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Miscarriage/pregnancy loss

recently miscarried and shocked by lack of aftercare

30 replies

74claire · 25/05/2010 16:33

I was in my twelfth week and everything had been fine, until I got a little spotting on saturday morning, accompanied by slight tightenings. I rang the gp who said not to worry.

So I went to work in the afternoon, all was well till I was locking up and there was blood on the floor before I noticed anything. Waiting for the ambulance was quick and I was drenched in blood. The ambulance staff were lovely, as were A and E. I was briefly on the gaeney ward, with very sympathetic nurses. BUt the obstetrician was not; she asked me to lift my knees so she could examine me and said nothing about feeling discomfort. I never had an internal with my daughter and it felt like the doctor had both hands inside me, rummaging about. I nearly shot off the bed in pain. It took the staff nurse to explain what was going on. Moments later I had lines put in my arms and a shot in the thigh.
Then I was presented with a consent form and whisked off to theatre.

Back on the ward, I couldn't sleep. I heard nurses talking about experiencing their first delivery and how magical it was. I asked for something to help me sleep at 2am, and was told that I could only have pain relief. Next day I was given a leaflet and sent home. Is this normal? It felt like I was a nuisance to them. Now I feel utterly numb and fogged, I suppose the anaesthetic didn't help.

OP posts:
twolittlemonkeys · 25/05/2010 16:37

I'm so sorry about the horrendous experience you had. I just had a miscarriage too but was looked after well once I was in hospital (the appalling out-of-hours walk-in centre I went to when I started bleeding was a different story...) Even though I was high on morphine which the A&E staff had given me, the internal examination I had in the gynae ward made me wince - very uncomfortable and painful.

You could contact PALS, or write a letter of complaint if you feel strongly. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. AFAIK that is not normal.

mrspear · 25/05/2010 16:38

First of all can i say how sorry to hear about your loss.

Sadly your experience is not uncommon.

I didn't want to post and run; hopefully someone can share their experience and that will help.

CMOTdibbler · 25/05/2010 16:41

I'm so sorry for what you have just been through, on top of the loss of your baby.

Unfortunatly, the experience you have is pretty common, and I think it is unusual to get anything other than just the leaflet as aftercare.

I made a formal complaint after my third miscarriage, and it did make some difference at the hospital, and at least I felt I had actually voiced my issues with them, which gave me a little closure on it

74claire · 25/05/2010 16:47

thankyou for your replies

it's really difficult to know how to deal with everything I'm feeling. my partner is currently 300 miles away, which is hard for both of us.

people are so delighted to talk about babies, but not losses. My first daughter was a cot death at 2 weeks and that was bad enough.

my friend is a midwife and she was horrified I wasn't given even gas and air for the exam. I suppose the doctor was in a rush because I'd lost so much blood.

I keep seeing images of myself and all the blood and feeling the sensations of the whole experience. I guess that will happen for some time.

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ljg72 · 25/05/2010 17:30

So sorry for your have had a really bad time.
I lost our pregnancy over the weekend, started on Friday night, but couldn't be scanned till Monday! seems you can only miscarry Mon-Fri.
I was only 6 weeks so very early.
Was internally scanned, told it was a complete miscarriage, and sent away with an A4 piece of paper.
I now feel numb, and don't really what to do?.
Sending you hugs xx

74claire · 25/05/2010 17:59

Not just me who felt like I was being a problem then.

Only 6 weeks isn't only though is it? Don't say only, loss is loss.

Thankyou for your hugs and I hope you are getting all the comfort you deserve x

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Muser · 25/05/2010 19:31

I've had one early miscarriage at 5 weeks and had an ectopic pregnancy diagnosed at 5 weeks. My care while I was in the EPU was fine, but there really is no aftercare. I got a leaflet explaining the drug they gave me for the ectopic, but nothing else. The EPU hadn't sent any of my notes to my GP on either occasion, I have no idea if they now have them.

