Izzy Judd

Writer, blogger and member of electric string quartet Escala. This is Izzy.

Izzy Judd

This is Izzy’s Story

'The grief was incredibly tough, and so unexpected. To this day I feel that sadness, that loss.'

When we started trying, just after we married, we assumed it would just happen but it was really tough, medication, intervention and eventually IVF which gave us hope we were finally going to start a family.

I was ecstatic when the first round was successful, in my mind I was already a mum.

A few weeks later I woke up in the middle of the night, went to the bathroom and found I was bleeding. I was in shock, shaking and terrified, I just couldn’t believe it was happening.

The bleeding stopped for a couple of days but then I started again, this time heavier.

The next morning we lost our baby.

I didn’t expect to feel such a connection.

When I was bleeding I had this overwhelming desire to give our baby one last bit of love, almost like I needed to allow them to go.

I went to the loo and I will never forget that sensation of losing our baby, when you pass everything that you’d longed for and dreamed about. How do you just let them go? I didn’t know whether to look, whether to flush, in the end I shouted my husband Harry and said, ‘I’m so sorry.’

We had a scan booked that morning and I just couldn’t look at the screen. The love between Harry and I was so huge and yet I felt so empty.

Miscarriage is so lonely, you feel completely empty because, whatever day, week or month you are, you’ve felt that bond, that connection with that little soul and you feel such guilt that you’ve failed them in some way.

It had taken so long to see those lines, we felt we were there, we’d done it which, looking back, was naïve.

In our minds the problem had been getting pregnant, not struggling to keep the baby.

When you go through something like that it takes away a lot of the excitement and innocence of pregnancy. You feel such a lack of control because there’s nothing you can do, falling pregnant, keeping a baby is totally out of your control. It was so frightening not knowing if I’d ever be a mum.

I wanted to get back to IVF, I just wanted to be pregnant again. There was a real sense of urgency but Harry said I needed to allow myself to grieve and I’m so grateful I listened to him because you really need to grieve, to allow your body to heal.

Fertility problems and miscarriage brought Harry and I closer, I simply could not have got through it without him. He had this calmness. I remember, just after another negative pregnancy test, he knelt down, took my hand and said, ‘Worst case scenario it’s you and me.’

That’s when I did a complete mental and physical detox, not just for me, but for him.

I’d heard you had to have three miscarriages before any intervention and, when we were ready to try again, I told my doctor that I couldn’t go through that.

We looked at medications and other things to support and I was lucky enough to fall pregnant again. I remember being elated for about a minute then it was just fear, a fear that stayed with me all day, every day, certainly until the 12 week scan.

I don’t think we truly relaxed until she was born, we couldn’t really believe it until we heard her cry and I remember thinking, ‘I would have waited forever just for you.’

To anyone going through miscarriage I’d say, don’t bottle it up, give yourself and your baby a voice.

There are so many people going through the same thing. Yes, it’s hard to start that conversation, but if you don’t it will make it so much harder.

One in four women is affected by miscarriage and yet there is still this sense of taboo. I think people are beginning to talk, there are amazing places you can.

For me, social media has been a huge network, you can talk to women going through the same thing. I felt it was important to be completely honest and I was overwhelmed by the comments I got back, it’s like talking gives other people permission to talk about it too.

I felt guilty after my miscarriage, for the baby but also for Harry and for my family.

Guilt that I’d not been able to give everybody else a baby and a future.

About a month after found out I was pregnant my brother and his wife got pregnant in their first month of trying and I remember feeling so angry that it had been so straightforward for them. Then overwhelmingly guilty for feeling that way.

I remember thinking that, having lost our baby, I wouldn’t be able to deal with watching a niece or nephew the same age our baby would have been, growing up, doing all the things our baby never would.

12 weeks later I got a call to say she’d had a miscarriage and the guilt went off the scale because I hadn’t been able to celebrate their baby, and I’ll never forgive myself for that. I made a promise that day that every time I saw a pregnant lady I would think, ‘I wish you a happy, healthy, successful pregnancy’, not ‘I wish that was me’.

I wrote everything down and I’m so glad I did because I can go back and feel closer to the baby we lost.

We have an image of the embryo which looked like this amazing moon, just perfect, and I treasure that.

I went to open a miscarriage centre for Tommy’s because what they do is so important. It’s not just the emotional support they provide but the endless research, looking into reasons for baby loss which could spare women having to go through recurrent miscarriage.

I always light a candle on December 28th, I’ll never forget. I’ve gone on to have two children but I’ll always feel this connection with that first baby that I never let myself go to in my other pregnancies for fear of losing again, there was something really special about that.

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