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Why I volunteer for the Miscarriage Association

Natasha writes about having two miscarriages in a twelve month period, the worry of pregnancy after these losses and why she wanted to volunteer to help the Miscarriage Association.

Until I started speaking about my miscarriage I had no idea two of my cousins had been through it, or my gran. I find it shocking, something so common, is so little spoken of.

I have experienced two miscarriages in a twelve month period. In March 2014, I had a miscarriage at six weeks that passed naturally. However in August 2013, I went for my 12 week scan, expecting to see a healthy baby growing. I had some symptoms of pregnancy but always said to those who became excited for us, as long as all is well at the scan. I suppose I had a subconscious feeling, despite this we were devastated when the sonographer said our baby had stopped growing at nine weeks. This was a missed miscarriage. I was scheduled to have surgery the next day as I could not contemplate the idea of passing the baby naturally. I was very scared of seeing it. My loss at six weeks was very painful, however the emotional trauma was far worse than the physical pain. You spend those early weeks building up hopes and dreams for the little ‘pip’s’ future and they are taken away in a heartbeat.

I am lucky that I have had lots of good support and the local Early Pregnancy Unit are second to none. They are so attentive and sensitive I could not have asked for better care, if only every woman could receive such support.

When my fiancé, Greg and I tried again it was terrifying because we were frightened it would happen again. The second loss was easier to deal with because we did not let ourselves become emotionally attached, and I hadn’t known for as long. When our rainbow boy Max, arrived safe and healthy I felt wracked with guilt for the lack of emotional investment in the early weeks. We are getting married at the end of this year, after which I would like to try for another baby, but the thought terrifies Greg, as being pregnant was just a continuous worry for us both.

Part of the reason I contacted the Miscarriage Association to volunteer my support was to try and help stop the taboo around miscarriage. People just don’t know what to say. However, once you tell people about your experience, so many people tell you it has happened to them as well. So many people keep this traumatic experience private. Until I started speaking about my miscarriage I had no idea two of my cousins had been through it, or my gran. I find it shocking, something so common, is so little spoken of.

With our first miscarriage (MMC) because it was discovered at our 12 weeks scan all our family and friends knew about it. They were so supportive. They acknowledged what had happened was terrible rather than brushing it aside. I decided to do a sponsored run to raise money so put my story on social media. That is when the typical comments started: ‘you are young, you will have another.’ Comments from colleagues could be tough to hear sometimes. Perhaps it is because of the area I work in (social work) that many comments were very clinical and matter of fact. I work alongside nurses and would hear comments like: ‘well you know it wasn’t really a baby.’

I think that is one of the reasons why so many women end up with PTSD. There is no outlet to talk about it so people keep it inside. It is hard for men too. Everyone was focused on me but would so often forget about Greg.