Jools Oliver, 46, has revealed she may undergo IVF to have another baby after enduring five heartbreaking miscarriages.
The wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver candidly revealed she feared she could lose her life before seeking medical help while she suffered her second miscarriage.
The model, who has five children with husband Jamie Oliver: Poppy, 19, Daisy Boo, 17, Petal Blossom, 12, Buddy, ten, and River, five, is now also urging women to talk about baby loss.
Speaking up: Jools Oliver, 46, has revealed she may undergo IVF to have another baby after enduring five miscarriages (pictured in 2016 with her husband Jamie and their five children)
She told The Mirror: ‘So I have thought about IVF because having researched it and spoken to some amazing people, it seems like the right option for my age.
‘But you know that’s it’s hard because also I’ve got a partner you know, I’ve got to think about him I’m not so sure he’s that keen to do it that way. So I don’t want to push anything, because I’m very lucky.
‘I presume when I get to an age when I’m in the menopause. I will think actually ”thank God” I will feel relieved that it’s not possible and I can just carry on with my life and you know, relax, because it’s always in the back of your head, that’s the problem.’
Terrible: She told The Mirror that she was unsure if she ‘would have survived’ her second miscarriage had she not demanded medical help
At first, medical staff asked Jools to ‘just walk’ to the hospital while she endured what she described as ‘a murder scene’ amount of blood loss.
Jools recently spoke to Zoe Clark-Coates, the founder of the Saying Goodbye charity, urging women to speak up about miscarriage.
She told the baby loss advice and support charity that more needs to be done for women who have endured the pain of a miscarriage.
Reflecting: Reflecting on her second miscarriage, when Jamie arrived Jamie arrived ‘he was like ‘oh my god’ – it was like a murder scene’
‘Having had five [miscarriages], I know a lot needs to change for other people much younger than me who will go through this.’
She also suggested that women should be visited by nurses after losing a child, just as new parents are visited at home by the Health Visitor.
‘You cannot pack someone off and say ‘Off you go. Go and pass your baby and you’ll be fine’. I don’t know how they can do that, I don’t know why they do that. Why aren’t they calling you everyday and saying ‘Darling, it’s me I’m your midwife. How much blood loss have you had? How do you feel?”
She added: ‘They do when they come to check the health of the baby every day, why can’t they do that with a miscarriage? As it could be fatal.’
In July 2020, Jools spoke openly about the heartbreaking miscarriages she’s suffered during her 20 years of marriage to chef Jamie, and on their wedding anniversary paid tribute to the ‘five little stars in the sky’ they had lost.
Difficult: In July 2020, Jools spoke openly about the heartbreaking miscarriages she’s suffered during her 20 years of marriage to chef Jamie
Speaking on the Made By Mammas podcast, host Zoe Hardman noted that Jools – who had been ‘pining for a sixth child’ before her 47th birthday.
Jools then admitted: ‘I really do, I really do but I’ve just had three miscarriages since then and I’m thinking… and a recent one three weeks ago and I’m thinking: ”No,” I dunno. I do want to, but I’ve got to mentally check that it’s a good idea to do.
‘And also physically because I am 45 as I always say, nearly 46. So it’s a little bit dodgy. Jamie is still up for it, kind of… not really…
‘I haven’t got long, maybe another year and then I really will just shut that chapter off because I am very happy and I am pretty full up at the moment as it is. But just that little baby, it’s a terrible thing to keep wanting something and you can’t help it.’
Jools went onto reveal: ‘I went to see the doctor the other day and he said, ”How are you mentally?” and I thought about it and I went: ‘Well, this is the fifth one now,’ I had two before River, and they’ve been early ones, the last two have been at 6 ½ weeks.
‘So I just feel… I’m really good at going ”Right, I’m pregnant but it won’t work so I’m just going to carry on,” whilst everyone gets really into it and I have really learnt to not because I’m kind of not very positive about it.’