All the support I've had has been from the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and the Miscarriage Association. The EPT has been amazing, they have a brilliant website that helped me a lot. There is actually a miscarriage support meeting once a month at the sister hospital to my EPU unit, but nobody told me about it. I found out about it through the Miscarriage Association.

I think the lack of support is absolutely disgusting.

Diamond5 · 27/05/2010 17:28

Am so sorry for your distress. Its an awful situation have had 2 miscarriges before and am going through an ectopic at the moment. The happy news is that I have had 3 children inbetween all miscarriages.The nurses were lovely but it all seemed routine to them which isuppose is why they sometimes come across so cold on occasion. I send you a big hug and best wishes. talking about it is good

Brokenbits · 27/05/2010 22:54

74claire I'm so sorry for your losses. How utterly shite. I would feel compelled to complain when you feel strong enough - especially given your previous loss. How desperately insensitive can these people be? You should have been fully informed about every procedure - not to mention asked to consent to everything BEFORE they prepped you.

I am also horrified you weren't given gas and air for the exam and even more saddened by the fact that, like all of us, you felt like a nuisance. I'm so angry that the lack of pain relief made you assume that they were in a rush because you'd lost a lot of blood. It doesn't take that long to hook up to gas and air and most of these rooms should be equipped anyway!!???

I wish I could say anything to make you feel better but, sadly, I think we all go home and do the upset and angry part later. Sending you a very unMNetty hug. I'm so angry for you.

aseriouslyblondemoment · 28/05/2010 11:00

claire i'm so sorry to hear about what you've been thru
i had hoped that my own horrible experience was somehow a one-off but it seems that care and compassion is something sadly lacking in many gynae units up and down the country
sending you my wishes x

and for everyone else that's been there and suffered like claire i don't think our suffering ever really goes away but we manage to deal with it,however stories like this just re-open old wounds don't they?

emptyshell · 28/05/2010 11:31

I'd complain - I'm considering raising a minor stink about my GPs surgery who dealt with mine.

I got no information about what was normal, what to expect, just scare stories about ectopics (as someone who's tried for three years to get pregnant - losing a tube is probably my greatest fear). Got shoved in a waiting room with babies and toddlers who were running around coming up to me, unstopped by their parents even though I was visibly recoiling from them with tears running down my eyes. I felt like I was "doing it wrong" because there weren't many clots (very early) - just the whole thing was a disgustingly dark time in my life.

Nothing will change though - because very few people care about miscarriage - it's not glamourous or rewarding, doesn't produce a baby to coo and aah over at the end of the day... it's just one of those things we're expected to "bear" in silence and not talk about ever again afterwards.

NOTHEROLDIE · 29/05/2010 09:59

I am so sorry to hear all your stories I went in to hosp yesterday for my ERPC and the doctors, nurses etc all said sorry to hear about what has happened. I felt they were human with real emotion! My op went well, I had a missed MC so my baby died early on maybe 6wks i was 10 wks when I had the op. Even tho it was early on I still felt i had lost a baby rather than "just miscarried" I do feel that midwives, Gps etc focus on all the good, and never mention what might go wrong. After all there is a high % of MCs and no one ever mentions it til you are in tears desperate for answers. At my hosp I was given a leaflet with info on Memorial services, counselling, burial and cremation of the 'lost' babies. It was so comforting that they werent not lost or forgotten but everyone is treated with dignity and respect. why cant all hospitals offer this servic? We are all at a loss and need to grieve and be offered support. Talk to someone and get counselling and dont be fobbed off with 'this happens a lot'. It does but it still hurts each and everyone who goes through it. love to all xx

Northernlurker · 29/05/2010 10:32

OP - I am concerned by your whole experience but particularly when you say 'I keep seeing images of myself and all the blood and feeling the sensations of the whole experience' - this sounds like a significant trauma and one that you may feel the effects from for a long time. You need some support with this - maybe see your GP and ask about some counselling? Miscarriage is common yes, and also utterly dreadful and nobody should be expected to deal with it by themselves just because it happens to a lot of women. I'm very sorry for your loss

74claire · 05/06/2010 19:26

thank-you all for your comments

a week on and my head and body appear to be more in balance with each other

it is a time of great shock and I'm phased that it seems more raw than the aftermath of when my partner was in a fatal accident, or my daughter's cot death. I suppose with the accident, there were days on life support to adjust to the new reality and Emily's passing was peaceful and after just a fortnight of life, to seem almost dreamlike.

what I feel now is more surreal and sometimes as if I was part of a farce, with the A and E nurse saying several times "you really are a right bloody mess aren't you?". I know there has to be humour in our darkest moments, but isn't it our place to find it?

complaining and counselling both feel like too muck effort; we'll see I guess.

but many thanks again for your comments

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NanKid · 05/06/2010 19:32

So sorry to hear of your loss and the poor care you received. Unfortunately, this isn't uncommon at all. I had to wait four hours to be seen when I started miscarrying (sitting on a bench, soaked in blood and doubled up with pain), and was then briefly examined and sent home. Nobody gave a shit, basically. A few kind words would have made all the difference.

74claire · 07/06/2010 22:47


I thought I replied to you earlier, but there's no post

I don't understand how women are treated so awfully when pregnancy ends; just days after midwives full of fluffiness are cooing about babies.

words are hard to find; but feeling like we have a dirty secret is really horrible

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charlii · 08/06/2010 11:59

Hello, i am so sorry for your losses.

I have been though a experience like yours. I was 7 weeks pregnant and started to bleed. I rang my gp who said to get bed rest! Not very easy with my 2yr old running around. I then started to get more pains and took myself to a & e in which they took me straight through to a bed but when waiting 4 hrs for a doctors i asked a nurse what was going on, they said they were so sorry someone had lost my notes! the sister came in, who was 8 months pregnent which didnt help and said that id most likely lost the baby by now and might aswell go home. when the doctor came in he couldnt speak much english and didnt say much. just stuck me on machines and needles in my arm. i had to get a staff nurse to come in and explained everything to me. I had then had enough and took the drip out of my arm(im a health care assistant!) and went! They didnt check me or offer any pain relief. I got out the doors and broke down on the floor in floods of tears! My husband took me home and we have never gone back to that hospital. I now go to a different one and the have been much better as ive lost another 2 babys.


charlii · 08/06/2010 12:03

hi again i forgot to add, the next day i had to ring up 5 times to get a scan(it was a weekend so no one has m/c then appently) then because they were so busy i had to wait 5 days!, not very easy when u dnt know whats going on!

74claire · 12/06/2010 20:17

Charlii, I'm so saddened to hear your experiences.

I'm kind of less shocked with it all now, but definitely still spaced out. I can cope with work and stuff, but left to my own devices I can't get on with much at home.

Now I have a head full of fear that after the D&C I won't be able to carry again, but I guess that's usual.

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ameliajayne · 16/06/2010 12:42

74 claire reading your posts I am so sorry for your losses, life really is not fair

i think you should contact PALS as a previous poster suggested -i would contact them to see what they suggest.they may be able to follow it up keeping your details confidential.

Unfortunatley the only thing that seems to change bad practice in healthcare today is complaints, and most of us put up with a hell of a lot before complaining.

PALS work by getting the details of the issue then following it back - they will speak to the individual departments concerned and try to ascertain what went wrong. I think the doctor should be approached by them about her lack of empathy (among other things) the ward staff i think also need to know they have caused increasing upset to you

big hugs x

Emrel · 16/06/2010 23:26

Hi all,
Sorry to hear your bad experiences. I went to St. Helier antenatal clinic when I bled and was told I may had a missed miscarriage. I didnt want to wait for two weeks and came back 1 week later. The midwife was awfull telling me that there was no difference in pregnancy between 5.5 and 6.5 weeks pregnancy. My friend and I both have medical degrees and just tutted at her.My dates were at almost 8 weeks and I knew it was à hopeless cause. My body didnt want to give up the pregnancy and I was referred to the Mary Stopes centre for a termination. They were fantastic and offered a 24 hour aftercare line. On the other hand my gp send me a letter to talk to the health visitor to come in to talk about anti conception! Very thoughtfull I think I may need to write them a shitty letter. I didnt want to loose this pregnancy but at least I had some support weirdly enough from an abortion centre.Wishing everybody lots of support. And wonder with more than 50% of doctere being women. How can there still be so little support?

hairytriangle · 20/06/2010 19:26

Hi, so sorry for all of your losses.

I'm guessing that an EPU discharges you when they feel there is nothing more they can do, so in terms of aftercare, if you feel you need it, your GP would be the place to go. I assume an Epu deals with what it says on the tin ie: early pregnancy (or it's complications or difficulties).

I've been treated very well by the EPU staff since a v complicated miscarriage which has lasted over two bleeds and six weeks, but presume that when my BETAHCG finally goes down to below 20 they will discharge me, and should I need further medical help around the issue then I will see my GP, or if I need emotional support I'll find counselling (via private means or GP).

Hope this helps?

hairytriangle · 20/06/2010 19:32

Sorry, some of post hasn't come up.

when you arrive in a 'trauma' situation, which it sounds like you did, the hospital will generally be more focussed on sorting out your physical health than dealing with your emotional health, unfortunately that is how the NHS works.

I was woken up after a traumatic evening at 6am by a nurse saying 'I just need to take some blood'. I found that pretty rude but accepted but it's just what she had to do to look after my physical health.

I also had a speculum exam twice while bleeding, and although it wasn't my favorite experience ever - and none of the health professionals seemed to care that I was bleeding and might feel vulnerable/embarrassed - I was just glad that someone was listening to me and examining me to make sur ei wasn't in dire straits with an infection or something after my MC!

74claire · 20/06/2010 20:30

thanks for your replies

I was just on the gynae ward. Got a letter yesterday (nice timing 4 weeks to the day of MC) which I presume is a copy of what they've sent my GP.

I know they're all just doing their jobs and have our health at heart, but a few words can go a long way.

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mattsmama · 21/06/2010 09:24

Hi all and 74claire

I am currently waiting for the hospital to ring me to see if they can get me in any earlier for a scan to check for what seems more than likely to be miscarraige number 2 for me. Unfortunately the care I seem to getting second time around hasn't improved from the horrendous first experience I had when I was 12 weeks pregnant. I am currently 11 weeks. It's a long story and I won't go into all the details.

However I had a private scan last thursday because I was sick of chasing up the nhs hospital for an appointment time for a scan. I have had 4 scans already for this pregnancy and each time I had to chase them up. The pregnancy was suspected to be ectopic at first, then there was concern about an empty sac only. Then a yolk sac and a fetal pole were seen at last scan but no heartbeat and I was waiting for this follow up scan when I decided to have the private scan. There just doesn't seem to be any communication between departments?!! At the private scan I was told it was unlikely this pregnancy would continue but I needed to have a scan with the nhs hospital concerend (incidentally the man doing the private scan was a bit of a prat) why do all sonographers seem to be such insensitive pigs?).

I rang the nhs hospital last thursday when I returned home from the scan and explained the situation and they said I could have appointment for wednesday 23 june - almost a week later!! No other times were avsilable. The torment of waiting is driving me nuts. I rang PALS (patient advice and liaison service) who were okay and after they intervened the hospital rang me friday afternoon and said that they don't scan over the weekend and the department was closed now for the day but they would rind me monday morning and TRY to get me in for a scan. I am now waiting for the phone to ring. Trying to look after my 3 year old and trying to keep my emotions under control. It is so difficult.

The way miscarriage is dealt with in our hospitals is beyond belief. It seems they think women only miscarry between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Surely scans should be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week? I sorry to go on - but it helps venting my feelings on here. God help the sonographer if they turn out to be as insensitive as alll the others I have experienced. I think I'll explode

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