• 5 Live's Anna Foster never thought she would find happiness again after losing her first two children to miscarriage

  • Grief after miscarriage is entirely normal, though not spoken about enough

  • If you have experienced a miscarriage, find a therapist here 

We all have defining moments in life, those things that shape us and make us what we are. Mine was losing our first two children to miscarriage. The first one was a heartbreaking, early discovery at eight weeks. The second was far worse.

Despite my nerves, everything seemed fine. I could feel my baby moving, I was relieved and happy. Then at my 20-week scan the sonographer spent longer than felt 'right' moving the probe over my stomach, and I started to quietly panic. My husband said it was fine. But she didn't speak to reassure me. Eventually, she switched off the machine and told us things weren't right. I didn't even cry immediately, I was so shocked that everything just seemed to stop. 

Days later, I gave birth to our tiny motionless child, and we spent some precious time together as a family. The hospital were incredibly supportive, they had a special delivery room away from all the others with a back entrance that meant I never needed to go into the main ward and see anyone experiencing happier times than us. We had a small funeral, just my husband and I, with the hospital chaplain officiating. There were many, many tears.

I remember feeling very clearly at that time that I'd never know true happiness ever again, that for the rest of my life even the most wonderful moments would be experienced through a grey filter. But it didn't happen like that. Slowly I did find joy again, and while I never forget how the pain felt, it's become something in my past rather than an emotion which clouds my every day.

At the time, we were offered the chance to talk to a specialist counsellor based at the unit, but we didn’t do it. I think it’s because I wanted to feel like we were strong enough to deal with things ourselves. Looking back now, older and wiser, it would have been good to talk – sharing never makes us weaker.

Luckily, after our two losses my next two pregnancies were successful and we've got a beautiful son, Ben, who's three, and a two-year old daughter, Jessica. It feels like infertility and problems in pregnancy and birth are affecting huge numbers of people, but we aren't really talking openly about it. When I do speak about my experiences, I’m stunned by how many times people tell me they’ve been through the same thing. 

Further reading

How to talk to someone about miscarriage

Bereavement counselling helped my whole family 

Living with the loss of a baby

Why I wrote a book about miscarriage