Nina has had six miscarriages between 6 and 8 weeks. She writes about how being open about her experiences has helped.
I have found the more open I am, the better I feel. If I talk about it, I find people then don’t feel like they have to say silly things. Equally, I have found the more I talk, the easier it is to talk about.
We first started trying for babies back in the summer of 2013 and were delighted (if not a little surprised) when we found out we were pregnant straight away. I had aches and pains throughout the first few weeks (but I didn’t really know what to expect), I had no bleeding though so thought everything was fine. Unfortunately, I started bleeding the night before our 12 week scan so we went to A&E and after hours of going through the A&E process, we were sent to EPU and then told we had to wait until our scan time which had already been booked in. We were told it was a blighted ovum (they said the sac stopped growing around eight weeks) so I needed a D&C.
We tried a few months later but sadly miscarried again. This was a very upsetting one, as by the time I managed to get a scan in the EPU there wasn’t anything there, it had all come away as a full miscarriage. So we were asked ‘are you sure you got your dates right?’ I have never felt so angry as I did that day.
I couldn’t take waiting for a 3rd miscarriage, so we went for some private tests and had all the main blood tests done. All of which came back ‘fine’ (i.e. no ‘problems’). However, during a scan they discovered I had PCOS – quite severe. The specialist put me on aspirin and also metformin (for the PCOS/Insulin resistance). We tried again and had yet another miscarriage. By this time, we were desperate for answers but still the tests came back saying there was ‘nothing wrong’.
I had another scan and the cysts had reduced, so in early summer 2015 we tried again but were devastated when at six weeks I started bleeding. It was a full miscarriage so no surgery was required. I refused to give up and as soon as I had another period we gave it another go. Things looked more positive this time, until eight weeks and I had severe cramps and spotting. The doctor managed to get me in for an early scan but they found a blighted ovum once again. I was booked in for another D&C the following week (the day after my 34th birthday…so needless to say I didn’t celebrate my birthday that year – maybe that means I am actually a year younger if I didn’t celebrate it?) They sent ‘everything’ off for testing but there were no abnormalities. I was offered a hysteroscopy after this miscarriage but that all came back fine too. After that loss, we took almost a whole year off, needing time to get ourselves together.
In the summer of 2016 my doctor noticed that my blood tests had been showing high levels of antibodies (not sure why this wasn’t picked up before). They put me on progesterone and also clexane and sent me on my way.
Once more we tried again and were successful in October 2016. All was going great, and I was even offered an early scan at five weeks. They couldn’t see anything, other than a nice healthy thick womb lining, so I went back the week after, and was told that there was the sac and yolk showing. I was in tears of joy as it was the first time we had seen anything on the screen. Yet, only one week later I started to bleed again. It was confirmed in a scan that we had lost the baby. Making it a total of six miscarriages so far. I have been to see the specialist again and he has now put me on prednisolone to try to reduce the levels of antibodies in my blood. So…the treatment begins again and I really hope that this time it is successful.
My work has been really supportive. I know I am lucky because some people really struggle with work. They even have volunteer days so I can use my volunteer days for the Miscarriage Association. They have never rushed me back. My job involved a lot of international travel, but when I told my boss I didn’t want to travel she was fully supportive.
I have always been vocal about my miscarriages. I’m at the age where I am often asked if I would like kids. I think it is important to talk about miscarriage because it affects so many people. When I posted about it on Facebook, I received many messages from friends telling me about their own experience. Even if it was early, or a blighted ovum, it doesn’t matter – it is the loss of a dream.
I am friends with the vicar at our church. At mass, he read out my Facebook post at the crib service that Christmas. He read it word for word. He said, as a vicar, he had never had deep insight into how a miscarriage affects people. He had never talked about it to anyone. I was in flood of tears, as was my husband.
The first five miscarriages I didn’t cope too well. However, I decided with this last one, it will not beat me. I have found the more open I am, the better I feel. If I talk about it, I find people then don’t feel like they have to say silly things. Equally, I have found the more I talk, the easier it is to talk about.
Most people say how brave I am, like I’m making a sacrifice. Many said that it would happen, that we would have a baby. That is the one comment that I didn’t mind hearing because it is positive. I also heard a lot of ‘at least you can get pregnant,’ well yes, but it also means every time I think it will be my time. Neighbours would bring round press clippings of people who have seven miscarriage and then had a baby. It was very sweet but didn’t fill me with the hope they thought it would.
I know miscarriage isn’t something to be ashamed of. However, it can eat away at you. Especially when friends announce their pregnancies. I have really hated them – you can’t control it, it’s pure jealously, but you can’t let that hatred continue…it will ruin friendships and will not help you in the long run. Funnily enough as soon as the babies born I am totally okay with everything.
The care we have received from the NHS has been hit and miss. There never seems to be enough people qualified to do scans in the Early Pregnancy Unit, so we have always had to wait about four days before being able to get any scans when we started to bleed. I know that some people say that ‘if it’s happening then there is nothing anyone can do’. That is true. But when you do start to bleed, you want to know if it is a miscarriage, as that way you can start to grieve and hopefully get over this terrible ordeal.
Otherwise you are just in limbo.
One thing they do say about miscarriage…it can make or break a relationship. I am thankful that this horrific ordeal over the last four years has actually ‘made’ us. My husband and I are closer than ever before. We make sure we talk about everything, and never blame each other. Well I blame myself… it is my body after all which ‘doesn’t work properly’ (my words), but my husband has always made it clear that he doesn’t think that at all.
My advice to anyone who has sadly had to go through a miscarriage:
- Keep talking (to your partner, friends and family
- Don’t shut your partner out, they are here for you
- Your partner will also need to grieve but may grieve differently to you (don’t judge them for this)
- And most importantly…do not be ashamed. Miscarriage is still such a taboo subject, but talk about it and you will find that you can cope even just a tiny bit better.
So, on to the next, and here is to lucky number 7 (fingers crossed).
About the Miscarriage Association
I am a good self-soother and try and deal with things myself. However, I have turned to the Miscarriage Association for information and advice, plus reading about other people helps you feel like you are not alone.