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Kate’s story – London Marathon 2018

The 2018 Miscarriage Association London Marathon team have been awesome, we supported each other and all had the same goal!

I never wanted children until I met Dave, I can’t explain it but after we had been together a few months something clicked inside my head and it all seemed possible with the right person.

I always knew it would be a challenge for us, but I could never imagine what was in store for us or the path that lay ahead. After many months of tests and IVF treatment we found out that at the age of only 35 I had started premature menopause. This was a real shock and we took some time to consider our next move. We knew we wanted to try all we could to have a family and knew our final attempt would be treatment using donor eggs.

A special lady was found for us at the start of this year, and we began treatment. We were honoured and humbled by all her efforts, and my friends and colleagues support, and delighted when I became pregnant a few weeks later. The odds were stacked against us, but we had beaten them, for the first time we truly believed our life was about to change forever.

Only a few days later I started to feel unwell and as the days and weeks went by I got sicker and sicker, to the point that I thought I might not recover. The symptoms were horrible and something I had never seen as a nurse or experienced as a patient previously. I had a severe reaction and was unable to tolerate any of the hormonal medication used to support the pregnancy and sadly had a miscarriage. We were devastated.

Many weeks passed and I still felt unwell and struggled to come to terms with what had happened and why I was so ill. After seeing a specialist I was diagnosed with severe progesterone sensitivity and auto immune progesterone dermatitis, an unusual condition which would take many months to recover from, with complex medication. It would make any future pregnancies extremely risky, requiring complex planning and medication, something which we are yet to look into or embark on.

It’s been hard to accept losing my fertility and not being able to do what most woman can do. Knowing I’m in the minority, not fitting into the life most people lead, following a path I never expected. I never imagined I would have two rare conditions, or that I would be sitting in a menopause clinic next to a woman decades older than me, but I am determined to move forward.

Miscarriage is not something we talk about and it has a huge impact on our lives. I am very lucky to have an amazing husband, Dave, who has been there through thick and thin, endless sleepless nights, days of pain, always hugging me. As has my mum, close family, close friends and work colleagues, who all supported us and were there for us during the most difficult times of our lives – we are forever thankful to you all. Others are not so lucky.

So, why did I run the London Marathon? I am one of the slowest runners around and still recovering, but after everything we’d been through the Miscarriage Association holds a special place in my heart and were an amazing support to Dave and me during a difficult time. I wanted to raise awareness and get people talking and if that meant running a marathon so be it! I wanted to help other women and couples get the support they need after experiencing a miscarriage. I ran for all those babies that we keep in our hearts.

Running the London Marathon was amazing and inspiring. I had the privilege of meeting some lovely runners and can’t thank the cheering crowds enough for all the support and jelly babies. The 2018 M.A. London Marathon team have been awesome, we supported each other and all had the same goal!

I held it together until just before the finish when I saw my husband – knowing that the end was in sight and that this marked the end of our fertility journey, the emotions hit. But seeing that medal at the end and knowing all the support we had and donations we’d collected, made it all worthwhile.

If you have a moment, send a positive thought or hug to all those who have experienced a miscarriage. Help me break down barriers and raise awareness and get people talking. I’m no Mo Farah but I ran with pride to support this great charity that provides information and support to couples following a miscarriage.