Seasonal thoughts

Our thoughts are with all of you who have found the last few days something of a struggle.  Whether or not you have had to cope with the awful effects of gales, floods and electricity cuts, you may well have been thinking about the babies lost in pregnancy, the babies and children who might have been, and you might not have felt much like celebrating.

Please remember that we are here for you.

  • We’re open today, Friday 27 December and all next week, bar Jan 1st.
  • Even when we close for New Year’s Day – and at the weekend and evenings – we have a team of volunteers who are happy to offer telephone support. (Call 01924 200799 to get their contact details.)
  • If you join our support forum on the days we are open, you can post and read messages throughout the breaks, thanks to our volunteer moderators. Just go to our home page and click on the forum tab at the top or in the quick links.
  • You can use our Facebook pages at any time to share your thoughts and feelings with others.
  • You may want to create a message to your baby or babies on our Lights of Love tree at http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/marking-your-loss/lights-of-love-tree/
  • You’ll find lots of information on our website to help you find out more about what’s happened/happening -
  • - and lots of support too, so you don’t have to feel alone.

You may also feel that this is a perfect time to support the  Miscarriage Association, to help us to be there for others who have lost a baby in pregnancy.  Please consider making a donation and/or visit http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/get-involved/ to see how you can help to make a difference.

Here’s hoping you have a gentle and peaceful holiday season and a happy 2014.

From all of us at the Miscarriage Association.

Posted in news and events |

Coping with Christmas

Whether you’re a believer or not, we’re clearly in the run up to Christmas. Traditionally it’s a time for celebrating, a time for family and friends and, very often, a time where children and babies are in the forefront of people’s minds.

Some of you will find this a very dark time and might struggle to get through the festive season. Some of you will be deeply thankful for the baby or babies you now have. Either way, many of you will be thinking about your lost babies, the children who might have been.

Please remember that we are here for you.

  • Even when we close for the holidays (Wed and Thurs 25 and 26 December; and Wed 1 Jan) we have a team of volunteers who are happy to offer telephone support. (Call 01924 200799 to get their contact details.)
  • If you join our support forum by 3 p.m. on 24 Dec, or between 27 and 31 Dec, you can post and read messages throughout the breaks, thanks to our volunteer moderators.
  • You can use our Facebook pages at any time to share your thoughts and feelings with others.
  • You may want to create a message to your baby or babies on our Lights of Love tree at http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/marking-your-loss/lights-of-love-tree/

And you may also feel that this is a perfect time to support the  Miscarriage Association, to help us to be there for others who have lost a baby in pregnancy.  Please consider making a donation and/or visit http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/get-involved/ to see how you can help to make a difference.

Here’s hoping you have a gentle and peaceful holiday season and a happy 2014.

From all of us at the Miscarriage Association.

Posted in news and events |

Care, compassion and dignity

A report from the University of Oxford Medical School describes how people who have suffered pregnancy loss have helped shape the teaching curriculum for the doctors of the future.

Based on their own experience of miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancy, Miscarriage Association members and supporters shared their views on what student doctors should learn about pregnancy loss.

 

 

Posted in news and events |

“Nobody asked me how I was feeling.”

“People kept asking me how Christine was, but nobody asked me how I was feeling. It was as if having a baby was a couple thing, but having a miscarriage was just for women.”

Our new project* Partners Too aims  to find out more about the needs and feelings of men or women whose partner has experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.  We hope it will help us improve the support and information that we offer to partners and to raise awareness about their needs.

We’d really like to hear from partners of women who have lost a baby in pregnancy, whatever their gender, sexuality, ethnicity or age. You might be married, living together or be separated or divorced. You may have been trying for a baby for a short or long period of time, or the pregnancy might have unintended or unexpected. You may have experienced one or more miscarriages.

We would also like to hear from women about the impact their miscarriage had on their partners.

Please read here to find out more.

* The project is being run by the Miscarriage Association and  University College London (Public Engagement Unit).

Posted in news and events |

Talking about pregnancy loss – or not

People are talking about pregnancy loss – and about how many people don’t.

