“Instead of telling you you’ll be alright, I'm just going to be that someone by your side” – Guy Sebastian Standing With You.
I have had 8 Miscarriages. Recurrent Pregnancy Loss affects only 1% of women and is defined as 3 or more pregnancy losses. I was diagnosed with recurrent pregnancy loss after having 3 consecutive miscarriages. My mother had multiple miscarriages so I knew the possibility of also going through a loss however I was not prepared for what was to come. Pregnancy, infertility and loss has silently consumed my life over the past 8 years. I felt embarrassed, and a lot of shame. It was hard not compare yourself to others, to your friends. Why was it so easy for others to have babies and create a family, but it just wasn’t happening for you. It makes it very difficult to have a conversation about how your feeling, however I was lucky to have my husband as my confidant.
You feel a deep hurt that not many truly understand, unless you have been through a similar situation. You can go to some pretty dark places when others around you are announcing pregnancies, having baby showers, and then going on to have multiple children. It has taken a lot of time and personal reflection over the years, to look back and feel proud that you showed up, you put on a brave face and gave the support and love that they deserved. To realise that it is no one’s fault and it’s just one of life’s battles you fight with every strength and drive you have in your body.
I had my first miscarriage at 24, I ended up passing it naturally and it was so painful and such a traumatic experience for someone at such a young age. I was not married at the time and the thought of having children was not a top priority, so we let a few years pass before having that conversation again. Nearly 3 years had passed, I had gotten married and now was the time to start considering children. If only i had known it was going to be so difficult. I fell pregnant twice soon after, however I ended up losing both. I opted to have d&c surgery following both the losses as I did not want to go through the pain and grief of passing it naturally. You also just want to return back to normal as quick as possible! Each loss, never gets easier. You still go through each stage of grief. You will experience every emotion as your body and mind adjusts, and you just ride the wave.
I was referred to a fertility specialist who sent me for blood tests, hycosy scans and performed a hysteroscopy. I was then delivered another blow and diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome, another rare condition which is where scarring develops inside the uterus. We started diving deeper into fertility treatments and went through multiple rounds of timed intercourse, ovulation induction and into a full round of IVF. One round of ovulation induction was successful but ended in a loss (number 4). I had another surgery to remove the uterine adhesions and soon afterwards fell pregnant but again ended in another loss (number 5).
We did a full round of IVF and it was successful however again ended up in a loss (number 6) and another surgery. Still no answers as to why I kept losing the babies, the doctors could only speculate and it could be multiple factors contributing to the loss?! My uterus lining? My immune system? Genetics? The list goes on… I’ve spent many hours googling, and spiralling and researching however nothing has given me any satisfactory answers and with time I have learnt to accept that. I so desperately wanted a family, i just wouldn’t give up, and i just kept going. You are so much stronger than you think. I went to see a specialist in Asherman’s Syndrome and they performed a surgery where they injected PRP into my uterus to help thicken the lining of the uterus. The effects of this treatment only last 3 months so we proceeded with another round of IVF however it was unsuccessful.
The following month we conceived naturally and we threw absolutely everything into getting this pregnancy to stick. There was no proven treatments we just did anything that was available that may or may not work. I was started on an immune protocol (aspirin, steroids, and blood thinners), I was doing weekly acupuncture and I had 3 intralipid infusions. We got to 6 weeks and I started heavily bleeding, and continued to bleed for weeks, however this baby was a fighter and held on. We made it to 12 weeks but ran into further problems, my cervix had started to open. I was admitted to hospital straight away and I went for surgery to place a stitch in my cervix to hold it shut. I was on strict restrictions and there was the possibility I would have to remain on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. Milestone after milestone came and i finally made it to 36 weeks, the stitch was removed and this little miracle entered the world. This has been a long journey and my husband was the absolute rock through it all. He knew it would happen one day and was the constant reminder that we could get through anything together.
My journey has not ended, I have gone through another two miscarriages (number 7 being twins) & 8), both conceived naturally. I have been blessed with being a mum but honestly, the most recent has hit the hardest and for the first time i did feel defeated and broken. It is an absolute rollercoaster, but you continue to find strength and resilience. After a total of 8 miscarriages and losing 9 babies, I have so much love to give and will not give up hope just yet. I will just continue to be grateful for what I have right now. “Instead of telling you you’ll be alright, I'm just going to be that someone by your side” – Guy Sebastian Standing With You.