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Aisling’s story

Aisling and family abseiled down Belfast's Europa Hotel in March 2017.

The loss of a baby is not something that you ever get over; you simply have no choice but to carry on with life and try to manage as best you can.

In May 2016 my life changed forever when I saw that wonderful line on my pregnancy test.  It was the start of a journey I never thought I would experience.  I began to plan for a future that now included a precious and much wanted little baby.

However, by the end of June I had begun a much tougher journey, one as a mother who would never get the chance to hold her baby in her arms.

The devastation that came with my first miscarriage will never leave me.  I was in total shock for a very long time, and to be honest, I still am.  The loss of a baby is not something that you ever get over; you simply have no choice but to carry on with life and try to manage as best you can.

I was completing my dissertation that summer and this became my focus in an attempt to stop the all-encompassing feelings of loss and longing.  We hadn’t told our family and friends that I was pregnant, so the first that many people heard about what had happened was when we told them that I had lost our baby.  The support we received was amazing but you still feel so alone.  As a teacher I didn’t have the additional worry of taking time off work and was able to take time to allow myself to come to terms with what had happened.

Life went on and then I discovered I was pregnant again in October.  I was excited but also extremely afraid that something would go wrong again.  I contacted my GP and requested that I had an early scan.  We began to plan for the future again, I had an early scan at 6 weeks and everything looked great.  We were booked in for another scan in 2 weeks so we could see the baby’s heartbeat.  I eventually began to relax and enjoy my pregnancy.  I had cravings for ice-cream and put my diet out of my mind because I was determined to enjoy being pregnant.  We looked at names and because I was convinced we were having a boy, I decided that I really loved the name Noah. 

The scan was booked for the Wednesday afternoon but on the Monday morning I knew that something was not right.  Past experience meant that I knew I was losing my precious baby.  I can’t even begin to describe the feelings, they are beyond words.  We had told our immediate family and close friends that I was pregnant this time.  I felt that they should know straight away in case something went wrong again.  And unfortunately it did.  As well as the emotional loss, the actual physical loss of miscarriage is pretty tough, and no one can tell you how long it will carry on for.

After both of my miscarriages I found lots of support from the Miscarriage Association online forum and wanted to help fundraise. I am petrified of heights and decided that I would do an abseil down the Europa Hotel, Belfast.  The abseil coincided with what would have been my first due date – 12 March 2017 – and I thought it would be a great way to mark the day.

Four of us took part in the abseil; I was accompanied by my partner, my Mum and my sister-in-law.  It was lovely weather and we all made it safely over the edge and back onto the ground again.  There were tears for many reasons at the top of the building but our mission was to raise awareness for the Miscarriage Association and I think we did that as we walked down the side of the hotel with our t-shirts and angel wings!!

We have received amazing support from friends and family throughout and have raised more than £800 for this well deserving charity.  I’m hoping that we can raise a bit more before our online giving page closes.

Ailsing Feeney

March 2017