by Danielle Gale
It never even crossed my mind that I would struggle to carry my babies, I thought it was just a given that I would have a family. Well how wrong was I? Seven years later and I'm still trying to take home our rainbow baby.
Our first miscarriage happened in 2009. I wasn't even aware that I was pregnant, having suffered from irregular and painful cycles, I just assumed that I was having a bad month.
The bleeding started to get much heavier and the pain was intense, which made me think something wasn't right. I had a trip to the local community hospital that morning, only to be told that I was pregnant but losing the baby, which was a strange feeling. It was confirmed that this was my first loss. I took it as a pinch of salt and thought of it as bad luck.
Fast forward to 2011 and that's when the painful reality would hit; our lives for the next five years would involve losing our babies.
I had five miscarriages, all at 7 weeks
The pain every time of seeing that little heartbeat and then blood haunts me every day, then the questions start in my mind, surely we can't be that unlucky?
At this point I know I have a problem, so it’s time to start fighting; fighting the doctors to test me, and fighting the hospital to try and give me answers. I thought we had cracked it, when I was finally diagnosed with a MTHFR Gene mutation, which meant that I get blood clots which can cause miscarriage. The plan was set; Fragmin from positive test, 150mg of Aspirin a day and regular scans.
Now the task of getting pregnant, the waiting, the ovulation charts, temp charts, all to see that positive test and the chance of a rainbow baby, and we finally got it, our sixth baby. The plan was in place, but the bleeding on a weekly basis, and trips to A&E were really starting to take its toll. Call it a mother's instinct, but I knew something wasn't right. Then we had it; the blood clot at 7 weeks and 2 days.
That wait from Friday night in A&E, being told that it was most likely a miscarriage, to that scan on Monday felt like a lifetime. I was sent home not knowing if I was still carrying our hopes and dreams. But on Monday she was still there with a strong heartbeat, a miracle really.
We then started counting the weeks until that 12-week-scan. We had never got this far; could we finally bring ourselves to relax and get excited? That moment holding my husband’s hand and seeing our baby moving around, and waving at us was the best feeling in the world. We had made it, the odds had just got better, the stats said there was less chance of a loss at this point, and we were on the road to a happy ending. Clutching that scan picture all the way to the car, we couldn't stop looking at it. Our baby was our life and we couldn't wait to share the news.
But this was short lived, as 7 days later our world would crumble. The bleeding started, but there was no pain, which was strange. I thought that it could just be a period, and was clutching at straws.
Our baby was born on the floor, at home at 5:50am
The shock takes over; can I bring myself to hold my baby? She's only 14 weeks, she's not going to live. Everything seems so un-real, our dreams and our baby taken away again.
It took a while to mentally recover from this. The questions ran through my mind - could we do this again, did we have enough strength as a couple to get through the heartache?
We decided that we needed tests before we tried again, so our first stop was a private clinic. The results said that there was nothing wrong that they could find, but they put together a treatment plan. We waited five long months for our NHS appointment, with the results, after a hysteroscopy that I had the "perfect womb".
So the cycle starts again, and this time I'm on all the supplements under the sun, tracking ovulation, waiting for the seventh positive pregnancy test. A year later and we get it.
The plan was Fragmin, steroids, infusions, cyclogest and regular monitoring of my cervix and scans. I reached the 7 week mark and we held our breath, no bleeding, no pain, but I did have a haematoma, so I was taken straight off the Fragmin. I had a bleed at 13 weeks and our local hospital allowed us to hear the heartbeat, it was there beating away; our baby was still going strong. The day of our 13-week-scan and there she was again, the most beautiful sight I've ever seen.
At 14 weeks and 2 days our baby was born at 9.40pm weighing 26kg. There was no words, just numb, heartbreaking, devastated. Why did I dare let myself hope for a happy ending?
The questions swirl in your head. What more could I have done? Why am I not good enough to be a mum? Why do I have to lay my baby to rest?
It’s been 10 weeks since we lost our seventh Angel, Alessia Theresa Gale, but we have some comfort in that we could have a service for our daughter, arranged by the amazing bereavement service at our local hospital
As for my husband and I, the heart hardens that little bit more, the desire to succeed grows every day and we sit here waiting on more results, hoping that someone out there can help us. One thing for sure is that we won't let this beat us, we'll fight to take home our rainbow baby. People always ask me how many times can I put myself through it, which is something that, to this day, I still can't answer.
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