A couple who lost 12 babies in three years have talked of their heartache - and called for more funding for research into miscarriage.
Just last month, Amanda Gordon, 34, suffered a bilateral ectopic twin pregnancy, the odds of which were one in 100,000, according to medics.
Amanda had been expecting twins but each foetus became trapped in each of her fallopian tubes and she sadly miscarried at six weeks.
The mum-of-four, from Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, has explained that after her 11th experience of miscarriage she had become “nearly desensitised” to it.
“We are sitting in that waiting room and because we have been here so many times before and it has been terrible news, you are almost expecting it,” she said.
The mum describes losing a baby as “horrific” and explained that the first few times she miscarried it took her a long time to understand and get over the loss.
“Now we have lost two babies in our 11th pregnancy and we are still devastated but eventually you almost become desensitised in a way, because it is the worst possible news so at that point I know what has to happen next, so I just want to get it over with,” she continues.
Amanda’s partner, Robert Beaton, says the couple have experienced so much pain after each loss, but their most recent loss, of twins, was particularly difficult.
“In the past three years we have been through torture,” he says.
“This last time was really hard.
“The doctors said it was a one in 100,000 chance of having a double ectopic pregnancy.”
Now the couple, who are parents to twins Michael and Callum, 16, Erin, 14 and Darcy, nine, have launched a petition calling for more funding into NHS research on why miscarriages occur.
“We have been through hell and we just feel like we need answers,” Robert explains.
“The care and treatment we have had from NHS staff has been exceptional.
“We just can't fault it, but this issue is underfunded, we need to have more money invested into all types of baby loss so we can find out why this happens.
Research reveals as many as one in four pregnancies end in baby loss, a number Robert describes as “shocking.”
The couple are planning to send the petition, which has already gained more than 700 signatures, to cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman.
“If that petition can help get finding for research then we hope that more couples won't have to go through what we have.”
To sign the petition visit the official Change.org page.
According to the NHS if you've had three or more miscarriages in a row (recurrent miscarriages), further tests are often used to check for any underlying cause.
However, no cause is found in about half of cases.
Tests available for those who have suffered from recurrent miscarriages include:
Karyotyping - which tests the foetus for abnormalities in the chromosomes (blocks of DNA).If a genetic abnormality is found, you and your partner can also be tested for abnormalities with your chromosomes that could be causing the problem.
Ultrasound scans - A transvaginal ultrasound can be used to check the structure of your womb for any abnormalities. A second procedure may be used with a 3D ultrasound scanner to study your lower tummy and pelvis to provide a more accurate diagnosis. The scan can also check if you have a weakened cervix. This test can usually only be carried out when you become pregnant again.
Blood testing - Your blood can be checked for high levels of the antiphospholipid (aPL) antibody and lupus anticoagulant (when you’re not pregnant.)
These aPL antibodies are known to increase the chance of blood clots and change the way the placenta attaches. These blood clots and changes can reduce the blood supply to the foetus, which can cause a miscarriage.
The NHS also says that if you become pregnant again, most units offer an early ultrasound scan and follow-up in the early stages to reassure and support parents.