5K Friday with Lucy who has found her Rainbow through running....

"I always start a miscarriage conversation with ‘I don’t want you to feel sorry for me’. In fact I don’t always talk about it because I don’t want people to feel sad for me. I am very lucky with the life I have. I might not have the happy ending that is expected but I have a husband who loves me, I have a job I love, a family who are always there, a house, friends, travel and running. Although I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I do have a story. A story of a foggy day and searching for a way through that fog. I don’t have the conventional happy ending but I am happy, really happy and so my story might just offer hope, offer someone a rainbow to cling onto, on their foggy day.

Of course, like anyone who has been through any baby loss situation the reality is that it’s messy, and very sad, but throughout a decade of miscarriage, I found a way through the fog, and through the fog I found my rainbow. There can be a lot of dark moments during the whole process of trying and failing to have children, from the moment you hear someone close to you is pregnant, or sitting in a waiting room watching couples come out with their scan pictures (the ones you never get when you miscarry). There are lots of tears and there is lots of blood, none of which is nice to go through, and a lot of moments of feeling like a complete failure. It is even hard sometimes to read of new research and other people’s successes after miscarriage, when you are getting no closer to ever having your own children. ‘The fog’ or the ‘dark place’ isn’t somewhere I like to be and I tend to search for happiness even in the darkest moment, noticing a snowdrop on a winter day or splashing in a puddle on the rainiest of days - my glass is always half full. For me, I literally ran my way out of the fog, ran my way to a happier place. Finding my way through took me to a whole world of adventures and happiness that I never imagined I’d find.

Its been 2 and a half years since I last miscarried. I’ve had all the tests, waited for answers, the perfect fix, and sat heartbroken while I was told by specialists that there weren’t any answers. I think that was the hardest thing to hear… that even after all that time, after reaching the 3 reoccurring miscarriages, there still was no answer. I hated being part of the “1 in 3 women” statistic, but hated even more that it wasn’t something they could fix. I hated my body for failing me so badly. At that point I had to step away and look after myself (and my husband). During Christmas, weeks after hearing there was nothing they could do, I had to make a change. I’d started on the same rollercoaster I had gone down each time I’d miscarried. You see, after 3 miscarriages you become a little cold about the ‘process’. You know what your body will go through, you know how to keep it calm, you know what you need to recover, and to a certain extent, what you need to move on. Whilst out running I wondered what I could look forward to, if it wasn’t the anticipation of a baby, that although it filled you with dread every time you fall pregnant, there is the thought that maybe, just maybe, this time it would just be a success. Instead of another year of failure, I needed to run, I would need to box, lift heavy weights and step away from the baby world and do something to my body that I could control. Running had been the one place I could really smile, I could control a goal and achieve something, and with that I could make people proud of me. In that moment on a cold frosty run I decided I could make running my rainbow. The next week having only run 13.1 miles 3 times and very slowly, I would run a marathon in 2018. Only 2% of the world had run a marathon and I would be in that statistic.

Now I’m pretty determined as a person but in May 2018, the hottest May bank holiday on record, I set off around the Milton Keynes marathon to run that marathon. It was the most wonderful day, and I genuinely was so very proud of myself. Now, I’m no sprint runner, I’m never going to win or come in the top 100, but that’s the joy of running… it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I did it, and felt happy. That day was for me and no one else, it was about loving my body, pushing my body and moving on. Crossing the finish line was a moment of grabbing at the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow! Running a marathon is hard, it’s probably up there with the hardest thing I have ever done, and anyone who has run a marathon will tell you, after you have finished you literally think you can do anything. I still, when doing something new quote to myself ‘you have run a marathon Lucy, you have totally got this!’ to any new situation. Since 2018 I have gone on to run London Marathon last year, and now I am in training for the Stockholm marathon. Each run I do, each moment I feel the cold air on my face, the warm summer breeze, I’m reminded that my legs are strong, my body is good, my heart is full, and I am reminded I am so lucky to have these moments. Getting up to run while the sun rises on the longest day, crossing Tower Bridge whilst running the London Marathon, running in the Colorado National Monument on holiday in USA, running barefoot in the Gower Peninsula in Wales, working out with the best group of “cheerleader” friends, all with different goals, but one amazing team… all these moments make my rainbow brighter, and they keep it shining. It’s in these moments that I remember that a rainbow post-miscarriage will be something different for each person. My rainbow is full of friendships, smiles, moments that have taken my breath away. The strong girls club is full of women with hope for the future from rainbow babies, to rainbow runs, to rainbow adventures. Each one of us finds a way to move forward, determined and strong."

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