by Sarah Fox
It’s been a long and bumpy road to get to this point – the point at which I now feel strong enough to share my story. It starts almost 6 years ago when I was on top of the world – doing a job I loved, wonderful family and friends around me and, we moved in together and started trying for a baby. Just a few months later we got a positive result only to be totally stunned a week later by the onset of miscarriage. Honestly, although we were devastated we somehow managed to remain positive and hopeful. We accepted that miscarriage is so common and indeed I know many women who have miscarried and then had children, so we refused to let this tragic event stop us. Once all physical signs of miscarriage had gone, we dusted ourselves off and continued with determination, and amazingly we got lucky the very next month – and this time we were rewarded with a healthy and gorgeous baby girl. We felt so lucky and blessed with our gift of life – she is almost 5 now, and is just a wonderful light in our lives.
We were 39 years old when our daughter was born and, acutely aware of our age we waited only a year until we started trying for baby number 2. Again, only a few months went by until the positive result came. We were completely over the moon and I refused to give one thought to our previous tragedy. I was especially excited because I was about to take my daughter for a trip to the USA to visit my best friend, but first I had my appointment with the midwife, which let’s face it, makes it all seem official and like it is really happening.
Well, we managed a few wonderful days in the USA until I woke one morning bleeding heavily – my pregnancy was over and I was absolutely devastated. That evening my friend took me to the hospital to be checked over and then I spent the rest of our holiday putting one foot in front of the other by day and crying myself to sleep by night.
Two years later I got another positive test, but this time I cried. Don’t get me wrong I was pleased to be pregnant but I was terrified. This time I couldn’t push away the past as easily as before; I remembered very vividly the pain, the blood and the complete devastation. I did have something to occupy my mind for a little while though – we were planning our wedding (a very small affair which was taking place that weekend). I had been very excited about it so I made a conscious effort to put my positive result ‘on hold’ for just a few more days.
The week after our wedding, I had a scan that proved inconclusive – the pregnancy sac was there but they could not see a heartbeat
Another two long and painful weeks passed and then another scan – this one changed everything. After being told miscarriage was inevitable I had to choose my desired method of ending the pregnancy – I ‘chose’ surgery. Just a couple of days later I went into hospital to have our baby surgically removed from my body. We were devastated. This time was so different from before. I hated my body; it had let me down and I felt guilty and so, so dark. I had no desire to look after myself as normal; I was not womanly anymore and I took comfort in food so I put weight on.
These negative feelings intensified when I received an appointment for the Frequent Miscarriage Clinic. The very idea of being poked, prodded and questioned really did not appeal to me at this time, but nonetheless we went along, filled out the questionnaire, talked about our lifestyle choices and had blood taken. Then we left and I did not feel better or positive about the future.
Several weeks later I received a letter confirming that the results were normal, although there was one other blood test that I could have, but then at the end of letter, there it was, in black and white, the reason for all our problems, ‘THE MOST PROBABLE CAUSE IS MATERNAL AGE’. Oh when did I get so old? Where has the time gone – I’m ‘only’ 43 years old. I knew then that I needed to stop; I may have felt young at heart but there’s no getting away from biology. This was a turning point for me. With a lot of hard work on my part I scraped together some determination to accept it, to see what I have already and to look forward.
Now, call me a fool but some months later, we decided to try just one more time, and before I had time to think better of our decision, we got another positive result and I was elated and so positive. I was sure this time would be ok, I couldn’t possibly miscarry again, and secretly I even thought of my favorite name. However, our plans to celebrate my Mum’s special birthday were stopped in their tracks when I started bleeding at almost 8 weeks – this time, I was angry. Really, really angry.
Six months have now passed since my last miscarriage. My anger has gone and I’m starting to look after myself again. I am still sad, I’m sure I always will be. My guilt will remain for not having a bigger family and for not giving our daughter a sibling.
She said to me one day that she wanted to ‘feel the sky’ and I thought, what a wonderful mantra to live by - aim high, experience as much as possible and enjoy all that I have.
I’m going to feel the sky.
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