Looking back, it’s embarrassing how easy we thought it would be. We’d bought our first house, got married, both had good jobs, so a baby felt like the next part of the plan. I just never assumed there’d be problems.
I found out I was pregnant on Valentine’s Day 2011.
I felt very happy and serene. We’d booked our 12 week scan, but at 8 weeks I was coming home from a night shift when I felt different. When the spotting started, I sat on the sofa trying to be sensible but the bleeding increased. I saw my GP the next day who booked me in for a scan, but that night, I miscarried.
Later that week at the EPU I sat in a waiting room surrounded by bumpy ladies waiting for 20 week scans and it was horrible. I knew I’d miscarried and was just waiting for confirmation. The sonographer’s words were “nice, normal, non-pregnant uterus”.
I knew she was trying to tell me they didn’t need to do a procedure, but I didn’t want a ‘non-pregnant uterus’. We were shocked and upset, asking ‘why us?’, but we looked at the statistics and put it down to bad luck.
By July I was pregnant again and guardedly optimistic.
We heard a heartbeat at our 8 week reassurance scan and felt massive relief. On the day of our 12-week scan I’d had a tiny spot of blood and sitting in the waiting room, I suddenly got that feeling. Watching all these women leave with their happy scan pictures, I suddenly thought ‘oh my God, it’s going to be me again’.
There was a horrible silence as they tried to find a heartbeat, and I just knew. I opted for medical management but, we couldn’t get the tablets for five days and it was the longest five days of my life. By that point we were worried it wasn’t just bad luck but, as doctors, we also knew the guidelines and that we’d have to have a third miscarriage before the NHS would investigate.
I remember thinking that if we had another miscarriage we could find out there was something wrong and stop trying so I’d never have to go through this again. I went into practical mode as if my brain was trying to protect me. I questioned whether my stressful job as an A&E doctor was the problem and actually took exams to get a different job as if that would fix everything.
By the end of November I was pregnant again but very cautious.
I had spotting at work when I was 9 weeks and they sent me for a scan where I saw my baby was fine. On my way out a counsellor asked if I wanted to talk, I explained my baby was fine, but she said, “We can still talk”.
It was a light bulb moment. I told her how anxious I was, that I didn’t know how to feel about this pregnancy. It was the first time I’d been completely honest, admitting things I hadn’t even told my husband, like my fears that I kept miscarrying because I wouldn’t be a good mother.
Our first boy arrived in August 2012 at 38 weeks and we were in heaven. By October 2013 I was pregnant again and it was tough. At 9 weeks I was having lunch with my son when I felt wet, stood up and saw the chair was covered in blood.
I tried to dial 999 before I passed out. When I came to, I dialled again and the ambulance took me to A&E. There was no doubt in my mind what was happening. I had no shred of hope.
I remember asking the registrar if she’d ever seen a woman bleed so much and still have a baby. She asked how I felt and, despite the amount of bleeding, I realised I still felt pregnant. The next morning I was scanned and, within seconds, there was a heartbeat and the hope started to creep in again. We had more heavy bleeds and my second baby’s arrival was stressful. After going into labour very quickly my husband had to deliver him at home.
He was healthy and our family was complete.
I’d always imagined having four children, but we feel incredibly grateful for what we’ve got and I can’t imagine wanting to rock that boat. I love being a mother but I sometimes wish I wasn’t such an anxious parent. My miscarriages have left me feeling unsafe, and the panic has stayed with me. My eldest boy got a rash before Christmas and as the GP called an ambulance I thought ‘that’s it, I’m losing another baby’. It was a strong but familiar fear.
April and October 2011 were the hardest, loneliest months of my life. I felt embarrassed by what was happening to me and I didn’t understand it. I’d never been in a position where I couldn’t fix something by working harder, trying harder. I felt that I embarrassed people by being upset, that I should bottle it up to spare their feelings.
I don’t know why it’s so hidden and why it’s so difficult to talk about. I think it’s easy to be dismissive of miscarriage unless you’ve been in that situation. No matter how early it occurs, you’ve started planning, you’re emotionally invested and you’re ready to be a mum. Suddenly it’s gone and you feel so lonely.
Tommy’s work in promoting a better understanding and openness about miscarriage is so vital. I got a happy ending but I’m very aware that some women won’t or are going through what I did at this very moment. To think they can’t talk about that properly or have it acknowledged is not just sad, it’s hugely unfair.
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