the room and had a look at my scan. What followed were the words ‘I am sorry but there’s no fetal heartbeat’.
Words spoken after that I cannot remember, I just needed to get out of that room.
I quickly got dressed and left the room. I had to wait to see a doctor to discuss what to do. I was so upset I walked out of the hospital leaving my notes behind.
My world had crashed; my baby could not have died – I was still pregnant they must be wrong! Nobody is available to help me. What will I tell my Mum? What have I done wrong? These were just a few of the many things that were in my head – I just wanted to go home and not listen to these cruel words.
The hospital called me the following day I had to go back to discuss ‘options’. I went back to be told my baby had died approximately 3 days earlier, my options were to wait and my baby would eventually pass within 2 weeks, have suction removal ( I couldn’t possibly have my baby removed like a piece of waste) or 2 hormone tablets that would induce a miscarriage.
Again nobody that day could help me and I was sent home until the following day.
I felt lost and broken, I still had my angel inside me and part of me did not want it to leave.
A doctor saw me the next morning and gave me 2 little white pills which I had to take in his presence. He explained what would happen over the following days and sent me home with nothing more than the equivalent of a puppy pad and pain relief tablets.
Before I had even got off hospital grounds I shivered and rattled with a cold feeling. My tongue felt like it had been lacerated multiple times (a side effect from the tablets) and I had serious cramping.
I had already started bleeding by the time I was home. I was so scared of what was to come and how I was feeling both mentally and physically.
That evening it all happened – I was so cold, in so much pain. Nothing could have prepared me for this! It went on for hours.
It was excruciating and eventually my baby passed it looked so small but was such a big part of me how could this be? The bleeding and pain went on for days – 16 Days in fact although it rapidly slowed after 5.
What now? I wasn’t pregnant, there was no baby, I had nothing to make me believe I was ever pregnant not even a scan picture, just a broken empty soul!
My family and friends tried to console me but nobody could answer my questions of why me? What did I do wrong? What if the hospital got it wrong? When people miscarry they bleed naturally? What if I killed my baby? Was it a boy or a girl?
Time passed and I still have unanswered questions that I will never find the answers for. Nothing can change my experience but what if I can help change others?
It’s been 5 years since this happened to me but my heart and soul are still broken. I got depressed, I put on 5 stone in body weight and felt like giving up most days and although I still feel like I am dragging myself from one day to the next...... I discovered Tommy’s and the Great North Run.
Before my pregnancy I used to run a lot but I lost my passion for it. So when I got the chance to register for this half marathon AND raise money for a charity that is so dedicated to saving babies lives there was no decision to make. I would regain my fitness. I would lose this excess body weight from training.
I will raise money for this fantastic charity to support their research and work to help prevent others from suffering what I did and best of all I will make my baby proud of me by supporting Tommy’s!
Being associated with Tommy’s has made me realise I was not ‘singled out’, this experience is real and miscarriage or ‘missed miscarriage’ (that’s what mine was named) is extremely common. The number of people who have come forward and shared their experiences with me is amazing. Some of my friends who I would never have thought of came forward.
This is very real and all too common and if research can help reduce and eventually eliminate others going through the same then let’s do this! What are we waiting for?
I am looking forward to the Great North Run I can’t wait to meet the team and meet all the other runners and share our stories and support each other – I will definitely wear my vest with pride and make my baby proud.
GO TEAM TOMMY'S!!!