Recurrent miscarriage

Never forget – in support of the Mumsnet Miscarriage Care Campaign

miscarriage

WARNING: If you have experienced a miscarriage then you may find this post upsetting.

I’ve always been honest on this blog. I’ve never shied away from talking about my depression.

I thought that this post would be the same. But since deciding to share my miscarriage story, in support of the Mumsnet Miscarriage Care Campaign, I have started to write this post numerous times. I have even finished it once or twice. Only to write it again the next day unhappy with my previous efforts.

My struggle to share my experience, left me wondering (in true Carrie Bradshaw style), why is it so hard to talk about miscarriage? Why (according to a Mumsnet survey) did only 23% of women who miscarried talk about their experiences to their friends?

Do we feel ashamed? Do we feel that we’ve let people down? Do we feel that we are not “woman enough” because we haven’t been able to carry a baby full term?

Are we worried of upsetting people? Are we worried that our friends won’t know what to say? Or that our friends don’t want to support us through a miscarriage because they are worried that you might go into the gory details?

I wish that none of the above were true. But I am afraid that it is.

Therefore, in the spirit of honesty…to support a campaign that I wholeheartedly support and to encourage more women to feel that they can talk to people and ask for support when they have miscarried…this is my miscarriage story.

Our recurrent miscarriage story_Never forget_Mrs H's favourite things_blog image

Never forget – the story of my first miscarriage

I didn’t know anything about miscarriage until I had experienced it myself. It is not something that you want to consider when you become pregnant. It  isn’t something that you want to spend hours researching on the Internet.

I certainly didn’t realise that the baby could die inside me.That my body would hold onto the baby and would still think that I was pregnant.

I was 10 weeks pregnant when we learnt that the baby had died.

I went to A&E with terrible tummy pains. Once there, I was reassured by the doctor that I didn’t need to worry unnecessarily as everything looked good. The pregnancy test came back positive, my HcG levels were good, I wasn’t bleeding and my pains had died down.

The next day, I was shocked and heartbroken when the technician told me that the baby had not grown since 6 weeks and that there was no heartbeat. My pregnancy was not viable. The baby had died.

The technician then kindly explained the three options I had:

  1. Wait it out and miscarry naturally,
  2. come into hospital and have surgery,
  3. come into hospital to have the miscarriage medically managed.

I remember thinking that at the age of 34 I wasn’t old enough to make this decision. That I just wanted my baby. That they should ask my parents what I should do.

After a long evening of discussions with Mr H and hours reading the invaluable information provided by The Miscarriage Association we chose to have the miscarriage medically managed. Mr H kindly said that only I could really make this decision, as it was my body. But he would support me 100% whichever choice I made.

Two days later I was back in the hospital again. I was due to be told about how my miscarriage would be handled, to sign forms and to receive the first part of my treatment. It was at this time that I received care that the Mumsnet Miscarriage Code of Care is trying to prevent women receiving in the future.

We were ushered in to see a male consultant. He obviously did not have the adequate time to spend with us. Everything he said felt like one more thing to tick off his to-do list. His comment “at this point, I have to say that I am sorry for your loss” was the least genuine expression of sympathy that I have ever hear.

He then followed this be referring to our baby…OUR BABY… as “the retained product of conception”. And the loss of our baby… THE LOSS… as “the event”. He sickened me and I had to fight back tears of rage.

He then flippantly answered my questions in a nonsensical fashion.

“It would hurt no more than a mild period.”

I actually found labour easier. Plus during my miscarriage I was offered pethidine for the pain and was physically sick continuously.

“You won’t need to stay the night.”

Ummmm…I did! I was hooked up to a drip all night and Mr H and I were bunked up in a private room on the delivery suite.

“You won’t bleed much.”

Not true!

And my personal favourite:

“No, you don’t need any medication now. Go home and turn up at any point on Friday and we’ll deal with you.”

Fifteen minutes later, Mr H and I were in a taxi on our way home when I noticed that I had numerous missed calls. As we had thought, I HAD needed to take the first tablets in the treatment and we were asked to return to the hospital as soon as possible.

Apart from a brief apology when we reappeared we never saw that horrible consultant again. Thank God!

The ward matron ushered us into her office and apologised profusely. She gave me my tablet and then offered to honestly answer any questions that we had. We went over everything again but this time we received compassionate and truthful answers.

“Yes, it will hurt but you will be offered pain relief.”

“You will need to stay the night.”

“It will be hard but we will be here to help you get through it.”

The matron offered to find us a private room with an en suite bathroom. She said that she would phone us on Friday once this was organised and that we shouldn’t come to hospital until we had heard from her.

