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Miscarriage Awareness: Missed Miscarriage

by Stephanie Rich

‘Whether you have had a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, problems with fertility, an abortion, still birth.

You are not alone, it is not easy and it does not make you any less of a person for having gone or are going through this.

I cannot believe in this day and age that there is very little information and talk about such subjects that have a huge impact on people and their lives.

1 in 4 women experience miscarriage, that is a lot. It has a huge impact on you physically but more so mentally and there doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement of this in the public domain.

With mental health in the public eye I’m so shocked that there is no formal provision in place for when someone experiences the loss of a child in these circumstances.

We have suffered 2 miscarriages. Most recently we have had a missed miscarriage. This happens to 1 in 5 women. A missed miscarriage is when your baby dies but there are no warning signs and your body still thinks you are pregnant. There was no pain, no bleeding, nothing suspicious. We were told at 12 weeks our baby was perfectly healthy. so at 16 weeks to be told our baby had no heart beat was such a shock.

I found it so much more of a shock having had 3 healthy babies in the past, and always been under the impression if you passed the 12 week mark you were ‘safe’. I feel so naive and stupid to assume this now, especially being a healthcare professional. I knew this could and can happen, I just did not expect it would happen to me.

I wanted to share my story with others to help, raise awareness and make people feel less alone…


13/05/2020

I’m stood in my room that I have paced around for the last 4 hours…nothing has happened yet…my window is open I can hear birds and the sound of a woman screaming, I presume she is in labour and will soon be pain free and holding her baby….I for one won’t be this time but I’m at peace with it.

The emotions I’m experiencing are the most bizarre I have ever encountered. I feel completely rational and calm and the next I feel overwhelmed and in floods of tears.

I’m a nurse and medically minded, I have seen so much loss and I can be quite conservative about it as I have had to be, to be able to be a professional.

I have seen grief and experienced grief and I am embedded with empathy as part of my soul. Part of me understands nature and the cruelty of it, it happens and I know that this, it is just ‘one of those things’…(what ever that means anyway but it is…)

I feel sort of freaked out about been asked to potentially name the child, have a ceremony? I understand it’s a way of honouring the dead, like when my grandma died I didn’t want to see her. I saw her pass away and the body left behind wasn’t her. Her soul had gone.

I know my baby had died but the body that I was miscarrying is just that to me..my baby already left and hasn’t as such been born into this world? So I don’t really know to name him or her because him and her did not completely form?

I know that everyone will have their own way of dealing with this and I think it is unique to the individual depending.

For me I don’t want to see ‘it’ that sounds awful.

On the other hand I am a mother and I feel an obligation to give this body, the fetus the dignity it requires for its ‘disposal’ as it was a living entity in me, my body, my baby and has been for the past 4 months.

I do not grieve the flesh. I grieve the brother or sister my boys never got to meet. They would have adored him or her.

I had labour pains and my mum rang me…it’s as if she knew. Then I gave birth to a tiny teeny baby…I looked down and all I could think was ‘I knew it had grown a willy.’

I called the nurse and was relieved I hadn’t had too much physical pain but much to my shock. I had to deliver the placenta… I’d actually put my trainers on to go home. My behaviour was almost cold. It wasn’t over?

I did what they asked. I was lucky as this process can often take up to 12 or more hours, sometimes unsuccessfully which results in surgery.

After it all comes away they take baby. After taking away the baby they offered to bring my baby back in. I agreed (I should say goodbye, I guess.)

It came in a little Easter egg basket it was really sweet but it still looked strange. I spent some time with baby even though I thought it was a bit weird, it was quite comforting.

‘I’m sorry I couldn’t look after you anymore and I’m sorry you had to leave. I carried you for 4 months and you made me so happy. We would have adored you..’

I looked down at my tiny baby, I was surprised how formed the hand a feet were, so delicate.

The nurses came back in offering their support. It was as if they wanted more from me… a few tears maybe but for the first time, for some reason, I could not cry. I was almost business like. ‘So what now?’

They offered me a lovely memory box and took some photos, the nurse handed me a snap shot and must have read my face ‘we did our best’ it was almost comical, I said ‘thank you, they are…lovely.’

memory box

(Wtf was wrong with me why was I not crying, why was I cracking jokes in my head and thinking about Lord Voldemort. I must be sick in the head.)

I discussed options and said that I would prefer the hospital sensitive cremation. They give you options of a burial, cremation and you can arrange your own ceremony. You can also have an autopsy but that can take weeks and they don’t always find out why it happens.

I just wanted to go home.

When I got home I felt relief that it was done. Relief? I know, but it was because I was so frightened. I waited for the emotion to come back into my body, but I was still numb.

I went to bed that night and found I couldn’t sleep. My mind and body were playing tricks on me, I had a panic attack and woke Tom up saying OMG I have left the baby we need to go to hospital. How could I do that he is all alone what a bad mother I am.

I burst into tears. There it was, hit me like a wave and it just kept building.

The next day Tom phoned the bereavement officer so we could arrange something for Charlie. We named him.

Today I am heart broken, I feel genuinely ill, empty and so so sad. That feeling of total agony when someone you love leaves you, and they ain’t coming back. I dunno what to do with myself. I’m in a very strange place, I made tea last night and made 6 plates… I didn’t even realise, and baby’s can’t eat spaghetti anyway.

I feel like a freak. I don’t want pity. I don’t want it to be poor Steph and Tom they lost their baby. I don’t want that. We are so lucky to have 3 beautiful boys. My friends are having babies and are due at the same time I would have been. I don’t want them to be weird with me, I don’t want them to think I’m not happy for them or that they can’t talk about their babies. It’s hard but this isn’t about them, this is our situation. People just want to help and grief makes it so awkward. I don’t want people to think I’m okay though either. I’m not, I’m far from it and won’t be for a long time.

I have to continue to focus on my boys and be strong for them. I will forever carry my angel with me. Henry keeps saying that ‘it will be okay mummy, we can get a new baby from the shops’ lol he is so sweet.

I am in awe of the outstanding care and kindness given to me through this process during covid-19. The staff have been absolutely amazing and I can not thank them enough for the support they gave me during this horrific time. It was so hard to be without my husband but I was not alone.

My family, friends. You have kept me going and been so supportive. I know we can’t see each other but I haven’t once felt alone going through this. I feel your love and you have been with me. Thank you. I love you all xxx

For all the strangers I have never met and the online community thank you for sharing your stories with me and offering support. I have been so humbled. The support from all the brave women who are part of the miscarriage association groups, you have been a rock to me. And of course all my friends on Instagram. Thank you xxx

Unless you have gone through this you cannot understand the pain. I didn’t understand it, but I do now. For anyone who has ever gone through this. I am so sorry. you are not alone. Don’t be scared, you will get through this.

Stephy Xxx’


Written by Stephanie for her blog For the Mother of Sons

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