by Claire Saunders
I lost my baby at 15 weeks. I honestly thought at that point everything would be ok. I had a loss the previous April at 6 weeks. I was very upset but kind of accepted it as an early loss. You hear so much of miscarriage before 12 weeks.
I had a scan, this time at 6 weeks, the baby was all good and had a nice heartbeat. They checked me again at 8 weeks and the baby was growing nicely. I was high risk and so had a scan at 11 weeks, it was all good and the baby was growing well, the dates were all fine and, the consultant was happy. I had extreme sickness which everyone told me was a good sign.
I had my routine 13-week-scan and the baby was happy and growing well. I then told everyone as it was past the danger time now, so I started relaxing and enjoying the pregnancy. With a doppler I heard his heartbeat.
At 14 weeks the sickness got worse and I couldn't keep anything down, so I was admitted to hospital for the weekend on a drip. I wasn't scanned as these were all good signs and normal. I was let home with some sickness tablets and, was to continue taking folic acid.
15 weeks to the exact day, I woke up, I felt a bit achy, my thighs were sore and I was a bit nauseous, but I thought it was nothing to worry about. I went with my husband to pick up our daughter from school and on the way back I felt strange.
When I got home I went to the toilet and there was brown blood, not a lot, but it was there. I didn't know whether to panic or if this was normal as I knew some ladies bleed. I'm a worrier so I went to our local EPU, which we’re lucky to have as it’s a 24-hour emergency one.
I wasn't too concerned as I had no pain, no red blood and wasn't bleeding heavily. I called my mum who said she would wait with me as it was going to be a long wait. I didn’t feel that it was an emergency as I was not bleeding heavily and, wasn’t in pain.
After 3 hours I finally got seen. It was then that the rest became a blur. The doctor did not seem concerned at all and, just wanted to do a scan to reassure me and check the baby.
He never turned the screen around and after 5 minutes I knew
The doctor didn't speak, but just kept looking. He then quietly said: “I'm sorry, I can't find a heartbeat”. He took me to a quiet room to wait; because he was training he needed a senior doctor to confirm. I had another scan and, by this time my husband had been called and it was confirmed that the baby had died.
I was numb, in shock and just not functioning. We had to go back the following day for another scan and sign forms etc. I still to this day do not remember what I signed.
This is why I'm sharing my story. I really believe that time should be given to explain what happens after, as I was too numb and upset to make any decisions. I needed to mourn my baby and say goodbye.
There are choices regarding funerals and saying goodbyes, but you’re not always given these choices or explained them
I eventually got help through the bereavement office of my hospital and, with their help my baby had a proper cremation. He was picked up by my local funeral home. They were amazing and, I had no stress and, was asked what I wanted throughout. They arranged for our local vicar to meet with us, where we planned a small service and chose some music that we wanted.
The undertakers arranged the crematorium at a time and date suitable for us. They picked us up and, our baby was in a beautiful casket with the name engraved on top. We carried him the whole way to the crematorium.
This was and always will be a lovely memory on an awful day. We got a chance to say goodbye. It wasn't long, but it was just done with such thoughtfulness. It was so sad but definitely has helped us. We needed to say goodbye, our baby deserved that goodbye and, I believe it helps the grieving process. This was a free service and we’ll only pay for any tributes or plaques if we decide to do that. Everyone should get a chance to say goodbye and mourn how they need to.
We’re not given enough information and, shouldn’t have to make decisions when we’re really not in the right frame of mind to do so. I hope my story may help someone or at least let people know there are choices.
Several studies have shown that the womb may not work as well in older women. This may be because the muscle produces less energy so that contractions are less effective, so labour isn't triggered in the same way as in younger women.
We are trying to find out if a simple procedure before conception could help prevent miscarriage. If so, this could be an easy way to encourage healthy pregnancy.
Tommy’s are helping to train the carers of the future, so that we can continue giving women the best pregnancy care possible.
We want to understand the different ways that women and their partners cope with miscarriage, so that we can better train doctors, nurses and midwives to provide the emotional support that is so important following loss.
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