So, as I sat fighting back tears watching my daughter doing her very first nativity, I thought maybe it was about time I wrote my own MisCOURAGE story, knowing I am one of the lucky ones who has come out the other end with the most precious daughter I never thought I would have.
And at that, I realise it’s about 10 years since it all started.
My husband always knew he wanted to have children, he was just waiting for me to say I was ready. It took me a while and I’m not sure there was a defining moment but eventually I thought the time was right.
We didn’t have too much trouble getting pregnant and I can so clearly remember the joy we felt and how excited our family were for us. And then our lives were turned upside down when I started bleeding at 11 weeks and ended up miscarrying our first baby.
Little did we know it would happen to us another three times before we would have the miracle that was our precious daughter.
The care we received was mixed, sometimes it was fantastic and at other times it was utterly shocking. Family and friends were awesome and we couldn’t have got through the hardest of times without them.
My experience was different every time and whilst the physical impact was traumatic and difficult to deal with, for me, the emotional side of things was harder to come to terms with.
I’ve always been open about what has happened to me and, in fact, my family and friends would probably say they get fed up hearing me go on about it!
But, unless you’ve been through it, you can’t begin to imagine the toll it takes on you.
Needless to say it’s had a lasting impact on my life and I think I’ll always be dealing with the emotions attached to it all.
Sitting in a waiting area outside a gynaecology ward bleeding heavily knowing I was miscarrying and watching someone leave the maternity ward with a baby in a car seat and a balloon attached was not one of the best experiences of my life.
Being told by a Consultant (no matter how nice he was) that he didn’t think research would ever discover the causes of early miscarriage wasn’t exactly brilliant either. And having an erpc 3 days before my 30th birthday party was pretty hard going too.
The list could go on and on and, sadly, I know I’m not alone in many of the experiences I’ve had.
As each miscarriage happened I didn't think I could face another pregnancy, but from somewhere we found the strength to keep going - even though we knew with every failed pregnancy the chances of a successful one were less and less.
The care and kindness of family, friends and some of the NHS staff I dealt with were the only things that got us through.
It’s crazy to say that the information from Tommy’s was probably the most useful I got - and why did I feel that they cared more than most about what had happened to us?
Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom. And when I had my daughter five years ago I realised that without losing all the other babies I wouldn’t have had her - so it was all worth it. And every day I look at her and remember how absolutely precious she is.
I genuinely hope the work that Tommy’s is doing to raise awareness of miscarriage will support and encourage women and men going through it.
And I especially hope that all the funding into research will prove that Consultant wrong and down the line people like me won’t need to go through so many losses to experience the joy of having a child.
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