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"My miscarriages last year"

About: Daisy Hill Hospital / Emergency Department Daisy Hill Hospital / Female Medical Daisy Hill Hospital / Maternity care

(as a service user),

I lost my first pregnancy at 11 +5  September 2019. I went into, what I now understand to be labour, and because the pain was so bad I repeatedly presented at A and E in Daisy Hill. I say repeated because I was sent home twice to pass the pregnancy.

There was no specific place I could sit in A and E while I went through contraction pain. No way I could hide my face as I publicly endured pain in front of faces, some of whom I knew, as I went through this huge personal loss. I had to repeat the same information to 3 Dr's and as many nurses. Choking back the tears each time. And failing to. The care I received, physically, was superb. Second to none. But this was because this miscarriage went badly and I needed intervention.

My second miscarriage 5 months later was almost worse. After presenting to A and E with bleeding I was told simply to come back the following week for a follow up blood test, that I might be losing the pregnancy but it was too early to tell. I returned to the same ward I went to for my first blood test - no one told me otherwise - and was greeted with lovely pregnant women and busy nurses and midwives. When I explained why I was here, a nurse told me to go to female medical for my blood test.

I arrived to be shown to what looked like a cubby in the wall. Two chairs facing each other. I sat for 30 minutes. A young nurse walked past and saw me, looked confused and asked what I was waiting on. I choked back tears as I explained again why I was there. She was kind and did the blood test and told me someone would be in touch. I left with tears streaming. 5 days later, the bleeding had stopped and I knew myself that I had lost the pregnancy. I received a phone call from a man who asked if I had done a pregnancy test. I said no. He said I should do one and if it came back positive I should get in touch as I may need a d and c. That was it. At no point did he say, your hcg levels have fallen. Or I'm sorry it looks like this pregnancy hasn't progressed. It was inferred.

After my first loss, I received a phone call from a receptionist to confirm a date and time for a 12 week scan I no longer needed. I had to explain that I lost the pregnancy. She thanked me for letting her know. I came off the phone and sobbed.

A simple link between my record at a and e and maternity booking could have prevented this further little trauma. A simple leaflet given at a and e explaining what happens now, where to go for further blood tests could have prevented that further tiny trauma. 
The support mechanisms available for pregnancy loss in the Southern Trust were non-existent for me. How could I not end up depressed? It was inevitable.

Since then, sisters and friends of mine have suffered miscarriages and had the same lousy experience. Please, do better by us.

 I know that such losses happen and staff deal with them regularly. But when a woman is suffering a miscarriage her world is being up-ended and a whole imagined future is slipping from her, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's not just another Wednesday. It's the Wednesday everything changed.

Please. Please do something to rectify the lack of support following miscarriage. Please brief staff on reading charts rather than asking women to repeat what is happening to them over and over. Please, consider tweaking seating to allow someone to face away from the collective room at A and E. Small things that could save other women heartache. 


Response from Christine Armstrong, Care Opinion Facilitator, Patient Experience, SHSCT last week
We are preparing to make a change
Christine Armstrong
Care Opinion Facilitator, Patient Experience,
Submitted on 23/02/2021 at 18:45
Published on Care Opinion on 24/02/2021 at 10:09

picture of Christine Armstrong

Good afternoon snowsb79, I am the Care Opinion Facilitator for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and wish to thank you for taking the time to share these very personal experiences with us. I am so sorry to read that you have been through such a difficult time and am also very sorry that you did not receive the level of care which you needed to support you.

As a first priority we would like to offer you some support from our bereavement midwives, if you feel that would be helpful for you. Their contact details are as follows:

Specialist Midwives Office - 028 37 562150

Oonagh King - 07841 101467

Shivaun McKinley - 07825 500380.

I would also like to assure you that we have shared your feedback with the teams you were involved with and we will provide a further update as soon as we can.

With best wishes

Christine Armstrong

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