A Tragic Tail


I spoke to my daughter this morning and she was pretty upset. She had heard some very sad news about a friend – let me explain what happened

My daughter walks her dog at a regular time each morning and has formed friendship with other people who walk their dogs at the same time.

One particular girl she has got to know quite well over the past year was due her baby last Monday – she was having a girl and they had even named her. My daughter looked forward to the daily meetings and the updates on her pregnancy.

Last Sunday her friend was not at the park – my daughter wondered if she perhaps had the baby. How exciting if she had she thought.

Then on Tuesday my daughter met up with another regular on the park walk. The woman asked my daughter if she had heard the news – my daughter expecting her to say that her friend had in fact had the baby.

She had, but what she heard next just was the most awful news.

Apparently the girl was walking her dog on the Sunday (the day before the baby was due) and she met up with another “doggy” friend who had not been in the park for some time – this woman’s dog is a large bred and his owner had suffered with a bad back and was unable to take him to the park. The stood chatting and the big dog suddenly ran past them both and knocked the pregnant girl right off her feet – it was a pretty nasty fall and they had to call an ambulance.

She arrived at the hospital and they discovered that in fact the placenta had actually come away – resulting in the hospital having to give her an emergency caesarean. Her baby girl sadly dies 6 hours later. How awful. Such a freak accident and such a terrible tragedy.

We discussed how awful it must be for everyone – including thewoman’s whose dog it was. My daughter said that she was  due home a couple of days after the birth – and that apparently her mum had gone in and taken all the baby items away –  because she probably
would not want to face it when she came home. This took me back to a mum that was a patient at the surgery……………………..

When I worked as a receptionist one of my duties was to “manage”
the anti natal clinic one a week. I was responsible for helping the midwife
during her clinic – I would help book mums in, get their records ready and
weigh them before they went in to see the midwife. I loved this as I got to
know the mums all the way through their pregnancy and they would always bring
their babies in to see me when they were born. I always had a special bond with
these mums and their babies too.

But, there were the odd one or two that didn’t get to show their babies off – it might have been due to a miscarriage or a stillbirth – every one of them so very sad.

One particular mum had a baby that had died a few hours after giving birth. We were always notified from the hospital when such a thing happened. Every effort would be made to ensure that the patient would have easy access to the Doctor, Nurse or Health visitor if they needed. (I did in fact set up a procedure to ensure that people who were terminally ill or recently bereaved had easy access and I will tell you more in a future blog).

She came into the surgery about 2 weeks after she lost her baby. She came to the desk – I told her how sorry I was and asked if she was ok. She started crying – I took her into a private room – she went through the events of losing the baby – I felt she needed to talk about it I sat and listened. But what she did say and has stayed with me all these years – and make me think of it again this morning.

When she came back from the hospital after losing her baby she found that everything had been taking out of the house that was there for the baby.

Everything had gone the pram the cot, the mobiles, the furniture everything that they had bought together with all the clothes and baby toys. Someone had thought it would be the best thing to do.

But she said that walking into the house and everything gone was like the baby was never real. It was like stepping back 9 months – she felt that everyone had just wanted to get rid of the memory of being pregnant or even the baby. She knew that this wasn’t true but that is how it felt at the time.

She said that what she had wanted to do was go home and grieve – she couldn’t do that in the hospital. She wanted to go home and go into the baby’s room and say goodbye there – surrounded in the love that had been put into everything in the room – it was the one last time she felt she could be close to the baby and that was taken away from her.

She explained that she hadn’t told anyone how she felt as she didn’t want to put guilt on anyone’s shoulders. After all her husband and family has been though a lot too. She realised that they were trying to spare her any more hurt and pain.

So although we think we might be doing the right thing at the time – are we? I hope this never happens to anyone close to me – but if it did – I think I would ask the mum what she wanted to do.