Ive suffered four miscarriages in the past year. The grief is one made up of unique proportions and is not like normal grief of loosing a loved one, it is difficult to comprehend and understand.
It is difficult to put into words what the best and most proactive tips are but I can only go on personal belief and my own experience.
Talk - Talking is a healer and whether this be to a freind, your partner, a family member or a stranger, talk! To be mute after a miscarriage doesnt get any grief out verbally or psychologically and in turn leads to more pain. Sometimes talking to a counsellor can help however talking to a freind is just as helpful and many freinds would have experienced the same thing.
Take time off work - You have suffered a huge physical and emotional drain and the physical symptoms alone are disabling enough so allow your body to heal and allow yourself to grieve as you would as if someone you know has died, you have afterall had someone die within you and many women forget this. Love starts within a woman for a baby the moment they conceive even subconsciously, dont allow yourself to be fooled by someone saying 'its just cells' and 'you didnt know this baby'. You did know it, you do know it and its part of you!
Stop the guilt - Nothing you have done caused a miscarriage. Miscarriages are more common than you would ever expect and 50% of them are unexplained. Dont ask so many questions just accept that its common and its heartbreaking and you need time to heal.
Take painkillers - Dont sit and wallow in physical pain, Miscarriage can sometimes have only slight pain and others may be akin to actual labour. I have had both and painkillers will ease the pain and hence allow you to cope with other physical symptoms more easily.
Pads! - Crass however buy thick sanitary pads as you will need them!
Hot water bottles and hot baths - The pain will always be eased by these two things as the warmth relaxes the muscles. A hot bath also helps with the mind as it is comforting and relaxing for the whole body.
Talk to your doctor and always get your miscarriage on record as if there are to be recurrent miscarriages this can only be investigated after 3 consecutive ones in the NHS.
Join online groups and discussions - so much can be learnt about miscarriages and the grief associated to them and by women talking together this can help dramatically as albeit a cliche you do realise you are not alone.
Dont blame your partner - Its no ones fault.
My advice is not to those who have had a miscarriage, but to the unfortunate few who have miscarriage after miscarriage. If you fall in the first group, I recognise and understand your grief, but please don't be frightened by my post, there are a fairly limited number of women who suffer repeat miscarriage, and your chances after one miscarriage are no higher then anyone else, in fact most women will miscarry at some point, it just isn't talked about much.
I don't know that I have a lot of advice on how to cope. Its been years now, but at the time nothing could help the pain, and even now it brings tears to my eyes. The reason I am writing is because there are things you can do, and I wish I found a Dr to help us sooner.
I had seven consecutive miscarriages before the birth of my of my older son. His twin was also a missed miscarriage and reabsorbed. After the first few, we had all the tests, genetics the works, everything came back negative and I was told to just relax and not worry, a few more and my health took a drastic nosedive, I was told that while no reason for my miscarriages could be found, i would never carry to term and risked death to try again.
Finally, finally after so much heartache a new Dr asked my permission to repeat a simple test, he said many women would have to test several times before getting a + so he felt it worth re testing. And this time I tested positive for antiphospholipid antibodies! At last we had something to work with.
When I fell pg again they delayed a bit before starting me on blood thinners and my sons twin did not survive. however, once I started the injections my son did fine, and with the next pregnancy we started the day after the + test. I finally have 2 perfect boys!
So my advice would be to ask, and then demand tests and retesting if you suffer multiple miscarriages. My other comment would be that I joined a support group for multiple mc, and over the years, everyone of us has eventually had a success, so to anyone reading this, I hope and pray you will find a way as well. But don't just sit and wait, be very active in seeking assistance!
I had my miscarraige in may 2003, and it came as quite a shock as I did not even know I was pregnant.
April 2003 was a very stressfull time for me, and I had visited my doctor and was told I was depressed and he did some tests on me and one of them happened to be a pregnancy test just to be sure, he said phone back the following week to find out the results and if I needed to see him again then I was to make another appointment.
I was so sure that I would not be pregnant as I had been on the pill for years, in fact since I was 18 so I did not phone for the test result.
Two weeks after my doctor appointment I was sat at home on a friday evening watching the wrestling with my husband, I did feel a bit odd so I went to the bathroom. Whilst in the bathroom I felt a bit of discomfort, then all of a sudden a lot of blood appeared, I just put it down to stress and thought it was a heavy period as I was a bit overdue.
I went back downstairs and then felt a little more discomfort, so headed back to the bathroom, where even more blood appeared and with more blood clots this time.
My husband was not the sort of man you could really talk to about periods, so I decided to ring my mother in law as she was a nurse and she was always easy to talk to about everything. She then said it may be a heavy period and told me to try and rest.
I was in no real pain at all, so off to bed I went, I did wake up several times in the night and the blood was everywhere at this stage, so I spent most of the night in the bathroom.
When morning came I made an appointment with the doctor, and he asked me if I had rung for the test results, I said I didnt believe I could of been so didnt bother. He then told me that I was in fact pregnant, but with all the blood I had passed, I would need to go to the hospital for an emergency scan.
