It has been an emotional journey but if I can get through this I can get through anything.

Rochelle has suffered five miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. She is still hopeful about trying for a rainbow baby.

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by Rochelle Lonergan

April 2016

The first time I suffered a miscarriage I was 21. I remember showing my partner at the time the positive test but being confused as to why I was bleeding. It wasn’t until I spoke to my family that I realised I had lost the baby at 6 weeks. We hadn’t planned a pregnancy so even though I should have been upset, as there was no build up to what happened I just carried on.

In October 2009 I met a new partner and after a year I fell pregnant, it was very exciting and I instantly started imagining the tiny human growing inside me. The excitement was outlived as two weeks before my first scan I suffered severe cramps and bleeding. I went to hospital where I was monitored. After two days I was told my hormones had dropped and I had lost the baby.

I felt so alone, I was living with my partner away from family and friends and although he tried his best to support me all I could think was nothing would change what had happened.

The miscarriage put pressure on our relationship and I fell to pieces when a month later I discovered my partner with somebody else.  It was all too much and that day I tried to take my own life. I was signed off work for two months with depression but slowly we worked out our issues and decided to try again.

We managed to conceive by February and were delighted although at 7 weeks I was rushed into hospital with excruciating pains in my left side and shooting down my leg. I was sent for tests which showed my hormones were up but after a scan my womb was empty and the embryo was in my left fallopian tube; an ectopic pregnancy. Again after two days my hormones dropped and I was sent home. 

I was heartbroken and decided to consult a doctor for an explanation as to why my body was rejecting the pregnancies. I was referred to a Gynaecologist and only then did I start to feel positive. I’d been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome when I was 17 but it hadn’t been monitored. The gynaecologist arranged tests and scans to make sure everything was OK. This confirmed I had PCOS but it was under control and not causing the miscarriages. I learnt that PCOS could cause fertility problems so it was a positive that I had conceived naturally three times.  We continued trying and visit the hospital for regular checks.

I fell pregnant again and did nothing but worry that the past was going to repeat itself.  It wasn’t long before the pains and bleeding started but this time it was much worse. The day it happened I was babysitting my 3 year old nephew, I suddenly felt an agonising pain in my left side which caused me go so faint and fall. Luckily my nephew fetched my phone and my mum took me to hospital, I was only in for a couple of hours then rushed off to have emergency surgery to remove my left fallopian tube.

Everything was a blur, my partner, family and friends visited but I was in a lot of pain and tired. I briefly remember the surgeon coming to visit me afterwards to tell me my tube was in such a mess as there was tissue causing a blockage from my previous ectopic pregnancy. I felt so angry as I received no after care after any of my miscarriages, no support, no advice, no follow up or monitoring and if I had it might have prevented the emergency operation.

Following this I was sent for a laparoscopy operation to ensure my right tube was clear and functioning. Dye was injected through it and luckily everything was fine and both my left and right ovary would push eggs through this tube.

I split with my partner soon after; everything was too raw to think about trying for a family and it hurt to see my friends and family having children around me.  I needed time on my own to enjoy life. I didn’t want to concentrate on the negative impact it had so I chose not to share what had happened with many people.

I continued appointments and lost weight but I wanted to give myself a release so I socialised with friends and family and took holidays to ease the stress and anxiety I was suffering. I joined online forums and spoke to other people who had been through similar experiences.

It helped to know I wasn’t alone and made me see everything in a different light. It gave me the support I had needed for the past 6 years and gave me hope for the future.

I was 29 when I met my recent partner and although we had only been together 3 months I was surprised to discover I was pregnant in October 2015. I texted my partner and he responded saying he felt like he had won the lottery, it was a huge relief to know he supported me and wanted what I did. That was why I was distraught when we were at my cousin's wedding and the bleeding started, I knew exactly what was happening and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. After this fifth miscarriage we decided to try properly for a baby. I spoke with my gynaecologist who was brilliant, sympathetic and gave me all the information I needed.

I’m now taking Metformin medication and monitoring my menstrual cycle with ovulation tests so I am hoping it is only a matter of time before I conceive. I’ve been advised to call my gynaecologist as soon as I do and I’ll be given injections and support to hopefully prevent miscarrying.

It has been an emotional journey but I feel so much better for finally sharing my story, if I can get through this I can get through anything.

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Disclaimer

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

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