We decided to try for a second child when our son was three years old. We got pregnant straight away and although we were excited, a part of me felt like it was too good to be true.
When I started to bleed at eight weeks, I knew right away I was miscarrying.
The early pregnancy unit didn’t want to see me for a week, as there would be nothing they could do, but I wanted to get it confirmed, so we paid for a private scan. We were told the baby had stopped growing at about six weeks and there was no heartbeat.The sonographer let us leave through the back door of the clinic as I couldn’t bear to walk past the happy couples waiting for their 3D scans.
I was very upset, but I knew that one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, so I figured that this was just our turn and we would try again as soon as we could.
I got pregnant again right away. This time, I was more mindful of my pregnancy. Not that I wasn’t before, but we went on holiday for two weeks and I made sure that I ate well, didn’t drink alcohol and didn’t spend too much time in the sun. I talked to my baby and tried to connect with it. When we came back, I was eight weeks’ pregnant and we went for an early private scan for reassurance.
But as the scan started, I had a plummeting feeling and I just knew something was wrong.
Again, we were told the baby had stopped growing at 6.5 weeks and there was no heartbeat. Again, the sonographer saw us out through the back door. I was devastated – this time it seemed so cruel. I’d thought our first miscarriage would be a one-off. Again, the hospital wasn’t interested in seeing me, this time because I’d already had the miscarriage confirmed. When I went a week later, the miscarriage was over.
I knew exactly what I was doing at 6.5 weeks, when the baby died. It was the day I’d confessed to being pregnant to some friends we met on holiday, to explain why I wasn’t drinking; they’d suspected anyway. We’d raised a toast to the baby. I felt now that I’d jinxed it. I found it hard to look at our holiday photos for quite a while after, knowing that I was carrying a dead baby in them.
We started trying again but this time it took us longer to conceive – nine months. This was hard for us because we had always fallen pregnant so easily and now I had lost two babies I was desperate to make up for this. In hindsight maybe we were placing too much pressure on ourselves.
When I did become pregnant I was nervous but I chose to be positive.
I felt different with this one – sick, tired and bloated. Plus, my body had had so long to recover and settle, I felt the pregnancy had more of a chance. The night before the six week mark, I told my husband I felt it was different this time, because I felt so pregnant. The next day, I went to the toilet in work and saw blood. I went into a state of shock, I think. When I called the hospital I was so distraught they let me come there straight away.
I can remember sitting in the waiting room, sobbing into my husband’s shoulder.
The chairs in there are arranged into a circle; no one knew where to look. It was humiliating but at the time I was beyond caring. The hospital told us there was an empty sac, with a hole in it.
This pregnancy wouldn’t budge so two weeks later I was given the choice – a D&C or pills. The consultant warned me that a D&C could cause scarring and I didn’t like the idea of a general anaesthetic so I went the pill route. It is hard aborting a ‘baby’ you really wanted. Plus Dylan was a C-section so I’d never experienced contractions, or pain like it.
I’ve pretty much blocked that day out of my mind; I can just remember pain and a white hospital room.
We knew miscarriage three would be a turning point as the NHS acknowledges there might be a problem at this point, and does tests. Ours came back normal. The baby was found to have trisomy 18, so most likely wouldn’t have made it, or would have had serious life-limiting problems. This really upset me. I felt silly, like we’d been tricked, betrayed – to have had so much hope.
We got pregnant again a few months later. It felt rushed, like an afterthought. This time I had no hope and was very stressed about it. My work suffered and I can’t remember a lot about this pregnancy except being anxious. When I saw the blood at 5.5 weeks I just thought ‘Oh there it is, rather sooner than later.’ It was almost a relief. I can remember my husband looking anguished when I told him and saying that something must be wrong, and that we would go private to find it.
I didn’t expect the private tests to find anything wrong, I just expected to be sent away and told to try again. I had no hope.
But they did – I have prothrombin thrombophilia. According to my consultant, without aspirin and heparin, my chances of a live birth are 10 per cent. With aspirin and heparin, they are 70 per cent. Suddenly, we had been given hope – a fixable problem. It felt amazing. Since then I have had my doubts and fears, a lot of this being down to my NHS consultant rubbishing these statistics and telling me my miscarriages may actually be because of a polyp (which I am having removed next month). I also feel guilt that it was my body that caused all this. But now we have a plan – to remove the polyp, wait for my body to heal a bit and then start trying again, with aspirin and heparin.
I don’t know how I will feel when we start trying to conceive again. I’m not sure I can allow myself to be hopeful.
I know it will feel like a very long pregnancy and I don’t know how I will get through it. When you’ve had miscarriages, every day you are pregnant gives you hope, but it also gives you more to lose. Going to the loo becomes a nightmare because you dread seeing that blood. I genuinely wish someone could put me to sleep and wake me up when I am six months’ pregnant.
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