It's hard to know where to start. It's hard to know how much to say. It's hard to relive the numerous emotions. It's hard to remember to be grateful for what we already had. It’s all so very hard.
9 years ago I became a mummy to my daughter, it was an effortless process for us all. Less than 2 years later I became a mummy of 2 – my son was born. Then 2 years on our first miscarriage hit. We lost twins at just 10 weeks. Little did we know then the journey we were about to embark on.
I went back into work that afternoon, showed a brave face and told only those who I absolutely had to. I honestly wasn't sure how I was meant to feel and react. Were they real people, babies, eggs, cells, or just tissue? I convinced myself they were just cells – it made it easier to handle. I told myself (and believed) it was OK as I was planning on getting pregnant again straight away and next time it would be fine. However I then had a year where I struggled to fall pregnant and when I did I had the most awful foreboding feeling right from the start.
I thought the midwives and consultants would understand my worries and fears, but they didn't.
They made me feel that I was just being silly for worrying. I was bleeding from the start but the 12 week scan showed everything was progressing as it should be. However, to me it didn't feel right. I fought with the doctors and midwives daily and finally at 14 weeks I got a scan where they confirmed miscarriage number 2.
A few months later I was pregnant again and this time I was confident and super careful. I made it to the 12 week scan – all going well – I made it to the 20 week scan – all going well. Then the following week I was at work and felt something come out of me and I went straight to the hospital. The baby was fine but my waters were leaking and I had a terrible infection.
24 hours later they informed me I would have to abort the pregnancy, the infection was in my waters and the only way to defeat it and stop it from killing me was to abort the pregnancy and get the baby out. The doctors told me the baby would not survive much longer anyway as the waters were leaking. I delivered a baby girl but I had put her in the same category as my others – I told myself it wasn't really a baby.
When they asked my husband and I if we wanted to see her or hold her, I said of course not – she wasn't a baby.
How wrong I was. That’s a decision I can never forgive myself for, I thought I was being brave and strong and that it would be easier to get over if I made no connection. But that's not reality, the very minute you see that positive pregnancy test those cells become your baby. I thought that by seeing her I would have her image in my mind and it would be distressful whereas in fact the emptiness and that gaping hole will stay with me forever. I buried her a few days later and, as awful as it was, it helped me to know that was the one thing I could do for her.
I waited a year to recover but when I fell pregnant I didn't believe it would turn out ok, I had given up hope and at 8 weeks the only too familiar scenario occurred and miscarriage number 4 took place.
Finally now I could be referred and investigated but nobody could find anything wrong. Feeling utterly frustrated we decided to try again. The day before my 12 week scan there was a bleed. Again the scan showed all was ok but I knew I needed more reassurance than your average pregnancy. Every week I was in the hospital but at 16 weeks the waters started leaking. The baby was ok so I was put on bed rest and weekly I went for scans but the waters were still leaking. We were left with the decision to stop the pregnancy or risk a severely disabled baby, a decision we could not make.
However at 22 weeks the baby had stopped growing. Again I was told I would have to abort but thank goodness that decision was taken out of our hands as my labour started that night – my baby girl was born quickly with the cord wrapped round her neck 8 times. This time I held her and loved her for as long as I could.
I was completely broken after this miscarriage. I stopped pretending to be brave and happy go lucky.
I knew I made people feel awkward because I wouldn't accept their ‘feel better’ sayings. I said just how I felt and ignored the world around me. I still had 2 beautiful children to live for and love, so I was lucky I couldn't completely give up.
6 months later we decided to give it one last try – we teach our children to never give up and there's no such word as can't so we faced it again. However even under weekly scrutiny by the specialists I lost the first twin at 8 weeks and the second twin at 10 weeks. That was it for me - I decided to be happy with my lot as I had spent the last 5 years being pregnant and not having a baby – it was enough.
However I found out unexpectedly I was pregnant 3 months later and I was so scared. There's only so many times someone can pick themselves up however this pregnancy seemed to be going ok with no signs of worry. I was under specialists and being closely monitored each week. Then at 22 weeks I felt something was wrong. I went to the hospital and they could see the baby's head emerging but the waters were intact. My body had gone into labour! The doctors tipped me upside down on a bed and told me not to move. I did as I was told for 4 days.
Miraculously, the situation did not deteriorate, do they decided to stitch my cervix to stop any infection and try get the baby to 24 weeks where we had some chance of a viable baby. To cut a long story short I stayed on bed rest until 37 weeks! By some miracle we kept the baby safe inside. Ironically at 39 weeks, we tried everything to get him out but he just wouldn't come! Eventually, after a few hours in labour, a gorgeous baby boy was naturally born.
I know the phrase is a rainbow baby but he's so much more than that - he's worth more than the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
It's sometimes hard to hug him and not dwell on who else should have been in our family before him.
We need to be able to talk about this more so people will realise how many people this affects every day. We need to realise this is something that is totally under researched. We can send people into space, use robots, design cars that drive themselves, even bring people back to life after their heart stops, but why can't we understand what goes wrong for these babies.
My wish is that there are less and less mothers who have to suffer these types of losses and no-one should suffer the way I did. I don't deny there are worse things out there to suffer but when it comes to a miscarriage you are made to feel it's not worthy to grieve and that makes it even harder to cope with. For many of these losses no one knew what we were going through – what can they even say?
We have a large gap between our children and we are often asked why – I am not sure what to say! I find myself not talking about it because I feel it makes other people feel uncomfortable however it's part of our family history and has shaped the family we are today
Only now can I talk about it freely as we have reached the light at the the end of the tunnel and I plan to remember to be grateful everyday for what we have.
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