Emily shares her story of having a miscarriage in her final year of university, during lockdown. If you're looking for more information about the impact of coronavirus on your care please have a look at the link at the bottom of this page.
[Due to Covid-19] my partner had to wait outside the hospital. Alone, I had to wait anxiously at the gynaecology department. I felt slightly patronised by a few comments made about my age and how they were questioning whether I knew my due date was correct.
On the 14th of February, I found out I was pregnant at 22, in my final University year. I was scared and slightly overwhelmed, but I was also ecstatic to be experiencing it with my long-term boyfriend.
I was living in my student flat at the time, with a group of girls I’ve been friends with for nearly seven years, so word got out pretty quickly. Everyone cried. They were so happy. I was in my element, feeling like my life had just started and that I was making a best friend along the way.
My pregnancy was extremely healthy. I went for my first appointment and I was told I was a ‘low-risk candidate’ and that I would be having my first scan at 12 weeks. This would have been on the 16th of April.
I remember sitting in my flat watching the news, realising we would be going on lockdown for Covid-19 on the 23rd. I realised living with a big group of people in my situation may have been unsafe, so I moved back to my dad’s for lockdown.
At this time, I was still working on my final major project for my degree and had to inform my tutors of my situation – who were incredibly supportive. I’m an illustrator, so I was working on a children’s book, which was even more exciting for me as I knew I would have someone to read it to in the end.
Weeks went by, and I still felt pregnant. I had prominent sickness and very sore breasts, I even went up two bra sizes.
I woke up one morning around ten weeks in, to find a weird brown discharge. Completely startled, I screamed for my boyfriend and was rushed to hospital. My partner wasn’t allowed in with me, so he sat and waited outside. I sat talking to a woman, who gave me a leaflet about miscarriage and a scan was booked for the following week.
At this point I still had hope, I heard from friends that they had bled through their pregnancies and that they were okay. However, I was desperate to know what was going on with me, so I booked an emergency appointment with another hospital.
The next day the same rules applied, my partner had to wait outside the hospital. Alone, I had to wait anxiously at the gynaecology department. I was brought in, and two women scanned me to see what was going on. I felt slightly patronised by a few comments made about my age and how they were questioning whether I knew my due date was correct. I was told to come back in two weeks as it looked like the baby hadn’t grown. Then I was lectured for using a different hospital than the one I was assigned to (I was told on the phone this was completely fine).
The way this was portrayed to me was severely insensitive. I went back to the car, screaming and crying in my boyfriend’s lap, knowing I was having a missed miscarriage from the leaflet I was given the day before.
Just days later, I started bleeding heavily; I was driven back to hospital for an appointment. Because of Covid, I was left waiting for 3 hours, rushing back and forth to the toilet, losing a lot of blood. My doctor was lovely and apologised for the lack of staff and told me that she felt okay for me to go back home. She explained more kindly what was going on with my body, which was a missed miscarriage.
After a night’s sleep, I woke up in excruciating pain, with blood all over me and my bedding. I was sick, shaking and had a fever. I was so reluctant to go to the hospital as I thought this was normal. My dad called the hospital and was told to call 999 as I was haemorrhaging and that my life was in danger. The ambulance came and they took my blood pressure. This was extremely low, and I was rushed back to the hospital alone, where I was sent for an emergency D&C and given morphine.
I felt very alone, trying to stay awake so my partner wouldn’t have to lose both my baby and me. I was told if I left it any longer, I would have passed away. I was then asked if I wanted a funeral for my baby but said I would have to go alone, without my partner on the hospital grounds. Which, to me, would have been too devastating.
Despite this devastating time during Covid, I finished my degree, and I’m currently starting therapy.