Shortly before Christmas 2010 I found out I was going to be a father for the first time. While this wasn’t a total surprise I was still overcome with a mix of emotions – happiness and excitement all mixed in with the feeling of uncertainty, financial worries and concerns for Beth’s wellbeing – something I’m sure fathers around the world will be able to relate to.
Barely a few weeks into the New Year we discovered that we had miscarried. The joy and elation we felt in the knowledge of becoming parents had suddenly been taken away and replaced with more questions than answers.
Five years later and we now have two amazing girls to keep us “entertained” (Marlee, 3, and Seren, 11 months). They are my world and I wouldn’t be without them – even if they do push me to my limits sometimes.
Miscarriages are more common than you think; 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in a miscarriage. There’s not always a reason why it happens and more often than not no answers can be given to the questions asked other than “we’re very sorry, but it’s just one of those things”.
Beth and I have come to terms with what has happened and although we don’t normally broadcast what has happened, we both feel there should be far more awareness of problems that can happen during pregnancy. This is very the reason I’ve decided to do a trek for Tommy’s. It’s not much, but anything I can do to raise awareness (and money!) of a truly worthy cause to help others who may be struggling with what has happened or is happening to them.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to never experience what we have, but you could just as easily be that one-in-four.
Tommy’s – What is it?
Tommy’s funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information to parents
At Tommy’s we believe it is unacceptable that one in four women will lose a baby during pregnancy and birth.
When a pregnancy fails or a baby dies, the families affected can be devastated and often have a desperate need to know why. Frustrated at the lack of research that meant they could rarely answer this question, two obstetricians working in the maternity unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London were inspired to start fundraising for more research into pregnancy problems.
Soon, their cause was taken up by others and a charity affectionately known as ‘Tommy’s’ (after St Thomas’ Hospital) was born.
That was 1992. Today, we lead the way in maternal and fetal research in the UK. To give every baby the best chance of being born healthy, we work to fund medical research into the causes of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage.
We fund three research centres in the UK, including St Thomas’ in London, St Mary’s in Manchester and the recently established Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, which focus their research efforts on different issues relating to pregnancy.
We also feel it’s important to raise awareness of the facts and to provide free, accurate and up-to-date information for medical professionals and parents-to-be.
This includes a dedicated telephone midwife service, a comprehensive website and free books and leaflets dedicated to promoting health in pregnancy and pre-pregnancy.
We are supported by people who want to do something about the lack of research and information around pregnancy issues like miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
We believe every parent has the right to a healthy pregnancy and baby. Our target is to halve the number of babies that die during pregnancy or birth by 2030.
To find out more, please visit the Tommy’s website – www.tommys.org