The statistics may shock you; one in four women will lose a baby, while one in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Yet despite how many people are affected, miscarriage remains a taboo subject. Few women openly talk about their experiences; many choosing instead to suffer in silence.
It's an issue that has troubled me ever since a close family member of mine suffered several miscarriages. For her and many others, miscarriage can be a desperately lonely experience. Feelings of guilt, embarrassment, inadequacy, and anger drive many to close ranks and suffer alone.
Rachel Backhouse from Runcorn lost her baby at almost 22 weeks. He was the third miscarriage she'd had:
"When I got pregnant and then you have to go and tell everybody that you've lost the baby and makes you feel a bit inadequate that you cant have a family and I think that might be a reason of embarrassment really that you can't achieve what people are supposed to do naturally."
"A week before I was chosing what pram I was having, a week later I was chosing what song to play at my little boys funeral, it was absolutely awful...I dont think you could in a million years dream to understand how it feels unless you've actually been through it. It was just like a dagger in the heart every time...It was just like your worse nightmares come true.'
For Susan Wildeman from Bury, it was a nightmare that recurred over and over. She miscarried 6 times:
"It was heartbreaking - i don't know how I did it to be honest - I wanted my son to have a little baby brother or sister. But when you tell your 4 year old at the time that you're having a little baby brother - how do you explain to him that he's not coming home?"
But despite the grim statistics, there IS hope out there. A specialised clinic at Liverpool Women's hospital is leading the way in treating women who've had multiple miscarriages - and thanks to pioneering treatments including bionic bands and abdominal stitches, women like Rachel and Susan are getting a happy ending. Rachel gave birth to Evie-Mae 14 months ago, and Susan had little Luke.
The charity 'Miscarriage Association' has launched its OWN campaign to get more people to talk openly about their experiences. Their hope, is that if more people talk about miscarriage, more women in the future will feel they're not alone and will get help.