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Mumsnet campaign for Miscarriage standard code of practice

(466 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Apr-08 17:40:14

When Alan Johnson came a visiting last week, miscarriage and some of the frankly appalling treatment that Mumsnetters have suffered sad angry was one of the talking points Following on from sfx's comments (and others) this is what AJ had to say:
"it seems to me from all your comments and from talking to the Mumsnet people here that we really should seek to ensure a common set of standards across the country. I think I'm in at the start of a new campaign and it's something I will talk to Ministers about when I return to the Department. Mumsnet have informed me that I will not be allowed to forget this issue!"

So now it's down to us to come up with that common set of standards- guidelines and procedures that we'd like to see implemented across the whole of the UK.

I'll happily kick off as a veteran of 2 m/c: but do feel free to disagree with my suggestions/add your improvements :

Automatic access to EPU for anyone with a suspected miscarriage (without having to get a GP referral) and EPU's situated away from regular ante natal clinics /labour wards and devoid of images of smiling babies - please.

Access to all affected to a pamphlet/booklet put together by Mumsnet and full of your tips, advice, empathy and reassurance - describing what might happen and letting folks know they're not alone in this.

Over to you...

ImightbeLulumama Mon 21-Apr-08 17:43:54

hat a fantastic campaign, shame it has to be started out of the suffering of women who have lost babies and not been treated with respect, care and dignity.

might also be a good idea to put together some info on when to panic. or not ! how common bleeding is, when implantation bleeding occurs, symptoms of ectopic pregnancy....things like that?
am sorry to hear you have had 2 miscarriages.

MissingMyHeels Mon 21-Apr-08 17:44:51

Access to scanning equipment over weekends - I had a "threatened miscarriage" on a Friday night and the wait until Monday was agonising.

JodieG1 Mon 21-Apr-08 17:47:34

I've had 5 miscarriages and I would definitely have preferred not to have to go to the gp first before EPU. As it was I ended up paying for a private scan a couple of times so that I could get one sooner.

I think scans should be offered faster as even an extra day or two makes it agonising when you're bleeding and you don't know if your baby is still there or not.

Uriel Mon 21-Apr-08 17:49:36

What's an EPU? (Miscarried at home.)

JodieG1 Mon 21-Apr-08 17:50:12

Early pregnancy unit.

peanutbear Mon 21-Apr-08 17:50:58

Scanning at the earliest available opportunity not come back in three days and we will see

Keeping promises to patients if say you are going to do something do it

SquonkTheBeerGuru Mon 21-Apr-08 17:53:57

absolutely situating miscarrying or potentially miscarrying women away from happily pregnant ladies and happy smiley baby pictures.

Whether that be in the EPU for a scan, or on a ward after/while waiting for a d & c.

completdly agree with lulu - re: pamphlet or something detailing the different types of bleeding that it is common to have in early pregnancy.

Also, in the pamphlet thing should be a section making it clear to parents that it is ok to grieve, and that taking time off work is ok too. There are a lot of threads in the miscarriage section where people seem to think they "should have got over it" or other people think that they should have.

Really hope this gets off the ground, apparently 1 in 3 of us will suffer a miscarriage at some point (not my statistics, btw) so it is a huge issue.

milou2 Mon 21-Apr-08 17:55:12

Information about what happens when you miscarry at home. What exactly are the products of conception and how to catch them if you want to bury the little soul at home. Sorry if TMI.

thegrowlygus Mon 21-Apr-08 17:57:45

Automatic access could lead to abuse. It is an 'easy' thing to say you are bleeding to get an early scan. Cynical I know, but it happened a fair amount at our EPU despite GP referrals only.

I am more up on stillbirth and I know that Sands produces a book called "Guidelines for Professionals" that goes into detail about what should happen when there is a stillbirth or neonatal loss. Do the Miscarriage Association do the same thing?

I suspect I am not very representative of health care professionals in that the 2 main places I have worked have both had excellent early preg units with no problems getting seen quickly and at weekends etc.

DrNortherner Mon 21-Apr-08 17:59:05

I miscarried and went to A&E, they were pretty bad tbh. EPU the enxt day were FAB but admitted that A&E depts desperatley need training on how to handle this very sensitive and emotional matter.

Not sure how viable 24 hour access to EPU would be? Can they open Sundays/BH's, Christmas etc?

How about training A&E staff better?

thegrowlygus Mon 21-Apr-08 18:00:30

mind you - having said that, as a GP I don't actually say 'prove it' to women who come in bleeding - i believe them and refer them, so what difference automatic access would actually make I don't know. Scratch that last comment I posted!!

thegrowlygus Mon 21-Apr-08 18:02:39

Seems the webpage for "guidelines for good practice" on the Miscarriage Association website is 'under construction'.

poppy34 Mon 21-Apr-08 18:06:36

carries ideas are good ones - am with jodie about wanting to avoid GP.

also think mumsnet guide on m/c would be good-the stuff out there is very clinical and there is nothing very practical (m/c association stuff is good but quite thin).

sfxmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:06:38

agree with access to EPU 7 days a week without having to go through GP is woman so chooses

clear info on natural miscarriages so that both woman and partner know what to expect
and sources of support perhaps including personal stories.

proper follow up

if D&C (called something else now I think) needed , never around women having babies
and as soon as possible
- not waiting a couple of days with warning if starts bleeding too much to go to A&E

for subsequent pregnancies acknowledging concerns and provide appropriate support including early scans - not everyone can afford a reassuring early scan

sufficient clear info for women and partners

I really do hope this bears some fruitssmile

poppy34 Mon 21-Apr-08 18:08:37

sfx -point re d/c adn ercp is a good one - I had to wait 6 weeks to have one due to hospital policy/shiteness of gp ... it was agony as every 2 weeks had to go back for scan at EPU full of happy preggers women[ hmm]

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 18:08:59

What a brilliant idea, but soory to hear of your m/cs carrie sad

I've had two as well, and fortunately here in Leeds we can self refer to the EPU at Jimmy's and at sometime in between my second miscarriage and my last pregnancy they moved the EPU from inside the Ante-natal clinic (although it was well away from the main AN clinic/scanning dept, you still saw lots of hugely pregnant women milling about) to near A&E and now shares with the gynae assessment ward.

They won't do reassurance scans though, and will only scan if you have had any bright red bleeding.

Many women, myself included, feel frustrated that until you have had more than three m/cs there is no follow up to try and determine the cause; even though it isn't regarded as recurrent until three, I know that I felt that there must be something wrong with my body that I couldn't hold onto these babies.

I also think that women are put off going to the GP second or third pregnancy, just in case it happens again. Could the leaflet make it clear that it is important to get the pregnancy on record incase, perish the thought, m/c happens again. No record of the pregnancy = no chance of follow up.

I'b be happy to contribute my experiences to anything MN produce.

I missed the webchat, but the transcript is definately interesting reading.

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:11:44

Doctors should not on pain of pain tell a woman who is miscarrying that' It is very common, you know'

She already knows that, you fuckwit. And anyway death is fucking universal but you tend not to say, 'I'm sorry that you dp is dying, but it is very common you know!'

patients should not be on the same list and have to wait with women who are having a voluntary termination of pregnany. I'm actually pro choice, but that particular day I wouldn't cope with the concept

justjules Mon 21-Apr-08 18:11:49

there is some interesting stuff about m/c from the patients and a professional point of veiw in dr farquarsons book, he runs the m/c clinic at lwh, lovely fella,

i was in the epu (not at lwh) 3 times for 3 different m/cs and not once was i given a leaflet, a phone number, any info on the m/c/a angry

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:12:44

and I was left bleeding all over the Christmas and new year period, hoping against hope.

I waited around 2 weeks for a scan

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 18:13:23

I hadn't considered the follow up. Both of my m/cs were spontaneous and complete, but the first one at 11 weeks took over a month to clear my system. I was told to do a test a week later and if positive to get in touch as this could mean retained tissues. It took four weeks of phoning, and every time I did I was told test in another week. Of course every time it tested positive was another week of agony for me. I think if I'd had a blood test when I first went to the EPU, with a seciond at a follow up appointment a few weeks later to check hcg levels were falling, or a second scan after a couple of weeks, the whole process might have been easier.

I wasn't offered a D&C at all.

Mamazon Mon 21-Apr-08 18:13:33

I had to have a termination due to having an ectopic pregnancy.
i was placed in a standard termination ward along with young girls boasting of their 5/6/7 th abortions.

I am pro choice but there is a difference between those who choose to terminate and those who are forced for whatever reason. they should not be made to mix.

Wheelybug Mon 21-Apr-08 18:15:07

Great idea. I was 'fortunate' enough to have good, sympathetic treatment following a complete miscarriage but have since found this to be the exception rather than the norm.

agree with LackaDAISY regarding the uncompromising rule of not investigating until you've had 3 miscarriages. I've only had 1 but had problems in my pregnancy with dd (IUGR) and now suffering secondary infertility following 2 easy conceptions). We don't think its unreasonable to think there may be some underlying issue but have been told they won't look for a link until I've had 3 m/c's despite being investigated for infertility.

theUrbanNixie Mon 21-Apr-08 18:18:19

yy there's nothing worse than sitting in tears in the labour ward reception in tears while you see women with enormous bumps looking at you curiously. sad

also some better aftercare - maybe some more access to bereavement services etc? i just got handed a leaflet entitled "You've had a miscarriage" or somesuch and shown the door. the leaflet got shredded in the corridor on the way out! blush

if only there was some way of stopping "friends" and family saying things like "It was an early one so it doesn't matter" or "There was probably something wrong with it anyway so it's for the best". angry but i think that's outside of Mr Johnson's remit somewhat...

justjules Mon 21-Apr-08 18:20:42

dr f talks about the use of language being very important to women who are m/cing,

things like products, remains, bunch of cells,

now some women find it easier to think of thier loss like that and others find the grief easier to deal with if the 'products' are called 'the baby'

and the actual time of loss is a huge issue, it depends on what happens afterwards, what happens to the baby, how it is treated, where it goes, ect,

it seems after much research that every hospital varies as to what they see as a 'baby' and that in turn then rules the outcome,

and there are big religious factors and personal spiritual believes that can play a part here, who is to say when a baby is a baby?

is it from conception? is it from the heart activity? from the first sign of movement? at 12 weeks? after you feel it move? at 20 weeks? 24 weeks?

all very confusing sad

FluffyMummy123 Mon 21-Apr-08 18:21:30

Message withdrawn

theUrbanNixie Mon 21-Apr-08 18:25:48

tbh i think one of the most upsetting things was that the dr talked about "remains" etc. also at scanning the sonographer turning to me and saying "Ooh, there's nothing there!" in (what seemed to me at the time) a jolly voice - one you'd use to a newly pg woman, not one who'd lost her baby. it was only after she realised i was crying that she turned on the sympathy.

afterwards i could rationalise what had happened by thinking of it as cells, tissue etc. but at the time all i could think was that i'd lost my baby.

justjules Mon 21-Apr-08 18:26:01

and support for men...

sfxmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:27:02

I am very pro choice but would have been really upset if I was in a ward with people having terminations for reasons other than medical - sorry

I have had 4, my last was in December, when I got back to EPU to confirm 'it was all out' the stupid woman asked me how far along I was, honestly!

a lot of the practice I saw last year was very poor, yet most of it in 2001 was quite good, unfortunately luck of the draw

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 18:29:43

Good points jules. To the majority of women, as soon as they get that little line on the stick, it is most definately a baby. It doesn't matter when you lose it, or whether there was something wrong chromosonally (sp?) or even whether it was a chemical pregnancy; the sense of loss is still very acute.

It is also a good point about timings; I read someone on here saying they had contacted the EPU at around seven weeks and were told that was too early to use their services shock. What exactly are they there for then?

jingleyjen Mon 21-Apr-08 18:31:28

I think that communication should be more sensitive on lots of levels, my close friend has just had a miscarriage, she recieved her letter for her 12 week scan and when she called to cancel the no longer needed appointment the lady said that she wouldn't cancel the appointment as "you never know it might not be over" my friend explained that it clearly was and the GP was in agreement and the lady was prepared to argue the toss about it. angry not the conversation you need when you have just lost a much wanted baby.

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:31:43

I was told that I couldn't have a scan at 12 weeks because they 'couldn't pick up a heart beat' at that point.

Bullshit! So they left me to bleed all through christmas and the new year

marina Mon 21-Apr-08 18:31:50

Awareness training for health professionals so that women who miscarry between 13 and 22 weeks (2nd trimester pregnancy loss) are not exposed to terminology such as "products of miscarriage" or "spontaneous abortion" to describe the delivery of their baby. The hospital staff were brilliant in this case because they had an in-house bereavement midwife who had done awareness training with them, using the SANDS Guidelines for Health Professionals.
This was one of my GPs
I think a specific section on second-trimester pregnancy loss in the pamphlet might be a good idea carrie.
As well as the helpful referral to SANDS, I did also get a ludicrous leaflet from the Miscarriage Association which said something along the lines of "after 13 weeks you may be aware of delivering the baby or placenta". That was the only reference to mid-term pregnancy loss on it, I think angry
In general I think women should not have their noses rubbed in the "three strikes before we'll even think of referring you to a Recurrent Miscarriage Unit" rule. That can be communicated very callously in some situations.

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:33:41

Jingly, I started to lose my first the day of my booking in appointment. My GP baldly told me, 'There is no point in filling in the forms as you may well lose the pregnancy'

(in the interest of balance my GPs since this date have been fine, this this was a very callous man who did me no good at all! angry

michie40 Mon 21-Apr-08 18:33:54

Please can we not have d & c in the same ward as people having abortions - I dont know why the people in the waiting room for my d&c were having abortions but it was a bit distressing when you desperatley want the baby youve lost and people appear (because i dont know their history) to be having healthy babies aborted.

SquonkTheBeerGuru Mon 21-Apr-08 18:34:29

definitely more info about what to expect.

I have just read marina's post and only now realised that my much-wanted baby must have been second trimester.

I didn't know that.

Message withdrawn

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 18:35:32

mariana, the hospital staff were very kind with me as well. But my initial medical care was awful

and all of this was over 13 years ago, and it still makes me sad and angry

and even angrier to see that nothing seems to have got any better

Better training for all HCP involved in dealing with women who are miscarrying, I found the lack of knowledge of some key individuals at best worrying and at worst disgraceful angry sad

Most doctors I came across in EPU were junior doctors who seemed to have no idea about miscarriages, one told me that she wouldn't be able to answer any questions as she didn't know much about this area hmm

MakaMMM (2Mcs)

winebeforepearls Mon 21-Apr-08 18:37:06

I haven't read the whole thread, but the absolute worst moment for me with both my mcs was, having had the EPU scan, to sit in a waiting room with happy and healthy pregnant women and wait for a spare 'slot' for a second scan to confirm the mc (had to wait 2 hrs first time, an hour the second).

Why can't suspected mcs just be whisked to front of queue? I'm sure the other women wouldn't begrudge the extra wait.

marina Mon 21-Apr-08 18:37:37

A mediocre and overworked GP can be one of the very worst people to see MB
One of them made me sign in weekly for a sick certificate in the period between sending Tom for his PM and being able to hold his funeral.
By chance I saw a different doctor on the last occasion and she was appalled at this.

berolina Mon 21-Apr-08 18:39:02

Some time ago when some of us were talking about this I wrote a couple of paragraphs on this. I'll just C&P it in. It's probably said what a lot of you have already:

--

Pregnancy loss is always painful and can be devastating. The loss of a baby, at whatever stage in the pregnancy, represents the death of the expectant mother’s hopes and dreams of her child, herself as a mother, and her family. It is for this reason that direct confrontation with women enjoying successful pregnancies is particularly traumatic for the sufferer of pregnancy loss. She finds herself facing a mirror image of herself, having the experiences she should, could have been enjoying. The bitter irony is particularly acute in the context of medical settings and procedures relating to pregnancy. A scan in a healthy pregnancy is a joyous occasion, a chance to ‘get to know’ the unborn child – a scan revealing a dead baby can seem to make a mockery of this, just as the physical pain involved in miscarriage or stillbirth can cruelly imitate the experience of a healthy labour.
The potential, then, for emotional devastation arising from treating sufferers of pregnancy loss in antenatal and labour settings, thus exposing them to potentially long waits in the company of happily pregnant or labouring women, is immense. We believe that it should be a standard of care for pregnancy loss that sufferers are separated, either through the physical arrangement of facilities or through management of appointments, from women undergoing routine ante- and perinatal care. Waiting times, in confirmed as well as threatened pregnancy loss but particularly with regard to surgical procedures such as ERPC, should be kept to a minimum and not be spent in ante-natal or labour-ward settings.

--

I've had 3 mcs, all in Germany where treatment and care has for the most part been impeccable - so much so that after no. 3 I wrote an email of praise to the hospital concerned. I am reglatly appalled when reading some MNers' experiences on here.

I would be very glad to help put together any booklet.

marina Mon 21-Apr-08 18:39:13

That's a really valid point starlight. Appropriate, responsive treatment, taking its cue from the patient's own needs, is what the NHS should be providing.
Women do deal with pregnancy loss in different ways and this should be acknowledged.

berolina Mon 21-Apr-08 18:39:51

regularly

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 18:42:20

sad martianbishop.

jingleyjen what happened to your friend highlights the need for all women m/cing to be scanned really and for there to be a common set of guidlines as to procedure following a m/c

My dating scan was booked for the day after I saw the EPU. They held onto my notes and said they would do all the necessary telephone calls etc. I even had a call from the CMW to say how sorry she was and could she help at all. I was pretty shocked to find out on here that that is the exception rather than the norm

<ponders that perhaps Leeds isn't such a bad place to be>

Would it be worth trying to get hold of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust Policy re m/c? I feel that my experiences as a whole were dealt with in a very sympathetic fashion.

Lcy Mon 21-Apr-08 18:42:54

EPU medical staff to be trained in basic counseling skills (including grief).

EPU staff to have training in the psychological effects of miscarriage.

EPU staff to have access to supervision so they are psychologically able to deal with working in such an emotive field.

EPU staff to have an up to date understanding of miscarriage research.

When in hospital mcing or for ERPC to discuss with the mother (and partner) about what they wish to happen to the remains of the foetus.

When i had a mc at 11 weeks and then a threatened mc 3 months later the EPU was accessible and had all the latest equipment. However, the way i was treated by the medical staff was appalling. For example, when i arrived at EPU bleeding the doctor told me that i should stop being anxious because it would expel the baby from the womb. He then refused to scan me despite it being hospital policy to scan a bleeding pregnant women (after complaining i was scanned the next day and found i had miscarried). I was then left in a room by myself for over an hour after being told i had mc'd - even though they were not busy. The list could go on and on - but general lack of empathy by all i encountered. I would def avoid EPU in the future and would prefer to have private scans and miscarry at home.

bitofadramaqueen Mon 21-Apr-08 18:46:42

From my own experiences I would have liked:
- the EPU to be well away from the rest of the maternity services (at Edinburgh its a very long walk through all sorts of baby related areas to get to the EPU)
- to have been given information on support available
- a follow up appointment to discuss any questions. Its really hard to take anything in when you've just found out you've lost your baby
- had follow up treatment at the EPU (I had to go and see a nurse at my GPs practice about resulting infection; involved having to explain everything again, get conflicting information on my treatment and have some very insulting comments about getting upset recorded on my notes)
- the hospital to have actually notified my gp and the midwifery team that I had miscarried - then I wouldn't have been asked how the pregnancy was going when I saw my gp nor would I have had letters and phonecalls asking why I'd missed my booking-in scan

With regards to pregnancy after mc:
- everyone should be offered early reassurance scans
- monitoring of HCG levels (I tested positive at 4 weeks so my gp did a weekly blood test to check that my HCG levels were increasing at the right rate until I could have an early scan)
- get results from HCG levels quickly and not have to wait a week for them
- be offered both a 12 week scan and a 20 week scan (but that's for everyone else too!)
- Not be made to keep information about previous early mc in your pregnancy notes unless its really relevant to your current pregnancy. I was given notes about previous mc at my 28 week check up to add to my notes (they had only just been forwarded by the hospital, and I was told I had to keep them with my notes because its standard procedure.

Can I also say that this kind of campaign is great, but Alan Johhnson can only influence policy in England and Wales. MC standards should be UK wide, which in Scotland means lobbying Nicola Sturgeon too. Sorry, not sure of situation in NI.

Sorry this is so long!

Message withdrawn

Yes I had that Starlight angry

stuffitllama Mon 21-Apr-08 18:55:46

Well done for starting this thread. (3 mcs)

I am with you 100pc. Many, many doctors, nurses and midwives have seen many women suffer miscarriages and go on to have successful pregnancies and for this reason I think can be very dismissive. But for every woman it is a heartbreak, and a tragedy for those who have been trying to get pregnant for some time. There is no interest and little aftercare, and sometimes very little sympathy.

Show me where to sign.

stuffitllama Mon 21-Apr-08 18:56:13

And husbands too. I agree.

barbamama Mon 21-Apr-08 18:57:50

Just wanted to add my support - particularly to the bit about not having mc / d&c women in the same areas as healthily pg and voluntarily terminating people. I've only had 1 early mc at 7 weeks but the worse bit for me was sitting in the filthy hospital toilets for an hour unable to move as had not been prepared for the "passing the products of conception" part and didn't know what to do. Women should be gently informed of the process I think (and possible options about treatment of the products of conception). I can only imagine how much worse it is at later stages.

goingfor3 Mon 21-Apr-08 18:58:20

Women who have had a mid trimester miscarriage should automatically be refered to EPU for thier next pregnancy. GP's need to be made aware of the hospitals polices too, my EPU do see a woman after one late miscarriage but my GP didn't refer me I had to call and arrange it myself and then get a gp's letter.

BBBee Mon 21-Apr-08 19:00:09

I know it has been said before but walking out of a hospital ward after a very late miscarriage - the images smiling babies and posters about breastfeeding as I bit my lip holding back wracking sobs with an empty womb leaving my baby behind will stay with me as one of the most painful moments of my life.

Good luck with this.

Message withdrawn

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:03:55

I was sent for an early scan at 8 weeks with my second pregnancy. It was very comforting for me to see the heart beat that the GP had assured me couldn't be seen at 12 weeks when I had the M/C!

BBBee Mon 21-Apr-08 19:04:02

Hmm - I didn't put that very well really, basically what I am saying is not on the labour ward if possible.

barbamama Mon 21-Apr-08 19:05:45

I didn't say anything about babies.

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 19:06:41

Should also note that women presenting at A&E should be given a scan, or that EPU services should be available outside of office hours. When I started bleeding with my fisrt m/c, it was late and we called NHS direct. We were told to go to A&E. After sitting around bleeding for two hours, they said they couldn't scan me (no mobile ultrasounds available) and suggested I call the EPU in the morning. There was actually no point in me even going to A&E in the first place.

Again, that seems to be about different branches of the NHS communicating with each other.

NamechangerReg Mon 21-Apr-08 19:12:32

What a fab idea. I've had 2 mc both early but my experience in hospital with the last one was truely horrific. Including trying to leave me on a ward with mums to be and a doctor wanting to give me an interal exam 5 mins after 'it' had happened & then muttering things about too much blood to see sad I also about 2 weeks after, had a midwife ringing me up to make an appointment as she'd obviously not got the message that there was nothing to make an appt about anymore.
Having said that there was a couple of nurses in the EPU that were marvellous - more need to be trained in the same way

Mercy Mon 21-Apr-08 19:15:12

I've had one, early miscarriage.

I would like GPs to be more sympathetic and prepare you for what may happen; that is to explain what is likely to happen at the EPU, what may happen physically and emotionally to you. I agree that a letter from a GP shouldn't be necessary in all cases.

I would also like EPUs to reiterate this advice (I got a real shock when I went for a scan - I had no idea it would be internal)

I would like some form of post-miscarriage support for both parents.

I was 'lucky' in that my EPU was entirely separate from the labour/maternity ward and the staff were nice. I have been to the North Middlesex twice for pregnancy related situations - I know it doesn't have a good reputation but the staff are great (unlike many at the Whittington imo).

I still have a few questions about what happened.

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:25:14

My mother, who is now in her 80s had a MC over 50 years ago.

In those days there was no scanning available, and she had to give a urine sample for test to see if she was still PG, she was bleeding so much, she got blood in it.

The nurse shouted at her sad

My mother remembered this for a very long time

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:27:47

My experince was 'good' North Hampshire Hospital should def. be used as example of best practice, following made a massive difference
EPU on diff floor to labour ward and ante natal clinic
Scan staff sensitive, saying 'i'm sorry' makes a difference
Miscarrage nurse on ward - she was fantastic
Given option of d&c
Placed on ward with others who had had d&c and hysterectomy ops
Told that remains would be respectfully individually cremated at local crematorium, and 'mum & dad' asked to sign to allow this
Memorial services organised by hospital for those who have suffered mc
Given option of keeping scan photo and when i said no told it would be attached to notes if i ever changed my mind, its comforting to know its still there
Given leaflets with details of what to expect post op
Told 'not your fault'
Offered to give sick note for time off work, told take as much time as you need
Also had excellent GP which made massive difference after

ClairePO Mon 21-Apr-08 19:30:30

What a great campaign.

Agree completely with automatic access to EPU. I actually mc'd on holiday in Germany. We went to the hospital in the evening (about 8pm), reception directed us to Gynae, the nurse welcomed us and sat us down to wait for the doctor to be free, 10 minutes later I was having a scan. I was shocked on our return to realise that in this country you have to wait days - if they want to see you at all.

Also agree with not having to walk through a waiting women of pregnant women. We'd known of our loss for a few days before the UK scan so had time to adjust but I can't imagine the sheer pain of having to do that when we had just found out.

But I do have to say every health care professional we dealt with here and in Germany were absolutely fantastic though, I seemed to have better care than many.

BibiThree Mon 21-Apr-08 19:34:07

I had to go back to the ante-natal area of the hospital for my post m/c check - waited in the same room as the pregnant women waiting for their checks/scans, got scanned in the same room as I was scanned in 5 weeks previously when baby was alive, and where I was told baby had died the week before.

Awful time. SO very glad this is happening and hope it helps ensure women in the future get better treatment.

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:37:22

Also the nurse asked if I had a midwife appointment booked and cancelled it for me, she also gave me the option of keeping the appointment if I wanted to talk it over with midwife. Wish I could remember the name of this nurse, she was truely fantastic, even included a wonderful poem her friend had written in discarge info.. I'm welling up here though, 3 years ago and its all still so fresh.
Read somewhere that its not when you loose a baby that is significant but how much you've bonded with it, lost my baby at 10 weeks but I have never before or since grieved so much..

poorlygirl Mon 21-Apr-08 19:38:21

Having suffered 2 previous m/c, I would like to see more support with future pregnancies.

To have to wait for 3 pregnancies before investigations commence is heartbreaking. Regular blood testing would also help to check levels are rising as expected.

ExtraFancy Mon 21-Apr-08 19:38:47

Ask that people do not bring their babies/young children into the EPU. I had a scan at 6 weeks, was actually vomiting with fear, and had to sit next to a woman with a baby on her lap. Ditto the suggestions that EPUs be placed well away from antenatal/maternity units.

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:41:09

My GP was very important in me being seen early actually, when she called the EPU she was told next appointment was in 3 days, she was adament that that was inappropriate and spent ages on the phone to the hospital till she was able to speak to the ob/gyne on call and fit us in that day, there should be emergency slots every afternoon for scans

VirginiaWoolf Mon 21-Apr-08 19:42:42

A great idea, stemming from such a sad topic.
I would agree with others above that there should be no question of having to wait/recover on the same ward as patients there for a termination; I was in such shock at the time that the horror of this only really hit me later (just what I didn't need). Also, staff need to be far more sensitive re: their terminology - I understand that the procedures are in some cases just the same, but I was torn in half to hear a nurse bellowing over to the desk asking if Mrs &^ had had her termination yet as her DH was on the phone (of course he hadn't been allowed to stay with me).