The scan was taken within the hour, and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. The staff were pleasant but very cold, I felt I was treated like a piece of meat and polked and prodded to then be told there was no signs of the baby and to just take it easy at home.
Then when returned home it was like a bad dream, as though the last 24 hours were not real.
It took a few days but once it had sunk in I had forgotton that there was in fact someone else who was suffering too...my husband.
I had been so wrapped up in my own emotions that I had forgot that he too had lost his child, and even though we did not know I was pregnant it was still our baby, still a life growing that had been taken from us and I had spent hours either crying or just sat quiet without talking to him about it.
Once I realised I was not alone the pain and shock did go and after talking about it with my husband we shared our grief. I did feel a lot of different emotions the main one was guilt. I felt that it was my fault, as though I could of changed things and the baby would of lived. I did come to terms with this eventually with talking things through.
Three months after my miscarraige I fell pregnant. I was concerned the same would happen again so it made me very carefull, I ate all the right things, did not drink alcohol, but my concerns were all in my head and everything turned out ok.
I now have a beautiful daughter who is my absolute world, I no longer have my husband as we seperated when she was eight weeks old, it seems my husband found the grass greener elsewhere!!
I still often wonder what the child I lost would of looked like, and will never forget him/her, but I have found a place in my heart to keep the memory alive. My daughter did not replace the lost child, but she did bring happiness.
So out of my experience, my main tip would be to remember you are not alone, and if you have a partner then share the grief and get through the sad times together. If you do not hve a partner with you then talk to a family member or a close friend, it will help believe me.
Try not to blame yourself. Sometimes these things just happen and you are never given a reason, but you are not to blame.
And the last bit of advice I can give is to know that things will improve. You will never forget, but with every loss we endure, time will heal and your loved ones are kept alive inside your heart.
I hope this helps x
This is a very taboo issue and doesn't get talked about much so I hope sharing my experience with anyone reading this will help.
About me (briefly)~
I have two lovely little boys aged 4 and 5, and although I have a form of Diabetes called Glucokinese ( similar to Type 2 diabetes), I had two quite healthy pregnancies with them both and didn't experience any spotting or bleeding of any kind even in the early months. Just over two years ago I had an upset tummy which must have played havoc with the contraceptive pill I was taking at the time and found myself pregnant. Without airing my dirty laundry in public I will just say I was shocked and my husband was not very happy about the whole situation, however we got used to the idea and unfortunately quite excited about a new baby.
With my previous two pregnancies I had the same symptoms from day one- lots of feeling sick but no vomiting, a strange metallic taste in my mouth,tiredness and I couldn't stand the taste of tea(which I love) or the smell of toast, so when I found I had none of these I thought it was a little odd. I'd done the whole home pregnancy test about 4 times to make sure it was positive, but with the sort of Diabetes i have I have to be monitered regularly when pregnant so went to the doctors who reassured me all pregnancies were different, and did a test there as well. I was surprised when I phoned up a week later to discover the test was negative! I did more home pregnancy tests which were all positive and rearranged another appointment with the doctor who said my hormone levels may still be low and though I was pregnant they would rise slowly every day. I was around the 7 week mark by now according my dates when after visiting the toilet at work found spotting- not much but enough for me to panic. My mum suggested going to the doctor but I couldn't get an appointment for days so I went to the A and E department at my local hospital. They did tests and said they would arrange a scan for the following day but I was "probably losing the baby".
The scan proved I was still pregnant and the Doctors told me it was likely to be another problem not relating to the pregnancy. They arranged another scan for two weeks later and sent me home. The spotting didn't get worse but continued every day and by the time I went back for the scan I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. The nurse confirmed what I thought and said the baby had just not grown since last time and I was sent to the waiting room. I then saw the same doctor I had seen the fortnight before who was quite cold and harsh and said "The baby has stopped growing and you can either be left a few weeks for your body to dispose of it naturally or have surgery in 5 days to get it out". I opted for the surgery and was sent home with a blurred photo copy of a leaflet about dealing with miscarriage and no support or information from the hospital staff.
My husband decided he didn't want any more children at the time but hopefully in the future we will have at least one more, and I am optimistic about having another healthy pregnancy.
They say 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage with no apparent reason -it really is "just one of those things"- so if you have suffered one please don't think you will not have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
Don't blame yourself- I beat myself up for months blaming myself because the baby was not planned-it's no ones fault so don't be hard on yourself.
Grieve-even if you are only a few weeks pregnant losing a baby hurts; it's one of the worst things I have experienced in my life and bottling up the raw pain doesn't do any good.
Talk- Make sure you talk to your partner and support each other. Talk to friends and family and don't act as if nothing has happened-it has- and until you deal with your feelings you can't move on.
Read- If, like me, you were not offered and counselling or given adequate reading material; look into things yourself on the internet or in libraries. Reading about others experiences may be upsetting but you know you are not alone and it is in fact very common.
Get healthy~ If you re planning another pregnancy speak to your doctor and start getting healthy- all the usual applies; cut out drinking alcohol and stop smoking; exercise and diet and you are on your way.
However my advice is only that- advice. I can not guarantee anything for anyone and if you find you do end up suffering repeated miscarriages your own doctor will refer you to the relevant specialists.
