My first miscarriage began on Mother's Day as my daughter and husband were downstairs preparing breakfast for me. I had sailed through my first pregnancy and was so excited for baby number 2 to join our little family. I was fully aware of the risk of miscarriage and as a result we had cancelled a family holiday as I didn't want to fly in the early weeks of pregnancy.
On that morning I jumped out of bed to use the bathroom before my then 2 year old arrived proudly with her tray of goodies for me. I was bleeding. By the evening I had been admitted to hospital overnight as they monitored my bleeding and waited to give me a scan in the morning. Sadly, this wasn't the only scan that gave unwanted results. I went on to have a further two miscarriages over the next 18 months including one that I lost intact in the amniotic sac in the toilets of the local theatre during the interval at the panto. I conceived twins in the Autumn of 2007. One of the twins didn't make it to the 12 week scan. One of the twins made it to full term (and a bit extra) and I was blessed with the safe arrival of another daughter. 18 months later my little boy was born despite heavy bleeding undermining my confidence throughout the pregnancy.
This period was one of turmoil and deep sadness. I have come to the conclusion that there are no 'right' words to say to someone dealing with a miscarriage. From the moment you get a positive result you have dreamed of a life. As with all grief, everyone deals with miscarriage differently. Each time I started bleeding I would search the Internet for stories of people who had bled and gone on to have a successful pregnancy. There was a whole world of people trying to support each other through the pain and the uncertainty of the future.
For the record, it was not 'for the best' and it was not because I am a vegetarian/stressed/tired/anxious/overweight/any other blame you want to lay at my door. It may have been inevitable at conception but each one of them was very much wanted and I was ready to love.
There have been few advances in preventing miscarriage and it is very common but still remains a taboo subject. Doctors may appear unsympathetic because in reality there is very little they can do to help you. Like with infertility your life becomes a constant countdown from ovulation, to the first day you can take a pregnancy test and, if it is positive, you then countdown to the 12 week scan; then to the 20 week scan or when you feel the baby move (whichever comes first) and then you wait for a safe delivery before you dare to believe you will be able to look forward to a future again.
I have chosen The Miscarriage Association as one of the 40 fortycubed charities this year because we need to talk about the immense pain that many men and women are carrying in their daily lives. The Miscarriage Association supports people through the fear of loss, the experience of loss, the after effects of loss and daring to dream for the future. If you would like to donate to The Miscarriage Association please do so by following this link. We will be fundraising for The Miscarriage Association and the 39 other fortycubed charities at the Gala Dinner in October.