September 23rd 2022
Pamela Mackenzie, 41, thought ‘what’s wrong with me?’ each time she lost a baby.
Pamela and her husband Ian, 44, went through fertility treatment and IVF to try to start a family together, but sadly, nine of her pregnancies didn’t make it past five or six weeks.
Finally, in 2018, after years of heartache, the couple welcomed their ‘miracle’ son, Patrick, now three, after going to Prague for IVF.
Now, Pamela volunteers for the International Fertility Company – who help to support people looking to have fertility treatment abroad and in the UK – and wants to offer hope and support to other people struggling.
‘It’s how you feel when you are going through heartbreak or when someone has died,’ said Pamela, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
‘It feels like you’re living a nightmare and there’s nobody there to support you.
‘You ask “what’s wrong with me?” and you feel like less of a woman.
‘There’s not enough awareness or support, it’s only once you start researching yourself you can find support.’
Some of Pamela’s pregnancies never made it to a hospital visit, but other times she made it to five or six weeks.
She wants doctors to be more understanding of the immense emotional pain of miscarriage.
‘The NHS are stretched to their limits, but I feel like there isn’t enough support,” she said.
‘One time when I had made it to six weeks, I was offered counselling, but I wasn’t in the right space to accept it.
‘It would be great if there was someone who came in and had a conversation with you, or even a room you could go into to have a sit down and a little cry.’
The mum – who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when she was 12 – recalls how medical staff came across ‘very matter-of-fact’ and blunt when sharing soul-destroying news to hopeful parents.
She said: ‘One time a member of hospital staff told me: “There’s nothing you can do, it doesn’t matter if you’re sat down or lying down, you’re going to bleed and miscarry”.’
In 2010 Pamela suffered an ectopic pregnancy while on holiday in Blackpool.
After a negative pregnancy test, she was sent home by medical staff.
‘I sat in pain all the way back to Edinburgh on the coach and then immediately went to A&E where they discovered it was ectopic,’ said the mum.
‘As women we know our own bodies and should be taken more seriously.’
Other times she received ignorant comments from people who didn’t know her situation properly who implied she should be happy she can get pregnant.
Pamela also said people even in her inner circle choose to avoid the subject as they don’t know how to talk about it.
‘People just don’t mention it because they don’t know what to say, but women who have gone through it want to talk about it, because talking about it helps,’ she added.
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