MerlinsBeard Mon 21-Apr-08 19:43:37

aorry in advance for spellings...ds3 won;t let me put him down...

At the very very least EPUs should be open at w/e and BH.

I agree with alot of what has been said about during a m/c. Mine was incomplete and i had to keep going back. I wasn't told any options only that i would "expel it naturally". It was only thru MN that i knew of other options (D&C...).
I felt like they washed their hands of me after the second scan that coinmfirmed i had indeed miscarried. The fact of the matter was that i needed more scans as it was incomplete and had to walk thru the antenatal clinic to get tp EPU.

I agree that a seperate leaflet with what to expect in terms of loss and placenta. I was terrified when i saw what i assume was the placenta and baby in teh toilet. esopecially as i was told i would only bleed and there would be no "lumps"angry

I think some follow up should be made. If i had had that follow up i think i woul have let myself grieve sooner instead of pretending everything was ok

and i think an automatic early scan when you are next pregnant shoud be offered.

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:46:14

Absolutly agree extra, babies under say 5 yo should be kept away if at all possible

cmotdibbler Mon 21-Apr-08 19:47:31

I've had 3 mcs.

My first was found at routine 12 week scan - no warning at all. There seemed to be no system in place for dealing with that, and we were dumped in an exam room in antenatal clinic for an hour before having to take ourselves to EPAU. Which was on a ward which had a childrens section - so whilst waiting you could hear small children. Only sort of sympathy or counselling I got after ERPC was from lovely night sister who told me about her mc.

Second pregnancy - started bleeding, midwife told me 'well, you'll either loose it or not. Nothing I can do'. So mc at home over a bank holiday. Went for scan and blood test to check for complete mc and the sister on EPAU was a complete cow.

Third mc - as EPAU scanning only worked short hours, when I started bleeding, I had to go to the antenatal department to get a scan. Had to demand that the scanning room be shut so that the pg ladies outside didn't hear what was going on. Saw junior doctor, who I had to get to look up what the procedure was for 3rd mcs, and ask about getting a chromosomal analysis done. Turned out that this hospital was no longer allowed to do 'emergency' ERPCs (ie within a week)- could only be done at the other hospital. Could she ring up and get me an appointment there ? No - I had to be transferred there direct. DH couldn't take me- had to be an ambulance. I sat for 6 hours waiting on a hard chair, and the ward staff didn't offer me water, a bed to lie on (there were spare beds), and forgot about me at staff handover. Had to explain to everyone, including at the other hospital. Got my ERPC next morning - in the anaesthetic room I was reminding them about the chromosomal analysis, but when I'd come round after the junior very offhandedly told me that they had put the PC in formalin, so it couldn't be done.

They then lost my referral to see the RM consultant, didn't ask me about the disposal of my baby (only nice person I ever spoke to was the chaplain when I rang to find out about it). And when I did get pg, I had to have my scans with the consultant in the antenatal dept - with the infertility patients.
Midwives were horrible about my worries, and totally dismissive.

I did make a formal complaint about my experience, and when pg successfully, I did note that they had changed some practices.

The MC Association do have great leaflets, including one specifically on late loss, and do an amazing job when you consider their annual budget of £200,000. They do put on training courses for HCPs, and there are some places that provide outstanding care such as Leeds and Nottingham. However, Mid Sussex stank.

In my opinion, miscarriage is treated as a terribly routine minor gynae problem, wheras actually it is a major emotional trauma.

Uriel Mon 21-Apr-08 19:48:42

Thanks Jodie.

MerlinsBeard Mon 21-Apr-08 19:49:40

i had to take my children with me...there was no one who could have them and i couldn't leave them alone. I wanted DP with me, in teh end he had to stay in the waiting room anyway.

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:50:13

GPs should be given training on men who have suffered, my dh was grieving too, and no services available to him, mc should be a reasonable reason to be signed off work for men too. Also dh should be allowed to stay, my dh was with me all the time.

winebeforepearls Mon 21-Apr-08 19:52:56

I can understand it might be upsetting to have small children in EPU, but I don't really know how practical it would be to ask people not to bring them in. I had to bring my dd in for the scan for my 2nd mc as I couldn't arrange childcare at such short notice and DH was away. A lovely nurse did at least keep her occupied while I had the scan, and tbh my daughter was a great comfort while I waited for the second scan.

Gumbo Mon 21-Apr-08 19:53:00

With my 1st m/c I was told by the very young doctor that it would be 'just like a heavy period' hmm . They really need to stop saying things like that and giving women a more accurate description of what is likely to happen, and that it is far more likely to be like you are bleeding after you've given birth - with lochia etc.

Also, there needs to be proper training and systems in place so that all the staff women get to see will have access to the same patient information. This will avoid situations like I had when having a ERPC with my 2nd m/c, upon arrival at the theatre to be told by the surgeon "Your baby is alive". shockangryangry (It turned out he was reading the scan result from the previous week...)

islamum Mon 21-Apr-08 19:53:22

GPs should be given training on men who have suffered, my dh was grieving too, and no services available to him, mc should be a reasonable reason to be signed off work for men too. Also dh should be allowed to stay, my dh was with me all the time.

I've had two miscarriages. The GPs attitude was actually better than the EPU - which round here is the actual antenatal dept, so you have to sit there, with very pregnant women who are having their anomaly scan

Perhaps a good way to deal with it is to have say an hour in the morning which is dedicated to emergency scans before scanning the routine cases if services can't be separated?

Also, I was given no information at all - no-one said to me 'this happens in 1 in 3 pregnancies; you did nothing wrong, it was just a problem with this baby'.

Describing your loss as the loss of a baby is so important too. I was told 'oh good news, no RPOC left over' (using the acronym) I had to ask what that meant and was told it meant there were no retained products of conception. Again I had to ask what that meant - I was really traumatised at the time - so wasn't exactly taking it in, and was told 'you know, bits of cells leftover from the miscarriage'.

Finally I was told to come back in three weeks to see if my baby (my current pregnancy) had survived - three weeks which included christmas. After having two miscarriages and a major bleed I was facing waiting to see if I was carrying another dead baby. No contact details were given in case I bled again (and I have a blood clotting disorder so it's a big deal if I do start to bleed).

I've also recently discovered each miscarriage could probably had been prevented by giving me blood tests as soon as I knew I was pregnant and giving me supplemental blood products but because you don't get to see a consultant till you are at least 20 weeks pregnant it's pure chance whether or not your baby lives or dies. angry

spicemonster Mon 21-Apr-08 19:54:41

What an excellent post berolina and a great idea. My mother and my sisters had all had MCs so I had support at home but there is a lot more to be done.

I was lucky as I was under the care for both my pgs at St Mary's which has a brilliant and sensitive EPU. Having said that, there are a few things I would like to fix:

I would like:
- for the D&C to be called that still (not sure if it's possible). But to have your longed for baby being taken out of you called 'evacuation of the retained products of conception' seemed a bit bald.
- for A&E doctors to be better trained about miscarriage. When I had a threatened mc with my 2nd pg (which I carried to term in the end) at 15 weeks, the first A&E doctor told me that 'it's very common' and then tried to find a heartbeat with a doppler which he'd never used before and so completely failed at. The second A&E doctor (at a different hospital) tried to give me an internal. Neither of them gave me any hope and it was another two days before I could go to the EPU and have my scan
- EPUs to be open at weekends.
- for men who accompany women to the EPU to STAND UP if there are not enough seats. It's bad enough having massively heavy bleeding but to stand for two hours waiting for your scan is just intolerable. There needs to be signs telling them to give up their seats.
- I agree with no babies either. I appreciate that it makes it hard for women who are bfing but seeing a baby when you're in the middle of losing one was just utterly devastating to me.

Some of those are probably a bit personal to me but the A&E training one is crucial I think.

barbamama Mon 21-Apr-08 19:55:04

I don't think anyone is saying ban children, of course there will be time when the people have no choice (I didn't have children when I mc, could well be me if it ever happens again) - but I don't think there is anything wrong with having a guideline that says please don't bring children with you unless absolutely necessary. Indeed, the Ultrasound dept in my local hospital says that anyway for routine 20 weeks scans.

spicemonster Mon 21-Apr-08 19:56:55

Sorry the grammar in that post was appalling. I still find it upsetting, three years on and despite having a beautiful child in the next room.

barbamama Mon 21-Apr-08 19:59:29

I know, me too. Also reading other people's experiences is upsetting me tonight. Clearly it is a very distressing time whtever the stage of pg and to hear how people were traumatised even more in some cases (Gumbo sad sad sad is heartbreaking. This is a great idea, I hope it leads to improvements for everyone - not the usual postcode lottery.

justjules Mon 21-Apr-08 20:09:37

daisy just to say that leeds actually is mentioned as one of the best hospitals in terms of m/c treatment, i called them recently to ask what they did differently than others, give them a shout, they were very helpful, one of the things they do is download all the ma leaflets and make sure all women leave with the info they need,

starlight i have had 3 m/c and 3 calls for scans and midwives afterwards angry

bbb what you said about leaving the hospital with an empty womb being one of the saddess memories of your life sad i know exactly what you mean,

the ma do a wonderful job with the money they have, they should get better funding, also they are almost all voulenters, women all over the country trying to make a difference,

my local doc does not even have mc leaflets, next time you go to your doc, ask the question, as a test so to speak, i was amazed, it is like mc is a dirty word angry

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 21-Apr-08 20:19:09

Portable u/s should be available in A & E and Maternity units as STANDARD (with doctors who know how to use them....). It would free up an awful lot of scan time.

lackaDAISYcal Italy Mon 21-Apr-08 20:27:40

Perhaps that's something else we can put to Alan Johnson then; more funding for The Miscarriage Association, as they appear to be doing a lot of the things that the NHS isn't.

and surely if some units can provide a good service, then ALL units can?

Jules the midwife who dealt with me both times chatted with DH and I for over half an hour the first time, and then said we were free to stay in the room for as long as we needed, and to give her a shout if we had any more questions. We also went away with a handful of leaflets from the MA, which were useful in the days after. The care was fantastic I must admit.

I'll give them a call in the next few days and see what information I can get about their protocols.

spicemonster Mon 21-Apr-08 20:31:32

VVV - I agree. That would have made a huge amount of difference to me. I went to a 2nd A&E unit because when I rang, they said they had a portable U/S machine. They didn't. So that was 2 x 5 hours in A&E units where they couldn't actually do anything or tell me if my baby was still alive. What a stupid waste of resource

Habbibu Mon 21-Apr-08 20:31:42

Ninewells Hospital in Dundee can also be used as an example of wonderful practice. I've lost 2 babies there - 1 at 21 weeks (anencephaly), and a miscarriage at 8 weeks.
Scans arranged at very short notice, EPU and suite where procedures take place well away from maternity units.
Private (or at worst, 2 bed) rooms in suite.
Sympathetic, friendly and well-informed staff.
Profuse apologies for having to use theatre on labour ward.
Post Mortem appointments in Gynae clinic, not antenatal.
Midwife counsellors on staff, who do long-term follow up care.
For dd1 the hospital provided a beautiful memory box, with photos, a blanket, hand and foot prints and a poem.
Teamwork and obvious consistency of approach across maternity services with respect to loss of babies.

Just to add my thoughts on having children in EPU - I do sympathise, but having dd with me kept me sane during the various scans I had in my recent miscarriage - she reminded me that things can go right - pregnancy with her was very scary, following the loss of her sister, and a bleed at 9 weeks.

lucysmum Mon 21-Apr-08 20:38:22

- protocal for making sure your midwife (if you have been assigned one_) knows what has happened ! The day after I had spent two days in hospital after miscarrying the midwife turned up for my booking in appointment all cheery, no idea i had been in hospital.

- some way of telling somebody what to expect if they do miscarry and when they need to seek urgent help rather than sitting it out at home. difficult one this as newly pregnant woman does not want info about m/c but in my case I was all for sitting it out at home until the next morning. it was only when i passed out and got blue lighted to A&E did i realise i was loosing an unusually dangerous amount of blood (4 unit transfusion afterwards). It is such a taboo subject that although i had friends who had miscarried i did not know what to expect and assumed what i was experiencing was normal.

Oblomov Mon 21-Apr-08 20:41:09

Our EPU at St Peters In Chertsey, Surrey is a disgrace.
They refused to scan me even though my GP had phoned them.
And they are only open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm.
NO SCANS are done outside of these hours. No good if you miscarry at the weekend. You have to wait until Monday morning.
They are unsympathetic and clinical, like you are just a number.

orangehead Mon 21-Apr-08 20:42:42

I have had 3, and generally I felt I was treated well the consultant I was under was fanastic, she even did tests after my 2nd miscarriage even though she said no she couldnt at first. But I was so upset and said I didnt think I could try again she changed her mind. I definnetly agree with not waiting till you have had three for tests. The a and e doc I had was horrible, went into great detail about in the olden days women mc all the time and they didnt even know as they didnt have preg tests back then, wtf has that got any relevance to me right now. Also had a very insensitive gp when I went to see him with stomach cramps a week before my 2nd mc. So yes better training for gps and a and e staff and self referral to epu. I also left hospital with no info and all the info I got was from the miscarriage association (I wasnt a mn back then, I wish I was though)who informed me of a support group at the neighbouring hospital which I found a great help. Also agree shouldnt be in some ward as preg women or women having termination or even in waiting room with them, its just cruel. A friend of mine had a stillborn and with her following preg she got admitted at 32 weeks on a ward with women and their new born babies it was torture for her

ladylush Mon 21-Apr-08 20:43:57

Some women have to take their kids to EPU as there are no childcare alternatives.

Having had 3 m/c I would like to see consistent empathic practice with information giving and if applicable appropriate infertility investigations. Scanners should be available daily including weekends. Doctors and NHS Direct (who were very unhelpful ime)should have lists of hospitals with EPUs and opening times. Their lists are not accurate, nor are doctors lists.

Clinics/GPs should liaise with Midwives so that women who have m/c do not get phonecalls/letters asking them why they didn't attend their booking in appt/scan (even though the woman has left a message on the answer phone explaining why they cannot attend the appt.)

I've had 2 m/cs, plus bleeding in this current pregnancy (now at 20wks). I've visited my local EPU 4 times in the last 12 months, and each time I've had to wait 4-5 days for an EPU appointment, the waiting is unbearable not knowing if your baby is alive or not

No one should have to wait more than 24 hours (or at a push maybe 48 hours) for a scan following bleeding. I've been told that my local EPU, at a large hospital, has slots for just 8 appointments a day and runs only 5 days a week. The equipment is there, but the funding for staff and sonographers isn't, which is just daft.

donbean Mon 21-Apr-08 20:49:06

Defo away from pregnant women...Our EPAU has women with problems in late pregnancy, so i ahd to tell a mw that i had arrived for my "abortion pill" while sat knee to knee with a woman who was about 12 months preggers by the look of her!

Also a reveiw of the bloody bloods, i had to keep going back to EPAU to have bloods taken only because my levels were 500...they dont discharge till its 25 or less. ffs, i had had a complete mc and was almost back to normal...but they were going to make me go back, i refused.
Review of the paperwork, one pack/set of papers for one whole problem. Instead of lots of bits of paper filed in notes. Having to tell the same story over and over and over, more upsetting every time.
This is a dead good idea, i am too a veteran, just had my 3rd mc 3 weeks ago.

agree with everything that has been said, and am so pleased to hear that this is being taken up as an issue.

a long list of things NOT to say should also include:

*you can try again
*it happens all the time
*it wasn't meant to be
*it's not a big deal
*did you want it?
*probably for the best

(all of which were said to me when I had an incomplete m/c, and a truly horrific medical experience after as a result)

etc, etc...

Every woman should have 3 options explained to them once m/c confirmed - natural m/c, tablet to bring it on, ERPC. The process and likely timescales for each should be explained clearly. I was 'fortunate' in that these options were explained to me, but so many threads on here have made it obvious that not everyone gets this same service.

orangehead Mon 21-Apr-08 20:53:31

Just remember a couple of other things, I agree men should be allowed time of work to, my husband wasnt and I had to go and stay with my mum. With my 2nd mc I went to a and e bleeding to be told I wasnt pregant I was just having a heavy late period we continued arguing for a few mins that I was indeed pregant. To which he said right we will do a blood test, and two hours later he came back saying I had a strong positive.
Tbh the best docotor I ever saw was a student one after my scan had just shown my 3rd baby had died. She did look very awkward and said 'its crap' a couple of times (i know unprofessional) but she showed real compassion and seemed really concerned for me, so much better then some docs who hardly even look at you from they notes

Oh, and don't tell women that they need to wait 3 months/1 month/whatever before trying again. This is just to make dating a future pregnancy easier for HCPs.

Again I was lucky in this respect. I asked how long we needed to wait before trying again (dh was in the room with me at the time), and with a slight twinkle in her eye the doctor advised waiting until we got home grin.

wonderstuff Mon 21-Apr-08 21:02:31

((donbean)) god this is so sad, WHY aren't all hospitals good, its not rocket science is it?? My experience was so awful and the hospital was great, can't imagine how much worse it must have been for others

orangehead Mon 21-Apr-08 21:03:06

I am here again, the sonographer that told me my 1st baby had no heartbeat, said 'dont worry I will see you in a few months with your next'. Its a horrible thing to say to anyone who has mc but I was in complete shock as it was just a rountine 12 week scan, and I had only seen my baby moving and its heartbeat the week before on a scan as I had a bit of a bleed. I hadnt even got my head round that my baby wasnt alive let alone even thinking about another. Ooh Im getting angry and upset now. But a standard code definetly needs to be in place to avoid these things

Message withdrawn

OracleInaCoracle Mon 21-Apr-08 21:11:38

Firstly, Im so glad that this is being bought to the attention of the powers that be. and tbh there is nothing I could add. these stories are all so sad... sad

Monkeytrousers Mon 21-Apr-08 21:16:39

I have nothing to add but just wanted to say thank god. This is one of the areas where explicit misogyny is allowed to reign.

chunkychips Mon 21-Apr-08 21:17:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn

spicemonster Mon 21-Apr-08 21:22:33

Oh god chunkychips you've just reminded me. I was brought by ambulance to A&E as I started bleeding really heavily at a wedding and they called me an ambulance. When I got there, they wanted me to sit in the general waiting area, in my wedding outfit covered in blood, just bleeding everywhere until I could be seen (and obviously I wasn't an emergency). It was only the woman paramedic (thank you Cheryl) who insisted that I be given a trolley in the actual A&E while I waited to be seen that saved me from that ordeal.

yurt1 Mon 21-Apr-08 21:23:43

I had a m/c that was actually handled quite well. The EPU was easy to get a referral to and was situated on the gynae ward. I was allowed to be given a chance to m/c naturally (which I did) and had easy access back to the EPU to check that everything had gone.

All the waiting was done either surrounded by people going through the same sort of worried, or older women in for hysterectomies who clucked over me.

It presumably didn't cost much to site the EPU in gynae rather than maternity and perhaps made it all much easier.

EBenes Mon 21-Apr-08 21:29:56

I found all the medical people I came into contact with very nice and helpful. They were sympathetic and kind. I was happy to go away and let the miscarriage progress naturally, with no intervention to speed things along. However, the one thing I would have liked was more warning about how much it hurt. I was told it would be 'like bad period pains, but that seems worse to some women if they've been taking the pill and aren't used to period pains'. I haven't been taking the pill and am very used to period pains. I thought I was going to die from the pain, and if I hadn't been staying with my parents (my mum is a practice nurse) I would have panicked a lot more than I did. As it was, I passed out for a few seconds and couldn't believe the pain. NOT like period pain.

Also, I asked, quite lightly at the time, if I would see 'bits of baby or anything' and was, again kindly, told oh no, nothing like that. I saw a whole baby. It took me a long time to get over the guilt.

I know it's important not to scare people who won't have these experiences, but when they come without warning, they are terrifying and so, so sad.

Spidermama Mon 21-Apr-08 21:33:53

Great campaign.

I've had two miscarriages. I'll never forget the trauma of being told at the scan the baby was dead then coming out into a room of pregnant women and trying not to catch their eyes.

I'll also never forget the A&E woman getting increasinly irritable with me because I didn't want to have any pain relief. For me it's important to feel my body's signals, especially at such a scary time. I need to know what's going on so I can feel in control.

In the end she said, 'Well I don't know what on earth you're here for then'. Feeling small I let them give me pethidine and it was horrible. It made me feel sick, did nothing to alleviate the pain of the contractions, and denied the the opportunity to recover in between them.

It went by in a haze and I had months of confusion, asking dh questions daily, trying to make sense of it and wondering where my dead baby had gone.

I learned to stay away from the hospital and had my second miscarriage in the comfort of my own home with a basin. It was a world away from the horror of my first. Yes I was sad and bereft at my loss but I kept the sac and gave it a proper burial myself which helped enormously with the grieving process.

So my second idea would be to encourage hospitals to try to get anything resembling the sac or even some other contents so that there can be some form of physical letting go.

expatinscotland Mon 21-Apr-08 21:39:33

Sorry, coming late to this thread.

Please DO NOT locate women who are actively miscarrying or waiting for their ERPC in labour wards.

They are not in labour. They are losing their child.

It's not that difficult to locate them in a GYN ward.

And yes, I agree completely with Carrie, it's incredibly insensitive to have women with threatened miscarriage waiting for their scans in antenatal clinic waiting rooms or coming out of their scan to face a corridor of pregnant women.

If you're doing this to cut costs, I can assure you, I cost the NHS much more than they saved having to make trips to my GP and psychiatric consultant for depression resulting from my experiences. I drank loads, too, to blot out the experience, that could cost me and the health service pretty big time later on.

berolina Mon 21-Apr-08 21:40:48

Just been catching up with it. So much misery, indignity and lack of care Am speechless.

I do think HCPs dealing with miscarriage would do well to remember (thus have this point emphasised in their training) that they are dealing with a woman's loss. My one experience of real insensitivity came during the confirmation of my first mc. I was understandably upset and crying. The doctor asked me my age and when I told him, said 'oh, you're young, you can have plenty more'. Factually he was right, but the undertone was very much 'get over yourself'. The rest of my care for that mc was fine.

I have always found it helpful, as a sufferer of repeated but not recurrent mc, to be reminded that mc is a sadly very common event and that there is a huge potential for things to go wrong - but also go right - in the very early stages of pg. My lovely, empathetic but matter-of-fact gyn said after no. 3 that his old boss used to say '10 [successful] pgs [go along with] 10 mcs'. That sort of being able to contextualise my experience helped me. It would probably be just the wrong thing to say to others. It is important for HCPs to look at the individual woman and what might help her now - of course it is not always possible to know in detail, but you can often get a very good idea quickly -, and above all avoid anything which makes light of her loss.

charliecat Mon 21-Apr-08 21:44:55

what expat said.

expatinscotland Mon 21-Apr-08 21:52:57

FWIW, after my m/c, I was again sitting in the SAME CORRIDOR waiting for another scan due to bleeding in this pregnancy.

Full of preggos.

And there was a consultant and a midwife discussing a woman whose pregnancy was ectopic. Right there.

She was just around a corner!

FGS. I felt terrible for her and peeped in just to tell her I was so sorry this was happening to her and that some people at least understood how awful that is. She wsa sitting there in tears.

chunkychips Mon 21-Apr-08 21:56:01

I agree EBenes, wasn't expecting the pain, mine were exactly like labour pains. Awful to read what people have had to go through. It's just a deeply shocking experience. Also agree with expat, repercussions go on for a long time.

chunkychips Mon 21-Apr-08 21:56:03

I agree EBenes, wasn't expecting the pain, mine were exactly like labour pains. Awful to read what people have had to go through. It's just a deeply shocking experience. Also agree with expat, repercussions go on for a long time.

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 22:01:26

Its the almost casual brutality of it all that beggers belief, isn't it?

Yes, we all know that it happens, we all know that it isn't uncommon, but for each of us it is an individual loss.

How we recover depends so much on how the whole issue it handled. It isn't that you want a huge fuss but simple respect and compassion isn't too much to ask for, is it?

My mother had a M/C 50 year ago, mine was 13 years ago, and not seems to be any better now.

How utterly dreadful!

Message withdrawn

evenhope Mon 21-Apr-08 22:10:27

I've had 2 missed m/c. The first was at 10-11 weeks. I started bleeding (bright red) at a wedding on a Saturday. Didn't think it was worth going to A&E at the weekend so left it until Monday morning. We were due to go away Monday afternoon.

Having left it until Monday the EPU's lists were full with people who'd gone in over the weekend angry. At our hospital you have to shout all your details through a glass screen, so everyone in the waitingroom hears your business. I complained about that. I was seen by a junior doctor who put me in a bed then went off to "look for a tape measure" (?) There was no scan available and no midwife so the doctor came back with an appointment for EPU the next day.

We decided not to hang about and miss the first day of our holiday but when we got there the bleeding was worse. Rang NHS Direct and they directed me to the nearest hospital. They were lovely. Reception was private and they took me straight through. We'd arrived at shift change so we had to wait but they took me to the gynae ward and found a portable scanner. It was quite clear there was nothing there but they gave me an appointment for the EPU a couple of days later.

Their EPU was nowhere near the AN area. I was scanned again and they were very sympathetic. I saw a doctor who explained what would happen next and what the options were. He told me to wait a week then ask to be rescanned but just before that I started to bleed heavily (on a BH).

Back to our A&E. Called in to triage and the blood shot down both legs. I had to ask for something to clean myself. Got put in a room and left. They had no pads (I'd taken loads but was soaking through 2 an hour) and nothing to clean up with. Then they wanted to take more blood.

Once I got onto the ward (was admitted immediately) everything went smoothly and everyone was lovely.

Second one went in the same way and had to book ERPC for the next week because they were so busy.

Main complaints related to dignity, privacy and compassion. A senior midwife told us we were too old to have another baby after the 2nd mmc and to go away and do something else shock (We went on to have our DD 12 months later)

I was surprised at how much blood there was- that would have been useful to know.

kittywise Mon 21-Apr-08 22:14:20

I've had 6 m/c's and a lot of the time I referred myself to the epu, they didn't ask any questions and were really great.

Women who are miscarrying or suspect they are need to get answers QUICKLY and have any necessary procedures done QUICKLY.

I must say here in Brighton they are very good

Blandmum Mon 21-Apr-08 22:18:45

I wonder if doctors would be surprised at the depth of feeling in this thread?

I don't mean that in a nasty way.

M/C is so often hushed up, isn't it? We are encouraged not to tell anyone that we are PG until we get past the first trimester just incase. We are almost expected to hide out loss to save the embarrassment of others.

Which leads to the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) conclusion that it is no big deal.

I find that you can immediately tell if a woman has had a MC when she hears the news of some other woman's loss. Those lucky people who have never had one say things like' Its natures way' or 'Never mind'. Those who have say, 'Oh God, I'm so sorry'

sphil Mon 21-Apr-08 22:26:17

Completely behind this campaign.

I had two m/c before having DS1 and 2. The first at 7 weeks was handled with great sensitivity. The second, at 17 weeks, was not. M/w couldn't find heartbeat and sent me up to the local hospital for a scan. However, it wasn't a regular pregnancy scanning day and the sonographer on duty wasn't at all keen to do it for some reason. I had to stand outside the door listening to her and the consultant arguing about whether she would do the scan or not. When I eventually went in she avoided eye contact with me for the whole time, even when she told me the baby had died. The consultant met me outside, told me he was sorry and then left me alone in a room for 25 minutes! I eventually wandered into his room and asked if I could go home - he was so surprised to see me I really think he'd forgotten I was there.

I was told I had to deliver the baby because it was a late m/c. The m/wives at the hospital (Royal Sussex) couldn't have been more lovely. However, after the baby was born they told me that he/she had probably died at 12 weeks and I could have had a D and C. I've always thought that the sonographer (or the consultant) should have been able to tell that from the scan and I could have avoided going though labour.

sfxmum Mon 21-Apr-08 22:26:17

every time I mention my mcs to women I always end up hearing their stories, like you say it is all hushed up and it really should not be, the loss and grief is real no matter how common and sharing it really eases the burden

ClairePO Mon 21-Apr-08 22:27:36

That's very true Martianbishop - I immediately knew my boss and his wife had been through it as he was so incredibly understanding.

