Baby Loss Awareness Week is something a lot of us will not forget, even when this week is over with.
No matter what stage of a pregnancy a woman is in, it is still a painful experience both physically and mentally when you loose a baby.
When you suffer a miscarriage, you don’t understand. You ask yourself all sorts of questions like, why? ‘Why me?’ ‘What have I done?’ ‘What is wrong with me?’
When you know someone who has suffered, you don’t understand. You ask yourself all sorts of questions like, why? ‘What happened?’ ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Can I help?’ ‘What can I do to make it better?’
There is information out there, but never when you need it. When you go to hospital, you are passed off as another person just loosing their baby. Not everyone is treated with respect. Even if it is your 5th or 6th time miscarrying and you’re asked why you haven’t go used to it yet? Well how are you meant to? Why would you want to?
I personally have never suffered a miscarriage. I had a close friend lose her baby and because of this, I believed for every second of every waking moment I was going to lose my baby. When someone I know suffers a loss, I worry I am overbearing because I want to help. I want to make it better.
I have asked the wonderful members of Bump, Baby and You to share their heart wrenching stories, to help raise that little more awareness on this taboo of a subject. We want everyone to know this is something that needs to be spoken about more than just because everyone is talking about it this week.
My miscarriages weren’t excruciating as I was only 4-6 weeks gone with both. I had one 3 months before I got pregnant with my now healthy little girl, and had one 5 weeks ago. I had period pains and very heavy bleeding with both, the first I lost when a customer bumped into me with a trolley and I began to bleed shortly afterwards and soaked right through to my trousers. It looked like I had wet tissue paper so I took a picture and sent it to my mum because she had miscarried before so I wanted to know what it was. The second time wasn’t half as bloody, just pains and what looked like a teeny blood clot.
I’m still heart broken about both events even though they were only a few weeks, so basically just a sac. Having my little girl who is 3 months now makes my world a brighter place but I always think about what they would of been like, what would they grow up to be, what career they’d have, what they would laugh like and what their smile would be like. It’s an awful thing to go through and I can’t imagine any parent giving birth and losing their child days, weeks or years later. Shannon Munday
“When I was 15, I was silly and naive and didn’t use any protection when I lost my virginity. I ended up pregnant. I was terrified of what my parents would say, but knowing in my heart I felt abortion was wrong.
When I eventually decided (with the dad’s agreement) to keep it, I had a miscarriage three days before Christmas. Because of my fear of anyone knowing, meant that I dealt with it myself, seeking no medical help. I’m incredible lucky that my body did handle it and I had no complications looking back. It’s always haunted me. It caused severe anxiety and guilt through my pregnancy with my daughter. Especially as I had no medical record of the pregnancy or loss, and was still ashamed. I hid it from my midwife until half way through my pregnancy when I was referred to the perinatal team, and that midwife helped me to finally come to terms with it. I always think of that baby, of how I would have had a six year old by now etc. And only my partner (same daddy), my daughter’s godmother (who’s like a mother to me) and a couple of very close friends know to this day.” Anonymous
“I had an ectopic pregnancy at 24 years old. I found out I was pregnant on a Monday & by the Thursday after being sent in for a scan my little baby was no more, along with the news that I would absolutely need IVF should I want to try for a baby in the future. I was only pregnant for a number of days without the chance to even find out how far along I was but the memory is sacred forever.” Ashley Stevenson
