#misCOURAGE story, 29/03/2017, by Helen
Things don't always happen the way you plan. But now we have Emily, our beautiful rainbow baby, and that chapter is finally over.
In May 2013 we were blessed with our gorgeous little boy William. He filled our lives with so much love and energy!
After an amazing first year with William we decided that we would like him to have a sibling.
In September 2014 I fell pregnant again and we immediately began discussions about the future and plan for the arrival of number 2.
At 5 weeks we lost our baby. We knew very little about miscarriage and a scan at the early pregnancy unit confirmed we were no longer pregnant. We were given a few leaflets and sent on our way feeling heartbroken and in shock.
In April 2015 I fell pregnant again. This time there was no elation at the positive test and we really didn't even talk about it.
At 6 weeks I began to bleed. We were about to celebrate Williams 2nd birthday and my husband was running the London Marathon. Both of these events will forever be tinged with sadness.
An early scan found a little heartbeat and the doctors could see no reason for the bleeding. But I knew all was not well, I didn't even want to look at the screen.
I continued to bleed and a scan a week later revealed there was no longer a heartbeat, our baby had died. I made the silly mistake of attending the hospital the next day alone to prepare for the next steps. But on leaving the hospital nature took its course.
The advice now was simply to keep trying.
In August 2015 I fell pregnant for a 3rd time.
We felt the only approach was to be positive and realistic. We carried on as normal and I believed it couldn't possibly happen to us again.
However, as time went on I began feeling more and more anxious and we decided to have a private scan at 7 weeks. This experience will haunt me forever, as we were told things didn't look good. I had felt so sure things would be ok.
There was a heartbeat but the fetus was too small for our dates. Another scan a week later couldn't find a heartbeat.
This time nature didn't take its course. Our baby had died but my body didn't recognise this. One of the lowest moments of my life was walking into hospital to have an operation to remove my baby.
So now, enough was enough. Why was this happening to us? How had we had such a healthy pregnancy and baby with William but couldn't manage to do it again?
Copious tests revealed nothing untoward, basically we had just been really unlucky. Our hearts were broken and I had cried too many tears.
Christmas 2015 was an emotional time. William was becoming such a happy and beautiful little boy but my heart ached at the thought of never giving him a sibling.
In January 2016 I fell pregnant again, words cannot describe the mix of emotions we both went through. The overriding one being fear.
Every day felt like a lifetime and I cannot praise the early pregnancy unit at the hospital enough. They completely understood our anxiety and told us to come in for a scan whenever we wanted.
So at 7 weeks we first saw a heartbeat and everything looked good, we were reassured for a matter of days before my anxiety levels began to rise again. We had been here before and still had no baby to show for it.
We got to 9 1/2 weeks before my husband decided another scan would settle our nerves a bit.
Unfortunately I arrived at the hospital alone this time as I had come straight from work, I didn't make it to EPAU without sobbing, it seemed like the longest walk in the world.
Luckily we were met by a lovely midwife who I had seen many times before and she put her arm around me and took me straight through.
Another scan showed our baby was still healthy and had a strong heartbeat. Again, we were reassured and just had to make it to the next scan at 12 weeks.
At our 12 week, there was no excitement, just fear that bad news was coming our way.
I watched as another couple came out of their scan and were led to the 'quiet room'. I cried as I felt their pain, that had been us too many times.
The sonographer read our notes and did the quickest ever search for a heartbeat before hastily saying 'you're still pregnant'. I was so grateful for her understanding.
Finally being able to tell people was also so difficult as saying it out loud made it so real this time. We had had such a private journey so far.
The whole pregnancy progressed with a similar sense of trepidation.
We had huge support from our midwife who saw me every week just to check things were ok.
Thankfully Emily, just like her brother, didn't want to go full term so along she came at 38 weeks, on my birthday of all days. A healthy little girl to complete our family. It was the most memorable birthday present ever, giving birth to our beautiful rainbow baby.
Throughout this I have always said that worse things do happen to people. But miscarriage is up there and it is by far the worst that has happened to me.
My advice for anyone would be to share your story because it helps. All your thoughts, emotions and feelings about your loss are right, because they are yours.
For our family the storm is finally over but we will never forget that it happened.
This year, I have decided to channel my energy and continuing emotion into training for a triathlon. In June, I will take part in the Blenheim sprint triathlon, raising money for Tommy's.
The miscourage campaign has been of comfort to me, knowing that we were not alone. Every story made me cry but equally gave me strength to keep going. I hope ours can do the same for others.
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