Friday, 6 May 2016

The Mariposa Trust - miscarriages and beyond


Baby loss is a global issue with around 30,000,000 miscarriages each year, 2.6 million still births and 5.495 million neo-natal and early years losses.

I have four children, but I've had seven pregnancies. 'I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat', is one of the nicer ways of being told that the pregnancy you had planned for is not progressing and you are leaving the scanning room a completely changed person. 

My most recent miscarriage was last summer. If you look carefully during the Sali Hughes 'In The Bathroom' videos, I am very obviously showing, (I thought I was fully into peri-menopause and a bit bloated - I had no clue I was pregnant at the time) although I never told anyone outside of my nearest and dearest. I only mention it now because two of my closest friends have experienced miscarriages recently - and they were visibly relieved when I shared my numerous experiences. It shouldn't be taboo. 
It wasn't a complete shock to me to find myself in that situation again, we've been there before. It's never an easy situation to be in, but for me personally, I found it easier to handle this last time, having already had my other children to focus my energies on. 
(Although it helped that I wasn't put on a labour ward when I had to have the op this time.. Talk about psychological torture. Who in their right mind thinks 'oh this woman just had to have an operation to have her pregnancy removed - I know - let's put her next to the woman that just gave birth! It's all the same thing!')

Although the official figures for miscarriage are 1 in 4, my consultant last year told me that privately, she and her peers put the figure closer to 1 in 2. It happens a lot. The Mariposa Trust is a charity that supports anyone who has been affected by the loss of a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.

There are four arms of the charity, dealing with miscarriage, supporting people through a subsequent pregnancy after a loss, and then rather uniquely, supporting people going through the IVF process and people trying to tackle the adoption process. They hold remembrance services for those that have suffered a loss, a nice change from simply hearing well-meaning people say things like 'Oh well. At least you can get pregnant!' and 'Mother Nature always has a plan!' (<-- my particular favourite)

The Mariposa Trust are currently reaching in excess of 50,000 people a week internationally, and if you've experienced/are experiencing any of the above, you can find out more information here:




53 comments:

  1. Thank you Caroline to share this with us, this means to me and i'm sure to a lot of women.

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  2. Kudos to you Caroline for posting this, and I'm very sorry to hear about your miscarriage last year.

    I've had the pleasure of interviewing Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, (who set up the Mariposa Trust) several times since they first launched the Saying Goodbye services. They are so inspirational, yet totally down to earth.

    I've not had the pain of a miscarriage, but one of my nephews died of SIDS at 4 months. Their approach -- and yours -- of being open about the whole subject just makes so much sense. When I told colleagues about their work, so many -- male and female-- told me they'd lost babies, but hadn't talked about it at work.

    Oh, and saw your post with the Trust at No 10. Loved the copper who was packing!!

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  3. You and Zoe Clark-Coates are two of the most awesome ladies. Huge admirers of you both. Thank-you for talking about this most personal of subjects xx

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  4. Thank you for this.
    A million billion thank you's.
    Thank you for making this less taboo and more 'normal' (it's never normal, but you know what I mean).
    I found your blog and YouTube Channel, as I couldn't get my hormones or my skin to calm down after yet another miscarriage. I remember commenting on a video you did with Ruth, thank you both for talking so openly and honestly about it.

    The possibility that life comes in only 50% of the time is shocking, But also not surprising. Maybe that is why there are so many stars in the sky. Each one is a possibility.

    There are no adequate words, but I truly am sorry for your loss. Xx

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  5. Thank you thank you thank you! My miscarriage this year was utterly devastating and still doesn't feel "over". 3 months on and I'm still being treated for It having been a molar pregnancy (which I hadn't heard of, neither had friends or family)... Because of the hormones I'm got large red sore lumps/spots all along my jawline- anything you can recommend? I already feel let down by my body, I'd try anything to reclaim my face as my own again

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  6. Caroline I've been a regular reader for a few years now and I am much the wiser and savvier now with regards to skincare. Although (thankfully) this post does not apply to me personally (not planning for a family at present), the fact that you have been so open and shared something so personal, with us your readers, really touched me. Thank you. X

