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Jamie’s 100 miles

After Jamie and his wife experienced a miscarriage in 2017, he ran 100 miles in a month to raise money for the Miscarriage Association.

It was still a child we had started to prepare for and started to love.

In August 2017, whilst on holiday in Scotland, we were delighted to discover that my wife was pregnant. Her first pregnancy had been smooth sailing, other than a difficult birth, so the thought of a miscarriage hadn’t even crossed our minds and we were already planning for the new arrival. Would the car be big enough for three child seats? What would we call the baby? Would it be a boy or a girl? All these, and many other thoughts you have when you’re expecting.

We hadn’t started sharing the news yet, we were just enjoying it between ourselves (and with a few others who guessed!), when one morning Ailsa texted me while I was walking the dogs to say she had a small amount of bleeding. She felt fine and we had an appointment with a midwife a couple of days later, so we decided to wait and talk to the midwife then.

The midwife booked us in for an early scan and we went along expecting nothing other than confirmation of a healthy pregnancy. We weren’t prepared for what happened next. They couldn’t find a heartbeat. We were told to come back in two weeks for another scan. Waiting was hard; one day we would be convinced everything was fine and the next we were expecting the worst. So again, when we went for the scan expecting to find out what was going on we weren’t prepared to be told that the sac had grown, but that there was still no sign of a heartbeat and we’d have to come back again in another two weeks.

We didn’t get that far. Ailsa started bleeding a couple of days later. We phoned the hospital and were told to stay at home as they couldn’t do anything. The bleeding carried on for five days on an off, but on the fifth day Ailsa called me at work and asked me to come home. When I got back she had collapsed and what came next was one of the most traumatic experiences either of us had ever been through.

An ambulance ride was followed by a four hour wait for surgery. We were both devastated to have lost our baby, in the early stages of pregnancy yes, but it was still a child we had started to prepare for and started to love.

We had been planning to run the Great South Run together in 2017, but Ailsa was still recovering and had to pull out, so I ran on my own. I realised that in the month leading up to the run I had already run 60 miles and started wondering if I could do 100 miles in a month. I thought this would be a good challenge and set up a JustGiving page to see if people would support me by donating some money to the M.A..

My wife is a mental health professional and we were both struck by how little emotional support was offered in the wake of the miscarriage. The Royal Hampshire County Hospital could not have taken better care of Ailsa physically and the support from the midwives on the ward was good, but there was no follow up care and no counselling. We wanted to support a charity that helped in that area.

So, from the first of December I found myself running laps of Hambledon in Hampshire almost every day at 5am before I started work. I did just over three miles on week days and seven miles on Saturdays and Sundays. I managed to complete the 100 miles on Christmas Eve. Thanks to my friends, relatives and some complete strangers who read my story online, I managed to raise just over £1,500 for the Miscarriage Association.

We’ll both be running the Great South Run this year, and hope to raise a little bit more then!