A mum says she was sent “home to deal with it” after she suffered a devastating miscarriage.
Amy Falconer feels she was abandoned after losing her baby, which she described as “the worst thing that’s ever happened” to her.
The 38-year-old is haunted by the experience despite the arrival of her son Rocco in July, Edinburgh Live reported.
The magazine account director said: “It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
“There was just no support whatsoever.
“I was absolutely traumatised by it, but you just get sent home to deal with it. You’re completely alone.
“Nobody phones to check on you, no-one makes any appointments to see if you’re coping or to offer tests to find out what went wrong.
“There’s no other part of the health system where this happens.
“Once you’ve had a baby, there’s so much help and support and expertise – but where is that for those who lose one?”
Amy, who had four miscarriages before giving birth with her fiancé Fraser Rutherford, first fell pregnant in December 2018.
“After about nine weeks things began to change, I stopped feeling the changes that had happened in the early part of the pregnancy,” she continued.
“But I was told everything would be ok, not to worry, basically made to feel like I was just being silly.
“So of course I just kept going, but deep down I knew something was wrong.
“Two weeks later – it was on Valentine’s Day – I got an early scan because I’d been spotting.
“I went in, had the scan, and there was no heartbeat. I knew the baby had died two weeks ago because all the symptoms had gone, but here we were.”
Amy feels wider education about miscarriage would help people discuss the issue more generally.
“No-one knows what to say, so they end up saying things that are really insensitive, even though they don’t mean it to be, they mean it to be the opposite,” she explained.
“They say things like ‘oh it just wasn’t meant to be’ which is just the worst thing anyone can say.
“It’s a death of a baby, that’s what it is. But because we never speak about it as a society, no-one knows how to deal with it.
“I was on a Zoom call not so long ago with five other women, and four of us had gone through a miscarriage.
“None of us had known previously, that was the first time any of us had mentioned it to each other.”
Amy continued: “It’s so traumatic, but after the third and fourth, I didn’t even tell my family. What was the point?”
Amy’s fourth miscarriage had added complications because It was an ectopic pregnancy, where the baby grows outside of the womb.
The scenario which means the baby can’t be born safely, and exposes mothers to huge risk too.
“That was bad because I had to go in for tests every two days at the Royal Infirmary,” she said.
“Every two days, walking into the labour ward, past mums who’d just had their babies and people with ‘congratulations’ balloons.
“You’re not telling me in a hospital the size of the Royal, or any other hospital, that they can’t make sure people going through something like that are seen in a different place, where they didn’t have to walk past it all the time. It’s horrific.”
By the time her newborn baby arrived safely, the couple were scarcely able to believe it had happened.
Amy said: “You just don’t believe it’ll turn out ok. We were too scared to buy anything; cots, prams, clothes.
“Even after he’d arrived it took us a couple of weeks to properly process the reality of it all.
“Before I got pregnant for the fifth time, we’d began talking about alternatives. We spoke about the extra money we would have for the rest of our lives, and all the extravagant holidays we’d be able to go on.
“We were basically filling our lives up with the things neither of us actually wanted to do.
“It’s a life that would have been void of the one thing we wanted. And of course it makes everything so much better when you’re able to successfully have a baby.
“But that first miscarriage will never, ever leave me.”
The Scottish Public Health Observatory estimates at least one in every five pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
Amy spoke out as an expert on female wellbeing warned that new strategy for women’s health must place serious focus on the estimated 12,000 women who suffer miscarriage in Scotland each year.
Lisa Kitching, director of Edinburgh-based Baby Fit, said that urgent support was needed for women who up to now have little in the way of help.
Baby Fit is a personal training business which specialises in providing fitness classes to women who have recently had a baby.
It also works with couples attempting to conceive and going through IVF, as well as women who have suffered miscarriage and are trying again for a baby.
The Mirror’s newsletter brings you the latest news, exciting showbiz and TV stories, sport updates and essential political information.
The newsletter is emailed out first thing every morning, at 12noon and every evening.
Never miss a moment by signing up to our newsletter here.
Lisa said: “Everyone says miscarriages are common, but I don’t think current services reflect the fact there were around 12,000 miscarriages in Scotland last year alone.
“Many of my clients have suffered miscarriages, and it’s clear just how alone they’ve felt throughout that process.
“Often they’ve just been given a tablet to take and sent home, despite that being among the worst moments of their lives.
“Even women who are further on in their pregnancy and need hospital care sometimes have to go through the miscarriage on a labour ward where other women are giving birth to healthy babies in the next room.
“Aside from the great work of some charities, there is very little emotional help for women and their partners going through this awful experience.
“It’s definitely welcome that the Scottish Government has recognised this, but it will need to go beyond paid leave and the promise of better services.
“We need to see urgent action to ensure every woman who suffers a miscarriage can access the help they need.
“Through this plan Scotland has a chance to be a world-leader in miscarriage care. For the sake of thousands of women every year I really hope it happens.”