A Fourth Miscarriage | I feel utterly helpless

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This week, Jen and I had another miscarriage. Our 4th. This time, the same as our first; ending in the SMM operation.

Going back 6 or 7 weeks to the moment Jen told me that she was pregnant, I was absolutely over-joyed. We’d been trying to get pregnant for nearly 2 years, had the disappointment of what seemed like millions, of monthly negative pregnancy tests and we’d started to have fertility tests. She’d given up all hope of ever getting pregnant and if I’m honest I was beginning to worry.

Then all our hopes and dreams are true. Jen secretly filmed me whilst she told me the news, via a new ‘big brother’ t-shirt for Ted. I was confused when I first read it, then the penny dropped. (Never been the sharpest of knives…)

The following few weeks were very mixed emotionally. I was mainly excited and hopeful but the previous 3 miscarriages in my head reminded me of how quickly life can change. I tried to keep my excitement relatively controlled and remain realistic of the possibility of a further loss. What a good call that turned out to be.

The three weeks following our first scan were some of my darkest, ever.

Due to the multiple miscarriages we went for a scan at 7 weeks. The doctor offered one at 6 weeks but we asked to wait, knowing that the further down the line we managed to get the better the chance of seeing a heartbeat. There was no heartbeat.

Come back in 10 days time.

Words we had heard from the sonographer before and words we had hoped we would never hear again. She told us that it *might be fine. That our dates *might be wrong. They weren’t. We know our dates like our birthdays as we’ve been living the ovulation kit life! She tried to be positive and told us not to worry. We did. We both knew. Those were 10, very long, lonely days.

Confusion

Uncertainty

Angst

Frustration

Helplessness

Anger

Loneliness

10 days of pretty shit emotions. And that was just me. Let alone my beautiful wife whose body was still experiencing all the normal pregnancy symptoms; nausea, tenderness, pregnancy spots, exhaustion. Her body had changed and was showing itself to be very pregnant. How she kept it together as much as she did, feeling what she was, I’ll never know. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to. We had no friends or family to talk to. Ten days of heartache and worry all whilst being very ill.

Then came day 10. Back to the hospital and our worst fears were confirmed. Whilst we’d readied ourselves for the news, it was still a shock to the system.

But the foetus had grown a small amount, still without a heartbeat visible, so the Dr refused to give us a clinical decision on whether this was a miscarriage or not. We knew our dates exactly, we’d been here three times before, we knew there was no hope and that our pregnancy journey was over. But the NHS refused to tell us what everyone in that room knew. Because of policy.

And that meant more waiting. Jen cried, I cried. We spoke to three different members of staff asking them to help us and not put us, and Jen’s body through another week of this. Another week of being pregnant, when you know the outcome. The decision was final. Whilst there was pregnancy growth, it could not be classed as a miscarriage and any medical intervention would be classed as a termination.

7 more days waiting for a miscarriage to start, knowing from history, that it probably wouldn’t, naturally. Jen had to continue to carry an inviable foetus, feeling all those pregnancy symptoms continuously and we both couldn’t begin the grieving process. Why?

Because of NHS policy. A policy that I feel neglects the mother and father’s mental health as well as their wishes.

So a final, third scan. Again we were told of miracles and not to lose all hope. This was not helpful. We had lost all hope and rightly so.

We were finally booked in for the SMM a week later. Arriving at 7am and having to walk past the labour ward. Whoever designed the layout of the hospital, needs a reality check. The morning I’d been dreading, and would wish upon no-one, I had to walk my wife directly past the post natal suite, heavily pregnant women and a grandparent carrying a ‘congrats it’s a girl’ balloon. On our way to say goodbye to yet another pregnancy.  Is that not all levels of wrong?

I couldn’t believe that we were going through the same devastating experience as we had done, almost exactly two years prior. I struggled with it then, and even more so now.

This week Jen and I experienced our fourth miscarriage. This time we have been offered tests to help us find out any reasons for our losses. I’m unsure how I feel about these tests and the results they might throw at us. I’m unsure of our future and I need to take some time out to digest the past few months and find a way to move on. What I do know is that I am a lucky man to have Jen as my wife. Our journey together hasn’t been an easy one but together we will get through this and come out even stronger than we were before.

