I know what it’s like to lose a baby, like Kym

After suf­fer­ing two mis­car­riages and a still­birth, Vic­to­ria Har­ris has had her fair share of heart­break

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In Fe­bru­ary this year, Kym Marsh marked what would have been her son Archie’s ninth birth­day.

He was born at 21 weeks and passed away not long after.

Since los­ing Archie in 2009, the Corona­tion Street ac­tress has been vo­cal about mis­car­riage and still­birth.

‘It’s some­thing you never get over,’ Kym says. ‘And it’s some­thing so many peo­ple are go­ing through all the time.’

Kym’s Cor­rie char­ac­ter, Michelle Con­nor, also suf­fered a still­birth in early 2017. The ac­tress ad­mit­ted that the dif­fi­cult sto­ry­line took her to ‘dark places’ but hoped the scenes might help other women in the same po­si­tion to get help.

Kym now raises money for the Mari­posa Trust, a char­ity that helps fam­i­lies deal with the pain of los­ing a baby at any stage.

And, like Kym, Vic­to­ria Har­ris, 37, is de­ter­mined to keep talk­ing about such a dif­fi­cult topic...

I’d been dat­ing James, an elec­tri­cian, for seven months when I fell preg­nant in 2007. It was a sur­prise but a happy one.

But while some mums-to-be are blessed with a rosy glow, my preg­nancy got harder with each week. I was ex­hausted and bleed­ing con­stantly.

De­spite my fears, the doc­tors were re­as­sur­ing. At eight weeks, when a scan showed the bleed­ing was caused by a sub­chori­onic haematoma – bleed­ing be­tween the pla­centa and uterus – they weren’t wor­ried, say­ing the prob­lem would re­solve it­self.

Sud­den pain

But in the Novem­ber, when I was 18 weeks preg­nant,

I was wo­ken in the night by an un­bear­able pain in my stom­ach. ‘I’m in agony,’ I groaned to James. ‘I need to go to hos­pi­tal.’ Per­haps it sounds naïve, but the idea of mis­car­riage hadn’t crossed my mind.

At the hos­pi­tal, while James paced the cor­ri­dors, I was mon­i­tored by the mid­wives. The pain was so bad I could barely speak, then, look­ing down, there was blood ev­ery­where. Sud­denly, the pain dis­ap­peared, and I felt an over­whelm­ing fear. For a sec­ond, ev­ery­thing was silent, then a mid­wife hur­ried over. Lean­ing down, she wrapped some­thing in a towel and left.

It was only later that

I re­alised it was my baby. Numb with shock, the next thing I re­mem­ber is James hold­ing me, and a doc­tor ap­pear­ing. ‘Do you un­der­stand what hap­pened?’ he asked. ‘You’ve had a mis­car­riage.’

In that mo­ment, as the tears rolled down my cheeks, I felt empty. Any mum who has lost a child will know that feel­ing.

Leav­ing hos­pi­tal with­out your child is the hard­est thing in the world. That night, as I lay in bed, my hand rest­ing where my tiny bump had been, I cried my­self to sleep.

Later we learned what had gone wrong. Doc­tors re­vealed the bleed­ing had caused the pla­centa to sep­a­rate from the uterus. Our baby – a lit­tle boy – had no chance of sur­vival.

All we had were hand and foot­prints from our son – Jack – but I never saw our lit­tle boy. I thought it would be too hard. I re­gret that de­ci­sion ev­ery day.

I wish I could say that, after the agony of los­ing Jack, our jour­ney to par­ent­hood was smooth, but James and I had more heart­break to come.

Just six months later, I fell preg­nant again, this time with a girl. My wa­ters broke early at 33 weeks, but I wasn’t wor­ried as my preg­nancy had gone so well. That is, un­til mid­wives checked the heart­beat. I lis­tened for that thump­ing sound, but the room was silent. When the doc­tor told me my baby had died, I thought I’d never stop cry­ing.

I had to go through the trauma of labour – each con­trac­tion made worse know­ing I wouldn’t hear my daugh­ter’s cries.

When I cra­dled lit­tle Har­riet in my arms, she looked like she was sleep­ing. It was later re­vealed I’d caught an in­fec­tion, and it was the most likely cause of her death.

Try­ing again

Yet, James and I re­fused to give up. After another mis­car­riage at eight weeks, three months later, in March 2010, I fell preg­nant again. I didn’t get my hopes up – ev­ery day, I waited for some­thing to go wrong.

Ev­ery time I felt a pain, James was there. ‘Is ev­ery­thing OK?’ he’d ask, panic in his voice.

Yet, thank­fully, ev­ery­thing went smoothly.

That De­cem­ber, I gave birth to a boy named Jack, in hon­our of his brother. As I held him, I thought of the ba­bies I’d lost. Since then, we’ve had another boy, Harry, in Jan­uary 2015. We named him after the sis­ter he never met.

Jack, now seven, and Harry, three, know all about Har­riet. I take them to her grave at Christ­mas and birth­days.

Last year, I couldn’t help but shed a tear as I laid down flow­ers for my beau­ti­ful lit­tle girl. But then I felt a lit­tle hand in mine.

‘It’s OK, Mummy,’ Jack said. ‘Don’t be sad.’

Harry’s a bit young to un­der­stand just yet, but I’ll ex­plain ev­ery­thing to him in the next year or two.

James and I have dis­cussed hav­ing another baby. We’d love a sis­ter for Jack and Harry to dote on, but we’re go­ing to wait a while be­fore we try again.

I think it’s great that Kym has spo­ken so openly about her own mis­car­riage. She’s help­ing to nor­malise some­thing that many women feel ashamed of.

I found that talk­ing to those around me has re­ally helped me come to terms with it.

Women need to know they are not alone.

For sup­port, visit uk-sands.org or call 0808 164 3332

‘Women need to know they are not alone’

‘My baby looked like she was sleep­ing’

Corona­tion Street ac­tress Kym Marsh, left, has suf­fered a mis­car­riage in life and on screen

Vic­to­ria’s first preg­nancy trag­i­cally ended at 18 weeks

The fam­ily visit lit­tle Har­riet’s grave ev­ery year

Fi­nally Vic­to­ria and James had a baby boy, Jack, in 2010, after years of heart­break

Vic­to­ria with sons Harry and Jack

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