These are Your Stories...
Here are a few stories that you have bravely shared with us to help others realise that they are not alone. To share you story, email Amy here.
A Dad’s story
What can I say, when there is nothing that can prepare you for the moment you find out you have lost your baby?
Your little person that is growing inside you partners tummy, has gone.

As soon as you found out that you were to become a daddy your whole perspective, view and thoughts on life changes in an instant. You think about what it will be like all going on holiday or going out for a meal or a road trip. Then you start thinking about how you are going to afford it and is the house big enough then the car?! It’s an endless whirl pool of thought on how you are going to cope.

Then you hear those words, "oh I’m sorry but we can’t find a heart beat". They go out to get another sonographer to just make sure that the horrific news you have just been told is for real. My head went numb I couldn’t hear anything. The second they had told us felt like an hour. All of what you and your partner were dreaming of in a split second has been smashed into a million tiny pieces. Your partner instantly feels to blame for it happening when you know all she has done is her best and it is certainly not her fault. You wrack your brain to think about what might have caused it to happen, but you can't, nothing comes to mind. You then start thinking about how cruel life is and how this can happen? Why would you be blessed with something so precious and pure and just like that is taken away? You start to resent people who are on drugs and smoke and drink while pregnant, and deliver a healthy baby. We did everything in our power to do everything you are told to.

You come out of the hospital not really what to do or expect, and you don’t know who to turn to, but at the same time you don’t really want to do anything. Unless you have a friend or family member that has gone through the same thing, people just don’t understand. Some try and understand but say the wrong thing without knowing, and it’s not really what you need to hear but you say thank you anyway just to be polite.

I could say so much more about it, but it’s just a never ending hole in your heart that never goes away. You are reminded all the time about it, whether it’s a song, a film, a special day or even the weather, something will always bring it back. Sometimes I find comfort in that because I never want to forget my little baby girls.
A story that lasts a lifetime
I had twin girls in 1953. I had the first little girl and they took her away from me as the next baby was already on its way. I didn’t have much time to think and it wasn’t until I had the second baby girl that I asked where they had taken my first. They said that she had died. I was numb. I couldn’t believe it. She was perfect. They were identical twins and the only difference was that my angel baby had curly hair and her twin had straight hair.

I was overcome with emotions. Elated that I’d got my precious little girl but devastated that we lost her twin when there appeared to be nothing wrong. I wasn’t allowed to see her again and in those days, when babies died, they put them in the coffins of other people that had passed away so for my whole life, I had no idea where she was. Whenever I see a new mum with twins I still have a few tears.

Unbelievably, within the last year, my children did some research and managed to find where my little girl was buried. She has been very close to me all this time and I never knew. I’m 86 years old now and I still think about her every single day. I always wonder what she would have been like.
Lou Conran’s story
Comedian, writer and actor.

Read her story of losing a baby on the standard issue magazine for all women by visiting
A termination story
I found out that I was pregnant and it was a total shock. It wasn’t planned and in fact the thought terrified me. I didn’t even get chance to get used to the idea when I was told at a scan that there was something wrong. The decision had been made for me to have a termination. I was so confused. I was upset, angry, frightened and very anxious. Nobody knew I was pregnant and I felt that the term ‘termination’ implied that I shouldn’t talk about it. So, my partner and I went to the hospital and started the process. It was the most horrendous day of my life.

The psychical and emotional pain was nothing I had ever imagined. I was made to feel like I was stupid for being so upset and heartbroken and traumatized. What I was left with was guilt as I felt like it was some kind of secret. I always think about my little baby. I’ve since had three more children and I always wonder who my baby would have been like. It has been a secret torture for years. I wasn’t offered any help or support because it was ‘my choice’ and unfortunately, I struggled mentally and it broke down my relationship.

Whatever the reason for losing a baby, I think the mental damage is so difficult to deal with. I still don’t talk about having a termination and it makes me want to scream. There must be so many others who feel the same.
An IVF Story
I remember the day it officially started. I was on a girly trip to London with my mum, sister and niece and my sister took me to one side and told me she was two weeks pregnant. It got me thinking that I was ready to have a baby myself.

When I got back I discussed it with my husband who completely agreed and I instantly stopped taking the contraceptive pill. We were officially trying to make a baby. The first few months passed without anything happening. We didn’t worry about it as I thought the pill may take a while to leave my system. Nine months later and my sister had my nephew, I remember it being the first time I felt a little bit frustrated. It still didn’t enter my head that we may have problems conceiving, it was more disappointment as I had secretly imagined us having babies around the same time so they could grow up together.

From this point we really started trying and I started researching the best times to try, the best things to eat, basically anything at all to feel like I was in control. I tried the cheap ovulation strips but after a few weeks using them, they never showed me as ovulating so we bought the more expensive digital clear blue ovulating machine. That did show better days to try and I worked out from using this that my cycle was actually quite long. In my head that explained it and we just needed to try a bit longer. After a year of trying, I started to get quite obsessed. All the fun had gone out of trying and it was just about timings and saving ourselves for said times.