 

If you’d like to read any of our other posts about miscarriage, here’s the links:

Dads; Coping With Loss After Miscarriage

A Second Miscarriage

Men and Miscarriage – Upload your miscarriage story for other dads to read

The Story of a Dads Miscarriage

Miscarriage. “I feel faulty” – An honest insight into how a pregnant mum feels, whilst waiting to miscarry a much longed for baby.

 

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72 Comments

  1. I am so sorry that you and Jen are going through this right now. It is so important to tell your story but can’t be easy on you. The testing may tell you nothing but it may give you both some hope. You are in my thought.

  2. Al, I so, so wish there was something I could say to make anything feel any better for you & Jen but I know I can’t. We suffered our first miscarriage a couple of weeks ago and I had told my partner in exactly the same way. I can only imagine what you are going through having been through this before. It’s bloody awful and it just shouldn’t happen, life is too cruel sometimes. Sending lots of love from our family to yours X

  3. I am so sorry for your family’s loss. We had two miscarriages –my first two pregnancies. I opted to get the resting after the second. Come to find out my issue was simple. I just didn’t produce enough progesterone to carry a child until the placenta fully formed. Since learning that we were able to manipulate cycles and now I have my 11 mo old daughter. Please don’t give up yet. It could be something so simple. And if it’s not, there may be interventions and steps to get your beautiful baby. Thinking of you and your little babies <3

    • Hi there,
      Would you mind me asking which country you live in and how you found that out? I have had two miscarriages around 7 weeks and have a feeling the progesterone levels are the issue. But they won’t investigate unless I have another miscarriage. :(

      • Hi. I went to see a Kinesiologist and she advised that my progesterone levels were low and that my babies would never stick. One course of meds later and I fell pregnant the next cycle. I’d definitely look into it. X

        • Aw thank you! Never heard of that kind of doctor before so that’s really helpful. We’ve been trying for about 15 months but with the 2 miscarriages, I’m actually wary of getting pregnant again if it’s just going to result in the same outcome.

          Thank you again :)

          • I had low progesterone and had progesterone support for 20 weeks. It’s like a sticking plaster.. My 6 year old is fast asleep. Preserve and get it checked X

          • Sometimes just taking regular aspirin can make a difference. As a midwife I meet lots of families who have had pregnancy losses. It is a good idea to talk to someone and discuss what tests are available. You may not want to have some of them but that’s fine. Sometimes there is a simple answer. In the mean time just allow Jen and yourself time to recover.
            Hoping for a very happy ending for you both xxx

        • I’m finally being seen at Guys hospital but again just so tired of it all. They have done various tests as I had abnormal bleeding for a couple of months but they are all coming out clear. But I guess they would as we have managed to get pregnant in the past but lost them both. Now they’re saying if my last test (HSC where they push fluids through my tubes) is clear then I will just be discharged back to my GP. So no support going forward when I actually get pregnant again or advice about keeping the pregnancy. My consultant doesn’t believe progesterone levels make a difference. :(

          Those who took aspirin, do you remember what dose you took?

          • I took a dose of baby asprin every day following my second pregnancy ending in miscarriage at 16 weeks. I am not sure my problem was low progesterone as I got quite far along, and already had a daughter, but my consultant advised I take a low does of asprin anyway to stop around week 36 and I now have a 1 year old. Wishing you all so much luck x

  4. So sorry for your loss.having only suffered one miscarriage I can’t begin to imagine how you feel as that was hard enough! Totally relate to the points you are making-I knew my dates exactly but still had to go home knowing in my heart of hearts my baby had died,fortunately I miscarried naturally but those few days were a period of unknown,you hold out a little bit of hope, but feel numb and like your just turning the wheel trying to get through each day. The hospital I attended was the same I had to pass heavily pregnant woman outside the unit smoking on my way for my scan,it took all my willpower not to say something-life is so unfair! I have a wee boy not much older than teddy and he and my hudband got me through each day. I now want to try again but I’m scared it happens again,I don’t know if I could go through it all again. My thoughts are with you all x

  5. I am so sorry to read this. My thoughts are with you all, I think you are so brave and sharing your story must be truly difficult but know that it will help so many other families facing loss. I hope you can get some answers. Life is so cruel sometimes.

