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Devastating realisation (warning: retained organs)(34 Posts)
I can't talk to my loving, thoughtful and caring children about this as 2 of them are expecting a baby this summer. I have no friends or other family and am very isolated due to a disability with no support.
I had 4 babies, 3 sons followed by my daughter, with age gaps of 14 months, 15 months and exactly 1 year. It was my 3rd son, 3rd baby, this is about.
I've tried to write this so many times. I'm sorry if it is long or confusing; I don't expect any replies, I think I just need to get it out of my mind (talking real spoken words can make a huge difference, but I genuinely don't have anyone).
Last week there was a huge devastating realisation; it felt like someone squeezed all the air out of my body and all that came out was tears.
I was, doing some very excited grandma-to-be reading and ended up on the WHO gestational growth charts and explanations. I can't describe how I felt when I realised that the hospital had lied to brazenly to me about my baby's gestation which meant he did not have to be recorded as a birth. They put 'spontaneous abortion' and that hurts so deeply.
When i was at my 1st antenatal I was 8 weeks pregnant, but was using contraception so wasn't sure. The midwife measured me at 16 weeks, so sent me straight for a scan. All this is on my co-op card (like a pregnancy record),that I still have.
The scan confirmed I was 16 weeks pregnant but there was also excess amniotic fluid, so I had additional tests that were all OK and my care was referred back to GP until 36 weeks (which was normal then).
My due date was 3rd of September
He was delivered on 6th of August.
The 8 week difference is significant and meant he was denied a funeral which in turn meant his body had all his organs removed. If he could have had a funeral, there is no way they could have done that to him.
I kept seeing my GP for antenatal care. He was awful (to everyone) and his antenatal care included asking how you were. There was no examination, no listening to heartbeat, but no blood pressure checks... This was his normal practice. He didn't fill anything in on my co-op card. Many women going through this made serious complaints at the time, me included, but it was deemed he was doing the bare minimum required so no action was taken.
At 36 weeks, on 5th August, I told the GP I couldn't feel my baby moving and I didn't feel pregnant any more. He belittled me and said I was being silly and neurotic. I asked him for my co-op card and he filled it in in front of me, from weeks 20 to 35, the heartbeat heart, fundus height, blood pressure with a load of crap, the dates didn't even correspond to my checkup dates.
I didn't sleep that night and decided to go to the hospital early the following day.
I had a scan. They dated it at 28 weeks on size, not 36. I said I was 36 weeks but for some reason the earlier scan wasn't in my notes. They said if I was 36 weeks then baby was very small for dates. I tried telling them that at 16 weeks my baby measured perfectly for 16 weeks and she made a note.
I was told my baby would be stillborn. The person scanning said my baby appeared to be fully developed, and his lungs and heart looked full term. This bit was not written in my notes.
Once I was on the ward the treatment was awful, almost like I was contagious. They did the bare minimum and rarely spoke to me and 3 hours after being induced I delivered my baby by myself, in the room alone. I had to ring the buzzer and it took them what felt like a long time to come. During that time I just held my baby. He was perfect. He was very small, but he didn't look premature, just small. I was holding him so close and I remember wiping my tears from his face. He had the same colour hair as my 2nd baby but looked just like my eldest son.
When the midwife came in she seemed angry with me for not telling her my baby was delivered ( still don't understand what I could have done differently)
She literally snatched him from me, put him on the bed and told me I shouldn't be going and touching him. She said it was pointless cutting the cord and she delivered the placenta and left me, taking my baby away from me. I never saw him again, they refused to let me see him.
One midwife was telling a student midwife what was happening, outside my door and I heard everything. She said that my baby was small for dates. At the time I didn't put much significance on that comment as I was so distraught. He weighed 1.189kg - I think is about 2lbs 4oz, which is perfect for 28 week gestation. But, her saying that really was THEM KNOWING AND ACKNOWLEDGING that he was 36 weeks gestation.
Why has it taken me so many years to realise this? Why has it taken so long for me to actually convert his birthweight to lbs and ounces? I only realised when I saw the WHO chart saying 1105g for 28 weeks. I feel so bad that I only just clicked.
