It is believed that one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. An expert explains what a miscarriage is, as well as possible causes and the effect it has on parents. Mark and Lara describe how they dealt with the miscarriage of their first baby.

Find out more about miscarriage

Transcript of Miscarriage

Miscarriage is much more common than people realise.

One in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage.

That's 20 per cent of women that get pregnant

will end up having a miscarriage.

For some women,

a miscarriage is something that they don't feel deeply affected by.

For others, it can have a very, very deep emotional meaning.

They way we look at it is we won't ever forget him.

He is our first-born. That is quite difficult for other people to recognise.

A miscarriage occurs when a pregnancy ends before 24 weeks

with the baby being born dead.

There are different stages.

The first stage is referred to as an early miscarriage.

That can be eight weeks, nine weeks, ten weeks of pregnancy.

Then there's a mid-trimester miscarriage which is later: 18, 19 weeks.

Then there's a late miscarriage which is up until 24 weeks.

- (Lara) My waters broke at 21 weeks. - (Mark) The prognosis...

Was poor. Very poor.

That night, I'd gone to bed. I'd just said good night to you on the phone.

I went to the bathroom and thought, "That doesn't feel right."

And a little foot came out.

Little Tommy was born about half-past ten at night.

And he was gorgeous.

We always say he just came too early

because I don't want to think of him as a miscarriage.

That means my body did something wrong,

and that puts it back on me,

and you can't blame yourself because things happen.

Very often, there's a huge expectation

from the minute somebody says, "You're going to have a baby,"

your life sort of plans out ahead of you,

and when you experience a miscarriage, you lose your future.

There's no right way to grieve

and it's really important that we give people an opportunity

to talk about how they feel.

Certainly, midwives, nurses, gynae nurses and doctors

have a role to play in recognising that this is a very real loss.

The hospital were brilliant.

They dressed him in a little top for us and they actually took pictures of him

because you need those memories, because you won't remember.

He was left with us until we decided that he could go.


And that was special. We needed that because you have to make that choice.

It's not like, "We're going to take your baby away now."

You have to make that choice.

He could have been in there as long as we wanted.

Counselling was brilliant.

(Mark) We both went.

It was the best thing for me as well. Fantastic.

(Lara) We probably would have got through it,

but not in such a good place to move on and want to get pregnant again

and understand things much more clearly.

Having a miscarriage doesn't mean

you won't go on to have a successful pregnancy.

Most women go on to have a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage.

(Lara) On New Year's Day, 2008,

I did a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant.

We had a scan and found out that that baby hadn't grown.

- (Mark) From week six. - It hadn't got a heartbeat.

That was week nine. I didn't actually miscarry till week 11.

Even an early loss can have a real identity.

Women don't understand why they feel so strongly about that loss

when society treats it as just a miscarriage.

Different women will have different reactions.

For some women, an early miscarriage or mid-trimester miscarriage

may not be as devastating as it is for others.

The second miscarriage...

It was just a lot of blood and a lot of clots.

There wasn't actually a baby there.

That's how I perceived a miscarriage to be, the second one.

That's how you think of a miscarriage. There's not actually a baby.

(Mark) The percentage of miscarriages is so much higher

in the first, is it two months? The first eight weeks?

So I can kind of think that you're not so unlucky.

That happens to lots of people.

Although a miscarriage can take quite a long time

to manage and get through,

most people go on to get on with their lives

in a way that is fulfilling and happy.

It doesn't always mean that you're going to be sad forever.

But it does need to be recognised and given the due respect

that families need around such a big event.

(Lara) I never once looked at her and thought, "I wish you were Tommy,"

because she was Tommy's sister, or is Tommy's sister.

And that's the only way to think about it.

She will always know about him.

She will always be told about him. He will always be part of our family.


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