  6. Oh Al, my heart breaks for you. This is too cruel. The world is just not fair. And I can’t believe that you were put through all that waiting. I had my first miscarriage on a delivery suite and it is so cruel that you have to be reminded of what you are losing at such a tragic time. I can understand your reluctance about the tests. I found those so tough and when they came back without any answers then my heart broke all over again. You are in my thoughts. I know how hard it is too decide how to move on. And I just so wish you and Jen could have the happy ending you deserve. I know that at the moment I may not be the right person to talk to but if you or Jen ever want to chat to a friendly face who can empathise then please just give me a call. Sending you both lots of love, hugs and hopes for the future. Lucy xxxx

  7. I am so, so sorry… I just watched this (on my lunch break) and have to compose myself to go back to work now – my heart is hurting for you both, it really is! I don’t have any experience of miscarriage, but so much of what you write feels familiar to me anyway – with the Hyperemesis I felt like my emotions and the trauma I was experiencing meant nothing to the Drs we saw, and the helplessness my husband felt led to his depression… Then there’s the grief of a loss that you cannot explain in words that convey how it feels (for us it is knowing we can never face the trauma of what pregnancy would be like for me again). So, as I say, I don’t know what it is like for you right now, but my heart still feels for you so much. Please know just how much your video and post will help so many others, and remember that you need support too… Give yourselves plenty of time to feel all the big, crazy emotions that you’re feeling right now, call on others for support, and take good care of yourselves. I’ll be thinking of you x

  8. My heart breaks for you guys! We lost a baby after our son, we were 5/6 weeksish and the heartache then was so raw and painful. Waking up in the middle of the night with pains and then seeing the worse sight you can on the tissue when you’re meant to be pregnant and knowing it’s the end. You wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. We threw out the big brother top as it hurt so much to look at and knew we’d never be able to look at it without being hurt by the loss of the sibling he should have had then, although now we wouldn’t change the little, rainbow baby girl were expecting. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the miscarriage, even though it was early and everyone likes to remind me of that, it was meant to have been our baby and I cannot forget that. You guys deserve the happiness and I truly hope you get the happiness. My partner actually had to stop watching the vlog that went with this as he was tearing up! It’s easy to forget, even for me, that Brad suffered just as much as I did emotionally. Sending you guys love and our thoughts and I just hope that one day soon you guys get the happiness and teddy gets to wear the big brother top in pride! X

  9. Gary Warwick on

    I don’t know what treatments you have gone through but I do feel your pain as I have been there myself. We have an amazing 3 year old boy now but it was a journey getting there.

    If you read this and you haven’t done so already you should absolutely go see Dr Siobhan Quenby at Coventry University, it’s private so will cost you but she is doing some fantastic research on miscarriages.

    It worked for us and might just work for you too

      • Carrie Gorman on

        Hey guys , I have tears in my eyes reading your story because my partner and I have went through what you have . My name is Carrie, and have had 12 miscarriages in total, including 2 ectopics. Not only was I stuggling to carry to term (mostly early miscarriages between 6-10 weeks, but in the end after 3 ectopics my tubes were so badly ruptured I can only have fertility treatment now to assist me in conceiving. And after various treatments including Failed IVFs We now have a very healthy energetic 16 month old son . Still using my eggs and my partners sperm….My trouble was carrying and holding on to the pregnancy and I swear the Intralipid Infusion ( Soya and egg drip) was what helped me to carry my baby to term) please research this! It boosts immune system but also help fight against killer cells that may me attacking the little embryo. It’s so simple yet effective. It’s not offered to you but if you ask about it they can refer you for it. I was also put on clexane and aspirin from the start even though there was nothing wrong with my blood, and steroids . Please don’t give up guys! I thought we would never have a baby but now we do and still can’t believe he’s out after all that! I’m probably not making much sense but any questions please ask! I’ve Ben through it all. Good luck guys xxx

