Nobody knew what to say, I didn't know what I wanted them to say.

I was in shock, curled up with a blanket, trying to escape the horrific contractions my body was inflicting on me.

Heartbreaking stories. Devastating stories. The miscarriage story needs to change. That's why we've created Tommy's book of #misCOURAGE. Read this story now and help spread the word that miscarriage can no longer be ignored. Help us change the story to save babies' lives.

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September 2016

Laura Bratley

When I first found out I was pregnant it wasn't planned.. it was 6 months before my fiancée and I were due to get married, and we'd just bought our first home. Timing wise it was far from ideal but we were both delighted and began planning for our new family, and discussing our hopes and dreams for the new life forming inside of me.

My sister in law and her partner had visited for the weekend, they were excited at the prospect of being Aunt and Uncle and we happily discussed trips we could have together when the baby arrived.

After they'd left for their journey home and we'd settled down for the evening, I began to feel cramping. Assuming I was over-tired from a busy weekend I took myself to bed...

When I woke the next morning my fiancée was already at work and I began my normal morning routine. It was only when I went to the bathroom that I realised something was seriously wrong, I was bleeding heavily although not in any pain. Panicked I phoned my brother's wife who has had 4 children of her own, and even though she was completely calm, insisted that she and my brother took me to my GP.

There I was examined and referred to the Early Pregnancy Clinic in Taunton where it was confirmed I had lost my baby at 7 weeks.

Completely in shock and clutching leaflets about miscarriages and what to expect I returned home.

I don't remember much about the next few days, I was in shock, curled up with a blanket, trying to escape the horrific contractions my body was inflicting on me - nobody tells you that during a miscarriage your body contracts as you lose the baby, it added to the trauma massively. Friends and family came and went, leaving flowers and offering cuddles.

Nobody knew what to say, I didn't know what I wanted them to say.

In the weeks that followed we consoled ourselves that miscarriages occur 1/4 pregnancies, and although the odds weren't exactly stacked in our favour, we had survived our miscarriage and would keep our next baby.

After a beautiful wedding and honeymoon, we agreed to begin trying for a family. Although slightly apprehensive we were optimistic that our family would soon be starting. Not long after agreeing to try again, we fell pregnant. Not only were we pregnant but I was pregnant at the same time as Kate and William, and seeing the excitement of a royal baby only added to our own excitement.

We went to our appointment and all was confirmed as being well. We could finally relax. At almost 9 weeks pregnant I began experiencing horrific pain - terrified we made a late night trip to Musgrove where bloods were taken, sadly they were showing a HCG too low to be a viable 9 week pregnancy, and a scan confirmed that we had sadly lost baby number 2.

After being given medication to alleviate the pain I was given details on what to do if bleeding didn't begin imminently, we went home and I waited for the inevitable. 48 hours later and I was still experiencing symptoms and I wasn't bleeding, I even allowed myself to hope that perhaps they'd got it wrong, and baby was fine.

We returned to hospital and after more tests I was offered the choice of medical management, a pill which would help my body to release baby, or a D&C. Terrified of any kind of surgical intervention, I took a tablet, with a second to be taken at home. I was told to come back if baby was still holding on and the D&C would need to be done to prevent infection. By the time we had got home and settled in for the night the bleeding had begun. 

We fell pregnant several times in quick succession after miscarriage number 2 - each lasting only a few short weeks before the inevitable bleeding began.

By now we had lost any sense of excitement at seeing a positive test, it was now just a reminder of the pain that was sure to follow. 

However baby number 6 finally seemed to break that spell, once again I experienced some bleeding, but this time when I visited the GP I was told my HCG was doubling nicely, and that I shouldn't be alarmed, I was pregnant again and referred to a specialist midwife.

At each visit I was reassured my body was doing everything right, my HGC was increasing and everything was looking positive. I continued bleeding lightly for several weeks, however as my levels continued to rise I was told this might be perfectly normal for this pregnancy and not to worry.

I finally began to relax and enjoy being pregnant, to hope and dream once again.

Even when the cramping began at almost 9 weeks I was dismissive convinced this time that everything was okay. In fact, I only agreed to my husband taking me to the hospital because it was his birthday, and I was convinced that an early scan would show our healthy babies heartbeat and would make his birthday even more magical.

Bloods were taken, and an IV drip fitted and we were asked to wait in a room adjoining the children's play area. Feeling completely relaxed we were happily discussing potential baby names, when a Dr came silently into the room, barely able to make eye contact with us.

As he told us we were in the early stages of a miscarriage I remember the sheer disbelief, and making a completely unnatural half scream, desperately trying to remove the drip from my arm, wanting to be anywhere but in that room being told my baby had once again passed away.

A lovely nurse led me upstairs into a private room and the Dr sat and cuddled me for ages, allowing me to cry and to question him, although there wasn't a lot he could say.

He simply didn't have any answers.

Upon release our Dr finally referred us to have the recurrent miscarriages investigated, bottles of blood were taken from both of us, and I had invasive scans to look for any abnormalities. After a torturous wait we had our results, there was nothing medically abnormal in either of our tests. There was no medical reason why we were losing our babies, and so, in turn there was nothing medically which could be done to stop them occurring again. All we could do was continue trying, as long as we felt able, and to return to EPAC for an early scan, and to be seen by an 'At Risk' team for the duration of any future pregnancies. 

At the time of writing this we have experienced another 2 miscarriages, bringing our total losses to 8. We still remain hopeful that our rainbow baby is out there, and although we discussed how painful this journey is, we agreed that for us, at the moment it was more painful to stop trying. So we continue on, praying that our baby is waiting for us to bring them home, tactfully diverting conversations centred around our plans to start a family, smiling as friends and family conceive and give birth to beautiful babies, hoping and praying that one day we will be able to keep ours.

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Disclaimer

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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