Miscarriage: ‘My body wasn’t working the way it should have’

Having children was always the dream for former Miss World Rosanna Davison and her husband Wesley Quirke.

But while all their friends “seemed to be having normal healthy pregnancies”, the couple experienced 14 consecutive miscarriages in the space of two years.

“It was devastating for us,” recalled Rosanna.

“To go from one moment, feeling that growing new life to it disappearing very suddenly. It was heartbreaking.”

“I feel so connected to the women and the couples out there, and the men,
who haven’t been as lucky as we are.”

Warning: Some readers may find parts of this article distressing

The 2003 Miss World winner admits she felt like her “body was broken”.

“I was born with the ability to reproduce but it wasn’t working in the way it should.”

The daughter of Lady In Red singer Chris de Burgh said she found “coping mechanisms” by talking to friends and family, but added that “as a couple you have to find a way to cope as well”.

“There was a time in mid-2017 when we were getting nowhere,” Rosanna explained, in an interview with BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

“I said to my husband, ‘I don’t think I’m the woman to give you a family’.

“I knew how much he longed to be a dad, it was his dream as well.

“He said to me, ‘Rosie we’re going to have a good life, if we never have a family we’ll work out what to do’.

“He’s stuck by me but it can easily pull a couple apart.”


Rosanna Davison pictured with her father, singer Chris de Burgh

Image source, Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images

After undergoing numerous procedures and speaking to what seemed an endless list of specialists “to rule out everything that was possibly going wrong”, the couple spoke to a friend who “went down the surrogacy route and had a very positive experience”.

Rosanna said this encouraged her and her husband to investigate the process for themselves.

“We gathered all of the medical and legal advice that we could,” she said.

She recalled that it “took the guts of a year really to get all the blood tests down and contracts signed” with “the egg retrieval side of things” starting in early 2019.

“I found it difficult to come to the decision to go for surrogacy as I really battled with my feelings of, ‘How can I watch another woman carry my pregnancy, my child?’

“We decided it was our only option.”

The couple went down the route of commercial surrogacy “as we wanted to ensure no one was being exploited” although they “felt it was better for us not to build a relationship” with the surrogate until the last scan before their daughter Sophia was born.

‘It was just extraordinary’

Following a successful process in 2019, Rosanna said the plan had been to “go ahead with surrogacy again in 2020” however that plan never came to fruition as she found out she was pregnant with twins.

In April 2020, weeks after the Republic of Ireland had gone into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she felt “tired, light-headed and a little emotional” and so took a pregnancy test.

“It immediately came up with two strong pink lines,” she said.

“It was just extraordinary and I still think about it a lot.”

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A post shared by Rosanna Davison (@rosanna_davison)

By sharing her and her husband’s story, Rosanna says she hopes to breakdown the stigma around fertility and miscarriage.

“When we were going through those years of struggle, I was desperate for a story of hope,” she said.

“I still feel a story of survivor’s guilt. I can’t believe we’ve come out the other side with our family.

“I feel so connected to the women and the couples out there, and the men, who haven’t been as lucky as we are.”

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