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  7. A friend had an ectopic pregnancy last year and spent that period, having been told that due to the loss of her ovary she might never become pregnant, in the labour ward. As you say, utter torture. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  8. Thank you for sharing Caroline. How wonderful that there are communities that help ladies in such terrible times. I feel beyond lucky that I have my two beautiful boys and I have not to go through a miscarriage, just years of trying for the last one! How insensitive of the hospital to room you (and other ladies) in the labour ward. I could think of nothing more heartbreaking. I have quite a few friends who have suffered miscarriage and loss late in pregnancy and it's just so unfair.
    The Beauty Bloss

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  9. I experienced a misscarriage myself, and after opening up to my friends about it almost everyone had a story to share. I think 1 in 2 is the more accurate number.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  10. I am sorry for your losses, Caroline. Thank you for sharing your story and the information about the Mariposa Trust. It's been slightly over 10 years for me and I still find myself wondering occasionally what my life would be like if things had turned out differently. (((H)))

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  11. Thanks for sharing. I had a miscarriage 2 years ago and am not able to have any more children

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  12. Oh god....and you had that whole business with the national express last summer. Am truly sorry for your loss.

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  13. Mine was in December 2013. Too much stress at work was one of the reasons. Its random - said the doctor, no particular reason...

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  14. Thank you for sharing that with us. I would agree with the 1 in 2 number as it is much more common than it is spoken of. I am so sorry anyone has to go through the loss in the first place but even more sorry how often the procedures and discussions are not handled better. Thank you again for putting this up.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing this, as someone who has experienced 2 miscarriages of my own, its such a relief to hear people speak about it openly, there shouldn't be anything taboo about it, yet for some reason there is. In fact I actually had a family member tell me I shouldn't talk to people about it, because it makes people feel uncomfortable, which I'm like "Sorry my pain is inconvenient for you".

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  16. Very sorry for your loss, thank you for talking about it. I've had 3 and people really need to talk about it more because it affects so many things. Xx

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  17. Excellent post. I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks then went on to have 2 healthy kids. It's a lottery and I never took this fact for granted. All kudos for this post Caroline. This topic must be made less taboo so that both sexes can talk openly without any fear or shame. Life is a miracle but it's a difficult path for many for reasons still unexplained. Xxxx

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  18. Thanks for this piece Caroline. I'm currently 24 weeks into my third pregnancy - expecting my first child.
    I found it hard when some medical staff staff kept referring to it as my first pregnancy, as if the others didn't 'count'. Keeping everything crossed that this time we're lucky.

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  19. I wish more people would talk about it openly. It would help families to understand, that it is not their fault to lose a child. I had two miscarriages between my two boys and my second son was born premature, two month early. He is now at home and doing great. My older son had a very hard time, because i needed to stay in hospital for 9 weeks before c-section and then visited his brother daily for 6 weeks. Thankfully everything is fine between the two.

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  20. Dear Caroline, thank you for sharing that. I miscarried twins in between my 2 beautiful girls. Last year my older daughter gave birth to a son after multiple miscarriages plus serious pregnancy and birth complications. He is the light of our lives, but they want to try for another child and I'm scared at the thought.
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you again. Liz xxx

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  21. Thank you for sharing, Caroline. I'm sorry for your losses. It's so important to talk about this. Nobody should feel alone going through that.

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  22. Thank you Caroline for sharing this. I am only 21 and not intending on having children any time soon, but was so sad to hear about your experience and that of other women going through it recently. What saddens me most is that it seems to be, as you mention, totally taboo and figures don't accurately reflect how often this happens. I think women who share their experiences, like you have done, do a great service to younger woman who may experience this in the future and should never feel that they are alone or are in any way to blame. I hope that by the time I start a family, information about miscarriage is more positively and accurately shared among both men and women.

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  23. I am happy that you were able to share this experience and devastated that you had to endure it. I'm so sorry for you and your family having suffered these losses. You are right to say that it should not be a taboo topic. Thank you for being willing to be the one who speaks out.

