After three months of trying to get pregnant for a second child we were away with family for the weekend and I had sudden strong cramping and heavy bleeding. I had to put my toddler's nappy into my underwear, I took paracetamol but could not sleep through the pain.
My period was not due yet, I asked a midwife who said it may have been an early period or a chemical pregnancy and I'll never know which so to think of it as an early period and keep positive to move forward; and that's exactly what I did, this did not affect me at all emotionally.
The next month I had a negative pregnancy test followed by what I thought was my period right on time but continued light bleeding and spotting for a further 5 days.
I booked a GP appointment and googled lots. I was actually worried I had a cyst or even worse cervical cancer (which sadly my mum died of when she was 50.)
The day before my appointment something struck me and I did another pregnancy test, just incase, and I was shocked but so happy to get a positive. I did two more - both positive.
Two internal examinations and 3 blood tests later, over 10 days, and my pregnancy was confirmed as developing as it should be. I then had 11 days of no bleeding at all, things were looking good, I felt a bit dizzy and hungry a lot!
But then the spotting started again one morning. By the evening it was uncomfortable to sit down and there was some red fresh blood.
I called my midwife but she was on leave, I felt worried I would be over-reacting if I went to hospital on a Saturday night when I had already had bleeding and tests and everything had come back okay.
It got worse. I started to panic.
The next morning I went to GEU and had a blood test and examination. I came home and had a 6 hour wait to see was happening, I knew there might be a chance something was going wrong but as I'd had all the bleeding before I was staying positive.
My husband decided to go out and leave me with my toddler which I did say wasn't the best idea, just in case.
The bleeding got heavier, I started to worry and then I got the phone call - and my HCG levels had dropped; it was confirmed I was miscarrying my baby.
I broke down, I called my husband who told me he couldn't come home as he was fixing his friend's door.
I felt so alone and sad and shocked but carried on with a fake brave smile for the sake of my little boy. That night and for many nights after I cried.
A scan a week later confirmed everything had gone and I was told my ovaries were fine and if I felt ready I could try again after a period. The staff at the hospital were very kind.
The best way for me to get through this was to fall pregnant again, I wanted so much for my son to have a sibling close in age in the hope they would be friends for life, just like me and my sister are.
I became obsessed with getting pregnant. Several years ago a scan had showed symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome so I asked my GP if there was any chance I has PCOS and she said no I couldn't have it as I had had a baby. I asked for my hormone levels to checked but was told I couldn't have this unless I hadn't fallen pregnant for a whole year of trying from when I had my miscarriage.
It felt like all anyone asked me was when I was going to have a baby or if I was trying again? It hurt.
My husband and a friend said maybe I needed to see someone as I still felt upset and thought of my baby 3 months later. I didn't agree and told them I thought I was reacting as expected.
The unhelpful comments from some people I confided in made it worse, "everything happens for a reason" (well I'd like to know what you think that 'reason' is) or "enjoy your son" (as if i don't enjoy him) or "at least you know you can get pregnant" (as if that makes it okay that my baby didn't survive.)
GPs and friends too said it happens to 1 in 4 people - but that didn't make me feel any less sad that it had happened to me!
Six months later I became so upset after my 6th negative pregnancy test, I just knew something was wrong but my GP wouldn't refer me.
Two and a half weeks later I noticed some tiny bits of brown tissue when I passed urine, my stomach dropped, I couldn't be pregnant could I? I had had a negative pregnancy test!
Three positive tests later and I was in shock again, I felt different this time though, scared to let myself be too happy or excited just in case!
I made my booking appointment, I contacted midwives a number of times when I had spotting and no pain, I asked my GP if resting would make any difference whatsoever and whether I should work or not.
He confirmed it would make no difference to what the outcome would be and he would refer me for a scan at 8 weeks as anything earlier cannot guarantee finding anything. I agreed with this.
On my son's 2nd birthday I passed a small amount of red fresh blood, my heart sunk but I carried on for the sake of my son. The next day the same happened. The next day on my nan's 90th birthday there was more larger amounts of blood but still no pain, this was the day before my 8 week scan, I remember thinking this just can't be happening now!
My midwife sent me for a blood test and the form read that I was at risk of miscarriage. The nurse asked me, "so are you still pregnant or not?" I was taken aback at her insensitivity and assertively informed her that was what I had come to find out and that I really hoped I was.
The next day was our scan, we still had some hope, how could we not? But after a tummy and transvaginal scan the sonographer sensitively told me she could find no sac and explained that my womb lining was also thinner than would be expected at 8 weeks.
I was devastated, I spent an hour crying but accepting what had happened and more bleeding started whilst waiting to see the Dr. in GEU. The GP then told me I had come here too early for a scan, I wasn't actually 8 weeks as it was only 8 weeks from my last period, it was likely I was still pregnant and that I was worrying far too much about my pregnancy.
We were gobsmacked! We felt like I was being told off and we just couldn't believe she thought I was still okay!
She booked me in for a scan a fortnight later, but I knew I was miscarrying in my heart and just agreed to her appointment. The next day my HCG level had slightly dropped so my miscarriage was confirmed.
I broke down that night. Why was this happening to me? what had I down to deserve this? I even knew the date my baby would have been born. I made a heart shape with my hands on my tummy (like you see in them pregnancy photoshoots) and said out loud "good bye my baby."
The next day GEU phoned me to tell me I had miscarried, I told them I already knew as had received a phone call the night before. I was told it all again anyway and told I could try again as soon as I got a negative pregnancy test. I explained I had had 3 so didn't feel I should try again and wanted to see someone. I was bluntly told, "there is no evidence you have had 3 and you need to wait until you have had 3 to be referred."
As friends become pregnant with their second child it just hurts more and more, of course I am happy for them, but why can't that have happened to me?
One friend even wore my maternity clothes I had lent to her with her first pregnancy with her second one - this really hurt me so much, it was my turn to wear my clothes next.
I couldn't tell anyone how I felt about this and I felt so alone! Funnily enough no-one quoted to me that this happens to 1 in 100 women!!! (thankfully!)
Anyway, I have now seen a consultant for recurrent miscarriage, I have been diagnosed with mild-moderate PCOS and a thin womb lining. I am awaiting the result of one final test before I can start any treatment.
I hope so much the work of Tommy's leads to a wider range of professionals having more knowledge and sensitivity about miscarriage and quicker referrals for women who suffer 1 or 2 not having to "wait until they've had 3!"
But with every question asked of me about when I am going to have a baby my heart sinks just that little bit further. With every bit of uniformed advice "you'll need to rest next time " (are you saying it's my fault I didn't rest before) "at least you know you don't have anything wrong with you and you'll get pregnant" (but I've even told you what the consultant found) or "just enjoy your son" (like I don't enjoy everyday with him and feel grateful I have him - he is my life) i kind of die a little bit inside!
I hope this campaign helps to make anyone who suffers a miscarriage not feel like it has to be hidden an you can't talk about it or feel sad. I also very much hope more people learn about it and consider whether they should be giving advice on thing they know little about or asking questions about when a woman is going to have baby!
In my experience a comment that let's you know some has some empathy for you and acknowledges it must feel sad is much more helpful and supportive!
I will never give up hope that I will be holding another baby of my own in my arms, a sibling for my son! Shame I've had to go through this traumatic time!!!
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