  10. I think a lot of issues have been highlighted. More testing should be offered after the 2 miscarriage to understand the cause of it. Also I think there are more than the natural way to become parents. There are a lot of children looking for a Mam and Dad

  11. I’m sorry for all your and Jen’s losses. Havig experienced 2 miscarriages and the stillbirth of my daughter I can relate to your sense of loss. I found it very isolating but thankfully me and my husband’s relationship remainder strong. Please remain hopefully as my fourth pregnancy was successful and I now have a 15 month old – I did have medication of progesterone which I started as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test. I wish you both comfort at this difficult time and thank you for being so open about your miscarriages.

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss and what a heartbreaking journey so far. I read your post and my heart ached for you and it brought back such sad memories I truly recognised. Out of 9 pregnancies I have 2 babies. I’ve had the heartbreak before and in between the babies and I’ve felt exactly the same as you have written and I’ve had those awful operations each time too. Please don’t give up there is hope for us ladies who can get pregnant but struggle to carry. It was a hard journey for us but it worked in the end, naturally. My last pregnancy my waters broke at 28 weeks and we thought that was that. They resealed and I carried to 36 weeks and now my baby is 6 months old , my daughter is nearly 5. There is hope even if it doesn’t feel like it I know I’ve been there but now look. I hope it all works out for you xxx

    • WOW. so pleased to hear they resealed, that must have been such a worrying time. So sorry for your losses and thank you for getting in touch and for your kind words.

  13. I can feel the pain in every word you have written. After meeting you only once Al, I know what a happy, upbeat and positive person you are and to hear the pain you and Jen are going through is truly heartbreaking. I hope that you can find strength in each other. You have the support and love of everyone around you … Thinking of you both a little Ted xxx

  14. Im so sorry u are going through such a painful and sad time again. But please dont give up there is help and hope.
    l had four miscarriages then on my five pregnancy l had a miscarriage or so they thought turned out l was having twins not that we knew it sadly l lost one then 6mths later we had our son. Then l had another son. Then 3 more miscarriages including another set of twins. Then my 3rd son was born. One more miscarriage before l was sterlized. I was told my miscarriages could of been the pill or the coil. The doctors also said my body just might not like to carry girls. I know its painful and u never forget but please try and keep your hopes up.

  15. carole Sampson on

    Really feel for you. We suffered 2 miscarriages, my 1st at 17 weeks. He came out of me whilst I was on the toilet. Luckily I was in hospital on an antenatal ward but then got moved to a bereavement room on a postnatal ward… Like you said, who designs these places. I then suffered another 4 months later. Please don’t give up. Do everything you can or feel able to to try and help you achieve that precious goal. Good luck. Its lovely to hear everyone being so supportive. Xx

  16. Hannah Holdgate on

    I am so so sorry to read about your losses. I know the feelings and emotions well. I know the pain and heartache of multiple losses. Of scan after scan looking bad but no one willing to confirm what you all ready know, another baby lost. I suffered 4 miscarriages and 5 years of hell in my husband and I’s quest for a family. We found out my husband has a balanced translocation and for us, that knowledge was power. We researched and I connected with other people with the same wonky chromosomes. I met through the Internet a group of amazing, courageous men and women who supported me as we strived for a family. They had walked in my shoes. They new the pain and suffering of multiple losses and infertility. Good luck and I hope you get some answers and your longend for baby, mummy to 15 month old twin boys

  17. So sorry to read about your sad news. I’ve had several miscarriages and know that it is such a horrendous, painful and difficult time. I think it’s brave of you to share your story like this, and important too. More people need to understand the impact of miscarriage, especially multiple miscarriages, on both the woman and the man, but often (as was the case with me) it is a time when we feel particularly helpless and low, retreat into ourselves and feel least like sharing, so those feelings go unreported. My heart goes out to you both.

