by Carla Pilsworth
My journey with Tommy's started almost five years ago in 2011. On Sunday 13 February 2011, I was at the end of my third trimester. Ashley and I were very excited about meeting our daughter. My pregnancy had been great, no real problems, I'd felt relatively well and thought I looked pretty good too!
That morning, however, something didn't feel right. The baby hadn't moved as much during the night, and after a call to the maternity unit, we went to get checked out. We were met by a midwife who hooked me up to a monitor. We were very relieved to hear our baby girls' heartbeat.
I stayed on the monitor for about 40 minutes, waiting for a consultant and we chatted about where we would go for lunch. Then the consultant arrived. He had concerns that the baby's heart rate was quite slow, and was worried that she might be in distress.
After a few minutes of debate, he decided it would be best to get the baby out. What happened next was a bit of a blur as the baby's heartbeat slowed even more, and I was taken straight to theatre for an emergency C-section.
It turned out I had suffered an acute placental abruption, which had starved the baby of oxygen and despite the doctors' best efforts our daughter was stillborn.
Daisy was perfect in every way, thick dark hair just like mine when I was born, and she weighed a healthy 5lb 14oz
Tommy's offered me great support over the weeks that followed; the website, leaflets and phoneline were all so useful in my hours of need. I never knew before that there was a need for such a charity, I never dreampt I would need to use it.
In August 2011 I found myself on the Tommy's website again; looking for advice on pregnancy following stillbirth. Again, I found useful leaflets and publications. It was a great source of support.
Later that month, the leaflets I was reading changed from pregnancy to miscarriage, after an early scan told us the pregnancy wasn't developing.
Over the next four years I used various support charities, to help us through our fertility and pregnancy journey. Following a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis and sub-fertility we found ourselves going through IVF. I was hoping that this would mean I could use some of Tommy's leaflets that help support through the next pregnancy. In November 2014 that's exactly what happened, but again an early scan told us about another early miscarriage.
2015 wasn't any easier and again, I turned to Tommy's for support
In September last year we were thrilled to find out that round 4 of IVF had worked. We wondered and hoped for twins as we had had two embryos transferred. Unfortunately our dreams were shattered very early on, and we had to deal with another miscarriage. On top of that, I underwent surgery to remove a twin ectopic tubal pregnancy.
Giving up is not in my make-up, and if I want something I will do all I can to get it. I don't intend on giving up on our dream of having a family, but I do want to do something positive following the heartbreak we've endured.
That’s why I’ve signed up to run the London Marathon for Tommy’s this year. For the last five years I have either been pregnant, been trying to get pregnant, or been getting over being pregnant.
I want to raise as much money and awareness as possible about pregnancy and the complications, and the heartache and emotion that comes with that
1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 1 in 200 babies each day are stillborn. These numbers and statistics are way too high, but they will never change unless we all start talking about them, be open and raise as much awareness as we possibly can.
In February, my first daughter Daisy would have celebrated her fifth birthday. I cannot think of a better way for me to mark this anniversary and do something in her memory.
For you, your challenge is to support me, share my story and if you can sponsor me so Tommy's can put more research into stillbirth, miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
My world had crashed. My baby could not have died. I was still pregnant, they must be wrong. Nobody is available to help me. What will I tell my Mum? What have I done wrong?
To us, she was perfect and the love we felt for her stronger than I had ever understood possible. In spite of our grief, we would never change our experience of knowing and loving Aisling.
What kept me going was the thought that I was doing this for my daughter Sophie, that I was doing this in her memory.
Losing your baby is one of the worst things you can experience in your life and the pain is unimaginable.
Tommy’s researchers are finding out if total plasma exchange (TPE) is beneficial for women with severe liver disease.
We want to identify which women and babies are at risk of complications associated with hypertension. To do this, we are using MRI scans to detect abnormalities.
Tommy’s researchers have developed a way to deliver drugs directly to inflammation in the placenta.
Our researchers are looking at better ways to manage pregnancies affected by eFGR.