“I had a missed miscarriage in February last year – after two years of trying thanks, to PCOS. I was 6 months away from them looking into ways to help (we had to try for ourselves first with no medical assistance) but then I got the second line. It wasn’t really strong but boy, was I suffering with symptoms! I also had a small amount of brown bleeding so my GP sent me for an early scan to check everything out but sadly at 9 weeks pregnant the baby was only measuring 6 weeks and my blood levels confirmed the baby had been lost. I miscarried naturally – it was painful both physically and emotionally and I honestly never thought we would get lucky enough to get pregnant again or carry a baby to term but in April I found out I was pregnant again and I now have a beautiful baby boy. The experience definitely marred my pregnancy and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. I’ll always remember my first little baby, wondering who they may have been but the joy my little boy has bought has helped mend my broken heart.” Carley Tauchert Hutchins
“7 years ago on the 07/10/09 I changed forever as a person. I had a positive pregnancy test but I was in agony and bleeding. The pain was all in my left side and I just didn’t feel right. The Dr fobbed me off saying I had a urine infection and sent me away with antibiotics. They couldn’t get me in for a scan for a week. It was too late. 6 hours later I started to feel very faint. My Dad got me to the hospital just in the nick of time- within a minute of being in A&E I had collapsed. I woke up in resus with a million Drs and nurses surrounding me. Everyone was rushing round and I began to panic. I knew what had happened. My left tube had just ruptured and I had started to go into shock, I had severe internal bleeding. I saw the blood bag go up. I heard the nurse talking to my mum on the phone saying ‘if it was my daughter I’d be getting myself here asap’. Within minutes I was being wheeled down the corridor and into a lift. They were taking me down to theatre, I can remember it so clearly. The anaesthetist was waiting for me and I remember her saying that she hasn’t seen anyone go into theatre looking so glam with all their eyelashes done. She was obviously trying to make me feel relaxed and calm. Then, suddenly I fell asleep. But as I was going, in that split second I saw an angel. It said to me to hang in there, that I will be okay. After hours and hours of blood transfusions and nearly loosing me a couple of times I woke up in recovery to my parents sobbing with joy that I was OK. So, that was it, I had an ectopic pregnancy which nearly killed me as. The surgeon said I was so so lucky to be alive. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about it. I went on to be blessed with my first rainbow baby Lily, 18 months later I fell pregnant again. It was another suspected ectopic pregnancy. My heart was in pieces, started thinking ‘not again surely?’. After days in hospital with scans and blood tests, it was confirmed it wasn’t an ectopic but it was a anembryonic pregnancy. I was so relieved it wasn’t another ectopic pregnancy but my heart broke again. Finally, 7 months ago I had my second rainbow baby Poppy. These two little girls are so precious and I don’t know what I would do without them. I am truly blessed and everyday I’m so grateful to been given the chance at what I always wanted to be, and that’s a mother.” Heather Brooke
“I found out I was pregnant at 18, September 2011. When I was 11 weeks pregnant I started having really bad cramps. I got given an emergency scan at the hospital, where the lady scanned me & all she could see was a sac with a tiny bub inside. She said I was measuring 6 weeks but there wasn’t a heart beat & that I was unfortunately having a miscarriage. As soon as I got home I went to the toilet & I felt the baby pass. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at, I rang the hospital & was told to basically just to get on with it. They never offered me any help or support after that and I was basically left on my own. Thinking back I never knew anyone who had had a miscarriage or anyone with kids so I didn’t know what the norm was or how to grieve. I basically bottled it all up & got on with things the next day. Thankfully I became pregnant again the April after & now have a 4 year old girl (which I wouldn’t have had if the miscarriage never happened) & a 5 month old little boy. So, so blessed to have them.” Coleen Brady.