Cathryn tells her story of miscarriage in her blog: Little Paper Swans.

Journalist Ariel Levy writes in the New Yorker about the loss of her baby at 19 weeks, in the article Thanksgiving in Mongolia.

And after a moving audience discussion session after the play last night, the Shaky Isles Theatre company continues its run of ‘Expectations’ – a play of hopes, plans and the unexpected. You can find details on the company’s website and there is also a review of the play here.

'Expectations' post-show discussion

Posted in news and events |

Running for the Miscarriage Association

Miscarriage Association supporter Andie Ford ran the Nottingham Half-Marathon on September 29th 2013. She tells us how it was…

I suffered two devastating silent/missed miscarriages in 2008. Since then I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters but my experience has made me keen to raise awareness and funds for the M.A. in any way I can. I can’t forget how confused and desolate I felt grieving for those losses and how much support I needed to get through it. I have run the London Marathon and the Great North Run for the M.A. and this year I signed up for the Nottingham Robin Hood Half-marathon.

The day started cool and clear – perfect conditions for running. I arrived at the start at Victoria Embankment at around 8am and changed into my M.A. vest, attached my bib number and took my bag to the kit tent. I was a little early so had a look around the stalls and then made my way to the start to warm up. It was still quite cool at that time of the morning so it was important to keep moving. I’d torn my calf during training for the race so it was playing on my mind a little that I needed to warm up properly.

The race officially started at 9.30am but I was in the green wave, further back from the start. I think it took around 12 minutes to get to the start-line and then we were properly off and running!

As soon as I crossed the start line I had that usual rush of excitement and emotion that I’ve had when running for the M.A. before. I felt proud to wear their vest and be able to raise awareness for such an amazing charity. I also had that pang of sadness that I always feel when I remember back to those dark days and those miscarriages changed me forever. But the important thing now was to focus!

The few mile seemed to pass very quickly – I looked at my watch – I’d set off much quicker than I usually would.  Then again, my training was done on the South Shropshire hills, the flat of Nottingham was bound to be faster.  Still, I thought I should slow down a little.

We ran through the city and out towards the Boots campus.  This was quite a difficult bit. It was quiet and exposed – it was actually getting quite hot for late September! The crowds thinned out. I wasn’t sure how far I’d run as I didn’t see some of the mile markers. By my watch, I assumed it was around 6 miles but I felt really tired which wasn’t normal for that distance.

It got a little easier again as we ran down through the university park and around the lake – some shade at last! I smiled to myself as I remembered walking around that lake with my husband Ade and going into labour there with my first  daughter India-Rose!  My beautiful ‘rainbow baby’. I started to feel a little more energised again thinking of Indi and my youngest daughter Lilia. On we went and back towards the city again.

I had hoped to see my family at some point but had no idea where. At around 10 miles I started to feel very exhausted.  As my training had been interrupted by a 5 week injury, the furthest I’d run before today was 10 miles which is why I think I’d ‘hit a wall’. I stopped and had an energy sweet and gave myself a talking to and then carried on. Stopping wasn’t an option, I just had to ignore the tiredness and keep going.

At 11 miles I had the boost I needed to make it to the end – the sight and sound of my husband and family cheering me on. What a difference that made! Now there were just two and a bit miles to go.

But – the race planners had really put a sting in the tail of this course – as you could actually see the finish line with still two miles to run. This was tough. It was one mile along the Trent and then a switch back to the end – I swear those two miles seemed the cruellest I’ve ever run.

But at last the end was in sight (again!) and a final push took me to the end in a time of 2hrs 5min 24secs. Amazingly this was the fastest I’d EVER run a half-marathon and almost half an hour quicker than the last time I’d run one! No wonder I felt so exhausted. But then came the relief and exhilaration – I’d done it! With a PB, no injuries and best of all – £270 for the amazing MA!

I am incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to my cause and also to the MA for allowing me to represent them once again. Hopefully it won’t be the last time.

Andie

Posted in news and events |

Miscarriage, infertility – and theatre

We are looking forward to Shaky Isles Theatre’s production of Expectations, a play that explores miscarriage and infertility.

