Recurrent miscarriage and having no answers

Lesley Ann Mo, 41, suffered 3 miscarriages and was so poorly treated during her second, she complained to her local MP. The hospital has since promised to make changes.

Lesley lives in Bangor, County Down, with husband Sui-Wing Mo.

When Sui and I met everything happened so quickly, we were married within 2 years. We both wanted children and I fell pregnant a few weeks before the wedding. I was gearing up for the big day then, the week before the wedding, I woke up to discover I was bleeding. Not knowing what was happening we went to hospital to get checked out. 

After an hour in triage a doctor came to tell us someone from gynaecology would be down. A wonderful young woman overheard and insisted a doctor see me immediately.

It was so demoralising, sitting in the A&E waiting room, the blood was getting heavier. I was crying and people around me didn’t know where to look. 

I remember being wheeled up to the EPU where we only sat for 10 minutes before we were seen and I was told that I needed to be scanned.

The lights went off and I held Sui's hand so tight as they checked, minutes later the lights were back on and they were telling me there was nothing there. I started crying and Sui was trying his best to console me, our dream had been shattered. As I hugged Sui someone behind me said, ‘I can’t handle her when she’s like this’. I felt no compassion in EPU.

They advised us that I would need to come back in a few days to confirm the pregnancy was over. Luckily it wasn’t the same woman because I’d been worried about that.   

We left the hospital with nothing, not even a leaflet

I’d been told to go home and let it happen. It was awful. I remember when I went back one girl said I was ‘lucky’ it had been a natural miscarriage, I didn’t feel lucky at all.  

We announced our loss before our wedding day, I didn't want to hide what had happened. I wanted to acknowledge our baby existed even for a short time.

6 months later, we were pregnant again. We got to the 9-week mark and I woke up to bleeding. It was history repeating itself.  

Again, we went to A&E and it was a nightmare from the moment we walked through the door. My husband was parking up when I was seen by a triage nurse who said she needed a urine sample. I wanted to wait for Sui because I was scared of what I might see but she told me not to be ‘silly’. Sui arrived in time to help. 

A short time later the doctor called me in and said I had a urine infection, I felt a moment of relief thinking that could be dealt with, before she added that I was probably miscarrying again and would need to be seen by gynaecology to have everything confirmed. We were sent back to the A&E waiting room and informed that someone from gynaecology would be down soon. 4 hours passed.

I was exhausted and had bled through my clothes

I had had enough and went back to triage station and explained to a passing doctor I was miscarrying and asked if someone could help me. An hour later and a doctor came to say gynaecology were busy and we should go home and wait for them to call at 3pm to arrange an appointment for later that evening. At 4.30pm we hadn't heard anything so Sui ended up calling them to be angrily told we should never have left A&E and, because we had, they couldn’t see us for 5 days.  

It was an agonising 5 days. I think the infection made me delirious because at one point I tried to barricade myself in the bedroom. My bedsheets were saturated in blood. I felt like I was being punished for leaving the hospital but the triage doctor had told us to leave.  

We went back on the Saturday. I was so sore I couldn’t walk and had to be wheeled into the hospital on a commode. The doctor at the EPU was lovely but I felt too sore to be examined by her, she said I should go to the toilet, it was like she knew what would happen next. The door was ajar and the young nurse who had accompanied me was standing outside talking to her colleague about a night out with friends. I got no reassurance from her.

A short time later I knew I had passed something into the box so I stood up, walked forward, washed my hands and left the cubicle as fast as I could. I was too scared to look back and see what could have been my baby. 

The Nurse brought the box back in to the room and asked me would I like to look but I said no. The Doctor confirmed the pregnancy was over and that same young nurse said, ‘Woohoo’ with her arms in the air. I was so angry and in disbelief at her behaviour. 

The doctor asked if I’d been taking vitamin D

I thought my pregnancy supplement was enough, but it wasn’t. I felt so guilty, thinking something that could have been bought over a shop counter could have possibly prevented this. Blood tests did reveal I was deficient, but I corrected this and still went on to have a further loss. 

I was sent to another hospital for investigations and all the tests have come back normal, the only thing they have to go on is age because there wasn't anything else. I found the consultant there encouraging and hopeful. 

I feel like I have processed these experiences and have made them a part of my reality. I want to educate women that pregnancy loss is not their fault. I complained after my second miscarriage and got my local MP involved. No woman should sit in A&E and lose a baby. The hospital has confirmed more training will take place. I want to there to be support services for couples here in Northern Ireland.   

Sui and I don't know what we'll do next, anything is on the table at this point, but right now I am looking after my mental health, exercising more and enjoying time with my husband and my little Dachshund, Rosie. It is so important for couples who have experienced miscarriage to take some time out and really look after themselves and more importantly to grieve.