I think of a comment I read today on the mc section directed at a dear lady who had lost her baby, 'you shouldn't have got your hopes up until you were 12 weeks' (comment in rl not on mn obviously). God how awful. From the minute you find out you're pregnant its a baby. How can you not get your hopes up.

chunkychips Mon 21-Apr-08 22:29:44

Yes, you do get a different response from people who've been through it definitely. Have never understood the 'don't tell anyone until you've got past 12 weeks'. If something does happen and you m/c the people you would have told you were pregnant are the same people you will want to talk about it to if you do m/c. It's not as if it's something to be ashamed of.

JodieG1 Mon 21-Apr-08 22:30:19

MartianBishop - From an early post you made, I remember that feeling, hoping against hope. Brings it all back. I remember bleeding in the bath and begging/praying that I wasn't losing my baby. It was awful.

mistlethrush Mon 21-Apr-08 22:39:43

I've had 3 mc. 1st was most traumatic - at end of holiday, 10+ weeks, started spotting - got to A&E at local hospital (30 miles away) at 10pm - got pregnancy test and told probably OK, but come back for scan the following morning. Scan the next day showed that things not OK - suggested ERPC and arranged to do it that afternoon - which left us packed up, with no people nearby and dh and I in a state with nowhere for dh to stay on a bh weekend.

Ward I was on was a gynae ward - which was fine, and I got a side room too. However, nurse coming in at 3am to find out 'what the matter was' clearly hadn't read my notes... Hospital promised to let me and GPs know if there was any need for any follow-up. No news from Hospital - so thought things were OK - although they weren't and, because of Hospital promise, Drs also didn't take my repeated visits to them seriously until I turned up with heavy bleeding again. Turned out to be mp which would have been beneficial if it had been picked up earlier - ended up having to have chemo to treat.

2nd & 3rd mc earlier so 'handled' at home. Not much sympathy from Doctors. Both needed follow up at hospital - good experience - EPU away from maternity, although no info etc (despite being Leeds!)

So: Yes, separate department from maternity;
More reading of notes by nurses/doctors before insensitive questions;
better coordination between health services to ensure that if follow up is necessary that it takes place;
automatic cancellation of appointments without having to ring round and diy.

Brilliant idea Carrie- so sad to hear of your losses & of all the others on here.

my reply to an insensitive healthcare worker trotting out the "ooh it's terribly common you know" line had a snarl from me....

"so's a broken leg but it still fecking hurts"

littlelapin Mon 21-Apr-08 22:53:31

MB, I disagree with the last part of your post: "I find that you can immediately tell if a woman has had a MC when she hears the news of some other woman's loss. Those lucky people who have never had one say things like' Its natures way' or 'Never mind'. Those who have say, 'Oh God, I'm so sorry'"

I'm fortunate enough to have not suffered a miscarriage, but I can't imagine ever uttering such platitudes to someone who has. You can empathise without actually experiencing something, and I can't believe that any woman who has been pregnant, who has lived through even the fear of miscarriage, could be so glib.

cece Mon 21-Apr-08 22:56:49

With my first MC at 9 weeks.

I had to go to GP several times for referrals to EPU over the 2-3 weeks prior to confirmation of MC. This clearly was a waste of GP and my time. Also stress of trying to get a GP apointment in first place when you are bleeding and worried. So self referral would be so much better.

I also had to wait 1 whole week before they could fit me in for an ERPC after confirming there was no heartbeat. There were only two beds for the whole hospital!

I asked about any counselling that might be avaiable - was told we don't offer that. hmm

My second MC at 18 weeks was in a different hospital.

Having to go onto labour ward as the sonographer unit had closed down for night, to have a scan to confirm no heartbeat wasn't very nice at all. We had to wait 10 mins in waiting area with labouring women.

Overall I was given pretty good treatment once the labour had started. They had a special room away from the other labouring women but it was still on the labour ward. When we arrived after my labour had started I had to walk past about 4 or 5 labouring women who were all waiting to be allocated rooms. They all stared at me as I had been rushed to a room and they were waiting. At least I didn't have to wait with them I suppose.

I agree 100% about the sonographers being away from the ante natal clinnic. I had to have several more scans after losing my baby due to complications. I found it incredibly difficult to go back to where pg women were. I particulary found the videos of scans and baby adverts on the TV screens in the witing area very distressing.

The receptionists automatically asking "how many weeks pg are you?" when you turn up at their desk. I had already had my dead baby by then and after the second receptionist asked me in the space of 5 mins I had to be led away to a quiet private room as I became so distressed. sad

I hope something is actually done about this.

orangehead Mon 21-Apr-08 23:18:47

sphil that sounds so awful. Infact many of these do, so sorry for you that have lost babies.
Bossybritches very good comment.
littlelapin, true there is some people who wouldnt dare say comments like that but from my experience I think you are the minority. I had so many people who I have known along time, are good friends and I know they are really nice people, say some really insensitive things and I know they werent being horrible and they had the best intentions but they just really didnt have a clue because it isnt a subject people talk about its swept under the carpet. My last mc was now 7 yrs ago, and since then I have had 2 friends come up to me seperatly (a couple of yrs after) and apologize for things they said and not being supportive. One because her sister had had a mc and another had experienced it herselves. I had never given either of them any inclination I may of been upset at all but both said they just didnt realize till it had been closer to home

littlelapin Mon 21-Apr-08 23:20:35

If that's the case, it's really sad orangehead sad

Jackstini Mon 21-Apr-08 23:22:51

Not got thru all thread yet but has given me some immediate thoughts
Am currently 6+2 pg after 1 mmc and 1 chem pg last year. Went to docs this morning and was told - no point in blood test for hcg - won't make any difference if the pg carries on or not. I did get tested last time and to me it made a big difference. Knowing my levels had halved at 6 weeks was a hell of a lot easier than happily going for a dating scan and being told nothing there. (Kind nurse let me out a fire exit when this happened so I didn't have to walk back thru the waiting room of pg women)
Agree with the separation from Maternity. When I had my D&C there was no room on the EPU ward so woke up oposite a pregnant woman sad
Also have a friend who had 3 m/c. Once they started testing they found out she had Lupus. This sould have been recognised from a simple blood test after her first m/c saving 3 years of heartache. angry It is apparantly a very common reason (doc told her 1 in 6, don't know truth of this) so why can't women have this blood test after 1 m/c?

Jackstini Mon 21-Apr-08 23:25:28

Oh - and I had a call from the midwife to find out why I had missed my booking in appointment - a week after I had had a D&C and the hospital had said they would notify anyone necessary sad

BouncingTurtle Tue 22-Apr-08 03:45:46

Wanted to add my support, I lost my much wanted baby at 9 weeks and had to deal with
a)having to share a waiting room with a sourfaced 14 year old girl who was having her pg confirmed
b)twice having to wait for scan in a room full of some happy and some miserable looking pg woman. I think the latter made me wanted to slap them (I was pretty raw at the time sad)

Definitely think that miscarrying women should not have to be around healthily pg women or around women having non-medical abortions.

Monkeytrousers Tue 22-Apr-08 07:03:40

I agree MB. I felt very odd about the 'don;t tell anyobne till after 12 weeks 'rule'' - as if you could just pretend it didn;t happen if you did MC. I was told my my gp not to get my hopes up so quickly as it was only a bunch of cells - and she was right in that sense but people get their hopes up, men and women, long before conception even. That shouldn't be denied after MC.

There needs to be a comprehensive rethink within the health service about 'bedside manner' here.

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 07:06:05

Possibly I should have put that a little better. If someone says, 'Never mind you can always try again' you can put a fairly clear bet on the fact that they have never had a MC.

YOu are right, some people have natural tact an empathy. You'd be horrified at how few people do.

I still remember the woman breezing into the office that I worked in saying' God, young women today when are you ever going to have kids, you are all too self absorbed'

of the 4 woman working in that office, I'd just had a MC, another had had extensive cervical surgery and was warned she'd never carry a baby to term, and another was having IVF!

Izzybel Tue 22-Apr-08 07:06:08

Great campaign!

I think that you should definately be able to get a scan straight away, if there is suspected mc.

I have had one mc and had to wait a week to be scanned sad. I ended up in incredible pain and the GP's attitude was appalling. He told me that "1 in 3 pregancies ended up being a waste of time." angry

I also agree that women who have miscarried / having a suspected mc should not have to mix with other pregnant women. It was awful, sitting in the waiting room, in terrible pain, with cheery women awaiting their 12 wk scan, waiting for my mc to be confirmed! And even worse afterwards, walking through reception looking at women with their huge bumps and passing the maternity unit shop, with the cute baby clothes and congratulations cards in the window. The same goes for being around women who are havin non-medical abortions.

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 07:09:13

My step MIL never bothered to ask me how I was because her mother saw MC as 'natural contraception'

Most utterly horrifying of all was the comment made to my very dear cousin who lost a baby at full term to placental insuficiency. (the most ghastly of things in the world, I think)The comment was from her MIL who had 7 healthy PGs and children. She said, 'I was never lucky enough to lose any, all of mine lived' shock

Izzybel Tue 22-Apr-08 07:18:35

shock at some of the comments that people get from friends and family! I got "you can try again." I hadn't fallen off my fecking bike, I had lost my baby! angry

Izzybel Tue 22-Apr-08 07:20:36

MB, how awful for your cousin sad.

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 07:21:44

Tis was 35 years ago and she still remembers it with great bitterness.

shoshe Tue 22-Apr-08 07:37:36

Jackstini I had 13 M/C over 13 yeasr, and lost two children (one after IVF) from being very prem.

11 years after the last M/C I was diagnoised with Lupus.

You are right, it is alot more common than thought, I would not have had to go through all that if I had known. (not that women with Lupus cannot carry, but alot more care is needed)

This way for me a long time ago, and although from the sound of it, care after M/C is still not good, back in the 80's it was atrotious.

cremolafoam Tue 22-Apr-08 08:07:33

Following 4 gruelling years of IVF i had a delayed miscarriage at 13 weeks.I went for my 12 week scan and it was discovered that the baby had died.I was refered that day to the gynae ward for an 'evacuation' Even the terminology makes me feel sick.1 hour after being told that my baby had died i arrived on a ward full of pregnant women. The sister admitting me said- and this will for ever stick in my mind-
right love YOURE HEAR FOR WHAT?- OH YES AN EVACUATION- NEVER MIND DEAR - HOW DID YOU LET THAT HAPPEN LOLLOL .
I had to hold dh back form assaulting her.
Not once during my stay was i offered a shoulder to cry on or a person to speak to about my fears or disappointment.After 6 hours of sitting in a chair next to my bed and weeping- I was nearly hysterical and could no stop crying. I can see now itwas the hormones i had been taking and the lonliness and feeling of being completely abandoned.I had tried so hard to do everything right with the IVF( which is so punishing) and yet I felt I had failed.
I continued to weep for the 3 days I was there.(diabetes meant i was on a drip and was thus bed bound watching the preganat ladies and listening to them talking about babies and knitting bootees.)
Finally the isolation got to me and in a fit of rage I sbaged a junior doctor who tried to placate me.She had no notion whatsoever of what IVF was about and made some semi religious comment about messing with God & nature.

I would like:
a seperate ward for those women who have had miscarriages or are suffering form fertility problems
automatic and immediate access to a named councellor who calles with you every day you are in hospital
much better education for nursing and medical staff- most have no idea about fertilty treatments, but seem to be able to offer an opinion on it.
more information from real people about how to cope.
Its not much to ask is it.

sleepycat Tue 22-Apr-08 08:50:11

A little bit different, but when I was being scanned in the early pregnancy unit for my ectopic pregnancy, it was very emotionally painful to be sat next to women coming in for their usual scans, all of them staring at me curiously as I couldn't stop silently crying. Also the sonographer was very unsympathetic and bored, even though I was really upset. Whole experience was frightening and awful.

Once admitted though all the staff were amazing on the ward so I guess it was just bad luck to have a cold sonographer.

DungunGirl Tue 22-Apr-08 08:58:49

I think that having a sonographer available at the hospital on the weekends is a must.

I started bleeding suspected I was having a miscarriage on a saturday, called up 'westcall' ( out of hours surgery at hospital) and got seen by a Doctor ( thank God! )

BUT had to wait until Monday for a scan. It was the most stressful 2 days of my life.

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Apr-08 09:06:07

This thread just makes me weep with anger at the way women and their partners are treated.

I hope Alan Johnson reads these stories, and then makes the head of every gynae/obs unit in the land read them to realise how casual cruelty can stay with a woman forever.

I remember waking up from my first ERPC, hearing a small child crying and sobbing (DH wasn't there as they hadn't told him that they were taking me to a different ward after theatre). The nurse told me to pull myself together and stop crying.

My first baby would have been 3 next week. No one else will remember, or I think, care.

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 09:12:39

The line that most politicians will take is that there is no money available.

Leaving aside the point that there should be money made available, and as Expat eloquently and movingly pointed out spending a little on care of people post MC would save more money long term is dealing with the consequences, part of the Hippocratic oath says,
'First, do no harm'

Even if they can't make things better by providing extra support, at least teach people to deal with the situation with a modicum of tact. Tell HCP that things like 'Oh well, you can try again' and 'It is very common' are patronising at best and devastating at worst. So don't say them!

I've spent time at the local hospice with dh, and the people there just treat you with gentle kindness. It isn't rocket science, they just don't blunder about making things worse

katierocket Tue 22-Apr-08 09:23:12

Jesus there are some horrendous stories on here. And yet you so rarely read anything about it in the mainstream media - is there a perception that a miscarriage just isn't that traumatic. Sounds like there is every need for a campaign and a code of practice. Go mumsnet.

katierocket Tue 22-Apr-08 09:25:10

Actually Martionbishop puts it perfectly and it's worth repeating her comments

"M/C is so often hushed up, isn't it? We are encouraged not to tell anyone that we are PG until we get past the first trimester just incase. We are almost expected to hide out loss to save the embarrassment of others.

Which leads to the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) conclusion that it is no big deal."

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Apr-08 09:37:49

The thing is, apart from open access to EPAU (and actually I think that it shouldn't be totally free access, but that it should be easier for GPs to get appointments, and that those with a previous mc should have phone access to someone who can book them an appt if necessary), it doesn't cost very much at all to provide a good service.

Putting an US and sonographer in gynae outpatients or xray dept rather than ANC ? No cost

EPAU situated off A&E rather than ANC ? No cost, plus easier referral route for A&E and extended hours cover.

Training of nurse specialists to perform standard scans for EPAU /out of hours A&E? Low.

Provision of information ? Low - leaflets available from MCA on many subjects at very low cost, plus some local specific information.

The only real cost is in providing aftercare and support, but I think the service at Nottingham found that it could be done by one nurse in addition to other things she did for the EPAU.

But the real difference would just to be treated with kindness and dignity - which costs nothing.

sfxmum Tue 22-Apr-08 09:47:12

I wholeheartedly agree with just simply making sure the staff are properly trained and briefed on how to deal with grieving, scared anxious women.

one of my sonographers told me 'I am having a bad day' really? mine is going great just losing my baby

on the same day I witnessed her leaving the door open so all the waiting couples / women could see the very distressed woman inside

but also when I went in for a D&C having lost at 12wks the ward sister gave me a hug sat with me and dh and talked to us for some very reassuring 10mins

nervousal Tue 22-Apr-08 09:48:02

Sorry - haven't read the whole thread. However - when calling for reassurance scans for everyone etc then I think we have to put this in the context of a wider NHS. If funding is to be put into these sorts of scans (which in most cases will be of limited medical use - although I recognise the psychologically they can be important) then funding has to come from elsewhere. So - which other medical treatment/service should we stop to fund this?

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 09:58:01

If you read the thread you will see that people are being treated so badly during the MC that it is almsot setting up the need for the scan.

leaving people to bleed, unsupported and unscanned for weeks in some cases, is making this worse than it needs to be.

If the first MC was treated better, we wouldn't need so much support the next time.

Read Epats post, she is very clear on this. Better care will save money long term

chunglimum Tue 22-Apr-08 10:03:09

So sorry to hear all these sad and appalling stories.
I agree that staff desperately need better education and support for themselves on this subject.

My GP receptionist was very reluctant to put me through to the doctor at 4.50 pm on a Friday although I explained that I was bleeding. However, my GP was lovely when she called me back and very gently pointed out that it could go either way. I was supposed to wait over the weekend for a scan but began to seriously miscarry. The emergency GP was rude and dismissive. At A+E I was left with a junior doctor who was plainly out of her depth and terrified - I ended up trying to reassure her! Then saw a totally indifferent sonographer.

I eventually saw an unbelievably macho obstetric registrar who said, "Has it come out yet? What, you didn't think to look down?". He then bullied me into having an ERPC. When I said that I was frightened of having an anaesthetic he laughed in my face and said: "It's the gold standard of termination treatment". All the more galling when I had a severe allergic reaction to the anaesthetic and had to spend the next seven days on a gynae ward, listening to stroppy teenagers talking about their past terminations, then the next six months in bed with toxic hepatitis. No emotional aftercare offered at all, the best that could be said was that, as I was so ill anyway, I had months to cry and read as much as I could to try to understand what might have happened. I found Professor Lesley Regan's book useful and www.babyloss.com really helped me to get through too.

I could go on for hours about dismissive staff, lost notes and filthy wards... Thank God I didn't have to go back to the same hospital for my next pregnancy.

I think it is useful to know that it is common but perhaps the best way of conveying that to someone is to point out that it's not their fault - I have found that a surprising number of women do think that or, horribly, other people sometimes imply it.

Sorry, a bit rambling but I think this campaign is a great idea.

feb Tue 22-Apr-08 10:11:32

I had a scan at 13 1/2 weeks and was told my baby probably had a chromosomal problem that would mean it wouldn't survive past 20 wks. was shocked that I then had to wait 8 days to have CVS. then because i had it on friday had to wait all weekend for the results. shocking.

also, was sent home after delivering baby and saw and heard from nobody again for 6 weeks, when i had the briefest of chats with the consultant. was given no information about support groups etc. thank god for MN.

DonDons Tue 22-Apr-08 10:13:52

My experience of the EPAU at my hospital was generally quite positive (given the circumstances) complared to some of this horrendous stories. The EPAU is in a different building to the maternity wing, and is devoid of baby pictures etc. In my pregnancy following 2nd MC after a bleed I was (eventually) referred for a scan and the EPAU nurse was lovely. She saw how anxious I was and said - let's sort out the paperwork later and get you scanned first - I can see what a state you are in.....BUT getting there was the hard bit...

1st MC started in middle of night and was agony, NHS direct advice - sounds like you are miscarrying - you may as well take some Ibroprofen, there's nothing we can do. (great bedside manner)

Second MC occurred on a day when GP surgery was closed, I had to go through two 45 minute conversations with NHS direct to get referred to walk-in centre and then sat for 5 hours before seeing a GP, only to be examined (externally) for about 30 seconds and referred for a scan at EPAU 5 days later. By which time I knew the MC was complete. I know the outcome would have been the same, but those 5 days were awful.

This pregnancy, there has been no 'special' treatment provided eg no early scan (was told 'no chance' despite how anxious I was and actual normal 12 week scan was at 14+4 weeks as they were busy?. A bit more support/counselling/acknowledgement even from the communtiy midwife would have been appreciated but I just feel that I have been thrown into a bog standard system and my circumstances are/were irrelevant.

nervousal Tue 22-Apr-08 10:14:06

sorry for not reading whole thread - hangs head in shame blush The way that people have been treated is appalling - has anyone complained officially to the hospital? If so - whatwas the outcome? My "treatment" for both my mcs was fine - I stayed at home for both - but EPAU were at end of phone and when I wanted a scan during 2nd I got one no problem. I think that a ot of people do see shame in mcing - no-one apart from my dp and direct boss know about my second.

ClairePO Tue 22-Apr-08 10:17:16

chunglimum that registrar sounds awful

cmotdibbler Tue 22-Apr-08 10:22:47

Nervousal - yes, I complained formally (and they even messed that up), and got a not terribly nice or helpful letter back. However, when pg for the 4th time, I did notice that they had changed one of the things that they said they would, in that a couple who had obv had bad news in ANC, were fetched quickly from a room next to the scan one by a member of staff from EPAU, rather than being left to wander through the hospital to there, announce themselves over the intercom, explain themselves to the staff etc.

bringmesunshine Tue 22-Apr-08 10:35:33

I haven't read all of the thread but could I suggest the following please:

Scans to be done away from happy, smiling and obviously pregnant women.

Nurses to be told not to say you are young you have plenty of time yet, however well intentioned hmm

and for health care professionals to realise that it wasn't a foetus, ball of cells or any other discription offered but a baby we very much wanted.

Gumbo Tue 22-Apr-08 10:39:25

Oooh - I have another point to add!

When women have to have a ERPC, can the anaesthetist please not be heavily pregnant? I appreciate that these people are perfectly entitled to be pregnant - but when there's a whole hospital full of people who need their services, can they please be kept away from women who have lost their babies?

Blandmum Tue 22-Apr-08 10:40:52

Just to have had someone say' I'm sorry' would have ben a reasonable start. My GP broke the news to me as follows

'There is no point in doing your booking in appointment (I was 12 weeks) as you may lose it'

I remember every word, 13 years later.

He was the GP who left me to bleed over christmas and the new year as 'a scan at this stage will not pick up a heartbeat'....a lie.

In short he almost single handedly set up the need for an early scan

Message withdrawn

andiem Tue 22-Apr-08 11:10:39

I can only say I have had very poor treatment on the nhs

having to wait 10 days for an epu appt when bleeding heavily during my 2mc and then when I cancelled that as I had gone privately being quizzed in great detail about the cancellation

being told there there never mind you'll have another one as I came round from the d&c sobbing following my 3rd mc

being put on a ward with lots of old ladies for my first d&c my mum came with me and was disgusted she said you shouldn't be here

my experience is that staff need to be taught to be more sensitive both in the locations of where they put mc women and what they say to them it doesn't take much to tip you over the edge in these situations

I can only echo what creamola says about ivf too ds2 was ivf after 3 mcs and 4 attempts the midwives thought this was interesting rather than something that meant I was probably a bit anxious

mummyhill Tue 22-Apr-08 11:15:05

My first miscarriage started at a weekend, I was sent to A&E who were next to useless. They booked me a scan with epau for the monday. They saw nothing on scan but as my hormone levels were high I had to wait a couple of days, go back in and be scanned again. At this point they decided an erpc and laproscopy was best for me as my hormone levels were still rising. It took 5 attempts to get a canular in for the drips, in the end I was sent down to theater with out one in, On the way to theater there was a small baby being transfered to scbu I burst into tears and was told by the young girl who was accompanying me that it was daft to get upset as I could always have another one. I had to be given Gas to knock me out to get the canular in. I was discharged from hospital into a friends care and then had to go home to look after my daughter and my husband who both had chicken pox. I could hardly walk but was still released from hospital with no advice on wether it was safe for me to drive, go shopping on my own etc which I had to do within hours of getting home.

When I asked for a ref feral to EPAU when I found out I was pregnant for a 4th time with what would of been our third child I was refused as I had a sucsseful pregnancy in between.

Second time round I went in to A&E was refered up to GYN where a doc did an internal, couldn't see any blood and decided cervix was closed, she booked me a scan for 2 days later and sent me home with a look of disbelief on her face. Next day I was back in A&E, again I was speculumed, admitted and monitored. After a few hours it all calmed down and they sent me home. Within 2 hrs I was back at A&E reffered back to gyn where they kept me in. I lost the baby a few hours later. I actualy saw it because I was told that to monitor my blood loss I had to urinate into bed pans. The auxilaries and the nurses were great and sat with me holding my hand for quite a while. They scanned me the next morning and agreed that it was complete no further medical intervention required. They sent a young male dr in to tlk to me before discharging me. I do not want to hear about it not being a reflection on my fertility, nor do I want to be told it is quite common, I am aware that 1 in 3 ends in miscarriage.

What I do want to know is did the chicken pox had anything to do with it. My first miscarriage coincided with my daughter getting chicken pox, this most recent one with my son getting chicken pox. So far they are all telling me that as I had chicken pox when I was young I am imune and as my temp/bp etc were all normal it couldn't of had anything to do with it. I am so angry hurt and upset but cannot cry.

Smithagain Tue 22-Apr-08 11:38:45

This is from the point of view of having had a major bleed that turned out NOT to be a mc. I strongly suspect that I may have lost an undeveloped twin, but I will never know.

- more openness about the fact that it is possible to have quite a major bleed and not go on to MC.

- definitely training for A&E staff - i.e. telling someone they are "almost certainly losing the baby and we might do a D&C in the morning" and then disappearing without trace and leaving them alone on a trolley all night is NOT acceptable. And the patient also probably does not want to hear from the nurse about what a terrible day they've had because it's been "a bit busy".

- when you transfer the person to a ward, to "wait and see what happens" it might be nice to mention to the nurse in charge of the ward what is going on, so that she has some clue why the patient is in floods of tears and strangely unable to express herself.

- if it is essential for the patient to use the same scanning suite as all the happy pregnant ladies, at least don't leave her waiting in a corridor for half an hour so she can watch them.

I am extraordinarily thankful that things worked out OK, but still feel angry when I think about the day I spent in hospital. There was no compassion or understanding whatsoever until they eventually got round to telling my community MW, who was a complete star and held my hand while I sobbed all over her sad. It was an emotional rollercoaster that I never want to ride again. My heart goes out to those who have similar treatment - or worse - and not had the good result that I did.

Monkeytrousers Tue 22-Apr-08 12:28:49

So called 'reassurance' scans for bleeding women may well save the NHS money in the long term having averted more psychological trauma.

A lot of money is spent in the NHS on psychological services, not all of it cost effective. It's really time that just because pregnancy, MC and even childbirth is not a pathological process (well MC is, isn;t it?) that women aren't just expected to put up with the pain - unbelieveable pain both physically and psychologcallly - justr becasue it's deemed 'natural'. Dying is natural but you don't get such insensitivity in hospices do you?

kamsmum Tue 22-Apr-08 12:36:44

I haven't had time to read the whole thread so sorry if I am repeating things.

After suffering 3 miscarriages my opinion is

1. Don't advise women to go to A & E. The doctors there are too busy to care and generally unsympathetic - and they always say you need a scan, after you have sat in a waiting room full of weirdos for 3 hours.

2. Make sure that facts are checked. I was telephoned at home after my 2nd MC to be told that I was still PG, followed by a call 5 mins later to be told that I was phoned in error.

3. GP referral. There has to be some way to bypass this. My GP was off sick and no locum was in place. Receptionist simply said that no one could help. I called EPU in tears and begged them to help me. They did - reluctantly.

MC is SO traumatic. You shouldn't have to jump through hoops to get some attention.

tinierclanger Tue 22-Apr-08 13:05:02

Most already posted by others!

