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Vicki’s story: missed miscarriages and pregnancy after loss

Vicki had 2 miscarriages, including one with twins, before having her baby daughter. Here she talks about her feelings and finding support.

I was devastated. All the plans that my husband and I had made for the future of this baby had been taken away. I was no longer going to be a mummy.

Our story began in at the end of 2020 when we decided to come off contraception and ‘see what happened.’ I very quickly became pregnant, and we excitedly booked a private scan for the beginning of March 2021, when I would be 9 weeks. However, things started to unravel at the scan, when the sonographer said that both my pregnancy sacs (a twin pregnancy) were empty, and that it was likely a blighted ovum. The hospital confirmed this, and they sent me home for two weeks to wait to see if anything developed.

When I went back for a further scan, they confirmed what we already knew – the sacs were still empty, I’d had a missed miscarriage. As this was taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic, a further pain was that my husband was not allowed in with me while I was scanned.

I opted for medical management (medication) for the miscarriage. However, a few weeks later I became quite unwell, and upon further scanning, it was found that some of the tissue from the pregnancy was still in my uterus. I then underwent an MVA (manual vacuum aspiration), a surgical procedure done under local anaesthetic, to remove the remainder of the tissue. The whole thing had taken over seven weeks to end.

At first, I was defiant that it was just ‘one of those things’ and that it wasn’t going to affect me, but underneath, I was devastated. All the plans that my husband and I had made for the future of this baby had been taken away. I was no longer going to be a mummy.

After months of waiting, I became pregnant for the second time at the end of 2021. We were cautiously excited this time, but I’d read that back-to-back miscarriages weren’t common so I figured that it would be OK.

We had a couple of early scans at the hospital, and had even seen a heartbeat, but on a Saturday afternoon at about 9 weeks, I shed a tiny bit of blood. I tried not to get too stressed, as I knew bleeding in pregnancy could be normal, but we did also find a private clinic that was able to scan us that day. The sonographer said that she was pretty sure I was having another miscarriage, but that I would need to go to the hospital to have it confirmed.

After a long weekend of waiting, the hospital was able to confirm that the baby had died at around 8 weeks. Both my husband and I were numb: we literally could not believe that this was happening again. This time, I opted straightaway for surgical management, under general anaesthetic. I didn’t want to know anything about it and I didn’t want to risk what had happened last time.

After this, I became depressed. I blamed my body for what had happened. I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t able to do something as fundamentally normal as carrying a pregnancy. I started to get upset and angry seeing other women become pregnant quickly, and avoided baby showers like the plague. What made it even harder was that two of my close colleagues became pregnant around the same time as my first pregnancy, and we were all due within a few months of each other. It was so hard seeing them carry their babies to term when mine had died.

I ended up having counselling to come to terms with what had happened. This allowed me to process my grief, as well as reminding me that I was allowed to feel sad for what we had lost. Reading stories on the Miscarriage Association’s website also helped, and made me feel less alone, as well as giving me a sense of hope for the future.

However, all was not lost. In August 2022, I became pregnant for the third time. My husband and I were racked with nerves, and the first weeks were so hard. I didn’t really engage with the pregnancy to begin with, and refused to buy anything for the baby, convinced the same thing would happen again. Things got easier for me after my 20 week scan though, especially when I started to feel the baby move. I gave birth to my daughter, Clara, in April of this year (2023).

I also chose to turn my pain into power – upon realising there was no miscarriage policy at my place of work, I wrote one and pushed to have it put in place so that other women get the support they need at such a vulnerable and painful time.

For anyone reading this, please hang on and weather the storm. Things may feel so hopeless right now, but the grief will get easier, and one day things will look brighter, I promise.

Vicki with husband Ian

Vicki with husband Ian

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