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family outing to the EPAU aka miscarriage clinic anyone?!!! FFS

(29 Posts)
inamaymaybewrong Tue 30-Jun-15 11:21:23

So, I'm sat waiting for my follow-up at the EPAU after miscarrying for a second time in a row 2 and a bit weeks ago.
Also in the tiny waiting room is what seems to be a family outing.... Mum / Gran plus 2 adult daughters and 2 toddlers. Hard to say who the patient is. I know childcare can be an issue with medical appts even this kind but why the entourage? Can't granny take the kids outside to run around?
I mean, even if you want someone with you for moral support, this seems OTT and inappropriate, or is it just me being overly sensitive and judgmental?

twilightstruggle Tue 30-Jun-15 11:57:03

I'm really sorry for your losses. Miscarriage is just awful. Look after yourself over the coming weeks. I don't understand the need for an entourage in EPU either. It's the last thing I'd want but perhaps some families are closer than mine enmeshed

When I was sitting in EPU recently in a similar situation there was a woman waiting there with her baby. Bad enough, but then she asked me to mind said baby while she went to the loo. Ouch. she was lucky we were there when she returned!!

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Tue 30-Jun-15 12:01:44

I was once sat in the infertility clinic while undergoing IVF & a family arrived with a young child in a pushchair. They sat down & played noisily while waiting for their appt

Waggamamma Tue 30-Jun-15 14:04:17

Totally unnecessary.

The EPU waiting in my local hospital is in the same corridor as maternity triage and where you go for 12 and 20 week scans. At this truly dreadful time the last thing you need to be confronted with is babies and ladies at various stages of pregnancy.

summersnowshowers Tue 30-Jun-15 14:11:21

Oh my goodness, my epau only allow one companion and no children whatsoever. Its (fortunately) very strictly enforced

PerspicaciaTick Tue 30-Jun-15 14:19:08

I was in the EPU awaiting surgery to remove a long-tried for, very much wanted but sadly ectopic pregnancy.
The woman in the next bed was accompanied by her (seemingly) exP and their 6yo daughter. They emotionally abused the child continuously, telling her they hated her, couldn't wait for her to spend time with the other parent. Dad swore at the child and said he was leaving and wasn't taking her with him, the child was sobbing "No Daddy, please stay, don't go".
I was in pieces about it. The midwives were in bits and spoke to them. But there don't seem to be anything to do. I wish I had been in a better place physically and emotionally to help her. I couldn't help thinking that they were so blessed to have this child (who appeared to be quiet and well-behaved) and they were flaunting their dislike of her in a unit full of women who were in the process of losing their babies. Gits, the pair of them.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 30-Jun-15 14:24:27

I had to take my DD to the EPU with me once blush. I was in a real tither over it but DH was away with work and we lived 150 miles away from friends and family. Had just moved to I knew no one, I was bleeding and they told me to come in straight away. I tried to sit outside the waiting room but the receptionist told me I had to go into the waiting room itself. I felt truly awful about it. She was 11 months old.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 30-Jun-15 14:25:34

Had to go straight away due to suspected ectopic.

SauvignonPlonker Tue 30-Jun-15 14:29:40

I remember being in the waiting room at EPU, knowing deep down I'd miscarried, but needing a scan to confirm.

A young couple were laughing & joking, looking at their scan pictures.

So grossly insensitive. I just could not get myself together enough to say something to them.

So sorry for your situation. OP.

ChazzerChaser Tue 30-Jun-15 14:33:40

Yep when I was there, woman with gran, grandad, mother, brother, sister and random child. Not sure that's really necessary!

sebsmummy1 Tue 30-Jun-15 14:35:43

I don't think it's the family with children who are insensitive, I think it's the ill thought out hospital layouts that mix the happily pregnant with the miscarrying/miscarried.

I am a SAHM with a toddler who has also recently had my third MC in a row. There are times that I can get childcare and times that I can't. On the times that I can't I have to pop my two year old in the pushchair and he comes with me I'm afraid. Fortunately the EPAU don't have a problem with children accompanying the parents and to be honest if they did have a problem with it I would be absolutely ducked snd wouldn't have been able to attend half the appointments I've needed to.

sebsmummy1 Tue 30-Jun-15 14:36:21


WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 30-Jun-15 14:37:07

Ditto sebs, if I couldn't have taken DD I wouldn't have been able to go.

spiderlight Tue 30-Jun-15 14:43:33

Perspicacia That's brought tears to my eyes. Poor, poor little girl sad

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 30-Jun-15 14:51:55

I have encountered the same at the EPAU in the past (MMC in 2010 & in early pregnancy with DD in 2011).

In my case, the women who came with the entire family were almost always Asian. I did wonder whether maybe English wasn't their first language so they needed help to understand what was happening, or, if maybe it was the 'done thing' in their culture to take the whole family.

It was quite an issue on one occasion, as the EPAU here only has 10 waiting seats & they were taking all of them. (Maybe 6 people but sitting in such a way that all seats were occupied IYSWIM. Bags, pushchair, toys on seats etc.) I'm not sure that I care how many people a patient brings with them, but I do think that patients in such a place should get priority over the seats in the waiting room. Chances are a woman visiting the EPAU doesn't feel their best!

