Heartbreaking effect of the miscarriage taboo on a woman who lost 6 pregnancies – Manchester Evening News

Sophie Wood recalls the first time her heart was broken by a failed pregnancy.

She was 26 at the time and wanted to be a mum more than anything.

"It started like any other miscarriage", she said.

"I started bleeding one day. It was horrible.

"I rang the hospital and they said I was preparing to miscarry.

Sophie, now 28, fell pregnant with twins in October 2018, losing one twin five weeks into her pregnancy.

She was told the other twin would not survive after having tests to detect the levels of a hormone known as hCG.

"I was told over the phone that I was starting to miscarry, recalls Sophie, from Stockport.

I broke down into tears. She said it happened to one in four pregnancies as though it was fine.

But it wasnt fine at all. It was my pregnancy and I was offered no support."

Sophie then had to wait for a methotrexate injection to terminate the pregnancy of the second twin on a maternity unit, surrounding by other expectant women attending check ups and scans.

I just felt inadequate as a woman, like I was put on this earth to have babies because thats what society tells us we are here for, recalls Sophie.

"I was on the delivery unit with all these other couples. You just don't want to be there."

Sophie and her partner Steven became pregnant with twins again in March the following year.

No sooner had the couple got their hopes up, Sophie began to miscarry at five weeks and then again between 8-9 weeks.

"It was exactly the same format. I started bleeding and my hCG levels, though rising, were not rising enough to sustain the pregnancy.

"At the time I just thought, why me? Why has this happened again? I could give a baby good life. I've got a supportive family, a good job.

"Part of me felt ashamed about it."

It was only when Sophie miscarried for the fifth time in June 2019 that she was referred to an early miscarriage unit in Greater Manchester.

After a series of blood tests, Sophie was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), an immune disorder that increases the risk of blood clots.

APS has been linked to recurrent miscarriage but with the right treatment and care, women can go on to have successful pregnancies.

Sophie was upset to learn that women are only tested for APS after they have had miscarried five times, like herself.

"I was shocked when I was told you have to go through all that five times before it's even considered, " she said.

"They told me I had it and then referred me to the Tommy's website. That was about it."

Sophie was told her next pregnancy would be an assisted one, and that she would need to take Aspirin to thin her blood, plus other interventions to help her sustain the pregnancy.

They conceived again in March this year just as the coronavirus pandemic was hitting UK hospitals.

Sophie called her early miscarriage unit as instructed but no one from the hospital called her back and in April she miscarried for the sixth time.

"I started bleeding so I phoned the unit to tell them.

"The person I spoke to told me I would just have to pass it out at home.

"One of previous pregnancies with twins had been ectopic so I was told if the pain got to that level to go to the hospital.

"Other than that I had to stay at home because of coronavirus. I get that coronavirus is there but I thought the care was appalling."

Sophie hopes her story will educate other people about APS and help other women feel less ashamed about miscarriage.

"It sounds strange but it makes you feel quite dirty," explains Sophie.

"It's just something that isn't really spoken about. People feel awkward and you can see that they want to do anything to get out of that conversation.

"I used to feel embarrassed and that people were judging me, even though they weren't.

"It made me feel really mad with myself. It makes you wonder whether it's your fault, whether it's because you're too big.

"It just makes you think 'why am I the only person in my family who can't do this?'"

Sophie says there are many misconceptions about women who are struggling to have children.

She believes these stereotypes are unhelpful for everyone involved.

One assumption people make is that she's resentful of other women having successful pregnancies.

"I do know someone who was in a similar position to me who felt angry that everyone around her was getting pregnant.

"Everyone thinks you're going to feel that way but I really don't.

"When my sister got pregnant some said 'oh I bet you hate it' and I just thought what? Why would you bring that into it?

"I am still so happy that my sister has had a baby and I have a beautiful niece.

"Other people's lives don't concern me in terms of my own situation and I am glad for everyone else who gets pregnant.

"It's not in my nature to be angry at someone because they've got pregnant and I haven't."

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Sophie admits that some people simply don't know what to say to a person who's had a miscarriage.

She explains: "Just try and be normal, that's my advice.

"Just be there for someone. There are some things people say that are unhelpful.

"'It wasn't meant to be' is one, because for me, it was meant to be. So don't say that.

"Or 'there's always next time'. There are all these little things that people say and sometimes it's not what you want to hear."

Sophie and Steve, who have been together for two years, have not given up hope of having children, and are looking into other treatment options that could help them in the future.

She adds: "We're just going to keep trying because why should I not?

"If I can get the right treatment that will make a difference. For now we will just carry on.

"I'm not ashamed anymore."

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Heartbreaking effect of the miscarriage taboo on a woman who lost 6 pregnancies - Manchester Evening News

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