Written by playwright Emma Deakin and produced by Stella Duffy, Expectations will be running at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington from 5 to 24 November (excluding Mondays) and there will also be a post-show discussion on Tuesday 12 November.  (Ruth and Penny from the M.A. will be there that evening.)

The play is a development of an earlier production, called Waiting Room,which some of you may have seen last year at the Camden Fringe. One of our Facebook members saw it there and wrote:

I watched this play last night and it was brilliant. It cleverly interspersed the serious, moving scenes with some very funny scenes (not laughing at miscarriage, they did the humour in a very inspired way). It was particularly relevant to me as one of the two ‘miscarrying’ characters was an older woman without children but with repeated miscarriages, who is having to think about whether she can carry on trying. It was definitely moving but I managed to only shed a couple of tears.

Lots of stuff to resonate with us all, reflecting people’s ignorance and insensitivity, and indeed the insensitivity of ‘the system’. I went with my husband and he enjoyed it too, it’s not just one for the ladies.

Tickets are £12.50 (£10.50 concessions) or £10 on the preview nights,Tue 5 and Wed 6 November, and you can find out  more at http://www.pleasance.co.uk/islington/events/expectations or on Twitter @shakyislesuk #expectations.

Oh, and do read the blog on the Shaky Isles website.  It says so much about this company and their passion for creative, co-operative endeavour.

Posted in news and events |

Reviewing, reflecting, planning…

We warmly invite you to read the Miscarriage Association’s Annual Report 2012/13.

Compiling the Report provides the opportunity to review and reflect on the 12 months to 31 March 2013 – the good and the not-so-good, the ups and downs, the things we could control and those we couldn’t.  Those are reflections that will be familiar to many readers, especially in regard to the experience of pregnancy loss.

It’s rewarding when we are able to step back and see what was achieved during the year – projects completed, hopes realised, opportunities seized and maximised.

Even when plans and hopes don’t work out or we face disappointment, we achieve something in getting through it and moving forward. That’s equally true for many of our members and service users.

Finally, it is that process of reviewing and reflecting that helps us plan for the future, to ensure that the M.A. continues to provide excellent, relevant and accessible services to help people through.

Posted in news and events |

Partners Too – tell us your story

We are working on an important new project* to find out more about the needs and feelings of men or women whose partner has experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.

We’d like to hear from partners of any gender, sexuality, ethnicity or age. You might be married, living together or be separated or divorced. You may have been trying for a baby for a short or long period of time, or the pregnancy might have unintended or unexpected. You may have experienced one or more miscarriages.

We would also like to hear from women about the impact their miscarriage had on their partners.

Please read here to find out more.

* The project is being run by the Miscarriage Association and  University College London (Public Engagement Unit).

Posted in news and events |

Babyloss Awareness Day

Remembering babies lost in pregnancy

#RememberingMiscarriage

Today is Babyloss Awareness Day, and we are launching an Instagram campaign to help highlight the impact of miscarriage and honour those babies lost in pregnancy.

We know that, for some people, it helps to do or create something in memory of their baby and his or her brief life. This may be through holding a ceremony, taking part in an event, planting a tree, getting a tattoo, or buying or making something special. This Babyloss Awareness day, we’re asking people to share photos of these memorials on Instagram, if they feel comfortable doing so, to help others and raise awareness of miscarriage.

If you haven’t already got an Instagram account, you can download the apps for Android and iPhone by following the links on the Instagram homepage and then post your pictures from your account with the #RememberingMiscarriage hashtag.

Alternatively, you can send your photos with your first name (or the name you would like us to use) and a 1-2 sentence description to awareness@miscarriageassociation.org.uk and we’ll post them for you.

When you’re choosing your pictures and commenting on others images, it’s important to remember that Instagram is a public platform and to be sensitive as everyone will be at a different stage of their miscarriage journey.

You can see some of the photos we’ve received so far by searching for #RememberingMiscarriage on your Instagram app or on our Instagram tab on Facebook.

If you find that you need to talk, the Miscarriage Association has a phone and email helpline, as well as an online forum and links to support groups. Find out more about how we can help.

Posted in news and events |