Don't give up- there is light at the end of the tunnel so stay positive
On Valentines Day last year I had a miscarriage. I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time and it was the first time I had ever experienced any kind of pregnancy before.
When I first found out I was pregnant I was so excited. I went straight out and brought a book on pregnancy and wanted to find out week by week at exactly what stage the baby was at. I found the whole thing really fascinating. It was like a little miracle inside me.
For the first 6 weeks of my pregnancy I had no symptoms and at times wondered whether I should do another pregnancy test to make sure I actually was pregnant but not long after this a few pregnancy symptoms started up. I was very fortunate that I was never sick. I did however very rapidly go off toast and tea. It was the smell of it that put me off. I was also gradually finding it difficult to be in the kitchen as everything seemed to smell so strong and terrible and it made me feel ill. At times I just wished I could lift the roof off the house to let some fresh air in as it was so bad. However in reality it actually wasnt that bad at all its just when your pregnant your sense of smell changes its abit like developing superpowers for smell.
Eight weeks into my pregnancy I started to develop some spotting and rushed straight to the doctors as the first thing I thought was that I was having a miscarriage he reassured me however that any bleeding particularly in the first 3 months was common and can be caused by many reasons and is not necessarily anything to worry about. Well I felt a little better after seeing the doctor but was still a bit worried about the whole thing. Fortunately after a few days the spotting subsided and everything was ok again. Well I could relax again. I was starting to find myself now at nine weeks getting very tired during the day and was starting to wish that all the horrible symptoms of pregnancy would go away.
Well perhaps I hoped too much, as now I was eleven weeks pregnant and the pregnancy symptoms did go away practically over night and the spotting began again. I kept thinking what the doctor said to me about all this being very common and not to worry about it and so didnt go to the doctors straight away this time as I thought he would only say the same as before. I kept wishing the pregnancy symptoms would come back as at least that way I would know the baby was ok. But they didnt and the bleeding was gradually getting worse so I went straight to the doctors two days after this all began.
I saw a different doctor this time and he arranged for me to have an emergency scan and told me to have complete rest. So I went home and put my feet up and tried my best not to worry. I then got a phone call later from the doctor telling me that they could do my emergency scan in 5 days time. I couldnt believe it when he told me. I classed emergency as the same day or at least the next day. Well I managed to wait 3 days but the bleeding suddenly got very bad and I had to be rushed into hospital where I was unfortunately informed that I was having a miscarriage. In my mind I knew I was miscarriaging anyway and was prepared for it (or at least at the time I thought I was prepared for it) as there had been no pregnancy symptoms for a while and that combined with the bleeding had prepared me for the worst.
I stayed in hospital for nearly 2 days and I have to say I have never liked hospitals in the past, particularly if I have to stay in one, but all the nurses were just great and incredibly supportive and they did an absolutely marvellous job. It did become obvious however to one of the nurses that I was in denial about the whole thing, although I wasnt aware of it myself at the time because she said to me, Do you know what has happened?, and I said Yes I am having a miscarriage and I didnt sound upset at all. My first sign of sounding slightly upset was that every time I wanted to go to the toilet you had to use a commode so they can see what you are passing with the miscarriage. As they wheeled the commode away, I looked at my mum and said, They are taking my baby away and that was the first time I felt a little upset. Then when I was finally able to leave the hospital I went to the lift to take me down and out of the hospital and I just broke down in tears and said, My baby is here, I dont want to leave it, and I think that was when I actually realised that I had lost my baby. I remember crying and crying literally for several days I just couldnt stop. This was made worse by the fact that you are having a sudden drop in hormone levels which therefore gives you the symptoms of postnatal depression. Postnatal depression is apparently more common in people who suffer with depression which I have done in the past.
The hospital sent me home with lots of information on miscarriages and gave me a list of support groups and a booklet on how people feel after miscarriages which was interesting to read as I didnt feel so alone in trying to cope with it all. I was reassured that what I was feeling was normal and that helped.
After my few days of constant crying subsided I gradually began to cope abit better, but the whole experience had changed me as a person. No longer did I just want a child, I needed a child. I had these strong motherly feelings. Feelings I had never experienced before and never expected. I wanted something to feel close to. Something to protect, something that depended on me. I liked that feeling and wanted it back. I knew the only way I could really cope with this miscarriage was by at least knowing I was trying again for another baby.
Unfortunately I had a few set backs. I developed a nasty infection 2 weeks after the miscarriage and had to go back into hospital again this time for four days. Infections are quite common after miscarriages and can be very serious if not treated quickly. Fortunately they caught mine in the early stages. Once I got over this I found out my smear test was due so I had this and a few weeks later was informed that abnormal cells had been discovered and that I was to hold off trying for a baby until an investigation had been done. This really got me down as it was one thing after the other I just didnt feel I could really get over the loss under I could replace it.
The investigation in to my smear test resulted in me having to have a minor operation to have the abnormal cells removed, but the whole process in getting hospital appointments and then treatment went on for about 6 months. I was reassured that the abnormal cells were not why I miscarriaged and that it was now safe for me to start trying for a baby again. I was so happy.
