People often ask if I’m going to have another child. I can only say ‘I hope so’

Heather has a four-year-old son Sam. She has suffered a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy.

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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Heather Foo

January 2016

by Heather Foo

Sam arrived in March 2011 after a textbook pregnancy.

We got married in June 2013 and by August I was pregnant again. After that positive test in the morning, I spent the afternoon buying an entire wardrobe of maternity clothes. Everything seemed so perfect.

By the end of September I miscarried. I started spotting and knew straight away what was happening. The midwife tried to reassure me but I’d felt a drop in my pregnancy symptoms and on Monday, five days after the bleeding began, a scan showed my pregnancy had died around five weeks.

I was sent home where I lay in bed, then everything came away when I went to the toilet in two massive clots as my womb emptied. My legs turned to jelly and when we arrived back at the hospital my husband had to carry me in.

My biggest feeling was absolute disbelief. I just couldn’t believe it had happened to us.

I felt I wanted to start trying again very quickly and by March 2014 I was pregnant again, but a couple of days after that positive test I started to bleed. A scan discovered an ectopic pregnancy. They discovered the foetus had died early and, although sitting in my tube, it wasn’t growing and was no danger to my life. They decided not to remove the tube but tests since have shown it’s non-functioning.

Eventually after two weeks of being checked every couple of days my pregnancy hormone level hit zero. Again there was that disbelief. I understood, from a medical perspective, that this tiny egg had stopped moving and I think that helped me understand my loss.

I was very lucky as my GP put me forward for a range of tests at a fertility centre. They looked at my hormones, thyroid, egg count and did an x-ray of my womb and tubes, everything was absolutely fine. They said my fertility was high and though one tube meant it might take longer to get pregnant, there was no reason I shouldn’t conceive and carry another child.

We felt ready to try again in July 2014 and by April the following year I was pregnant, but I felt distant from it.

I didn’t want to do a test because if it was positive, then I bled, it would be a miscarriage. Without it, it would just be a late period.

Eventually I was seven weeks pregnant and in complete fear. My doctor encouraged me to take a test and, when it was positive, sent me for an early scan and there was our baby with its heart beating.

Still, I was cautious, unable to hope.

A few weeks later I noticed an obvious drop in pregnancy symptoms and alarm bells started ringing. Blood tests showed a high level of pregnancy hormones but I was refused another early scan.

At my nine week midwife appointment I crumbled. ‘I can’t believe they’re making me come here when it’s not going to result in a baby.’ Later that evening there was blood.

At the EPU a few days later a scan showed the pregnancy had died at around seven weeks, in line with my symptom change.

I was devastated and all of the optimism I’d taken from our test results just died. I’d seen a heartbeat and couldn’t believe it had gone.

I needed a lot more medical intervention this time and was admitted to hospital. While there I said to my husband that we couldn’t go on allowing these losses to overtake our lives. Now, our expectations are low, but we’re seeing what happens.

‘Trying’ means a whole different thing after pregnancy loss. It means feeling terrified, the unknown and bad news, not the joy you normally associate with a baby.

‘Trying’ is a pressure, it suggests potential failure. It’s too scary, too much.

People need to understand that, ‘Are you going to have another?’ can be a very difficult question. Tommy’s is raising that issue, highlighting miscarriage and encouraging discussion.

You can end up feeling like you should be quiet, that you shouldn’t talk about your loss, but miscarriage happens and women who suffer should be embraced, not ignored.

Go to the full list of stories.

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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