One year on. 

Yesterday marked one year since that horrible 12 week scan and what was to be the start of the worst week of my life. I try not to dwell on it, as dwelling does no good, so I spent the day doing normal everyday stuff. I went to the dentist, met some friends for coffee and had my hair done. And it was ok. 

I’d be lying if I said my mind didn’t wander, but I needed to be busy and wanted not to dwell on things that can’t be changed. I think I succeeded in that. 

So, a year on and a lot has changed. The miscarriage association are still plugging away doing a terrific job of helping and supporting those who suffer a loss, and I had the pleasure of an email from lovely Ruth (to use her full name) a couple of weeks ago updating me on the latest with the educational videos I talked about in a blog post months ago. The videos have been made and are being rolled out to GP’s, Ultrasound technicians and anyone else likely to come in to contact with a woman suffering a miscarriage, any time now. I’m really glad I was able to offer some insight for this project and so pleased that it’s come to fruition. I sincerely hope it has the effect we all hope it will. 

On a personal level, although my loss still at times feels very recent and very raw it was in actual fact a whole year ago now. In that year I’ve got a new house, new job, got engaged, and of course welcomed little Arthur in to the world safe and well. I’m thankful and very lucky to have all that I have, I know that, and I try very hard not to take any of it for granted. Do I still wonder what that baby would have looked like? Of course. Do I still long for him or her? Absolutely. But then I remind myself that I wouldn’t have had Arthur, and he is pretty awesome so I choose to focus on that on the tough days. 

Although this is a morbid anniversary, I felt I needed to mark it somehow. Just let the universe know that I haven’t forgotten. Will never forget. Here seems as good a place as any to do that since here is where my recovery began really. Here is where I found unending support and understanding, here I found friends accross the world. We dragged each other through those awful times, and celebrated together through the happy times. Let’s hope there are more happy times to come for all of us. 

Baby Shower! 


Last weekend was my baby shower which my gorgeous best friend Dee arranged for me and it honestly couldn’t have been more lovely. There was plenty of delicious food, lots of my favourite people, and an overwhelming amount of practical, thoughtful and beautiful gifts for our little man, as well as some for mum and dad too! Lucky us! It was exactly what I’d have chosen had I been arranging it myself – tasteful and elegant. Not that I ever doubt Dee’s ability to know exactly what I want. She’s good like that! 

It was such a lovely day (although I was completely exhausted by the end of it!) that left Paul and I feeling so thankful for all the wonderful people we have in our lives. It wasn’t just the overwhelming generosity of our family and friends, but also having those people there who’d seen us through our loss and are so thrilled and excited for us to be welcoming our little boy in just a matter of weeks now. It means a lot to know we have so much unwavering support during the bad times as well as the good, and reminds me how fortunate we are that we’re bringing this baby in to such a loving and supportive extended family. He is one lucky boy. 

Since the baby shower I’ve had my consultant referral. We’ve been measuring a week ahead since 28 weeks so we were referred by the midwife for a growth scan. I was ready to burst with the excitement of seeing him again…but he had other ideas and only showed us his bum!!! (He’s definitely going to be mischievous!) everything was totally normal though (thankfully!) and he already weighed 4lb 4oz at 32 weeks. I think it’s safe to assume he’ll be a real chunk by the time he arrives! 

So that’s my little update for you all, we’re all happy and healthy and just on countdown now to actually meeting the little man. 7 weeks to go! 😆 

It’s a funny old life 

Today I got chatting to someone at work,  someone I don’t really know all that well, even though I’ve always chatted to her and always liked her, we just don’t work closely together so don’t have the opportunity to chat much. My guess is that a mutual friend of ours has mentioned that I suffered a miscarriage, because the chat we had today wasn’t exactly light hearted “weather’s nice” chatter! 

This lady confessed to me that she’s going for IVF a week today. Or her first appointment anyway. She told me that her chances of getting pregnant are just 15%. She then told me that she’d lost a baby at 12 weeks back in 2014. So I shared my story too. We had a brief, relatively unemotional chat about it, in a way that only two relative strangers who’ve shared the same awful experience can do. It’s stayed with me all day, the thought that she’s got this 15% chance of having a baby. I remember how desperate I was to be pregnant again after the miscarriage, how unbearable not being pregnant was, and I think if I’d had a percentage put on it, the pressure would’ve been just too much to handle. So I think this woman is kind of amazing. 

