Kyle and his wife have experienced six pregnancy losses. He reflects on his feelings during that time.
I guess I can understand why the doctors and nurses didn’t want to look at us in the early pregnancy unit. I didn’t want to look either.
I have found the whole experience hugely difficult. In lots of ways. I’ve learned of just how profoundly losing a baby can affect you, and I’ve seen how the pain and discomfort seems to bring out something in others – sometimes good and sometimes less good.
The night we started miscarrying we were told by the A&E doctor that we were still very much pregnant and that all was okay. The nurse – desperately wanting to encourage us – even used a Doppler, suggesting she could hear a heartbeat. It was only the next morning that we received a call from the early pregnancy unit that we were told that we were definitely miscarrying and had to head straight back to the hospital.
In the early pregnancy unit I was struck by just how cold it was. I can imagine that being around such tragedy every working day might lead one to disconnect a little, but for us it was just very cold. The doctors and nurses didn’t want to look at us, and when they had to talk to us, it was as if our baby had become a medical problem.
The care we received later was much better and the day that Lydia had the D&C procedure we were given our own room. I could tell that the nurses were thinking about us and cared about what we were going through.
In the weeks after the miscarriage I went cold too, and in many ways I became emotionally detached. Looking back now, I feel a lot of shame in saying that I abandoned Lydia to cope on her own. I won’t go in to it, but I guess I can understand why the doctors and nurses didn’t want to look at us in the early pregnancy unit. I didn’t want to look either.
Since that first loss, Lydia and I have experienced several other versions of miscarriage and I’ve been surprised to learn of the massive collection of different medical terms used to describe what’s happened for us. In our mind it is all the same thing, really – we created life, and then lost it again. Medical terms are powerful things because not only are they useful to enable medical people to preserve life, but also if used without careful judgement, so too can they take the life away.
Lydia and I have been through counselling together which helped us a lot. It helped me to reconnect with her and then properly process the losses we’ve suffered. It’s quite remarkable really because whilst working in mental health settings, I’ve always had a keen mind for understanding the trauma and the tragedy in the lives of those I support – and yet when it came to looking after myself and my wife after losing our children I had few resources to draw upon. The counselling has been so important for us.