Missed miscarriage as a partner during the pandemic

Vik Singh Dosanjh, 28 and his wife Sarina, 27, suffered a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks. Vik says there must be more discussion around baby loss, particularly amongst men which he hopes to change.

We found out that Sarina was pregnant in November 2020 and we were really excited. At 5 weeks there was some bleeding. COVID-19 meant I couldn’t go with Sarina to EPU but they checked and said to come back for a scan in a few days. Again I couldn’t go with her but she heard a heartbeat and was told everything looked fine.

We’d booked a 10 week reassurance scan and I was literally jumping for joy at the idea of hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

I was going to meet my child and I was so excited, I put on new clothes. I was pinching myself, I couldn’t believe it was really happening. 

As soon as we went in for the scan it just didn’t feel right

Within minutes the mood seemed to have changed dramatically so, looking back, I suppose I knew really before they confirmed, ‘I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.’

You go from such a high to such a low in so short a space of time, so happy and jubilant one moment and the next your world crumbles down. We were only in that room for about 5 minutes but it’s never really left me. Then everything just moved so fast.

I had to come to terms with the loss very quickly, I had no choice, I needed to be Sarina’s support pillar. I’m quite a religious person and my belief is that everything happens due to God’s will, good or bad. It was an experience that we had to go through but it’s so tough to see someone you love suffer such trauma.

I had to grasp very quickly that Sarina needed me more now than ever

In a way, I suppose I didn’t give myself the chance to grieve. I put up a front, I felt I needed to put my feelings to the background.

I saw the pain Sarina had to go through and put her to the forefront. We talked about procedures and I could only think that I must support her. She needed me, there was no time to grieve. 

We talked about what to do with the remains afterwards, trying to gather our thoughts, to decide whether to bury or cremate our child. I didn’t even know that was something we’d need to decide. It’s not something you ever imagine having to make a decision about.

COVID-19 meant that I wasn’t allowed to go with her for the first procedure when she had the tablets and spent the day in hospital. We had to communicate via Facetime and I could only watch her cry, see the pain in her face. I tried to reassure her but I couldn’t hold her hand or give her a hug.

After that it became a prolonged nightmare

There were many complications because some tissue had been left behind which meant more hospital appointments and more pain for Sarina. We didn’t really understand what was going on, I just remember seeing her face, she looked so torn and I felt so helpless.

That feeling of helplessness is so hard, you’re not sure what to do or say to make things better but you are so desperate to ease the pain. This was our child, something we created.

Miscarriages come in so many forms. I’d never heard of a missed miscarriage, it was completely alien to me. I knew my Mum had lost a baby many years ago but I was only young, I didn’t grasp just how it can affect someone both mentally and physically.

It’s testament to how much mental and physical strength women have, I can’t commend Sarina enough.

My wife and my mum are inspirations, I can’t imagine the physical trauma they went through losing their babies, they are both so strong.

It was only a few weeks after the miscarriage that I found Tommy’s. Every year I do one big charity fundraiser and I’m determined to turn our experience into a positive so I’m climbing Scaffell Pike in July for Tommy’s.

Miscarriage is classless, creedless, it happens to everyone. In some communities they choose not to talk about it. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve, not avoided difficult subjects and I really believe we need to share our experiences, normalise discussion around baby loss.

Breaking the silence

Sarina and I put something on Facebook, just sharing how we felt, and we made contact with other couples who had been through the same but felt they couldn’t talk about it, we need to normalise that conversation. 

The power of word is so strong and speaking out can help so many others. It’s also a healing process for me, allows me to speak with other fathers who have been through the same. There isn’t much of a male perspective out there, maybe we can change that.

Life goes on but we will never forget our baby. We had an app on our phone where you see the growth of your child and, at one point I looked, laughed and said it looked a bit like a dinosaur and the name stuck. Our little one was, and will always be, our baby dinosaur.

We keep the scan picture from 10 weeks at our bedside, we don’t ever want to forget that time we still had a child. It may not have graced the earth but we were still parents for 10 weeks, that’s something nobody can take away from us.