  18. God bless you all. Miscarriage is truly just awful. It’s awful every time it happens. The feelings and emotions are a never ending cycle that never ever leave you.
    Good luck for you all x

  19. Al and Jen – I follow you on Instagram and Twitter, and I just want to say how brave and brilliant you are. I have a little girl, Polly, who is a similar age to Teddy. I had a miscarriage in December last year that ended up with me having an SMM too. I’ve been on an uphill struggle to get my head around it ever since. To see you both talking about it like you do has been a huge help to me. It’s not the comfort you’re looking for I’m sure but I just wanted to let you know you’ve made me and all the emotions I’ve been having feel normal xx

    • Thank you Charlotte, that was absolutely our aim by sharing the video. I am so sorry and please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to talk with Jen or I.

  20. Oh Al, I’m so so sorry for you and Jen. I cannot imagine what you’re going through right now.

    You are so very very brave sharing you’re story – I hope that at the very least it makes people think about the whole process. It certainly doesn’t sit right from where I’m sitting.

    My heart is breaking for you. Thinking of you both. X

  21. Further to my comment…

    I don’t know whether it’s the right time, but I went to see a kinesiologist after two years of trying. She said I wasn’t producing enough progesterone so no babies would ever stick. Not sure if that’s an avenue to explore seeing as the NHS are being as helpful as ever.

    It’s classed as private but it only cost us £50 for the consultation. It’s also natural and sits in the same family as reflexology, etc.

    Xx

  22. Adriane Samantha on

    After following you on twitter, this is the first time I’ve read one of your posts. I wish there was something I could say that means more than “I’m so sorry for your loss” but I’m utterly lost for words. This is beautifully written and your video had me sobbing, you’re right that a lot of the time the dad’s take a backseat when it comes to miscarriage. It feels completely inadequate but I really and truly am sorry that you’ve had to go through this – the both of you, I’m heartbroken for you.

  23. I am so sorry to read this – We have been trying for 3 years but have had a few very early miscarriages. I cannot imagine the level of pain you are going through knowing what the out come will be but having to wait it out. Totally heart breaking! and I worry this may be us in the future. I thank you for speaking out about it and making people more aware of these incredibly sad events that can and heart breakingly do happen.

  24. Rosemary Rowe on

    Al, there is nothing I can say to make it better for you and Jen, so I can only add that I am sincerely sorry for your loss(es). I’m 58 now and my DD has just given us a DGS – after 5 miscarriages of her own. It must be genetic for us as I also miscarried – 6 times before my miracle girl came along, and once afterwards, trying to give her a sibling (against medical advice because I had pre-eclampsia with DD).
    The fact is, all I needed was an aspirin to “keep” the foetus, and my Ferritin levels checked. All those years ago, they didn’t know as much as they do now. So, take heart, grieve and heal and then maybe you’ll both be able to entertain the ideas some lovely people have suggested here.
    I admire your honesty and send you all the best wishes possible. I follow you guys across social media and shall wait and see what the future brings. Sharing what you’ve been through will be immensely helpful to others – thank you for your bravery and your honesty. xo

  25. Very well written as a husband to a wife who has been through 13 miscarriages i know exactly what you go through and it doesn’t get easier. Thoughts with every couple who goes through this.

  26. So sorry to hear about your 4 miscarriages. It is such a lonely and isolating experience to go through. We had 3 miscarriages and it took us a while to get pregnant each time too. For my 4th successful pregnancy (which was an iui pregnancy) I took prednisone, fragmin injections, high dose folic acid and aspirin. Have any of these medications been offered to you guys. Sending you both lots of strength and understanding.

  27. Hi Al,

    my wife and i are in a very similar situation, theres not a lot i can say to stop the “helplessness” or “unfairness” i feel it too…….

    thinking of you anyway

    Jack

  28. Dear Al,

    It is a heartbreaking thing you are going through, I completely understand. My wife and I had 5 miscarriages in 3 years. SHe actually had a miscarriage the day of our wedding. Everyone became harder and harder to cope with and hope started to disappear. The pain of watching my wife lose hope bit by bit was the hardest thing I have ever had to witness. I alomst lost her completely at one stage due to the sheer grief. I didnt know what to do, I felt like there was nothing I could do to help her. But we had each other and we supported each other though it. The hope being shattered over and over again, sitting in waiting rooms with pregnant women waiting for scans. Women waiting for scans to have abortions. The NHS has a lot to answer for. The pain at times was unbearable.

