How to Use the Directory

Welcome to the Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Directory. This blog is maintained by volunteers to act like a "telephone book" for blogs dealing with the loss of a baby. It is open to anyone who has ever lost a baby in any way - we do not discriminate by age of your baby or circumstance of your loss. If you think you belong here, then we think you belong here.

When you submit your blog, it is manually added to the list, so it may take some time for it to appear on the list. When you submit your information as requested below, it is easier to spot those emails that have been redirected into the spam mail.

Blogs are listed by category of loss. This is to help you find blogs that deal with circumstances that may be similar to yours. That being said, it can be a moving and healing experience to read the blogs of people who's loss is not similar to yours. You are welcome to read any of the blogs listed here.

Though there could be literally thousands of categories of loss, we have created 4 broad categories: before 20 weeks, after 20 weeks, after birth, and medical termination. Please note that most blogs dealing with extreme prematurity are listed in the "after birth" category even though the gestational age might suggest a different category.

As a warning to those feeling particularly fragile, many of the blogs listed here discuss living children or subsequent pregnancies. In the sidebar links, those blogs are usually marked with an asterisk(*). However, the circumstances of individual bloggers will change, and sometimes the listings do not get updated. It is possible to encounter pictures of living children or pregnant bellies on the blogs listed here.

We also have a list of resources (books), online links, and online publications that you may find useful. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the full listing of links.

We are so sorry the loss of a beloved child has brought you here. We hope that you will find some solace within the community that has gathered.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Miscarriage: must doctors make our grief worse?

Insensitive health workers compound the suffering caused by miscarriage, but a Mumsnet campaign aims to change matters

Belinda Benton's second pregnancy was going swimmingly - or so she thought - until she went to hospital, at 12 weeks, for a routine ultrasound scan. “On my way to the appointment I realised that I was bleeding,” she says. “When I got there they said they would go ahead with the scan and see what was happening.”

When the ultrasound equipment was switched on, says Benton, “there was just silence. No one said anything until I said, ‘There's nothing there, is there?' And the doctor burbled and eventually said, ‘No, there's no baby'.”

For Benton and her partner, the loss of their longed-for second baby was a tragedy - the scan picture showed that the foetus had stopped growing at six weeks - but there was scant sympathy from the hospital staff.

“No one offered any condolences or said they were sorry for our loss,” she remembers. “We were terribly upset, and we had to leave the same way we'd arrived, walking through a waiting room full of women waiting for scans. I felt awful, and the last thing these people needed was to see our devastated faces.”

Benton was told that she could have her uterus emptied surgically - “evacuation of the retained products of conception” or ERPC, in hospital parlance - or she could go home and miscarry naturally. “I asked how bad that would be and they said that it would be like a heavy period, so I thought I'd go home and wait for that,” she says.

In fact, the next few days were agony. “It was horrendous,” she says of her miscarriage three months ago. “It was like a birth. I had painful contractions; it was labour. I almost went into A&E.”

“I was given misleading information on what the experience of miscarriage was like. If I'd known how awful it was going to be, I'd have opted for surgery,” she says. “There is no help for women who are miscarrying at home - there should be someone you can phone or get advice from. I also object to the terminology - ‘evacuation of the retained products of conception' sounds horrible; they should call it something like surgical assistance around miscarriage. And there needs to be a lot more understanding on the part of health professionals that miscarriage is an emotional experience as much as a physical one. It's a huge shock, a terrible loss, and it helps to have those feelings at least acknowledged by the hospital staff with whom you come into contact.”

In recent weeks and months Benson, and hundreds of others like her, have been logging on to the parents' website Mumsnet to chart their experiences of what can seem like the uncaring, insensitive face of the NHS - doctors, nurses, midwives and protocols that appear to take no account of the pain, physical or emotional, involved in miscarriage.

To judge from the Mumsnet comments, health professionals often don't take account of the extent to which losing a baby is a personal tragedy More

4 comments:

Cara said...

Wow! I fully agree. My SIL feels exactly the same way and she's done it twice!!!

In fact, my frustration led me to draft a 30 page hospital proposal with the intention of becoming a SHARE group.

Sensitivity training would just be part of the deal!

Thanks for your heartfelt story.

Anonymous said...

While I fully sympathise with the difficulties faced by this woman, I wish there were some acknowledgment that women who have had miscarriages may not have other children - and may not want to turn to a website full of mothers for support.

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Jhene said...

I agree. It seems for many healthcare professionals the news is clinical for us it is emotionally devastating.

I was floored after my second miscarriage. I needed to believe that the world was different in a positive way because of the losses. I was driven to create something that would not have existed had I not miscarried. A filmmaker by trade, what resulted is a ten-minute short film The House I Keep, about a woman who struggles to come to terms with the loss of her baby through miscarriage. A relentless war between her internal and external life has plagued her recovery until she stumbles upon a curious symbol of hope that helps lead her back to peace. There is a reference in the film to the lead character's doctor and how surreal his delivery of information is.

After screenings of The House I Keep, I have been overwhelmed by the heartbreaking stories of miscarriage that women have felt compelled to share. These gatherings became transformative. Discussing the film has provided an 'appropriate’ place to share their own stories. Their silence was broken and isolation bridged. My mission for the film is to improve the mental health of women and their families mourning miscarriage by providing an identifiable voice through the film. The film is a platform for discussion and understanding, and hence, an impetus for healing.

With the film now complete, and ready to premiere in 2011, we are doing everything we can to raise awareness about the topic of miscarriage and our film. Please visit our website at http://www.thehouseikeep.com for more detailed information about the film. If you like what you see, please join us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-House-I-Keep/69409738707. Anything you can do to help us spread the word is, of course, very much appreciated!
Very best,
Jhene Erwin
Producer/Co-Director/Writer – The House I Keep