I’ve been a total mardy cow this week! Miserable, tearful, angry, irritable…I’ve been pretty horrible to live with if I’m honest, and I know it’s hormones and I can’t actually control it (I have tried and it resulted in a major meltdown! The kind where you cry so much you can’t catch a breath and there’s snot everywhere!) but hearing about other women struggling to have their babies, it just makes me sit back and realise how bloody lucky I am. I’m lucky to have the crippling back ache, and I’m lucky to have the constant headache and the sore boobs and the crazy mood swings. Because at the end of it, I’ll have my baby. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? 

We’ve got our 16 week midwife appointment on Wednesday, and I’m both excited and terrified for it. Excited because we get to hear bub’s heartbeat for the first time…and terrified because a tiny part at the back of my brain keeps niggling at me, what if there isn’t a heartbeat. That first ever scan experience where there was no heartbeat has stayed with me. It hangs over me every time I have an appointment now. I think it always will. 

I’ve thought about it, and I think I’m going to give the woman at work my number. Because whether she gets pregnant or not, I understand partially what she’s gone through, and I understand that overwhelming need to be pregnant. I also understand the anxiety that a pregnancy after a miscarriage can bring. So maybe in some small way I can help. Even if she never uses my number, at least if she’s got it then the option is there? I know for me it was so much easier to talk to the “anonymous” friends I made through this blog than it was to talk to my friends and family, and certainly talking to others in the same situation has been, and continues to be a big help. 

Funny old life isn’t it. 

Let’s hope 2016 kicks 2015’s stupid fat ass! 

Yup! That pretty much sums up what I think about 2015. It started off well, but took a serious nose dive for the last quarter and honestly, that nose dive was so shitty it took the shine off all the good things that happened prior to it. 

Needless to say, I’m hoping for a better year for us all next year. Not that I want to be all doom and gloom. I am an eternal optimist after all, and a natural born fighter to boot, so I’ll keep plodding along being thankful for the things I do have. With that in mind, I’m really wishing my amazingly supportive friends and family all the luck, love and happiness in the world for the coming year. They deserve so many good things. They’re always there and always awesome but never was that truer than in September when my whole world crumbled. I seriously wouldn’t have survived it without my amazing man and family by my side, and that handful of truly fantastic friends who just let me be. Whether I was happy or sad or crying or screaming, they just let me be. They have been and still are so understanding even when I’ve been an antisocial, miserable hermit! They lost the Cerian they knew and loved for a while there, but I think she’s breaking through the surface now. For their unending patience, I can’t thank them enough. They will never know how much they helped me or how thankful I am to have them in my life because there just aren’t enough words to explain it. 

I go in to this new year with a feeling of being at peace. Life is messed up and chaotic and sometimes really really shitty but if it wasn’t then maybe we wouldn’t be the people we are today. I hate that I, and so many of my friends, old and new, have had to know the pain of losing a child, but it has shown me that I’m capable of such all consuming love that the loss of it is utterly devastating. So, if I’m looking for a positive here then that has to be it. Because what could be more amazing than knowing you have that much love inside you? 

So here’s to a better 2016. A happy, healthy one full of happy tears not sad ones. Here’s to a fresh start. X

A glimmer of hope…


As you will all know from my very first blog, I was very keen to make sure that my feedback was sent to the right people to get some positive and much needed changes to the way in which the NHS (and for all I know, private health care too) treats miscarriage. My experience was terrible, and sadly I’m learning more and more than it was not unique. It seems that the attitudes of medical staff towards early pregnancy loss is pretty awful all over the U.K.
When you get that heartbreaking news all you want is some compassion, some  understanding and some kind words. Sadly it seems that cold and clinical is about all you’ll get though. I’ve tried to contact the health minister for Wales (surprise surprise no response from him) and the chief of nursing for Wales, and Yep, you guessed it – no response from her either. But I am determined to make sure that someone listens to me and does something about this unacceptable situation so I once again turned to the brilliant people at the miscarriage association. A lovely lady called Ruth gave me her email address and asked me to send my feedback to her with the promise that she would make sure it got to the right people.