1) Site EPU away from ante-natal area
2) Proper, joined-up care - when I went back to GP for follow-up appointment after my miscarriage,I still had an ante-natal appointment with the midwife hanging around from when I was pregnant. The EPU told me they would cancel and didn't.
3) Reassurance scans in early pregnancy following miscarriage. I know this costs money but the risk to me and my baby this time from the sheer anxiety and distress of not knowing whether I was just going to lose it again, surely can't be good either? I paid for an early scan but what about those who can't afford it?
4) A bit more sympathetic treatment in general - yes it's very common, seems to be the attitude.
5) Access to the EPU or somewhere else to get a scan over weekends and bank holidays, rather than being left bleeding, worrying and wondering.

chunkychips Tue 22-Apr-08 13:13:28

(Some) people do find it difficult to know what to say when someone has miscarried and it's as if they feel they should be saying SOMETHING to fill the silence or whatever and this leads to all sorts of faux pas. I really didn't mind when people told me it was common and that I could try again etc I know they were being kind and trying to reassure me, they're well intentioned comments and in most cases true. The really unforgiveable thing is the complete lack of empathy you can get from professionals who should know better and think it's not life threatening, they'll get over it.

chunkychips Tue 22-Apr-08 13:17:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

artydeb Tue 22-Apr-08 13:24:46

Most of the points raised already and absolutely agree with tinierclanger - I was sent an invitation to start 'parentcraft' classes from my hv at gp surgey - nothing like a reminder of what could have been when you're back on your feet.
I went to A&E and waited for 2 hours whilst England played a football match and the staff took a great deal of interest - and I sat in blood soaked clothes - I also experienced an agonising 'internal examination' in which the dr at A&E basically removed whatever she could get to - and then left the room, leaving a kidney dish covered with a hand towel and instructions not to let the ward staff remove it. When I asked on EPAU next morn if results had come back she told me that the remains would be used for tests but not to tell ME anything. I am still distraught at the fact I unintentionally gave my baby for medical research. So, that being said - I think there should definately be a divide for miscarrying women in A&E and EPAU and dr's should undergo some training into the psycological turmoil we are in - it is a medical emergency but also a very traumatic one.

tinierclanger Tue 22-Apr-08 13:25:31

This is the problem though isn't it? Different policies all over the place. My GP and midwife were both FOR me having an early scan but the EPU refused.

Message withdrawn

Lio Tue 22-Apr-08 13:27:30

My suggestions are already here (nowhere near happily pregnant women, don't tell the woman she has to have one 'normal' period before trying again) but will happily add my name to any poll/petition etc as necessary in support of this.

tinierclanger Tue 22-Apr-08 13:34:23

Oh yeah, 'wait 3 months before trying again' - when I asked why, 'er - well you don't have to really'. Thanks for that. How useful.

Can't believe they tested for chlamydia without asking, that's appalling!

bethoo Tue 22-Apr-08 13:50:04

that when you m/c and the doctor attending says that the foetus will be sent for testing to see what went wrong to actually hear back letting you know. why say these things if they did not test it for abnormailities?

Have not read the entire thread so apologies if I repeat anything. Most of these are to do with aftercare.

Scans offered for bleeding - particularly for women with past experience of m/c

Scans after spontaneous m/c to ensure nothing left behind.

Routine check for Chlamydia (and any other poss causes which may be easily detected and treated) after m/c (or maybe at beginning of pregnancy?). This one could have saved a couple of people close to me a lot of heartache.

Departments need to communicate! I was called by a HV just before my baby had been due to arrange pre-birth visit - she had no idea I was no longer pg!

After my 3rd m/c they would not offer me tests as they had not been consecutive! Also think 3 is too many to go through before investigations.

I also found some of the MWs I saw were very unsympathetic (some were fab though). No appts from scan at 11 weeks until 26 weeks here. Due to early mid-trimester m/c one MW agreed I could pop in for heartbeat check at 14 weeks for reassurance but when I phoned to make appt another MW told me the check was pointless as baby could be fine today but dead tomorrow sad angry

husbandembarressed Tue 22-Apr-08 14:01:33

keeping a good distance from people miscarrying and those that are having an abortion. tis just wrong

gillydaffodil Tue 22-Apr-08 14:09:46

Message withdrawn

neolara Tue 22-Apr-08 14:18:13

I have had two miscarriages, one at 6 weeks and a missed miscarriage which was discovered at the dating scan. I was lucky enough to have had very good care. This is what, in my opinion, was done right.
* Very sympathetic GP who arranged scan for the next day.
* When scans clarified miscarriages had happened, I was immediately taken away to a separate ward away from all the other pregnant women.
* The doctors and sonogrophers who dealt with me were all very kind (e.g. they said they were sorry) and took their time explaining things to me in as much detail as I needed. The doctor talked about the baby "stoppped growing" at about 6 weeks and I felt that this was a particularly sensitive way of talking about what had happened.
* I was given written information about the possible options for dealing with the missed m/c (e.g. medical, ERPC, waiting) which outlined exactly how the procedure would happen and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
* I was given written information to take home with me after the medically managed miscarriage that explained what was likely to happen next in terms of bleeding and what I should look out for in case I got an infection. It also explained there was no need to wait and I was given a phone number I could ring to talk to a miscarriage counsellor.
* I was on a special ante-natal ward when I stayed the day to have the medical treatment for my missed m/c. This ward only seemed to have patients who were dealing with miscarriages or infertility issues. I did not see other babies there. They also asked that you did not bring your children to the ward. Not sure if this is common practise, but I think it was because they were sensitive towards what the patients were experiencing.
* I was seen at a recurrent miscarriage clinic after having only two miscarriages. I think this is because I also have a diagnosis of PCOS which is linked to recurrent miscarriage. I feel lucky that my hospital was flexible enough not to make me wait until I'd lost a third baby.

I'm pretty horrified by some of the stories I've heard here.

Spink Tue 22-Apr-08 15:12:39

I've not had time to read all of the thread yet, but just to add, the thing I would most like to change was the information I was given by the medic. (She was the 3rd HPC I saw withing 15 mins at the EPU (booking in nurse who asked us in some detail what happened, the woman doing the scan, and lastly the dr, who was supposedly discussing our choices with us.. would've been nice to have a consistent person but, ok, having 3 each covering a different part of the process is probably the most efficient way to run the clinic))

Anyway. We walked into the room (having just seen the scan of our still little baby. Medic gave us 2 leaflets, one about ERPC, one about natural mc, talked in a bit of a garbled way about "a third option which we don't actually offer" (which I knew from mumsnet was the medication to get the mc going). She asked us to read through and tell her what we wanted to do... gave us about 2 mins. Needless to say I just looked at the leaflets in a daze.. then she asked what our decision was. We asked for more time, she said, fine, the earliest erpc I could book in is a week and a half away anyway. And we left. I miscarried naturally later that day. The leaflet had nothing real in it about what to expect from a natural miscarriage. Medic only talked about "products of conception", didn't mention what (I called) the baby would look like when it came out, or that it might feel similar to labour (I felt contractions and an urge to push), which was really upsetting. All of the stuff that I guess feels difficult to say but is a real real part of natural mc...

NotSoNewAnymore Tue 22-Apr-08 15:56:11

I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread - so will probably repeat some of what has already been said:

Oh boy...where do I start (Have already lodged a formal complaint against my EPU)

I was misdiagnosed as having had a complete miscarriage, then was incorrectly 're-diagnosed' as having an ectopic before they eventually found a normal pregnancy in the womb...which I unfortunately miscarried naturally at home a week later.

So:
'Breaking' the news of a miscarriage should be done sensitivly and by a doctor who can answer the inevitable questions you have (I got a rushed phonecall from a nurse who said that as my HCG levels had dropped, it was definitely a miscarriage...good-bye.)

There should be immediate access to a scan, expecially over weekends.

After bad news of a miscarriage or Ectopic has been given, the woman (and her partner if applicable) should be given somewhere private to wait. After being told we had miscarried, we had to sit in a waiting room with heavily pregnant women and couples gazing lovingly at their scan pictures. I had to sit for an HOUR, trying not to sob too loudly. TWICE....with the first (incorrect) diagnosis and the second (correct)one!

The medical professionals should take it seriously...we know miscarriage is common and we know it happens to 1 in 3 or 4 people...but it isn't any less traumatic if you are that 1! The doctors didn't take a correct case history until they suspected an ectopic - so everytime I phoned or went back for a follow-up I would have to repeat the WHOLE story and all the symptoms...again...and the poor medical history on my record certainly contributed to the incorrect diagnoses.

Reassurance scans should be offered as standard for anyone who has had a previous miscarriage. My local hospital doesn't offer them (Which is fine because I would have to be dragged back in screaming & kicking)...

Some initial testing should be done after two miscarriages...my DH has a medical condition that we were concerned about having caused the miscarriage. When we asked the doctor she said that 'It is possible, but would be very unusual - the NHS doesn't offer any investigative tests until 3 miscarriages, so if it happens again we should think about having the tests privately.' So she acknowledges that it is a possibility but won't do anything about it? hmm

The EPU or GP should contact the Maternity ward to cancel your 12 weeks scan and booking in appointment. It was a very, very difficult phonecall to make...days after the miscarriage.

I could carry on, as I think I had a particularly bad experience. It would be great if some change could come about from this. There are some horrific stories on this thread...

chuggabopps Tue 22-Apr-08 16:22:09

The pain that so many of you are carrying is terrible and there are no fresh comforting words that I can offer, but for the grace of god go any of us.

It may be a small thing to suggest on this thread- however to any of you who work or have contact with companies that market to families/ mums to be I would advice that you look into the baby mailing preference service.
This is similar to the deceased mailing preference service where the registar of deaths is matched to marketing data prior to mailing campaingns out.
With the baby mailing preference service families who have suffered m/c, still birth and child bevreavment can opt out of getting junk mail of a baby vein.
Its not much but it might help someone out there even in a small way.

TheDevilWearsPenneys Tue 22-Apr-08 17:00:18

Oh gosh yes.
At 23 weeks I had a bleed and collapsed. Ambulance took me to hospital and I was admitted to the labour ward. It was a horrible night , strapped to a monitor, waiting to be scanned , hearing women in labour all around me. Thankfully I was okay.

But the lady in the next bed from me was recovering from a miscarriage (15 weeks) and a massive hemorrhage. I felt so aware she was looking at my monitor and could barely speak to her I felt so sad.

I asked the nurse and she told me they were struggling for beds so had to place people wherever they could 'so they don't end up in corridors' sad

Also a friend of mine had an nhs termination and was placed on the postnatal ward. So much for sensitivity.

YumMumFatBum Tue 22-Apr-08 17:29:56

Definitely more information on what to expect when you have a medically assisted miscarriage.
Whats going to happen to you etc, sorry if tmi, but things like sitting on the toilet trying to push your baby out, but you can't so you have to pull it out.

Also more information should be made available about things like molar pregnancies, I found out about them off the internet as the doctors explained very little.

The opportunity to be able to speak to somebody about it too.
Thanks to mumsnet I avoided a meltdown, family/dp weren't too helpful.

nellieloula Tue 22-Apr-08 17:56:12

I'm sorry, I haven't had time (or the emotional strength to be honest)to read all of this but would like to whole heartedly support any campaign of this kind.i had a suspected ectopic last year and the treatment I received was breathtakingly bad. Insensitive doesn't even begin. I would absolutely echo being able to sit away from happy pregnant people; equally when you're given bad news it would be good to have somewhere other than a room full of anxious couples waiting for their scans to have to go back to in tears.

Also, being asked whether the pregnancy was planned given I had a 22 mth old and had I thought that was sensible? hmm

I think sadly medics consider it an everyday scenario and many certainly don't consider it as a death. And that, I found, makes it all the harder to grieve.

Feeling sad now so will stop - to be honest, for me, the treatment was as bad and more painful than what happened to our LO. Certainly just as scarring.

Good luck with it all. It is so important.

mummyhill Tue 22-Apr-08 18:19:48

Do not insist on trying to place a canular into a distressed woman who is needle phobic unless it is absolutely necessary. I had what I assume was a house doctor insisting on doing this to me, she kept on saying that her registrar said it was necessary in case something went wrong. She also told my best mate to be more supportive as my mate was telling her that she didn't think it was necessary and to leave it rather than cause me more distress (my mate was there the previous time when it had taken 4 attempt before sending me down to surgery without).

She then went on to tell me that she was going to arrange a scan that evening, only to come back a couple of hours later when best mate had gone home and hubby was there with me to tell me that they would keep me in over night and do the scan in the morning. 2 hours after that she discharged me. Two hours later my sister took me back into A&E.

Bainmarie Tue 22-Apr-08 18:25:55

Haven't read whole thread, but would strongly support a campaign such as this.

Would like to add (although I am sure this has already been mentioned) the importance of breaking such sad news in a sensitive manner and if new staff are being trained in EPU, for it to have been decided before who will break the news and how, instead of in my case 'do you want me to tell them'.

MrsWednesday Tue 22-Apr-08 19:49:50

What a great idea, it's just a shame that the need for such a campaign even exists.

I've had 4 mcs and would agree with everyone's points here. Some of them could be so easily addressed - it would cost pennies to have a sticker on hospital notes explaining that the patient has had a mc so that you are then treated with sensitivity and not asked repeatedly to explain your circumstances. It's hard enough to have to go through without having to broadcast the fact every time you meet someone new in the hospital.

sphil Tue 22-Apr-08 19:51:48

Oh god the canula thing - I'd forgotten that. I had an obviously very junior doctor trying to place one into my hand and making a right mess of it (I know they have to practise but not on someone who is about to give birth to a dead baby, surely?). I remember DH and I looking down at her shoes at one point - they were covered in blood! Black comedy.

scaryt Tue 22-Apr-08 20:12:09

Loads of great ideas here. To be honest a lot was done right for me.

- immediately taken to a separate room away from the antenatal unit once they realised the baby had stopped growing

- sensitive discussion about what to do next and the choice to wait for the miscarriage to start spontaneously

- kind, respectful staff

- the chance to go home to miscarry once I had taken the tablet to get things going (sorry, no idea what it was

UNACCEPTABLE though was the consultant answering his mobile whilst in the middle of a vaginal ultrasound.angry And me being the idiot I am did not tell him to get off the phone. In some ways it's almost laughable.

I was utterly shocked by the treatment at my local NHS hospital when I m/c (although at the time they were also worried about an ectopic).

- waited 3 hours alone until 11pm at night in A&E before I was seen by the doctor.
- the only way to get a scan to check if it was an ectopic or 'just' a regular miscarriage was to be admitted to the ward.
- I was therefore admitted overnight at midnight and stayed overnight taking up a valuable bed space (and I know they were short of beds) for no other reason than because that was the only way to get a scan at the EPU without waiting 3 days.

I was told this was the reason by 3 different staff members - 2 doctors and 1 scanner operative.

The scanner operative was very open about the shortcomings of the system and was very annoyed that there was a lack of joined up thinking which was leading to this ridiculous situation. I asked (can you tell I'm a journo from the interrogation I was giving him!) how many women a month were being admitted for this reason alone and he said it was 'not insignificant'.

As a result:
1. women who are in a sensitive and distressing situation are having to stay on the ward when they would rather be at home.
2. Beds are being taken up overnight on a ward.

Just so someone can get a scan the same or next day!

So erm to get to the point of what I'd like to see.....quicker access to scans when they are really needed and as others have said, not being dumped with a load of smiling pregnant women in the EPU.

Hope you don't mind me adding my opinion despite not miscarrying. So sorry to you all.

When women go into A&E with suspected mc are they treated as priority? I.e. as a life/death situation similar to if someone had been rushed in on an ambulance?

If I'd found blood and miscarried I would have wanted/needed:

1) To know what was going on as fast as possible and to be treated as urgent. I might be physically ok but my potential duaghter/son is at extreme risk (even if only a 9 week old feotus)

2) Privacy and certainly not anywhere near new babies

3)For the staff to treat me as I would feel - i.e. that my baby, one of my closest family members had died.

4) To see everything I wanted to and to bury/cremete any remains

Iloveetc. I wonder though whether we should really be treated as if it is a life/ death situation in A&E given that as far as I am aware it is practically impossible to save a baby that is going to miscarry (I am talking here about babies pre-viability).

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 22-Apr-08 20:57:24

Important to me -
- the option to do something with the remains that isn't incineration.
- contact the bloody scanning depts to inform them when someone is no longer pregnant and so doesn't need reminder letters about her 20 week scan.
- prioritise women needing ERPCs over other surgery for that day. It's not ok to expect us to wait hours until a bed becomes available.
- teach hospital porters to shut the fuck up when they have no idea what is wrong with you. I had a cheerful berk telling me 'don't worry it won't be that bad' when I was sobbing on the gurney, presuming, I suppose, that I was scared of the surgery. He then later said 'see wasn't that bad was it'? when he saw me afterwards. Um, yes it was, now fuck off.
- something as someone suggested to get women taken off mailing lists for baby bumf.

Other than that the royal sussex in Brighton was pretty good, as was my GP. I got a scan appt the day after my bleed and ERPC the same day. EPU separate from ANU and the staff were lovely (well most, one young doctor who had to take blood and get me to sign consent form was clearly incredibly uncomfortable by me sobbing. He said something like 'it's very common' or something stupid like that.

I also got a referral to an obstetrician for this preg as I had 2 mcs before. He didn't do a lot but I got a scan at 9 weeks which was essentially a reassurance scan.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Apr-08 20:59:31

i have M/C'd but ilove, sorry, but unless the baby is at the stage of viability it's neigh on impossible to save them.

the mother should be a priority if she is bleeding heavily, as ANY patient who is haemorraging should be.

Habbibu Tue 22-Apr-08 21:10:15

I wanted to add another positive thing - it seems so odd, but despite having lost 2 babies, I have very positive and happy feelings about the hospital, and think that so much can be learnt from them:

When we were called for dd's PM results, we were sent to the gynae clinic. Cons was at the desk, and immediately asked us how we were, and if it was hard to be back. He then spent over 1 1/2 hours with us, firstly going over PM results, then just gently chatting about how we were, the future, our worries, making sure DH was all right as I was doing all the talking. He apologised for having to answer an urgent page and was fab. All simple, uncomplicated human things which really helped us heal and feel stronger.

frecklyspeckly Tue 22-Apr-08 21:15:44

When I had my first mc I was wheeled up to a ward before they knew I had lost it - waiting for a scan, naturally very upset.. ward sister tuts when she sees me, announces, ' this is the thirteenth patient we have been sent this night!!' then talks over my head with doctor and various nurses bitching about colleagues, time off and ignoring me crying. That was 7 years ago but I still shudder to remember it now!!

Also wish some well meaning ancillary (?) sorry for spelling!! - member of staff would not have said 'Well it was worse for me when i had one .. I think it is worse when you already know what it is actually like to be a mum , and you dont.' shock

I only work one day in a bloody chemist and I am sure I have a better manner with all my customers than these supposedly trained healthcare professionals!! We would get sacked if we spoke to people in such a way.

I hope our collective comments can help make things better in the future.

Jackstini Tue 22-Apr-08 22:08:38

Shoshe - yes, my friend with Lupus now has a bouncing ds grin She had to self inject every day to keep the pregnancy and would have happily done this before if only she had had the test and known sad
Why it can't be tested for at first pg bloods I don't know...?
Also I agree with Chugga on the mailing thing. Some way of letting the 'Emma's diary' people know about women who are no longer pg. I remember receiving a leaflet recommending protecting my most precious baby by stem cell harvesting - 4 months after I mc sad

bev27 Tue 22-Apr-08 22:22:58

Although my treatment when I miscarried wasn't awful....it could have been better.

I had a missed miscarriage which we found out at our dating scan (12 weeks). I was scanned, they couldn't find anything so sent me to the loo so I could have an internal scan. Whilst out of the room my hubby asked what they thought was happening and the radiographer said "well she's obviousley lost it" (luckly he kept this to him self and she broke it a bit better to me)

We then had to wait in the waiting room (in floods of tears) whilst a nurse reasurringly told us "its not the end of the world"

The rest of the treatment was fine, I was placed in a private room in the ward whilst having the medication and everybody was very sensitive.

All in all I do think standadised guidlines are needed, and just some bloody common sense from the staff....yeah they've seen it loads of times but to most of us this is our baby that has died.

(On a happy note we now have a little boy and he's wonderful)

1dilemma Tue 22-Apr-08 22:48:39

This si difficult there are so many conflicting views eg some want one thing some the exact opposite, some have given good reasons why something is not a good idea but they are ignored because it doesn't suit (eg open access then being used to get early scans by some hence still no scans for those that need them) some have said do this it costs nothingwithout any rhyme nor reason why they think it costs nothing (and are obviously very susceptible to being proved wrong). Also second/third trimester mc probably have very different 'needs' medically from first.
Without wanting to belittle any of the terrible experiences on here personally I'm more in favour of the one woman one midwife campaign and wonder why mn don't throw their weight behind that (would probably save more lives providing mw were up to scratch.)

scotlass Tue 22-Apr-08 22:56:25

I've had two mc. First was natural and I didn't seek medical attention as was in the U.S.A on holiday. Phoned the GP on return and when she eventually phoned me back was absolutely appalled by her blunt unsympathetic manner. "You do know you've lost it don't you" Yes thank you angry. I'd booked an appt already and she said no you don't need to keep it there'll be no follow up. I shudder every time I think of that phone call. 2nd time it was a mmc at 11+wks. I had a fresh blood bleed at work and when eventually the GP (nicer one this time!) got in touch I couldn't get a scan until 2 days later. He hadn't told me about the EPU service despite me telling him about how hyper anxious I was at a previous appointment and had said he'd request an earlier scan in referral letter - my booking scan at 14+wks was on through my door the day I bled sad. To be honest the EPU were fabulous once I got there, the staff were all lovely and really sensitive. Coming out of the hospital seeing all the heavily pregnant women puffing away on cigarettes was hard though. I really didn't want to see pg people at all.

My main bug bear was the treatment at day surgery for the ERPC. It was awful and as a nurse it made me so sad that fellow professionals could be so dismissive of someones obvious distress. Stuck in with a gynae list (last on list), sat there for 6hrs crying with no privacy/no DH for company, a nurse saying patronisingly "aw, are you still upset?" shock, them pulling the curtains back constantly so they could watch me - WTF!!! and a Dr who looked about 18 blithly talking about products and perforating uterus' At least the anaethetist cheered me up when he asked if I had any other children and I said yes an 8 yr old he said in a shocked voice "have you been trying for 8yrs???" It's funny what makes you giggle in the circumstances I think the 6hr wait had made me slightly hysterical!

So I agree with previous posts, mc being recognised as a traumatic event, bereavement and generally lonely awful experience would cost bugger all.

mears Tue 22-Apr-08 23:11:48

When I started training as a nurse in 1979, women who had were 12 weeks gestation or less were seen in a gyn ward if there were signs of miscarriage.

Women found this really unacceptable as there was no recognition that this was pregnancy.

Women are now seen in EPU which is situated in a maternity unit.

It is very hard to meet every women's needs but what is the consemsus.

Gyn ward or EPU?

expatinscotland Tue 22-Apr-08 23:22:25

GYN ward.

mymblemummy Tue 22-Apr-08 23:35:18

I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks, 11 years ago. It was all so horrible it is a bit of a blur.

But I do remember waiting hours for a scan among lots of happy, healthy pregnant women.

And an absolute bitch of a sonographer who said in a bored tone: "There's nothing there. Sometimes babies don't develop."

Then, being left to cry surrounded by pregnant women.

They were going to send me home because "everything would come away naturally", but a lovely, lovely consultant said it was cruel to leave people to bleed for up to a month and insisted on a D and C the same day.

I thought I had just been unlucky in my hospital, but reading this thread has made me realise it is far too common.

It is not much to ask to be treated with a degree of sensitivity.

rubytwokids Wed 23-Apr-08 00:23:07

I'd like to add my support to this. All been said already, but from personal experience:
- EPUs away from antenatal ward
- staff given training in basic counselling skills ('So, all happy are we?' and 'Cave women had these all the time and just got on with it,' stick in my mind as two examples of the 'how not to' approach
- scanning equipment to be available at weekends and bank hols. (I can't be the only woman to m/c exclusively at these times, surely!)
- a more flexible application of the 'three strikes and you're tested rule'. My family history & personal medical history indicated a blood-clotting problem but was told by GP, 'That's interesting; come back and tell me again if you have a third.' I did have a third and - guess what? - I have a blood clotting problem! I can't tell you what it felt like to try to get pregnant, simply to notch up that all-important third miscarriage. Didn't help with the grieving either.

TinkerbellesMum Wed 23-Apr-08 01:21:24

I haven't read the other replies.

I have an autoimmune disease, it affects 1 in 500 people but counts for 1 in 10 miscarriages and pregnancy losses. To test for it is really easy and could save more miscarriages until the obligatory 3. I'm "fortunate" that having my daughter born alive at 20 weeks they didn't wait for another baby to be lost (which would have been Tink) because they knew something was wrong with me.

Doctors and midwives need better training in how to deal with bereaved parents. I had my daughter constantly refered to as a miscarriage when I have a birth and death certificate for her. They changed my para to show she was a miscarriage. I had a doctor say "oh but you were only 20 weeks" when her boss was trying to take history when I was in labour with Tink. Portable U/S scanners in triage.

Some positives from my local hospital. Bereavement suite, away from the main maternity wards for mothers who have lost their baby. They allowed me to have as many people as came in the room, must have done half a loaf of toast a time for everyone, plus 3 or 4 teapots. They allowed me to have a second bed in the room for someone else to stay in. They let me stay as long as I felt I needed to. They had MWs dedicated to those rooms and they would just sit on your bed and chat if it's what you wanted. Positive about the registry office - seperate waiting room for people registering the birth or death of a lost baby.

NotSoNewAnymore, some hospitals do cancel your appointments for you. I was supposed to have my 20 week scan the day after Lily-Hope was born!

TinkerbellesMum Wed 23-Apr-08 01:24:00

The words "Product of Conception" should NEVER EVER EVER be used to parents, even if it isn't just refering to the baby. It's highly offensive, upsetting, disrespectful, insensitive...

mummyhill Wed 23-Apr-08 07:21:50

Mrs Wednesday has a valid point it is horrid having to repeat yourself over and over again as to what is happening. It starts with receptionist at A&E, triage nurse, doctor in A&E, nurse admitting you to ward, doctor on ward and any number of other health care professionals as they change shifts.

Also take note of any red wrist bands do not keep offering me paracetamol assuming I am in pain when the band on my wrist clearly states I have an allergy.

Tell me what is happening don't leave me sitting round for hours before you tell me you are admitting me and keeping me in overnight. I need to be able to make any necessary arrangements for clothing etc.

splodgesmum Wed 23-Apr-08 08:29:08

Apologies if I repeat anything here that others have already said, but these would be my thoughts after suffering 2 missed m/cs and having 2 D&Cs:

1. I hate the term ERPC, which is why I use D&C, please can it be changed to something less callous and unfeeling.

2. Pregnant women should be kept separate from women m/c or having any gynae exam, as many of those in for gynae tests could be upset by the site of happy bumps as their tests could be to do with problems conceiving.

3. The consent form I had to sign for both of my D&Cs was a standard form for all ops and had the questions, "Is there any chance you could be pg" sad. This was devastating and upsetting. In this day and age of word processing it would not be hard to reword the form for those women in for D&Cs so the word 'pg' is not mentioned.

4. Training for GPs - when I approached my then GP for support with this pg (my 3rd) because I was so traumatised by my m/cs she told me there was nothing they could do to prevent me losing this one too and I should go away and prepare for the worst, that way if the baby survived it would be a blessing. The pain and distress she caused me is incalculable.

Good luck with the campaign.

Jackstini Wed 23-Apr-08 09:15:18

Mears - EPU - if it is situated away from maternity (like it is at Nottingham)

sonta Wed 23-Apr-08 11:05:29

Haven't read all the posts so may be repeating points,sorry if so. I lost twins in January, The EPU were great as was my GP.

The day before I was due for a D&C I started to bleed very heavily and was admitted to A&E. I was sent for a scan to see whether D&C was still necessary. By this stage I had been in hospital over night and had to be wheeled down to the scan dept in a wheelchair with a saline drip attached (no fluids in case i needed surgery). The scan dept left me in the wheelchair, in the corridor, for half an hour. During this time I had to listen to the results of other people's successful scans being discussed on the corridor. I can't believe that it is necessary to either leave a tired, weak, miscarrying woman on a corridor or to discuss what are surely confidential results in such a public place angry

When i went back for a second scan two weeks later the sonographer told me i could 'get on with my life now'shock

Surely there must be some sort of code of practise for sonograpy depts?

dhw Wed 23-Apr-08 11:31:41

My two stillbirths were delivered in a 'normal' delivery room, on the antenatal ward, so i was surrounded by women giving birth to live babies. Nightmare. A room on another ward would have been more dignified.

fruitbowl Wed 23-Apr-08 11:39:54

Great that you're doign this lobbying - hope some positive action comes out of it. Well done.

