Tanya: I am the face of miscarriage Tanya Vassos said her three miscarriages opened her eyes to a whole new world of heartbreak. She and husband Chris had their first miscarriage in January 2011. “We conceived easily and while I knew about miscarriage, I was naive. I had an early scan but I was told there was nothing there - a sack but no foetus. I went to emergency a few days later to see if I needed a D & C but they found a heartbeat, which was exciting. At our 12 week scan, they said again there was no heartbeat. I said, I’d been told that before but they said this time it was definite.” The term “missed miscarriage” was used and Tanya admits to not understanding the lingo. “I hadn’t bled, I didn’t have any pain. I ended up having a D&C and was extremely upset, as I had started telling people I was pregnant. It was a partial-molar miscarriage. I had never heard of this. I had no idea you could miscarry without bleeding,” Tanya said. Tanya had months of tests due to the molar pregnancy which meant she and Chris were not immediately able to try again. “Mum said it was cruel to happen on our first time. I couldn’t help but think why me, I was wallowing,” Tanya said. Tanya and Chris welcomed a daughter Talia into the world in March 2012. She felt anxious until 12 weeks but then relaxed, as she was still in the dark about the realities of things like stillbirth. “I was over the moon to have Talia,” she said. Tanya fell pregnant again just after Talia turned one but this time she had what she called a “normal miscarriage”. “I started bleeding but it got heavier and heavier then one day at my in-laws, I haemorrhaged everywhere. It was very embarrassing, I was very distressed. I’d never had that physical experience before,” she said. Tanya felt defeated. “We tried again quickly and in November 2013 at about nine weeks, I had a scan. “The sonographer was trying to be chipper but he looked at me and said “I’m so sorry”. “Why?” was all I could think, “surely this can’t be happening again”. “I couldn’t have testing as I hadn’t had three miscarriages in a row. I was angry. It nearly broke me,” Tanya said. Tanya found the time after this miscarriage very challenging, especially when it came to the happy news of others. “I was bursting into tears when friends got pregnant. I didn’t want to be that person,” she said. Tanya then contacted Sands. “I spoke to a woman with a similar story. I said I didn’t know what to do. I really wanted another baby but was terrified. The woman said it was a gamble but if I did want it enough, it was ok to try again,” Tanya said. “We found the courage for a fifth pregnancy which thankfully gave us our daughter, Sophia, in November 2014. Tanya had decided this was the final time they would try as the heartbreak of 3 miscarriages was all she could take. “A year earlier I was so low, then a year later, I was holding Sophia.” Tanya hates the stigma around miscarriage but is proud of how she survived hers. “I didn’t “lose my babies”. I miscarried. It’s put on women that we lost our babies. I want to break the stigma and make it ok to talk about,” Tanya said. Tanya also thanks Sands for giving her an education she didn’t know she needed & didn’t necessarily want. “I didn’t necessarily want it but I appreciate it. I didn’t realise how prevalent these losses were, but now I know,” Tanya said.