A YORK woman who suffered three heartbreaking miscarriages is running in a half-marathon to help fund research to prevent baby loss.

Nicola Myers, 35, from Wheldrake, began running to cope with her grief at suffering multiple miscarriages.

When she became pregnant in 2016, she and her husband James were delighted but apprehensive. Thankfully the pregnancy was full term and healthy and their daughter Matilda is now 17 months.

In memory of the babies they lost - and to help support the many people who suffer miscarriage - Nicola has returned to running to support Tommy’s, a charity which funds research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage, and supports parents-to-be.

She said: “Our world came crashing down at my 12 week scan when there was nothing that resembled a 12 week fetus and crucially, no heartbeat. I’d had a missed miscarriage. Something that we had never heard of and never imagined would happen to us.

“They guessed that our baby had died at around seven weeks and I hadn’t known. There was no explanation of why or if it would happen again. We were completely and utterly heartbroken.

“This was when I started to run. Running seemed to help, to somehow relieve the crushing pain and despair. It gave me freedom, some headspace and something to focus on. Over the next three years I had two further miscarriages. The first at seven weeks and the last at 15 weeks, with no explanations or reasons given.”

When Nicola and James - who run J W Myers Monumental Masons in Wheldrake - began to accept they would not have children, Nicola became pregnant at the end of 2016.

She said: “The pregnancy was fraught with worry and we were prepared for bad news at each stage. Thankfully, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl in August 2017. Our little rainbow baby is called Matilda and she is our world. I am running this half marathon for her and the siblings she will never meet.”

Nicola ran the Great North Run in September and she will run the London Landmarks Half Marathon in March.

She said so many people are affected by miscarriage but often don’t talk about it. “A massive one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage which means that you will all know someone who this has happened to, but it is very rarely spoken about. I am one in four. In fact, three of my four pregnancies have ended in miscarriage and the heartbreak we have suffered is unreal, unimaginable and sometimes impossible to talk about.

“For all the couples who have similar stories to ours and continue through the years of heartbreak to try for their own rainbow - if you are able to make a donation, however small I would really appreciate it.”

To sponsor Nicola, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicmyersllhm2019