I've had one M/C and agree with much of what has been said. In particular:

1. Training for professionals on not only being sensitive but also giving clear information. In my case, because the nurse focussed so much on telling me about all the follow up tests, I didn;t understand that I'd definitely lost the baby, gave me false hope over a number of days.
2. Being able to self-refer to EPAU's and access to them at evenings and weekends.
3. Excellent idea to have info leaflet with information on exactly what to expect when miscarrying at different stages, what your rights are to medical treatment and supportive advice by mums for mums.

Good luck! x

Just want to register my support for thsi action.

I was given (mostly) excellent treatment by St John's in Livingston but was quite traumatised by the scan/ward/etc as detailed above.

The training for ward staff would be crucial, as I did have one or two midwives who were obviously more interested in the 'baby care' (bunny badges, etc) and were quite brusque.

Husband was farm more upset though by set-up and also the allocation of a pregnant MW to break the news/advise. I know that it seems petty, but it was difficult to watch her subconsciously rub her bump whilst she explained the options for dealing with my lost baby (missed mc).

Sonographer was excellent.

meglet England Wed 23-Apr-08 12:16:31

Just repeating what others have said really. I MC at 6 weeks last year.

EPU to be situated away from maternity unit. To be open 7 days a week.

Early reassurance scan for following pregnancy. I paid for a private one at 9 weeks this time as I was having a panic and wanted to know baby was doing ok.

Upwind Wed 23-Apr-08 12:44:05

Just adding my support really.

And from personal experience GPs should have enough training to understand that telling women who have had a chemical pregnancy
"don't worry it wasn't really a miscarriage, you were just not really pregnant after all"

is not as reassuring as they seem to think. Especially when they are aware the patient has been ttcing for a long time. I was not upset by the idea of an m/c, but because I had believed I was pregnant and finally had a chance to have a much longed for baby, and then that hope was lost. It was also the worst physical pain I had ever experienced in my life and I felt that was not taken seriously.

ColumbosWife Wed 23-Apr-08 13:30:17

Would like to add my support.

Very much agree with those who have said that ERPC is an awful phrase.

Also wanted to reiterate the point several people have made about keeping women having m/c separate from those having abortions. My d & c took place in a long queue of women, most of whom, I now realise, were having abortions. A student nurse came in before the operation and asked if I would mind her observing the procedure; I agreed. When I was recovering in the ward, she came to ask me why it was I had decided to terminate the pg angry shock
I found this very upsetting.
It really horrified me to think that no one in the operating room had mentioned to this nurse that it was a m/c of a much-wanted baby rather than a termination of an unwanted one. Obviously, to doctors it may be the same routine procedure. But to the patient undergoing it, it is completely different.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Wed 23-Apr-08 13:43:45

I've had three miscarriages, one at 13 weeks, a missed miscarriage picked up on a scan at 12 weeks and an early one.
First miscarriage was diagnosed after an ambulance to A&E at 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning with cramping and heavy bleeding.
Junior doctors on A&E were lovely but I was in hospital for TWO DAYS waiting for a scan to confirm I had miscarried (presumably occupying a bed on the gynae ward that could have been used by someone who actually needed it).
Eventually I was wheeled to the ultrasound clinic and dumped there, where I sat sobbing and clutching my notes among all the happy pregnant ladies. One couple got up and moved away, another woman started shouting at me about God.
After about three hours one of the receptionists asked me grumpily what I was there for and did I have an appointment
because the clinic was closing.
After the scan I was sent for an EPRC and then home. I was told follow-up notes would be sent my GP but she never got them.
Back in the same hospital a year later, and after repeating my case history to about 25 people (what is the point of medical notes if no-one reads them?) I was scheduled for another EPRC (cruel term) for my missed abortion (even worse).
They got the day wrong, so I turned up and had to go home again, all the time worried that I would miscarry spontaneously and have to endure the bleeding and cramping again.
Nine months after that, and having being discharged from the recurrent miscarriage unit and EPU, I went for my 34-week
appointment with DD1, at which the (junior) obstetrician asked if it was my first pregnancy.
No, I said, I've had three miscarriages, it's in my notes. Yes, he said cheerily, but this is your first PROPER pregnancy
isn't it? I doubt he'll be quite so insensitive again, after the mouthful I gave him angry

SchnitzelVonKrumm Wed 23-Apr-08 13:46:34

after the first one I also got a call from the antenatal department berating me for not attending my 20 week scan

Jackstini Wed 23-Apr-08 13:54:59

Colombos sad for you, hopefully that is one student nurse who learnt about compassion that day and is a better nurse now because of you.

TinkerbellesMum Wed 23-Apr-08 14:23:37

Threatened abortion!

I went to the gp after my m/c and that was on the screen from my last appointmemt - I'd gone straight to the GP when I saw blood.

angry

wishingchair Wed 23-Apr-08 15:23:10

I just wanted to add my experience as I found the treatment I got at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford to be fantastic and helped make an horrific experience almost bearable:

I found out my baby had died when I was 19 weeks pg. The baby had died 3-4 weeks earlier. The midwife who saw me at my local surgery that evening was amazing and got me an appointment at the hospital the next day.

When I got to the hospital's ante-natal department, I was met by a trained specialist midwife and got taken to a private room with comfy sofa, tissues, cups of tea. This meant that although I was still in the ante-natal area, I didn't see any pregnant ladies.

Everything was explained to me in detail, she was able to answer all my questions even all the ones I didn't want to ask but had to like what will my baby look like. She was just lovely.

The hospital chaplain (who was an ex-midwife) came to see us - we were obviously asked if we'd like this - and again, she was extremely comforting.

I was given a tablet to induce labour and was sent home ... I'd already started cramping. That evening the contractions got stronger and I started bleeding. We phoned the delivery suite and they were fully briefed and were expecting us so, most importantly, I didn't have to explain everything again.

Again I was met at the door and taken straight into a special room dedicated for this (the "Alice" room). This room had 2 sets of doors so no one would accidentally come in and signs all over it that no one should enter without prior authorisation. The room was pleasant, own tea/coffee etc. Basically there was no need to leave the room.

There was a dedicated midwife, I was offered whatever pain relief I wanted (in the end I was given temazepan ... took the edge off without being an actual "labour" drug), the baby was taken away and then brought back and we were left alone. If we'd wanted to take photos, we were given stickers to put on the film which if we took into our local Boots, they would recognise and treat accordingly. In the room there were remembrance books to write in. Some people had come back and written an update when they had gone on to have a baby - that was particularly nice.

The next day, the Chaplain came again and blessed the little one. The funeral was co-ordinated by the hospital ... the Chaplain conducted the little ceremony at our local crematorium.

My original midwife came to visit me at home. I also had a follow up call from the bereavement people from the hospital.

We had a late miscarriage but not a stillbirth and at no point were we made to feel like we were making too much of a fuss. Every little detail had been thought of. That said:

There was only one "Alice" room - I don't know what would've happened if there had been more than one of us that night. And I am pretty sure that if I'd been less than 14 weeks pg, I'd have been in the gynae ward which would've been a totally different experience altogether.

Sorry this was so long. I think it's a great campaign. At no point should miscarrying women be on teh same ward with people having abortions (I too am pro-choice) or labouring women.

wishingchair Wed 23-Apr-08 15:30:17

And can i also quickly (I promise) add that I had after this miscarriage, I was given lots of blood tests to try to find the reason (I think because it was a late m/c). And in my next pregnancy, I was given an early scan and then scanned every 4 weeks until at around 31 weeks I finally accepted everything was ok. My midwife also always said that if ever I felt jittery, just to call and I'd be able to see her so she could listen to the heartbeat.

I think what was great was that they never made me feel like I was being silly/neurotic.

NickiSue Wed 23-Apr-08 19:10:17

Theres not much I can add other than to say I'm sorry for everyone's loss/es and the experiences theyve had. Its not often anyone can read such a touching yet tragic thread.
I m/c after ttc for 3.5yrs and being told there was a chance I wouldnt ever conceive (pcos). As anyone would be, I was devestated.
Missed M/c was confirmed on a Thursday morning and I went in on Monday after being given the usual tablets etc to start me bleeding over the weekend. Never have I had such a long weekend. I too was in a room off a ward filled with healthy baby cries, congrats balloons etc. It was so surreal. DH stayed with me all day (took 7 hours) and I was seen 3 times. First to be given pessarys, Second when I called to ask for pain-killers and third when I buzzed to say I though it was all over and could they check please.
I was sent to scan to make sure there no "remnants" which meant me walking through gynae waiting room full of women waiting for scans and having to wait there for 15mins. One woman smiled and asked if it was my first scan and was I hoping for a boy or girl. I just smiled stupidly at her and luckily I was then called through. I would have hated to say anything to her, the poor woman didnt know.
All the "left-overs" hadnt "gone" so I had to back to the room and waiting for more, then we were told we could leave an hour later.
Absolutely horrifying. I had no follow-up either.

Im pleased to say I now have a beautiful 21m old son and had a pretty uneventful pregnancy this time.

I really hope reading these experiences helps the powers that be to make the changes necessary.

NickiSue Wed 23-Apr-08 19:10:19

Theres not much I can add other than to say I'm sorry for everyone's loss/es and the experiences theyve had. Its not often anyone can read such a touching yet tragic thread.
I m/c after ttc for 3.5yrs and being told there was a chance I wouldnt ever conceive (pcos). As anyone would be, I was devestated.
Missed M/c was confirmed on a Thursday morning and I went in on Monday after being given the usual tablets etc to start me bleeding over the weekend. Never have I had such a long weekend. I too was in a room off a ward filled with healthy baby cries, congrats balloons etc. It was so surreal. DH stayed with me all day (took 7 hours) and I was seen 3 times. First to be given pessarys, Second when I called to ask for pain-killers and third when I buzzed to say I though it was all over and could they check please.
I was sent to scan to make sure there no "remnants" which meant me walking through gynae waiting room full of women waiting for scans and having to wait there for 15mins. One woman smiled and asked if it was my first scan and was I hoping for a boy or girl. I just smiled stupidly at her and luckily I was then called through. I would have hated to say anything to her, the poor woman didnt know.
All the "left-overs" hadnt "gone" so I had to back to the room and waiting for more, then we were told we could leave an hour later.
Absolutely horrifying. I had no follow-up either.

Im pleased to say I now have a beautiful 21m old son and had a pretty uneventful pregnancy this time.

I really hope reading these experiences helps the powers that be to make the changes necessary.

fransmom Wed 23-Apr-08 19:10:59

when i had my mc in 94, i was pg after map, and although i had very mixed feelings, i wanted the baby but docs had advised termination. i started bleding the thirsday before i was due to go in and when i mc on the following tues, i was put in a day ward (along with another girl in same situation) full of women who were there "voluntarily" and were happily discussing their already completed families.

the only person who was nice to me there, was the nurse who held my hadn whne the none too gentle doc did internal exam and told me it was a partial mc and the receptionist. i had bad reaction to the anaesthetic, i didn't know if i was awake or dreaming it was very surreal coming homwe afterwards. i wasn't offered any counselling or anything like that adn for months afterwards i was visiting the ward in my dreams dressed in hospital gown, with drip attached looking for my babysad

direct access to mc section of epu, no smiley pics of babies or pg ladies, counselling afterwards and someone to hold your hand whne examd

VoodooCoconut Wed 23-Apr-08 19:44:27

Ive had 2 m/c too, the first one was when I started bleeding at about 10 weeks. I made an emergency doctors appointment but the whole scenario left the doctor totally puzzled, so he sent me upstairs in the practice to see the midwife who smiled and assumed Id come for a normal pg checkup...she was mortified when I explained I was bleeding and said she had no idea what to do but to go to casualty if bleeding got worse...my husband and I were very confused at being sent from pillar to post, we needed someone to gently explain actually nothing could be done to prevent it, and to phone the gynae ward for advice..
Then I m/c at home on the loo...
Next came half an hour of me sobbing in A&E before some marvellous nurses/docs checked my blood sugar (still unsure why they did this) and took urine samples before sending me over to gynae where I should have been sent in the first place, where a consultant asked me to describe what came out (noone told me to keep a sample and I wouldve found that too gruesome anyway)
I didnt get a scan as they were happy it had all come out, and went home.
Realised no-one knows what to do when you are m/carrying so some clear advice wouldve helped enormously and saved us a lot of worry

the second one was detected at 12 week scan. we were dealt with incredibly professionally, taken to a grieving room and offered the tablets/d&c, I had to have a d&c as I was still bfeeding my first dd and the tablets were unsuitable so I was done a few days later. Far better experience, was handled correctly and we had opportunity to ask all the questions we needed.

VoodooCoconut Wed 23-Apr-08 20:06:49

I got pg a few months later, but suffered hyperemesis,,,ended up on gynae ward after referring myself (I bypass my gp now and deal directly with the hospital regarding pg issues) I was fine and treated well, but I was opposite a young lady who was recovering from an ectopic and we both found it distressing - we were there for 4 days facing each other, me doing my best to be sympathetic to her but desperately worried I would m/c for a 3rd time, her desperately sad but happy for me. Better to keep the ectopics/m/c sufferers away from the pg people on different wards really. Reiterating what others have said here.

I had an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed at the EPU at St George's Tooting. You can self-refer there and when I found out I was pregnant again, they scanned me at 4 weeks and 6 weeks to confirm there was a heartbeat.

I totally agree that these policies should be common across the country.

tiredandgrumpy Wed 23-Apr-08 21:40:04

I had a m/c in my first pregnancy - was deemed a missed m/c and I had to go through my gp to get referral to EPU. No real criticism of the treatment I received from NHS, although the points re ability to go straight to EPU without referral, speedy ERPC where necessary would certainly have my backing.

I just wish everyone involved had some idea of the need for sensitivity. Since I was unable to have my ERPC immediately on the NHS, I was lucky enough to have private medical cover. The guy (!) I spoke to at my health insurer was ignorant as ** and asked questions like "Have you suffered from this condition previously?". Innocuous maybe, but given I was speaking to him within an hour of finding out about my m/c, it was far from the understanding tone I would have hoped for. There's a lot of ground to be made up in terms of making everyone aware of the effects of m/c.

Jackstini Wed 23-Apr-08 21:49:21

Voodoo - I was still bfing dd but was offered the tablets for medical management - no-one even asked me. shock Good job I didn't take them hey...
This is such an important and desperately needed campaign and I think it has helped a lot of people just to be able to offload their experiences on this thread.

MirandaG Wed 23-Apr-08 22:32:43

I had three miscarriages between DD1 and DD2. The second was the most upsetting for several reasons, but mostly I think because I saw the tiny bean-shaped embryo on screen, which made it very real. Women should probably be advised not to look if there is a chance that they are going to miscarry. Also the due date was 14 Feb, so it will stick in my mind forever. People who have not experienced miscarriage (and even those who have) can be incredibly callous. There is a whole 'get over it and try again' attitude. 'In the old days people just got on with things'. Yes, of course far worse things can happen, but people should be allowed some time to grieve - it is a loss even if it was only eight weeks old... I felt like I used to see a little ghost beside DD1 in the bath.
It would also be helpful to be told what to expect physically, because I was surprised at how much tissue came out even though it was 'only eight weeks' and also how much pain to expect.
I am going to name and shame - Ealing Hospital A&E treated me appallingly after my first - basically told me (in A&E with lots of people around) that home pregnancy kits were notoriously unreliable and that I was just having a late period, which I wasn't - I'd been pregnant before - I know what it feels like. For all she knew I could have been trying to conceive for years and been completely devasted. Luckily my very lovely GP reassured me that in fact the home tests are really accurate. For the second and third I went to the Hammersmith/QCCH and the staff were really lovely. With the third I even saw the same doctor at the EPU on the Monday morning as I had seen in A&E on the Saturday; to have that continuity of care was great. Not to be ageist, but I found the younger staff (much younger than me!) much more sympathetic so perhaps teaching about miscarriage has improved over time.
I do understand that the NHS has limited funds, but I feel that women who have miscarried several times should be treated sensitively when the finally do hang on to a pregnancy. At my booking appt for my pregnancy (now DD2 smile) after the thrid miscarriage the first thing the midwife said to me was 'you won't be getting one to one care' followed by 'three miscarriages, I wonder why that happened?' My thoughts: 'Yes, sweetheart, so do I...' At my nuchal scan the doctor asked me if this was my first pregnancy and had the grace to look mortified when I said 'No, fifth'. Read the feckin notes!!!!
This is a great campaign.

mummyhill Thu 24-Apr-08 07:13:02

I was placed opposite a girl with hyperemisis this time round and ended up sitting talking to her and reassuring her that she was going to be ok. It felt kind of surreal especially as she had been holding my hand in the night asking if I was ok.

fizzledizzle Thu 24-Apr-08 08:54:32

i was treated quite badly with my ist m/c at 12 weeks. i went to the doctor when i started bleeding and was told what will be will be and was given the number of the foetal health unit at our local hospital. i rang them when bleeding increased and was told just to take some pain killers and wait it out. she said there was no need to ring back unless i was still bleeding in 7 days time! i was given no info on what to expect or anything and absolutely no follow up. 2nd m/c 1yr later was totally differant, i was scanned as soon as bleeding started and i really coulnt fault the treatment i received that time. my suggestion would be more support and info for those going through m/c and definately some sort of follow up

Tired and Grumpy - I had problems with my health insurer too - was shocking that they made it so difficult for me when I had enough to worry about without that.

glimmer Thu 24-Apr-08 09:58:28

I had a horrible time after mc my first pregnancy (mmc at 12 weeks). I had an ERPC, which was unsuccessful (the "products" remained ). After months of pain and amenorrhoea, and many visits to the GP, I finally financed a private scan which showed the problem. Then I had another ERPC. Again, after months of pain and amenorrhoea, plenty of trips to the GP, I financed another private scan, that showed that my cervix had grown shut from the scar tissue of the second ERPC (cervical stenosis) and my menstruation blood was being pressed in the abdominal cavity, making another surgery necessary. When I called A&E during the severe pain periods, they said to take paracetamol and come in if is doesn't go away in the next days. In the course of this I was diagnosed with a number of possible scenarios: second pregnancy, ectopic, Ashermann's but no further diagnoses were undertaken (including the ectopic!!). All I would have needed ware post-ERPC scans to make sure the womb was emty.

I came away with post-traumatic stress syndrome, since the doctors didn't believe me and prescribed antidepressants instead of checking out my symptoms. I am happy to give out name, dates and the hospital. I have started the NHS complaint process, but the consultant who denied me further diagnosis (I had asked for a scan), was in charge of answering my complaint letter. You can imagine that this wasn't helpful, since he was mainly concerned with covering up what had happened.

Anyway, I think there should be routine scans after ERPCs and there should be a bereavement nurse checking on you a least once after miscarrying.

We live in Germany, and I have to say that the health care here is generally very good.

If a m/c is suspected the woman is scanned on the same day, generally at her gynae or at the EPU in hospital. Making a woman wait over a weekend or holiday period is torture.

When I had my first m/c a D&C was arranged the same afternoon, the second time it was a day later.

Here most women are offered D&Cs, it is the accepted practice here.

I think that women should have the choice, if they want to have a D&C then they should get one. For me, the thought of waiting for days or weeks to miscarry naturally is horrible. I wanted the medical side of it over as soon as possible.

I would also welcome some kind of support and counselling for both parents. The fathers have lost a baby too.

Well done MN for taking up this campaign, it is something that saddly affects many lives and it is great that something is being done.

tinierclanger Thu 24-Apr-08 10:46:25

Agree also that there should be more explicit explanation of what to expect physically.

I wasn't really told.. they just said, come into A&E if the pain or the bleeding gets to be more than you can cope with. Being in a state at the time anyway, I didn't really register what this actually meant, went away for the weekend as previously planned to try and take our mind off things, and ending up bleeding buckets with agonising cramps and no painkillers at 5 in the morning in a hotel. I felt stupid for not realising but had no idea how much pain there would be.

Also sympathetic treatment for partners too - they seemed almost embarrassed with my DP, and a bit patronizing.

So sorry for the losses on here and the stories some people have. I think our treatment was distinctly average but nothing like as bad as what some people on here have suffered.

EBenes Thu 24-Apr-08 13:09:35

"For me, the thought of waiting for days or weeks to miscarry naturally is horrible. I wanted the medical side of it over as soon as possible."

I can see why that's a common reaction, but the thought of a medical procedure I personally didn't need seemed horrible. There was a part of me hoping it had been a mistake and my baby might pull through, which was very silly, but I think if I'd had a D&C I might even have felt more guilty about that. But the medical staff wouldn't tell me absolutely that my baby had died, they said it was possible my dates were six weeks out and we were on the border of being able to see a heartbeat. I knew that wasn't the case, but still, a part of me.

Now you could say that being given that hope was bad practice, but I think given the strange things that happen with babies, it probably wasn't. So I was glad that I was given the option of no D&C as if it was a normal option, because I think I personally would have found one more traumatic. (As I said before, though, and as others have said - more warning about the pain and effects needed.)

spicemonster Thu 24-Apr-08 15:27:07

EBenes (is that as in Elaine? ), that's exactly how I felt. I needed to go through it. Having said that, I couldn't get an ERPC for over a week and I miscarried naturally in the meantime so I guess that would have happened anyway.

I think the key here is to have the choice - that you are given the options and the pros/cons of each and are given time to make an informed decision about what is right for you.

RUMPEL Thu 24-Apr-08 15:45:52

I haven't had time to read all the thread (yet) but wnated to add my tuppence worth. I had a missed mc at 11+ weeks and decided to go for the medical managment as I thought it would be easier on my body - no general etc. I was given pessaries and painkillers at 8am supposed to be followed by more meds every 3 hours. The MWs couldn't read the Drs notes (they said) and consequently missed my second dose of meds. Subsequently I was still roaming around the EPU at 8pm.

I was also put in a room with a very young girl who was attached to a drip for dehydration - only a curatin separating us, and all her family were in and they were all chatting excitedly about the baby - whilst I was losing mine on the other side of the room.

Due to shortages at the time the EPU unit wasn't open at nights and I ended up having to go to the labour/delivery ward. I was told that if nothing had happened by the next morning I would have to go through all the medication again. LO came out in the early hours of the morning so thankfully I could go home the next day.

There are no words really to say how awful it was but there should, without doubt, be facilities available for women going through this away form other pg women - it is distressing for everyone if we are all packed together.

redzuleika Thu 24-Apr-08 15:59:44

Re: this 'chemical pregnancy' business.

What the hell IS a chemical pregnancy?? <rhetorical question>

There was a woman who used to blog out of New York who had countless miscarriages and was a daughter of DES (a synthetic oestrogen now known to cause fertility problems in the offspring of the women it was given to). As she put it once, the only true chemical pregnancy is a shot of HCG in the arse.

If your fertility problem centres around implantation and the failure thereof, it's pretty ill-informed and outdated for any health professional to speak in terms of a 'chemical' pregnancy.

redzuleika Thu 24-Apr-08 16:11:50

It just makes it sound like you're a 'hysterical' woman with a wandering womb...

ska Thu 24-Apr-08 16:29:51

i've only read about half of the posts - it'smaking me too upset. But this is what I would like please:

training for all medical staff on awareness of symptoms of m/c along with some kind of *sensitivity training*. m/c & ERPC aren't just medical processes - as someone said it is a life changing event, one minute you are expecting, the next grieving and literally empty. In fact all medics could do with training about treating us all as individual human beings no matter what the condition is. And they could trust our instincts - twice I have had to shout at staff that I know I am losing my baby and twice they have not seemed to believe me. Two m/c.
privacy either while waiting for the scan, giving birth (as you do 13 - 23 weeks), having EPRC etc. If at all possible a private room/wing. Mixing us in with happy women or even medical/surgical patients isn't right - we deserve privacy to grieve. I wonder whether they mightn't learn lessons from the hospice movement?
information when and how we want it. Sometimes there and then, sometimes a while later. Certainly access to a reliable source of information not necessarily leaflets and websites, maybe a human too?
follow up appointments in a separate place. Going back to the antenatal clinic for a follow up with my consultant was so painful, I felt as though I could hardly breathe in there. Maybe his office might have been better?
specialist staff trained and sympathetic to how we feel - husbands and families too. It is no good being told 'well you have one healthy daughter' when you have just lost a baby - sure you love the living one but somehow her presence made it more acute. Maybe some kind of hybrid midwife/HV/district nurse. Again, learn lessons from macmillan nurses?
access to medical records without a hassle - it would be good to look at it all written down (so would have to be non medical language).
future pregnancies monitored and treated very sensitively. I don't want to talk to brusque and time pressed staff about my two precious losses. They should see it on my notes and be prepared for my questions.
recognition that we are all different. I grieved but know others who didn't seem to. Some of us will naturally react differently and at a different pace. There is no magic formula for dealing with us.
money for counselling women who would like this afterwards or during a future, scarey pregnancy.
involve and engage with women who have lost babies and with representative organisations. We are the specialists.
time to grieve how and when we want it. Time off work for mum and dad like mat/pat leave perhaps?(and they need to remember we are mum and dad even if now we are technically childless). It took me a whole year to go back for the cremated ashes of my beloved third baby who was born after an amnio. He was so very much wanted and I couldn't let go of him for a long time.

My heart goes out to each and everyone of us who has lost a baby.

TinkerbellesMum Thu 24-Apr-08 17:06:15

Brilliant list Ska. Can I add:

Testing The blanket "3 strikes" (as someone put it on here) needs to be looked at. I have a friend who comes from a family full of miscarriages and her doctors told her it didn't matter, she still had to have three herself before they would test her for anything. She desperately wanted a baby but had to get pregnant knowing she would most likely lose it again. How can you do that? She did do it, I know I couldn't.

Antiphospholid Syndrome should be tested for as standard in every pregnancy, it could be done by the CMW at the first meeting and the results/ repeat done at the hospital at the booking in appointment. It will save a lot of babies and will potentially save the mother in the future. If the mother miscarried too early to have been tested she should be tested after. It might be a big thing but we test everyone for sickle cell and thallasemia and it will save future miscarriages. A blood test is cheaper than having to book out an operating theatre and everything else that can go with a miscarriage.

Ebenes
This is a problem that I have with the German system, I was pretty much forced into having a D&C (with horrific tales of womb infections and septicemia). The first time my doc was terrible, very unfeeling and I felt rushed into it. I know in my head that my baby's heart was not beating but even now, 7 years later, I still feel guilty. The feeling of perhaps there was still hope and we acted too soon.

I changed gynaes and my new doc was much more sympathetic. The hospital was great and even gave me an extra scan (done by the consultant) to reassure me that there really was no hope.

My feeling is that we need more choice, more individual responses. We are not all alike and no two m/c are alike so there can be no patented solution.

We have to be able to offer the parents as much or as little support as they want.

mummyhill Thu 24-Apr-08 19:11:51

Stop using the term Spontaneous abortion, I have not had nor never wish to have an abortion, I have miscarried two precious children.

Fif Thu 24-Apr-08 20:10:46

I found out my baby had died when I went for my 12 week scan. A midwife gave me a leaflet for the Miscarriage Association (which was useful)and that was the extent of the support offered to my dh and I. I was not allowed to miscarry naturally, the doctor insisted that I have a EPRC (evacuation of retained products of conception). This procedure happened 2 days later. The delay turned out to be a blessing as I had a chance to say goodbye to my baby and have the baby blessed by a priest. I wanted to find out what happened to the remains but the hospital didn't have any policy regarding such in place.

I wish that my husband was allowed to stay with me while I waited for the EPRC. It would have helped to have had someone trained to talk to. My subsequent pregnancy was horrible and I didn't bond with the new baby until the birth as I was too frightened too. Extra care should be given to pregnant women who have previously miscarried.

