" I was no longer on anyone's radar"

About: John Radcliffe Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I was told at my 12-week scan that the foetus had stopped growing at 9 weeks. There is no good way to announce this to a couple who thought they were expecting their first child - will always remember the doctor saying, after a long silence, "I'm afraid it's not going to be good news today..."

He told us straight away that he was almost certain of his diagnosis, which I appreciated. He still called in for a second opinion (which I understood to be standard procedure), which confirmed his. He also offered me the option of an internal scan, even though he said it really was not necessary. I felt this was more for my emotional comfort than anything (nothing worse than uncertainty and fearing a misdiagnosis), which I again very much appreciated - I accepted the scan, which confirmed there was no heartbeat.

We were then taken in to another room, given a little time on our own, and then another doctor came in to debrief us and what this meant and what our options were. I knew immediately that I wanted an ERPC, but we were about to go abroad three days from then and the hospital couldn't fit me in so quickly. So they called an another hospital nearby and arranged for an ERPC there within 48 hours.

On the day it went as well as it could have, all the staff were lovely and compassionate.

So all in all, a "good" experience (so to say) with the actual miscarriage.

It was in the weeks and months afterwards that I felt let down. It was a very difficult time, emotionally speaking, and I felt very much left alone by the system. Once I left the hospital on the day of the ERPC, that was it, I was no longer on anyone's radar. I had to cancel my pregnancy appointments myself (after receiving a letter saying I'd missed a scan), and never heard from my midwife again - I know it sounds silly, and it's all very irrational of me, but I felt I had been chucked out of the system for 'failing', that I was no longer of any interest to them.

When I thankfully got pregnant again, I was terribly anxious throughout the pregnancy, which turned out to be a very stressful experience - not because of any specific medical concerns, just because I was terrified something bad would happen again. I did let my GP and midwife know, but they shrugged off my anxiety, telling me that "miscarriages are very common". This didn't help. I really feel that having someone to talk to after my miscarriage, maybe even a single counselling session, would have made a world of difference to my emotional state and made my pregnancy a less stressful experience.

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Response from John Radcliffe Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding your experience at your 12 week scan. I am very sorry to read of your loss and the distress you felt following this. Your feed back is greatly appreciated and I would like to reassure you that the Trust takes all comments and concerns received very seriously and uses them to improve the services that we provide. Your comments will be passed onto the Matron responsible for Maternity services; if you would like to receive a response please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Shirley Clark on 01865 223258 or at Shirley.clark@ouh.nhs.uk who will be happy to help.

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