I went on then to try for a baby again and after 9 months I fell pregnant. I am now nearly 5 months pregnant and everything is going really well with no complications at all. It just goes to show that just because I had a miscarriage once it doesn't mean I will have one again.
1. If you have had a miscarriage before then it is quite normal to wonder how you will cope the next time you become pregnant because you will be worrying that you are going to miscarry again. The best thing to do and this is what I am going to do as well is to take each day as it comes. Not to go planning to far ahead and for each day that passes just be really pleased that thats another day youve got through.
2. Remember 30% of all pregnancies in the first 3 months end in miscarriage (thats 1 in every 3), and this is why a lot of people dont tell too many people they are pregnant in the early stages as it can make it harder to cope with the loss with the more people that know. Once you are passed the first 3 months the chances of having a miscarriage are reduced considerably over the next month.
3. Just because you have had a miscarriage doesnt mean you are anymore likely to have a miscarriage again.
4. If you have had 3 or more miscarriages in a row you should inform your doctor as they may want to investigate to make sure there is no physical reason as to why you are miscarrying.
5. The main thing of all with any miscarriage is that it is very easy to feel that some how you are to blame for this when this is not the case at all. Miscarriages happen for many reasons that are completely out of your control and often there is nothing you can do to prevent a miscarriage once it starts so you have to accept that its just one of those things and try not to keep looking back on things just look forward!
I hope this information has been helpful to anyone who has experienced miscarriage or to anyone who just wants to find out more about it.
i think the girls that have miscarriages have done really well to cope with it how they have but i recommend that you do somthing to try and forget about it. And if you have a boyfriend include them in it too because they feel the same as you. Because me and my boyfriend kinda fell out because i didnt include him in my greevin and now i think i was childhish for not including him in it. We are back togther and well
Sometimes things happen in your life that sneak up on you unexpectedly. Things that will change the course of your life forever, although you do not realise it at the time. Perhaps that is just as well! I ought to start by telling you that trauma and heartache are not strangers in my home. Indeed they often come knocking at my door. At one time I felt that they had a regular appointment! It would be so easy to wallow in self pity and say "why me?". These days I find it far more beneficial to say "why not me?". After all it has to be some-one! This might seem odd, but here is a sentence for my children who write on site. Please do not read any further!! I thought about setting up a new screen name just for this opinion, but I am sure you will not want to read this anyway! I know I can trust you to be honourable and go away now!! Right, now we have got rid of them I would like to share an experience with you that I hope may help some of you who may have recently lost babies. Eleven years ago I found myself, somewhat unexpectedly pregnant. I already had 4 children but only one by my present partner, a little girl who was then two years old. My husband had mental health problems at the time and was not overly chuffed at the news. He put a huge amount of pressure on me to have an abortion. All sorts of emotional blackmail was used- it was a disaster, he might lose his job we could not cope with another one. You know the sort of thing! I am a Catholic and am, for myself, violently opposed to abortion. So I dug in hard and totally refused to acquiesce. At about 14 weeks he made it plain that if I went ahead and had the baby then our relationship would end. So, thinking of our daughter and my love for him I allowed myself to be railroaded into going for an appointment to find out about an abortion. They said it would have to be an induction as it would be 16 weeks by the time it was done. They booked me in to
a clinic in Bournemouth. I did not want to go. I even unpacked my suitcase and hung everything back in the wardrobe. Tony was having none of this and packed it all up again. He promised if I went he would bring my stepchildren to meet Caroline and I. We had never met them at that point. Still haven?t, actually! Tony drove me there. I was incapable of speaking .I have never felt so sick. He deposited me at the clinic and I was shown into a ward. It was horrific, so many girls lying there crying. I said to the nurse ? I am sorry, I cannot do this, I have to get out of here?. I ran so fast to where we had parked the car, in the hope that Tony and Caroline had not gone. They were just sitting in it eating sandwiches!! I asked why they were still there and Tony said he had a gut feeling I would run away! Funny that isn?t it! How did he guess I wonder! We drove home in silence. I have never known an hour and a half take so long! Life then carried on as normal. Tony still was not very pleased but he seemed to accept the situation. I was not very well through the pregnancy. Frankly, I never am well when I am expecting and so did not really think anything of it. Caroline contracted whooping cough when I was about 18 weeks pregnant and therefore we were confined to the house. The doctor told me not to come for any antenatal appointments until she was over the worst. This should not have been a problem with a 5th pregnancy, I suppose. When I was eventually able to get there things started to happen. My GP said he thought he had a faulty battery on his listening device. He could not find a heartbeat, but not to worry, the machine had been playing up all afternoon. He told me I was due another scan and he would book me in for it. I thought nothing of it, believing the story about the duff batteries. Stupid Kim! How could I have been so dense! I got home and put the kettle on for a cuppa. The phone rang and it was the
