Miscarriage and the Kindness of Strangers

I’m ashamed to say that when I saw the Mumsnet call to action for bloggers to share their miscarriage experiences for their Better Miscarriage Care Campaign, my initial reaction was along the lines of ‘Great idea – I hope someone does. I couldn’t possibly write about it, but I’ll be really interested to read what they have to say’.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realised that this was both bizarre and a little bit selfish. What made me feel better when I miscarried? More than endless cups of tea and reassurances from that everything would be okay in the end, it was other women’s stories that rang true. They made me feel less alone and gave me hope that one miscarriage (or two, or three) does not a childless couple make.

The kind City worker who watched over me on the train when I was feeling faint and losing blood told me that he understood what I was going through as his wife had miscarried; the gentle train conductor who called my husband to tell him that I would be going into hospital said that she’d had three; even the ballsy Aussie A&E consultant squeezed my toes and said ‘This is shit, darling, I’m so sorry for you. I’ve had four’.

Three strangers and seven miscarriages between them. If there’s one thing I would tell someone who has miscarried, it’s that it’s more common than you’d think. But no-one wants to talk about it – not your friends, your colleagues or people in the public eye (unless they have to – poor Amanda Holden and Lily Allen). I’m the same: very few people know about mine. Before I had my son I miscarried twice, early on.  I told a handful of family and a couple of friends, but it’s not the sort of news that you want to share. It’s certainly not one for your Facebook status update. It’s too sad and no-one really knows what to say.  But when I did open up, I heard endless stories of miscarriage among my friends and theirs. It’s good to know that you’re not alone.

All the stories had one thing in common: experience of healthcare providers is patchy. While some miscarriages happen at home without the need for intervention, often this is not the case. With my first, I went to A&E and was seen by an unsympathetic female doctor. The ultrasound guy was kind, but the experience of sharing a waiting room with other pregnant women with live babies was traumatic. Second time around was a bit better, but I could have done without the gaggle of gawping medical students at my ultrasound.

Third time unlucky: I was admitted to hospital and had to have an ERPC, despite assurances from nurses and junior doctors that they would let it happen naturally in accordance with my wishes. They were overruled and I was sent down for the operation – apparently it was not a good idea for me to stay in hospital to wait for it to happen as I ‘would probably catch a hospital-related infection’, according to the consultant. That said, the nurses were generally kind and my GP has been fantastic. I know there’s very little to make someone feel better when they’ve lost a baby, but a quick ‘I’m sorry about what’s happened’ means a lot. If you feel up to sharing your own story with them, that’s even better.

This entry was posted in Parenthood, Pregnancy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Miscarriage and the Kindness of Strangers

  1. Emma says:

    A brave and a very kind post, here’s to the kindness of some strangers in such sad situations. You will also help other strangers having written this…Emma

    • Thanks Emma. I hope I can help someone in the same way other people’s stories have helped me. I never lose sight of the fact that I’m incredibly lucky to have a wonderful little boy – things could be a lot worse!

  2. Thank you for sharing. I didn’t receive much kindness from medical professionals or strangers…

  3. MmeLindor says:

    Thank you for sharing. I hadn’t realised how difficult it would be to write it down until I started to write, but if felt good.

    As Emma said, the feeling that we are helping others makes it worthwhile to write down our experiences.

    • Thank you. It definitely helps to write it down, you’re right. Seeing it in black and white made me take stock of what I’ve been through as well. I am tempted to book a holiday! It’s a sad but comforting thing to read others’ stories and know I’m not alone.

    • Grace says:

      You don’t know me. I just wanted to share my story with you. I found out at 9 weeks that the child I was cainryrg had not made it past 8 weeks. During the ultrasound my dr showed me three places on the baby that had not developed correctly and resulted in the baby not surviving past the 8th week. He also explained that it was a result of the baby not getting enough information from the DNA given by the father and mother to grow correctly. As a result of that lack of information the organs failed to grow in a way that would sustain the life of the baby. He gave me statistics and continued to explain there was no way to have prevented it. That information help me TREMENDOUSLY in coping with the loss of that baby. It doesn’t take away the pain or the grief but it did help me make some sense of what had happened. I hope that this might help you as well that it is potentially what may have happened in your situation.It is never easy. But God is faithful and ready to give you what you need to get through this difficult time. Love,Beth

  4. Great information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s