In Memory of Harry Hendrix Heatley
The idea of Harry’s crafty cow came shortly after I lost my son. Not only was we utterly devastated, lost and alone, but I had no idea about what was going to happen next. Nor could I find the information anywhere.
After everything I went through with my son, I felt traumatised, hurt and almost pathetic in my grief. I was so angry that this had happened and that I had to delve deep into the internet to find a band of likeminded miscarriage mums who who felt the way I did.
1 in 4 women suffer miscarriages, so why don’t we talk about this? Why couldn’t I, in my hour of need, find the comfort and support or the information needed to get through the next step?
That’s when this blog was born. To inform and help those going through the same difficult time I had and to know you are not alone. This is the first in a series of Miscarriage related articles. I wanted to start by talking about what miscarriage is and it means.
What is a Miscarriage?
A Miscarriage is the loss of a baby in the first 23 weeks of pregnancy. This could happen with or without you even knowing you’re pregnant.
What causes a miscarriage?
There are probably many reasons why a miscarriage can happen. Sadly, its one question we may never have answered as no one really knows why. There are charities in the UK researching why this happens, and what we could do to prevent it happening.
A miscarriage can be caused by abnormal chromosomes in the baby. This means the building blocks that are used to ’build a baby’ aren’t all there, so the baby is unable to develop properly. Most women after a miscarriage do go on to have healthy successful pregnancies
Remember to never blame yourself. Its not something you’ve done. I know it’s hard not to. After losing Harry I did blame myself for everything. I used to think I shouldn’t have done this or I should have done that. Truth is there was nothing I could’ve done to save him.
What is a silent miscarriage?
A silent miscarriage is when your baby has stopped developing but your body hasn’t quite got the message. Mum’s sometimes can get the feeling something is wrong but like myself, may remain unaware till a scan date or the body catches up.
In my opinion, the silent miscarriage is probably the worse kind of miscarriage. All miscarriages are terrible but the silent one more heart-breaking. Harry was silent miscarriage. I’d heard of them but never expected or experienced one before. In our conception journey, I’ve had serval miscarriages which were easier to come to terms with than Harrys. We found out on our 12-week scan date that Harry had passed. He had no heartbeat and had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I always thought I would know if something was wrong, but I felt as I had done throughout the pregnancy. I had no change in pregnancy symptoms and I never experienced anything to suggest a miscarriage. Hint the ‘silent’ part.
My advice to anyone expecting, is try not to get too excited till after the dating scan. I was beyond the point of excitement to see our little one and have never been so crushed in my life. These scans are to make sure your baby is developing correctly. Its best to stay on the fence and reframe from telling everyone till you’ve had this scan.
What are the symptoms of miscarriage?
Mainly the symptoms are
- Spotting (light bleeding on and off)
- Pain (a lot of it)
These don’t necessarily mean you are having a miscarriage, but it is a sign there could be something wrong. If you have any of these signs during your pregnancy, I advise you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Things to remember
- Miscarriage is more common than you think.
- You DO have options and rights. (Post Miscarriage)
- Its ok to not be ok- You are allowed to grieve. You are allowed to talk; you are allowed to feel the way you do. DO NOT let people tell you differently. Afterall this was YOUR baby.
- Your partner may not show it but he is grieving too. When we lost Harry, I was so blind sided my own grief I never considered James loss too. He was hurting as much as I was. He told me he found it difficult as it was my body having to cope with it all and he wished more than anything he could do something, anything to help. Remember it’s His baby too.
- Never quit. It will happen. I know its hard but never lose faith. If this is your dream you need to go for it, through all the pain and loss the end result will always be worth it.
A friend of mine….
Just as a closing note and a bit of positivity. I want to tell you about a friend of mine who has probably beaten all odds to have her beautiful son. I have changed their names for their privacy.
My friend Sarah as been trying for a baby for years with no hope and countless losses. After being referred to a fertility specialist Sarah and her partner were given the news that Sarah’s womb in uninhabitable and will 90% of the time reject a baby But they didn’t quit. They carried on clutching on to that 10% loss after loss. More time later, Ryan was diagnosed with testicular cancer. At the age of 28 Ryan had to have the life saving surgery which meant the end of their baby dream. The couple opted to have some of Ryan’s sperm frozen and decided to take the IVF route.
Sarah had to prepare her body for the treatment and lost an amazing 6 stone in weight as well as self injecting the IVF drugs every month. The odds already stacked against them they continued to work and carry on with life while remembering this is literally the one and only chance they’ll have. Sarah had already began looking into fostering and adoption options, not fully believing this will work. (I can’t really blame her).
In the first IVF stage they managed to get 16 healthy eggs. to try with. 16 final chances. After the fertilization only 6 survived.
Not giving up
Once implanted at 6 weeks Sarah began bleeding a lot. The hospitals and doctors believed she was having a miscarriage again and the baby will not survive. she paid for private scans and found that her baby still had a heartbeat and wasn’t giving up.
At 36 weeks Sarah and Ryan’s gorgeous son was born after an emergency c-section. The pregnancy sadly was riddled with complications and baby Thomas was poorly when he was born. They stayed in hospital with Thomas for 8 weeks, where he had heart surgery. On the first occasion of bringing home Thomas ending in almost tragedy as Thomas stopped breathing, Ryan saving his life by preforming CPR on the 6-week-old.
Thomas is now a 3-month-old little wonder. He is healthy and no one who knows the couple could be more happy or more inspired by the couples bravery throughout everything.
For more information
If you need to find more information or support about miscarriage, I found these websites very helpful. Talk to others. Lets end this miscarriage taboo (what no one talk about)
https://achingarms.co.uk (a lovely charity who offer hugs to miscarriage mums in the form of teddy bears. We’ve sent a Harry bear to another family and have our own.)
https://community.babycentre.co.uk/groups/a180235/coping_with_a_miscarriage (I found it helpful to talk to people on here and other miscarriage mums-Its always easier to talk to people who are feeling the same a you or share similar experiences.)