Joseph is an only child.
But I've been pregnant three times.
First miscarriage I had wasn't, as far as miscarriages go, that traumatic, in a strange sense. My then husband was unstable and violent, the baby wasn't planned, and he was furious. I spontaneously miscarried. My marriage ended. I was traumatised by it all. The miscarriage was just one brick in a wall of trauma. At the time, it hurt like hell, don't get me wrong, it all did.
My second miscarriage was deeply traumatic. With a new partner, the situation and timing wasn't entirely ideal, and I began miscarrying in the doctor's office having my pregnancy confirmed. This was in Australia and I was a private patient and it was sorted, a D and C and sent home. I had privacy, dignity and warmth. And $1000 shortfall in anaesthetist bills for 20 minutes work, but that's another story.
When I fell pregnant the third time I spoke to my midwife about my miscarriages "oh because they happened in Australia they didn't really happen."
I'm sorry what? I was hurt, scared, upset. And actually in retrospect, I should have been angry.
The thing is, this is largely indicative of how miscarriage can be handled in this country. Practitioners often don't know what to say. "Oh well at least you know you can get pregnant" one said to me. "Well you can go home and try again".
Even worse huge mistakes can be made, catastrophic things happen in miscarriage care that just shouldn't, that are too painful to even write about.
To a medical professional a miscarriage may just a be a collection of cells, a fetus, but to the vast majority of women a miscarriage is a baby. You already have hopes, dreams and fears for that little being.
I later learned that actually, the fact I had two miscarriages and then early onset pre eclampsia could have been significant. It's another of the reasons I wouldn't try to have another baby. I couldn't handle a miscarriage as much as I couldn't really handle another NICU stay.
The state of miscarriage care in this country is shocking. That's why I'm joining the Mumsnet campaign to pledge to improve miscarriage care by 2020.
Compassion, counselling, timely care, "caring care", care with real heart as well as good sound evidence base, is absolutely essential.
Miscarriage is brutal. Your body's betrayal, failing what it is meant to do. Don't let the system fail us the same way.
Please follow the link to see how you can help.