I haven't had time yet to read all the messages,but would like to add that info on ectopic pregnancies would be useful too.

I had an ectopic several years ago & it was a truly dreadful experience.I was given no information about what might happen,ie post op bleeding,sources of support.

I had to self refer myself to the EPU during subsequent pregnancies,despite being told that it was imperative that I had an early scan,due to my increased risk of an ectopic.My GP was very ill informed & wouldn't refer.

Hallgerda Thu 24-Apr-08 21:24:21

ska, I agree with your point "we are all different". I was one of those who didn't grieve or feel bereaved - the pregnancy hadn't seemed quite right from the start and I knew from the scan after the bleeding that it was a blighted ovum so hadn't developed very far (which made a difference to how I felt - I realise it isn't the same for everyone).

I agree also that information about the physical effects could be much better. After the scan I was offered a choice between a D&C (they called it that rather than ERPC at that point) and just waiting. As I'd never had an operation before and didn't want to have one then, I opted to wait. Not a good choice, as it turned out.

I was offered rather more signed-off time than I wanted to take. I liked my job and wanted to get on with my life, so after a week or so I went into work. I didn't feel too great standing all the way into Westminster on the 159, but I made it. I reached my desk to find a Post-It on the computer telling me that Committee Stage on the Bill I was working on had been brought forward. Just what I needed, a chance to get back into work again. An hour later, the pain and bleeding started. Very heavy bleeding. I explained as far as I felt able to my boss who called a taxi for me. Second stupid mistake of the day - I asked the taxi driver to take me to St George's. Tooting is called Tooting for a reason...

Eventually arrived and managed to get out of the taxi without incurring a heavy cleaning bill. Made my way to the EPAU, sorting myself out several times on the way, only to find that it was closed at that time and I had to go to A&E.

Just about made it there, but felt several times as if I might faint, and wondered how long it would take anyone to find me in those corridors if I did. The queue wasn't very long. I went in to see the triage nurse, explained my situation, she explained very sympathetically that I wasn't their highest priority and asked me to go and wait somewhere. I stood up, blood went everywhere and I moved up the priority list. Bells were rung, people rushed around and I was on a trolley, on a drip, and told that I was In Strict Bed Rest, in no time. There was a black comedy moment when the nurse asked for a blood sample and I asked why she couldn't just use a bucket. I had an injection to stop the bleeding, and was told that I would be having a D&C that day. That happened, after a fair bit of waiting around and not being able to eat or drink. As well as the bleeding and the pain, I was not prepared for the utter misery - as there wasn't any grief involved in my case, I presume it was hormonal.

I was put on a general ward. A teenager was having a very loud conversation about her gynae problems, but I'm not complaining. Her sense of humour in the face of adversity and her fighting spirit helped me fight off my feelings of hopelessness. After the operation I was passing clots so I stayed overnight, in a ward with a pensioner who was pretty much better but hadn't had her care package sorted out. We had a nice chat, and she called the nurse when I fainted while trying to use the commode in the night. I found the company of other patients very helpful, and would not have wanted a private room, or a ward with only miscarrying patients.

I can see that a labour ward would be absolutely the wrong place to be, but I did not experience any strong emotions about pregnant women - I was an emergency case (at least after messing up the triage nurse's shoes), the hospital did save my life, and I wouldn't have been upset by the presence of pregnant NHS staff. I didn't feel any bitterness towards people I knew who were having babies at that time.

A fair few of the offensive remarks others have mentioned were made to me, but in a kind way, and I interpreted them accordingly. "It's common", for example, can mean "It's all right to talk about it - people will understand, and a surprising number of them will have been through it themselves". It's those who said nothing at all who really offended me.

Teeniebf Thu 24-Apr-08 21:44:12

I have to say that I am reading this thread with my mouth hanging open! Maybe there is a general difference in early ante-natal care here in Scotland or maybe I've been 'lucky' to have good care after my m/c. When I found at I was pregnant my midwife automatically gave me contact details for the maternity unit at the hospital and was told to contact them if I had any problems at any time day or night. When I did start bleeding I 'phoned as was told to come straight down to the EPU and was seen more or less immediately and given a scan within the hour (this was on a Sunday) when the m/c was confirmed I was admitted to a ward which is designed specially to cater for early pregnancy loss and had an ERPC later that day. It didn't make the m/c any better, but the treatment myself and my husband received helped a bit. I only wish it couldbe like this allover the UK, but it does seem to me (and many other Scottish mums) that ante-natal care south of the border is nowhere near as good as it could or should be sad.

Habbibu Thu 24-Apr-08 22:07:53

That's interesting, Teenie - I know it varies in Scotland too (just ask expat!), but experience here has also been great - I wonder if we were at the same hosp?

artyharry Thu 24-Apr-08 22:41:24

Sadly am a veteran of 7 mc's sadand had varying experiences with all of them. The worst was definitely the one where I was shooed out of the hospital and told to deal with it at home...I haemhorraged and had to be rushed back pronto, in a right old state. angry I'd been sent home with a jar of saline and told to keep any remains of the mc in it and bring it back to the hospital, as they wanted to analyse it so see if it could give us any answers as to why I kept having recurrent mc's. Anyway, despite being hysterical and thinking I was dying as I was rushed back in to the hospital, haemorraging uncontrollably, I clung onto that pot for dear life...I found out two weeks later as I went in to get the results back, that the hospital had lost it. shock angry

Other grim moments were those where I was prepped for surgery, starved and not allowed water to drink for over 24 hours as my name got shunted down the surgery list for an ERPC, as it's supposedly an elective procedure, and I had to let other cases go infront of me. One such wait ended up in being sent home without the procedure ever happening (see paragraph above) and in two other instances I finally had my op after waiting over 24 hours. The surgeons were extremely apologetic but there was nothing they could do hmm...in one case I'd been pushed down the list for someone with an ingrowing toenail.shock Apparently their op wasn't considered to be elective, so I just had to wait. angry

Anything anyone can do to stop this kind of inhumane treatment would be good in my book.

TinkerbellesMum Thu 24-Apr-08 23:47:15

artyharry, have you had an answer yet?

I would advise any woman who has had multiple miscarriages to get checked for Antiphospholipid (aka Hughes) Syndrome if they haven't had an answer before. If there's one thing I can get from having it myself is to nag everyone I can to get tested.

gigglewitch Fri 25-Apr-08 00:12:42

I've had more mc's than I want to admit to, and massively varying treatment with all pgs - including the 'booking in' appointment where I was told off for being unco-operative [it was pg with ds2 and I'd had 5mc's by then] The questions they were firing at me were upsetting me to the point where my head was scrambled and wouldn't think, so every response was taking me ages; i couldn't even speak at one part. This is the point at which a woman needs to have her previous mc history taken into account without having to go through it, particularly if as in my situation it was the same hospital throughout. One mc is hard enough, and although so unfortunately as common as it may be, it doesn't make it any easier for the mum-to-be having to go through it as "data" for unsympathetic medical staff.
As to the treatment at the time of mc-ing, most times i was given reasonable care at the time, the one where i was sent home to let it happen 'naturally' being the worst for me.
I want to post some more, but not now. hope that this thread stays around for a few more days please?

ELW1976 Fri 25-Apr-08 08:00:25

I think this is an excellent idea. I have suffered three early miscarriages. We don't have an EPU nearby (my GP told me to go straight to A&E if it happened again). A&E don't have an ultrasound machine and one time I had to go to the antenatal unit to have a scan later in the day (but only after much badgering by me and the registrar). People have generally been kind, but the facilities are appalling.

Also when I got pregnant the fourth time, the midwife almost said that I had not really been pregnant the second and third times because I had miscarried so early. I am sure everyone will agree that it doesn't matter how early it is, once a test is positive you are pregnant and know there is a new life inside you.

For my first miscarriage at 10 weeks I had wonderful treatment - I was in A&E at 6 am and by 12 noon was in theatre having a D&C - unfortunately I was in Luxembourg not the UK. Afterwards I was placed on a small ward away from any mums and babies. I know the NHS is not as well funded as some of the overseas health services, but we do have something to learn from them.

takingitasitcomes Fri 25-Apr-08 09:29:42

I miscarried at 11 weeks, although had 'warning' through having had a dating scan at 10 weeks which showed that there was no heartbeat. I was told they couldn't fit me in for a D&C for another 3 weeks, so had to go home and wait for a natural m/c to occur. Those days of waiting were the most awful 8 days of my life so far, made worse by not having been able to take control of the situation and have a D&C. I was also completely unprepared (as no-one thought to tell me) for the intense physical pain of having a 'natural' m/c at home. The information I had been given at the hospital simply implied it would be like a heavy period... that was not my experience.

cat64 Fri 25-Apr-08 09:59:31

Message withdrawn

JamSamBam Fri 25-Apr-08 10:20:33

i might be repeating things here as ive given up reading through 11 pages!!

I had a frankly traumatic time when i miscarried one of twins. When i finally gave birth to DS1 i was paraded infront of a group of students as an example of how teenage pregnancies can turn out,. Given the fact that dS1 was on life support within 3 minutes of being born was ignored.

I would love to see more sensitive handling of mums & dads even if one or more babies survives. To hear " wasnt it lucky you only had one" from a B*h of a Midwife after what i went through almost finished me off!!!

I know i was lucky and i know how hard it can be to keep miscarrying without any explanation, i didnt need my problems disscussed on the ward with 20 happy mums!

tattiesovertheside Fri 25-Apr-08 14:24:31

I had a miscarriage a couple of weeks ago. The thing I would like to change is to have the information about your pregnancy held centrally. When you have to call hospitals, GPs, EPUs - and especially when you have to contact them over the weekend - it can be very upsetting to repeat all your information on every phonecall. If there was a way of centralising the information (and all of the branches of the health service were able to have access)it might help avoid the situation I had yesterday when I received the appointment letter for my 12 week scan. A wee bit upsetting. More joined-upness is required.

millie865 Fri 25-Apr-08 14:51:29

I'd agree with everything everyone else has said about not being made to wait in a room full of pregnant women.
some of the people I saw with both mcs were lovely, warm sympathetic and kind. Others were dismissive and cold - acted as though I was being slightly foolish to be so concerned about something so common. One doctor said 'the thing is you weren't really pregnant' when describing a blighted ovum in a cheerful voice as though that made it better.
Also I had a very young doctor the second time who was clearly out of her depth and kept giggling nervously. When I called back a few days later with some questions (too much to take in at the time) I had to really fight to get to speak to one of the nurses (who actually knew what they were talking about) rather than her (who only read from a miscarriage association leaflet in between giggles).

I think we need to talk about miscarriage more. Most people don't realise just how common it is until they and their friends start having children.

millie865 Fri 25-Apr-08 14:51:29

I'd agree with everything everyone else has said about not being made to wait in a room full of pregnant women.
some of the people I saw with both mcs were lovely, warm sympathetic and kind. Others were dismissive and cold - acted as though I was being slightly foolish to be so concerned about something so common. One doctor said 'the thing is you weren't really pregnant' when describing a blighted ovum in a cheerful voice as though that made it better.
Also I had a very young doctor the second time who was clearly out of her depth and kept giggling nervously. When I called back a few days later with some questions (too much to take in at the time) I had to really fight to get to speak to one of the nurses (who actually knew what they were talking about) rather than her (who only read from a miscarriage association leaflet in between giggles).

I think we need to talk about miscarriage more. Most people don't realise just how common it is until they and their friends start having children.

EBenes Fri 25-Apr-08 15:08:32

I do agree with the poster earlier today who said that they took 'it's common' as reassurance rather than 'just get over it'. For me it definitely helped when all my friends suddenly came from nowhere telling me they'd had miscarriages too. It was like a silent community, and I'd had no idea they'd been going through it. What I did feel was sort of guilty for not being secret about mine, but it made me feel at the time less as if there was something wrong with me.

pixiella Fri 25-Apr-08 15:19:34

i had a miscarriage a year ago at 11 weeks.
and i also had to wait over a weekend and bank holiday monday because the radiographer wasn't in to do scans or something...so i had an agonising few days wondering whether my baby was alive or not..then on the monday i was in so much pain that I had to go to A&E because I couldn't cope with the pain at home.
i had to wait in the waiting room for half an hour while i was having contraction like searing pains in my back and abdomen every minute or 30 secs.
when i was finally taken into A&E, the only good thing was that I was put in a large room with sliding doors on my own and didn't have to be around lots of other people (with my mum and dp).
I was left in there for about half and hour or 40 mins before a gynecologist came to see me and she said 'you might be having a miscarriage but we're not sure' and was told I still couldn't have a scan until tomorrow when the radiographer was in. I just felt like saying look give me the gel and then machine and i'll flipping do it myself, it doesn't look that hard !

anyway then she left, and a nurse came in and tried to put a canular in my hand (im v. scared of needles and always pass out when i have injections) and she couldn't get it in the vein so just kept stabbing and stabbing at my hand and I was passing out....(while muttering fucking hell, what are you doing? that fucking hurts!!' until she finally stopped and left the room saying she'd get te gyne to do it when she came back (all this time, still waiting for some pain relief which i desperately needed!)

finally the gyne came in gave me an internal exam and then put the canular in and gave me some morphine which was SO helpful but i had to wait over an hour to get it!

then another hour or so goes by (bit hazy/asleep) by this point)

a DIFFERENT gyne comes in and talks to me about something...saying that maybe it's a placental something and it might just be a threatened miscarriage and blah blah so we can't be sure. i was sure that i was having a miscarriage because i was in SO much pain.

was transferred to a maternity ward..they gave me some sandwiches.

had to stay overnight with out my dp or my mum : ( which was horrible.

i wanted some more pain relief in the night but every time i pressed the button a nurse would come and say she couldn't give me any because the gyne wasn't around to prescribe it.

then in the morning a different doctor came around (male) and said 'right we've got your scan booked for this morning, don't worry everything is probably fine, bleeding is ver y common in early pregnancy, we will just scan you and check that you're baby is ok and you can go home'

so me and my dp were over the moon! we thought we'd been worrying about nothing and actually everything is going to be ok!

then we go in for the scan and the radiographer says 'im sorry there's nothing there'

we have to walk back seeing posters of smiling babies, pregnant women etc and then when we get back onto the ward some women starts asking my mum if i'm ok and what happened etc? how nosy!!

then im given a few boxes of painkillers to take home, a peice of paper with 'complete miscarriage' written on it and sent home.

most of the trauma i still have over my miscarriage is all centered on the experiences i had in that hospital and not knowing where my baby went....what happened...why the doctors kept telling me different things etc. nothing. no leaflet, no counselling, no follow-up.

after reading some stuff on the internet about how to deal with a miscarriage i rang the hospital,explained my situation and asked if i could have a copy of the scan they took at 8 weeks and she said oh im sorry it doesn't even look like a baby it's just measurements of a part of the head of the back or something, you wouldn't be able to make it out. and that made me feel even worse that the only record of my baby ever existing is kept in some file in that hospital and maybe they've even deleted it and they won't even let me see it. : (

i think this campaign is such a good idea, especially for young women (i was 18 when i miscarried) who don't know what to expect or what is normal/abnormal etc.
i think the way you are treated/spoken to at the hospital make such a difference.

pixiella Fri 25-Apr-08 15:28:22

Also a few weeks after my miscarriage I was shopping in sainsburys and on one of the big advertising boards outside was a giant black and white photo of a very sad looking woman cradling her arms as if holding a baby but there was an empty space in her arms.....

at first i thought i was imagining it and was actually going mad but as i got closer i saw at the bottom it said ' 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage' - Tom's - The Baby Charity.

I think that's what the charity was called anyway.

Does anyone else think that is insensitive???

I mean sure it highlights miscarriage so maybe people will be more sympathetic and take it more seriously when it happens to someone they know but what about all those 1 in 4 women having to see something that LARGE and blatant and emotional right in your face when you're trying to be normal and do your shopping? !

orangehead Fri 25-Apr-08 16:06:17

Pixella, I would probably try again to get your scan picture if you feel strong enough. I got mine at a later date, the staff were brilliant at tracking it down. After all you are legally entitled to any copies of your medical notes, Im sure that would apply for scan pictures too

justjules, for me it is a baby from conception. When I told an elderly friend that I had had a m/c at 7 weeks, she laughed and said "you cannot possibly say you were pregnant, it was too early" !! Apparently she had had a few herself but didn't think of them as babies until they were above 4 month old (pre-scan times, probably). That may spare some the heartache, but I think differently.
I was also made to wait 4 days bleeding and in pain to have a scan, just to be told there was nothing in there anymore.
Right now I am 7 weeks again and not very well, so this topic is close to my heart

TinkerbellesMum Fri 25-Apr-08 18:19:53

tattiesovertheside, if understand right medical notes are being centralised on a computer system so that whoever treats you has full access to your notes. Problems will always come when they don't bother to read your notes before seeing you.

2monsters2 Fri 25-Apr-08 19:45:21

How sad to read so many stories of unsympathetic health staff. All seems very similar to my experience - whilst waiting for a D&C following a 3rd missed miscarriage picked up at my 12 week scans, in a room full of young girls awaiting terminations, in the hospital where I had given birth to my 1st DD, I had a little cry. Two of the nursing staff stopped to have a look at me and commented to each other " what is she crying for?" as though this woiuld be a strange thing to do felt like giving them both a big kick. The other 2 miscarriages were also not treated with much sympathy - I feel that a campaign to support women to go through the worst time in thier lives somewhere less public and away from maternity units would be a huge step forwards.

Betsybet Fri 25-Apr-08 22:17:41

I know people have already made this point but -

- please can GPs/A and E/health staff/midwives be trained to TELL you what to expect PHYSICALLY (not just hand out leaftlets, good as they can be)

Throughout starting to miscarry on a work conference, having to check myself into the maternity hospital in Dublin next morning for a depressing scan, then flying home, going to own GP (who was great and pushed for another scan next day), then going back for D and C next day, no-one really told me what a miscarriage would entail.

The D and C didn't work but the hospital claimed it had. Three days later I started to feel dreadful but went back to work.

The next day I had bad stomach cramps but thought it was constipation, from the general anaethetic.

Only after a whole day of worse and worse pains did I realise that they were coming at 5 min intervals and clocked they had to be contractions

I passed a lump/sac/the foetus - it was small, but I knew it was my pregnancy.

We didn't know what to do - should we keep for tests (which some books/leaflets say to)? So we trotted into doctors next day, and she was absolutely thrown, said yes, then rang up later and said 'sorry, no, there's no point'.

- so let's have clarity about that to - what to do with the produce of the pregancy and at what point the doctors want to be involved.

We buried it and it felt better. And I felt better once my body had sorted itself out.

But I wish I'd known - that a miscarriage hurts, you don't just ooze blood like a heavy period, that there probably will be some kind of sac or lumpy blood.

Lol to everyone who's been through it.

justjules Fri 25-Apr-08 22:58:43

i think that too chocfudgecake sad

sorry you are not feeling well at the moment,

sadly pg after mc is never the same sad

there are quite a few of us going though the same here

please feel free to join us,

it helps knowing someone else understands how difficult and anxious it can be,

blob2be Fri 25-Apr-08 23:14:08

I haven't been able to read the whole thread, but I am currently having my second miscarriage (in space of 9 months). I spent 3 and a half hours yesterday in A&E and wasn't offered so much as a glass of water, let alone any advice or emotional support (apart from one lovely nurse who held my hand while being examined).
Dcotors told me there was no medical reason for me to have a scan and when I said I would prefer to have one to get a clearer idea of what was going on (wasn't sure at the time if it was a m/c or just bleeding), they said they didn't do scans just to "please patients".
After leaving my vision became blurred, I was dizzy and crying hysterically, and DH took me back to A&E. I thought something physically was happening to me but now I can see that this was my emotional response to being treated like my m/c was a routine everyday occurence, and being given absolutely no advice or support. Their attitude was essentially, well there's nothing medically which we can do, so just go home and come back when there's something we can do.
I am obviously still going through this now so haven't had time to think through my anger about what's happened. Just feel very bruised and fragile right now, and wish that somebody had recognised that while I was in hospital. I know I was in A&E where care isn't intended to be holistic, but something as simple as being given a leaflet on what to expect would have made a world of difference. Luckily I had DH with me; I only hope that a woman on her own wouldn't be treated so casually.

alicebg Fri 25-Apr-08 23:26:26

I had 2 2nd trimester m/c before they found out that I had an auto-immune condition - AntiPhospholipid Anti-body syndrome. Now have a 2 year old DD, as a result of daily heparin injections during pregnancy, asprin and lots of care from hospital - including regular scans,antenatal appointments undertaken by consultant and induced early. I had a terrible time with the hospital and the 2 m/c. I would like to see:

Dedicated EPU not next to maternity services. Properly staffed 24 hours - why do m/c happen so often at night?
Trained staff who can act sensitively.
Dissemination of m/c research to GPs, EPUs
Blood tests offered as routine after 1st m/c - why should we have to wait for 3 until this is done (I was very fortunate in some ways as hospital "lost" the first baby's body and did not do the requested post-mortem, so was seen by a consultant who felt a bit sorry for me and ordered blood tests against their normal rules - if he hadn't very high chance of 3rd m/c - as results came through too late to safe 2nd baby)
In-hospital - access to counselling including good explanations of causes of m/c
No long waits for "ERPC" (another example of insensitive medical terms)
Better access to scans - it felt like the hospital was doing me a favour!
No 4-7 hour waits in EPU before seen by doctor, only to be told scan needs to be arranged over next couple of days.

Even though I consider myself to be blessed with my very special DD, my m/c experiences still make me well-up if I really think about it. Some of this is down to a bereavement/grief response, but I'm sure if I had been treated differently I would have come to terms with it better. This is despite good counselling provided by GP and great friends and colleagues who sought me out and told me their experiences.

I would repeat an earlier post get checked out earlier if you have had 2 m/c or 2nd trimester - and be persistent, be a real pain - cry whatever to get tested.

I just wanted to add my heartfelt appreciation for this thread. Even though I have 2 beautiful DD's, I've had 2 miscarriages over the last 4 months (one at 8 weeks and one at 9 weeks). I think the thing that's made me the most upset is friends comments about, 'how lucky I am to have two healthy DD's' or 'at least you've got 2 already' angry. As if I'm not entitled to any more babies because I've had my 'quota'. Just because I've got children it doesn't negate the sadness and loss of the babies that I miscarried.

Agree about re-locating EPU away from ante-natal wards. Had ERPC with 1st miscarriage and treated OK. But when being put under doctor chatting to me about how many children I had which made me howl. Then had to stay over night because they thought they's perforated my uterus. 2nd miscarriage was natural and I found it incredibly traumatic as very painful with lots of bleeding. Went back for scan to check it was complete and had little or no sympathy from doc who handed us obligatory miscarriage leaflet and partically shoved us out of the door as he had c-section emergency to deal with. Felt as if I was in his way and he had more important things to deal with.

The one 'good' thing to come out of this is the support I've got from the amazing women on the m/c thread on MN. I don't think I'd have coped half as well without this forum. It is a 'silent' club and not something that you'd openly admit to being part of in real life. But it's so refreshing to able to talk about it openly on here and show all those emotions that one usually keeps under wraps for fear that if you start crying you'll never stop.

For every woman on this thread I applaud your strength to speak openly about this emotive subject. I also am incredibly saddened that so many of you have had to endure heartless treatment from people in the 'caring' profession. Let's hope that this is the start of a positive change that means our DD's will not have to face what we have had to.

MirandaG Sat 26-Apr-08 10:33:46

HeyThereGG, I knw exactly what you mean about the 'at least you have...' I spent the whole time around the time I had my miscarriages saying 'well, at least I have DD1' for fear of not being grateful enough.

I posted previously about being told more about the physical process. I found this published in the BMJ and found it very helpful in understanding what was going on
www.bmj.com/cgi/content-nw/full/322/7298/1343/Fu3
At the time I meant to contact the Miscarriage Association and suggest that something like this could be included intheir materials, but of course never got round to it...

Fastasleepy Sat 26-Apr-08 14:58:54

I wanted to say this thread is a great idea and I hope it brings about some change...

I waited for my scan for 5 hours to be 'fitted in', in a waiting room full of heavily pregnant women, at one point another woman who was possibly miscarrying burst into tears and refused to wait any longer surrounded by all the happy people with scan pictures and that was in a Woman's hospital!

I think everyone's already made all the useful points I would have wanted to make...

catsmother Sat 26-Apr-08 15:53:12

It's so awful that so many of us have had similar experiences.

I too was told to go to A&E by NHS Direct. On a Friday night.

I drove myself there, with 11 year old child in tow (my partner was away) and a wadge of tissues between my legs as I had no pads at home. As it was late (already gone to bed) and I was in such a panic I threw my jumper on without a bra naiively thinking I suppose that as it was, at least to me, an "emergency" (as in, I couldn't think of anything worse than losing a much wanted baby) that I'd be ushered in and seen straight away in privacy.

Talk about stupid ..... we sat there for a couple of hours before I was examined. Me feeling dreadfully conspicuous and uncomfortable in what I'd thrown on, and increasingly upset as I had to keep rushing to the loo to change the tissue. Like all of you I was very scared yet it felt to me like no-one cared, and you have to keep it all together in front of everyone else waiting.

I was looked at by a very matter of fact junior doctor who said "oh yes, I think you're miscarrying but until we scan we can't be sure" and "there's nothing I can do" ...... but crucially, no expression of sympathy or regret. She then directed me - still with my son in tow - to wait immediately outside where the A&E cubicles were, where I sat for a further 4 hours feeling totally forgotten about, devastated, and worried as well for my son. During that time, I was treated to up close and personal views of two local teenagers who were paralytic, who'd vomited everywhere and who'd pissed themselves getting the sort of sympathetic care and concern ("there, there" and wiping their face gently with a flannel type of thing) which wrongly or rightly I felt I deserved instead of someone who had stupidly got totally wrecked.

Eventually, my partner arrived, got my son home and I was sent up to a ward, though no-one gave me any info about anything and I had to ask where the loo was ...... stupid, thoughtless details like that ...... like, you're obviously going to want to know where the loo is when you're miscarrying.

I didn't sleep a wink ...... you lie there, still hoping against hope. Again, I felt forgotten about - come morning, no-one came to see how I was, nor to advise when this scan could happen. In fact, the friendliest face was the woman doing the toast (though I couldn't eat).

Was then sent home, told to come back Monday for the scan ..... so I don't understand why I was kept in overnight ? Bled all weekend, had scan - very matter of fact again ..... nothing there. Bye.

I know it's probably irrational but when you are miscarrying you feel a huge sense of urgency in the hope that "something" can be done. Feeling ignored and/or having to wait around for hours is excrutiating - when I mulled it all over in my mind after, I kept kicking myself for not being more insistent (British reserve and all that) and wondered if I had been, would there have been an outside chance ? I kept thinking about how, instead of sitting in A&E for a total of 7 hours or so, would it have made any difference had I laid down ? Probably stupid, but it's things like that about which there is so little information IME. Oh yes ...... once you get on the internet afterwards, there's all sorts of anecdotal information but at the hospital, there's very little advice and/or reassurance given at all.

Compared to some of the experiences related here, my story is nothing yet it remains something I remember accutely 7 years on. It was awful and I just felt irrelevant. Typing this now, I'm surprised at how angry I still feel at witnessing the tender care given to drunks that night whose condition was self inflicted.

