#misCOURAGE 04/10/17 by Samantha
I never thought that I would be saying, or rather, writing about my experience of miscarriage.
I've never had any problems with periods, my mum had never suffered miscarriages, and I was not worried, I had no reason to. Having met my amazing husband, I had finally found happiness after years of despair, we were both ready to start our family and we're excited. To be honest, we never really 'tried', the first pregnancy happened almost immediately. Yet, along with it, was spotting and slight bleeding. I went to the doctors and the midwives, who all said it could be nothing and not to worry. 6 weeks later, I was scanned to discover that I had miscarried. Nothing could prepare me for hearing the words, "I'm sorry." It broke us both, but at least I had my husband holding my hand and wiping my tears away.
I took the time to recover, went back to work and carried on. Within 2 months I was pregnant again and this time, I had all the right pregnancy symptoms and no bleeding. It felt right. I went for my midwife appointment and they were really positive, had my first scan booked and it all felt like it was falling into place. They had discovered I had a water infection, so was put on antibiotics. Then I noticed a sight discolouration. The doctors thought this was just a symptom of the water infection- after all, it wasn't red or pink or brown. Nevertheless, they sent me for an early scan at week 9. So, we went again and heard the words once more, "I'm sorry." This time, the baby was still there, it's heart had just stopped beating. It was decided that the best way this time was for me to go under general anaesthetic and have the baby removed.
Within a few days, I was lying on the bed, waiting to go into theatre. The only operation I'd had before this was to remove my ingrown toe nail! I was nervous, terrrified really, and full of emotion. Yet again though, my husband was by my side, along with my mum. A month or so after the operation, I was back at work, when I felt, what can only be described as a gush! I ran to the toilet and was covered in blood. Got sent back to hospital, and was scanned to reveal that their was still some "retained product" in my uterus. "Retained product" they said, not baby. They'd failed to complete the procedure correctly and a month later, I was still miscarrying. I had to have an extreme course of antibiotics, as it was likely that I had an infection because of the time.
After this trauma, myself and my husband decided we would put our dream for a family on hold and try to just have some fun. This had been the toughest thing we'd ever gone through but at least we had each other. It was easier said than done though, have fun, I didn't feel much like it and neither did my husband, but we tried to focus on the positives. We set goals to try and achieve and distract ourselves. For example, in the summer we climbed Mount Snowdon, something that I never thought I'd be able to do. We decided to give ourselves until the following year before trying again. I didn't go back on contraception, we just avoided those key dates. Given that my periods were like clockwork, it was quite easy to do. Or so we thought.
In the November, we discovered that once again we were pregnant. I was about 6-7 weeks, when I miscarried once more. Again, having to have multiple scans and tests over a number of days. It was the worst Christmas. How, and why had this happened to us three times within such a short space of time? There was no pattern, every time had been different.
We were referred to the recurrent miscarriage unit and from the January to May, I was tested and scanned for every possible and potential thing they could think of, my husband too had some blood tests and chromosome tests. Some of these were a pain that I had never felt before.
At the end of it all, they have discovered that there is nothing at all wrong with either of us. In fact, everything is so perfect they can't understand why this has happened. Everyone close to us has continued to say what good news that is and, rationally, I know it's good news that there is nothing wrong, and no reason why, but I am finding it so difficult to deal with. If there's nothing wrong, then why have we been through all this? What happens now? We've tried to channel these emotions into something positive. On 30th July, my husband completed the Prudential Ride London in aid of Tommy's and has raised just over £1,500 so far. Some of this money was raised at a fundraising event where local bands (including one we are in together,) played.
We've both been open and honest about our experiences and it has been amazing how many people have similar stories. I want it to be okay for people to talk about miscarriage. And I want it to be okay for men to talk about it too, it's been so hard for my husband, and he's had less people to talk to about it. We need to talk about it, miscarriage should not be something that we are embarrassed about. How are we going to get through it if we can't talk it through together? And, I suppose, despite still suffering the emotions of these experiences, at least I've not had to alone.
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By Anonymous (not verified) on 4 Oct 2017 - 13:05
I just wanted to say well done for sharing your story I know how difficult it would have been to write/talk about such a huge recurrent loss. Having been through the same journey as you 3 times, it has taken me 2 years to bring myself to openly talk about it amongst extended family/friends.
You are right we don't talk about miscarriage enough and many couples struggle alone to deal with the pain of what they have lost.
Well done to you both for breaking traditions as once again it's not easy to deal with others uncomfortable reactions when you do openly discuss loss/losses you have suffered.
I hope that with time you&your husband will feel ready to recommence the journey (which you will I am sure) and when you do I wish you both all the best xx
By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Oct 2017 - 13:23
Hi, Thank you for your comment.
This was the aim of the miscourage campaign, to help women and their families to have the courage to speak about their experiences, so that others can hopefully gain some comfort from these stories and not to feel so isolated.
We hope that you yourself are well after what you have experienced and please feel free to contact Tommy's at any time. Take care, Tommy's Midwives x