I asked about arranging a funeral. They said I was only 28 weeks and had to be 28 weeks and 1 day for a stillbirth so I couldn't have a funeral. Why couldn't they listen to me? They told me they would put his body in the coffin of an adult male with no family. (I still don't know if that is something they really did, or was it said to be some sort of comfort that he wouldn't be alone?) I argued about his dates but they weren't listening. My local vicar later told me he has spoken to a midwife about this. She told him that any baby appearing small for dates was put as a spontaneous abortion so it didn't have to be registered as a birth, for a few reasons... Less paperwork and it looks far better on hospital statistics as it is one less stillbirth on official records.
Life went on, my daughter was born on the 6th August the following year.
One day, when my daughter was 14 years old I got a call from the hospital director asking me to see him and the director of obstetrics and gynaecology, and to take someone with me. During that meeting they told me that during a review, ordered by Government, they discovered that all of my baby's organs, including skin, were taken without my knowledge or permission. His body parts were located in 7 different hospitals and universities.
If they had asked me if they could take his organs for research and/or teaching I would have said yes. Why didn't they just ask me?
I wanted to find out how this had happened and wanted as much of him back as possible thinking at least I could now arrange a funeral. I was told they were not allowed to discuss it with me as it was now a legal case, and to find out I would have to join the class action suite against the health authority.
I decided to join purely so I could bury my baby.
During the fact gathering by the legal team they obviously went through all my hospital and GP records. After delivery there was a section about taking his body and someone had written "perfect specimen, mother unaware".
The case was truly awful but, at the end, I asked when I would get him back only to be told I wouldn't. If I wanted to buy him I would have to take out a civil case. I couldn't face anymore because 3 times in the original case I wanted to back out but told I couldn't otherwise I would have to pay all the legal fees and I couldn't afford it. I felt trapped in a place I couldn't handle.
I'm not even sure why I have told you all of this. Some days I want to die because I still feel that I failed my baby so many times. They say time is a healer, I'm still waiting for the time it starts to feel better.
I don't think anyone can ever 'get over' losing a baby, just learn to love in a different way.
FOR NEWS, MEDIA AND OTHERS: I DO NOT GIVE PERMISSION TO ANYONE TO PUBLISH ANY PART OR ALL OF THIS POST.
OMG you poor thing. That is terrible. I'm so sorry you went through this and are still going through it.
So sorry for your loss op and the way you and your precious boy were treated. I mc my first dc nearly 30 years ago and you never forget.
Maybe this August plant a tree in memory of your ds, do your dc know about him? Maybe have a close family get together where you can feel supported on his special day.
You haven't failed your baby. You are so strong
I am at the same gestation you were and I can only say how sorry I am that this happened to you, it shouldn’t have done.
I'm so sorry for the way you and your baby were treated.
Please see a counsellor to help you heal.
Ps you did not fail your baby. The health professionals failed you.
I am so sorry for you and what you've had to go through. You didn't fail anyone, the system failed you. I hope that writing this down and some of the positive responses you will no doubt receive will prove a little cathartic.
I am so sorry you have been through this. It's heartbreaking. Please get some counselling - it's never too late.
I read this with tears streaming down my face and my heart breaking for you. I'm so sorry that you went through such an awful and traumatic time. Your grief must be so all encompassing.
As someone who's had a miscarriage (at 13 weeks), one of the comforts was that the hospital took care sensitively of the 'remains'. It breaks my heart that the same was not given for people in recent past, and how much hurt and heartache you'd have had. Now, they would even let me have taken them home and have my own burial or whatever.
I hope some way, some how you can find peace. Your baby was so very loved even if they never experienced that love outside the womb. And I believe that wee babies know that. Love to you xx
It's so sad that you are carrying this alone. Can you really not open up to your chidren about it, I'm sure they will want to love and support you through dealing with this. Having their own babies will only make them more understanding, if anything.
I lost a baby, my only son, he was stillborn at 26 weeks.
That was just over 22 years ago. I still miss him every day, I find days like Christmas and his birthday so very hard still. Every time we are together as a family, there is always one of us missing.