hospital telling me I had a scan the following morning. Still I did not smell a rat! I am normally an intelligent woman! Somehow your brain doesn?t engage properly when you are pregnant! I am so silly that I just thought that the hospital were being super efficient for a change. Miracles do happen sometimes you know! Tony came home from school and I told him what had happened. If he suspected anything ominous then he never let on! I am sure if he had he would never have allowed me to go for the scan on my own. The next day dawned. I got up and trotted off to the hospital little Caroline in tow. I was quite excited. It doesn?t matter how many children you have, each scan is still exciting. I was full of the joys of spring (well January, actually) and bounded into the scanning room. They had a new machine, supposedly the real McCoy. I eagerly lay down and asked if I could have a picture. The lady was very nice. Caroline was playing with some Lego. That picture is forever etched in my memory. Now then, I have had a considerable quantity of scans, so I knew the ropes. This woman was very slow, what on earth was the matter with her? I needed the loo and I so wished she would hurry up! Then the questions came. How many weeks was I? Was I sure? Could I be wrong? Well, my third child had been underdeveloped at birth and only weighed four pounds. I innocently assumed we were looking at the same sort of problem- a small for dates baby. That wasn?t too bad! I had been there before- got the t-shirt and everything turned out fine. Phew!! She sat me up and asked me to wait in another room. Hang on!! Where was my picture? What was going on? The radiographer told me not to worry, but she wanted a second opinion on my scan. I then began to panic. I could feel it rising up from my solar plexus, threatening to engulf me. I pressed the point, what was the problem, what had she seen? Well, this lady really w
anted me out of there, she did not want to talk to me, but I was like a bloodhound on the scent. Eventually I was informed that there seemed to be a ?slight abnormality?. She couldn?t get my baby to move. I was then put in a side room, just Caroline and me. We were just left there. I wasn?t even offered a cup of tea .I thought all sorts of things, just sitting there. Well you do, don?t you! I wondered if perhaps my baby had no limbs or some other such awful scenario. I never for one moment considered that he might actually be dead! After about 45 minutes I went up to the desk. There was no sign of life. I could hear plenty though! One of the midwives was leaving and they were having a little ?do? for her. I could see them in a room behind, all laughing and joking as they drank fizzy wine and gorged themselves on doughnuts! I still sometimes have bad dreams about that particular scene. Eventually a midwife spotted me. ?What are you doing out here Mrs Graham, you are supposed to be in your room!? I asked if they had phoned my husband. I was told that they had decided not to until I had been spoken to by a Doctor. I thought it a bit strange! I asked if they would phone him now. I was told, in no uncertain terms that they would not. I asked what was going on and was told a Doctor would be coming to explain things to me, but that he was in theatre and would not be long. I was put back in the room with a cup of tea. After another half an hour I went and again asked them to get my husband. I thought at the very least he could take Caroline for a walk, as she was hungry and fractious. By this time they were getting fed up with me and I was obviously getting in the way of their merriment. I was by this time, the only patient left. A little while later I thought I would find a phone myself. I wanted Tony badly by then. A midwife had just come on duty. I knew her vaguely as our children were at the same school. She asked what was going
on and I told her I was looking for a phone to call my husband at school. To cut the story short, she was appalled that nobody had done so already. She phoned and Tony was with me very shortly after. We waited for another half an hour or so and then a nurse appeared and said we were going up to the ward. The doctor still had not come. When we got to the ward a nice lady doctor was there waiting for me. I was taken into a side room and she took down all my details. Then she started saying that Tony would have to bring my things in and that I would be admitted immediately ready for an induction in the morning. Do you know that feeling when your mouth goes so dry that your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth? I tried to speak but no words came out. I turned to Tony and managed to stutter, ?I don?t understand?. Neither, clearly, did he. He had turned an ashen shade and looked really quite odd. He asked the Doctor what was going on. The Doctor said, ?Have you not been told?? I said ?No, I have been left downstairs on my own for two hours.? She then, oh so gently told me that me baby was dead. He had been dead for probably three weeks and if I did not deliver very soon then my life was in danger. I told her she had to be wrong as I could still feel the baby moving. They re-checked the scan photo just to be certain. I was then told that sometimes it felt like a dead baby was moving as it buffeted around freestyle in the water! Lovely. It got worse. She proved to me that my little boy was dead by showing me on the photo that his skull was crushed. It seems this happens if they have been dead a while. I felt like a human coffin. It was quite awful and very traumatic. These feelings haunt me to this day, just not quite so frequently. The next few hours went by in a blur. The next morning Tony came in but he was not able to stay with me, as he was not allowed time off school. Or so he said, anyway!. I will now try and
minimise the next set of events, both for your sakes and mine! Early the next morning the doctor informed me that I would be induced, but, as the baby had been dead for so long and it might be particularly unpleasant, they would give me a general anaesthetic towards the end and deliver the baby with forceps whilst I was asleep. I would be started off with pessaries as the baby showed no signs of coming on his own. I have a funny condition where I never go into labour. All my children have to be induced! Well, a couple of hours later they took me to theatre on a trolley. As they do! I asked what was happening about the pessaries. They had been forgotten. That was swiftly dealt with and I was left outside the theatre on a trolley for two and a half hours until I was in full labour. I did not think I could take much more. They knocked me out and then I woke up afterwards. The enormity of what had happened hit me instantly. I have never before or since, felt such an overwhelming emptiness. The nurse made some crass comment that I could easily have another one. Right. That was going to help. It struck me that Tony would never allow me to have another- he didn?t in the end. I discharged myself the next day as I was in with the new born babies and I just couldn?t hack it, to be honest. A post mortem was done, but they managed to lose some of the results. As far as they could see there was nothing wrong with my baby, who we named Robert. Then they lost his body for two years. Eventually I found he was in the communal grave at the children?s cemetery. How did we cope? With grave difficulty. Tony suggested that I went back to school as soon as possible to take my mind off it. In retrospect this was a bad idea, as I did not grieve properly. I am sure he had my best interests at heart. We all cope differently and he copes by immersing himself in work. I felt totally unable to talk about it. Sometimes it would well
