It all started just after uni, I thought I’d met the man of my dreams. All was good, I had a stable job, nice house and a very solid relationship. I fell pregnant. We weren’t trying but then weren’t being very careful either so I can’t say it was a shock as such. We’d just about got our heads around it when I crippled over on the way home about 8 weeks pregnant and bleeding heavily. That was my first miscarriage.
About a year or so later we started trying again, I fell pregnant very quickly. I was certain it would be ok this time. I got past 8 weeks. Whoop. I had my booking with the midwife and my first scan quickly came. I was so confident I happily let the genetic counselling student sit in the scan with me. It was all smiles. Happiness all round.
The sonographer’s face fell. She was measuring the nuchal fold. A standard test apparently. She quickly explained that she needed to speak to the consultant. I was asked to get dressed and escorted through into a counselling room. The consultant arrived and began to explain a whole load of things. I didn’t absorb much. I sat very still, very numb as the kind doctor explained the baby was small, the fold measurements were very high. I quickly said a baby with Down’s syndrome was fine. We could cope. The doctor said no, that’s not it. He explained they’d scan again in a week. We could make a decision from there. Decision?
A week later and our chances of having a healthy baby were next to zero. Well, we were told we had an 20% chance that our little one would survive the first hour. If I carried to term that was. I was devastated. I made the hardest, most traumatising decision of my life and booked in for a termination.
My little boy was born at 15 weeks. He was born sucking his thumb. I remember everything about his tiny, translucent body.
After, it took me some time to try again but 9 months later I fell pregnant. It was not to be.
I lost another 5 babies during the first trimester.
My marriage broke down. The only thing harder than blaming myself was the thought that someone else blamed me too. But we grew apart, our grief devastated us both. I was left with anxiety, he with severe depression. We just couldn’t move forward together.
My life changed unrecognisably from here. I had moved home to the North East, changed jobs and moved in with a flatmate who soon became my best friend. I was having fun, lots of fun. Finally! About 6 months later I accepted the blind date my friend was desperate to set up and I met M. The kindest, most loving person I could wish for. As we got more serious I felt it only fair that I laid my cards on the table – 7 failed pregnancies did not bode well for us having a biological family. To my surprise M stuck by me. He asked nothing but that we try. Just to see. About 2 years into our relationship we made the decision to start trying. Once again I fell pregnant quickly. I was so scared but positive things would be different. We were booked in for an early scan. We saw the heartbeat. Both of us were ecstatic. Amazed. Two weeks later and another scan. No heartbeat. What?
Again, I was booked in for a medical termination. It was a missed miscarriage. The week before Christmas.
We were referred to the consultant. She found no abnormalities. We were told to try again. We did. I lost another baby on my birthday. And then another at the end of June. 3 miscarriages in the space of 6 months.
Just when we were about to give in I was asked to take part in a research trial. I accepted. It was tough but I felt I had to give it one last go. I wanted to be apart of something that could potentially help others in similar situations to myself. I didn’t for one minute expect that it’d end with me having a baby. But…
My 11th pregnancy was a success. I gave birth to a healthy baby boy in May. He is amazing. I will never forget my babies. Not one. No matter how early in pregnancy they were lost. But, at the end of the storm I have my rainbow and I sincerely hope others get that same chance. Mine is a story of hope and not regret.