1. adamcroft
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    adamcroft New Member

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    Losing an unborn child

    Discussion in 'Research' started by adamcroft, Mar 10, 2011.

    A bit of a sensitive one, this, but I want it both barrels. If this is something you've experienced and don't want to discuss in public, please PM me. Confidentiality is absolutely assured.

    For a sub-plot in an upcoming book, I want to research the bond women have with their unborn babies, especially when that pregnancy results in a miscarriage. If the woman (perhaps rightly) feels at fault for what has happened, what are her feelings? How can that be expressed? I want to really connect with those emotions and know what it feels like to have such a desperately horrible thing happen, particularly when you feel completely at fault.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every woman who experiences a miscarriage will be different - I experienced seven at various different stages of pregnancy up until fourteen weeks.

    My first was terrible - I had really felt connected to that baby. It may have only been at eight weeks so I didn't see anything. His name was Apple (all my babies have in womb names). When he died I couldn't bear to throwaway the towels, or anything that may have contained my baby flushing him away felt wrong. In the end I buried them in a box with a little blanket and sleepsuit and planted an apple tree over him.

    Then the one that happened at fourteen weeks, I was away from home and the pains were as bad if not worse than anything I have experienced in labour. The baby died inside of me and that was a creepy frightening feeling. That was the one where it really felt like my body had killed the baby. I had also already felt this baby move a little in previous weeks. However baby had been dead over a week when I had the scan. I couldn't have a D&C because I was flying home. The baby left me over canada somewhere and I had no option but to flush the baby away that was the hardest bit for me, and then return to my aeroplane seat knowing what I had done and sit trapped for the rest of the flight to London. It wasn't my fault - it turns out I probably had listeria.

    I did also go on to have an extremely serious form of Pre-Eclampsia with my daughter (when the placenta begins to break down, baby is not receiving full amount of nourishment and Mum goes into something similar to an anaphalactic shock/poison), Mine came on over 3 days - went straight from low blood pressure to full blown and about to kill us both in that time. It's possible I had always had placenta problems and my body ejected the other babies. Once induced my body literally ejected my daughter - labour was short and she shot out needing to be caught by the midiwife, who said oh my (insert expletive) head is here, she then pushed red button and had daughter in her hands.

    To be honest with my others I took them in my stride - just put a pad on, didn't even call the doctor unless I still had a positive pregnancy test a little later or the pain or blood seemed more than normal.

    For me hardest bit is bleeding after you know you have lost the baby and going through the labour pains knowing there is nothing at the end. For me labour with my three was positive I focused on the end result - I was going to meet my baby. With a miscarriage that doesn't happen and in some ways the one after the first trimester was easier because I actually saw the babies (it was twins) - with an earlier one you don't. Also with my miscarriages my labour was actually much, much longer than with my three live babies (they were four hours, three hours, two hours - miscarriages were ten + hours)
     
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  3. adamcroft
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    adamcroft New Member

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    Thank you - your experience has been very insightful for me. As a man (and a man without children, at that) it's a very difficult subject for me to broach, and I want to make sure I do it in the right way and handle it delicately and sensitively, whilst not holding back on the emotional side.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every person is different if there is a father involved they lose a baby too - even the one I didn't tell him about until later he knew. What for me was harder than the actual miscarriage was the due date. There was a terrible empty feeling around that time - I had a depression around the time of the due date of my first, despite already being pregnant with my daughter.

    The kindest thing were the people that thought about me weeks after losing the baby - one of my dad's women sent me a bunch of flowers about three weeks after. This was when everyone else had forgotten and expected me to move on.

    Some women will have trouble with other babies afterwards - I never did it was my baby I wanted not theirs - please feel free to ask questions.

    I feel it is important to talk about the scariest part was not knowing what would happen, or how I should feel. I was very alone when you give birth to a baby at full term or after 20 weeks or so you have medical help - in the UK you get very little for a miscarriage - I didn't understand how long would take to happen or what would happen. Nobody told me about any of the physical process.
     
  5. adamcroft
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    adamcroft New Member

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    Your experiences regarding the NHS sound very interesting. I'm from the UK and my book is set here, too.

    The issue of the father isn't one which will pop up for this character. However, how the whole situation affects the woman is something I really want to delve further into. Your comments about some women having trouble with other babies is really interesting. This is something I hadn't considered and would be interested in finding out more about (if anyone else reading this has had a similar experience). The feeling of guilt is something I want to explore more of, too - especially if someone has felt that their lifestyle or some particular event has 'caused' the miscarriage.

    Thanks for all your help so far. I hope you won't mind if I PM you in the future for a further chat :)
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    No problem either PM or ask here. As I say I think it is important to talk, everytime someone remains silent it does no service to someone else going through something similar. Staying quiet increases the unknown and the fear.

    My experiences with the NHS were awful and I am in an area with exceptionally good maternity care. However my experience in the US wasn't much better. Had the doctor on the end of the phone simply explained what was going to happen instead of telling me to have a cup of tea, leaving me alone in a village with no transport. The US there was too much care. Something in between with information and lack of panic would have been better for me.

    Guilt yes there is a lot the miscarriage where the baby died inside me was the worst - knowing my body had killed her. I wasn't do anything to be guilty about in fact the three pregnancies I took the least care over are the three that survived.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i lost one at 4 months, when i had 6 other children... i did all i could to keep it, staying in bed, etc., because i/we hoped it would be the son my second husband wanted, as our first and 4 of my other 5 children were girls...

    i can't say i'd formed a 'bond' with the baby yet, since it was too early to feel any movement and i wasn't even 'showing' much, but the loss was felt very strongly, nonetheless...

    i had our second child several years later, but as she was also a girl, still wished i could have given him a son... such is the burden society and male egos place on women... otherwise, it would matter not a bit to us mothers, what gender our children would be, as long as they're healthy...
     
  8. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    Lost a child unborn child in 1993 ,no longer a couple for within the first four sentences in any conversation I have with the baby's mother she reminds me exactly how old our child would be ....the loss of the child marked her inabilty to have an more kids so she suffered any addition grief
     
  9. Vince524
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    Vince524 Member

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    Well, I'm a man who suffered through 2 miscarriages. From my perspective, it was heartbreaking.

    As far as my wife, she tried to get me to leave her. There was no guarantee we would ever be able to have children. I had to convince her that I wasn't going anywhere. It made me feel even more helpless. I can only imagine how she felt.

    We did have 2 beautiful daughters.
     
  10. bekajoi
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    bekajoi Senior Member

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    There was an early-on loss between my living children, and I can say that most women I've spoken to do feel some level of guilt. Maybe they could have done something more. Maybe they could have not had that drink or recreational drug before they knew about the baby, maybe they could have avoided that H1N1 flu shot (friend. Everything was perfect, she got this shot, and miscarried at 12w).

    A lot of wondering comes into the picture too. Would baby have been boy or girl? Who would baby have looked like? How would older sibling have handled it all? What would we have named him/her?

    It was a chore to get out of bed every day, and the only reason I really had reason to do so was my daughter. I would have wanted to stay in bed and cry for days, otherwise, but with her around, I had no choice. She gave me a reason to smile again, when the crying slowed, and gave me someone to hold when I couldn't stop.

    For resolution, many people do name the baby, even without knowing gender. They light candles and set off balloons in memory, write poetry. To say goodbye, you have to embrace the loss and try to move forward.

    If you have other specific questions, feel free to PM me and I'll try and explain better.
     

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