Mini Mck is my first born child, but he wasn’t my first pregnancy or to me, my first baby, he was my fourth. Before him were three lots of hopes and three crushing disappointments. One of these was a silent miscarriage, which despite the forewarning of some bleeding, wasn’t complete and so the stark pain of seeing a perfect scan on a screen, but has no heartbeat, followed by a hospital procedure is with me forever. We never found a reason for these losses, we simply had to pick ourselves up and keep trying. There isn’t much known about why they happen or what can be done to prevent them.
You soon learn after losing a baby in pregnancy that people don’t really know what to say. It makes them uncomfortable. Babies are supposed to be a happy subject, conversations about them are supposed to revolve around excitement and anticipation, not fears and worries and so as time goes on you just keep quiet.
I was lucky, my miscarriages were early and I went on to have two healthy boys. I can’t even begin to comprehend how you function in normal life after carrying a baby for nine months and losing it after it has been born or sadly having a stillbirth. Over 4000 babies are stillborn each year in the UK and often the families that have to deal with this don’t find out why. How much harder must that make an already unimaginable situation?
This is where Tommy’s come in, funding research into pregnancy loss, stillbirth and premature birth and raising awareness so that parents have access to accurate and up to date information, including PregnancyLine, which anyone can call to speak to a midwive about anything from pregnancy health to coping with the loss of a baby.
As I write this Mini Mck is playing his usual make believe games, talking constantly, as he always does and his placid, quiet younger brother is sleeping peacefully in his cot. My world of four years ago, when I really started to believe that this would never happen for us, seems like a different life, a different person. I don’t think about those losses very often these days, just occasionally at certain times of the year, but just recently they have been on my mind more.
You see, I am running for Tommy’s. Having never run in my life, myself Heather and Bec will be running 13.1 miles in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on October 7th and we are doing it to raise money and awareness for this great charity.
There are lots of reasons I wanted to start running and to have this race as a goal, but the single biggest thing that gets me out, to get those miles in, first thing in the morning is knowing I am doing it for a cause that is close to my heart and that, I think, resonates with parents everywhere.
So, I need your help. We will be tweeting, using the hashtag #mumsontherun and blogging, but most importantly running and raising money and I would be really grateful for any support you can give. Tweeting is great and much appreciated, or better still pop along to my sponsorship page and giving anything you can spare. I promise that every time I get a new sponsor it makes the 6:30am runs easier to get up for.