Miscarriage care and support in the coronavirus pandemic

Nicola sadly experienced a miscarriage just before her 12-week scan. As a doctor, she was not used to being in hospital as a patient - but has been inspired to share her story by the support she received.
Image

I’m a GP in Edinburgh and I love my job. For me, it’s all about listening to someone’s story, putting pieces of the puzzle together, becoming an expert in the patient sitting in front of you rather than the disease as such. As part of my training I’ve spent years working in hospitals, rotating around everywhere from A&E to medical wards, paediatrics to maternity. 

But having seen a lot of the NHS, I recently experienced it from the other side – as a patient. I was almost 12 weeks pregnant, and my husband and I were so looking forward to telling the world our good news after the booking scan

The moment you do a positive pregnancy test, you already feel like a mum. You start planning for the future, getting excited, thinking about the baby and what life will be like... so to have those hopes and dreams cruelly taken away from you is heart-breaking.

Miscarrying in a pandemic

One day I started bleeding and having cramps that just kept getting worse. My admission to hospital for the miscarriage is now somewhat a blur and such mix of emotions. As a healthcare professional, I am always incredibly proud to work for the NHS – especially in the current climate. Being admitted to hospital in the middle of the covid-19 outbreak was an experience I’ll never forget. 

Pandemic buzzwords are loneliness, fear, isolation… and yet I’ve never felt less alone.

The tear in the doctor's eye when she broke the news, the nurses who held my hand in the middle of the night; it was like they were dealing with their first ever miscarriage. The empathy they showed to me and my husband was just incredible.

And the support I’ve had from my husband, family, friends, and work colleagues during this challenging time has been overwhelming. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted, but I’ve never felt so much love, which I am forever grateful for. 

Looking to the future 

My wonderful grandma sadly passed away the same day I miscarried, and grieving so much loss at once has been a challenging and personal journey. But I found it helped to reach out to friends and family, healthcare professionals, charities like Tommy’s.

Now as I rest, reflect and heal, I have a huge appreciation for life and so much to be thankful for. Talking has really helped me and my husband to start to process everything, so I hope sharing my story can remind others that you’re not alone if you’re going through a hard time.

Losing a baby is a deeply personal experience that affects people differently. If you need help to cope with your loss, Tommy’s is here. Please reach out to our dedicated midwife team and/or Facebook support group.