up inside and I can remember making the odd snide remark to Tony about him getting what he wanted. Looking back, that was really unfair of me. Life trundled on. I felt unable to talk about it and I think Tony must have felt pushed out. Our physical relationship suffered due to him feeling highly unhappy that he had been with me whilst I was carrying a dead baby. He viewed me as a human coffin and said so. Well, I could not really blame him as I felt the same myself! He said he was sorry, but the idea of doing anything with me at that time made him feel sick. Fantastic. I felt even more of a freak. That has also followed me down the years. Well, it would, wouldn?t it! After a year I finally asked if I could tell him what had happened to me that day, after he had gone back to school and left me to deliver our dead son alone. Bitter me? Oh yes. I had needed him and he had, I felt, abandoned me in my utmost hour of need. We were on holiday in Cornwall. I made a cup of tea and launched into the whole saga. It was the first time I had ever talked about what actually happened to me. There is more than I told you but this op is too long already! I had not even told my Mum about it. For me this was a special, significant and brave moment. There was absolute silence from my much-loved husband. Then he spoke. ?We never did sort out my credit card?. I was speechless- a very rare occurrence. Frankly, even after all these years it still really hurts. I exploded and yelled and screamed at him for his callousness. He said he wasn?t heartless but did not know how to cope. We have never discussed the details since, although we do sometimes go to the cemetery. Poor Tony went on to have a breakdown. I tried to be there for him- it was partly a teacher?s breakdown, but the baby and our lack of communication had not helped. I wasn?t sure I could totally forget what I perceived he had done to me and there were other problems relating to my stepchildren,
relayed in an earlier opinion. Then he had an affair. It was the last straw. He said I had not bothered enough about him. I thought I had tried really hard. Four years ago we decided that we would continue our relationship but live in separate houses. It seemed the only solution. So, I lost my baby and eventually my husband. What can you learn from this? Share things, please. It doesn?t matter how painful something is you should try really hard to include your partner. I wished I had realised that he was suffering too, but in a different way. Perhaps I would not have been so hard on him. It is very easy to imagine that someone doesn?t care just because they react differently from you, or from what you would like! Don?t hope that things will get better if you ignore them- this is a tactic that almost invariably fails! We tried the miscarriage and stillbirth association. It didn?t help me, as I really didn?t want to talk to anyone about it. I was totally closed. This was a very bad thing!They might be a good port of call for you though, if you need someone to talk to, as they have trained counsellors. Allow yourselves time to grieve, each in your own way and try meet your partner?s needs even if you do not fully understand them. If I could go back in time I would do things very differently. I would not have thrown myself back into manic working hours, which allowed me to hide from my husband and myself. I would have been kinder to myself and allowed the grieving process to complete its cycle. To date this has still not happened.I felt an overwhelming desire to have another baby. Not to replace Robert, you understand, but to have a means of chanelling all the pent up maternal broodiness. I produced milk for two and a half years afterwards, which I am sure did not help! Believe me when I tell you the pain does lessen. You will probably never get over an experience like this, but you can and will learn to live with it. I get sad when
it is the anniversary of Robert?s birth and again when it would have been his ?real? birthday. I allow myself these two days a year to wallow in self-pity. That is cathartic! I imagine what he would be doing now, what year in school he would be. Uncannily, one of my pupils was born on the day I delivered Robert. That shook me up a bit. As each year passes it gets easier. If you have lost a child I hope it will also get easier for you. I am sorry this has been so long and I promise my next op will be really cheerful. Even in a difficult life things aren?t all bad!!! Shit, as they say, happens, but it is how you handle it that makes a real man or woman of you. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
On July the 17th 2000 my daughter Poppy was born and died. I was just 21 weeks pregnant. I suppose if I just start right at the beginning it will make some sort of sense to whoever reads this. I got married at 19, and nine months later I gave birth to our first child, a boy called Thomas. He is everything to me of course, but the urge to have another child came and went, then came to stay. We finally decided that the time was right to try for another baby. I was lucky, again, and got pregnant the first month of trying. Life was just sheer bliss. I'd been blessed with a beautiful baby once, and was being blessed again. I had a feeling I was going to have a girl. Don't ask why, I just did, the same as I knew Thomas was a boy. I only picked out boys names for Thomas, and only girls names this time. We picked the name Poppy because my husband is in the army, so it was sort of appropriate, and is a name I'd always liked. The problems started on the 26th of June 2000. My husband was away in Canada, and I was staying at my mums house for a couple of weeks. I felt feverish, cold and clammy. This carried on all weekend then on the Sunday night I started to bleed a little. On the Monday morning I rang my nurse and went to the hospital. I was admitted and told that I probably had a low-lying placenta (placenta praevia), but because I was having what felt like contractions, and the bleeding too, there was a chance I could lose the baby. I was about 18 or 19 weeks at this point. To cut a very long story short I went back to our home, 200 miles away, and waited for the army to send my husband home. The hospital had discovered I also had an infection, and had told me not to lift or carry, or do anything strenuous. Thomas was three years old at the time, so I asked my husband to come back, they were only on exercise. I was admitted to the hospital again, which is when they finally sent him home. I was dis
