Tommy's guest blog, Sian, 13/06/2017
We started our journey in July 2014 when we found out we were pregnant, unplanned but no less loved! We were very happy and started to get excited almost immediately. Naively did not even think of anything being wrong, something which makes me quite angry with myself looking back! We even picked names.
We live on the south coast so at 10 weeks decided we wanted to have Downs and Edwards tests done early, as I have Downs in my family. We decided to go privately as the NHS was not offering this at this time, and travelled up to London (a 2 hour journey) for the scan.
We were early as excited to see our baby on the screen.
The appointment was near Chelsea, and I remember we found the most gorgeous (and expensive!) baby boutique round the corner. We spent a couple of minutes browsing all those gorgeous , but tiny booties, and I remember so clearly my partner saying: "Let's go see our baby first", joking that he would be able to tell the sex because of his "superpowers" that early.
He said we'd go back and pick our baby's first present together, despite the cost, on the way back.
We went to the scan and were led into a room and all I remember is the silence when she tried to pick the baby up, she said "I'm sorry but I can't see a heartbeat, but I would like to get a second opinion" and left the room. Neither of us said a word to each other in them minutes. They came back and confirmed the worst and it was the most numb feeling I've ever felt.
We were charged £180 to be told our baby had died and was in the room less than 10 minutes. That was like a knife to the gut.. I don't even remember getting home but I remember crying on the tube on the way back and not caring who was looking.
I went into denial and demanded a NHS scan the next day and they confirmed the worst. I spent all night before that scan frantically googling success stories where a heartbeat had been found when previously it hadn't. sadly this wasn't us. We had a D&C and although our hospital is amazing - I remember just being so angry at everyone telling me it was "normal".
I was devastated and it took me six months to get a period again through stress which felt cruel. When I did eventually we were pregnant six weeks later. I thought that we had "had our bad luck" and was cited all these stats that say it is unlikely to be recurrent.
At six weeks I started bleeding and was told to deal with it at home. I was offered no aftercare.
At this point I started to panic about never being able to have children. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me and my partner already has children, so I thought it must be me. I even went as far to call IVF clinics to ask for help.
This panic led me to keep on trying, as I knew I would not get looked at until I had had three in a row. I fell pregnant, thankfully, quickly. Within three months of trying, and this time I felt optimistic. I felt like something was different, but again we got to the 10 week mark, went for a scan as that was the time we lost the first, only to be told the heart had stopped days earlier. It was exactly the same week and day - 9+3 - that it was for the first miscarriage and it was exactly the same week in August that it happened as the first. To this day I am convinced I am not allowed to be pregnant in August.
I am ever so lucky to have a friend who works at St Mary's in gynaecology and she got me through the next few weeks. She gave me all the information of what they would test for there so I was armed when we went for a consultation appointment. To be honest given the history of care I had been given, I expected a fight. But was met with none.
My consultant was out of this world and got quite emotional with me, which made me almost happy as I felt like someone was taking the loss of our babies seriously and we weren't just a statistic.
We had all the tests possible, and everything came back clear. And I remember being furious when they said we had just experienced "bad luck" - something I still do not believe nor accept to this day.
I was told I would be placed on progesterone as it "could not hurt" and baby aspirin for my next pregnancy.
I had the tests completed in September and in November we found out I was pregnant again.
I am so sad to say that I expected the worst, so I was a wreck to be honest. So much so it led to my partner saying he felt like we needed a break if this didn't work.
I couldn't accept that as it felt like another failure. So we hoped for the best.
I had a brief bleed at 9+3 AGAIN and I spent 24 hours crying in bed. All of my miscarriages and bleeds seem to happen over the weekend so I have to wait for services to open again.
But it was OK and I was sent home with the knowledge this was the furthest we had ever got. the next two weeks were Christmas and I remember thinking it would happen on Christmas Day, but I got through it unscathed!
I remember being sat in the car on the day of our 12 week scan a few weeks on and I didn't want to get out the car. I was terrified. Luckily all was well but I still burst into tears.
Taking that scan picture home was one of the best days of my pregnancy.
Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the pregnancy as I panicked at every turn. I'm still sad the wonder of pregnancy and growing a baby has been taken away from me.
At 12 weeks I had the Downs test, so worried about those results until I got them back at 15 weeks and they showed Downs was unlikely.
Then at 17 weeks I got a letter through the post telling me all the dreadful things they would be searching for at the 20 week scan. I obsessed about these until the scan and was convinced there would be something wrong.
At 20 weeks we got the all clear and then I panicked about premature labour.
I was stressed the entire pregnancy and it was always something I was expecting to go wrong.
Again my doctor friend came through and sent me little milestones to tick off, 28 weeks, 30 weeks, 34 weeks - with the survival rates each time. It helped so much.
We were induced at 38 weeks because of lack of movements and my beautiful boy Joshua arrived after 26 hours of labour weighing 6.14 at 4.34am. Best moment of my life. Until he was placed in my arms I didn't dare believe we'd get him. I thought it would be our "luck" that something would happen in the last minutes.
He is crazy and hilarious and makes me laugh every day. I feel so, so lucky to be his mum. He is bloody perfect!!
I found out I was pregnant again when Joshua was 10 months and utterly panicked about having two close together. My partner Chris was thrilled and thought it was hilarious and because the progesterone and aspirin had worked last time I thought we had cracked it. I was relaxed and came round to the idea and got really excited. Still annoyed with myself for this now!!
I was devastated and felt like I'd let Joshua down to have a brother or sister. Again it was the same week, pretty much the same day of pregnancy. I honestly do not believe that is coincidence.
This was a bad one for me because I was then told I would not have any testing because NHS guidelines stated I needed to have "three concurrently" to have testing again. I was so, so angry and I still am now. Chris said "it's just one of those things" which made me more mad and I said I wasn't going to let them fob us off. It infuriates me that they think you should just have to keep going through it.
80 percent of my pregnancies have ended in death and I felt like they were telling me those babies didn't matter. That this baby I'd just lost meant nothing to them.
I slept/sat awake in the feeding chair that night in Joshua's room as I stupidly believed we "weren't meant to have children" and I was convinced something would happen to him.
I phoned Tommy's and I cannot remember the midwife's name who I spoke to but she was utterly utterly amazing. Incredible.
She let me be upset and then said she would work to get me on a Tommy's programme at St Mary's (despite the fact I had Joshua) if I couldn't have tests. With her advice I battled my consultant and it took a week or so of arguing but they finally agreed to test the baby.
I was booked in FINALLY for a d&C at that consultant appointment to take place the next day, but started to miscarry there and then so the consultant had to help me there and then to pass the baby with forceps to make sure we had enough tissue for testing. Utterly horrific, painful and embarrassing but we got what we needed.
We are still waiting on results, and to be honest I'm not sure we'll try again. I'm a bit torn at the moment with feeling like Joshua deserves to have a sibling, but also feeling like we should be over the moon to have him and that we shouldn't push our luck.
I used Tommy's after the second, third and fourth loss - I honestly couldn't have got through without your support. So thank you!
"I truly feel without the support of the EPU and the peace of mind given to us through the Tommy's study we would not be where we are today."
Little Anderson was born under the care of the Tommy's Early Miscarriage Research Centre at London Imperial.
'Having Elsie involved in the fundraising was so special to me, because at one point I couldn't have imagined her ever being here with us.'
Lianne & Elsie took part in Sensathon 2016. Here's their story...
We wanted to help babies who aren't as healthy as Lara by raising as much money as we can.