If you know me you will know I have never liked running, hated it, would have rather waited for half hour for the next train than run for the one that is there.
If you know me even better you will know I am one of the “unlucky ones”, one of the “it wasn’t your time” ones, one of the “better luck next time” ones. I am the one in the one of four that has suffered miscarriage. And I did suffer, it was the most painful thing I have suffered physically and emotionally. The physical pain may have passed after a few days, but the emotions did not leave me when I birthed the embryo in a toilet. It was my first baby, I had already imagined meeting her, I had thought of names, I had thought about the excitement of announcing our pregnancy.
'Now I had to tell people I was pregnant and miscarried all in one sentence. I emotionally suffered in silence, I didn’t grieve properly, people didn’t talk to me about it so I thought I shouldn’t be talking about it when all I wanted to do was talk about it.'
I tried to continue with life going about seeing friends, working, holidays. The grief stayed with me every day, wherever I went, whatever I was doing, grieving in silence crying in the toilets of work, toilets of pubs while friends laughed and socialised, in the bathroom while my partner was in bed. Then one day I saw a light at the end of the tunnel; that hopeful blue line on a pregnancy test. And with that things got a little brighter, but not totally, some of the grief suppressed and some turned into anxious thoughts with this pregnancy. I tried to not let myself get excited, I still panicked at every twinge in my stomach, nervous at every scan, appointment until finally she arrived in my arms making me the happiest person in the world, to finally be a Mum.
The grief stayed away, occasionally flitting in to my mind but easily pushed back away. When we started trying for our second child I miscarried again, this time I only realised I was pregnant as I was miscarrying. Although personally I found this easier to deal with than the first loss hearing the word miscarriage again brought back a flood of emotions. It was then I realised I needed to confront this, because ignoring and suppressing was never going to send it away.
'I needed to deal with these emotions now but was unsure how to, how did you tell people you are still grieving a loss of somebody 2 years ago, somebody you never met.'
I watched a programme on depression and running to deal with it and the positive impact it had on their lives. It struck a cord with me, I claimed to my partner “I wish I had the motivation to train for a marathon”, he laughed knowing my hatred of running and general exercise and said maybe I just needed to find the right thing to motivate me.
Like fate the next day on the way home from work there was an advert in the paper for running the LLHM for Tommy’s. Knowing the work Tommy’s do was a real motivation for me wanting to fundraise for them, knowing I could be helping towards the research, that I could do something to help towards somebody not facing the pain I went through.
So here I am, training for the LLHM. Running my local streets on the cold dark wet nights, releasing my years of built up grief, converting it into energy to push me further, to make a difference to somebody else.
I am expecting the LLHM to be a very emotional run for me so if you see me on the course, give me a cheer, encourage me on, tell me if you have been a one in four too, let me know Tommy’s is making a difference to your life, keep me running; this is for all the little ones we did not get to meet. To support Jojo on her LLHM journey, click here.
Our beautiful baby girl was so perfect, I looked at her little face and waited for her to cry to prove that they were wrong, but she couldn’t.
'No one expects this to happen to them and no one can tell you how you’re meant to act. My pregnancy and birthing plan had disappeared over night and I had two sick babies who I was unable to care for. I felt totally alone with my own feelings and felt I had nowhere to turn.'