charged, on the condition that I let Lee do absolutely everything, so off I went. Five days later he was told to go back to work. That was a Thursday. Friday lunch time I was severely ill, with a temperature of 40C. He came home again and took me to hospital. On the Saturday I started to leak a little water, and Sunday it continued. At ten past five on Monday morning my waters broke. After 10 1/2 hours of labour (longer than first time around) our precious little daughter was born silently into this world. We held her, and gave her her name. We cried. A lot. What else can you do? A little later I decided I wanted to go home. I couldn't stay there, on the maternity ward, with my precious baby laid in the mortuary. I went back the next day to say my final goodbyes. The hospital chaplain gave her a blessing, and gave me a card to commemorate this. I was given a photo to keep, her cot card and a card with her hand and foot prints inside it. I was later given a tiny velvet pouch with her belly button clip in it too. She was cremated on the 26th of July 2000, a Wednesday. This was probably one of the hardest days of my entire life. We went out and bought a white fleecy blanket to wrap her in, and my mother-in-law made her a beautiful white satin dress to wear, very much like a christening dress. It was stunning, and the best thing she could have done for me at the time. It's been hard since then. I've managed to slowly pick up the pieces, only to drop them all in one go. It's the old two steps forward, three steps back thing. Thomas found it hard too. He wasn't used to me being away. He couldn't understand why Mummy and Daddy were crying all the time, why Mummy couldn't be bothered to get dressed for a week. We tried our best to explain it to him and he seems to understand in his own little way. He often talks about his little sister, and the other day he drew me a pict
ure o f her, it broke my heart... He'd drawn a big smile on her face, because she's always smiling, he told me. I think only a parent knows how much their older children will understand. Start off with basics, and let them ask questions. I you can't answer, be honest, and say "I don't know", that's all you can do really. In a way I was lucky. I got to feel Poppy move inside me, and I got to hold her, cuddle her, have a picture of her and I have her ashes to keep. But I never got to hear her cry, see what colour her eyes were, or see her smile, and that hurts. A lot of people would just avoid me afterwards, as if it was "catching" or something. No matter what stage you lose a child it hurts like hell. It doesn't matter how old or young they are, they shouldn't go before you, and you still love them. I was sent a lot of cards, and some flowers too, and that helped, to know that people cared enough, that they were thinking of me. But some people say hurtful things. They probably don't mean to, but it hurts all the same. Saying "you're young, you'll have more", doesn't help. I didn't want more, I wanted Poppy. Saying "it's Gods will" won't help, that just leads you to question why? All you need is a hug, a shoulder to cry on. You just want to hear your babys name mentioned, it's the sweetest music you can hear. If somebody has had an early miscarriage and names the baby, use the name! It will brighten that persons day. Ask if there's anything you can do. If you say "how are you?" then mean it, don't change the subject if that person says "well actually I'm not doing to good today". Allow the bereaved parent (or grandparent/other relative) time to grieve properly, this is such a great loss that cannot be understood unless you've been there, which I hope you never do. For
those of you who have lost a baby/child, my heart goes out to you, it really does. Collect mementoes, whether it's after your loss, or something you bought when you were pregnant. I've seen a little teddy that I'm going to get for Poppy, and I'll put it in her Memory Box. I have a corner of the blanket we bought her, which is so soft and comforting. Don't expect to feel better straight away, because you won't. Don't feel you HAVE to get better either. Wallow if you want to, you have a right to feel sorry for yourself, your baby, your family. Take time to grieve, and tell people that grieving is what you're doing it. Write things down, be it a letter or poem for your baby (this can also go in the Memory Box), or just summing up your anger on a piece of paper to burn, it doesn't matter. If you feel you need help then get some. Go to your doctor, or get in touch with a support group. The Miscarriage Association and SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) are good places to start. You should find these in the yellow pages, and they have websites too which can be found by looking them up in a search engine (I have links to various support groups on my site, but I don't know if this will get included as it's sort of plugging my page...) Last, but certainly not least, talk about it, talk about it with your husband partner if you can, this is the person who will understand your loss the most. If not then talk to your mum/dad, or grab a friend, or email me, I don't mind and I'm happy to talk :-) I hope this is of some help to someone. If I help just one person I'll be happier. Life does go on, just differently. It doesn't get any less painful, just easier to deal with. You stop crying tears of bitterness, and they can become tears that are perhaps bittersweet instead. I can now look back and smile when I think of my daughter. She's
made me who I am today, a stronger, and hopefully better, person. For that I am eternally greatful... --------------------------------------------- ps, sorry this got SO long! NB:as with others, I rate the article for advice, not loss.
