Can you first tell me a little about your miscarriages?
When Paul (my partner) and I got engaged, we both knew that we wanted to have kids. We were really excited about the opportunity to get pregnant and start our family. Our journey was completely unexpected and devastatingly, we have now experienced 7 miscarriages. They have varied from 5weeks to 19.6weeks gestation and one was a twin pregnancy.
All of these losses were incredibly heartbreaking. We didn’t want either pregnancy/baby any less than the other. Love is not measured by days or weeks and I believe that as a society, we need to stop measuring a woman’s grief or loss by the gestation at which she lost her baby. Loss is loss regardless of gestation or circumstance and all Pregnancy & Infant Losses are heartbreaking.
Who told you that you were a "serial killer"? What did they say to you?
We have had a very long and complex baby journey.
Our journey has spanned over 7 years and included 3 Stillbirths, 6 Miscarriages and the loss of Identical Twin girls who passed away due to cord entanglement. We currently have no surviving children.
We recently had an article published about our story in an effort to shine a light on Pregnancy & Infant Loss this October (being Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month).
Whilst we received lots of lovely comments and feedback, we also received unsupportive messages too.
One gentleman posted a comment calling me a “serial killer”.
When I read this comment, I immediately burst into tears. As a woman and a mother, I have fought incredibly hard to get each pregnancy to a viable gestation. My love for all of our babies is unquestionable. From the moment we find out that we are pregnant each time, I put our baby first, ALL of the time! I would NEVER do anything to jeopardise or harm any of our babies and so very much wish that things were different and that our babies could have stayed earthside with us.
Honestly the thought that someone really has this view of me and our journey, it breaks my heart!
Why did you decide to share your story?
Pregnancy & Infant Loss doesn’t discriminate, it touches all. We all know someone who knows someone that has lost a pregnancy/baby.
As at today:
1 in 4 pregnancies end in Miscarriage (prior to 20 weeks gestation).
6 babies are Stillborn everyday
Approximately 2 Neonatal Deaths occur each day (loss following birth up to 28 days old)
Approximately 100 babies die from SIDS each year
Whilst Pregnancy & Infant Loss is incredibly common and affects many, it is still considered a taboo topic with many people being discouraged to talk about their loss/baby.
We decided to share our story to let others know that they are not alone.
We believe that increased discussion will lead to increased awareness and hope that by sharing our story and encouraging others to do the same, it will help to normalise the discussion of Pregnancy & Infant Loss and ultimately help us to move towards becoming a society that acknowledges and supports those who experience the loss of a pregnancy/baby.
What do you say to people who are critical of your story?
I would encourage them to show kindness and compassion. If our story is hard to read or see, imagine walking in our shoes and actually living it!
We are working with the best doctors in the country to ensure the best possible care and treatment for any future pregnancies.
I would also stress to them that our decision to continue to try for a living child is definitely not taken lightly and that we have investigated all potential options including non-traditional pathways to parenting such as Surrogacy, Adoption, Permanent Care etc.
What do you hope people can learn from your story?
I guess I’m trying to communicate the message that for some, pregnancy, birth and parenthood doesn’t always go to plan. And in these cases, the journey can be incredibly tough and isolating.
There seems to be this perception that as a woman, you get pregnant and 9 months later you have a healthy baby. The reality for many women and families is that this is not the case.
I’m also hoping that we can assist society to better understand Pregnancy & Infant Loss and what it means to be a Bereaved Parent. Bereaved Parents are still parents. Their child/children existed and mattered. Please don’t be afraid to say their child’s name or ask them how they are doing. If they do happen to shed a tear when you ask, I guarantee you it’s not because they are upset. It’s because they are so grateful and touched that you remembered and acknowledged their child. The biggest fear of Bereaved Parents is that their child/children will be forgotten.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are currently trying to conceive Baby Number 12. As I turned 40 earlier this year, the doctors believe that our recurrent Miscarriages are now due to my age/egg quality. As a result we have withdrawn 40K from my superannuation to fund the purchase and shipment of donor eggs from overseas. The eggs are due to be shipped next month!
We have also worked closely with our hospital and specialists to develop a specialised care plan which will involve early hospital admission and preventative pre-term labour strategies in the hope that we can achieve our dreams of a healthy baby for the next pregnancy.
We are cautious but hopeful!
For anyone interested in following our journey, please head to: