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Claire’s story

Claire had multiple miscarriages and writes about how she dealt with anxiety during her pregnancies.

You see all these other mums who are appearing to enjoy being pregnant and I couldn’t relate to that at all.

I fell pregnant in 2007, but it resulted in an early miscarriage around six weeks. Shortly afterwards I fell pregnant again. This time it was with twins, but sadly I had another miscarriage. A few years later I was pregnant with my daughter Molly, but the two previous miscarriages had left their mark. They completely took away my ability to enjoy the pregnancy.

With both my miscarriages I bled around six weeks. With my third pregnancy, around six weeks I experienced the now-familiar bleeding. While I do generally take things in my stride, it was traumatic. As soon as it happened I felt it was all over. At the time I didn’t realise I was actually pregnant with twins and was miscarrying one of the embryos. There was a lot of back and forth to the hospital. Throughout the whole pregnancy we thought we were losing her. At every scan it felt amazing that she was still alive.

Once you have experienced a miscarriage you just can’t enjoy being pregnant. Every single twinge brings with it a feeling of panic. You are constantly checking for blood – it is exhausting. You see all these other mums who are appearing to enjoy being pregnant and I couldn’t relate to that at all. At the same time, I would always try and remind myself that I didn’t know their story.

My waters broke at 28 weeks, but my daughter held on for another five. She was born at 33 weeks and was moved to special care for two weeks. She was absolutely fine and we feel very lucky to have to her.

I have been pregnant since my daughter and once again it sadly ended in miscarriage. We want to try again and give my daughter a sibling, but I feel apprehensive about how it will end. With everything we have been through I don’t want to be naïve. If I fall pregnant again, I know I will spend the full nine months being paranoid, with frequent trips to the loo and being in a state of constant worry.

For anyone who falls pregnant after previous miscarriages it is really hard. All you can do is take it one day at a time. I would try and focus on just getting to the end of the day and still being pregnant.

I think it helps to just focus on the next milestone, the next scan. Due to having early bleeds, I consider myself lucky in never having to wait until 12 weeks for a scan. With our last pregnancy, we had an early scan where they found a heartbeat, although we were told it was not as strong as they would have liked. A week later we returned to be told there was no longer a heartbeat. Of course, that was absolutely devastating to hear.

The Miscarriage Association closed Facebook page is useful and it is reassuring to see how many other women have had problems. It makes you feel less alone.

While I can’t fault the nurses at the early pregnancy unit there is no information out there for people who are pregnant following a loss. The care at the hospital is very factual – this is what happened and this is what we are going to do.  They give you the options, but no emotional support.

The only way I dealt with the anxiety was going through one day at a time. My partner was very supportive and came to every appointment. It also helped that both our employers were so understanding. It helped being honest with them about what was happening. As soon as I fell pregnant I told them because of my past experience of bleeding.

Personally, I think it is important to be open with people because if you wait for the 12 weeks and you carry it yourself, it can feel really isolating. If you tell people you are giving them the ability to provide support. I would always tell my close friends/colleagues and family as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I think it really helps to share the news with people you are close to because if it doesn’t work out, you will need them. Also, it is important not to be ashamed to talk about it. It happens to so many people.

We would love to give Molly a sibling. However, with our history of miscarriage I have to ask myself how much more I can put myself through it. For every miscarriage, I have had a D&C. While the hospital explain your options and give you the choice there is no one to ask for advice. I don’t tend to miscarry well – there is always something left. That’s why it is easier to be put to sleep and then it is all over.

Claire

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