Miscarriage as a midwife

I love midwifery and rarely take it personally that seemingly everyone in the world I meet has a baby, but this time I needed a few days off work.

Heartbreaking stories. Devastating stories. The miscarriage story needs to change. That's why we've created Tommy's book of #misCOURAGE. Read this story now and help spread the word that miscarriage can no longer be ignored. Help us change the story to save babies' lives.

Donate
Up

October 2016

When I was a student midwife I became pregnant. It was a normal pregnancy with occasional bleeds (which I now look back on with dread) which ended in the birth of our beautiful son.

I finished my training and began work as a midwife. All the while, broody for another baby. Once I'd worked for what I had decided was a sensible amount of time, when my son was 3 we decided to try for another baby. 

Having become pregnant within weeks of deciding to have our son I took it for granted that we'd have our second by the end of that year. I discovered I was pregnant a few months later but didn't feel excited or optimistic like I had with our son.

I felt strange about telling people for some reason. A couple of times I tried to listen for a heartbeat at work but wasn't successful. I told myself it was because it was too early. 

When I was about 8 weeks pregnant in a Friday night, I started getting quite severe pain in my left side. So I presented to our local out of hours surgery where they told me it was gas but I should be scanned in the morning to be on the safe side.

When I got to the early pregnancy unit the following morning there was no sonographer so my colleague, a gynae consultant, scanned me. She saw a sac but there was nothing in it. She estimated that I was closer to 5 weeks.

I knew then that the pregnancy wasn't viable but they were optimistic that it would be ok. I went back to work as a midwife, trying to share the optimism but feeling bleak.

A week or two later I started bleeding but continued at work on delivery suite because it was so busy. 

I elected to have a vacuum aspiration under local anesthetic as treatment because I wanted to avoid a general anesthetic and couldn't bear the thought of the medical option. It was traumatic but fast and meant I could go on holiday the following week.

A week after I returned I was alone in the house. I stood up and thought I'd wet myself, I ran to the bathroom and realised I was bleeding heavily. I foolishly drove myself to the hospital and they scanned me and found retained products.

I then found out that the histology of the tissue suggested a molar pregnancy so I was booked for an erpc the following day. It was all straight forward and I later found out that the tissue wasn't molar, it just appeared molar. 

A couple of months later I found myself pregnant again, working in a more supportive environment. I asked the same colleague who'd scanned me before to do so again once I got to 7 weeks.

All looked great, there was a heartbeat, although it was measuring about a week behind where I'd expected. We were so relieved, my colleagues were all fabulous and supported me. 

When I got to 11 weeks I was at work, looking after a wonderful woman who was labouring in the pool. I popped to the loo and noticed a bit of spotting.

I panicked and just left and ran to find one of the sisters in charge. I told her what had happened. We had a little cry together and she rushed me through to EPU for a scan.

By this time there were clots so I knew what was happening. My partner arrived in time for the scan where we were given devastating news that the baby had died about 3 days after our exam. This was a Friday so we decided to wait and see if I'd miscarry naturally over the weekend.

By Monday morning nothing had happened (other than heartbreak and tears). So I asked for medical management. The drugs caused me to bleed but everything got stuck in my cervix so I was admitted overnight and given drugs for the pain. In the morning I begged for an erpc which was straightforward. 

4 months later I found myself pregnant again, with a baby due on Christmas day 2016! 4 days after that I started bleeding and miscarried very quickly at home. Although I'd only known for days I really struggled to go back to work.

I love midwifery and rarely take it personally that seemingly everyone in the world I meet has a baby, but this time I needed a few days off work. 

The next month I got a new job. I now work in abortion care. People think i'm crazy for wanting to work in this environment with my history but these are women in crisis, like me. I love that I can help them in really difficult circumstances. 

The month after I got this job I found myself pregnant again. I was now trained to scan first trimester pregnancy, so obviously I had to indulge. I let a friend scan me as I couldn't see anything myself. She found a gestational sac (possibly two!). I had been very sick and had very strong positive tests so I was very optimistic this time.

I was sure it would be ok and I'd have at least one baby, maybe twins! 

Then I had a very busy night shift at work. I had no break over a nearly 13 hour shift and had a terrible feeling that I shouldn't be there. I was looking after a woman in labour who needed a lot of love and support.

When my shift ended I went to the loo and realised I'd started spotting again. I ran to EPU, had a panic attack and refused to leave until they scanned me. The scan reassured me. There was a sac, the right size.

I came back the following week to find that the sac was all there but was empty.

They decided to give it another week to see what would happen. When I returned it was obvious that something was wrong. My uterus was filled with cysts, my HCG was abnormally high. It was a molar pregnancy. I had another erpc that week and am now being followed up by Charing Cross. Blood tests and urine every 2 weeks. 

I'm currently sitting in a hospital waiting room, waiting for an appointment to find out why this keeps happening to me.

Go to the full list of stories.

Disclaimer

Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer

Comments

  • By Fellow Midwife (not verified) on 23 May 2018 - 14:18

    Can I just say I think you are so brave and this is clearly shown through your courage to go on to work in abortion car. You are admirable! I hope you get the answers you need and are blessed with a healthy pregnancy and baby soon!

Add new comment