A woman from Rickmansworth has won a prestigious national award for her tear-jerking blog which delves into her recurrent miscarriages.
Jennie Agg, 32, from Rickmansworth, won the Tommy’s Mum’s Voice award at The Tommy’s Awards for writing extensively and openly about her miscarriages in the hope of helping others in similar circumstances.
The Tommy’s Awards, which were held on July 11 at the Oxo Tower, London, celebrate the courage, strength and support given by family members, friends and health professionals. The category Jennie won, which was one of 11 on the night, celebrates a mum who has spoken out about her own pregnancy experience and given hope to others.
Jennie is a health writer and journalist and her blog, The Uterus Monologues, puts into words some truly traumatic experiences.
Jennie said: “When you have recurrent miscarriages it can feel like no one understands what you’re going through. We’ve been trying to start a family for three years now and it can be a very lonely place. I started writing my blog – in secret at first – to try to make sense of how I was feeling after our second miscarriage, but also to try to reach other people who might be going through the same thing. It is surreal but wonderful to know that people have discovered it and that my writing has meant something to them at a really difficult time.
“All I hope is that it helps to start more conversations around this type of pregnancy loss. Miscarriage may not be spoken about openly, but sadly it is more common – and more heart-breaking – than most people realise.”
In her latest blog post, Jennie admitted: “When I found out I’d won, my first reaction was fear: fear that I am unworthy of the title, because, well, I’m not actually a mum, am I? At least not in the way the world tends to recognise that label.” She eventually concluded that “I may not have living children, or even a scan photo, but I’ve stepped over the threshold of motherhood and now I can’t go back.”
Jennie’s blog often delves deeper into the sensitive subject of miscarriages than many will have seen before.
One extract reads: “I mourn knowing I will never be able to tell my husband I am pregnant, test stick clutched proudly in my hand, and have him simply kiss me and smile. Instead, for us it is all matter-of-fact; a string of wait-and-seeing and ‘not getting our hopes up… there is no more talk of ‘when the baby comes’. Instead, it is a grim waiting game, holding our breath between appointments, focussed only on seeing those next few millimetres of growth, willing there to be a tiny, flickering heartbeat.”
Jennie was nominated by Hannah Wallace, a history teacher from the Isle of Dogs.
Hannah said: “In some ways my story mirrors Jennie’s. I first found her blog when I’d had two miscarriages and she’d had three. We both had our first miscarriage in January 2017 – mine was discovered at the 12-week scan after conceiving through IVF and seeing the heartbeat. I’ve since had three more losses.
“I honestly can’t remember which of Jennie’s blog posts I read first, but I do know I then read them all because she really put such difficult feelings into words so well. The post after her fourth miscarriage is so beautifully written and heart-breaking and is exactly how I felt – sadness at never being able to have a ‘normal’ pregnancy.
“I nominated Jennie because although I will never have a normal pregnancy, her writing has helped to make me feel less unusual. Her campaign to get social media to update their algorithms is also incredibly important and something nobody really seemed to talk about until she brought it up.”
Tommy’s fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information to parents.
The Tommy’s Awards celebrate the incredible supporters, families, researchers, brands and healthcare professionals who are trying to have a positive impact. The awards are for families everywhere who have been touched by pregnancy complications or the loss of a baby, and faced their circumstances with courage, bravery and solidarity.
To read more on Jennie and her story, go to www.uterusmonologues.com/
For more on Tommy’s, go to www.tommys.org