This is something I feel extremely passionate about, and I’ll be the first to admit, way back when before I had any experience in the issue, was also something I was guilty of as well.
Our wedding in Jan, 2010 - EVERYTHING went wrong!
After myself and Rob got pregnant, a few years after we got married, we were extremely excited- as you can imagine. For our own reasons we had decided to wait a few years before ‘trying’, despite the CONSTANT barrage of questions from family, friends, work colleagues and more of when we were going to start a family, that started the day we got married and didn’t let up until I had a big fat bump, 5 years later.
We couldn’t believe our luck at getting pregnant, fairly ‘easily’ once we had decided we wanted to have a baby. Like most we decided to keep it a secret until the 12 week scan to ensure everything was ‘ok’.
By week 8 the bleeding had began.
The first time we conceived was in Jamaica, 2012
Now I know most women reading this will know exactly what I’m on about. In fact, the official numbers are that around 1 in 5 women suffer a miscarriage at some point in their life, and I know everyone even if they haven’t personally been through it, will have experienced a friend or family member who has.
It was devastating.
Completely and utterly heart-wrenching.
The best way I can describe the pain is that it felt like someone has ripped my heart out and each time I went to the toilet and was faced with what was happening, for WEEKS, it felt like someone was smashing my heart with a sledge hammer over and over again.
During this time I continued to work. I was the manager of Ann Summers (got to be some irony in there somewhere) and had a job to do, and people to lead. Not one of my girls knew what was happening. I just kept calm and carried on. In fact one of my girls was pregnant at the same time and it was an accident. I watched her bump grow day by day as I felt like my dreams were slipping away.
During this time as well, I also was continually asked when I was going to get pregnant.
Imagine being asked this, knowing your body was currently expelling the last remnants of the baby you had so desperately wanted.
On our honeymoon in Center Parcs, 2010 - I was extremely ill, definitely no baby-making going on here!
One thing I will say, is that once you do actually confide in people and tell them what you are going through, it does make the situation easier.
You realise how many other people have been through the same thing, and you never even knew. It’s like a secret society and we are ASHAMED to tell others.
Please don’t be afraid to tell your closest ones you are pregnant, because if the worst does happen, they will be your rock when you most need it.
After our miscarriage the only thing I could think of to try to make myself get over it, was to get pregnant again. I no longer felt complete as a person, it was like something was missing and I was desperate to make it happen again.
We were living in Cambridge during our miscarriage as Rob was a soldier, I had no family or friends around So felt very alone.
Now I now this sounds like every man’s dream but in reality, it put a huge strain on mine and Rob’s marriage. I was obsessed with getting pregnant, tracked my fertility constantly and got more and more upset every single month as I bought pregnancy tests and they came back negative every time. It took far longer than we anticipated, almost a year, which I know for most people might be a drop in the ocean, but it felt like forever. And yes, the questions still kept coming. Even from those who knew I had miscarried.
“Are you pregnant, again?!” Is the worst question someone wants to reply to, when the answer is no, for the 7th time that year.
Getting to the 12 week scan with Maggie felt like forever… and even then we were worried up until she was born.
Finally, and joyously we got pregnant with our little Maggie. Everything went fairly smoothly and I can’t say we got ‘over’ the miscarriage but we were one of the lucky ones who actually got our wish in the end.
At a friend‘s wedding, 2 days before Maggie‘s 3 week early dramatic entrance to the world!
I sometimes feel, that in the grand scheme of things, I have absolutely no right to complain about what we went through. I feel an imposter talking about my pain, when I know so, so many others close to me that have been through far, far worse on their fertility journey and still continue to do so.
I have friends who can’t get pregnant.
I have friends who have one child but can’t have another.
I have friends who want children but don’t have a partner.
I have friends who have had ectopic pregnancies.
I have friends with polycystic ovaries.
I have friends who are gay.
I have friends who have miscarried, multiple times.
I have friends who have given birth to a still born.
I have friends who JUST. DON’T. WANT KIDS.
I have friends who have had abortions and didn’t want to be pregnant.
I have friends who have had abortions, and will regret that decision for the rest of their life.
I know it’s so easy to just ask someone who is in a happy relationship “Come on then, when are we hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet” but please remember...
Every woman has a story and until you know that woman well enough to know her story, don’t ask for just one page.
Me and Rob today, with our two children, Maggie, our ‘rainbow baby’ & Arthur, our youngest.