Three days after the wedding the miscarriage started. It began as a pain in the stomach. She knew it was happening, so we called for our fifth emergency appointment. The bleeding was constant and she had continuous pain. What could I do to make it better? The helpless feeling of inadequacy was fraught and very real.
It can also, dare I say, be quite frustrating for the woman in the relationship to do all the talking. Yes, it's our bodies going through most of the testing, poking and prodding, but it takes two to make a baby. Men aren't just there to provide the goods! As a woman, I need my other half to talk to me, communicate his feelings to me.
Amelia's magazine, cult online creative treasure trove, is returning to print for its 10 year anniversary, with an issue called That Which We Do Not understand. It sounds like it's going to be a treat. Is there anyone who isn't interested in things we don't understand? The things at the periphery, the things Science can't quite explain?
I have secondary infertility, in other words I had fertility issues after my first child was born. She is now six. After five and a half years of numerous procedures, operations, four rounds of IVF, a miscarriage and ending up with a fairy godmother surrogate, I got my happy ending, my complete family.
Perhaps it was being put deep under by the anaesthesia, for I am told it really is a little like dying. Well the closest one comes to dying without actually... dying; when you are sedated enough for them to cut into you. Maybe it was that which dropped me deep into myself, enough to touch the stuff that really mattered. The debris hidden behind decades of conditioning shot to the top.
I feel really passionate about the patients that I see suffering with the loss of their baby through miscarriage and particularly those suffering from recurrent miscarriage. It is documented that 1-in-4 women has had at least one miscarriage, which equates to around a quarter of a million women in the UK each year.
Today's post follows an interesting interview I had on the radio. The interviewer, through no fault of his own, clearly had no understanding of baby loss. He sadly resorted to many clichéd lines, which are regularly handed out to those who are unfortunate enough to know first-hand the sad reality of losing a much wanted child.
The case of the Australian couple who have taken the twin, but not the Downs syndrome sibling from the surrogate Thai mother, which has been in the news this week raises some interesting ethical issues. I don't mean to comment directly on that case here because the facts of that particular case are far from clear. The only thing that is clear is that it is very sad that it has happened. But what were the alternatives?
As a recurrent miscarrier, it can be hard to be around pregnant women and babies. Emotions swing between jealousy, self-hatred (I never used to be so nasty) and sadness for what I've lost. Self-preservation has a lot to do with it. That and the abject humiliation of having to leave a 2 year old's birthday party because you can't stop crying (got the t-shirt).
Since appearing on GMB, people have asked me "If there's a training programme which saves babies, why isn't it made mandatory? I didn't think stillbirth was preventable". I didn't think stillbirth was preventable either but I also didn't realise how common it was or how the UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in the developed world. Until it happened to me.
Every twinge and cramp caused me to panic, and I tortured myself with endless Google searches. One moment I could be wildly optimistic having read of a woman whose measurements had been the same as mine and yet went on to have a healthy baby, seconds later I would be in floods of tears imagining myself going through the next seven months of pregnancy...