Emily and Mike

Emily and Mike’s second pregnancy following a miscarriage at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Emily had heavy bleeding from 7 weeks of pregnancy. At 20 weeks Emily’s waters broke and she went into premature labour. Their baby was born showing no signs of life at 20 weeks plus 4 days. Emily was 31 and Mike was 28.

Emily was interviewed age 33, Mike age 30. Emily became pregnant age 31 after previously having a miscarriage at 12 weeks. She started bleeding heavily from 13 weeks of pregnancy but her daughter Clementine seemed to be still growing normally. Mike frequently took Emily to hospital over the next seven weeks with bleeding. Emily was frequently checked and then discharged home and they felt their anxieties were not taken seriously. At 19 weeks Emily went to hospital again and discovered her waters had broken and that she had a high risk of infection. Emily and Mike were faced with a very difficult and painful choice. They were asked to go home and make a decision about whether to have the pregnancy induced as the risk of infection was life-threatening for Emily and their baby, but in the knowledge that their baby would be too young to survive.

However that night Emily went into labour naturally and gave birth to their daughter the next day after a painful labour. Clementine showed no signs of life at birth. Emily and Mike spent time with her and felt very cared for during and following her birth. They found the hospital bereavement team particularly good, especially the care they offered and their organisation of Clementine’s funeral. Emily and Mike decided not to take Clementine home with them but appreciated the visits they were able to arrange to spend time with her in hospital. Local charities also offered help and support to them both. Friends and family were particularly supportive yet Mike finds that as a man his feelings are often forgotten about. Emily and Mike agreed to have a post-mortem but found it offered little understanding as to why Clementine died.

Emily then got pregnant again but miscarried at 13 weeks. Following help from her midwife, Emily underwent tests to try to understand why she had lost her three pregnancies. The investigations were useful as they highlighted a clotting problem that treatment could help in future pregnancies. At the time Emily and Mike were interviewed they were thinking about trying for another baby but were extremely nervous.

Mike and Emily went to counselling together. Mike was reluctant to go but found talking to a complete stranger really helped.

Emily talked about how she felt physically and emotionally when she got home.

Emily and Mike talked about how helpful they found it when the midwife came around after the birth to check on Emily’s health.

Emily and Mike found their employers supportive in taking time off work and after six weeks Emily felt ready to get back into a routine.

Mike found it extremely difficult seeing his wife in pain and feeling completely helpless.

Emily didn’st want to go through labour but appreciated the encouragement of her midwife to do it.

Emily felt the birth was awfully hard work but was reassured by her midwife who explained it was exactly the same as giving birth later in pregnancy.

Before they got home, Mike’s parents had tidied away all the things they had bought for their baby.

Mike and Emily were anxious about how their baby might look, but she was like a very tiny baby.

Emily and Mike felt the word stillbirth much better described their experience than miscarriage.

Emily and Mike were in and out of hospital with bleeding for 7 weeks. Although they felt something was wrong, they didn’st feel they were taken seriously.