So Sunday morning I sat with a cup of coffee and wrote the whole sorry story in what ended up being a very lengthy email to Ruth, including my suggestions for how I think improvements can be made. I was realistic in what I asked, I appreciate that the NHS is severely under resourced and as such made sensible recommendations as to how they can make inprovements that won’t cost them anything at all – Mainly by just being more human! Not really rocket science is it?!

Anyway, lovely Ruth emailed me straight back with some really positive news that I had to share with you all because in this sisterhood of sorrow it’s too easy to get stuck on the negativity, and I think we could all do with a little victory to help us along.

It was a very long email full of information so I’m giving you the bullet points – she told me about the NHS maternity review which is being undertaken by NHS England, but as Ruth pointed out, if England makes changes Wales will have to follow suit. There is a survey online where women and their partners can leave feedback on their experiences around pregnancy, birth, labour and loss. Naturally I filled it out immediately, and I urge you to do the same. The more people who leave honest feedback, good or bad, the better.

As well as this, Ruth is going to several meetings with health care professionals to discuss the maternity review and offer suggestions based on their experiences at the miscarriage association. Ruth has assured me that my email will be a big help, and that she will be using the points I’ve raised and passing my feedback on to the relevant people. Hurrah! Finally someone who’s listening and wants to help.

The miscarriage association are also producing three videos which will be sent to healthcare staff who are most likely to encounter miscarriage. These include GP’s, sonographers and paramedics, to advise and better inform them of how to handle this delicate situation. Once the first three have been reviewed, there are plans for more of these videos to be produced too.

I can’t tell you how happy Ruth’s email made me. Obviously it doesn’t make the pain and loss I still feel go away, but knowing that something positive could come out of such an awful thing, and knowing that I’m making a difference really brings me a lot of comfort. When I set out with this blog, it was to break the silence around miscarriage and do my best to make sure that improvements to the healthcare system in the U.K were made. It’s a long road and of course I’m not giving up on it yet! I’ll continue to contact as many influential people as I can, and I know that the miscarriage association will keep doing everything that they can too. They really do offer a wonderful service and honestly the support I’ve received from them has been amazing.

At the end of this post you’ll find a link to the miscarriage association, where you can donate if you feel so inclined – after all, they are a charity who’s amazing work can only continue with public support. I’ve also included the link to the NHS maternity review – One to the pregnancy and birth survey, and one to the pregnancy conplications and bereavement survey. To reiterate, this is an England only review, however you can complete the survey and input your postcode and the hospital you’re referring to even if it’s in Wales, Scotland, Ireland. So, I figure it’s worth a go – who knows, maybe the information will be passed to the relevant people anyway.

https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/matrev-consult-pregnancy-complications-bereaved

https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/nhs-maternity-review/consult_view

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

*Update* I’ve just received an email update saying that my email has been forwarded to the team responsible for making the videos. The comments back from the scriptwriter were that mine was the most touching case study they had read, and that they will be using my email and my experience in the videos, and thanking me for helping them to make a difference. I’m so thrilled by this! I feel like it’s a really important step.

A problem shared…

This week would’ve marked the half way point of my pregnancy. Understandably, that’s thrown up some emotions that I’m trying desperately to keep in check. 

It’s heartbreaking to think that by now we should’ve had our second scan, should’ve known the sex, should’ve started decorating the nursery. I should be out on my lunch break buying baby clothes. But I’m not. 

I’m trying to stay positive though and not think about the “should be”. Easier said than done mind you. So, in light of my current mood and to mark this sad week with something positive I’d like to share a message with you all that I received last week. I’m sharing it because a) it makes me feel *slightly* better knowing that I’ve made a difference to someone and because b) I think it’s really important to highlight how much talking about miscarriage is needed. The more we talk, write, share our experiences the more people we touch.  

 This isn’t the first message like this I’ve received, and sadly I’m sure it won’t be the last. Every single person who’s contacted me (and there have been many) has touched me with their stories and as much as they thank me for helping them, I owe them ten times the thanks for helping me. Taking the decision to share my journey was scary, but the response I’ve had is just phenomenal. So thank you all for taking the time to contact me and for being brave enough to share.