Jules will be taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday 24th March 2019. This is her reason for running.
In March I turn the big 40, and what better way to celebrate than to head to London to complete my second half marathon (hopefully having recently not run for 3 months and been on crutches for 4 weeks) – the London Landmarks Half Marathon on 24th March. I have chosen to run for the charity Tommy’s who fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, which sadly affects one in four.
I am supporting Tommy’s #BreaktheSilence campaign as it is important that people speak out more about their own experiences and help make other people not feel so alone when it happens to them. I am sharing my #ReasonforRunning story in hope of reaching out to people and of course raising some money for this wonderful charity. So, here it is…
I am incredibly fortunate to have two gorgeous, healthy, happy (and very cheeky) boys, but it hasn’t been easy - suffering three miscarriages along the way. Something that I had never heard people talk about and when I first found out I was pregnant in late 2007, after trying for over 18 months, never imagined would happen to me.
My understanding of miscarriage was that you would have pains, blood loss and know/ feel it was happening. Through the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy I was healthy and very excited to go to our first scan at 13 weeks, excited to see the photos of our little baby growing inside me. I lay back smiling whilst the lady scanned me, she paused and asked another lady to come in and scan again. I was then told the heart-breaking news that they could not find a heartbeat, and the fetus (for me my baby) had died measuring about 10 weeks. It is known as a missed miscarriage, something I had never heard of so could never have prepared for.
'They tell you not to tell anyone that you are pregnant until after your scan, but why I now don’t know because I would not have been able to get through the miscarriage without the support of my friends and family.'
But it was incredibly hard to say you were pregnant but that you had lost the baby at the same time. It’s hard to say and no one knows what to say back. You get the classic, “well at least you know you can get pregnant” … and “you can try again”. None of which helps, but as it’s such a taboo subject understandably no one else knows what they should say.
Slowly, people would say they knew people who had also had a miscarriage – almost like it was some secret club that you were only able to find out about if it had happened to you.
I was told I was unlucky, it was a one off. Then nearly exactly 2 years to the day I was back in the scan room, nervous but reassured everything would be OK this time. But it wasn’t, it happened again - another missed miscarriage, this time lost at about 9 weeks. I was unsure if I would ever be able to carry through a full pregnancy. I was devastated.
Luckily, I then fell pregnant again, this time we had an early scan and then weekly scans to monitor the pregnancy. With every scan was relief that everything would be OK, lasting only a few days before the fear about the next one set in. But this time I was lucky, and we went on to have a beautiful baby boy.
Sadly, I then suffered an early miscarriage, this time at 7 weeks. I was comforted at being able to hug my son, but it was still hard. I couldn’t believe it had happened again, and I wasn’t sure how many more times I could go through it. Fortunately, I fell pregnant again and once again after regular scans, we went on to have our second son.
Some people think miscarriage is just bad luck, that its nature’s way. But when it happens to you it doesn’t feel that way. You think you have done something wrong, that you are being punished or that you don’t deserve it. You grieve for what might have been, for the future that does not arrive. All three of the babies I lost were due in the same week of the year, a week I always remember.
I was one of the lucky ones, thousands of women suffer far more than I did … stories of 10 plus miscarriage. I just kept thinking if only people talked about it, just maybe I could have been a little more prepared and people around me would have a better of understanding of how painful it was and how it stays with you. And whilst I would go through it all again if I had to, to have my two gorgeous boys it doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt.
Supporting Tommy’s #TogetherforChange and #BreaktheSilence campaigns I am sharing my story, and even if I have to walk it I am getting around London! Please help me help other people by supporting Tommy’s as they fight to break to the taboo and break the silence of miscarriage. #MisCOURAGE.
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'The day of the half marathon was an amazing day .. My baby was guiding me around, the sun was shining and she was with me throughout the race. Crossing that line with the balloon for my Angel was the most emotional thing. '
'Life carried on, I was muddling through it as best I could, and no one really broached the subject. I mean, what can you say? I've been on both sides and it's tough.'
'I can honestly say that there has not been a single day in the past eight years where I have not thought about my 14 lost babies. So I am running the London Landmarks Half Marathon, which is hugely outside of my comfort zone as a non-runner, in honour of Sebastian, Elsie and my other 14 loves.'