When I became pregnant in 2018, I was completely surprised but absolutely delighted. I’d spent so long worrying I wouldn’t even be able to get pregnant; I couldn’t quite believe it. I told my midwife about my cervix during my booking in appointment and she told me not to worry as it was such early days.
Tommy from Edinburgh
Charley, 35, from Edinburgh was amazed when she found out she was pregnant in 2018. She’d been warned that pregnancy might be difficult for her as, a few years before, she’d had 3 procedures to remove abnormal cells from her cervix.
At 14 weeks pregnant, I started to bleed heavily. It was absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what to do as I was alone at home. I decided to call for an ambulance but, as I headed down the stairs, I fell. I’d lost so much blood I was lightheaded. I remember the operator on the phone casually asking if I’d "passed a fetus" yet. This thought hadn’t crossed my mind and I became totally hysterical. I still suffer with PTSD from this experience - I was certain I’d lost my baby and I cannot describe how awful this felt.
When I arrived at the hospital, I was scanned and saw my baby, alive and wriggling around. I was so relieved but anxious things would go wrong again. I had another bleed the following week, but it looked like my baby was holding up okay. My mental health was becoming increasingly fragile and I started to have panic attacks. It was such a difficult time.
I was referred to Tommy’s Lothian Preterm Birth Clinic after my first bleed. At the first appointment, I met with Dr Sarah Stock and Morag Dalton, a Tommy’s research midwife.
The staff at the clinic were beyond amazing. They explained things to me in a way that kept me calm. Dr Stock gave me the information I needed and made sure I was referred to the correct medical professionals. She took her time with me and, for the first time in my pregnancy, I felt like I was getting the support I needed.
I started attending weekly scans at the clinic. I felt reassured, and I knew I was in safe hands.
I named him Tommy because, quite frankly, he wouldn’t be here without Tommy’s. I know I’m one of the lucky ones and I’m so grateful to the team at the Tommy’s research centre in Edinburgh.-- Charley, mother
At 21 weeks, a scan showed that Charley was at high risk of going into premature labour. She was offered a stich by the Tommy’s team to keep her tiny baby safe.
“As I am a single mum, I didn’t have anyone to come with me on the day of the procedure. Morag kindly offered to come with me to hold my hand. I was so frightened that my baby wouldn’t make it – having a midwife at my side helped me to cope with the fear.”
Throughout the rest of her pregnancy she visited the Tommy’s clinic for regular check-ups and reassurance scans. Baby Tommy was born in May 2019!
“I’ll never forget the surgeon saying the words “Happy Birthday”. It was a magical moment. Holding my son in my arms felt like a miracle; my own wonderful miracle.
I named him Tommy because, quite frankly, he wouldn’t be here without Tommy’s. I know I’m one of the lucky ones and I’m so grateful to the team at the Tommy’s research centre in Edinburgh.”