I suppose staff at a Friday night A&E probably felt I was getting in the way.

everdecreasingcircles Sat 26-Apr-08 16:19:46

Situate a miscarried lady AWAY from those having elected terminations to avoid comments such as "OH HAVE YOU GOT RID OF YOURS TOO"

There is a tremendous difference between suffering a miscarriage and choosing to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The two should NEVER mix.

imopop Sat 26-Apr-08 19:05:10

I have had 6 miscarriages. What I found difficult with the first one that the staff nurse in a&e told the whole waiting room I was having miscarriage.I was left to bleed through my clothes in the waiting room. When I finally saw a dr was told it was very common. Then I had to wait another day to get scanned and because there is no EPAU I had to sit with women who were having their twenty week scans. I did however make a huge complaint to the cheif exective and some things were improved. The staff nurse was also dealt with. Following the second miscarrage I saw someone privately and had ERPC privately. I was given upmost respect and dignity. I feel lots of staff are not given adequate training in dealing with women who have miscarriages. |I also found it very difficult to get expert advice and was forced to go privately to see MR. Rai at the st.Mary's recurrent miscarriage clinic. At this point I was told I had a clotting disorder and prescribed the appropriate treatment. I am happy to report I am now 32+3 weeks pregnant and I feel this is due to st. marys care. Their recurrent miscarriage clinic really needs funding and the can help so many women.

asilentdoctor Sat 26-Apr-08 20:10:37

Have named changed for this as don't wont to identified. I am Dr who has worked in an A&E with no overnight scanning facilities dealing with miscarriage, I was horrified on my first day there to find out what proceedure was (basically perform a VE which we had no training in, and discharge to come back to EPU). I found it horribley traumatic not being able to tell these women if they had miscarried or not. We actually frequently told them to go to a different local hospital which did 24 hour scanning.

I always tried to be sympathetic and said how sorry I was (both about what they were going through an the appaling facillities). But I recieved no trainig either before the job or at medical school. Reading this thread has realy upset me as I think I may have unwittingly contributed to peoples bad experience of this difficult time. I wholeheartedly agree with your campaign and would like to make a donation to the miscarriage association for education for th medical students and junior Doctors so we can give women a better service.

KaSo Sat 26-Apr-08 21:04:39

I totally agree with access to the EPU without a Gp referral, mine just said "It's too early to see anything" depsite friends of mine on forums saying they'd had scans at 5-6wks.
And the use of language and the phrase "It's very common" if one more person had said 1 in 4 to me, I'd have throttled them.

B1977 Sat 26-Apr-08 22:06:28

Make overnight and weekend scanning available.

Take all reports of blood loss very seriously.

Treat patients' records sensitively.

Review appointments regularly in a sensitive way.

Ensure medical staff in EPU etc. receive full training about miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies.

I had an ectopic pregnancy - bleeding started on Friday, GP could not diagnose for sure, had to wait all weekend to find out on Monday, by which time my tube had ruptured, if it had been found earlier there is a possibility I could have been treated with methroxate and not had fertility affected through losing a fallopial tube, was told not to worry too much about some blood loss until they did the scan and about a dozen medical staff whisked me off to emergency surgery!

I then had to cancel subsequent pregnancy medical appointments myself, which was hard.

Also had a midwife in subsequent healthy pregnancy who gave me records from my first EP to include in my file by mistake and that was upsetting.

BlueCornflower Sat 26-Apr-08 22:10:50

I went for a scan at 12.5 weeks and learned the baby had died. I was treated very well by sensitive scan nurse, and nice consultant who offered natural miscarriage or D & C, and next day I had D & C on different floor of hospital from the maternity ward. The surgeon walked me down personally and talked nicely to me as well!

I don't know if this has already been said but the one thing that would have helped me was the leaflet the midwife gives you about what to expect from your scan. It says something like 'The scan will tell you: a) whether you are pregnant or not'... In my ignorance, I had always thought that if you had a miscarriage, you bled. I didn't know you could carry a baby who had died for several weeks, and not bleed. If the leaflet had said, 'The scan will tell you: a) whether you are pregnant or not and b) whether the baby is alive and well' or something, then I feel I would have been prepared for the possibility that it may have died - which I honestly was not expecting.

I had no after care, not even a leaflet, probably because they were short-staffed and busy by the time I finally managed to get out, but I think I was treated remarkably well compared to most people. I wish now I had taken more than 3 days off work though.

mummyhill Sun 27-Apr-08 07:46:52

Asilentdoctor it is good to hear information from the otherside of the fence as it were. Also good to have the lack of training acknowledged.

MirandaG Sun 27-Apr-08 09:59:31

Me again. Others have mentioned this but why di you have to cancel your booking appointment yourself? It's horrible for the woman involved, because I cry every time I say the word miscarriage or 'I'm not pregnant anymore' and each time I could hear that the antenatal booking lady was uncomfortable having to ask me why I was cancelling and then embarassed when I got upset.
On a more positive note and apologies if this has been mentioned already but Lesley Regan's book, 'Miscarraige: What Every Woman Needs to Know' is great. If Prof Regan could be involved in the campaign it would be great too - she is very high profile these days.
Another thought: acknowledgement that the woman's partner has had a loss too. If support for women may be minimal, but there is nothing for partners.

solo Sun 27-Apr-08 12:00:11

After two mc's myself...
I'd like to know that the hospital has updated records accordingly so that grieving mums don't get letters through their front door with antenatal appointments in them...happened to me both times, different hospitals, different health authorities and 9 years apart, on top of that, the second one sent the letter twice.
Scans need to be done away from the happy expectant mummies too. My heart just broke as I waited in a crowded waiting room, bladder full and in terrible, terrible pain to hear what I most dreaded at that time.
Doctors in the EPU also need to listen to the concerns of their patients.
They also need to be given an anti D if that is necessary. I had to fight to get a blood test to see if I needed one - I DID and was given one at the 11th hour(there is a time limit of 72 hours post Mc). The last thing you want to do is have to fight when all you really want to do is curl up at home and die...strong language I know, but so painfully true for me.
Have miscarriage support group meetings within the hospital which can be attended if the mum(and dad)feel the need. My first one had this and it was so helpful.

solo Sun 27-Apr-08 12:12:08

And I'm sorry if I've repeated anything already said...I can't read through as I still find it all so upsetting thinking of the babies that I should've had...

pinguin Sun 27-Apr-08 15:20:50

Probably someone already said this but... some sort of point of contact with a gynae nurse or doctor if you're having a miscarriage with no medical intervention, and the option of a scan to ensure that everything is gone once the bleeding stops.

stringerbell Sun 27-Apr-08 23:30:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stringerbell Sun 27-Apr-08 23:30:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ronshar Mon 28-Apr-08 11:02:53

I have had two mc's since March of last year. The first was a missed mc. The radiographer told us that she thought the remains looked like a molar pregnancy. I didnt know what that was. We were sent upstairs to wait in Gyne day ward. So no pregnant ladies to look at.
We sat for hours. A nurse came in a gave me a form to fill in. No sympathy just looks of pity. The doctor who eventually came in was obviously uncomfortable and could hardly speak any English. He didnt explain what a molar was, just took blood and told me to go home.
The nurse had to come in and tell us to ring at 12 the next day for blood results.
I made the mistake of looking on the web the next day. I rang hospital in tears and only then did the nurse explain to me what was going on. She was lovely but why did I have to find all that out on my own and only when I was crying did someone take notice.
I ended up having a ERPC the next day. Three days this went on for.

Why do we have to find out information for ourselves.
We should be treated the same as anyone else who has a medical problem. I bet cancer sufferers dont get judged the way we do.
I would like to see;
A standard level of care for every one across the country.
Scans at the first sign of bleeding regardless of gestational age.
Information given to both parents not just leaflets handed out as you stagger from the ward in shock.
A smile and some basic level of human kindness would be great You have just lost a baby.

Sorry I am ranting now. Makes me so so so angry. If we were men it wouldnt be this shit.

tiredAli Mon 28-Apr-08 13:00:17

I had a mc at 8 and half weeks. The care I had at Nottingham I think on reflection was pretty good because:

GPs (one was an emergency gp) were excellent, matter of fact but sensitive

Scan, done the next day (although at the time I remember being devastated I couldn't go that afternoon, reading this thread it's confirmed what I know now - I was very lucky)

EPAU was totally separate from maternity

Staff, perfect in the way they treated me.

However, the ERPC I had failed. Can't remember the expression they used at the time but it involved 'missed' and 'the products'. It would have been helpful to be told that this can happen when staff are explaining your options, it's apparently on the leaflet I was presumably given, but couldn't bring myself to read. I had to go through it all again.

I really support everyone who is saying that a follow up appointment should be offered.

Also, it was very confusing when I asked when I could start trying for another baby because, like most on here, I was told 6 months, 1 month, 2 months, etc etc it wasn't until I found mumsnet that I realised the truth!

A minor suggestion - catching sight of the image of my baby on the screen at the scan will haunt me forever. I wish the sonographer had turned the screen away from me. They should ask if you want to see.

nauseous Mon 28-Apr-08 15:11:34

I had a m/c and then D&C at Queen Charlotte's in London and whilst I was treated very sensitively by the majority of the nursing staff, I was appalled that my DH was sent away for 2 hours at one point, so everybody on the ward could 'rest'. Nobody rested, as it happened but beside the point..

The upshot was that I was left contemplating everything and feeling completely alone, which just made me feel worse, and was difficult for my DH as we couldn't support each other. I couldn't cope with being on my own at that point I was in such a state.

Not sure how to overcome this issue, except to say that the ward sister should treat people a bit more sensitively. If a patient looks like they're about to fall apart - don't pull the curtains around them, banish the supportive husband, leave them to stew for 2 hours and ignore polite requests for pain meds or the return of their supportive partner - its just common sense isn't it??

I think this is a good opportunity to improve treatment at an awful time, I really hope something valuable comes out of it.

wishingchair Mon 28-Apr-08 15:28:48

tiredAli ... totally agree regarding the scan. I was scanned by a GP after the midwife couldn't detect a heartbeat. I wish he had turned it away from me before he started. The sight of that little baby just floating there all curled up. Making me cry now thinking of it. He was about 16 weeks and I saw him when I delivered him, but that scan picture is forever imprinted on my brain. I'm not sure if I'm glad I saw it or not ... just sad really.

nauseous Mon 28-Apr-08 15:29:23

and another thing... after having a D&C you should be advised to take a certain amount of time off after work, and actualy given the sick note, if that is what you want. Apart from the anaesthetic, its obviously hugely emotional and so working isn't really viable for everyone straight afterwards. I wasn't advised, didn't remember to ask and then I went back in to the office after 2 days and then felt really dizzy and sick and ended up having to go home again when in hindsight, I should just have rested.

wishingchair Mon 28-Apr-08 15:44:30

ronshar - not that this helps but last year dh and myself were told that he had an inoperable brain tumour that was "pretty bad" in its severity. We were given some print outs from cancerbackup.org. So we went home, googled, demanded second opinions and had lots of questions for the next appointment. So my point here is that cancer sufferers aren't treated any differently. That's not a good thing either.

More support for future pregnancies is a must. When I wanted an early scan after having had a previous missed miscarriage (pregnancy lasted until almost 14 weeks but baby had died at 8), I was told that this would not be done.

Luckily my midwife was sympathetic to my extreme anxiety and told me that we could beat the system if she referred me to the Early Baby Unit with miscarriage symptoms. Had she been caught she could have been in deep trouble, but because of her actions I was able to see that my baby at 9 and a half weeks was alive and healthy. This reduced my anxiety hugely.

I have to praise the baby unit on that occasion too (Southampton), I was impressed by the nurse who brought me my baby's pictures and asked me not to open it until I left the building as, "Not everyone gets good news.". I would have appreciated such consideration when I lost my baby.

Sadly that happened in another hospital where I was treated abominably - having had a scan confirming that the baby was dead the consultant then left me sitting in a corridor and stood in front of me and 3 other patients, and discussed my case loudly with another doctor without acknowledging my presence once. Had I not been almost catatonic I would have done something about it at the time.

Just some basic sympathy and consideration can go a very long way.

nauseous Mon 28-Apr-08 16:05:52

This misconception is partially down to my own ignorance but I'm clearly not the only one... It would be extremely helpful to be told when you initially see the GP to say you're pregnant, that the chance of a MISSED miscarriage is about 1/7 (subsequently told this from a gynae). I wrongly believed the chances were 1/100,(something I'd read on MN talk - my own fault for not checking it out).

I would have been far more prepared for a MMC at 12 weeks, had I realised that it was quite possible to be feeling all the symptoms of pregnancy and yet have actually lost the baby. As it was it was just a huge and horrible shock at a time when I had hoped to see a scan and share the good news.

Miscarriage should have a higher profile, medically. It seems to me that the correct information imparted at the right time, and with sensitivity would have enormously helped several people on this forum, and no doubt many others, but this is just the first step.

I hope you can are able to keep us up to date with progress on this. Thanks.

ksmiffy Mon 28-Apr-08 17:03:01

I had 2 m/c's and am currently 38 wks pg with anticipated bundle of joy no.1.

The heartache endured to get to this stage is indescribable though and the care received from the medical profession both times was so variable that what you were told and how you were treated was obviously down to "who you get" ...

... from having to sit among other happy mums-to-be waiting on their scans looking at me curiously with a drip in my hand (why not a separate scheduled time to deal with these cases more sensitively)

... being told by my (old and male) GP that women in the Third World had babies everyday and that it would happen again for me

to, more positively

.... being referred by my (new, young and female GP) for an early scan with this pregnancy - advising she was determined it was important that WE (ie. me and DP and not just ME) relaxed and enjoyed this pg - that meant soooo much to us both.

More information is needed. I searched and searched and searched wherever I could for info on m/c before TTC no. 3 hoping upon hope that I wouldn't have to m/c a third time. The dread that something is wrong with your body is consuming. Then there's the mixed advice re. aspirin/heparin.

GREAT CAMPAIGN

solo Mon 28-Apr-08 17:17:35

I wanted to add that my first mc although very traumatic, painful(both emotionally and physically)and awful(it took me 12 years to conceive), I was treated well by the staff concerned. The nurses gave me pain relief as I too had suffered a missed miscarriage,(though in those days it was called a missed abortion, which was just awful and thankfully is not referred to like that anymore), and I was in horrendous pain. I had my first nights sleep in about a week. I was 10.5 weeks and my baby had died at 6.5. I was so afraid that they'd made a mistake and that my baby wasn't dead at all, that they had a doctor come and talk to me and reassure me, but also gave me the option that if I wanted to they would scan me again to be sure. She gave me enough reassurance though, that I didn't have another and had the ERPC. The anaesthatist(sp?)was a lovely young man that held my hand and I just remember saying to him as I went under that I wanted this baby so much through the tears and sobs...him just holding my hand made a whole lot of difference to me.

After I'd lost my 3rd baby(number two is my gorgeous Ds)I met a young woman waiting in the EPU who'd got problems with her pg, I can't remember the details...she and I sat there for ages not saying anything(I'd already lost my baby) and when I came out from seeing the doctor, I said something to her, though I can't remember what except that I knew she'd be fine, gave her a hug and left. I saw her about 4 months later, very pregnant and I know she had a healthy girl. I was very pleased. I hope my hug made her feel better, because you can bet your bottom dollar that she got no real comfort from the hospital(the second hosp was not as good as the first one).

Samleo Mon 28-Apr-08 17:22:11

My experience may or may not help;

Last year I was fortunate enough to be sailing in the med but unfortunate enough to suffer a miscarriage at 8 weeks at sea. I didn't know what to do so phoned my GP surgery in London who basically said "so what".

I became pregnant again a few months later and was concerned when I started bleeding again. Thankfully the 1st occasion coincided with the nuchal scan and the consultant was able to give advice. A massive fibroid was discovered but not the cause of the bleed. I was given no information about the effect of the fibroid.

However I started bleeding again on a friday night.

At this stage it would have been helpful if there had been a leaflet in the Maternity notes book giving information of what to do and where to go.

I waited until Monday morning and went to the antenatal clinic which I assumed was the place to start, to be told that under 18 weeks I should go straight to A&E. (I knew that NHS direct would have told me to do this but I had hoped to avoid that.) A & E were surprisingly quick and referred me to the EPU where I had to wait in a grubby corridor followed by a grubby waiting room with nothing more than a badly photocopied leaflet. Eventually (hours later) I was seen by a Dr who checked my cervix and said that with a lack of pain I was probably alright although they would investigate the cause of the bleed and I could have a scan *2 weeks* later.

I'm intelligent enough to figure that a lack of pain is a good sign but it didn't stop the worry. Was it innocent or was this going to keep happening? Was the fibroid to blame? As it was I got no answers but as that was the last episode and I am now 28 weeks pregnant with a fibroid blocking the exit I am just happy that so far so good (sort of).

(Going off script; Generally I have been extremely disappointed with the NHS but the Maternity services thus far have been a joke. I have seen 7+ different Midwifes, waited for appointments for coming up to 20 hours in total. My community midwife didn't know that the aminio/CVS test is for Downs, argued the toss with me then phoned a friend and told me I was right. She then sent me for a £350 test without telling me that I would have to pay for it and probably didn't need it. The silver lining is that I do see the same consultant and now have full hospital care.)

I feel very let down about the treatment of me by my GP Surgery in the aftermath of my miscarriage and with a threatened miscarriage I found the system difficult to navigate particularly when in panic.

I share the view that being able to walk straight in to EPU is not the answer; no one would ever get seen; there ought to be a screening 1st - it's just a question of who does it. But there needs to be a quiet sense of urgency with reassurance and not to be treated like cattle. My husband treats me like a goddess and so should the NHS treat us all like that - it's not hard and costs nothing.

Sorry for the long post. I could go on for days but I get acid!

rubyblue Mon 28-Apr-08 20:26:19

So much of it is down to good training for staff. I began to miscarry at 12 weeks whilst on holiday in Spain, rang surgery and spoke to a GP I had never met before. We came home early, had a scan at EPU first thing which confirmed foetus had died at 9 weeks. The staff at EPU were tremendous, held my hand, let me and DH have privacy to cry and gave us all the options in a kind and caring way. That afternoon, the same GP rang me at home to offer her sympathy to us - which was so helpful as she recognised that to us it was a real loss and we were grieving. I crashed a month after the miscarriage and rang their counsellor who was a gem and after two meetings, I felt so much better able to cope with the sadness.
I agree with all suggestions and would also add that proper training of staff is needed and the offer of a trained mcarriage counsellor is invaluable in aiding women's recovery.
PS I now have a lovely ds of 3 months old but I will never forget our first.

toadstool Mon 28-Apr-08 20:39:14

Hello. I had 2 visits at my EPU at 4 years' interval, referred urgently by my GP on both occasions. My experience was far better than a lot of those told here, so there is good practice about, and I'd like to think everyone was able to benefit from it:

- The EPU was not near a labour ward, or not so you would notice. I'm quite robust about these things, but I remember that no babies were visible beyond the hospital's main entrance - this was important because my DD was very distressed and thought someone "was taking the baby away", and seeing babies being carried past would have confirmed her belief.
- Once the scan was done and I'd been told it was an mc, they put me into a separate room, well away from other patients.
- I was advised about what to do and given 24/48 hours to consider the options between an ERPC or letting nature take its course. There was a leaflet but a nurse talked me through the options. It was up to me to ring them.
- When I decided for an ERPC, I was seen by someone who talked through the process and advised me to take 2 weeks off work at least. She advised me not to try to be 'brave' and to accept that it takes time to recover.
- I was admitted and discharged in one day for the ERPC and given a room to myself.
- I was advised to have a general anaesthetic because they found that women having local ones tended to be too distressed. I think that was a good piece of advice.
- The follow-up was up to me, and in fact I didn't need to come in again.

bb99 Mon 28-Apr-08 20:45:46

Personally I have been really fortunate - if that's the right way of looking at it - with our local hospital and all the pregnancy / maternity services.

mc1 - late, 18 weeks, missed, m/w check due to bleed and no heartbeat heard. Sent straight down to hospital for follow up and scan etc and was treated very well.

A heavily pg woman was also being seen at the m/w day unit and we had separate waiting room / examination room.

Things that helped

1) seperate waiting area / room while waiting to be scanned by docs, before the big scan at the xray unit.
2) being walked straight down and straight into the final death scan shock
3) Being made a very strong cup of tea with lots of sugar and hand held back from the scan room to the day care waiting room to await further medical advice and medication, by the receptionist of the m/wife day unit.
4) incredibly kind and compassionate staff at most levels, especially the poor scan operater who had the dubious honour of giving me the news.
5)Not having to wait around for too long to get the scans - time from hoping all was well to finally delivering bubs was 24 hours.
6) follow up scans for RPC were all early morning and appeared to be for suspected / mc patients only, also hospital has a separate area for anti-natal routine scans.
7)separate room in the maternity wing for deliveries of a no good outcome nature, or where parents of still born babies can spend some time with their children.
8)excellent chaplaincy service and a funeral.
9)Superb follow up appointment with a consultant who was really compassionate and answered all our questions, and was helpful as I had started my next m/c the night before going to the appt. He got me booked for all sorts of follow up and got me aspirin prescription etc. Fantastic Doc, won't mention by name tho grin. He also runs an excellent team - they check your notes BEFORE they see you, so they sound as tho they remember you - really good bedside manner!!!!!
10)Helpful out of hours doc who gave me a script for very strong pain killers having read my notes, without forcing me to go to the hospital in person.
11)Excellent EPU that seamlessly fits in with the other maternity services at the hospital.
12)Excellent PA's / Secretaries who have control over their consultants appointments and the scan appointments.
13)Lovely scan team in the xray department, including appointment makers.

Not so helpful

1)m/w not knowing who you were when turning up at hospital to finish having m/c and deliver poor boy, having been booked in for the following day to have an induction in case the pills didn't do the job...not their fault, very understaffed that night - obviously live births are a higher priority, and rightly so...
2) Having his body put into a hazardous waste sack in the room...necessary I know, but couldn't it have been done outside the room - this was my son, not hazardous waste to me!
M/w saying 'it's so small, should have been a gynae case - not his fault he was small, he'd been starved by his placenta and dead for a week...unintentionally heaping guilt about being in the wrong bed didn't really help...
3)Crap advice about a postmortem (from m/w teams) - only found out afterwards that they could have put the poor boy on ice and then we could have decided within 24 hours...luckily got all useful results from the examinations we did have done.
4)Having to sign consent to take the abortion pill to move things along (yuck - but how that can be improved I don't know)
5)F**g community m/wife telling me I had passed a 'clot' when it was the size of my thumb and the texture of liver - it was retained products...I was right...
6)Not enough information on 'what happens next' eg what will signs be, what could happen, how long will bleeding be before delivery etc etc - all the gory bits they don't like to tell you could be very useful inside a 'so, your pg hasn't quite turned out the way you expected' leaflet.
7)GP telling me not to bother going to the follow up appt for the original m/c as I'd just started my next one (WTF) and not really being helpful beyond, well, put your feet up (grrr) there's not much we can do. OK it's true, but purleese...
8)Having to argue the toss with GP about getting a sick note for work, even thought they were insisting on one...

Needless to say, I finally delivered my PSB at the local hospital and have changed GP's...

Also information on late and missed mc would be helpful when you're first pg.

Second time around was almost easier as it was an early - horrid physically (ironically) BUT at least I didn't feel like such a medical anomolly.

Also information about symptoms eg feeling 'heavy' was one of mine, but I guess the medicals' don't want too many women self diagnosing as the already stretched services would become overwhelmed.

Continuity and care were the buzz words that helped us as a family, cope with a shitty event.

bb99 Mon 28-Apr-08 20:54:55

Oh and routine tests for clotting disorders after one late m/c. Making women wait until their third is cruel and unusual and a waste of their lives and babies!!!

ronshar Mon 28-Apr-08 22:52:36

Wishingchair I am sorry if I upset you. I didnt mean to compare like for like. I certainly didnt want to cause upset. I worked for the NHS for years so I know how crap it can be. What I meant but obviously didnt make clear was that with cancer now there are clearly defined pathways for treatment. I would like those for other medical problems.

wishingchair Tue 29-Apr-08 11:58:40

Don't worry ronshar you didn't upset me. I agree it can and should be improved. It's just sad that those improvements (some of which are just so straightforward) are needed in so many other areas as well. You shouldn't have to be an expert on how the system works and have the confidence to push your way through it. Sometimes you just need a bit of hand-holding.

MirandaG Wed 30-Apr-08 00:20:59

Agree with nauseous - 'being pregnant' and 'going to have a baby' are not the same thing... The incidence of miscarriage is very high, but until it happens to you, you don't really believe it. Unfortunately, this is probably why some healthcare professionals are so blase about it - they see it all the time.

Soop Thu 01-May-08 14:22:13

No time to read through all messages but as someone who has experienced two MCs, here's my contribution:

* more practical and realistic information, including a leaflet or similar on miscarriages when your pregnancy is confirmed. This may be controversial, but I would have liked to have understood the stats (I had no idea it was so high and thought I was a failure) and to have known exactly what to do if I started bleeding - where to go, who to call, how long to wait at home before seeking help etc

* a leaflet written especially for male partners, who cannot be expected to understand the poss physical aspects (my husband simply couldn't believe I could be in so much pain when only 11 weeks pregnant cf giving birth at full-term)

* immediate scans, so you know exactly what is going on and can start to grieve straightaway, instead of being left in limbo

* be kept away from pregnant women while waiting for scans etc

* better training for A&E staff, including in their communication techniques

* better communication between all organisations and people involved (no-one was informed by the hospital about my first MC, which became very embarrassing for the GPs, midwives and healthcare team who kept contacting me about various pregnancy-related things)

* a sea-change in society so that it is not considered a subject to be hidden (both times I had to pretend to my employers that I had a stomach upset, and it was particularly diff when the second started when I had just arrived at work). OK, I can but hope...

Good luck with this campaign - absolutely appalling state of affairs right now and really needs improvements.

TinkerbellesMum Thu 01-May-08 14:34:39

If anyone's interested, I've started a thread about Hughes (Antiphospholipid) Syndrome in Health. It seems there are a few people on here diagnosed with it and some people who may get something from looking into it.

kangaroo Thu 01-May-08 15:15:17

DEFINATELY - Make sure women who are miscarrying and women going for abnormal cell checks etc.(might not be able to have baby) away from pregnant ladies & babies

Also information about bleeding and what might come out! Hospital thought there was nothing left.

I was totally traumatised when went to the toilet and I could see the whole shape of the umbilical cord and some of the foetus. I was a gibbering blubbing wreck hadn't expected that.

TinkerbellesMum Thu 01-May-08 15:34:21

Kangaroo, Mum was with me when I had an exam to see if the cervix was open. The doctor (no word of a lie here) said to her "if I can just show you this piece of tissue I removed" it was my baby - her grandchild - lying on his palm!!! Mum had nightmares for weeks about it.

daisyj Fri 02-May-08 14:19:07

It would be a good start for anyone involved in setting up best practice guidelines for the treatment of m/c patients to read this whole thread first - and I mean that quite seriously. I had m/c six weeks ago (first baby), and reading a lot of these messages I can't believe how 'lucky' I was, really, at St Thomas' who were pretty good on most fronts, and my GP follow up was excellent - really caring and attentive.

There are many women out there who don't know how to ask for what they need - or are in no fit emotional state to do so. Although logistically this would be a big task, I'm sure, I really think there should be an automatic follow up, so that you have the option of seeing a GP to ask all the questions that you are too stunned and upset to ask the hospital staff at the scan.

I agree with ronshar that if men were experiencing such trauma on a daily basis, it is hard to believe that the kind of treatement described here would be tolerated. I'm not usually into making such sweeping statements, but DH agrees with me. Mind you, I'm not sure how that accounts for the attitude of some female medical staff!

momtoone Sat 03-May-08 12:24:04

I've read as much as possible (a few pages) and am feeling really angry just seeing women's experiences and remembering my own. I agree with what others have said to improve the experience.

- not having to wait days/a week for a scan following bleeding (I had to wait several days)
- not to have to wait in a waiting room with heavily pregnant womaen
- for miscarriage not to be treated in a casual and offhand manner but to be treated as a serious matter affecting not just the physical but also the mental health of women.

I was in agony during my early miscarriage, I don't know why but I was - I was treated with mild irritation when I begged for painkillers and to be seen immediately. I was told to sit down and wait, I had to rock in my chair to ease the pain, in front of a number of heavily pregnant women. The callousness of it still takes my breath away.

