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It's not unreasonable to grieve for a life, no matter how long it was lived

(47 Posts)
oftendistracted Thu 04-Sep-08 11:09:51

I am glad to find such supportive women on this site. I've just been scanning the net to see if anyone has just been through what I have.
I guess I need to talk or express what has happened until all the pain and confusion has gone.
My baby passed away at seven weeks but I didn't find out until eleven weeks. All my pregnancy symptoms were there - tiredness, nausea and a small bump.
When I phoned a midwife to ask about some spotting that had started two days prior she wrote it off as normal.
But I had a nagging feeling that the spotting was not normal so phoned the emergency GP on a Saturday and begged for an appointment at the early pregnancy unit at the local hospital.
By the time they saw me -five hours later - a mono-syllabic scanner told me there was no heart beat. Naturally I broke down and a cold nurse, simply handed me tissues and told me to wait in the waiting room - there was not a ounce of sympathy between them and I felt very alone.
I was sent home with a dead foetus inside me and told to come back to the hospital in nine days for another scan.
It was only when I got home that the oddness of it all struck me.
Why had the hospital sent me home with a dead foetus, which in total would be there for five weeks? Why hadn't my body figured this out sooner? I spent the following seven days feeling very strange.
My head knew something my stomach or womb did not. And no matter how much I learned about missed miscarriages from the net, I could not get the message through to the rest of my body to abort the baby - I felt incredibly disjointed and incredibly pregnant - nothing stopped the hunger pangs, the regular weeing or the nausea.
Seven days later - on Saturday, I woke at 2am with stomach cramps. My partner and I went to A&E in case it was a sign of infection. We were sent home with painkillers. Twelve hours later I was labour.
The contractions were crippling and increased to one every minute by the time I was rushed back to A&E, gushing blood with every contraction. And all I was thinking was no one mentioned this.
My partner was in shock and I was just consumed by the pain. I still have so many questions to ask.
When I finally delivered everything, the gynaecologist just said, "Most women don't have this". That has been my only explanation and I am totally at a loss as to why it happened. I was not offered a D&C or any other treatment, I was just left with a full labour and no baby to hold at the end.
I understand that as far as pregnancy tragedies go, this incident is the just beginning of a long list of more terrible things that can happen but it still leaves me shocked that hurts so much and can leave us feeling so alone.
I don't where to go from here. I guess the thing to do is put it down to experience and move on - but it was such a big moment, I doubt I will forget it.

Thank you, if anything I hope this post prompts people to ask questions because from my experience if you don't ask the right questions, you can be very surprised by what happens. I have since been told that had I gone to another local hospital I would have been offered some sort of treatment straight away, I think this

suwoo Thu 04-Sep-08 11:13:17

Have no experience, but I'm very sorry for your loss sad

daftpunk Thu 04-Sep-08 11:14:57

so sorry for the loss of your baby.
you wont ever forget this, but you will move on, and you will get better...i promise.

take care x

nickytwotimes Thu 04-Sep-08 11:15:32

WHat an awful experience for you.
I can't believe they sent you home.
My friend had a missed miscarriage and was given a D&C the same day she found out the heartbeat was absent.
The compassion she was shown helped her come to terms with the loss of her pregnancy.

I am not surprised you are so sad. You are greiving for what might have been which is very hard.

2shoes Thu 04-Sep-08 11:17:04

sorry for the loss of your babysad

Buda Thu 04-Sep-08 11:18:08

OMG. How unbelievably horrific.

I am so so sorry for your loss. However I am incensed at what you went through. And we are supposed to be a first world civilised country?

norksinmywaistband Thu 04-Sep-08 11:18:37

I am very sorry for your loss.
I am not knowledgeable on missed misscarriages or the procedure, but have had 2 miscarriages myself ( 8 and 11 weeks) I did not have the contraction type pain you described but constant aching interspersed with cramps.

YANBU to grieve for your lost baby it is perfectly normal.

I have gone on to have 2 term pregnancies and now have 2 gorgeous DC but still remember my misscarried babies.

