Floriana talks about her experience of having a miscarriage in hospital, during the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.
When I do sleep I have traumatic nightmares about lying in pools of glittering, bright red blood... I do a lot of crying. I keep thinking over and over what happened to me in hospital.
She sucks in a breath of air and furrows her brow.
“I can’t believe they left you like this.”
She is looking at a mass of blood soaked sheets and pads between my legs whilst she begins the slow task of cleaning me up.
“I’ll do it myself” I say, standing up gingerly. I want to try and keep my last shred of dignity intact and change my own pad. Suddenly the room starts to spin; “I feel a bit light headed”
“Get back on the bed now!” She commands. Her voice is stern but kind and I lie back and let her get on with it. She washes my thighs, legs; feet… the blood has got everywhere.
I’m having a miscarriage. It doesn’t feel real yet. I feel numb and raw. My nerves are jangling so much that my thighs are shaking uncontrollably. I place my palms on them heavily in an attempt to stop it. I remember this shaking, the same thing happened after my daughter’s birth.
It started this morning at 6 am. I was nine weeks pregnant but I’d known I was going through a miscarriage because I had been bleeding lightly for the past 24 hours. Then that morning as I sat down on the toilet a massive gush of blood and clots came away. The toilet bowl was bright red. I thought to myself “Oh, things are starting then” and I felt vaguely relieved in a sense, that at least things were finally progressing. I was one step closer to this all being over. Over the next hour the gushes kept coming and coming. I woke up my husband and said to him “You’re going to have to ring work; you need to take me to A&E.” He quickly sprang into action and within a few minutes I was sitting on one of my best white bath towels in the car, bleeding out.
I got to A&E, the place eerily deserted due to Covid.
“I’m having a miscarriage, and I’m bleeding a lot” I said to the receptionist.
Before I know it I’m lying on a hospital bed with a drip in my arm. I’m scared and alone. I can feel the blood still gushing every few minutes. It’s too much. This can’t be normal. Then the pain intensifies, I know this pain. It comes it great, rolling waves. It’s the same pain as childbirth. I cry out as it reaches the worst peak and stretch my hand out of the bed reaching for someone to comfort me, though I know no one is there. And then I feel the biggest rush of blood yet and I can feel that I have passed some very large clots. All of a sudden the pain lessens a little. Two gynaecologists come into the room moments later to examine me. Even though they are wearing face masks I can read the shock and concern in their eyes when they see the amount of blood. One of them places some instruments inside me, trying to get a better look, remove the worst of the clots and to clean things up. “Sometimes we can see the pregnancy and remove it” he says.
“I’m sorry this is happening to you” he says. “I know it’s painful”
And then moments later they leave me again and the kindly nurse has begun her cleaning up process.
Over the next few days I find I can’t leave my bed very much. I feel physically exhausted and awful from the blood loss. I can’t sleep because I feel a rhythmic rushing, pulsating in my ears and when I do sleep I have traumatic nightmares about lying in pools of glittering, bright red blood. In those days I do a lot of crying. I keep thinking over and over what happened to me in hospital.
I try to stay strong mentally. I’ve been through emotionally painful experiences before. I know what to do to get through this. I let it pulsate through me in great waves of emotion. I let the sobs come in dramatic heaves that leave my throat and head sore. And then just as quickly I watch it all dissipate. And a quiet stillness comes over me. I’ve been through pain before. I know I’ll get through this. It might shake me but it won’t break me.