TobesMum Sun 04-May-08 21:24:46

It's already been said but better training for A & E staff is vital. I spent several hours in a crowded A & E waiting room one Saturday miscarrying my first pregnancy in front of a curious audience, who were probably wondering about the woman quietly sobbing and rocking in the seat at the front. I was bleeding heavily and very upset and frightened. I know that there is nothing that the staff could have done to prevent the miscarriage but if someone had had the sensitivity and consideration to get me sorted and on my way home again swiftly it would have made such a difference.

uly Mon 05-May-08 18:22:14

I lost my little girl at 22wks last year and apart from losing your baby at any stage of pregnancy there were some incidences that stick in my mind.
1. Being offered therapy sessions at kings college hospital, only to find out you had to wait 3 months on a waiting list and by the way the therapists office was located on the same ward that i lost my baby, the LABOUR WARD!!!!! Hows that for sensitive.
2.Receiving a phone call from the same hospital two days after the event to inquire why i had not turned up for my 23wk scan!
3.Speaking to NHS medical excemption card operator informing that i no longer had a baby in side me, hence card void.
4.My local doctor's receptionist announcing at my 8 wk check that i must registered my babies details for the surgery, if only she had looked at the computer screen and checked my details before launching in to that one! I replied my baby died just to return the favour however felt dreadfully guilty as she looked horrfied.
Enough of my rant its never going to be easy but time is a great healer (how i used to hate that saying) and i send love and understanding to all of us that go through this heartbreaking ordeal.

TinkerbellesMum Tue 06-May-08 21:08:04

uly, you didn't need to inform the Medical Exemption people, you're entitled to it for 12 months after you are due to give birth, it's about you not the baby.

JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Tue 10-Jun-08 17:11:38

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts on the Miscarriage Code of Practice recommendations for Alan Johnson, Lord Darzi et al.

We've compiled into a list of 10 key recommendations here.

Do have a look through and let us know if we've missed anything important/ any typos etc.

Thanks,

M Towers

jura Tue 10-Jun-08 17:21:14

The substance of the recommendations makes sense to me, with no experience of the subject itself.

But please remove rogue apostrophe from GP's

(You did ask for typos!)

When I inform my dr that I'm having a m/c to not be asked if I'm relieved!
When going in for a D&C for a mmc, not to be made to sit in a waiting room in the labour ward!
To not be promised an early dating scan as reassurance due to prior mc and have the dr then forget to refer you
For nurses not to roll their eyes at you on one of the worst days of your life
To not have a nurse at A&E say to you "What do you want me to do about it" when you are 19 and experiencing your 1st mc

cece Tue 10-Jun-08 18:09:47

TinkerbellesMum

The medical expemption form is not valid for the further 12 months if you give birth (to a still born) before 24 weeks. A lot of people don't know that, even my GP thought I was still entitled to free prescriptions and yesterday the dentist thought I should still get free dental care.

bitofadramaqueen Tue 10-Jun-08 18:28:04

Can I just add re: point 9, while I agree that info should be held centrally, it could potentially be extremely difficult/impossible without an overhaul of elecronic medical records so could add to the recommendation that 'Alternatively information about miscarriage should be forwarded to community midwife teams and GPs without delay to stop bereaved parents...'

Can I also just mention that in Scotland health is a devolved matter so Alan Johnson has no jurisdiction. Can the recommendations should also be forwarded to the Scottish Government?

NormaStanleyFletcher Cote D'Ivoire Tue 10-Jun-08 19:19:12

Should "Evacuation of remains of products " in point 5 be sentence case since it is subsequently abreviated?

fryalot Tue 10-Jun-08 19:34:05

What chance is there of renaming "evacuation of the proceeds of conception" it sounds so clinical and horrible and wrong. For a lot of parents who miscarry, they have lost a baby and hearing their much wanted son or daughter referred to as "proceeds of conception" is, imo, cruel.

and "counselling" has two Ls

memoo Tue 10-Jun-08 19:43:01

Can we include the treatment women get after having an ectopic pregnancy. I had one 3 years ago, it ruptured which meant i lost a fallopian tube. After my op the doctor brought these forms to sign they were to give permission for them "to dispose of" the fetus. He said " these don't really apply to you, there more for women who have lost a baby, but i have to get you to sign them anyway2 It was though because my pregnancy had been ectopic and ruptured then it didn't really count as having lost a baby. I will never forgive them for treating my little lost baby as if she was just clinical waste

spicemonster Tue 10-Jun-08 19:46:42

I agree with all the points raised but can I also say it is a very good code and it would have made my experiences much more bearable if it had been in force.

Here's my contribution to pedants' corner though - you don't need to put EPU in full in point 2 as you've already abbreviated it at 1.

Also - could you put the link to the code in the OP? Don't know if that's possible but with a wealth of responses, it will get lost in the flurry

Highlander Tue 10-Jun-08 20:52:05

I remember having an ante-natal admission when preggers with DS2. There was an A4 book on the desk at the nurses staion with 'Bereavement Book' in big letters for everyone to see sad

The woman in the room next to me had had a 16 week miscarriage. Her and her husband had to wait ages to be discharged by the OB registrar and they coudln't see the bereavement midwife because it was a BH w/e. She was sobbing, they wouldn't let her go to the mortuary and she was screaming that she wanted to hold her baby sad. In the end, when the registrar arrived, she bollocked the nurses and arranged for the couple to eb taken to the mortuary the next day. The whole thing went on for ages and her crying haunts me to this day sad

ladylush Tue 10-Jun-08 21:02:29

A much needed campaign. Also think NHS Direct and out of hours doctors need to have an accurate database on where women can access EPUS. I discovered that they are very ignorant in this area. Had to do my own research when trying to access a walk-in clinic. Women with at-risk preganancies should not have to hunt down their own health care.

poppy34 Wed 11-Jun-08 12:11:49

load of good points on here but the one about going direct to EPU not the GP is very valid. I had to phone up crying to ask for referral for scan after waiting for 2 weeks with no luck.

also echo the point about EPU or hospital faciliteis being away from normal antenatal stuff- I'm sorry but is it some peculiar form of torture that you shoudl be made to endure this when you're at your most vulnerable?

Training on appropriate responses for all staff - including receptionists etc. Being told when you're going in to deliver baby at 21 weeks that you can't have a car park ticket as that is for people who are actually babies is not what you want to hear. Agree re pain of pain comments like Its very common , you can try again all being barred

Michaelangelo Wed 11-Jun-08 12:58:25

Having had 2 miscarriages there are a few things I would have found may the experience less horrible. My first was a missed miscarriage spotted at a 10 week scan, After the scan I went to the gynae ward and saw a nurse quite quickly who who told me all my options (i.e. ERPC, wait for it to happen naturally or medically assisted). However I was then given a side room to wait in for hours the doctor was on call in the labour ward and so couldn't get to me in the ned I got fed up and told the nurse I wanted and ERPC adn she finally agreed I could go and call back to speak to the doctor - such a relief to leave the cold sterile atomosphere of the gynae ward. I also dislike intensley the term ERPC (evacuation of retained products of conception) I had lost my baby not a product! Agree with others scanning at weekends would help. Also as far as I remeber the only person at the hospital who ever said they were sorry was the person who did my scan, a little more empathy I know it is very common and they see it all the time but it wasn't an everday occurence for me or my DH - thank God.

OffTheCoffee Wed 11-Jun-08 20:46:25

Someone has probably said this already, but Is it really necessary for the consent form which you fill in for an ERPC/D&C to contain the question "is it possible you might be pregnant?"

Agree with comments re scanning/sonographer availability - understand it's an expensive resource, but only having it open for 4 hours per day creates bottlenecks in a number of clinics and wards around the hospital, particularly at weekends. Many more patients could be seen, treated and discharged (meeting government targets and getting more funding for the hospital) if they worked more/different hours.

ronshar Wed 11-Jun-08 22:10:30

Thank you mumsnet for listening to all of our pain and finding a way to help other families not to have to go through it.
I really hope that it makes a difference.

mummyhill Thu 12-Jun-08 16:43:00

Point 8 should appears twice

saralou Fri 13-Jun-08 13:27:16

brilliant

but point 8 about all women who have miscarried at home be offered a scan to check that everything is gone once the bleeding stops, is a contradiction and needs rewording

if you wait till the bleeding has stopped you would not highlight any problems.

bleeding has stopped indicates it is complete and would therefor not be clinically necessary (think funding - you would find it difficult to get this one agreed to)

a scan is indicated when the bleeding is prolonged so you need to set a realistic time frame if you want this included, 3-4weeks maybe.

saralou Fri 13-Jun-08 13:36:23

actually still too long 2-3 weeks, maybe....

and about the leaflets, their is policy that we should be giving out leaflets for everything these days, so this just needs to be re-enforced and with the content that needs to be given laid out so that gynae units can complie their own

i don't think i'm explaining this point well, so i hope you know what i mean!!!

overthemill Fri 13-Jun-08 20:25:55

yes this is fine - agree with other's typos - Happy to help with leaflet still- carriemumsnet i have namechanged,

belgo Sat 14-Jun-08 11:53:20

This is a summery of the care I recieved here in Belgium, which I have no complaints about at all:

7 weeks pregnancy: Started bleeding at home on a saturday which was also a Belgium public holiday. Went straight to A&E and within an hour I was seen for an internal scan by a junior gyneacologist. Also blood tests taken for hormone levels, recieved results within four hours. Blood and scan results put pregnancy at about 5 weeks, and was told to come back two days later for further blood tests.

I miscarried the following day, at home.

Still bleeding heavily and was in pain six days later, emergency GP appointment, GP sent me for another scan that day which confirmed miscarriage was complete.

This is the standard of care which all women are entitled to.

stoical Sun 15-Jun-08 18:12:49

Hello. I wonder if anyone can help. I am 8 weeks, 2 days pregnant, and had a lot of bleeding last night. I think I've probably miscarried, although the bleeding has now stopped.
Today I went into A&E, and was told I couldn't have a scan straight away. As I was away for the weekend - staying with friends - the A&E wasn't in my local area. Now I'm back home, and want to know how to get myself a scan tomorrow - I want to know asap whether I really have miscarried or not. The not knowing is terrible. I rang my hospital, and they said I had to go through my GP first, tomorrow morning. Or go into casualty tonight, although they can't guarentee I'd get a scan, and might have to ask me to come back. Is this a crazy system? I probably won't get to see my GP until the afternoon tomorrow, and then I'll have to wait until they contact the hospital etc. Why won't anyone help? Should I just simply go private, and pay for an urgent scan tomorrow? The system has me foxed - anyone else know how it works?

constancereader Sun 15-Jun-08 20:34:10

I am sorry to hear of your stressful situation stoical. Could you explain to your gp over the phone and ask for an urget referral to the EPU at your hospital? It seems very strange that you weren't referred for a scan by A&E. Sorry I don't have any more suggestions, just didn't want to leave your post unanswered.

can i just mention, as someone who has never experienced a miscarrage, how horrible i feel for everyone here who has a story to tell; and how proud i am to be a member of mumsnet - i think it's amazing that we all have the opportunity to contribute and to hopefully change things so that women are treated quickly, respectfully and with humanity at such a devastating time.

JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Mon 16-Jun-08 11:36:07

Thanks for all further points, typo-spotting etc. We're editing right now and will post final version soonest and get it sent off to the right people (Scotland included).

JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Thu 19-Jun-08 17:30:45

Ok so here is the slightly re-jigged version taking into account your recent comments - we'll send it off to the UK health ministers tomorrow and we'll let you know what they say.
Thanks again everyone for your input.

RobbieRobsYumYum Fri 20-Jun-08 07:20:36

Just found this thread - maybe too late for my comments and I may be repeating but as someone who has suffered 8 miscarriages I have had lots of experience. Things I would like to point out

- not having to go through A&E for scan
- drs etc not insisting on internal examinations (it took me a few m/c to assert myself enough to say I didn't want fingers poking around in an area I was already worried about)
- Drs to suggest a time of recovery from work - particularly after ERPC - nothing worse than going back in and trying to put a brave face on it when your world has collapsed
- scanning away from 12/20 week scans
- proffesionals showing compassion - you don't care how many m/cs they've seen that day - to you it was the world
- giving more choice before ERPC offered. My research showed that you were no more likely to develop infection if allowing natural m/c than erpc
- DO NOT CALL IT A MISSED ABORTION OR SPONTANEOUS ABORTION!
- encourage people to name their lost baby - no matter how short a time he/she had been around - I subsequently named mine and it helps
- offering to give you a pic of the baby if you wish (I still think about the scans and almost wish I did have a pictorial memory for my own personal memorial)
- sonographers using better language to inform you of the news
- I (was being nosy and) read in my notes the sex of 2 of my babies - I found that reassuring
- more clear info on when to try and again
- empathy - al the way, I put getting through my last 2 succesful pregnancies without becoming a total nutter down to being treated with the utmost sensitivity
and compassion - when I was neurotic I was given such a kind response that I stopped panicing.
- obs not using expressions like "oh bad luck"
- involving the fathers more in the whole process and afterwards offering them support

I have had some amazing contact with professionals and some horrific contact over my 10 years of suffering miscarriages. I am so lucky to have 3 fantastic kids now but I think I still remember every experience like it was only a little while ago.

I am delighted that something that is such a big part of our lives is getting some proper attention.

RobbieRobsYumYum Fri 20-Jun-08 07:22:47

whoops just got to the end and saw its already done! Anyway gave me a chance to vent a little frustration!

Kiwifern Fri 20-Jun-08 08:00:02

In addition they also need to respect that woman deal with MC differently.
I've had two and the 2nd one in UK and they made such a fuss it was more traumatising.
They made me come in for a blood test to see whether I'd miscarried. Now if you've had one, you know that you have so why push so hard and be called 4 times to ensure I came in. Just leave me alone to deal with it!!
NHS direct phone line, told me I was being "deliberately uncooperative and unhelpful" because I couldn't tell them the postcode of where I was working and as I was bleeding and blubbering in the toilets I did not want to go out and speak to the client on site to find out the postcode before I could speak to a nurse to get some info. Horrific.
My overall thoughts is that MC is very very very common and woman deal with it in so many different ways. I feel strongly that there should be flexibility in the system to allow women to lead how they are dealt with, and D&C should NOT be something that is pushed for unless actually needed - which for my two it was not and I really had to fight to make that known.
But I agree that the most important thing is to be treated with dignity, empathy and respect.
A MC support group with mums in a local area would be helpful, almost like an NCT coffee group where women can debrief with women outside the hospital system.

Pamelap Fri 20-Jun-08 08:38:42

I have "only" had 1 miscarriage, but from my experience I would have liked not to have been treated by a pregnant doctor!
I now know that I also needed counselling afterwards and nothing was offered at the time.
After the scan that showed that everything was out, the doctor was so cheerful I just wanted to scream at him.They do their jobs and focus on the physical stuff, but what about the rest?

victoriagirl Fri 20-Jun-08 08:55:46

Totally support what has been pulled together to be sent on- particularly the plea to have EPAU away from other pregnancy sites- was awful having to sit there surrounded by pregnant women with magazines on pregnancy and babies being the only ones to read while waiting. Also- out of hours scans- waiting till the morning when I started bleeding late Sunday afternoon was the longest night of mine and my dp's lives. Might be too late for my comments, but perhaps you could add more weight to the offer of putting together a pamphlet- there was such a dearth of helpful info- so perhaps this could be a demand for funding for the pamphlet, rather than an offer. What I found hardest was nooned could tell me what to expect and it was so hard to track down info. I know everyone's miscarriage is dfferent but some information about the range of experiences would have been good, quotes from other people etc- I had no idea how much it would hurt and how much I would bleed- I didn't know what was normal and when/if I should worry.

Salll Fri 20-Jun-08 09:40:29

-And maybe some consideration for the hubby/partner... no, not probably what you're thinking, mine just never got to understand how awful it was for me to lose my identical twins & so I could never grieve, be myself, cry openly knowing there was a hug or sympathetic heart next to me. He just went off about his work, continued with meetings etc. after one initial token hug.
My point really is that a separate chat by a professional to the partner could do alot for the bereaved motherin the upcoming weeks & mths.
Great topic, huge sympathies to all those who lost their long hoped pregnancies before they would give joy.

In relation to the "when does life begin" i really think it's the indvidual's belief & thus has an impact on the feeling of loss thereafter if something happens. For me it started the moment I was aware I could be preg. Hence perhaps the feeling of sheer loss..i have wondered if i didnt believe life didnt start as a 'baby' til 24 weeks would my 21 wk preg. have been more bearable to lose(??)sad.

blizara Fri 20-Jun-08 10:19:06

Totally agree....
Had to wait in a waiting room full of pregnant women, whilst knowing mine was gone...
I was lucky, and had an early scan with my next one - but still worried for the whole of the pregnancy.

Quannoi Fri 20-Jun-08 12:24:29

Employers should be forced to provide paid emergency leave for BOTH PARENTS to cover both threatened miscarriage emergency medical appointments, and post-miscarriage compassionate leave. My husband was given a formal warning for taking two days off to be with me when we lost our first child when he had no annual leave left.

figra Fri 20-Jun-08 14:24:50

Have had three early m/cs, was told after first two to go home and take a paracetamol, and call the surgery if I was still bleeding in a fortnight. When I asked about what was coming out of me (I think I said "It looks like more than just blood") I was nonchalantly told "Oh yes, that will be foetal remains". As a result, I didn't go to the doctor for my third, just coped at home. In contrast several of my friends who have miscarried at the same stage were overnighted in hospital, had D&C, offered counselling, certified off work etc. My DH, who is usually quite supportive, seemed to be influenced by GP's matter of fact, no big deal line to the extent that he didn't mention it once we got home, beyond expressing relief that we hadn't yet told anyone of the pregnancy (I always waited til magic 12 week mark) and so wouldn't have to upset them with news of the m/c. It was years before I told him how upset I was by that - and to his credit, he was devestated that I thought he'd been unsupportive, saying he assumed that was what I wanted as it seemed to be the line the GP(a woman) was endorsing, and he felt out of his depth etc. Neither of us got any leaflet, phone number or information of any kind. I strongly feel that fathers/friends/relatives need to have access to information, so that they know how to respond. When a friend miscarried a few weeks after one of mine, and was in hospital for 2 nights, getting tons of sympathy etc, I'll admit I was really hurt, thinking "Didn't mine count then?" - even though the only person who knew about mine was DH, so no one knew I needed support anyway! Perhaps women could be encouraged to tell friends when they miscarry, instead of keeping it a guilty secret like many do. My mum still doesn't know, and it's been more than 10 years since my first!

Loosemo Fri 20-Jun-08 22:37:31

More info on what to expect emotionally / hormonally afterwards would have been nice. I was given a bereavement leaflet and gently advised to have a night out or do something that I couldn't do whilst pregnant (like have a drinky or two).

Although I recovered physically very quickly, my hormones raged for weeks afterwards and my personality and emotions were all over the shop.

I know the experience is different for every individual, but all the advice I got was looking out for physical side effects of the miscarriage and ERPC not the emotional.

CarofromWton Sat 21-Jun-08 21:53:48

I too had 3 early miscarriages between my 2 DDs. I was always quite open with friends and family about my pregnancies and have never understood why I was so often advised not to tell anyone until I was past the 3 months mark. Like miscarriage is something to be ashamed of and I have to protect everybody else's feelings if a pregnancy goes wrong! Conversely, when I had the miscarriages I gained comfort from the people around me (mostly) so I'm glad I let them know.

TAMMYROOD Mon 23-Jun-08 12:21:52

hi just wanted to say what i went through a couple of years ago i thought every thing was ok til my 1st scan then i found out everything had gone wrong i had lost my baby at 11 weeks i decided to have the op so came in to hospital on the following tues(i lost on the wed but unfortunatley they couldn't fit me in) i had the op then was given a huge dose of antibiotic on an empty tummy and sent home i was sick in car park went back to see if i had to retake but they said no and to go home i went back on the monday in pain and bleeding heavy i was admitted to gyny ward and put in a bed next to patients who were have optional abortions!! i was then seen by a consultant who kept refering my miscarridge as an abortion even though i had pointed out on many occasions that i found this phrase very upsetting i had repeat op and a camera so they could make sure everything was ok they found lots of puss the size of small orange behind my womb infection due to them not getting everything out 1st time more antibiotics home again in which time i burried my baby in memorial garden couple of days after went back stil dont feel right they could only see me in antenatal had scÁn still baby there this really upset me as we had already burried our baby. had one more op finally it was all ok but still get very upset when think about it i did get an appology but that means nothing thankfully i now have a very healthy little girl. i fully support the mums net movement and really hope you get some where with it so no more women have to suffer like i did

MollieMooma Mon 23-Jun-08 12:49:53

I m/c my first baby in Jan 08 after 2 years of trying, I was absolutely devastated and to be fair my GP was very supportive, I went straight to the EPAU myself as it all started over Christmas and I couldn't access my doctor. But my GP even called me to make an appt to see me after the ERPC and offered support. I "coped" to start with but have now been offered counselling as I am struggling emotionally. I definately agree with the siting of EPAU seperately from normal ante-natal clinics,in total I had 3 scans, the first two were handled sensitively but the third was appalling. The woman bullied me into the toilet, showed me the screen without asking if I wanted to see and handled the whole situation appalling. But when I went in for my ERPC on the day ward, the staff were fantastic, really supportive and understanding. I have since read on MN that some people were offered their baby to bury or attend a memorial service, unfortunately they dont' seem to offer that service at my hospital, it would have been nice to have the option. I agree with one comment too about someone professional talking to DP/DH to explain what we have gone/going through. Also understanding employers would be nice, mine were great but DH had to use annual leave for scans/ERPC.

TinkerbellesMum Tue 24-Jun-08 18:02:14

Have just read the Code of Practice recommendations, I'm really pleased to see Antiphospholipid Syndrome included in it. I really believe that testing it routine in pregnancy (after all Sickle Cell and Thalassemia is) and after miscarriage for those that miss the opportunity could save the NHS a lot of money (and heartache) from the pregnancies it would save.

I would love to see something done, a campaign or something to get this happening.

wizzchick Tue 24-Jun-08 22:44:43

I had three miscarriages.

The first was discovered at my 13 week scan where no heartbeat could be found. Was totally unprepared for this, more focused on potential birth defects. On the route out to a quiet room, I had to walk along an endless corridor of heavily pregnant mums-to-be, trying to hold myself together, blinded my tears. And then sent me home with a leaflet & a dead foetus inside for the Easter bank hol weekend until they could fit me in for a D&C after the holiday was over.

The second two I experienced on separate occasions at home without any real guidance of what to expect ("it varies" they said on the phone), not knowing what to look for or when it would stop, or whether I would bleed to death (was advised to go to A&E if it got "too heavy", but how do you know what that is?).

The ladies at the local hospital EPG were very sympathetic and helpful during my subsequent (successful) pregnancies, although they openly admit that you have to have more than three before anyone thinks you may have a real problem.

I would have liked more information on what to expect to experience during and after miscarriage(both emotional and physical), esp. to prepare myself for my body still acting pregnant even though I was not.

To help deal with my grief at the time, I also planted a lovely tree in my garden in memory of what could have been (this has been very therapeutic as I feel I created some life when there was none left in me).

On a happy note I now have two lovely little girls, which I never dreamt I would manage to carry successfully, so there is hope!

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Jun-08 21:45:24

This has been posted on site stuff already but, thought it worth posting here too, just in case:

The Scottish Daily Record are keen to give some support to our campaign for A Miscarriage Standard Code of Practice. They need to speak to someone from Scotland who is willing to share their experience of miscarriage (we do understand if you would rather not). If you feel you might be able to help please contact Lisa Adams at l.adams@dailyrecord.co.uk

fruitbowl Sat 12-Jul-08 22:38:18

Just wanted to say well done MUMSNET on getting the recommendations together. On a personal level, it feels empowering to be consulted and to know that my contribution may help others in that awful situation. At least some good may come out of our sad and otherwise helpless experiences of MC. Thanks for providing the forum for us to be represented and doing it so well.

jumpyjan Sat 15-Aug-09 14:07:40

I think it would really be something to be proud of if this code of practice was adopted. For me, particularly the first 3 points are so very important.

I had no idea what was happening to me when my miscarriage started and the communication between the GP's/hospital staff was not very good. No one explained anything to me and worse than that I felt that in hospital they were actually avoiding me sad as I was convincing myself that everything was going to be ok and no-one explained that it was pretty definite that I was in the process of miscarrying and what I should expect.

It took about 3 days before it was over and if only I could have had a scan as soon as I started bleeding I would not have lived with false hope for what felt like a long time and I think it would have helped me to come to terms with everything a lot quicker. So I think better access to scans is vital.

I also wholeheartedly agree with the point about keeping women who are going through a miscarriage separate from antenatal patients as I will never forget sitting in the waiting room for my scan, in a wheelchair, bleeding heavily and trying not to cry (and failing) with everyone staring at me and it must have been pretty horrific for those patients when I started to miscarry in the waiting room toilets sad.

I also agree that there needs to be some sort of follow up/counselling as it takes some getting over. Even writing this now (3 years on) I feel very emotional so it shows how deeply miscarriage affects us.

Jossiejump Sat 15-Aug-09 18:42:14

I think there should be some follow up emotional care and also advice as to what to expect during a miscarriage.
I had 3 miscarriages, at the EPU during the first the staff were so unfeeling as it is so common for women to have a single miscarriage, by the time of the 3rd one the same staff were giving me the care that I expected to have during the first one. Yes for them it is an everyday experience, but for us it is something overwhelming. I felt like I had missed out on some aspects of emotional care.
I did attend an independent support group, but found this quite maudlin as I am a person who likes to focus on actions and a way forward. I ended up researching as much as I could on the internet and seeing a private consultant to carry out tests after my second miscarriage.
Talking helped, but on a one to one basis rather than in a group setting.
I remember sitting waiting for my early scan at the epu, a year to the minute that my first miscarriage had been confirmed, in the same room. This time I had a happy outcome, but felt so upset for the women I saw walking past me, who I knew were being told the same news that I had been a year before.

itsababslife Tue 18-Aug-09 22:58:09

I have had 3 miscarriages and on the whole my care was handled very sensitively - A & E staff very sympathetic and patient and I was admitted to a gynae ward not an antenatal unit - however all 3 MCs started on a Friday night and hence could not be confirmed by scan until EPU opened again on the following Monday. On 2 of the occasions the MCs had completed by this time and so I had to go through, was I now believe was labour (I am now proud mum), with very little pain relief. EPUs open 7 days would have spared me this.

Also, despite the kindness that all the staff showed me, my one overriding memory is of the arrogant and patronising A&E consultant who breeezed in and announced that he understood I was having a spontaneous abortion....and despite the obvious pain I was in was prepared to argue the semantics with me when I pointed out that what I was actually doing was having a miscarriage....he then, having witnessed a contraction, begrudgingly offered me morphine, however loudly requested that the lovely nurse looking after me stay in the cubicle whilst he administered it as it might cause a cardiac arrest ! I'm sure he could have exercised some judgement here, after all it wasn't the 1st time he had given a morphine injection - it did feel like point scoring because I had dared to point out that I really didn't care about his medical terminology (I may have used more colourful language at the time!).

I hope he was just having a very long Friday night in casualty, but had he shown a little thought to my situation he wouldn't have needlessly made a devastating situation considerably more traumatic.....I still seeth when I think about it.

mmrred Fri 21-Aug-09 22:45:55

I vividly remember crying in some poxy day room or similar, and a nurse coming in and finding me. Instead of any word of comfort, she bustled off and brought my notes in, now adorned with a special 'sticker' showing a big fat tear, and explained to me that any staff who saw it would know I was feeling 'sensitive'.

This, I feel, is not the way forward.

Twig79 Sat 22-Aug-09 11:19:14

I had a miscarriage 3 weeks ago