It’s Babyloss Awareness Week, so that seems a good time to share the words I wrote after my second and third miscarriages, in the hope it helps others who have been through or are going through the same. It’s something I had no idea about until it happened to me – how it’s incredibly common, and how there are often “good” reasons why a body decides to spontaneously abort (often genetic problems with the foetus) – this of course does not make it any less painful or sad. Strangers (and friends) on the internet were a great support for me at the time, so, whoever you are, whether you know me or not, I’m here to talk if you need it.
On Miscarriage number 2, 14-6-13:
I have hesitated in putting this message up – it is a personal and painful subject – but, in the belief that it could be helpful, for me and perhaps for many of you, here goes.
Sometimes it seems like every day another friend announces their pregnancy or birth, and I am always pleased to see the news. But it is usually with a twinge of sadness; we have been trying to conceive for a few years now and, apart from a very early miscarriage a couple of years back, no luck.
However, I have lately left my very stressful job, which has given me more opportunities to get to the gym, eat well, spend time with my husband and set up a new business, all of which has helped to get me into a better place mentally and physically.
A few weeks ago, I took a test which I thought might finally let me make a happy announcement of my own. But it was not to be, not this time. Despite getting further than before – we found a heartbeat at just after six weeks – I started bleeding heavily and a couple of days ago the doctor confirmed that I had lost the pregnancy.
Today, I still want to make the announcement: that I WAS pregnant, but not for long; that we are sure it will happen one day; that I know that the reasons for the body doing this are many and often mysterious; and that they don’t mean that this is the end of the story.
I also want to break the silence about fertility issues and miscarriage. It is hard to talk about with our nearest and dearest, let alone in public, but it is SO COMMON. Perhaps if we opened up a bit about these experiences, rather than keeping schtum until we had “good news”, those of us struggling would not feel so alone. I have polycystic ovaries (I no longer say “I suffer with”, because really, having half the usual dose of periods per year is no great hardship…!), which I know makes things more complicated, but finding good information on the subject – even from specialists – is nigh impossible.
I remember, before my first miscarriage, noticing friends who had been together or married a few years before having children, but I always assumed they had chosen to use birth control – they had chosen not to get pregnant until later. Only since trying it myself have I realised just how darn tricky the whole process can be, how painful it is when it doesn’t work out, and how difficult to diagnose exactly WHAT is going wrong. I wonder, looking back, if some of them struggled with the same problems I am facing.
So if any of you have been through this or are going through it now, know that you are not alone, and feel free to talk about it, on this thread or in a private message – I am happy to elaborate on my own experience. I would also welcome any advice from those of you who have managed to conceive and carry a pregnancy, despite this kind of setback. Maybe by opening up about these issues and how we overcame them, we can turn this sad occurence into a positive.
On Miscarriage number 3, the birthday present I could have done without, 18-2-16
I’m sharing this because every time I hear about a friend or family member having miscarried, the same thing comes up – NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT – and we end up thinking it’s just me, I’m faulty, there’s something wrong with me – when in fact miscarriage is extremely common and happens for all sorts of reasons. Some of you might remember I shared a statistic recently that one in six women has suffered a miscarriage. I suspect it’s much higher than that, and in the hope that this helps to normalise our talking about it and processing it, here’s my latest experience.
On Monday of this week I started getting signs that my period was coming. I hadn’t had one for about three months but that’s not unusual for me, so I thought nothing of it. However, on Wednesday night in the bath, I felt an unknown sensation in my womb – a kind of disconnecting click or crunch, almost, not painful – and a few moments later, out slid a perfect little sac, about the size of a large marble or a bouncy ball. Through the transparent liquid I could see a lentil-sized tadpole, mercifully amorphous still. The pregnancy must have been about six weeks along.
I didn’t even know I was pregnant – I had been getting the slightest hints of nausea, some brain fog and tiredness, but nothing that couldn’t be explained away by general lack of sleep and the pressure of running a business and looking after a 19-month-old. So it was a shock, and hard to know what to think.
Some of you already know my story (two miscarriages before managing to carry a pregnancy to full term, with some medical assistance). I suppose I hoped somehow that the process of successfully conceiving and carrying a child would have broken the evil fairy’s spell, that now my body “knew how do it”, it could all happen naturally. So Pedro and I had been neither trying nor not trying, although we agreed we would like more children. On the one hand, my periods had only just come back and already I had gotten pregnant! Good news. But my body still didn’t know how to do it alone – not so good. We will try again, more consciously and with more support in place.
In the hope that this might ring a bell with others who have suffered multiple miscarriages, the specific conditions I’m dealing with are polycystic ovaries (which can mean the ovaries provide insufficient hormone support at the beginning of pregnancy among other things), and a mutation in the MTHFR gene, which affects several systems in the body, but importantly can affect blood clotting, which in turn can negatively affect the growth of a pregnancy (similar effects are produced by Lupus and Factor V Leiden). Feel free to contact me by private message if you would like any more information.
Love to all my sisters and those who support them, and wishing you all the help you need in this life. Our challenges are many and varied but we can overcome them together.