I angrily ripped off my maternity trousers and threw them in the bin.

My husband Andrew and I were over the moon when I fell pregnant in 2008, just a year after we’d married. Harry arrived safe and sound in April 2009. It never crossed my mind that he wouldn’t.

Heartbreaking stories. Devastating stories. The miscarriage story needs to change. That's why we've created Tommy's book of #misCOURAGE. Read this story now and help spread the word that miscarriage can no longer be ignored. Help us change the story to save babies' lives.

Donate
Up

Francesca and family.

by Francesca Dresner

By November 2010 I was pregnant again and we were so happy, but just days after a positive test I started bleeding. We went to the doctors and I was told I’d miscarried. I was devastated but put it down to bad luck.

By February I was expecting and I can’t explain how thrilling it was to hear our baby’s heartbeat at our eight-week reassurance scan. But when the sonographer wired me up at our 12-week scan I couldn’t hear anything, I actually asked her to turn up the volume. Andrew put his hand on mine as the sonographer said, ‘There’s a problem’.

I spent 24 hours carrying my dead baby which was unbearably traumatic.

I remember, when we’d arrived, I’d seen a little room off to the left, with sofas and tissues and wondered what it was for. It was for us.

I cried and cried on the journey home and kept saying I needed to see Harry. At home I ripped off my maternity trousers and threw them in the bin, I was so angry and confused. I felt like a fraud. They couldn’t do the ERPC until the following day so I spent 24 hours carrying my dead baby which was unbearably traumatic.

The one positive to come out of the nightmare was that I was referred to St Mary’s recurrent miscarriage clinic in Paddington. Just before my first appointment we discovered our baby had Turner’s syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality which 99 per cent of foetuses would not survive.

That eased the terrible guilt I’d been feeling. I hadn’t done anything wrong, it just wasn’t meant to be.

St Mary’s discovered I had antiphospholipid syndrome, or ‘sticky blood’, which can cause problems with clotting during pregnancy. I was put on a treatment programme of daily aspirin and clexane which put trying for a baby on hold for six months. It was frustrating but, ultimately, I believed we’d found a solution.

In November I had a positive test and started treatment immediately. With successful six and eight-week scans behind us, it was devastating to learn at a 10-week scan that our baby had died.

This was the lowest point of my life. When they told me there was no heartbeat I went into shock, screaming and crying. This was, for me, my most devastating miscarriage. I’d been so sure that, this time, it would all work out and I lost all hope.

After, we learned that the pregnancy had been a ‘partial molar’ which meant I had a very low risk of developing cancer but it wasn’t the thought of cancer that bothered me most, it was that my dreams of a baby would have to be put on hold for six months. It had taken a lot to bring myself to try again and having to wait was a huge blow.

With hindsight it was probably just what we needed. For so long we’d been in a cycle of anxiety and disappointment, it was good to have some time to enjoy ourselves, and our son.

I got pregnant again but a 10 week scan in the January found our baby was too small and had a very slow heartbeat. The doctor said he or she was unlikely to survive and I left hospital carrying a child that I knew was dying. A few days later I’d started bleeding and a scan showed our baby was gone, yet another chromosomal abnormality.

Somehow we managed to pick ourselves up and by April I was pregnant. I’d spoken to my doctor and we’d put in place a new treatment plan including folic acid, 2,000 iui vitamin D, aspirin, clexane and cyclogest.

I was so sure I would lose this baby too

I remember sitting in the waiting room for my nine-week scan, texting my friend to say I was about to be told I’d had another miscarriage. I was so sure I’d lose this baby too that I was making plans for someone to care for Harry while I had an ERPC. I’d even packed an overnight bag.

I guess I’d just got to the point where I couldn’t allow myself to hope but miraculously there was our daughter, kicking away. I can’t explain the terror of my 12-week scan, crying hysterically and shaking. The sonographer held my hand and I heard her heartbeat.

I was dogged by anxiety throughout my pregnancy. I had a bruised stomach from prodding to make the baby move, my poor girl probably got no sleep at all.

As they wheeled me in for my C-section I still daren’t believe it would be okay but after nine scans, 323 injections and months of anxious waiting our beautiful, longed-for baby girl Poppy was born in December 2013. I was elated.

Looking back, I don’t know how we kept going but I’m so grateful that we did.

Without this struggle I would not have my two beautiful children.

Miscarriage is a devastating experience which is why Tommy’s work is so vitally important. Their tireless research will ensure fewer women go through the agony I did.

I’ve always talked about my experience and I’ve found, as I opened up, so did others. A few of my best friends have had miscarriages and I didn’t know, sharing our stories was a source of comfort.

I still remember the dates of every miscarriage I’ve had because they are the day I lost a child. Every year on Baby Loss Awareness Week I light candles for my four lost babies, they will always be a part of my life.

Go to the full list of stories.

Disclaimer

Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer

Comments

Your comment

Add new comment