Leanne had three miscarriages – each one traumatic in its own way, but the cumulative effect left her so distraught and fragile her mental health was deteriorating fast. After her second loss, Leanne had support from her mum and her husband John, but she started withdrawing from other family members, particularly her brother and sister-in-law who had just had a baby.
“I found myself in a very dark place. I hit rock bottom. I had chosen to keep my losses a secret from everyone. I started to make excuses not to go to family events. I missed my niece’s christening. I put my friendships on the line by not contacting anyone. In a cruel way my miscarriages started to rule my life.”
On anti-depressants and seeing a counsellor, Leanne’s GP put her in touch with Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research, led by Professor Quenby, consultant obstetrician at UHCW*.
“As soon as I walked into the clinic, it felt like being part of a family who understood what I was going through.”
Diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder, Leanne agreed to participate in a randomised clinical trial. Despite experiencing a third miscarriage, she was given the support and care she needed to persist in her dream of becoming a mother. She became pregnant again and, at 32 weeks, allowed herself to tell the wider family, and some friends, the good news. Prof Quenby’s team did everything to reassure her and provide support every step of the way, including, in the last few weeks, monitoring and scans twice to three times a week.
The happy result was Paisley, born on 1st March this year.Nevertheless, after so many heart-wrenching disappointments, it wasn’t easy for her to bond with her daughter. She had an overwhelming sense of guilt about the babies she had lost and a fear that everything would go wrong again - until one very special moment.
“At three months old I had this wave of emotion come over me. The love I felt for Paisley that was impossible to describe … I enjoy everything about motherhood. Seeing Paisley grow, learn and change. I love watching her, she mesmerises me.
My family and I will never be able to thank enough Professor Quenby and her staff, Tommy’s and the UHCW for everything they have done for us. They have made our lives complete and for that we will be forever grateful.”
* University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
This Sunday, 5 May, is International Day of the Midwife, a day in which we shine the spotlight on some of the special individuals who make up the fabric of Tommy's.
Owen, co-author of parenting blog 'Love amongst the stars' opens up about navigating the emotions he felt after the loss of his son Kaspar.
Here at Tommy's we are fortunate to have a number of supporters who go above and beyond to help us continue our lifesaving research. One of these such individuals is Fran and this is her story.