SUFFERING a miscarriage can leave a lasting scar for any couple who experience such tragedy.

But for Nicola McGowan and her husband Nikki, the pain has been prolonged and, at times, almost unbearable.

The Barrhead couple have suffered the heartache of losing four babies in less than three years.

They could be forgiven for attempting to hide their agony from the world, preferring instead to try desperately to push it to the back of their minds.

As far as 31-year-old Nicola is concerned, though, that is simply not an option.

She is refusing to give up on her dream of becoming a mum – and has found comfort through writing a blog which has enabled her to interact with hundreds of other couples who have experienced similar pain.

Nicola and Nikki were married in January 2015 but suffered their first miscarriage just a few weeks later, while on their honeymoon in Cuba.

Three days before they were due to return from the Caribbean island, Nicola began to feel unwell.

It turned out she had lost her baby 12 weeks into the pregnancy, with the couple having to cope with the trauma while they were thousands of miles from their loved ones at home.

Nicola told the Barrhead News: “Our honeymoon was just horrendous. It all happened with three days to go before we came home.

“The doctors couldn’t speak English and it was definitely the most traumatic experience I have had – the worst of our losses.

“There was only one flight a week, so we couldn’t go home and nobody could come out to help us. As much as I loved Cuba, it will always be the place that we lost our baby.

“Life had been perfect when we were there but it changed in seconds. I can’t even explain how terrible that is.”

After returning home, the couple were understandably distraught.

Nikki suggested that Nicola take up blogging, as she had always had a talent for writing.

More than three years on from her first blog post, she has now been named as a finalist for the 2018 Butterfly Awards, which honour inspirational people who try to break the lingering taboo surrounding baby loss and miscarriage.

Nicola added: “There are people who write books but for my blog to be nominated is amazing.

“It’s just a wonderful community. When you have a miscarriage, you don’t know what you are supposed to feel. Sometimes you feel like you hate people simply because they have a baby but, through the blog, others can communicate with you and tell you that can be normal.

“I absolutely needed it and it’s been a great help for me. Without it, I don’t know if I ever would have gotten over any of the losses. Now I try to do the same with my blog.

“Hopefully I can support other women who are going through similar situations.”

Alongside the success of her writing, Nicola and Nikki have continued to try for children.

After one unsuccessful round of NHS-funded IVF treatment, they are hoping a second attempt will deliver a more positive result.

However, Nicola is well aware that, with IVF (in vitro fertilisation), there is no guarantee of success.

She added: “If we’re not successful, that might be it for us.

“We have tried for a long time but, if we finish our IVF and it’s not meant to be, then it’s not meant to be.”

Nicola is at her happiest when spending time with children, including her much-loved stepson Kian.

And she hopes to be able to work with kids in the not-too-distant future.

“I’m working part-time in a care home and am set to graduate soon and, hopefully, I can go on to work in childcare,” said Nicola.

“It is something that I’ve always wanted to do but that has been enhanced over the last few years.

“If it doesn’t happen for me, I want to be able to help children who need extra support.”

You can read Nicola’s blog at