On pregnancy loss

Image description: a number of tall candles lit against a dark backdrop.

They say that losing a baby is one of the worst things that can happen to you. That pain is compounded when care providers ask you questions such as:

Is your husband coping ok?

Will your husband be joining you?

Has your husband been tested?

Would you like to call your husband?

All whilst my wife silently weeps in the background.

My wife and I have experienced 14 miscarriages between us and no one can tell us why. We are both in our late twenties. We have used sperm from friends, sperm from a bank, sperm from known donors. We have both had every single test possible. We both have healthy eggs and healthy bodies. My wife plays rugby every Sunday and has done since she was a child. I cycle daily and teach gymnastics at a primary school. I have experienced 8 miscarriages, all around 8-12 weeks and my wife has experienced 6. Two of those were second trimester miscarriages.

We have been to multiple fertility specialists. Those who rely heavily on science and also those who take a more holistic approach. No one has found any reason why neither of us can stay pregnant.

The miscarriages are difficult. Truly. But what hurts us the most is when one of us is entirely ignored throughout the entire process and some fabled "husband" is given more care and attention than the non-carrying woman.

We have been honest from the outset with our providers. We are two cisgender lesbians in a homosexual relationship. The care in getting us pregnant has been exemplary for the most part, with both of us involved every step of the way. Yet somehow, during or following the miscarriage, everyone "forgets" who we are. It doesn't make any sense and it only adds to our pain.

We are grateful that in our later pregnancies, we found Kim and they were able to support us both as equal parents. No ifs or buts or maybes.

My wife and I have decided that we will either look into surrogacy or adoption but for now, we are taking a well needed break from all things cisheteronormative and focussing on each other. Losing 14 babies has been an incredibly painful experience. Having our identities erased in those moments of pain hurts on another level that I cannot even begin to describe.

Service providers need to do better. Much better. There's no excuse.

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