Seeing the results of the PRISM trial gave us our rainbow baby

Louisa lives in Bristol with her partner, Seb, and they sadly lost their first two babies in 2018. When they fell pregnant again in 2019, Louisa started to bleed at 6 weeks. Armed with the research from our PRISM trial, she took the information to her doctors and welcomed rainbow baby Oliver to the world in March 2020.

My partner Seb and I had always talked about having children, and early in 2018 we decided it was the right time to try for a baby. Fast forward to September and I had my first ever positive pregnancy test. I can’t explain the excitement I felt; I couldn’t believe I was going to have a baby.

Why would I worry? 

10 days later I had a tiny bleed but thought nothing of it - when miscarriage was talked about on TV, the women were always in lots of pain and bleeding heavily, but I had none of that so why would I worry? The next day I felt different, so I phoned my GP who sent me to my local hospital for a scan.

I will never forget the words: ‘I can see your baby, but I can’t find a heartbeat, I’m so sorry’. We were told that the baby had stopped growing at 6 weeks and 5 days. I was 9 weeks pregnant. Before this, I didn’t even know that missed miscarriage could happen.

I didn’t expect to grieve for my baby, but that grief hit me like nothing I have experienced before.

When we decided to try again, I fell pregnant almost straight away – but 2 weeks after my positive pregnancy test, I started bleeding. I went for multiple scans and was told they couldn’t see anything wrong. Unfortunately, we went on to lose our second baby on New Year’s Eve.

Then we stopped trying for a while; I had convinced myself that it was never going to happen for us, and I needed to give myself time to grieve for the babies that I had lost. Even though they were physically tiny, they were the closest I’d ever come to being a mum, and I held on to that so tight.

I remembered about the PRISM trial

I feel lucky that my partner, friends and family are incredibly supportive, and always talk openly about the babies whenever I want to. Eventually we felt ready to try again, and by summer 2019 I had another positive pregnancy test. But at 6 weeks pregnant, I began bleeding again.

I remembered a post I saw on the Tommy’s Instagram page about their PRISM trial, which found progesterone to be an effective treatment for women that had been bleeding during pregnancy after miscarriages.

I went to hospital armed with the information from Tommy’s research and asked for a prescription.

At first the nurse said no, progesterone is only offered to women who have been referred to the recurrent miscarriage clinic – but it’s okay, if you lose this one, you’ll be referred there. Well of course I had a different point of view!

We argued that we wanted to try everything possible, even if we did still end up miscarrying this baby, and eventually I got the prescription. I began taking progesterone, my bleeding stopped, my pregnancy continued – and on 11 March 2020 we welcomed our rainbow baby boy.

Rainbow in lockdown

Oliver is the most perfect baby and everything we have ever dreamed of. He had a bit of a tough start to life, being readmitted to hospital at 5 days old and spending time in the NICU. We had not long got home when the UK went into covid-19 lockdown, so although a few friends and family members had managed to visit, there are lots people still waiting to meet him.

Life with a new-born in lockdown is tough to say the least, and certainly not how I imagined it.

However, it gives me time to just stop and be with Oliver. We don’t have to worry about people coming over or having to be places by certain times. Seb is an essential worker so it is often me and Oliver at home, just the two of us, and I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have him.

Without Tommy’s, we believe Oliver wouldn’t be here; if the bleeding was left to continue then we absolutely would have lost him. Not a day goes by where I don’t remember our first babies and think ‘what if’, but it makes me even more grateful for the happy and healthy baby we have now.

The research that Tommy’s carried out means that we have our rainbow baby, and for that we will be forever grateful.