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'It was the loneliest time of my life': Readers share their experiences of miscarriage

Eight women who all feel that miscarriage needs to be spoken about more.

Caitriona O'Neill and William Gallagher

shutterstock_408763906 Source: Shutterstock/Vladimir Mucibabic

YESTERDAY ON THEJOURNAL.IE, we published an emotional testimony from a woman who had a miscarriage in the last few months.

The woman, who chose to stay anonymous, spoke about the physical and emotional pain she suffered through and about how she wanted to reach women who have gone through the same.

The piece provoked an overwhelming reaction both in the comments section and on our Facebook page. The vast majority of the people who reacted to the story were women who had also miscarried.

Some of them have since had children, some have not and others already had when they miscarried.

All, however, were united in feeling that they wanted to share their stories to help other women who are dealing with the aftermath of a miscarriage.

Some of the women agreed that to tell their stories to a wider audience in a collection of those Facebook comments.

This is what they said.

Marie Briody

I too went through a miscarriage at 11-and-a-half weeks. I have three other children and went on to have my rainbow baby after the miscarriage. It’s horrible to have to go through a miscarriage when you haven’t a clue what’s happening. I got handed a book to read and when it was over, I was put into a ward with pregnant women. I was crying my eyes out trying not to annoy anyone.When I was sent for a scan the next day, the radiographer was horrible to me. She asked me who told me I had a miscarriage. I wasn’t able to answer her so my husband explained everything to her and then she was nice to me.

The nurses and doctors in Ireland really need to be shown how to treat mothers and fathers who’ve lost a baby through miscarriage, no matter what stage you’re at, it’s the worst pain in my life and I’ve been through a lot.

I had to go look for counselling afterwards as it wasn’t offered to me and I really needed it. Considering miscarriage happens so often, things should be changed and help should be available to those who need it. A book is not much good and nobody can look you in the face. It’s a truly horrible experience for any woman to go through.

Anonymous

“I also had an experience like yours. I had two miscarriages, my first was at home and lost it in the toilet. My second, I visited EPU a few day before and everything was fine but a few days later it wasn’t. I was admitted to hospital as they sent me home twice that day and I kept going back because the pain was unbearable. I was left for a day because the EPU only opens Wednesday and Friday.

“I had the scan eventually and the lady that scanned me said in a cold-hearted voice, “There is no heartbeat”… and I was pushed outside immediately to cry on the corridor.

“I had a D&C and was put into a ward of girls in labour with monitors on them and I could hear their babies’ heartbeats. I never felt so low. I was discharged the next day with a leaflet which I found disgraceful.

“Somethings have to change, I will never forget my two babies even though I only got to carry them in my womb for 11 weeks.”

Sinéad Mooney

I too had a miscarriage three days before my 12-week scan. My heart broke as the sonographer said there was no heartbeat. It resulted in a D&C and I have to say the Coombe were amazingly supportive and so kind to me. Friends and family were great, especially those who had been through a miscarriage themselves. They knew the right things to say or they’d give you a reassuring look that would keep you strong in such a heartbreaking time.One thing annoyed me though; when people commented saying, ‘Ah sure there was probably something wrong with the baby best to know now rather than later.’ I didn’t need to hear that at the time.

From the moment we got that positive on the pregnancy test it was a baby – our little baby. A loss is a loss no matter what stage of pregnancy.

I still grieve every year on what would have been the due date and although I am blessed with two gorgeous kids now, I always think about my angel baby.

I also feel sorry for the Dads in it. They all equally feel the loss and they keep strong for the partners’ sake yet they’re grieving inside themselves.

Never comment on these articles but this one was very true to life and touched me. Wishing the author all the happiness in the world in the future.

Jacqui Naughton

“I had a miscarriage with a very similar story to the one printed here. First pregnancy when I saw the blood it was an absolute ball of panic and the worst pain I’ve ever had to get through, wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

“I’ve since had a beautiful little girl, she’s happy, healthy and three going on 30. I found out that it’s very common to lose on first pregnancies in particular, not that that helps the pain.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel, thinking of you all x”

Kathleen Walshe

I lost our baby two weeks ago. I was pregnant 11 weeks and it’s still very raw. While I was in hospital, I was put into the early pregnancy ward which is right beside the maternity ward, so while I was losing our baby, all I could hear was the cries of newborn babies. It was already hard enough going through the pain emotionally and physically. I very felt alone even though the staff were absolutely brilliant.I am very lucky in the fact that we have two beautiful boys aged nine and seven but this pregnancy was special to me too and I think it’s hard to talk to people about what’s happened, because they don’t understand.

Kate O’Brien

“Nurses in Cork University Maternity Hospital were amazing to me when I had my miscarriage. The trauma and the realisation that I was so close to lose my child hit me three days later so hard, that I couldn’t stop heavily crying for over six hours. I was unable to even go to see my little girl in her incubator because I physically could not stop crying. And I’m a tough cookie.

“I grieved for a long time, I still grieved while pregnant with my new baby. Only when she was born I found some peace.”

Suzanne Bolger

I’ve suffered a few times but the last time was the worst. Just coming up on the 12th week, pains and stabbing cramps started to bleed.My husband rushed me to hospital and I ran in while he parked the car. I felt a gush and ran to the toilet, it was too late I had lost my baby.I was in the toilet completely covered. I tried ringing my husband to tell him where I was but couldn’t get him and I had to ring the hospital that I was in. I asked for a nurse to come into the toilets to help me and bring a sheet as my clothes were destroyed.

I was inconsolable, the nurse walked me through the reception with a bed sheet wrapped around me and brought me into the emergency room. My husband was made wait outside.

I was then ask to do a pregnancy test! I told her ‘what’s the point?’ All that is leaving my body is blood but she made me do it anyway, I couldn’t stop crying.

To add to all this, I was put into a ward with six other pregnant woman for two nights while waiting for Monday so they could do a scan to see if baby was still there.

I knew my baby was gone, my heart was broken.

I couldn’t deal with listening to the pregnant woman in my ward then to going and sit for a scan on the Monday morning knowing nothing was left, but still bleeding.

To be told I need to go back to the ward they need to do a clean up. I got no support after, I was just sent home.

My heart still breaks to this day, 10 years later. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE! A life is a life no matter how small.

Phil Mooney 

“I had a heavy bleed at 12 weeks. It was a Saturday morning and I went straight to the hospital. I was told I’d have to come back on Monday as there was no scanning machine.Worst weekend of my life not knowing if my baby was alive or dead. He was alive thank God. “My next pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 14 weeks. I was kept in and given a D&C. What struck me was the coldness of the staff. Zero sympathy, zero condolence, zero empathy.

“I was prepped for surgery but due to a delay I was left lying on a trolley in a waiting room alone in my gown waiting to go down for the D&C for a long time.

“My knees were literally knocking together with nerves. No one spoke to me. When I came back from theatre where they had scraped my dead baby from my womb there was simply a leaflet on miscarriage placed on my pillow. I don’t recall one nurse speaking to me, only to tell me they wouldn’t discharge me as my blood pressure was too low.

“It was the loneliest time of my life. 

Note: Some of the women’s words have been changed for style reasons. 

Read: Nicola Sturgeon opens up about miscarriage in hope of ‘breaking taboo’ >

Read: ‘I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat’: I thought it was my fault we lost our babies >

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About the author:

Caitriona O'Neill and William Gallagher

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