Couple to make a difference after overcoming misery of miscarriages
Proud parents will host their first charity ball to support the Miscarriage Association and help others in need after they lost five unborn babies to a rare undiagnosed disorder.
Romy and Dean Rawlings suffered five agonising miscarriages and were left devastated before finally achieving their dream of becoming parents when their son, Aden was born in 2000.
They now want to make sure that other families have access to the same support and research which saved them by hosting the fundraiser for the charity.
Due to take place in the Royal Pump Room on June 11 - what could have been the 21st birthday of the first child the couple lost - they hope to pull in district-wide support.
Romy, who grew up in Warwick and Leamington, said after being on the edge of desperation she can use her own experiences to help others and fund pioneering research into recurring miscarriages.
The landscape architect said her and Dean had almost given up hope of fulfilling their dream when they discovered the problem could be down to blood clots and was treatable.
The mother, now aged 50, lost her first child after an agonising ectopic pregnancy at seven weeks.
She suffered four more miscarriages all at around 10 weeks from what was later traced back to a blood thickening disorder which causes clots in the placenta and starves the foetus of oxygen.
It was not until her sixth pregnancy that she was able to get a diagnosis and treatment and have her blood thinned using a drug called Heparin.
“Miraculously, the pregnancy went full term,” she said. “Despite a traumatic birth we delightedly welcomed a bouncing baby boy.
“After the fifth miscarriage, Dean and I felt absolutely miserable,” she said. “If the last pregnancy hadn’t worked out, we were ready to give up and consider adoption.
“We were physically and emotionally exhausted. I felt I had lost years wading through a mire of grief, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
“It was incredibly alienating as there’s a real taboo about miscarriage.
“Few people talked about it or knew what to say. I couldn’t socialise or go to celebrations like christenings.
“At first, doctors said it was just one of those things and told us to keep trying. It was also horrible for Dean, but no-one asked how he was. Husbands are often sidelined.
“Doctors talked about the foetus or embryo; they never said ‘your baby’ and rarely made eye contact. When Aden arrived, we couldn’t believe it was real.”
She said now aged 16, the Warwick School pupil is sitting his GCSEs and is a testament to the amazing work which can be done thanks to the new research by charities into multiple miscarriages.
“Now charities like this one are doing more research into recurrent miscarriages and we’re raising funds to try to support other couples through the emotional trauma we battled with.
“Although things are better now than 20 years ago, we still have a long way to go.”
Romy now tutors medical students to deal sensitively with couples who have suffered miscarriage and hopes to help boost the profile of the charities behind such work.
For tickets, contact the Rawlings family on 07780 770945.