Rainbow Babies
Sarah's Story

Four years ago, I experienced one of the worst days of my life. I thought I was 13 weeks pregnant. Me and my husband were full of joy on our way to see our baby for the first time at the hospital - thinking back now, we were so blasé with the whole thing that we never in a million years expected to be in the position we ended up in at the end of that day. As we waited I looked around at all the heavily pregnant women in the waiting room and thinking 'I can't wait to be fat!' We both had it all worked out in our minds and lives - we even put a deposit down on a larger house as the one we were currently in was too small to fit a cot in our bedroom!

So, the scan... it still makes me so sad and tearful even thinking about it now. There was a large widescreen TV at the end of the room... There we were watching the TV, and the scan began. I instantly knew there was something wrong as there was no movement on the screen, just a still blob. After doing an internal scan, we were presented with the ridiculous news that our baby's heart had stopped beating. We just didn't believe it. Apparently a 'missed miscarriage'... What's that?! Neither of us had any idea of what this was - we thought miscarriages happened before 12 weeks in the form of pains in your tummy with bleeding - both of which I had neither. I had to have an ERPC the following week and I remember feeling empty - mentally and physically. Purely because of the shock of not knowing this was possible.

I struggled to get back to work as I hated my job at the time but had to get on with it. I remember just digging and digging for information online to try and find out why this happened and put it down to so much - mainly the stress I was under at work. I blamed myself for a long time as that was my way of getting closure on the matter. Thankfully it made me and my husband stronger as I didn't know who else to speak to. I really wanted to shout it from the roof tops that I'd just lost a baby but knew that wasn't the most appropriate thing to as everyone would think I was simply mental. We were told to keep trying and that it was rare for this to happen again so we did.

We fell pregnant again 4 months later. This time I was extremely cautious about absolutely everything. I told my employer as soon a I got positive test so that they were aware I would be taking things easy given what happened last time. I felt so different physically this time and had a positive feeling about the pregnancy. The midwife who visited also reassured me that it was rare for it to happen again so this put me at some ease. At the scan, I asked them to turn the TV screen off. I literally thought I was in a dream when we were given the exact same news as last time. Whilst we prepared ourselves for the worst, we still weren't prepared for that news. It was so unlucky and a bit of a joke really - that's how it felt. I had to have the ERPC again, which made me feel even more paranoid because I'd read somewhere that it can cause scar tissue - another factor that contributes to miscarriage. I even told the surgeon to 'be very careful' before being put asleep!! We did so much research into what we could do to get checked out but you have to have 3 consecutive miscarriages before they investigate. How awful is that?! We thought about giving up as we weren't sure we could go through it all again because to go private would have cost thousands, which we couldn't afford.

I kept going to the GP to ask what they could do on the NHS and It was limited. They sent me for a few tests - one was invasive and not necessary and another GP told that I simply had 'bad apples' and that a fresh one should be on the cards... After I experienced my third miscarriage the following year and following the death of my dad, i was at breaking point. The only thing I wanted to do is get to the bottom of what was going on – it was no longer about having a baby as I decided that I was never going to be a mum. I found the most amazing specialist who instantly put me and my husband at ease and I remember his words that will stay with me forever ‘don’t worry, I will get you your baby’... He did some blood tests and got to the bottom of what was happening. With intervention, we now have a beautiful 1 year old, which I have treasured from the moment she was in my tummy. The pregnancy with her was still so nerve racking and stressful but I knew I could trust the specialist as I was seen every 2 weeks. It was still traumatic but she arrived safely after exactly 9 months and she is perfect. How do I feel now? I don’t want any more children. This a decision me and husband made as soon as our daughter was born because the ordeal was enough for us. We are happy with our lot and wouldn’t change it for the world. Things would have been different had we of had the first baby but I don’t think we would have appreciated our daughter as much as we do. Which I guess is a positive end to an awful story. Things would have been easier to deal with had there have been a more accessible way to talk to people in the same situation, but all there was, was crazy forums with women not really helping each other or the miscarriage association who cannot speak from experience all the time. HUG is an amazing idea by a genuine person who has been through the worst kind of loss and who completely understands. I fully support it and wish there was something like this when we were going through it. Back to Top
Emma's Story

I have never had periods due to polycystic ovaries, and I had a coil inserted which unfortunately had migrated and it gave me pelvic inflammatory disease. It was evident that it had been in the incorrect position for some time, so essentially, I had around 3 years of unprotected sex totally unaware and without falling pregnant. I had very big fertility worries.

After another year, I did get pregnant. However, I went into premature labour at 23 weeks and 4 days. Our baby didn’t survive. She was fine, everything was fine. It was just too early.

Another 3 months later I had an appointment with my consultant to go over the autopsy. She relived every single second of my admission from the doctors and nurse’s notes. She confirmed that there was nothing wrong with our baby. She didn’t know why it had happened and said we will probably never know. She told me that I may struggle conceiving with my polycystic ovaries but if anytime to try again was now, just after being pregnant I will be most fertile now; little did I know I was already pregnant.

I hadn’t planned on getting pregnant but also didn’t want to stop it happening. I don’t think I was expecting it to happen. I had been telling my husband to leave me and find someone who could give him a child; what if I would never get pregnant again, what if I could, but I couldn’t carry the baby? So when I found out I was pregnant I thought I would be over the moon. But I was scared, actually I was terrified. I didn’t want to go through that again. What if I lost this baby? How could I cope twice? And if I did, I was sure that I would never try again. This in my head was my last chance, I didn’t think I would be strong enough to try again.

My consultant was the most supportive person throughout the pregnancy. She was like a security blanket and someone I relied on heavily psychologically to get me through the pregnancy. There was one week I couldn’t see her, as she was sick and I needed to see one of her juniors. This sent me into a state of anxiety and despair. I thought what if they had missed something? What if they don’t realise how much I want this baby? I also had a huge mistrust in the midwives after their lack of empathy post the birth of our daughter. I had a scan every 2 weeks up until the birth.