Around twelve months after we started trying I started to feel quite unwell. I had bad stomach cramps, bloating and spasms in my belly. I was extremely fatigued with short term memory loss and had various other symptoms which I linked to my hormones. I visited the Dr’s and secretly hoped I was pregnant and the pregnancy tests were just inaccurate. Although I hoped I didn’t actually expect this to be the case but worried that maybe whatever was going on may be the reason we had been unable to conceive.

I discussed all my symptoms with the dr and although it came up in conversation that we were trying to get pregnant it wasn’t something we discussed in detail. I had bloods taken and was referred for a scan.

The scan was both external and internal and the result apparently showed I had cystic ovaries according to the synographer. I spent a few weeks reading and worrying about this but when I returned to discuss all the results with the GP he assured me this wasn’t a concern. What had come back was some bloods that suggested I may have ceoliac disease and I was referred for an Endoscope. The endoscopic procedure was unpleasant to say the least and confirmed I did have coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease which is triggered when eating gluten.

I am an optimist so after reading about coeliac disease a bit I convinced myself that this must be the reason nothing was happening. There is no cure but it is managed with a strict gluten free diet. In my head once I was on top of this hopefully baby making would work. Months later and still no luck. It felt like this was never going to happen for us.

You don’t always realise how much you want something until you can’t have it and we both started discussing what options we would consider if it didn’t happen. Would we adopt or just try to spend more time with our nieces and nephews and accept we wouldn’t have children?

At this point jealousy and resentment kicked in. I hated seeing pregnant woman, smiled in public but cried in private when friends announced pregnancies. I judged mums quietly thinking I could do a better job if I had the chance. My husband took a deep breath before giving me any news about pregnant friends not wanting to upset me. It was all I thought about sometimes with sadness sometimes with hope that maybe this month it would happen.

After eighteen plus months I went back to the Drs, this time specifically for the none baby making issue. We both got referred for tests. My husbands a nice easy bloods and sperm sample and for me various tests including internal scans and X-rays. Neither were particularly pleasant. Nothing of major concern came back, slightly low sperm count but not overly low or enough to explain the lack of conception. We were referred again and IVF was discussed. I was willing to try anything at this point so although it was something we hadn’t even considered, we immediately opted to give it a go.

From this point it is all a bit of a blur. It seemed to happen so fast. We both tried to stay realistic knowing there was a high chance that it would be unsuccessful. In Leeds you get one round of IVF on the NHS but any further attempts you have to pay for and it is a lot of money. This automatically adds to the pressure.
All the drugs and medication needed for the procedure (which is a lot) are sent out to you in a big cardboard box. It is very daunting opening it and sorting through which injections are what and what drugs need to be kept in the fridge etc. I come from a medical background albeit a Veterinary background and the amount of drugs and needles even overwhelmed me a little.

The first step was a big injection called Prostop which effectively puts you into a temporary menopause. It is injected into the stomach. I am brave but I just couldn’t do this myself so asked my husband to do the honours. As he came towards me with an uncapped needle I freaked out and ran away. After many more failed attempts I eventually let him give me the injection and that was that. Two weeks with all the symptoms associated with the menopause. We had booked to go away with family for my 30th birthday and it just so happened that this was the week after the first injection. It was actually a lovely week away and a much welcome distraction. Yes, I kept getting hot flushes but other than that I didn’t feel too bad. We were very open about starting IVF. Our family, most of our friends and my work colleagues knew which was a massive help for me. You have to invest a lot of time with appointments and injections not to mention all the pressure and emotions that come with it. I think it would have been a lot more difficult if we had kept it just to ourselves pretending everything was normal.

The next stage was a set of daily injections to kick start your system and produce lots of eggs ready for egg collection day. After the first few injections I didn’t like my husband’s technique and my stomach was badly bruised and sore. I started doing the injections myself which gave me a bit more control. The day before egg collection you are called by the IVF clinic and given a specific time to give another injection. It has to be given at the specified time as it triggers the ovaries to ripen the eggs and there is only a tiny window of opportunity for them to be collected before they are released.

We had to wait up and give the injection around midnight. I couldn’t sleep that night as I knew the following day was a big deal.
There was around ten couples all having their eggs collected on our day. We all arrived at 7am and we were taken to a special egg collecting waiting room. This is the most uncomfortable and unpleasant waiting room I have ever been in. All these couples desperately waiting to give their sperm samples and have their eggs collected in the hope that they may be the lucky few who become the positive statistic. It is impossible to know all the other couples circumstances, is it there first attempt, last attempt, are they on the NHS or paying themselves? Whilst everyone wanted the same result at the end not all the couples in that room would end up with the baby they so desperately wanted.

Egg collection is not pleasant. It is done under a dissociative anesthetic. The idea being you forget what happened later. Not quite the case for me. I blacked out after the initial dose but came around a while later with the procedure underway. I was chatting away to the anesthetist about his upcoming holiday, anything to distract me from the discomfort at my bottom end.
Nothing more we could do now but hope that they collected enough eggs that some of them would fertilise when the sperm was introduced.

