"Miscarriage diagnosed at 12 week scan"

About: The Whittington Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I went to the routine 12 week scan and was shocked when the sonographer diagnosed an anembryonic pregnancy/missed miscarriage. She and the doctor I went on to see were quite matter of fact, and explained the options. They didn't encourage any discussion of my emotional response but weren't unkind. It would have been good to speak to someone in less of a rush or who was dedicated to miscarriage care, but I don't know that the NHS can or should really accommodate that.

I returned for an ERPC on the day unit 2 days later - the waiting time was unpleasant and in an ideal world I would have had the procedure straight away - not everyone's preference, I know. When I got to the Day Surgery Unit I found that me and another patient had been incorrectly booked on a gynae list that had been cancelled, so we waited all day with uncertainty over whether the procedure would be carried out on the emergency gynae list. I was worried about childcare for my son, and also distraught as I wanted to get it over with. At 8: 30pm they finally took me down to surgery. The student care assistant they sent down with me loudly enquired 'What's an ERPC? ' from the anaesthetist, at which point I lost the plot and started to cry. The procedure under general anaesthetic was fine - hardly any bleeding and very quick. However, as it was so late in the day I had to stay in hospital overnight on an orthopaedic ward (luckily my mother in law was able to stay on with my son). I then had to wait for hours the next morning for a doctor to come to the ward to discharge me. I was so desperate to go home and thereby end the whole horrible experience, but the doctor didn't come. I was screaming and sobbing in this former day-room-come-storage room to escape the ward itself (which had very ill patients on it) and was so distressed I just discharged myself, and my husband took me home rather than keep waiting. I recovered very quickly physically and am grateful for the excellent care I received in that respect. The worst part was being kept waiting unnecessarily due to the initial administrative error, and then being on an inappropriate ward.

Once home I called the Miscarriage Association and talked to a counsellor as a one off. I went via my GP to seek counselling an had a telephone assessment with the mental health team. They took a note of my son's name and made some sort of record of me having sought help for mental health issues, which felt like a kick while I was down. They suggested I seek specialist counselling near to my home and I followed the suggestion, not realising it was to a fee paying service. That made the first session rather embarrassing, as I couldn't afford the fee.

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