Tommy's guest blog, 27/06/2017, by Stacy
On 2nd July 2015 at 12.07pm I gave birth to my first baby girl, Gabriel. Gabriel was born asleep at 22 weeks after a 3 day labour.
At our 20 week scan on 22 June 2015, we were told that our baby was not developing as expected for this stage in the pregnancy. We were told to come back the following day for an amniocentesis and that we would have the results a few days later. The results were inconclusive so we got referred to St Marys Fetal Medical Unit for further investigations.
On 26 June our world got turned upside down when we were told that our baby was very poorly and would not survive.
I gave birth to Gabriel the following week at Wythenshawe Hospital. The following weeks were a blur – we threw ourselves into arranging the funeral. I left hospital feeling weirdly strong, I said goodbye to the midwives who looked after me and was confident that I would be back in 9 months’ time walking out of there with a baby.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case and we didn’t fall pregnant as easily as I’d expected to.
I think this is when my grief kicked in and each month that passed, each time my period arrived was like losing her all over again.
It seemed everything I read and every phone call or text I received was news that somebody was pregnant or given birth to a healthy baby.
On 27 September we got Gabriel’s post-mortem results. She had a rare chromosome disease called Triploidy, which is where the baby has an extra suite of chromosomes and it is not compatible with life. It was at the post-mortem where my midwife agreed that if we hadn’t conceived in another 3 months’ time, then they would look into giving us some fertility help.
Luckily it wasn’t needed as on the 3rd month, 6 months after losing Gabriel, we found out that we were pregnant again.
At this stage I expected to feel ‘better’ knowing that I was having another baby, but it opened up a whole host of other anxieties that I never expected to feel – denial, fear, pining for the baby I’d lost – and it was at this stage that I was told about the Rainbow Clinic.
The Rainbow Clinic is a Tommy’s funded clinic to help pregnant ladies who have previously suffered a traumatic loss such as late miscarriage or stillbirth.
We got referred there at 16 weeks pregnant and attended clinic every 3 weeks where we had a scan and met with a doctor to talk through any concerns. It really helped me mentally.
It was through the Rainbow clinic that I got tested for Gestational Diabetes – which I wouldn’t have done normally as I don’t meet the “criteria” – and it turned out that I had it and received the right treatment for it.
As each appointment came and went, we started to believe that we would get our healthy baby. And on 23rd September 2016, we had another beautiful baby girl called Everly.
The work that Tommy’s do has been invaluable to my journey – from Gabriel’s prognosis to the monitoring I received during my second pregnancy, they are the reason that I am now a mummy to a healthy little girl.
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Lewis writes about his journey and why he chooses to run for #TeamTommys.
There are times when it all feels like too much, but at those times I think of my daughter, who was such a fighter, and suddenly everything seems more manageable again.
"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.