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Singer Lily Allen: Another Pregnancy Loss, More Grief
Sandy Robertson had six miscarriages in three years before she eventually gave birth to her now 7-year-old daughter.
As the trauma repeated itself -- three miscarriages after in vitro fertilization, including losing a set of twins, and three more after conceiving on her own -- she was nearly defeated by the emotional turmoil.
"Once you are pregnant, you go through what the baby will look like and how you will do up the nursery, and then, boom, it's gone," said Robertson, now a 52-year-old college professor from Golden, Colo.
"The first time, usually everyone knows about it and sends flowers," said Robertson. "But what do you do after the third or fourth?"
Just this week 25-year-old British pop singer Lily Allen had her second loss in three years after suffering a viral infection at six months into her pregnancy.
Technically, because it occurred after the 20th week, Allen's second loss was a pre-term delivery. Her first miscarriage was at four months in 2008.
Allen and her boyfriend, decorator Sam Cooper, were expecting a boy. Friends said the couple was grief-stricken by their loss.
"Lily and Sam are both devastated," a friend reportedly told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "She had kept quiet for three months until she had the scan and doctors told her everything was okay. She was understandably so nervous after having had a miscarriage before."
Of the nearly 6 million pregnancies each year in the United States, approximately 15 percent end in miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In about half the cases, a cause cannot be determined. Among the conditions usually linked to miscarriage are a woman's age, chromosomal abnormalities, structural problems, infections, autoimmune disorders or a condition that causes the blood to clot in the placenta, known as thrombophilia.
"I never got an explanation," said Robertson, who turned to natural methods for getting pregnant and later wrote about it in the book, "Get Pregnant Over 40, Naturally."