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  24. Thank you for your post, I have had 7 pregnancies and 1 child survived, my miracle.
    Very few things hurt more than careless words in hospitals, I have mostly had kind and warm care and I have had seriously callous handling. The compassionate and kind care should always be the norm.

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  25. Thank you Caroline for sharing this info and your experience, the timing couldn't be more perfect. 😘

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  26. Thank you Caroline for this info and sharing your story. The timing for me couldn't have been more perfect 😘

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  27. Thank you for sharing this Caroline. I had 7 pregnancies and 1 miracle child. For the most part I have had very kind and compassionate care on the NHS. I shall never forget a ward sister who just hugged me after a D&C, she just did it, and I am forever grateful.
    Unfortunately there was also thoughtless care, simple things that hurt a lot at a very vulnerable time.

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  28. Thank you for this post, especially the bit about the hospital. When I lost my angel baby having to lay in hospital for a week (especially at night when I was alone) listening to the babies cry was beyond traumatic. Being able to share these stories and have a acknowledgment of a life, however brief, has been so vital to my grieving process and been a great comfort.
    Thank you for opening up the conversation.

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  29. You are such a brave woman! I was lucky enough to be succesful at first attempt but have had several friends in this situation and lived it up close. Attempting baby number two And, though hoping everything will be allright, this post and all the shared experiences makes me calm about it, that I will be able to deal with it. Thank you all, courageous ladies for sharing.

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  30. This is an incredible post and you are incredible for sharing your story. I'm sorry for your losses, but thank you for raising awareness about just how common miscarriages can be. I'm 22 and not sure if I want to be a mother through pregnancy or not, but knowing that miscarriages can happen and it very much is a lottery makes me feel a little more at ease about attempting it someday, weirdly.

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  31. Sorry to hear about your losses. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and the info on such an amazing charity! Xx

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  32. Thank you for posting, and I'm very sorry for your loss.

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  33. Thanks for sharing Caroline, and for helping to make miscarriage and pregnancy loss a less taboo subject. After suffering a miscarriage earlier this year and hearing all the typical, awful responses, I think talking about it and treating it as a loss, just like any other, is critical in the healing process for families.

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  34. Thank you Caroline for sharing your story. The charity sounds wonderful. So sorry to hear of your miscarriage last year.
    I myself had numerous miscarriages and felt I never had a place of good support thru it. It is nice to know that there is something out there to help support families

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  35. Caroline, you are the brave, honest, sharing person you come across online to be. As awful as miscarriages are, it's a comfort to read so many responses to get through the helplessness. When I lost my first pregnancy, my doctor could not have been more cruel or cold. Berating me for not saving it for testing. I was clueless. As if that werent enough, my employer refused the doctors note excusing me for 2 days. They wanted a detailed version of the events. No stress at all there. They got a 1 week notice that I was leaving. This was Blue Cross insurance company to boot! Great understanding employer. Nowadays I have to hear how selfish I am to want another baby at my age,45. As if I would jeopardize either our health. I believe we're only given what we can handle in our lives. Bless you Lady Hirons for all you do.

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    Replies
    1. Tell anyone who calls u selfish to shove it! I'm 29. I prAy no one tells me how to plan my family. And each miscarriage has only made me will for twice as many babies. Best wishes and I hope it works out for you

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  36. Thank you so much for this and I'm very sorry for your loss.

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  37. Thank you Caroline for sharing your experience. Im sorry this happened to you. Three years ago I had a miscarriage and required a blood transfusion. I too was moved mercilessly to the labour ward to recover. It begars belief that in this day and age we are still being placed in the labour ward with mothers and their babies to recoup after experiencing such a trauma. This in the least must cease. Much love and gratitude to you for what you do and share with us.xx

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  38. thank you for sharing and speaking up for those of us who more or less are forced to keep quite because people don't know how to react.

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  39. So sorry to hear this. Huge hugs x

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  40. Thank you for sharing something so personal. My first pregnancy was a miscarriage and although I've been blessed with three more children, it does stay with you. The numbers clearly show that this is more common than we think, yet it's such a taboo topic to discuss openly. Thank you for spreading awareness and starting up conversations for healing and understanding!

