We need to educate people about miscarriage

You would be surprised how many of the people around you have been touched by miscarriage.

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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April 2016

by Nancy Fellows

We hadn’t been ‘trying’ for very long but my husband and I knew we were ready to expand our family. We had been married a year, were in the process of buying our first house and we both had decent jobs; everything was perfect.

So we started trying, it didn’t need to happen quickly, we just wanted it to happen at some point. That was until we saw that plus on the pee stick. From that moment we had a child, and it was growing inside of me. The plus came around a week before a weekend away at a lovely hotel to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary.

We spent the whole weekend talking about it, would it be a boy/girl into football/ballet? How excited would our family be? How were we going to tell everyone? We rushed out and bought a pregnancy book to start logging our feelings and a baby names book.

I was 25 years old, my husband 28, I didn’t have any health issues, this was my first pregnancy, miscarriage did not even cross our minds.

We didn’t hold back with our excitement and started to enjoy the pregnancy. We went to the doctors and were congratulated and told to go on our way until the 8 week check with the midwife.

A few days later things went back to normal, back to work and so on. I started spotting but after a quick google everything seemed to suggest this was quite common in pregnancy although it could be a sign of early miscarriage, but I wasn’t concerned about this. Then the spotting got heavier and cramping started, at this point I knew something wasn’t right.

After speaking to the doctor on the phone (they didn’t even want me to come in to see them), he said it was most likely an early miscarriage and I should see how things go, I asked for a scan, he said that wasn’t needed.

It was so blasé, like the doctor knew this was going to happen. I know he will have dealt with it a lot before, but I hadn’t, we hadn’t and we were devastated.

I decided to go into work on Monday morning even though I was still bleeding heavily and cramping. I quickly broke down as I realised I wasn’t ready for everything to just be ‘normal’. As far as I was concerned my baby had died inside of me, it had to be my fault and every time I went to the toilet I was reminded of this.

I asked my boss for a quick chat, broke down and was sent home. I made my husband come home too, I knew he was devastated and we needed each other. We spent the best part of a week crying in bed. In between the crying I was Googling, I wanted to know what I had done wrong?

Why had this happened to us? As this was my first pregnancy, I was now convinced this was going to be our story… we were not going to be able to have kids of our own.

We think I was about 7 weeks pregnant…. I know; ‘Well at least it was early!’ , ‘Better it happened early on!’ , ‘You can try again’. Although I am sure this would have been much harder to manage if I was further along this was still one of the hardest things I had ever had to deal with.

To us this was our child, we had imagined how they would look and speak and now they were gone.

The months after this were very hard for me and my husband. I became obsessed with getting pregnant again… which of course made it much harder to get pregnant again.

We were both grieving, I was blaming myself. I ate and drank as if I was pregnant to give myself the best chances of getting pregnant again, depriving myself of a lot of the things I used to enjoy. I even avoided hot baths. I was being irrational, I know this now.

Around 6 months later I decided it would be best if we gave up for a bit, started enjoying life again. So I was drinking again, going out with friends, having fun. After months of seeing sticks with just one line I didn’t expect this one would be any different, but it was.

We were pregnant again. My initial thoughts were ‘shit’ 'I’ve been drinking, doing things I shouldn’t, I am going to loose this baby?' Although I spent most of this pregnancy in fear I also enjoyed every moment. Every milestone scan or heartbeat filled us with joy.

I was so grateful yet also constantly aware that it could be taken away at any moment.

We are the lucky ones and I gave birth to my little girl. We have also went on to have a Son. She is now 2 and he is 12 weeks and they are both healthy. I am beyond grateful for this.

I am sharing this story not for sympathy or concern, I am sharing because nobody does! I didn’t expect a miscarriage because I didn’t know how common they are.

I presumed my baby was safe because I didn’t know any different. I didn’t know 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I didn’t understand that early miscarriage is common and usually the way our bodies get rid of what sadly would likely be a very sick baby if it was to survive.

Maybe if we had been educated, although we would have still been very sad, we would have dealt with this time better.

It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I really managed to deal with loosing my first pregnancy. Mainly because I know that I wouldn’t change my children and the children I have would not be here if we had our first.

Miscarriage sadly is very common. You would be surprised how many of the people around you have been touched by miscarriage. We need to educate people about miscarriage, we need better support for the families that go through this; (including the men who are often left out) from our GPs and local services.

If families are experiencing miscarriage they should get help straight away and not have to wait to go through this three times.

It's horrendous to think we make families go through this level of grief three times before we look into what is going on for them and if there is a biological reason behind it. Change is needed now. #misCOURAGE

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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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