We decided to start a family in 2000. Within 3 months I was pregnant and 9 months later we welcomed our daughter into our lives. 7 months later, I fell pregnant unexpectedly and found out on Christmas Eve that I miscarried.
We weren’t trying to get pregnant again so soon but the miscarriage sparked an intense desire to add to our family and after 5 months of trying we conceived our son. 9 months on life was busy with 2 babies and we were very happy and content. When our son turned 1 we decided to have one more baby. I was so blessed to fall pregnant straight away. The 12 week scan revealed a healthy growing baby and we shared our news with everyone. My identity was going to be be 3 under 4.
At around 17 weeks I went for my scheduled doctors appointment. When he couldn’t find our babies heartbeat with the Doppler he told me not to panic (I didn’t) and sent me down for a scan. I was alone and it didn’t even occur to me to call my husband. Being told that our baby had stopped growing at 15 weeks was devastating, shocking and completely unexpected. What followed was devastating and after I had a D&E (I could not face giving birth) it was time to go home.
I have never felt so empty in all my life. I didn’t even want to spend time with my 2 gorgeous babies. I tried to find a counsellor to help me through but nobody really understood. I lost friends, alienated family and am sure experienced depression. I became obsessed and fixated on falling pregnant again and did so repeatedly over the next few years only to lose in total 10 pregnancies of which half were in the second trimester. Tests were turning up no reasons. Eventually broken and desperate I went down the road of eastern medicine. It was suggested that I had natural killer cells and a rare blood clotting disorder. I changed doctors and found someone who would confirm this. It was agreed that when I fell pregnant again I would follow a regime of aspirin and clexane daily.
My last pregnancy was fraught with extreme anxiety. I gained over 30 kilos and spent the majority of my day lying in bed making sure my baby was moving. I did not believe I would have another living child and at her birth was screaming is she dead as she was delivered crying. I look back on those years and do not know how I survived them. I also studied to become a bereavement counsellor as I wanted to provide professional support to women going through a similar experience. It was the best thing I could have done and my experience helps me to guide families through their own individual loss experiences. Miscarriage is still largely disenfranchised and I am passionate about working to evoke change. We need to talk.
Most women will experience at least 1 miscarriage in their fertility years and some like me will experience many. There is nothing to be ashamed of and everything to gain from talking and eliciting both emotional and practical support.