Carly’s Miscarriage Story
Carly, please tell me about your miscarriage
I have had 5 miscarriages. I had my first fresh cycle round of IVF in 2011 when I was 35. It was successful and I saw a heartbeat on the screen at 6w and 7w and then at 8w there was no heartbeat. I had to have a procedure to remove everything (called and ERPC a couple of weeks later). 2 years later, when I was 37 I had another round of IVF and it was a mirror image of what happened the first time except this time there was no procedure. The doctors told me to allow ‘nature to take its course’ and for my body to naturally miscarry (which was a traumatic event) Then in 2014 when I was 38 I fell pregnant naturally. Again, I saw a heartbeat on the screen at 6w and 7 w and at 8w the heartbeat was gone. In the summer of 2016 I had a biochemical pregnancy. In Jan of 2017 I fell pregnant naturally. 2 weeks later I miscarried. I am now 41.
Did you feel you had support from family, friends your GP and the Hospital?
GP didn’t support me until I’d had 3 miscarriages as they said that they couldn’t properly investigate me until I’d had 3. Unfortunately for me this took me to the age of 40. I was sent to St Mary’s Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic who said I had an abnormal thromboelastogram and that I had ‘sticky blood’. They said that upon falling pregnant again I would simply need heparin and aspirin and I should be able to retain a pregnancy successfully. I had 2 further miscarriages after that. The follow up care from the medical professional has been awful. I guess they are just doing their job and don’t really ‘care’. My friends have always been amazing. Most of them have had children in the time that I have been trying and always told me very early on when they found out that they were pregnant – to soften the blow I guess.
What was the hardest thing for you at the time?
The hardest thing for me about it is not having an absolute answer as to why this thing, that is so easy for other people, is so hard for me. I know that in order to get answers I have to push and push. I know that the problem is with me however is it my eggs or is it my environment? I have taken it upon myself to go for the Natural Killer Cell testing at a hospital in Coventry (where the two top professors in this subject work) on 20th March at a cost of £550. I feel desperate and very sad about the situation. It’s a very lonely position to be in, especially as those who love me really don’t know what to say or do so it’s just awkward for them.
What helped you heal?
I don’t think I have healed. I have good days and bad days and try not to spend time thinking about how sorry I feel for myself. I spend a lot of time with my niece, nephew and Godson although it doesn’t do much to heal my aching heart. I’m hoping that I will become a mum at some point – whether it’s my own baby, or I adopt or foster. I think by not giving up, I make myself feel better.
Where are you on your journey now?
I have been in touch with a clinic in Barcelona that specialize in IVF and helping women between 40 and 50 to have babies. They have 80-90% success rates. Once I have the results of the natural killer cell testing, I will head to Barcelona to either have IVF using my eggs, or IVF using donor eggs. This will cost around £8’000. I haven’t had any AHA moments, just BOO HOO moments…and plenty of them ☹
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I feel that generally the NHS don’t care about women like me. I feel that IVF should be a free service for 3 rounds and shouldn’t be discriminatory. That testing for recurrent miscarriages should be offered as standard. I could have easily fallen into a deep depression over my situation, which would have cost the NHS money anyway. In other countries IVF is free or heavily subsidised. Everything about my journey has been difficult and it really shouldn’t be. I work hard and pay my taxes so would have liked to have been looked after a bit better.
Julia’s Miscarriage Story
Julia, please tell me about your miscarriage
It was 7 years ago, I was 42, I was very happy to be pregnant and there was a big gap after my son and daughter but I knew it would work. I felt good, I was at a healthy point in my life.
When I first went to the Dr and told her I thought I was pregnant she said. ”Oh well, women of your age it doesn’t always work” I had done the test and thought I’m pregnant and I thought it was a mean thing to say. It crossed my mind that I should be getting more help as in previous pregnancies I was prescribed progesterone. She did give me a light dose of tablets. One day I felt some pain and felt a bit uncomfortable but nothing happened.
I was booked in for the 12 week scan which ended up being at 14 weeks and that was when the horror began. You go along and just know that something was wrong. In hindsight just before that I didn’t feel as pregnant as prior to that. It was a hell of a shock and they were just looking and looking and looking and then they step out of the room and don’t say anything to you. I’d had two healthy pregnancies before this and I just knew something was wrong…. It was just like the world had stopped at that moment.
After that it was pretty matter of fact – I was given the option of letting it happen naturally or a termination via a D&C. We opted to go private because I wanted it to be over as quickly as possible. However it was a very cold experience, all very matter of fact, done and dusted and then we were home and had to get on with it. I was asked what religion I was and if I wanted a burial – which shocked me as I just wasn’t expecting that and it was so final.
Because I was just at 14 weeks, I was waiting for my scan before I told any of my family and friends, so it was a double blow that I had to tell them I was pregnant and now I wasn’t. My mother called me a dark-horse, when all I wanted was some support and kindness.
I felt incredibly low, just “done in” and wanted to go to bed and never get up. My thoughts were suicidal. A friend who had early miscarriages was there for me when she could be and my husband I felt wasn’t there for me at the time. I guess it was his way of coping to go out and leave me. My friend told my husband to get a doctor as she was very worried about me. The doctor came and immediately prescribed anti-depressants. This is what got me through – it numbed me and it was the only way I coped with life as a mother, a wife and a business woman. I carried on regardless and didn’t speak of it again.
It wasn’t until I heard you speak of your story that it brought it up for me again and now I feel that it’s really helped to talk about it.
Has it affected your relationship with your husband and family?
Yes, I have since divorced and I really feel that was a pivotal point in our marriage when I realised he wasn’t there for me.
My family didn’t really understand, they were a bit cross that I hadn’t told them the news I was pregnant in the first place, but I was superstitious and wanted to wait for the all clear after the scan. It wasn’t spoken of again, I guess they thought I was coping and was ok.
What was the hardest thing for you at the time?
It was when I got home, my suicidal thoughts, and the most traumatic thing was the scan.
What helped you heal?
The anti-depressants were the only thing that got me through and with some family traumas and my divorce I stayed on them until 2 weeks ago.
In hindsight would you have done anything differently?
Yes I would have sought help and talked about it either counselling or psychotherapy. It would have been really helpful to have had someone who had also been through it who understood.
Looking back have you found any meaning?
No, no meaning at all – but maybe I wasn’t on my right path and it happened to highlight something for me to be a better person, otherwise I would have just been Mum, Wife & Businesswoman. Sometimes I get guilty feelings about having had a cigarette that one day when I felt bad. But I know that wasn’t the reason. I think it made me stronger “I survived that”. It planted some seeds that all was not well in my relationship – It wasn’t the fairytale I thought it was.