Can you talk to your DP, he is probably having a similar emotional journey as you?

snarky Thu 04-Sep-08 11:19:41

you poor, poor thing sad

You are traumatised and shocked, you need to be very gentle with yourself, talk as much as you need to about it all, and give yourself time to get over it. I'm so very sorry you were treated so badly.

Sending you love, strength and kindness vibes xx

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 04-Sep-08 11:20:35

I am so sorry for the loss of your baby and for the way you were treated.

MN is always here with an open ear.

snarky Thu 04-Sep-08 11:20:58

when I say get over it, I don't mean "forget it ever happened and go back to normal", I just mean that it will take some time to heal and you shouldn't rush yourself... sorry if my first post was a bit insensitive sad

EllieG Thu 04-Sep-08 11:21:29

So sorry for your loss oftendistracted. It sounds like you have been treated in a very uncaring and callous manner. I lost my baby when I went for a 12 week scan and was told baby had died at 8 weeks. However, the staff couldn't have been more kind or understanding, and although it was an incredibly painful time, I will never forget how wonderfully caring they were. I was booked in for a D&C the next day, at my request, and allowed to grieve. The consultant did not medicalise it, but talked about my baby, rather than it as a foetus, which touched me, as it was how I felt.

You are not unreasonable to need time to grieve. Everyone is different, but I strongly felt I had lost a baby, a child, and I grieved for a little life unlived, and a future I would not have too, and it shook me to the core.

I found invaluable support on here. I hope you do too. I am thinking of you - believe it or not, you will feel better one day, but don't rush yourself, you are allowed to take as much time and support as you need. I have never forgotten my little lost baby, even as I hold my beautiful girl today, but I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Please talk as much as you need to on here, lots of people will understand [hugs]

bloomingfedup Thu 04-Sep-08 11:24:55

I am so sorry for your loss. sad I have been through a smiliar experience and some of the medics are just cold fish, prehaps because thety become hardened? I know it's wrong and does'nt help you when you need tender words, care and information.

Your baby was a life and you NEED to grieve the loss you have suffered.

Take carexxxx

psychomum5 Thu 04-Sep-08 11:25:16

I am so sorry.

sadly tho, this is not an unusual occurance which makes all the more tragic. (I mean the the treatment you recieved). I have heard other women who have lost their babies, and the lack of care and support made all that much worse IMHO.

cmotdibbler Thu 04-Sep-08 11:26:26

I'm so sorry for your loss and the way you were treated.

I had one very missed miscarriage (baby died at 6 weeks, no symptoms at all till I went to my 12 week scan and they told me), one miscarriage, and one not so missed ( a week between seeing a healthy baby and the bleeding started, but the baby had died the day of the scan they think).
I had crap care, and I complained officially about it.
Although their response wasn't great, I know that things in the hospital did change for the better as a result, and it made me feel that something positive had come about.

I would urge you, when you feel a little stronger to make a formal complaint.

Mumsnet do have a campaign for better care around miscarriage and infant loss, to try and get a national standard of care

spicemonster Thu 04-Sep-08 11:31:03

I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't have much time to post right now but just wanted to say that I went through a very similar experience to you and it was really, really horrible. That was a couple of years ago now and I am feeling so much better but it took me a long time to get over my loss and the whole experience.

I found a missed miscarriage forum very supportive and it was helpful to talk to others who'd been through the same thing - I will see if I can find the address for you.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 04-Sep-08 11:32:40

oh my goodness you have been through a traumatic time. Your treatment sounds absolutely dreadful and clearly it has made a traumatic event much much worse than necessary.

Now is not the right time I'm sure but at some point you may want to question things. You could contact your local PALS, Patient Advice and Laison Service and they may be able to help you to question how your care was managed and whether you could or should have had treatment which may have spared you your labour. There is also an organisation called the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service which exists to help people complain about NHS treatment. I am not saying you will, or should, ever feel like pursuing these things but thought they were worth mentioning. Everyone needs to deal with things differently.

All good wishes to you and your partner.

georgimama Thu 04-Sep-08 11:39:54

So sorry for your loss, mercifully I have no personal experience but as others have said your experience is shamefully common.

