Yesterday my good friend and colleague blogged about her miscarriage she'd suffered just a few days before, and I have to say its so sad to read, yet beautifully written at the same time. Hannah talk about how as midwives we deal with baby loss as part of our jobs. We don't actually get involved in loss much below 18 – 20 weeks, below that gestation its left to the gynae nurses to deal with on the gynae ward. However, saying the wrong thing can stay with someone forever at a time when they are at the most vulnerable, and inevitably in pieces.
I often find saying nothing much, but listening, holding a hand is the best thing. A silent nod and a hug can mean more to someone than you blurting the wrong thing out.
I have had 3 miscarriages, all below 12 weeks.
What people don't realise who haven't had miscarriages, is that you've not just lost this 'bunch of cells' (yes that's a term been used) you've lost your future because no matter how early on in your pregnancy you are, you can't help but imagine yourself 34 odd weeks down the line holding this baby in your arms. Will it be a boy, a girl, will it have my eyes, what pram, what colour will we paint the bedroom. These are all things that you go through from the moment you've peed on the stick and got two lines. You've lost this baby yes, but you've also lost your dreams, your future. I dealt with my miscarriages pretty well I'd say. The middle one was the hardest because the baby wasn't developing but my body wouldn't let it go, hence the ERPC. I've reasoned they weren't meant to be, that it was better this early on to have a loss. I understand though that this isn't for everybody and it wasn't until a good while after, and now I felt I could reason (for want of a better word) with myself about them. I also wouldn't let myself get too upset as I'd feel guilty that there were people who had lost baby's much later on, whilst still in utero as well as out.
I had to go to hospital each time to attend early pregnancy clinic, and once I was admitted as I needed a ERPC. I have to say I found the care good during my admission and excellent on my epac visits.
Hannah unfortunately didn't have a great inpatient experience and its made me wonder if midwives should be more involved in early pregnancy loss? Our maternity services are stretched to breaking point already so its probably not a high priority. I'm sure in other parts of the UK midwives are involved, it must differ from area to area. It'd be interesting to look at some stats one day.
For now though I'm just going to be a good friend and lend an ear whenever she needs one.
Here's Hannah's blog post.