I Knew Something Was Wrong
At 9.5 weeks pregnant, I started experiencing severe cramps and knew something was wrong.
I was scanned at the EPU and they told me categorically that everything was fine. They only performed an abdominal scan and showed me an extremely unclear image of my baby who was measuring only 6 weeks, and had a heartbeat.
I told them that something wasn’t right as I should be much further than 6 weeks (I had my first positive pregnancy test over a month prior) and I was really worried as the heartbeat looked totally different to my daughters at this gestation, but they wouldn’t listen.
They just told me repeatedly that I didn’t know when I ovulated. I asked for a transvaginal scan to get a clearer picture and they refused saying ‘you’ve seen a heartbeat, what more reassurance do you want? This isn’t a dating scan.’ I was alone due to the pandemic so had no one to stick up for me.
As I knew something was wrong I paid for a private scan that same evening. The private clinic performed a transvaginal scan and found a 7 week foetus with no heartbeat. They promised they would phone the EPU for me and explain.
The EPU midwife rung me the following morning saying ‘there’s clearly some confusion around this isn’t there?’. I told her that no, there was no confusion, they had got it wrong.
She invited me in for another scan to confirm the findings. I asked her whether I could bring my husband considering the purpose of the appointment was to confirm the miscarriage and this would obviously be distressing. Her response was simply ‘no, are you not aware that we are in the middle of a pandemic?’.
Once the miscarriage had been confirmed I opted for medical management with Misoprostol so that I could speed up the process in order to heal emotionally, and also so that I could be at home with my husbands support.
The midwife explained that I would need a blood test before the treatment.
She arranged for me to come in for this in the morning so I could have the tablets inserted that afternoon. I prepared myself mentally and emotionally for this although I was extremely scared. When I arrived on the ward, the midwife came out and spoke to me in the middle of the waiting room.
She informed me there had been a problem with my blood appointment and this would delay my treatment, potentially by days. I was so upset and had to process this information surrounded by other patients.
When I did finally go in for the tablets to be administered, I asked the midwife for some stronger pain relief than paracetamol to take home in case I needed it. She refused and when I pointed out that if I was having an abortion (using the same medication), codeine would be prescribed as standard, she responded ‘if you were struggling with the pain I would hope you would come in to be seen’. I didn’t want to go in as I wanted to go through the process at home with my husbands support.
I did manage to complete the miscarriage at home, but I was never throughout the whole process offered any emotional support from the staff at the EPU. I was never asked how I was feeling or given reassurance; I was never directed to emotional support services in case I needed them; I never felt that my miscarriage was recognised as a pregnancy that should have resulted in a baby, and the emotions that I inevitably felt surrounding this were never recognised.