Award Winning Feature 2016

award

Headline:

Here we go again. We lose our fifth baby. The baby whose heart was thumping away just eight

weeks before.’

Stand first:

Linda Thomas has had five miscarriages, and after being told there was a high possibility she could

never have children. She began to give up but two months later she fell pregnant for the sixth time…

By Jasmine Rigby

Story:

Linda’s dream was always to be a mum. When people asked her what her dream was she would

openly admit it. So, of course when the cheap pregnancy test from Morrisons came back positive

Linda was over the moon. Despite wanting to tell the world, Linda and her husband Mike agreed to

wait until after the three month scan.

“I felt like my insides were being punched as if a boxer was training on a punch bag to win his fight.’”

Explains Linda.

Unfortunately the couple didn’t make the scan they were patiently waiting for.

It was a Sunday night and Linda had decided to stay at her mother Debbie’s for the evening.

“The night was just what I needed, spending some quality time with my mother.”

That was until the caretaker was in agonizing pain at 3am screaming for her mother’s help. Debbie

was unfamiliar with miscarriages as there was no family history and each of her pregnancies had

gone well. It wasn’t until the paramedic arrived that they discovered it was a miscarriage.

It was a painful time for the couple. In the end they convinced themselves that they had probably

just been unlucky and that was when Linda conceived again.

It wasn’t long before another miscarriage occurred.

‘’I just remember screaming why me? Why do I deserve this?’’

And those were the kind of questions the 32-year- old asked herself every single day.

Pregnancy charity Tommy’s says one in every four women will miscarry a baby; a quarter of all your

female friends. And the chance of losing a baby increases with every miscarriage.

This, of course, is a terrifying statistic for women, especially Linda, who had now experienced her

third miscarriage.

“I thought it was going to be third time lucky,” admits car mechanic Mike. But unfortunately it was

third time unlucky for the couple.

The guilt started to sink in for Linda. She would constantly pin the blame on herself trying to think of

things she had done wrong such as the last time she had a glass of wine or lit a cigarette. Nothing,

added up. Both her and Mike had been so careful, adapting to a new healthy lifestyle, in order to

pursue Linda’s dream of motherhood.

After miscarrying for a fourth time, the couple were referred to a clinic as both undertook several

tests. Nothing was found on the tests which left both confused to why Linda continued to miscarry.

“I even thought to myself it must be a type of sex I can’t carry. Maybe I can’t have boys and they’ve

all been boys,” assumed Linda.

The topic of miscarriage remains taboo despite thousands of women suffering each year. Staying

silent didn’t help Linda. She began to push everyone close to her away. Every day she blamed herself

and told Mike to re-marry someone who could give him the child he so desperately wanted.

The couple decided enough was enough and that they just couldn’t put themselves through the pain

anymore. That was when they decided to get a puppy to substitute for the feeling of having a child.

Over time things began to get better as the pair adapted to life without a baby. Linda began to build

her confidence back up and started to see her friends again.

“I watched as she dolled herself up, painting her lipstick on so finely, taking pride in herself again. I

felt a sigh of relief,” explained Mike.

It was the first time in a long time Linda had made an effort to look nice.

Surrounded by her friends, Linda felt like herself again. It was the first time she had laughed since

the four tragedies.

“I felt like the girls were really gluing me back together. As I built my strength back up.”

That was until the taxi ride home.

Her best friend of 15 years, Claire, announced that she was pregnant. For most best friends this a

moment of celebration but for Linda it was quite the opposite.

“My heart sank, I hated her, I was bitter and jealous. I didn’t ever want to meet her baby.”

Linda sobbed that night screaming at her husband. Mike felt helpless and didn’t know what more he

could do. Linda wanted to try again, only this time Mike was reluctant to. He just couldn’t bare the

thought of losing another baby.

Linda went on to try and chase her dream once again. And yes, she conceived as she had the

previous four times.

This time, however, was different. They not only made it to the first scan but they couldn’t believe

their luck when they made it to their 12 week scan. They were now past the safe mark. For the first

time the couple reached the announcement stage.

Eight weeks later they discussed baby names as they got ready for the 20 week scan. They were both

convinced it was a little boy. They had taken the day off work to go shopping so Mike could buy a

Man City kit for the newest addition to the family. However the sex of the baby was never

confirmed.

It was time for the scan. A scan the couple will never forget.

“The doctor didn’t need to say anything. I knew from the expression on his face that I had lost yet

another baby. Why could I not be a mum?”

That Christmas was the worst yet for the family. Linda spent the majority of the festive period in

hospital heartbroken.

Although they’d had another four babies taken away from them, the fifth time was different. They’d

created a name for this baby, they’d started to collect things and they were almost certain that this

time around was safe.

“Every night without fail I would kiss the bump goodnight and sing it a lullaby. I thought it was finally

my time to be a dad.”

Whilst it had always been Mike being that remained strong, a wedge in the marriage occurred as

both hit rock bottom.

“I was selfish, I’d been strong for so long and all I could think about was going out with the lads. I had

left to grieve for our child on her own.”

It wasn’t until Mike came home from a night out and found Linda unconscious after taking an

overdose that he realised he needed to do something to help his emotionally unstable wife.

“We had stopped speaking to each other. We didn’t make love to each other anymore because

every time we did it felt like we were already fighting a lost cause,” admitted the couple.

Together they signed up for the miscarriage association which provided them support throughout

the difficult time in their life. Being part of the association allowed the couple to support others

whilst supporting each other. A stand out event for them was when they lit a candle in

remembrance of each baby.

“Hearing that other people had gone through similar situations made me realise I wasn’t the only

one; I regret now doing such silly things. Attempting suicide has made me a stronger person and I

now support people with advice.”

More tests were carried out and Linda was told there was a high possibility that she would never be

able to have children. Although a shock for the couple, they accepted they weren’t meant to be

parents.

Imagine the couples surprise when Linda fell pregnant after being on the contraceptive pill. After the

trauma from miscarriage number 5 Linda was far from excited to be expecting number 6.

“I felt like it was going to ruin me. We’d only just built our marriage back up and I had just met

Claire’s baby and re-built the friendship. I was going to be destroyed as a person once again.”

The whole process of the pregnancy was nerve-racking for both. Linda didn’t enjoy the pregnancy,

the whole time she was preparing herself for the news she had become accustom to.

Three weeks prior to the due date, Linda woke up at 5:30am in in a puddle of “gunky water.”

It was a long and scary process of eight hours in the labour ward, even scarier knowing that it was

before the due date. They remained brave throughout and wondered the whole time what sex there

baby was going to be.

At 1:42am their baby girl was born weighing a tiny 5lb110z. They waited for the cry but it was silent.

Their hearts sank. They were desperate for the child they had waited so patiently for.

“And that was when I heard my baby cry.” Linda said. “It was the most magical feeling in the world, I,

a women who couldn’t have babies was now officially a mother.

“Shannon Rose is five now and often asks if she can have a baby brother or sister but we are happy

just as we are. We are lucky enough to have our miracle.”

Finally the family was complete. The story on the road to motherhood was turbulent but her

persistence and unwillingness to give up meant her dream became reality.

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