I was back at work the day after, feeling quite sore and emotional. All we could do was wait to hear any news. The clinic was unbelievable with updates but it was so hard to concentrate on any kind of normal day to day activity knowing that in a few days if all went well they might be putting a fertilised egg back inside me.
On day three we were told that five had fertilised, two of which looked better than the others so they wanted to wait another couple of days to see which one was the strongest.

We got the call and the date for the egg transfer. Five days post collection. It happened to be the day after a big charity ball we had committed to. I thought it would be a welcome distraction but our heads were not in the best of places looking back. I felt uncomfortable, self conscious and anxious which is very out of character for me. There was a lot of old school friends there and I was struggling to make polite conversation. Questions like when were we going to start a family were asked and I had not prepared myself for how to answer these. It was such a long night and I couldn’t sleep at all knowing that tomorrow was the last step. Once the little egg was back home it was down to the egg and my body that would decide what happened next.

I had a sound track throughout my whole IVF journey. ‘A thousand Years’ it just seemed to get more and more relevant as we went along. I wanted to be as relaxed as possible for egg transfer so, after watching a few comedies in the waiting room before it was our turn, I put my headphones in and listened to my sound track. It just relaxed me, gave me hope and took me to a different place.
When the egg was transferred, all we could do now was wait two weeks and come back to take a pregnancy test. The advice was to continue as normal. All I wanted to do was stand upside down with my legs crossed in case it fell back out but I followed advice and went straight back to work to carry on as normal. After a few days I started getting a really sore and achy lower abdomen. At first I just dismissed it thinking it was normal as I had been quite achy since egg collection. I ignored it for a day or two until the pain was just too bad. I started vomiting and my stomach was extremely bloated. I knew something was not right and nervously called the clinic still hoping they would tell me it was normal. I felt a massive surge of anxiety when they told me to go straight down. I explained the situation to work and left in tears, sure that this could only be a bad sign. I was seen immediately by a nurse who took my bloods, measured my abdomen and sent me home to wait for further instructions. I felt more poorly by the hour so when I received a call telling me to go straight into hospital I was relieved and didn’t feel well enough to even think about what this might actually mean. My notes were all ready when I arrived and they quickly put an IV line in and hooked me up to an infusion of albumin. During this time it was explained that I had developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation disorder (OHSS) a not so common side affect of the IVF treatment. One I should have been aware of as it was in all the information leaflets we were given. I didn’t read anything about side effects though as I was so desperate for a baby I would have tried anything anyway. I could hardly move at this point because of the pain and looked nine months pregnant. A bit of a cruel side effect really. The next day I had to go back to the clinic for repeat bloods and it was then on day nine post transfer that the nurse said in general conversation that she would also check for a pregnancy. I had almost forgotten about the chance I might be pregnant as I felt so ill I just assumed it wouldn’t have worked for us. The bloods showed I needed another urgent transfusion so it was back to the hospital. It went on like this for a few days, they started struggling to find veins for the catheter and I couldn’t get a straight answer out of anyone about the results of the pregnancy test. While back in clinic having some observations done the nurse looked at me and asked if it was my first pregnancy. My husband and I just looked at each other in shock. I asked her to confirm and she sent the Dr in to discuss. He confirmed we were pregnant but it was very early days.

It took several weeks for me to feel better.

After so long trying for a baby it took us a while to get used to the fact we were actually pregnant. Some days we didn’t want to get excited incase it jinxed it but other days we couldn’t contain our excitement.

The first scan was at six weeks and I felt sick. I just kept watching the sonographers face looking for clues. All was good but I felt far from relaxed. After the eight week scan we told close family and friends. They had been on the journey with us and knew we either were or weren't pregnant. At each scan I felt more normal but had a constant anxious feeling that it could go horribly wrong at any point. As my bump grew we bonded with baby and I would sing my sound track to her, once again the words becoming more meaningful and relevant. At twenty weeks we found out we were having a girl. There was a lot of talk about early induction with it being an IVF pregnancy but I was young and healthy and everything was normal with my pregnancy so I kept questioning this and it was agreed to let it happen naturally with daily checks after my due date. Eight days overdue and after a sweep I went into labour.

I opted for a natural birth and was lucky enough to get the birth pool at our local hospital. After hours in the pool trying to focus and breath I was examined and had decided I had reached my pain threshold and would need pain relief after all. I was told it was too late as I was fully dilated and could start pushing. I remember feeling really proud that I had come so far just following my body's lead and excited that shortly I would be meeting my baby girl who we had waited so long for. After an hour of pushing, my baby's heart rate was dropping so the Dr was called. He decided on a ventouse assisted delivery. I followed every instruction but I remember thinking that this is where it all goes wrong and I knew it was too good to be true. After a lot of trying her head was out but all of a sudden I was flipped back on the table my legs up at my head and I heard the Dr shouting something about shoulder dystocia. I’m sure time went into slow motion as I was being screamed at to push, then relax and pull my legs back. The heart monitor was beeping and I was convinced that was the end. Suddenly a purple looking baby was plonked on my chest. It was surreal and after a bit of stimulating she let out her first cry.

I have felt blessed every moment since.