Sadly, the only private room that they could find for us was on the Delivery Suite. But we were ushered in quickly and thankfully didn’t catch sight of any heavily pregnant ladies or new babies.

The care we then received was brilliant. The midwives were kind, caring and professional. One midwife even sat with me and held me whilst I sobbed onto her shoulder. And when the time came to stay the night, they wheeled out the hospital bed and made up a double bed so Mr H and I could sleep cuddled up together. They understood that I needed my husband next to me the whole time.

After that I decided to get back to normal life. I just wanted to move on.

This doesn’t mean I forget. I could never forget. And sometimes I wonder about the baby that wasn’t meant to be.

One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage and each miscarriage will be different and will affect those involved in different ways. But the one thing that should be consistent, is the quality of care that is offered to women who are miscarrying

That is why I encourage you to support this campaign. For me and for the almost quarter of a million women who miscarry in the UK every year. To find out how you can show your support, please go to the Mumsnet Miscarriage Care Campaign’s home page.

Hugs

Mrs H

xxxx

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Sam
    January 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I’m so sorry for your losses. I had 2 miscarriages and there really is nothing quite as painful as losing your child. People wrongly assume that if it’s early on, it’s easier. That’s not true at all. I lost a baby at 8 weeks and 5 weeks, I now have a baby but I still think about them often. You’re incredibly strong and brave for sharing your story, I really think other people being able to relate to you and your story will help them no end.

    I’m so pleased that you were treated well in the end, no mourning parent should be treated the way the first doctor spoke to you xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      January 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I am so sorry to hear that you have had two miscarriages. I have lost four babies now and it is tragic. It does not get easier. And no matter when you lose them they are still your babies. It is horrible that people can be so insensitive to grieving parents. And that is why I write about my experiences of miscarriage. So more people understand and less parents who lose a baby feel isolated and alone. I am so happy to hear about your rainbow baby. That is wonderful news. I am now expecting my second rainbow baby in July. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  • Reply
    karen beddow
    October 18, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Mrs H I am struggling to type as the tears are stopping me. So important for things to change, and so glad you found the care of the midwives. Huge virtual hugs xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      October 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Karen. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am sorry if my post made you cry. We were really fortunate that the midwives were so wonderful. One young midwife just held me for twenty minutes whilst I sobbed on her shoulder. They were professional and hugely sympathetic. A complete contrast to the nasty consultant. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    paulareednancarrow.com
    October 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Excellent post. My sister had a miscarriage, and I counseled a friend through one. (Being a clergy spouse without any pastoral training is an interesting experience…you do your best.) What my friend had most trouble with was the fact that people didn’t see what she had experience as a loss at all, because to them the baby wasn’t “real yet.” And then they thought she should be over it and try again immediately. I particularly appreciate how you balanced the horror story of the insensitive consultant with the compassionate care you received afterwards. Though I certainly hope the jerk was dismissed so no one suffered from his maltreatment again.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      October 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Hello. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment. I am sorry to hear about your sister and your friend. To lose a baby is a terrible thing. It must be so much worse when you are not given the time to grieve and heal. I hope they have both found their happy endings. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Jenny Ripatti-Taylor
    July 2, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Thank you for linking up to Share With Me. I think it’s so important that people share their experiences with miscarriage and I know many friends that have had multiple miscarriages, never easy to talk about but helps other talk. I am not sure why in society people feel they shouldn’t talk about it. So brave of you to share your story and help spread the word with mumsnet. I am so sorry for your loss and I really hope you have had the love and support you need through such a difficult time. Hope to see you again at Share With Me tomorrow! #sharewithme

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      July 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      Hello Jenny. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I really enjoyed linking up with #sharewithme and discovering new and exciting blogs. I am sorry to hear that some of your friends have experienced multiple miscarriages. It was only after having my miscarriage and talking about it that I discovered how common it is. Yet, when you are going through it you feel so alone. Everywhere you turn there are healthy pregnant women. I really hope that this campaign will encourage more women to seek the support they deserve. Even if one more woman feels that she can share her experience then the campaign has been a success.

      Hugs

      Mrs H

      xxxx

      PS I hope that you are having a lovely time in America! 😀 xx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    June 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hello. Thank you for reading my post and commenting. It was a really tragic time and I was quite shocked by how we were treated. Sadly, I know that other miscarrying women receive worse treatment. That is why this campaign is needed. I’m pleased to say that Andy Burnham has agreed to include the Miscarriage Code of Care in Labour’s manifesto for the 2015 election. This is a huge success.

    Thank you again for visiting my blog.

    Hugs

    Mrs H

    xxxx

  • Reply
    ghostwritermummy
    June 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and the way that you were treated. You are right, things need to change, and fast. I hope that the campaign sees positive results.
    x x

  • Reply
    Emma T
    June 26, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Must be devastating for all those women to lose their babies, but to then be treated in a way that doesn’t understand or support in the way that is required, is awful.

    My best friend had a miscarriage and suffered terrible afterwards. It wasn’t until she was pregnant again and about to give birth, that she told me about it. I felt awful that I didn’t know and couldn’t support her during that time, even if I was 2.5 hours drive away and we don’t speak more than every few months. I definitely think people should feel more confident that they can talk about what they’ve been through.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 27, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Emma. Thanks for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Everyone copes with grief in different ways and maybe she just didn’t feel she could talk about her experience. She may have just wanted to forget about it and try to move on. I needed to talk about my experience in order to process what had actually happened. It all seemed so surreal and I couldn’t really believe that it had happened. I hope that this campaign means that the women who want to talk about what they have been through can get counselling or find an empathetic friend to talk to.

      Hugs

      Mrs H

      xxxx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    June 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Laura

    Thank you for your lovely comment. I was surprised that writing this post made it all seem so real again – especially as it was back in 2012 and I have had a successful pregnancy again. But as I said I will never forget and I will always remember some of the awful treatment I received. I have read a lot of the other stories being shared in support of the campaign and they are heart breaking. It actually makes me feel like I was lucky that I also received some excellent care.

    I really enjoyed linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop and discovering many new blogs. I will definitely link up again.

    Hugs

    Mrs H

    xxxx

  • Reply
    Laura Huggins
    June 25, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It must have been so hard to write this.

    I am disgusted with the care that people are getting after suffering miscarriages and I wish you and Mumsnet all the best with getting things changes.

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

  • Reply
    Samantha Maguire
    June 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you all at mumsnet , this too happened to me , shocking treatment from the moment my miscarriage began. I have never spoke of the terrible time , hoping it was a “one off” , and probably never will speak of it . Thank-you to all the brave ladies who have shared their experiences , maybe one day this will help change the way we handle this awful time that many women go through x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Hello. I am sorry to hear of your loss and that you were treated so badly. A miscarriage is a very private matter and you get through it in anyway you can. I really hope that this campaign means miscarrying women feel less isolated and get the support, care and kindness that is needed at such a tragic time. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Heather Haigh
    June 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    That must have been a really hard thing to write with such honesty. I suffered several miscarriages between my two children and threatened to miscarry several times with my daughter. Some people were incredibly kind and some medical people were really so thoughtless as to come across as heartless. I didn’t even realise until years later how much pain I had locked away. My heart goes out to you.
    I found your blog through #WeekendBlogHop

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 22, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Hello. Thank you so much for reading my post and commenting. It was a very hard post to write and it felt very emotional remembering some of the things that happened. I am sorry to hear about your losses. There will never be anything anyone can say to take the pain away. But at least if the medical professionals were more caring when dealing with women miscarrying there would be one less humiliation and upset for them to bear. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    June 21, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me. I think you’re right – a female consultant may have been in a better position to handle the situation with compassion. I am also sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you received the care, love and support that you needed and deserved at the time. Hugs xxxx

  • Reply
    Mel
    June 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Shocking! Perhaps a male consultant should not be the one to deal with this. Thanks for sharing your story – I too knew nothing about miscarriage before mine and suddenly you start seeing and hearing things about it everywhere.

  • Reply
    Miss M
    June 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    What a beautifully written post, my heart broke for you then and does again now. I will 100% support the mumsnet campaign so that other people I love will always be supported if they find themselves in the same situation as you.
    I love you millions xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thank you for your gorgeous comment. I am lucky to have such wonderful and supportive friends. Thanks also for supporting the campaign. I feel quite passionately about it – as I was horrified by some of the things professionals said to me and the disregard with which at times I was treated. More needs to be done so that women in the same situation receive the care they deserve. You are amazing.

      Lots of love and hugs xxx

  • Reply
    gfeef
    June 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    This is such an honest post, brave and amazing that you shared it.
    It sounds as though you had some bad people and some good ones and I bless the good ones for trying. Its hard in the immediate aftermath to push aside feelings of inadequacy and great unease in being able to speak of events, but the unknown is probably the scariest aspect for people entering this dark place and honest stories will help prepare them and let them know that however difficult the tunnel of gloom does end. Many blessings lovely, and thank you.

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      June 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It was such a hard post to write. It is true that there were some bad people but I also met some very caring midwives, nurses and doctors. I fear that others aren’t as fortunate. It is such a horrible experience but you are right the tunnel of gloom does end. But I really think women going through this experience need to get the care they deserve and know that they are not alone and can grieve with support.

      Sending lots of love and hugs.

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