But he's part of me and part of our family history. I think you should acknowledge that with your other children, and maybe make a memorial for your son in some way. I had a plaque for our son made and it was in the baby memorial garden at the cemetery but I found it really upsetting after visiting seeing all the other headstones and toys left out so I had it removed and it's at home with my little boys photo. I am going to plant a tree in the garden and put the plaque with it. Perhaps you could do similar? I'm so sorry you're dealing with this
I am so sorry you lost your little boy.
You did not fail him. You loved him and love him still and that is what matters most.
I do think you need to talk this through with a counsellor. It won't take away the grief but it may help you find ways of coping with what you have been through.
I am so so sorry. You didn't fail your precious boy - the love you have for him radiates from the page. The professionals (and I use that term in the loosest sense) failed you terribly. Sending lots of love your way
Oh that’s absolutely awful op. My sister lost a baby late in pregnancy and I think how you are treated at that time, the sanctity of the baby and the fact they are acknowledged as a person is incredibly important. What you’ve experienced is a total violation.
Have you ever had counselling? Would a memorial service be of any comfort to you?
Oh love. Horrendous treatment I'm so sorry for your devastating loss and appalling care. Your little boy was with you for the whole of his short life and passed away surrounded in you and your love. It sounds as if you have an urgent need to unpick what happened, revisit and hopefully in time find peace. I'm not sure what the next step would be but you didn't do a thing wrong. Not one thing. Miscarriages and stillbirth seem even today something that's almost impossible to prevent, if that what has begun to happen. What is possible is sensitive respectful support for you and your son by those caring for you. This was entirely absent. Again, I'm so sorry.
@sadtears. Im so very sorry this has happened to you and your son.
My son was stillborn at 27weeks and i didnt realise law used to be 28weeks. That would have killed me that he wasnt acknowledged / treat like a miscarraige.
I understand your son was 36 weeks which is even more heartbreaking that you werent listened to and your medical records were incorrect. For them to keep him without your permission is atrocious.
I dont know what you can do now but my first thought is did you or would you want to name your beautiful baby? Secondly could you create somewhere in your garden or home that is a special place just for him e.g. if u name him a olaque with his initial. Some nice candles and so on?
I have a few things personal to my son at home which makes me feel close to him.
I would hate to think parts of him were taken without my permission. Thats devastating. Have you ever thought of having counselling to help?
As you say its something you never really get over you just learn to live with it.
You never failed your son. It was all the other people who did.
This is just awful and my heart goes out to you. My mum had 'late miscarriages' as it was termed to her and was treated equally badly so I know it went on, very much, which makes it very far from right.
I'm sure your daughters though would want to comfort and help you. Please confide in them.
@sadtears omg you poor thing 😓 this is absolutely awful and you have been carrying that burden for years. Can I ask how long ago this was?
Although nhs hospitals tend to state 3 years from the date of an incident to put a claim in, I think there is an exception if things have only recently come to light and also if it involves a child (baby etc). I think you should seek legal advice on this because there were serious wrong doings.
On top of that you definitely need counselling to talk about all of this. It's awful and is haunting you. So so sorry. Hopefully you can get through this and feel a bit better.
I am so so sorry for your loss and what you've had to deal with
Oh you poor love that is such an awful thing for a mother to go through. Not only loosing your beautiful baby but in the way you were both treated. I really think you ought to write a letter to the hospital or Head of Health (?) as this ought to be reported. You deserve an apology at the very least and all those involved ought to take responsibility for this. I’m so sorry you had this experience and hope you can find some peace xxx
Oh my goodness. So sorry for you and your little boy. You were badly let down by the health professionals. I had a miscarriage a few months before conceiving my eldest daughter and that was at a much earlier stage than you and I still think about that lost baby. I don't think anyone gets over anything like that but just thank your lucky stars you have three other healthy children and remember the one you lost with love.
That is absolutely horrifying. I feel sick to the stomach reading this. I am so so sorry OP. Words cannot express how apalling this is
I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you and your beautiful baby were treated so terribly. I can't imagine your pain. You did not fail your baby, you were badly let down by people in positions of trust and authority. I hope you manage to somehow find peace, big hugs.
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