A dear friend of mine had a mmc at 8 weeks and they didn't give her a D&C for another month, was very hard for her and IMHO unnecessarily prolonged her physical and emotional recovery.

Thinking of where to go from here, could you and DH do something, like a goodbye for just the two of you, do you think that would help? Light a candle and say a prayer or just a few words. I hope you can draw some comfort from this thread. There is also a very good bereavement section on MN, you may find some more people with similar experiences there.

MadameOvary Thu 04-Sep-08 11:48:52

You went through labour with no baby to hold at the end of it, and no one (medical) supporting you. Good God no wonder you feel the way you do. sad I am shocked at reading the very articulate and poignant account of your experience.
By all means grieve, and for as long as you need to - this was a baby you wanted and were prepared to love, and the sense of loss you are feeling is entirely understandable.

batters Thu 04-Sep-08 11:52:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheCrackFox Thu 04-Sep-08 11:52:45

I am very sorry for your loss. And also angry at the way you were treated. Take as much time as you need to grieve, you have had a massive shock.

IfYouDidntLaughYoudCry Thu 04-Sep-08 12:02:37

My thoughts go out to you and I am so sorry for your loss.

I cannot believe how insensitive those treating you have been xx

43Today Thu 04-Sep-08 12:05:45

Hi oftendistracted, I'm so sorry to hear about your awful experience. It must have been terrifying to go through the miscarriage in that way. I can identify with your feelings because I had a similar experience, and was similarly shocked at the lack of compassion shown by medical staff.

It amazed me that a physical and emotional trauma could be treated by the caregivers in such a blase fashion.

It sounds like you lost a lot of blood too, which will have made you weaker. Have you been given any iron supplements or told to rest? You should give your body every opportunity to recuperate. After my miscarriage I couldn't climb the stairs without becoming breathless because I had hemorrhaged so badly. I later read in a midwifery textbook that allowing the embryo to stay in the uterus after it has died increases the risk of a blood-clotting disorder which in turn can lead to haemorrhage. Obviously I am not a medical professional but if that is the case I was shocked that no-one who treated me seemed to be aware of this.

I'm afraid I can't offer any advice about official complaints - my experience happened in Holland so didn't really know the set up there. I hope you get the opportunity to talk through your experience with someone who can give you some answers and help you to start to deal with it.

Anyway, big hugs to you - look after yourself and find people to talk to about this. Hope you start to feel better soon..

catsmother Thu 04-Sep-08 12:34:04

Of course it's not unreasonble to grieve for your baby. I'm really sorry you are going through the trauma of losing a much wanted child and also had to deal with the insensitivity and misinformation from the very people you hope can help you through such a rotten time.

I lost a baby at about 9 weeks and had a similarly unpleasant experience - I think quite a few people on here have had. I'm certain there was a recent-ish thread, in which many women related their miscarriage experiences (but can't find it, sorry) ..... which was very sad, but also helpful in some strange way because when you miscarry and, in some other people's opinions you're not "getting over it" as quickly as you "should", it's very reassuring to realise that you're not "overreacting" and that what you're feeling is both natural, and understandable.

chipmonkey Thu 04-Sep-08 12:37:03

Oh you poor love! Bad enough to suffer a MC without such a total lack of empathy from the staff! sad So very sorry for your loss.

catsmother Thu 04-Sep-08 12:40:25

I meant to say as well, and I don't know if this would help you in some small way or not, but what made my upset all the worse was the expectation by certain people in my life and society at large that miscarrying was something I should "forget". I appreciate my loss isn't going to resonnate with everyone else but I did object to having my feelings minimalised. I therefore commemorated my loss by buying a very simple ring with which to remember the baby who was never born ..... sentimental maybe, but it means something to me and is a personal marker showing that another child did once exist, albeit shortly. I have read about other women who choose to remember their baby by planting a tree or making a charitable donation in their name ..... it's all about reaffirming that a lost baby is real (IMO anyway).

You are very unlikely to forget this, and why should you. Little by little, the whole experience loosens its grip on you and you don't feel quite so distraught but it's natural to feel sad about it for the rest of your life, regardless of whether or not you have any more children, because it's not about replacing the one you lost.

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