Why am I writing this opinion today? I’m not too sure except that it has been the most awful day (11th Sept ’01) and yet amidst it all there has been a new baby born into our family! The day has been full of the terrible news of the carnage in America and I was tempted to write an op on that subject but was not sure I could add to the others already posted. So for me worrying about my son living in America, this day has been awful and yet a phone call came to tell me that I have a new nephew born at about the same time as the atrocities were taking place. So birth and death as so often come closely linked and it had taken my mind back when they mixed in my life, infact in my body. My Story I have been the most fortunate of people, I come from a loving family and met and married a great man. I also had the good fortune to become pregnant without problem each time I tried and never when I didn’t! I had two gorgeous little boys and although we had planned to have only two children we both began to think that it would be great to have another baby. So what can I say fun was had and with the fantastic result that I was pregnant again, I was so excited and told my family the news. When I was about ten weeks pregnant I went with my husband and sons for a week in Herefordshire to stay with my Mum and Dad. We were having a really good time but after a few days I knew things were going wrong with my pregnancy as I was bleeding. What do you do if this happens? Go to a doctor or go straight to bed but somehow logic flew from me and I just felt desperately that I wanted to be in my own home. So I drove the hundred or so miles home in agony and tears and to be honest I do not know how I got there at all. I packed myself off to bed and my doctor visited me, advising me to stay there for a week until they could be sure if I had lost my baby or not. I stayed there for a week in October 1978 and during that time
I can clearly remember that it changed from summer to autumn during that week. As usual my family were great. My sons didn’t really understand although we did tell them that we may not be having the promised brother or sister after all, they were just loving and sweet as ever. My husband was also lovely and took care of me with the help of my sister who drove up to stay with me for the week. At the end of the week I felt a lot better and I even convinced myself that I may not have lost my baby and that I really did feel pregnant. So when I went to get the results of a pregnancy test I was shocked when he told me sympathetically that I was not pregnant any more. That day is still so clear to me as I went home and was greeted by a question from one of my little boys, “Have you got good news about the baby?” I could only shake my head and hug them all. Now some of you that read this will have had difficulties becoming pregnant and may indeed never have had a baby of your own so maybe my one loss seems small. But I was gutted, a part of me had gone and I would never hold that child in my arms, never feed him or know him, he would never had the chance of life as we know it. I say him because I was convinced that it was another son although I do not know for sure. I had my boys and I had my man should that have been enough would I be pushing my luck to try again to have a third child? All I knew was that I desperately wanted to have another baby growing inside me and to be able to hold that one in my arms and tell it how loved it would always be, not to replace the lost one. Again I was fortunate enough to become pregnant easily and this baby grew without problems. Almost exactly year after my miscarriage I had my third child the most beautiful baby girl ever born, (argue with me if you dare)! She was perfect and I loved her instantly, as I still do. Then I felt my family was complete my two sons and their little sis
ter whom they adored, but the baby that we lost will never be forgotten. Was I to blame? Should I have stayed at my parents and not made the journey home? I have beaten myself up about that many times but again I will never know I just did what seemed right at the time. What didn’t I want them to say? I think the people around will either help or hinder the process. I remember many people saying to me ‘Oh well you’ve got two’! I knew that but that didn’t take away any of the pain of knowing that my baby had died, was consolation was it to him to know he had brothers that had been luckier! Of course there is always someone waiting to tell you ‘You can always try again’! These I know are well meaning people but I could not try to have that baby again. What did I want them to say? I wanted them acknowledge that I had lost a baby to realise someone that I already loved had died and it wasn’t fair! I did not want them to make out that he would be simple to ‘replace’ or that he wasn’t important because I was already a mother. What did/didn’t I want them to do? I wanted people to understand that I felt like crap. I felt I had failed my unborn child, I didn’t want them to try to make me feel instantly better. I wanted the time to grieve, to be angry; to talk about him and not have them to embarrassed to speak of it. I wanted to be hugged and at other times left alone. How did I get over my miscarriage? I think like any other bereavement, I mourned and with time the loss lessens but is always there. I will leave it to others to write about how you get over it if you cannot conceive again and then maybe you have to come to terms with the prospect of being childless. I know I am the most fortunate of people I have been pregnant four times and that has resulted in three wonderful children now g
rown up into three fabulous adults. One mistake I know I made was in underestimating the effect it had on my husband; it was after all his baby too. At the time it was hard for me to think of any one but myself but in retrospect I’m sure I could have let him help me more and in turn that would have helped him. My conclusion If you have experienced a miscarriage then you have my sympathy you will never replace that child but I hope you will, or have gone on to have different babies. If you know someone going through this please give them the chance to talk, to rant, to cry and to grieve, a loved one has died. So as I said at the beginning of this op today my brother has become a Dad again, incidentally also about a year after his wife had a similar experience to mine. Sometimes pregnancy will have the most fantastic results but just occasionally it won’t. So to you and any babies you have or may have in the future I wish you well. Tonight whilst remembering the carnage in the States I will drink a toast to the new little life in our family, what a day to enter the world!