“I miscarried on the 10th July 2015, a day before my little girl’s 3rd birthday. I was 6 weeks but it was the hardest thing trying to carry on and host a party for the sake of my little girl who was none the wiser and I had to silently grieve. But my dark day became a little lighter when my second daughter was born exactly a year later on the 10th July 2016. A date I will never forget but with mixed emotions. Some people tried to dismiss my feelings as it was ‘so early’ but it doesn’t matter how early it’s still your baby and breaks your heart the same. I am just thankful everyday for my two amazing girls that I am so lucky to have.” Hayley McAlear
“On February 25th, I found out I was pregnant. I did not know how to react. I was excited, nervous and scared. I had just had a baby 10 weeks before and my feelings were jumbled. After a chat with my friend I felt so happy and excited. Before I went to bed that night I sat for a while with my 10 week old and told her how special she was and that she was going to be a big sister. After a while I put her into her basket and laid down for the night. At around 3.30am, I woke up in a serious amount of pain and I was bleeding heavily. I sat in the bathroom sobbing from the pain and knowing I was losing my baby. After a while I went back into the bedroom to wake up my partner. He held me while I cried and I eventually fell asleep. The next day was a surreal day. I woke up and had no more pain but I was still bleeding heavily. I treated it like a bad period and just got on with my day. I was numb. I didn’t want to believe that I was losing a baby that I had only found out about a few hours earlier and already my baby was gone. Those few hours of knowing I had another life growing inside me I will cherish forever. I lost a baby that day. Today I am 27 weeks pregnant and I savour every kick, every movement and every ache and pain. There are only 4 people in the world who know I have an angel baby and now you do too.” Anonymous
“I was pregnant last September with my first baby. Had terrible morning sickness, no bleeding and I felt my stomach was swelling. I went for my 12 week scan and was so excited to see my baby. As soon as the image came up on the screen I knew that something was wrong, I had googled images of 12 week babies and could see that mine was no where near as big. The sonographer was in training so went to get a professional to view the image, but deep down I knew and didn’t want to believe it. That’s when they told me that there was no heartbeat and that they believe my baby had stopped growing at 8 weeks. It was devastating and in such a shock. I knew the risk of miscarriage however I had never heard of a silent miscarriage, I naively believed that everything was fine as I had all the pregnancy symptoms and no bleeding. I was asked to go home and decide if I wished to let nature take it’s course or to have a medically managed miscarriage or surgery. After thinking long and hard I decided on medical management. I didn’t want surgery and couldn’t face waiting for nature to take it’s course. I felt my body had failed me in not alerting me that something was wrong, I didn’t believe it would ever.
It was a horrible experience, the medication didn’t work correctly and I ended up in and out of hospital. At one point I was put on a ward with a lady who was having a termination (just to make you aware I have no issue with this and believe everyone has there own reasons and I am not against that) however she kept complaining that it wasn’t happening quick enough while I sat there devastated that I was losing the baby I so desperately wanted. In the end I lost my baby at home a week after taking the initial medication. It was horrible but I had my husband there who was amazing. I am very fortunate that I became pregnant again, I found out on Christmas Eve. I was so nervous and terrified at my 12 week scan but everything was great. I found out I was due 3rd September this year (this is the same date I went for my scan last year and when I found out I had lost the baby). I worried through the whole pregnancy but I now have a very healthy and happy little boy. There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes. When I lost my first baby I had already started dreaming about who they may become. In that moment when we were told that there was no heartbeat, I didn’t just lose my baby, I lost all the future moments of that baby. I am eternally grateful for having Finlay, however, I will never forget the first baby I held in my womb for a moment, who will hold a place in my heart forever.” Linzi Liddle
“I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2013 after 5 years of trying to conceive. Went to the early pregnancy unit at 5 weeks pregnant with bleeding and pain. I got sent home with the doctors telling me I was having a miscarriage and to ride it out. After 2 weeks I was still in pain and hadn’t passed anything big so decided to take a test and it was still hugely positive! After going back and forth to the hospital for HCG blood tests I was finally scanned and diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy. The next day I had an operation to remove my precious baby and left Fallopian tube. By far the worst experience of my life but I’m lucky enough to have welcomed my little rainbow Ava into the world in April.” Kayleigh Wilson
I just want to say a huge thank you to the women who allowed me to use their stories. I wish them the very best in life and a huge internet hug. To those reading and have also suffered, remember that you are amazing. You are an inspiration and beautiful. I am a firm believer that one day when you go back to heaven, you will meet your child and all will be well. But for now remember you are strong, you will never forget this baby and focus on you and your family’s future. It is really hard, I know. And I am so, so sorry this has happen. But you will be OK, you’re a survivor! I love you all x