    But when we felt all was lost and were considering adoption, but there was actually a light. He is now 10 months old. We did go through an aggresive round of treatment prior with a private consultant in London, anti-malaria drugs, steroids, blood thinning drugs, progesterone. But something worked.

    But as a dad and a husband all I can say is, keep heart, keep your hope alive.

    Stuart

  29. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    When I read your post I thought I could have quite literally written it myself. We went through the same sad saga where we were sent for a scan at 6.5 weeks and told everything was fine but no baby, we must just be off on our dates by a week or so. Me, being OCD with the ovulation sticks knew my dates perfectly. We were not ‘off’.
    The next 2 week of waiting was awful. I couldn’t concentrate at work, could barely look after our 2 girls, it was excruciating torture and endless false hope. Everyone was telling me it was fine.
    2 weeks later the baby had weirdly grown but no heartbeat so they still couldn’t diagnose. Another week, probably the worst of my life, of walking around trying to function whilst in mental agony, carrying a dead baby which I wasn’t even allowed to grieve for. My girls wondering why mummy was so sad.

    Finally a week later I got my diagnosis and release. I also had to walk out the door past newborn babies and elated new mothers.

    3 months on I still walk around like an emotionless zombie, unable to feel anything but pain. I don’t know how I will ever conceive again, or get through another pregnancy.

    My heart really does go out for you having to go through it so many times. I miscarried my first but luckily caught with 2 healthy daughters in between.

    I hope we both find peace and our happy endings. I wish you all the luck in the world.

  30. Love and support to you and your wife. It’s such a horrendous and lonely thing to go through, even as a pair. I hope you get a happy ending. It’s good to hear a Dad’s viewpoint on miscarriage. I don’t read many posts on miscarriage at all, I just find it too upsetting, but I couldn’t not read yours.
    xxx

  31. Thank you for writing this, during what must be an awful, dark moment for you and your family. Please take some comfort from knowing your bravery in sharing will help others deal with this same devastation. Love and light x

  32. Me and my boyfriend have had 4 recurrent miscarriages, we’ve had all of the tests including natural killer cells test. They found nothing wrong with me. We are trying again and I’m scared and fear the same will happen again. I do have hope but I think that’s so I enjoy life. You have to dig deep and carry on. I believe one day it’ll happen although I am 40 now so I’ve not got forever. It’s horrendous what you’ve been through. The part I don’t like is having all of the pregnant symptoms and the scan and then nothing! I’m looking after myself now my last hope is diet, exercise and reflexology and probably a nutritionist next. Keep going and I believe it’ll happen for us and you guys too. The one thing is that there’s suppose to be lots of support nowadays and I don’t think the support is still that great. I’ve never felt so alone. Good luck :-)

  33. I recognise every word. Vivid memories of placing my hand on my wife’s belly somehow feeling like it might protect them or help, painful. We are 9 and counting.

  34. Hello, this is the first time I have ever posted on a page like this and the first time I just had to reply…I have had 4 miscarriages myself and totally understand your feelings. I too have not known how to walk past the delivery suite knowing our baby was dead and being enduced on the same ward as labouring women, with nothing afterwards. I too have waited to go into the room to see the nurse after the scan with the line sorry there’s no heartbeat today and watched countless mums come out with there scan picks kissing there other half with the joy that for this scan their baby is ok…..In the raw knowledge ours was not……..and the nhs have one last rub it in your face the multiple mc clinic has the same waiting room as the 2nd trimester scans all those lovely bumps…..I try to tell myself for every bump I see there’s a journey to get there and that one day we will be the ones the other side of the room sporting the bump and I just hope I remember to tuck my scan pic in my handbag and try to remember the pain and anguish of being the sad lost couple sat the other side of the room or the lady in tears walking back past the hospital halls reminders of what she has lost …it’s the pain that u face every day everywhere u turn somebody is pregnant or just given bith on TV in the store everywhere…..thanku for reminding me we r not alone and I hope my morbid tale reminds everyone they r not alone either…

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