My partner and I hadn't been together that long when we found out I was pregnant. Although it was a shock, I personally was over the moon. I had always wanted children but I'd never been pregnant before and had recently turned 38 so was very aware that time wasn't on my side.
Still I wouldn't have had a baby with the wrong partner just to become a mum. I knew I wanted to keep it though regardless of what happened with us as a new couple, but fate intervened and I miscarried at about 6 or 7 weeks. It seems so long ago now, I Googled every aspect, why had it happened, what could be learned, how could I stop it again and like every woman suffering a recent miscarriage I expect, I visited all kinds of online forums to find some kind of logic and reason, and assurance that would reduce the risk of it happening again.
I'm rhesus negative blood group and wanted to make sure my body wouldn't make antibodies that may affect our chances of carrying a pregnancy to full-term in the future. We tried again, many times, in fact we have now been pregnant in total 10 times and miscarried on 8 occasions. I had a blighted ovum on 1 and after the first 5 I had a full term pregnancy that resulted in us having the most gorgeous and precious 3 year old son.
I can't begin to tell you how difficult each miscarriage has been. I would have paid for the support every time, had it been accessible. But there's a massive gap between full private profit making IVF clinics and the reactive experience of the over burdened NHS service. I'd read somewhere that they could test the foetus to learn why it may have miscarried but no-one was interested or knew that it may help my future success of full term pregnancy.
Becoming pregnant was a non-event for us after the first few, as they always resulted the same way and for me every day of pregnancy was the next nearest day to the next miscarriage.
I would have to endure and carry on from. Each twinge, feeling that wasn't quite right, any absence of any symptom was an emotional roller coaster.
Each miscarriage at work or at the weekend was just something I had to suffer, cope with and put aside telling myself the next time it would last.
After three investigations ensued but they take forever and I was getting pregnant throughout each test and part of the process of elimination, they never resulted in anything that said what was wrong or what we may have needed help with.
After we had my son, I naively thought that my body had worked it out and we couldn't be so unlucky with more miscarriages again. We've had 4 since then and had investigations with St Mary's too who were great, their recommendation was to take heparin but we lost that one too, even with the heparin, and even with a positive heartbeat at 6 weeks, but quite a few pregnancies have been at that point before we lost them.
I started having early scans to help with managing my expectations. The first five were really hard but not as hard as the ones after my son had been born. Not until you become a parent do you realise how really precious the gift of becoming a parent truly is and thereafter exactly what you really lose every time you miscarry your next potential child. It may seem greedy, having one already when so many have none despite heartache and years of trying. But we're older parents (than our parents were anyway) and I would so love my son to have a sibling so he is not alone when we are a bit too old to be of much use or worse even no longer here when he still needs us.
I've always been very open with friends and family about our experience
I want as many people to know, as possible as it may help them. It's helped me to deal with all the losses, in part anyway. One of the biggest difficulties I found though is that at work unlike men, you can't talk about wanting them, trying for them, or experiencing the miscarriages, be it at work or the fact that you're feeling pretty rubbish right now, yet you carry on like there's nothing wrong as you have to. That's my experience in the private sector anyway. I though twice about even contributing this article as I can't possibly allow my bosses and the company I work for that become aware that I may go on maternity leave at some point in the near future, if I am lucky that is.
I have sought answers relentlessly at each stage, working out the new stats and chances, given we had had a child successfully already, just to keep sane and to give me the strength to try again. All a waste of time really as each time there could be any number of reasons, not least ageing eggs now.
How much longer I will keep putting myself through it I don't know, I say it's the last time each time. I keep doing it though and hoping, this time, just maybe this time...as it's not just about me, it's about his dad and my son and how our family would become more complete.
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