I fell pregnant with our first round of IVF, but an early scan at 7 weeks showed that there was no longer a heartbeat. After our initial celebrations of a BFP, we were gutted. I miscarried at home, which was a short but very painful process.
We waited about six months to try again. We needed a break, mentally and physically to go through IVF again. We moved to a new hospital and although they didn’t investigate the miscarriage, they were encouraged that I’d got pregnant first time with IVF. So off we went with the drugs, egg collection, and lucky for us, embryo transfer. I was pregnant again, this time we held our breath.
Our 7-week-scan revealed we were expecting twins, we were delighted.
Two weeks later, another scan showed only one heartbeat; we’d lost one of the babies. We were devastated and desperately worried about our living baby, but at a 12-week-scan we saw our little wriggler. We’d never seen a baby at that stage, and it was magical.
Four weeks later everything went wrong. I woke in the night, the bed soaked, then went to the loo and delivered our baby. It all happened so quickly
The moment I lost our baby and what followed haunted me. I called for my partner Phil, who was confused and still half asleep, to break the awful news that I’d lost our baby and to get help. When the ambulance arrived I asked the driver to collect the baby, to take to hospital with us.
By the time we arrived at the hospital I’d lost a lot of blood. They found that I’d not yet delivered the placenta. The moment I’d imagined where we’d deliver our baby, were now to deliver the placenta and save myself. I had gas and air and went through a ‘birthing’ process. It was like torture and left me with terrible flashbacks, I used to close my eyes and just see blood at night. In the end they removed the placenta surgically because of the blood loss. Poor Phil had lost his baby, and thought that he was going to lose me too.
Along with my mum, a midwife who dealt with grief counselling supported us. Looking back, I know how lucky I was to have her support. She asked if we wanted to see the baby and talked me through the next steps. My first thought was ‘no way’, but then it was all I wanted to do, to meet our baby.
She was tiny, but a perfect little person, and even had fingernails. We saw her again, as I wanted to take in the moment properly and I took a photo. I needed a memory to keep forever. Then we left her in a basket with a blanket, that ladies in the hospital knitted for lost babies.
The time in hospital was hard, as I improved physically, what we’d been through hit me. The feeling of loss was overwhelming, and then my boobs started leaking milk, which felt so very cruel. Phil was my rock, and the support from family and friends was amazing.
We had a post-mortem to try and find out what happened, as a loss at four months is unusual. I also wanted to know the sex of our baby. Then we had our baby cremated.
The results showed that we’d had a perfect baby girl. We named her Lilly.
I pushed with doctors to investigate further
I just needed to know why, and we were referred to Coventry to see Professor Quenby. She carried out tests and found I had Hughes Syndrome, sticky blood. It’s not something that’s widely known about, but it’s a treatable cause of miscarriage. Professor Quenby was also worried that I might have a weak cervix, as I’d delivered my baby so quickly.
Alongside the process of finding out what went wrong, Phil and I were still grieving for our lost baby. It was the simple things that gave me strength, such as holding my newborn nephew, people’s well wishes, and a gathering with friends and family where we lit candles and said goodbye. It all helped us to grieve. So many people had been on our journey, and it helped them to say goodbye too. We scattered Lilly’s ashes a year after we lost her.
It wasn’t an easy decision to try again. We went through a lot of soul searching, but I couldn’t give up.
I got fit, saw a fertility acupuncturist and a cognitive therapist to help me deal with the flashbacks. She diagnosed PTSD and helped me to move forward. It was hard reliving it all again, but it really helped.
On the third round of IVF we fell pregnant. At 5 weeks I had a scan with Professor Quenby, before beginning a treatment of injecting blood thinners into my tummy, taking aspirin for the sticky blood, and progesterone pessaries to strengthen my cervix.
Under consultant care every two weeks we had a scan, and we’d hold our breath until we learned everything was okay. At around 12 weeks, I had surgery to put a stitch in my cervix
Being pregnant was an amazing, but terrifying experience. I’m a positive and patient person, and both of these things were put to the test. I found it difficult to buy anything and even had a panic attack in Mothercare. How could I buy for a baby I might not ever meet? My sister has two children, so luckily I didn’t need to buy much. At 25 weeks we finally started to believe that we were going to be parents.
At our 36-week-scan we discovered that I had lost water down one side of my womb; my placenta was failing. Professor Quenby said a natural delivery was still possible, but I would need to be induced straight away. I just wanted to know that our baby was okay.
Four days later Emily arrived via forceps weighing 5lb 8oz, and absolutely perfect. When they put her on my chest, she wriggled down my body and latched on, it was the most amazing moment. We were finally parents.
I’ve talked about my loss because I hope it will help others. When you're grieving it can be comforting to speak out, and get support from people who can help.
Many miscarriages are preventable and Tommy’s is working hard to understand why.
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By Sham (not verified) on 18 Feb 2017 - 15:50
I just wanted to reach out to you to say what a brave person you are , reading through your journey and the trauma you experienced made me cry . I've had 2 early miscarriages .. and i worry that it may never happen to me as I've reached 40 ( I was 38/39 when I fell pregnant )
How you have pulled yourself together is a true testament to your strong character , you have had to deal with severe physical and emotional stress .
Having PTSD is a constant reminder of your pain & anguish . But I loved reading the ending where you plucked up the courage to try again . I've read about professor Quenby and she seems to be just the type of consultant you need to put your faith in
Hope you can read this message Miranda , enjoy life and every moment with your little one x. ❤