Oh, and our EPAU has just moved to one end of the gynae ward (which you do not have to walk past either ante-natal or maternity to get to). When I used it, back in 2010 & 2011, it was one end of the ante-natal clinic. Tactless in the extreme.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 30-Jun-15 14:54:26

Perspi - that is so sad. I wouldn't be surprised if the midwives didn't have a word with SS on her behalf. I'm not sure a HCP would witness that & do nothing. I sincerely hope help was given & things have improved for her sad.

PerspicaciaTick Tue 30-Jun-15 15:00:20

Santa I hope you are right...I was taken to theatre after a couple of hours and didn't see them again. I hope it worked out for her in the end.

christinarossetti Tue 30-Jun-15 15:04:11

Hospital layouts are a serious problem in these settings.

As others have said, it's truly awful if you have to go to an EPAU and don't have childcare for older children, although taking children when there is clearly another adult around who could look after them elsewhere is unnecessary and insensitive.

My appointment with the consultant to receive the PM results after the death of my first baby was in the very same scanning department where I'd found out a few weeks earlier that she was going to die.

It wasn't a clinical appointment, so there was absolutely no need for it to be there. Beyond insensitive.

HeffaLumpers Tue 30-Jun-15 15:04:25

I've had to take dd with me to the epu. I would much rather have not but I had no childcare and a suspected ectopic pregnancy. If I couldn't have taken dd I wouldn't have been able to go. When I have had someone else available I have left dd with them and gone on my own, having a group of people there is unnecessary.

sparechange Tue 30-Jun-15 15:20:05

To get to the gynae dept at my local hospital, you have to walk through the ante natal reception, then through the waiting room, then queue at the gynae reception. When a queue mounts up, it goes back into the antenatal waiting room.
When we went for the postmortem results and follow up after losing our baby at 24 weeks, they were one receptionist down, and we had to stand there for what felt like an age, while very pregnant women asked us to move so they could sit down/get up out of the chairs in the waiting room. At least our waiting area was away from them, but having to them walk past them on the way out was horrific sad

KittyandTeal Tue 30-Jun-15 15:37:54

On waiting for the debrief after my tfmr I had to sit in the waiting room for all the normal antenatal care and scans. Lots a happily pregnant women rubbing their tummies.

Not their fault at all. My consultant flipped when she came out to find us, no one had told us there was a separate waiting room.

Tbf all our other appointments our names had been flagged and we were taken straight into one of the quiet rooms.

Hospitals do need to look at the lay out and logistics of having happily pregnant women mixed in with lose who have lost or are loosing a baby.

VenusVanDamme Tue 30-Jun-15 15:46:49

So sorry for your losses. It's the shittiest of shit things.

Our EPAU was very clear on no children there whatsoever and enforced it which was about the only thing the hospital got right in its planning. You walk through maternity assessment to get there, our first 2 mc you were in the same area as 12/20 week scans but this later moved and you walk in the same front door as everyone in labour.

When we finally got a good early scan on pregnancy 5 (early so I could start clexane) DH and I were careful to keep pics in bag and contain ourselves until back at car as we'd been on the other side so many times and didn't want to make anyone waiting feel even worse.

I hope you're doing ok, take care.

Moondancer146 Tue 30-Jun-15 19:27:56

My hospital has only recently separated the epau and maternity assessment unit. They used to share a waiting room and you'd have heavily pregnant women coming in with family and also women waiting for scans and possible bad news all in one place. I was in and out with complications with my DD and it was awful to see people coming out of scans in tears and having to sit and wait and watch others coming in ready to have their babies. I assume the hospital's had bad feedback about it though because they've now moved the maternity assessment unit upstairs and attached a small ward to it for ladies having comic actions so they don't have to share a ward with new mothers and babies and epau now has it's own unit just for women who are earlier than 12 weeks

IFinishedTheBiscuits Tue 30-Jun-15 21:49:28

Our EPAU has a sign saying in busy times family must wait outside. Think it's understandable that mums who can't get childcare have no other option but when I went for a scan when I lost symptoms before my 4th miscarriage, I did find it really really difficult sitting in a tiny waiting room with a couple who were cooing over a baby. (Assume the mum was pregnant again.)

Purpleprickles Tue 30-Jun-15 22:58:14

Same here. First visit to EPU after scan suggested mmc and there was a toddler screaming the whole time. Waiting for my second scan to confirm the mmc took nearly two hours and I really felt we should have been put through quicker as I was in the system but no it was get a number and wait. Seeing people pop in and out with their good news was hard. Of course I was happy they aren't going through this hell but the perky young thing that popped out singing loudly "well it's not twins" just really took the piss. It's so insensitive and very easy to look around at the pain etched on the faces of some of us to realise that we would only be coming back out in tears.

I have to say all the staff who helped me were fantastic but yes there needs to be a quiet waiting space and equally people need to have a bit of empathy.

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