If you’re going to run 100km you might as well do it for a good cause, so the logic in my head goes at least. Well today I’d like to introduce the second awesome charity I’m hoping to raise money for with my Fool on the Run challenge which is Tommy’s. Now I’m guessing that most of you have heard of Tommy’s but if you haven’t they do research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage.
Here’s a little video to tell you more about their work.
As you know the 2 charities I’ve chosen are ones I feel I have a very personal connection too and actually Tommy’s was the one that immediately popped into my head when I started planning this challenge. Like many parents the lady of the manor and I have experienced the pain of losing a baby through miscarriage, something which 1 in 4 mothers will also experience. We’ve had 2 miscarriages with the second just a few months ago which I wrote about here, but what I haven’t written about before is the first experience and I’d like to taken a moment to share that with you now.
Our first miscarriage happened before I was a blogger, before I’d built friendships with other parents on Twitter and before I was a dad. The combination of those 3 things I’ve come to realise made that experience so much tougher and more lonely. Becoming a blogger is potentially the best thing any parent or parent to be can do because you will never experience such support and kind words anywhere else.
I can remember the day very clearly even now almost 4 years later; I’d just left the house to run to the train station (yep even then I was a crazy runner type) and my phone rang. I grabbed my phone out my pocket and it was home calling, which was odd as I’d just left there. I answered and immediately I knew something wasn’t right, the lady of the manor didn’t need to say more than “Ben”, the tone of her voice made it clear this was bad.
After a frantic half an hour we managed to find out that Bath hospital had an early scan clinic that you could just turn up to so we raced off there barely speaking. Not wanting to say what we were both thinking, trying to think positively that it was probably nothing. Hours passed in a blur of waiting rooms, doctors, radiographers and nurses, all lovely and supportive but none could tell us that it was going to be ok.
We headed home to digest the words “we can’t see any sign of a heart beat”; one day we’re a newly married couple who’ve just bought their first house and are pregnant for the first time, the next day our world has fallen apart. That night was the darkest moment of my life so far as we sat together knowing that the baby we had been expecting was slowly slipping away from us. I rarely cry but that night the two of us sat curled up on the sofa and sobbed for the baby we would never get to meet.
Being so early in the pregnancy (9 weeks) we hadn’t done any ante natal classes or starting meeting other parents to be, we didn’t know the what’s or why’s of miscarriage. I’m not sure I’d even heard anyone else talk about it. It often feels like being in Harry Potter and no one wanting to say Voldemort. Yet once you do tell people you suddenly realise how many of them have their own miscarriage story and the support you receive is incredible. Nothing can take the pain away yet talking to someone who has experienced it helps.
This is why I’m passionate about supporting Tommy’s; their research into miscarriage, still birth and premature birth is essential to help us understand why these things happen and if there is a way to prevent it or minimise the risks.
Tommy’s also provide a pregnancy line to give advice about how to have a healthy pregnancy and also offer support if you experience a pregnancy loss. I’m also very passionate about a dad’s role in this process, a pregnancy loss happens to us too even if not physically and we also need support in the grieving process in addition to be a key support for our partners.
This is why I’m taking on the huge challenge of running 100km and why I hope you’ll part with some of your hard earned cash and sponsor me. You can find my sponsorship page here.