Braving a miscarriage

Braving a miscarriage
Staff nurse Julie Aloshious miscarried five times before she had her son, Gerard Jofi. With her are her husband Jofi James and their younger child, daughter Gabriella.

Ms Julie Aloshious' tears flow freely when she recalls her pregnancies - and losses.

In all, the staff nurse conceived eight times. The first five times, between 2001 and 2006, ended in miscarriages within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. She was 23 when she lost her first baby. The sixth time, she had a healthy baby boy, Gerard Jofi, now six.

During her seventh pregnancy in 2010, ultrasound scans showed a normal baby boy. But she went into premature labour at 20 weeks. The baby could not be saved.

"It's still difficult to talk about it. He looked like his older brother," says Ms Aloshius, 36, tears rolling down her face. Her husband, Mr Jofi James, says softly: "We held him for a few minutes. I could feel his heartbeat come slowly to a stop."

Overwhelmed by their grief then, the couple did not think to name him - or the others.

When Gerard, who was four at the time, noticed his mother's missing baby bump after a couple of months and asked about it, they told him the "baby was with Jesus".

Ms Aloshious' obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Koh Gim Hwee says: "Miscarriages in the second trimester, after 12 weeks, are less common and are often very traumatic experiences for women as they can see their babies on ultrasound scans."

The Catholic couple turned to their faith for strength, says Mr Jofi, 43, chief operating officer in a manufacturing firm.

Fifteen months ago, after Ms Aloshious' eighth conception, Gabriella was born.

Though hers has been a particularly hard journey, miscarriages are not uncommon.

Worldwide, they happen in 15 per cent of known pregnancies in women under 35 and usually within the first trimester, doctors tell SundayLife!. Women between 35 and 40 years old face a 20 to 35 per cent chance of miscarriage. Beyond that, the risk goes up to 50 per cent.

More about

Purchase this article for republication.
Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.