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Misleading communication during miscarriage

*Sensitive content ( miscarriage, pregnancy loss), that may upset some readers.*


Dictionary:

LMP: last menstrual period. They count gestation from the 1st day of the woman last menstrual period.

EPU: Early Pregnancy Unit

MVA: manual vacuum aspiration

CRL: baby size/measurement

Pregnancy tissue: the fetus (baby), gestational sac and placenta


I started bleeding on the 28th November 2023 and we called 111. The helpful call handler referred us to Crawley UTC. By the time the doctor seen us I felt very emotional and deep down I knew there is something terrible on the way but I was hoping until the next day when we had a scan at East Surrey Hospital -Early Pregnancy Unit.


On the 29th November 2023 afternoon the sonographer confirmed our worst nightmare: unfortunately there is no heart beat anymore.

The sonographer put a wrong LMP date on our report causing stress. This report wasn't corrected until 4th December 2023.

After the news we were escorted to a room where a nurse looked after us, giving us loads of leaflets about procedures and choices but we were in shock. We decided to go with conservative route but she said if we change our mind give them a call. We went home and started calling family members to tell them the devastating news. I decided to go back to work on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to keep my head busy. It was quiet a few moment when I coulndt keep it calm and I cried during treatments but thank God my clients did not realised anything.


30th November, Thursday: I started chasing the unit to book a MVA as we decided to go with surgical way after we went home, calmed a bit down and read the leaflets. The nurse who we spoke on Wednesday booked me in for blood test and signing the consent for Sunday the 3rd and the surgery on 5th Dec Tuesday.


3rd December Sunday: I think being at work and talked with clients helped me get around loads of things and calmed down the point when my body and Mother Nature decided this is the time and I miscarried our baby that night.

We attended EPU at 11am for the blood test but I wasn't very well as loosing loads of blood and seeing things in toilet which no one explained.

A blond, young nurse and a trainee Nurse (Nicola?) look after us then a doctor called.

Going through our notes on Saturday evening at home we realised that our Baby CRL was the same at 11wks than 8wks so we asked the nurse to explain who give us the exchange of the measurment (from mm to cm). We know how to exchange things so it wasn't the answer but finally they explained yes, possible the baby didn't developed in the past 20 days between the two scan. The doctor also confirmed the case and said we need a scan to see what is going on in my body. So she booked us for a scan for Monday the 4th at 8.50am.


4th Monday, 8.50am: scan with another sonographer. We told her that we are here for a scan to double check after the heavy bleeding on Sunday and we have a surgery booked next day. She was understanding and showed us what it in the uterus. Then we went to see a nurse, to sign the consent form for the procedure and talk through next day surgery.

She was in and out of the room, chasing a doctor to sign the forms. One point she came back and told us that I can't have the surgery because I already had it on Wednesday (??? We were told on Weds that there is no heartbeat). We were confused as we wanted a closure after this in and out hospital appointments and wanted to start the grieving process. So I explained to her from the begining our journey when she realised that she made a mistake, said sorry, left the room again to find a doctor. After couple a minutes she came back and said she couldn't find a doctor so our consent form will be signed next morning. We went through all my medical history ect. She also asked us about what funeral we want? I couldn't understand the question and I think it is very insensitve as I already lost the baby in our bathroom at home, but she said this a protocol. If there is any pregnancy tissue left there is a funeral. I understand if the baby is older but an 8 wks old who not even in my body anymore...

After not signing the consent form and not given any medication for next day surgery we left the hospital.


5th December, 8am: attended EPU the 4th time in 6 days. This time ready for the surgery and ready to get a physical closure. EPU lead nurse (doctor?) seen us and she told us that seeing my scan from Monday she is not 100% sure that I need the surgery. We were sitting there with my husband, confused, angry, lost all dignity and grief. Then she started explaining that according to the scan report from Monday it seems there is no pregnancy tissue left in me so it is not necessary to go ahead with the surgery. She said she perform a scan just to make sure she is right and the we will discuss.

I was very upset and confused because no one said this is an option. No one explained what is pregnancy tissue means, not even the leaflet we got from the nurse, not even NHS website explaines what is pregnancy tissue. No one mentioned over the 6 days that if I miscarrie naturally and everything clear out there might not need the surgery.

After the scan, she explained what is going on, it seems my body miscarried naturally and there is no pregnancy tissue left and they don't do MVA to remove blood clots/old blood from uterine as it is already healing. I asked her that she is confident about if I go home there will be no issue and I won't be worse and she said the blood is like period blood so I will be fine.

We told her that she was the first person who explained everything properly to us.

Before we finished she wanted to sign me off from work for 2 weeks, I said no way. It is Decmeber, I already cancelled people so I rather go back to work than sitting at home and turn to an insane person. Also highlighted that I can't go swimming or have a bath and if we have sex ( who the hell is can think about having sex after this dreadful experience??, I told her that I don't think we are there yet emotionally not to mention physically when i barely can walk more than 10 minute without stopping), please use condom.

She also asked when we finished that do we would like a toast and a cup of tea? I said I want to go home, cuddle my cat and forget these last 6 days.


From 29th November til 5th December we went through a lot and EPU misleading communication is very disappointing and upsetting. We had a feeling that Hospital/NHS try to save money on us.


One other thing: the blood test room where pregnant ladies getting there blood done and showing 12wks scan pictures to partners is next to the EPU scanning room where couples are


getting the said news about their baby's passing etc. I think it is very insensitive and upsetting.


How we feel after a week of the sad news? Empty. Miklosh is in pieces, angry, no feelings.


It wasn't an easy journey to reach this point ( read our fertility journey here) and breaking our 11 weeks happiness this way just unacceptable.


I know it will get better eventually but until, let us mourn our baby in peace.





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