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  41. Lovely post. Pertinent issues. I've had 5 consecutive miscarriages and it never gets easier. And if someone tells me again to be grateful for the children I do have I might smack them. Thanks for making it less taboo.

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  42. Caroline thank you, for both sharing your sadness with us and this oh so important topic. I am so very sorry for each and every one of you ladies (and partners), losses. A child lost at any stage is still a life lost & deserves to be fully recognised as such.
    I am lucky enough to be blessed with 3 beautiful children, but my sister sadly lost 2 babies, one of which I was with her throughout, it was the most heartbreaking of days to see her fear & sadness and be helpless to do anything for her but hold her hand till her husband could take it in his. That was her 2nd loss, the first I was heavily pregnant with my son and I felt so guilty as my belly grew.
    She now has 4 healthy kids, 2 girls and 2 boys, she lost babies between the two girls and between the two boys. She's just become a grandma by her 2nd daughter.
    All life is so precious & should be remembered as such. Thinking of all of you who have posted xx

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  43. Thank you for sharing your experience Caroline. I am so sorry that this cruel and awful experience happened to you. Its so important that this issue is raised, I'm not at the stage for planning babies yet but I had no idea how common it is, showing its so important that the awareness is raised so its less of an isolating experience among women. Thank you for all that you do and for being real. You are one of the few in this online community who says it like it is. You have helped me so much with my skin and my confidence in my self. I used to constantly buy foaming things and wouldn't go to see my friends if my skin got bad. I have been seeing a dermatologist for years and I'm barely in there for a minute as I'm prescribed some cream, lasered and sent on my way! With your advice my skin has cleared up and I am happier and more confident in myself. Even though I have never had a consultation with you I really feel like you care about all of us and our skin and reply to us all on twitter with your kind advice answering our pestering questions. Your no nonsense approach and helpful advice makes me feel valued! You are such a fabulous woman and have created a supportive environment on here where we would all love to have tea and cake with you and a chat!

    So thank you for sharing your story and helping all of us! Lots of love Freya @FABeautyBlogx

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  44. I am really sorry for your losses, Caroline, and thank you for this post.

    Justine

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  45. Hi Caroline,thank you for posting this and I'm sorry for your loss and all the other's who have posted here.
    Last year I lost my baby girl shortly before birth at 38 weeks due to a cord accident and I think about her everyday. I wish more people would talk about this, I never knew myself that these things are so common. Is is truly one of the last few real taboos in western society.

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  46. Hi Caroline, thank you so much for an open and honest post on what is such a difficult and taboo subject. I'm very sorry to hear about your losses. Having recently gone through testing for recurrent miscarriages, I'm faced with the prospect of trying again through a medicalised/ supported pregnancy and it is terrifying. Well-meaning but ill-advised friends and family continue to say things like 'at least you know you can get pregnant' or 'it's just bad luck/ it's really common' and quite honestly it can cause huge distance at a time when you already feel so devastated. It's great that people are starting to speak out on the subject and that charities such as this exist to give much-needed support.

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  47. I'm sorry that you suffered a loss as recently as last summer and still somehow managed to carry on. My baby of 8 days died last year too - 19th May. Will be thinking of you and your baby this week. x

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  48. Hi Caroline,

    I'm sorry that your loss was as recent as last year and you have managed to go on as you have. I too last my baby last summer - he was 8days old and on 19th May it will be 1yr since his passing. Will be thinking of you and your baby. x

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  49. Hello Caroline,
    As is the way, I'm so sorry you have had to go through this. I belong to a support group which is for parents who are surviving miscarriage, still birth and infant loss. I have had 2 stillbirths separated by a miscarriage, for all different reasons. Thank you for sharing, I've been waiting for you to address this subject since one of your videos with Ruth. It is a sorority we never pledged but became members of all the same. Maybe you could do a post on how to deal with skin post pregnancy? I am coming off another pregnancy and my skin hates me. Thank you for all you do. And God bless you and yours.

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