Hi, my name is Ashleigh, mum of one gorgeous baby boy earth side, and I’m here to share my story. As many of you here know, miscarriage is a terrible, grief ridden experience that will never leave you.
My experience with miscarriage began in December 2015 (8-10 weeks). I was on my honeymoon. My husband and I married in March 2015 and decided to delay our honeymoon so we could do a 5 week trip to the USA/Mexico and it was going to be the trip of a lifetime. It turned into that in a way we never would have thought.
Our first stop was Las Vegas. I was told by my GP that my period could be a few days late due to air travel. I had packed a pregnancy test just in case as we were in a foreign country and I thought ‘just in case’. Three days later, we found out we were pregnant with our first baby. We were overjoyed! Thrilled to say the least. My husband and I have always wanted a family as we both come from very family oriented backgrounds.
There were no doctor’s appointments or anything as I figured I would wait until I got home to see my regular GP and we would go from there! About 2.5 weeks later we were in Orlando at Disneyworld. I remember breaking down, I was a bubbling mess and crying, telling my husband, ‘I don’t know how I know, but something isn’t right.’ The next day we were out shopping and I was in excruciating pain and could no longer stand to walk. From this point on it is all a blur. I remember going to the hotel bathroom and looking down and seeing what had happened – after that it was a ride in the ambulance followed by hours at the hospital. I struggle to remember the rest of the honeymoon as I think my brain decided to block out the pain…the whole period should be blocked out.
Since this I have had another miscarriage in May 2017 (6 weeks), a pregnancy which I carried to full term and received my blessing of a boy in April 2018, and another miscarriage in June 2019 (6 weeks).
That last miscarriage was by far the hardest. I even had someone say to me when I told them I was pregnant and scared for what was to come, “Oh, well let me know when you lose this one and I will be there for you.” This person was only told because I am close to them as I was so early, needless to say I was not expecting that response from them.
Before my full term pregnancy, we were in fertility treatment for a good year and a half (hence the whole of 2016 we went without any success of falling pregnant even with treatments). I decided to take a break once we had our miscarriage in May 2017 because I really doubted whether my heart could deal with the ache of falling pregnant and losing another angel. I believe giving my body that chance to reset is what blessed me with my son.
Did I enjoy my full term pregnancy? Probably not. I was too busy analysing every little thing from too little symptoms to too many and everything in between! I think that is something all women who endure a miscarriage go through – we lose our innocence because we know and have experienced things that can go wrong and that carries a lot of self blame with it.
Even when my son was born and I held him in my arms, I was so worried something would go wrong and it would be my fault. Was I feeding him enough? Was I being a good enough mother to him? Am I doing this right?
My husband and I are on the quest for a second baby now – we would love our son to have a sibling. It’s going to be a battle, whether we fall pregnant right away or whether it’s a struggle for us again is unknown but we will face those issues when (and if) they arise.
They say 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 1 in 4 took on a different meaning to me after my last loss – it meant only 1 in 4 of my pregnancies resulted in a baby in my arms to take home. I will never forget those 3 angels my body housed, even if it was for a very short period of time.
As women we need to support and help hold each other up in these times of grief and struggle and I think Pink Elephants is a great organisation for doing that.
Hold each other high Ladies (and men) xx