#misCOURAGE story, 21/04/2017, by Kate
Monday 2nd April 2017, the day Austin our one year old son mastered the high five. That's how I want to remember that day, not as the day we had it confirmed we had lost our second baby.
Our journey to conceive Austin was a long and at times heartbreaking one. Seven failed cycles of treatment but a successful first round of IVF gave us our beautiful little boy.
There were many tears of frustration along the process so you can imagine mine and my husbands complete surprise and joy to find out we were pregnant again, naturally when our son was 11 months old.
Amazingly one of my best mates was also pregnant with her first and we laughed when we both shared the news with each other.
Although 4 weeks ahead of me and approaching her 12 week scan it was brilliant we could share this time together. I was so thrilled for her as always believed she was meant to be a mum and so pleased they decided to start a family.
Sadly when my friend went for her 12 week scan she was told the devastating news that although two pregnancy sacs were visible, one was empty and the other one measuring 6 weeks gestation and with no heartbeat.
An agonising week would await them both to see if maybe her dates were wrong. Within that same week I went for my 7 week scan at a private clinic.
Maybe knowing what my friend had just experienced or maybe just intuition I felt nervous for this scan and unlike with my son Austin something just didn't feel right.
As soon as we looked at the big monitor at the end of the bed my heart sank. There in front of us was also an empty pregnancy sac. We had a scan at 6 weeks with Austin and I saw his little heart beating so clear.
The sonographer asked me to get dressed so we could discuss my dates. We worked out due to the fact that I had only one cycle in nearly 2 years due to pregnancy and breastfeeding it was more than feasible that my dates were wrong and I had ovulated later than I thought.
I was measuring 5 weeks gestation and although very normal to see an empty sac before 6 weeks I still felt anxious and worried and agonisingly we were told to come back in two weeks.
My first mothers day was fast approaching so we enjoyed some time away in the New Forest with our gorgeous little boy. It was a great few days and I even took another digital pregnancy test away with us and was thrilled to see it had moved on to 3+ weeks which convinced me that my hcg levels were rising.
Maybe I had just got my dates wrong, maybe it was all ok, maybe this was our fairytale?
Nope, there it is again, that horrible sinking feeling, why?
Sadly a week later my friend received the devastating news that her pregnancy had not progressed. She doesn't know this but I cried so much for her. I felt so sad for them both.
I know what it is like to dream about your baby. I know what is like to imagine them in the world. I had many conversations with my mum during the agonising wait for us both and we often discussed the hope that it would be ok for us both.
My hubby being the positive soul that he is, was not worried and he repeatably reassured me that our dates were wrong and our next scan would show a beating heart. Very sadly a few days later I starting spotting, a phone call to our local Early Pregnancy Unit gave me some reassurance that this could be completely normal as I had no major pain.
Again I couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was the start of the end. I was told to wait 48 hours unless the bleeding became heavy or the pain increased but otherwise we would come in for a scan on the Monday morning.
As the weekend progressed so did the pain/bleeding and the dream of another baby.
By Sunday I was doubled over and although probably should have gone to A&E I just wanted to wait. I wanted one more night to hold on to the belief that I was still pregnant.
Being told I was no longer pregnant is without doubt one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to me. Tears flowed down my face as the scan confirmed an empty uterus.
Trying not to look at my husband knowing the tears would come faster and harder, I concentrated on what the nurse was explaining to me.
Walking back into the waiting room there was a lady facing in front of us leaning on her husbands shoulder sobbing and I wondered what her story was. I felt so sad for her.
Did this lady have other babies to go home to; was she going to be ok? Total strangers sitting in a room together but at that moment in time both feeling exactly the same devastation.
Sadly I know quite a few friends that have suffered a miscarriage but its still not spoken about as openly which I fear will only isolate women with feelings of guilt and despair.
1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth but that's also a hard statistic that could make you feel like you should just carry on and cope?
Whether it was your first or you already have children, the devastation of miscarriage is real and the acknowledgement of your pain should be recognised and supported.
Submitting my #misCOURAGE story to Tommy’s and reading through all the heartbreaking and brave stories makes me passionate about helping to end the silence.
It has also inspired me to set up a blog, to talk about the heartbreak, the sadness but also the future.
It takes great bravery to embark on another journey to motherhood when you have experienced such sadness. I hope to focus my energy in a positive way and along with the #misCOURAGE campaign which inspires me and I hope others to keep going and believe one day we will have our beautiful rainbow babies.
I hope my best mate knows she inspires me everyday.
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