Monday, 6 September 2010

what happened next

(This posts follows on from one entitled 'the end', which can be found here. It's taken me a while to be able to write it, and then to finish it.)

We sat in that room on a bed, unable to really take in what had happened. I cried periodically. Not as much as I would have thought.

The healthcare assistant came in. She was mostly nice, but at one point when I started to cry, she leaned forward, rubbed my leg and said something along the lines of 'aw, you'll be ok!'. I think she was probably at a loss for words, but I felt terribly patronised.

She asked if we wanted the ultrasound picture they had taken. I thought I was going to say no, but some instinct in my brain overtook my thoughts and the word that came out was 'yes'. She passed it to me; I opened it, glanced in and slammed it shut. Told her I would look later.

(I didn't mean it. And it took me a couple of days. But I did. Now I carry a copy of it around with me.)

D's never looked at it. He says he saw all he needed to see on the screen, before they told us what had happened.

If I ever get to sit in a scan room again, I'll make sure that either we can both see the screen, or neither of us can. I think I'll go with us both being able to see. We've faced the worst already. I think I'll expect it every time. Our imagination could never be worse than the truth. Not any more.

Finally a GP came in to see us. She told us how sorry she was. She told us that our loss wouldn't be investigated. But that although in most cases there was no reason that could be found, that the sonographer had seen what looked like a growth on the baby's neck. That that was normally the marker of a chromosomal abnormality.

I think I was aware even at that time that miscarriages weren't investigated in this country unless you have three, although I didn't realise that it needed to be three in a row. I wasn't aware til later, though, that second trimester losses are usually investigated even after a single loss, or I would have fought much harder. It seems unfair that they used the fact that the baby measured 13 weeks to make the decision. I was 17 weeks by that stage. The baby could have survived longer but have been growing slowly. Couldn't they have assumed that and investigated? But I was told the same thing by two different hospitals, even though my midwife said to push them to investigate. I did. I did. But they still refused.

We had three choices of what happened next. Expectant management: wait for my body to expel the baby on its own. Medical management: take medication to make my body miscarry the baby. Or Surgical management: an ERPC - evacuation of retained products of conception - ie surgical removal of my baby under general anaesthetic.

They said we could go away and think about it and call the next day. They said that I would have to go to a hospital far away and in a horrible town I'd never been to before for one of the options. They gave us leaflets. One leaflet for each option, each starting 'you have chosen .... management.' I hadn't! I still hate that there isn't a single leaflet that they can give you with information about all three, so you can go and consider it properly. And I asked if I could go to a different hospital in a different health authority - but closer to where we live - and they said actually yes, we could. And it still makes me angry that they never told us that, either; that we had to ask.

In the end, we left. We paid £1.60 for the car park. That's the third thing that makes me angry, that we had to pay money to find out that our baby had died.

I can't write about being at home that evening. About telling people. About trying to go to sleep. About trying to decide which shi.tty option of our three shi.tty options we were going to go for. It's too much. It's too personal.

But I will tell you that we were due to go to the supermarket that night. We shop for D's grandparents, and we were due to be going round. So we went to the supermarket, shell shocked as we were. It occurred to us that we didn't have to go, but we... still went. We wandered the aisles picking up food like automatons. I picked up some jam cookie things. It was the only thing I could face eating that evening. I ate two.

I don't think I'll ever be able to eat them again.

There was a baby in the supermarket. I cried.


I will write one further post, about being in hospital. But not quite yet.


Miss Ruby said...

Oh B....I don't know how you got through that, I truly don't but you did and that says something about your strength, even if you didn't feel like you had any...

My heart breaks reading this post, it's just not fair and you're right on so many things. Having to ask about going to a different hospital - THEY should have told you, having to pay to find that news out.

There needs to be greater information AND support for people going through miscarriage, be it early or late term, still birth and the like, these things are real and people ARE going through them, hospitals need to be compassionate I mean they're friggin hospitals for fucks sake [sorry], they're supposed to be the epitome of compassion.

I'm so sorry that this story is yours to share but thankyou for sharing it...


R. said...


I'm so sorry this still hurts like it was yesterday, I suspect it will for some time. None of this is fair and I hate that it happened to you. I don't have any words for you, except thank you for sharing your story.


Hanen said...


so sorry you had to go through this. xxxh

Catherine W said...

I'm so sorry. I can't imagine your shock and how distressing that must have been for you and D. xo

Illanare said...

Oh B I am so sorry. I wish I could do more.

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry B. It's awful, just awful and I'm so sorry you've had to go through this. It just sucks.

B said...

thank you all x

Tears in November said...

Oh God B I was there too. These options, and options are a poor word for them, they just suck. Either way you turn or look at them they are beyond horrible, like you are trying to choose the lesser of the evils and they are all beyond horrible. I was given those "options" with my son who died at 16 1/2 weeks. I just feel so for you. I am so so sorry.

Melanie said...

The most painful part - the realization that there will be no baby. Gone in an instant. I am so sorry. I lost my last one at 13 weeks as well, though you lived with the idea of yourself as an impending mother for 17 weeks which was that much more time to hope and dream and imagine your baby.

I wanted to ask, how do you know that the baby did not have a chromosomal abnormality? Because in my (limited and non-medical) experience, a lack of a tumor on the neck would not have definitively indicated an absence of chromosomal abnormalities. My fetus measured normally and looked normal on the ultrasounds; we even had a nuchal translucency procedure done, and the neck measured fine. But that fetus had triploidy.

In the states, we also have to wait till three consecutive miscarriages till insurance companies will pay for chromosomal analysis of the products of conception.

But to provide somewhat of a silver lining, (hope this isn't offensive, just offering another perspective) - imagine if you had to pay hundreds of dollars in hospital, surgical, and anesthetic fees to NOT have a baby rather than using that same money you diligently saved to deliver a healthy baby ... even with good health insurance. I say, yay NHS!