I was raised in a family where keeping a stiff upper lip was expected and tears were unacceptable-even from a girl.
I experienced my first miscarriage when I was just 19 years old, by the time I was 28 I had suffered 5 miscarriages all between 3 1/2 months to nearly 5 months gestation.
The medical professionals were unable to give me answers into why I had suffered all those miscarriages and why I had them so late on in my pregnancy.
One doctor even told me "whats meant to be will be" and "its natures way of getting rid of most of the weak and deformed babies before they are born".
Due to my upbringing I was never able to grieve the loss of my babies - after all "others had it worse then I", however, I acutely felt their absence in my life.
When I'd see a child Id compare them to the ones I lost and would think...my baby would be about his/her age. Miscarriage dates and the babies due dates where particularly difficult for me.
I went into teaching in part to fill the void I felt in my arms and heart however by my fifth miscarriage. I no longer was able to embrace a child but resented children as they embodied what I'd lost and was unable to have. I began to hate the sight and sound of children and knew I had to leave teaching as it was unfair on the children.
I left my occupation as a teacher and pursued a new occupation in nursing....fate was cruel to me and despite my university knowing about my objections to abortions and my personal medical history two of my placements were in abortion and I covered both medically terminated pregnancies (aka early stage abortion) and surgically terminated pregnancies (later stage abortions).
I also had a placement in a center with pregnant mothers with addiction. Talk about kicking someone when their already down on the floor...here I was struggling with the loss of my 5 unborn children while being surrounded by women I perceived as selfish and flippant.
Women who were as I saw it killing healthy babies for selfish reasons (one had an abortion on the grounds of physiological damage should the pregnancy continue as she wouldn't be able to fit in her size 8 wedding dress, another had a abortion also on the grounds of potential physiological damage as a baby car seat wouldn't fit in her sports car and she'd be force to sell her beloved car) as for the addicted pregnant mothers...they were equally as bad and potentially worse as they refused to give up their addiction knowing full well the irreversible damage they were inflicting on their helpless, unborn children.
Thankfully I had the opportunity to have in-depth conversations with a doctor and nurse from the addiction centre who although they were unable to take away the hurt I felt in my arms and the injustice I saw did try to help me see things from another perspective.
It was a rude awakening to realize that despite my hurt others perhaps did have it harder then I did. The doctor and nurses where not naive or lackadaisacal but were genuinely striving to lesson the damaging blow of addiction to the innocent helpless unborn babies of the mothers in their care.
I eventually got together with a man who desperately wanted children of his own, however was aware of my past medical background.
Four years after getting together with my partner I became pregnant again despite my partner being elated at the news I was filled with tripadation and anxiety and told him if I were to miscarry I would never try for another baby as it was to emotionally and physiologically difficult to go through a miscarriage again.
Due to it being my sixth pregnancy I was acutely aware of my babys development and felt its movement very early in my pregnancy.
When I was nearly 20 weeks pregnant I hadn't felt my baby move for a couple hours and so went to a&e were I waited for a number of hours to be seen.
By the time I was seen the two triage nurses told me that as I wasn't 26 weeks pregnant the obstetric doctor didn't want to see me as apparently my babys life didnt count until it reached the 26th week mark they also proceeded to inform me that mothers didn't feel fetal movement till 20 weeks or more so I could possibly have felt my baby move.
I explained once again my past medical history and corrected the triage nurses and informed them that many mothers felt their babys movement from as early on as the 13th week but to no avail.
I submitted a letter of complaint to the head of a&e and forwarded a copy of "every kick counts" only to be sent a reply by the sister of A&E saying I was being grammatical, negative and aggressive towards the triage nurses despite the "care" I received????
I felt like screaming what "care"??? I wasnt being listened to and had been told that the life of my 19+ week old baby's life didn't mater!!
Being in the healthcare profession myself I managed to get myself an ultrasound scan which revealed my baby was small but ALIVE however there were complications and I didn't have enough amniotic fluid.
I continued to lose amniotic fluid through out the duration of my pregnancy. I changed my midwife and surgery and insisted on being closely monitored for the remainder of my pregnancy.
Despite being admitted to a high risk maternity ward hospital due to a number of complications nearly a week before baby was delivered I still had to fight to ensure my baby was delivered healthy and alive and nearly lost her due to the incompetency of certain doctors and sever under staffing of midwives in the hospital.
Due to the in competencies of certain doctors and the physical trauma of the delivery, I now suffer from 3x prolapse and incontinence which has an impact on my daily life and have been told that I most probably will not be able to become pregnant again and even if I were to conceive it is highly unlikely my body would be able to support a fetus.
Fetal mortality rates in the UK are among the highest in Europe.
Women in the UK are often left two weeks past their expected delivery date before any action is taken. Each day past your delivery date increases the risk of delivering a still born child.
Women should not have fight to receive acceptable pre and post natal care.
If I didn't have my background medical knowledge and the ability to speak up and question those in the medical profession, I doubt I would have delivered an alive baby and would probably be suffering the heart break of yet another miscarriage or still birth.
Speak up mothers!!!! If you feel something is wrong speak up, seek a second or third opinion and question things - complain if necessary.
Yes there are normal perimeters of when a mother feels a baby move, or the rate in which a fetus develops however if you "feel" something isn't right speak up!
Nobody knows your body better then you do.
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