It’s taken me 6 years to write my story. It’s not that I didn’t want to share it with anybody, it’s been more about me finding the right words and right time to put it on paper.
I’m 48 years old and mum to 2 boys (1 biological child and the other adopted). I have suffered 2 miscarriages, my 1st in 2012, I then went on to have a successful pregnancy and birth (my 1st earth child) and then had a second loss in 2014. Following this loss, and 3 years of infertility we chose to adopt and started proceedings in 2017 to 2019.
In January 2012 I found out I was pregnant, after 2 years of trying and waiting. My husband and I couldn’t have been happier about this pregnancy and we shared the news with all of our friends and family and started planning the future, as you do. At 4 weeks, I started with really bad pregnancy sickness but this was ok, because I was just so happy to be pregnant. At 7 weeks whilst I was away, working, out of the blue I started to bleed and my sickness stared to subside, so I knew something wasn’t right and then sadly at 9 weeks I miscarried. My whole world fell immediately fell apart. This miscarriage I remember well, it was a shock and that no one prepares you for what happens to your body and what you might see when you birth (I say birth because that was my baby even though it was only 7 weeks term). To help me fill the gap in my life, I chose to start trying to conceive straight away.
Sadly, my period came each month and I became very low and depressed, that was until 7 months later, I fell pregnant. Again we were over the moon and we felt totally blessed that I was pregnant. This time I was totally blessed and I carried to term and birthed my perfect little boy. However, the whole pregnancy was a very anxious and worrying time for me. I always used to put things off like going out dancing, going to the gym, ‘just in case’ something happened, I panicked if I felt any slight cramp pains and each visit to the toilet I checked to see if I had blood in my underwear.
7 months after the birth of my son, I fell pregnant again. I was a bit shocked, because, although we had been trying I never expected to conceive so soon. Again, we were delighted, especially as our son would have a sibling. I started with the sickness again but I was ok as this was a positive sign for me that all was ok. Also, it was a big relief that I had gone passed my 7 week milestone too.
Nearly 9 weeks into my pregnancy and a few days before we were going abroad on holiday, I started with very light spotting. I felt ok as I was still feeling sick, but booked in for an early scan just to be safe. The scan showed baby with a good heartbeat and all looked ok, so we went on holiday as a family of 3 and enjoyed ourselves.
A couple of weeks after our holidays the bleeding started again but a little heavier and I no longer felt pregnant, I just knew something wasn’t right. I arranged another scan and was told the devastating news that baby has no heartbeat. Again, my world just collapsed, ‘why me’, ‘why is this happening again’, ‘I was 12 weeks pregnant I thought I’d be ok now’…all of these questions whizzing in my head. As with both my losses, I chose each time to let nature take its cause, just in case the hospital had made a mistake and so I went home and waited.
It wasn’t until 10 days later that I started to miscarry, but those 10 days of not knowing when things would happen, too scared to go to baby groups with my toddler or to the shops, just in case I started heavy bleeding.
I recall the day it happened, like it was yesterday. I woke at 5am (my husband was working offshore and my 11 month old was next to me in my bed) and I had the most horrendous cramps, I can only describe them to be like the contractions I experienced in birth. After 3 hours of pacing about, crying, and breathing through the pain, without waking my baby, I felt the urge to push. I went to the toilet (I popped a sieve in the toilet pan because I wanted to keep everything) and out came my baby, still in the sac. I have never in my life cried the way I did, all I kept saying through sobs of tears was ‘I want my baby’ ‘please God, why can’t it be back inside of me growing?’. My son then woke so I had to urgently call my parents in to help me. Nothing prepared me for what I saw and the amount of blood and tissue that I lost. For days and weeks after I went through the motions of pretending I was ok and didn’t talk about it, possibly because I felt I was already blessed with a child and I should think myself lucky. It wasn’t until 6 months later that I broke down and just cried. I cried for this loss and my 1st. On reflection, I think I had been depressed for the last 2 years.
My friends and family offered endless love and support and let me talk openly about my losses and I find it amazing how many women have gone through this too.
After this loss, I decided to take a break and focus on time with my husband and child and my career as a birth worker. A year on, my heart led me to want to do some work around pregnancy loss and so, I contacted the Miscarriage Association and trained as volunteer support group leader. From this, I set up a local branch (Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde Miscarriage Support) for families in our community and now 5 years on we have a monthly meeting where we share stories, listen and offer comfort and support in a safe space and fundraise. So far, we have raised over £5000 and this has helped to furnish our local hospital EPAU, so that families feel calm and comfortable.
I made the decision not to try for another baby as I was too scared to go through the same heartache again, and so my husband and I chose to adopt because we knew lots of children out there needing a home and we have a loving home to offer. In August 2019, after an 18 month emotional rollercoaster adoption process (a story for another day) we were blessed with a baby boy, one of the greatest gifts in my life. Our family is now complete x
“A mother doesn’t forget; whether she carries her child for 4 weeks, 40 weeks or walks with him a lifetime. A mother’s heart is forever changed by the ones she’s carried and the most certainly to those that she had to say goodbye to, too early”.