06 Feb “I didn’t want to talk about it, I was in a dark place.”
Gina contacted us with her story earlier this year, telling us of the tragedy of her multiple miscarriages.
Read her story to find out how she hopes to support & inspire women who have faced similar situations.
I am 37 years old, I have a stepson of 16 & no children of my own. My husband & I married in 2013 as we had talked of a family of our own, but I was quite keen on my children having the same surname as both me & also their brother, so for this reason to me marriage had to come first.
I think it was about 12 months on we started to question things, seek medical advice, go for some quite unpleasant tests. We were then told that there was a very slim chance of us naturally conceiving & IVF would be an option.
I spoke to several contradicting medics – 1 advised I should take a certain drug, ‘but not for too long as it can cause cancer’ – at this point I started to research & begin to understand the journey we faced.
Luckily we were then sent to a different consultant who disagreed with this recommendation & referred for IVF treatment – is pretty much how it goes: tons of referrals, scans, blood tests, cancelled appointments, engaged telephone lines, waiting rooms, scans, lots of walking past pregnant women, teaching sessions – this was over what I could describe as a very anxious period.
Unfortunately, round 1 didn’t happen for us, there was no positive pregnancy & looking back, I felt so stressed – it’s no wonder, I hadn’t even opened to anyone at work – I thought I would be a hinderance.
Somehow, we got over it (it took time) and we tried again 12 months later. This time I changed my approach & opened to my manager – it was amazing knowing I could trust someone. I tried to take my appointments out of work time as difficult as it was, it meant I was doing long days & I felt worn out – but I did feel supported. This time felt so different – I knew what to expect, I felt OK balancing work & both my husband I felt like it was going to happen for us, which thankfully it did! We were pregnant – finally.
I can’t even explain how & excited and grateful we both were. I was elated to tell my manager the great news, it was a very emotional time – we had so many people rooting for us. It was going for our second scan when our world fell apart. We’d spent the last hour in a waiting room with pregnant women – thrilled, waiting to be called in next.
‘’I’m so sorry. There’s no heartbeat”
Those words resulted in complete isolation, I didn’t want to talk about it, people wouldn’t know what to say or how to approach me, I was in a dark place. You don’t really received support from the NHS throughout the process and each stage is new and overwhelming, especially when you experience loss.
People who often allowed space for me to talk or who were just there and present for me made me feel really comfortable , but you do get people (probably out of feeling awkward themselves not out of lack of love) who tried to provide solutions for what had happened, shared other people’s successes and gave their top tips to increase my fertility which resulted in worry & bitterness.
This really impacted my recovery – being invited to a baby shower the week I was due in for surgery sent me into a dark place.
It took a huge toll on our relationship, two people grieving in different ways and coping using different outlets. We had a very hard few years, worked on our fears, healed, & in 2018 we tried IVF again. We had 2 strong embryos & so we started to have lots of excitable ‘we may be having twins’ conversations.
We didn’t get that far – instead, we had the no heartbeat conversation, again.
When going through the process of learning that you have lost your baby, or knowing that there may be complications, you are in the same waiting rooms as new mothers who have heard their first heartbeat, or Mums who are due to deliver.
For us this was heart-breaking and something we were not equipped for. The NHS are fantastic in everything they provide but for me the place was a paradox, we were merely a number within a process, they have the power to give me everything I ever wanted but it is also a symbol of heart wrenching pain.
Those feelings you never forget.
It’s now 2020 – after a challenging few years I have opened my mind to a new way of thinking, I want to turn the negatives into positive; I am speaking to my local MP & also my employer about how can we best support women like me in the community and the workplace.
I am extremely grateful to have made a place on the Northern Power Women future list –https://www.northernpowerwomen.com/portfolio/gina-jacobs/
I will be using my social platforms & network to share my real-life stories with others in the hope that I can support & inspire women who have faced similar situations.
I personally feel that sharing stories help people to feel supported and, provide advice on how to best become a person who they can depend on.
For support, the Baby Loss Awareness Alliance Charities can help. View them all and contact them directly here; https://babyloss-awareness.org/organisations/
If you need help now, please call the Sands Freephone Helpline on 0808 164 3332 or firstname.lastname@example.org