At just over 22 weeks I had a very small blood loss. When I saw the blood, I was so calm, I remember just thinking, ok, it’s going to happen. All I could think was, ‘just sedate me and get this over with.’ I didn’t realise how much subconsciously I had been preparing myself for history to repeat itself. Thankfully all ended well, the bleed was from an infection and the baby was fine. The consultant kept me in hospital for psychological reasons, as it was going to overlap the same gestation of losing our last baby and she didn’t think I would cope at home. She was right. My whole pregnancy was based around the next appointment with my consultant. As soon as I was home, I was almost counting hours until the next appointment. I had to see the baby on the scan, I had to see everything was ok. I obsessed over germs in case I caught a virus or something to harm the baby. I obsessed over food and I went from someone who eats anything if it smells ok, to having a 12 hour hysterical breakdown because I wasn’t sure if the ready-to-eat packet chicken in my sandwich was safe to eat. I googled bacteria in foods like an crazy woman. I needed to control everything in my power to keep the baby well. What if it’s only 1% chance of getting the bacteria? I could be that 1%. I wouldn’t go anywhere far from home in case anything happened. I worked on and off throughout the pregnancy, with surplus sick notes. I wished someone could have put me in a coma for 9 months until the baby was ready and then woke me up. Every day was hard, every twinge I over analysed, every baby movement I obsessed over. I couldn’t buy anything and I couldn’t get excited. I took each day as it came and thanked god for everyday that passed.

By 28 weeks I had relaxed slightly as I felt if I went into premature labour again the statistics are different. I was still so cautious until the baby was here and well I wouldn’t fully relax. I finally bought baby essentials at 36 weeks. My consultant wanted to induce me at 39 weeks, I was already 2.5cm dilated and my body didn’t need much persuasion to go into labour. Throughout the labour, it was hard. The pains were good pains this time, not like before when I knew I shouldn’t be in labour and I did find that really hard to accept. It did bring an awful lot back to me.

As soon as I gave birth and I heard our second daughter cry, my body and mind just instantly relaxed. I felt like the whole world was taken off my shoulders. I felt so grateful and blessed.

Then a few months after she was born, I had really mixed emotions. I longed for our first baby. Our new baby wouldn’t be here now if our first baby had survived, and it wasn’t fair that this had happened. I felt so much anger. I hadn’t bonded the same way with our second daughter as I had with our first whilst pregnant, because I wouldn’t let myself. I was so confused and upset at why I felt like this. Why one but not the other?

People would remark how it’s ok now, after all I have a living baby, and they wouldn’t mention our first baby as though they had forgotten or that it didn’t matter now. I think some people thought that maybe I had got over it. Like she was replaced. I think some people still do. These feelings of anger did pass and I learned to talk about our first baby more. I learned to include her as my first child. I included her in our family and I framed a photo of her. I learned that I wasn’t angry at our new baby, I was angry at how cruel life can be. She wasn’t replaced, and never will be. It would have been impossible to have conceived our second child if we hadn’t lost our first. I learnt to celebrate what she had given to me.

We really do have a miracle rainbow baby, she shouldn’t have existed, but she does. And she really is a such blessing. I have then gone on to have another baby under the same consultant and this time I had a lovely pregnancy and a really lovely birth. I was given a chance to enjoy and get excited about pregnancy like most people.

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Anna's Story

I was 15 weeks and 3 days pregnant when I woke in the night with excruciating pains. I went to the toilet and found I was bleeding really badly. I was absolutely terrified and my husband was away with the RAF. I rang our local hospital and told them what had happened and I said that was scared I was losing my baby. The man on the phone agreed but said there was no point going there, as they didn't do maternity! He told me to ring an ambulance or drive to another hospital. I felt so alone. I rang my mum who rushed me through to the hospital.

When we got there, it felt like I'd gone in with a cut on my hand. No care, no rush and after about 5 hours, we were taken through for an internal scan where, to my devastation, they told me there was no longer a foetus. I remember feeling like screaming, ‘IT'S MY BABY NOT A FOETUS!’ I was told then by several nurses that it's just one of those things. Many women suffer miscarriages and one nurse even quoted the statistics! I had to walk out of that room with women all sat there pregnant and with scan pictures. I just broke down. I couldn't even contact my husband to tell him our baby had died. I’ve never felt so alone and scared.

My husband was finally contacted and rushed home the next day. I think I cried solid for 3 days and the only support I had after was my mum and husband but neither knew what to say. My husband never got chance to grieve for being strong for me. We went online but it was such a mine field we found no support on there so together we just got on with life but the pain was so raw for us both. My husband had lost his mum to cancer 3 weeks previous and when he had to return to work he ended up having a break down. He couldn't cope with being away from home and ended up having to leave the RAF on compassionate grounds. That was when he finally opened up to how much he was hurting.

After a few months, we decided to try for another baby. It took a year to fall pregnant again and in that time, all I thought was that I had done something wrong and I hadn't protected our baby. I thought I'd never get pregnant again but exactly a year to the day I did fall pregnant; but the pain and uncertainty never stopped. I spent most of my pregnancy in fear that I would miscarry again. Every cramp and anything different I was panicking; we even paid for private scans as the NHS wouldn’t do anything unless you've had 3 miscarriages!

The midwives barely even acknowledged my miscarriage. They seemed to think that it was just something that happened and you were to get on with your next one. But that was our baby and we should have been given support afterwards.

We now have a beautiful healthy baby girl and I’ve never felt so lucky but I hold the pain and love for our unborn baby every day.

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"Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true" - Wizard of Oz