miscarriage - a real mum's story
FEELINGS

Miscarriage – a mum’s story

Jane Daly Russell, 44, from Louth, is mum to Sophie and Thomas. She has had three very different and heartbreaking experiences of miscarriage.

“I had IVF to have my beautiful son Thomas. Two embryos were transferred but then I had a bleed. A scan at eight weeks showed one empty sac. I was sent home to rest, but began to bleed again. It was a really heavy period for 12 hours. I cried a lot and I was worried and frightened. A few days later I had another scan. To my surprise the sonographer found a heartbeat. That was my Thomas.

I was told: ‘I don’t think you’re going to miscarry the second, this is a very strong heartbeat.’ But I spent a lot of my pregnancy stressed and very worried. I went overdue with Thomas. When he was born, to have him in my arms was emotionally overwhelming. My second miscarriage was different. I didn’t even know I was pregnant and there was no morning sickness. But my period was late so I did a test. Then I went for a scan. I was supposed to have twins, but the sonographer said: ‘I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.’ I was heartbroken.

Miscarriage - a real mum's story

Two years later, I experienced a third miscarriage. My period was late and I wasn’t too nauseous. We went for a scan and saw a clear heartbeat and tiny arms and legs moving. But at ten weeks, the nausea stopped and I had a small bleed. I can’t describe the heartbreak. After a miscarriage you can be offered a number of options – to allow it to come naturally, to take a pill or to have a D&C. I opted for the latter. I took time off work after my miscarriages, three weeks after the twins and six weeks after my last. A good midwife friend advised me, ‘When you think you’re ready, take another week.’

To women experiencing a miscarriage now, I would say seek support from family and friends. You didn’t do anything wrong. Talk to someone – anyone, your mum, your husband. What helped us was that both my husband and I talked about my miscarriages and we cried together. We named each of our unborn babies. In heaven we have Ryan, twins Jess and Bobbie and Clare.

Remembering is hugely important. After our loss of twins, I attended the local St Gerard Novena, to a mass for lost children where we were invited to place the names of our babies in an urn which the priest carried above his head to the altar. We have their names on a Christmas bauble for the Christmas tree. And now we plan to have a vase made on which we will put the names of all our five children together. It’s something I’ll be able to look at every day.”

For information about miscarriage:

The Miscarriage Association of Ireland www.miscarriage.ie

More similar to this:

When it’s not just ups and downs
Look after your mental health
Anxiety in women

ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.

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ASK LUCY

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….