Mother's Day 2011 was one of the worst days of my life

Claire had her daughter, Edie, in November 2009. She then went on to have two miscarriages, one on Mothers’ Day, before delivering her rainbow baby, Louis, in January 2013.

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by Claire Youhill

March 2016

Edie arrived in November 2009 after a dream pregnancy and a relatively easy labour, and I completely fell in love.

We started trying again a year later and by February I was pregnant but my symptoms suddenly disappeared at six weeks. A week later I woke up, on Mother's Day, (of all days!), and started bleeding. I just knew the pregnancy was over, and it was all the more painful as I should have been celebrating motherhood. It was one of the worst days of my life.

The hospital doesn’t warn you how much it will hurt, the horrendous pain along with so much emotional grief

The following morning I had a scan at the EPU and, sure enough, they told me that my pregnancy had stopped. The sonographer could see that it was making its way out of me as she scanned me.

I was devastated. Even though I knew in my heart that it had gone wrong, I hadn’t imagined how I would feel. It’s not just a pregnancy you lose, it’s the idea of a baby. It would have been due around November, the perfect two year gap between Edie and a little brother or sister. It would have been so wonderful.

I tried to tell myself the chances of two miscarriages was a lot less than one; I just couldn’t afford to be too positive

We started trying again pretty quickly and I had another positive test at the beginning of September 2011. I was absolutely thrilled, but tried not to hope too much. I wanted to protect myself.

The pregnancy symptoms were very strong - I felt constantly sick and started to get a bump. I got a date for my scan and the hope started creeping in, so waking up one morning at 10 weeks to find I was bleeding really knocked me for six.

I was bleeding and crying because I knew I was losing a baby

I couldn’t get a scan until the following day and, when I did, the sonographer told us there was no heartbeat. I’d only just lost the baby which is probably why I still felt pregnant. I was completely devastated. I had to beg for a D&C because I knew how painful it had been before and, this time, I was four weeks further along. Physically and mentally I wasn’t capable of doing it again.

The hospital weren’t particularly sympathetic, “it happens” they said. When I woke up from the procedure I burst into tears and was actually asked, “Why are you crying?” I’d just lost a child!

People ‘unfriended’ me on Facebook when I posted about my miscarriages

Mentally I was a mess and went through a myriad of emotions. I’d been the first one to get pregnant out of the group of friends I’d made when I’d had my first child. Now, every single one of them had become pregnant while I was either trying or recovering from a loss. I had to watch their growing bumps and, while I was happy for them, I became jealous. I was thrilled for them but I’d go home and cry because I desperately wanted it to be me.

After my loss on Mother's Day, I found a baby and bump website which has been a source of overwhelming support. I met an amazing group of women in their forums who helped me through my loss; I’m still in touch with them now.

It’s only when you’ve been through it you can understand and it’s so important to talk. I’ve had people ‘unfriend’ me on Facebook when I’ve posted something about my miscarriages. Why should we be ashamed to talk about our loss? Our pain should be acknowledged.

In the New Year I started running with a friend which gave me something else to focus on


It was such a difficult time but, at Christmas that year, Mark proposed, and the following January, I started running. I’d become obsessed with getting pregnant and there was no headspace for anything else.

I was thinking about taking a month off trying to train for a 10k when I found out I was pregnant again.

I’d had tests which suggested I had low progesterone, but when I asked the doctor for supplements I was refused.

Having talked about this in the forum, I had progesterone sent to me from mums as far away as Greece and California who no longer needed it. I took it, even though it wasn’t prescribed, because I knew it was helping women all over the world.

I also couldn’t get a reassurance scan even though people who lived a few miles away were getting them. At seven weeks I visited the doctor in floods of tears after my symptoms dipped and he did book me in for a scan which showed everything was fine.

I carried on with my contraband progesterone along with high dose folic acid and aspirin which doctors had prescribed and our 12-week-scan showed everything was fine so we relaxed a little.

Just after midnight on January 3 2013 Louis arrived and I couldn’t believe he was here, our family was finally complete.

Mother's Day is bittersweet now

I’m so grateful to have my children, but I always think about that year, when I knew I was losing a baby.

As the years go on, it becomes less painful as so many happy memories start to outweigh the sad. I did get that happy ending, and I celebrate it. In fact, I probably appreciate it more than if I hadn’t had those miscarriages, but I always light a candle and spare a thought for the two that didn’t make it.

You get through it, not over it, and you never forget.

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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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