Sad: On her wedding anniversary she paid tribute to the ‘five little stars in the sky’ that she and Jamie had lost
Jools also admitted she didn’t tell her mum about her most recent miscarriage, saying: ‘I did have a pretty dangerous one, I think it was my second one which was really dangerous for myself so my family don’t want me to do it again.
‘They think ”You’ve got five, you’ve got healthy children, just be grateful.”
‘I understand because my life is more important so I sometimes may not tell the sisters because I don’t want to hurt their feelings, I’d rather just not say because they’ll be worried about me specially during lockdown…
‘Telling my mum, well, especially because I couldn’t see her, would have really upset her so I kept that quiet. She knows now, but, you know…at the time I didn’t tell her.’
If you or somebody you know needs help following a miscarriage, visit https://www.sayinggoodbye.org.
What causes a miscarriage?
It is highly unlikely that you will ever know the actual cause of a one-off miscarriage, but most are due to the following problems:
• ABNORMAL FETUS
The most common cause of miscarriages in the first couple of months is a one-off abnormal development in the fetus, often due to chromosome anomalies. ‘It’s not as though the baby is fine one minute and suddenly dies the next,’ says Professor James Walker, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Leeds.
‘These pregnancies fail from the outset and were never destined to succeed.’ Most miscarriages like this happen by eight weeks, although bleeding may not start until three or four weeks later, which is worth remembering in subsequent pregnancies. ‘If a scan at eight weeks shows a healthy heart beat, you have a 95 per cent chance of a successful pregnancy,’ says Professor Walker.
• HORMONAL FACTORS
A hormonal blip could cause a sporadic miscarriage and never be a problem again. However, a small number of women who have long cycles and irregular periods may suffer recurrent miscarriages because the lining of the uterus is too thin, making implantation difficult.
Unfortunately, hormone treatment is not terribly successful.
‘There used to be a trend for progesterone treatment, but trials show this really doesn’t work,’ warns Professor Walker. ‘There is some evidence that injections of HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin, a hormone released in early pregnancy) can help, but it’s not the answer for everyone.’ The treatment must be started as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, at around four or five weeks.
For women over 40, one in four women who become pregnant will miscarry. [One in four women of all ages miscarry, but these figures include women who don’t know that they are pregnant. Of women who do know that they’re pregnant, the figure is one in six. Once you’re over 40, and know that you’re pregnant, the figure rises to one in four]
• AUTO-IMMUNE BLOOD DISORDERS
Around 20 per cent of recurrent miscarriers suffer from lupus or a similar auto-immune disorder that causes blood clots to form in the developing placenta.
A simple blood test, which may need to be repeated several times, can reveal whether or not this is the problem.’One negative test does not mean that a women is okay,’ warns Mr Roy Farquharson, consultant gynaecologist who runs an early pregnancy unit at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Often pregnancy can be a trigger for these disorders, so a test should be done as soon as possible,’ he adds.But it can easily be treated with low dose aspirin or heparin injections, which help to thin the blood and prevent blood clots forming – a recent trial also showed that women do equally well on either. ”We have a 70 per cent live birth rate in women treated for these disorders,’ says Dr Farquharson, ‘which is excellent.’
• OTHER CAUSES
While uterine abnormalities, such as fibroids, can cause a miscarriage, many women have no problems carrying a pregnancy to term. An incompetent cervix can also cause miscarriage at around 20 weeks.
While this can be treated by a special stitch in the cervix, trials suggest it is not particularly successful, although it may delay labour by a few weeks.Gene and chromosomal abnormalities, which can be detected by blood tests, may also cause recurrent miscarriages in a small number of couples.
A procedure known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis can help. After in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), a single cell is taken from the developing embryo and tested for the gene defect. Only healthy embryos are then replaced in the womb.
It is an expensive and stressful procedure – and pregnancy rates tend to be quite low – but for some this is preferable to repeated miscarriages or a genetically abnormal baby.