A DALGETY BAY mum has recalled the "absolutely brutal" experience of sharing a waiting room with new and expecting parents after she went through a miscarriage.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, was left devastated when she lost her baby close to the 12-week mark and says she "could barely breathe" as she watched new mums take their babies home while waiting for a scan due to complications at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

She had contacted the Press after reading an article last month where MSP Roz McCall had questioned NHS Fife over measures to separate those suffering loses and those with healthy babies.

The health board had denied claims that the two groups share corridors and are only separated by a curtain, saying that this was "inaccurate".

The mum, whose experience took place in summer, says she was confined largely to the early pregnancy ward, was looked after by "wonderful" nurses, and was usually directed through a different entrance, but on one occasion five weeks after her miscarriage she was told she needed to use the main ward.

"I witnessed parents literally carrying their newborns out and posters everywhere with pictures of babies," she explained.

"It was absolutely brutal, I was sitting there thinking that my baby had died and there was a good chance there was part of them still stuck there.

"It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous. It made an already traumatic experience even worse and I just don't understand, I had other scans where I went in via the Ward 24 entrance so I don't understand why I couldn't have done that."

She says that she had raised her concerns over which entrance she was told to use – but staff confirmed it was not a mistake.

She continued: "It was awful, I knew I was going to have to sit and look at the scan screen again when I still had the image of the baby coming up with no heartbeat.

"I was already in a state having to go in and you feel really self-conscious, I was sitting staring at a point on the floor crying.

"To be fair to the sonographer who took me, I raised it then and she was so sympathetic.

"She said she had raised it multiple times and even did a dissertation on the fact women are forced to go through that, she was full of sympathy but it doesn't look like anything is changing."

After opting initially for surgery, the mum had delivered at home, though the miscarriage was not complete and she was forced to return to hospital for scans and, eventually, the operation she was due to undergo originally.

She says that she felt the higher up the chain of doctors she went, the less sympathy she received, resulting in her breaking down in the waiting room with no alternative option available.

She said: "I could barely breathe, I just kind of sat there, there were tears streaming down my face, I can't even describe what it was like to be sat there.

"Maybe someone who hadn't been through that wouldn't understand. It's so awful, so awful.

"I wonder if they have been desensitised to it, if they have been working with women in these circumstances for so long that they have forgotten about the individual women and are treating it more matter-of-fact."

She felt this was also translated in the resources given to parents who experience miscarriages, with the process being described as similar to a "heavy period".

"You get a single A4 piece of paper with your options and you have three options – you can either let the miscarriage happen naturally, you can take a pill to start the miscarriage, or you can go in for surgery," she explained.

"It was only asking around and using the Miscarriage Association website that I realised how bad this information is that women are being given.

"It's atrocious, the options to let it go naturally or take a pill are described as a heavy period, it's not even close to a heavy period."

She added that it was only because she had chosen the option of surgery that she had been able to discuss what would happen with a doctor and claims that if that hadn't happened, she would have been given no opportunity to ask questions.

She said: "I was getting contractions every 90 seconds, it was like labour, I couldn't speak through them, I had to just breathe through the contractions and it went on for hours and hours, overnight.

"I knew it was going to be like that, I knew it was coming, I could tell by the cramps that this was happening so I got myself ready.

"If I hadn't have known that, if I had thought it would be like a heavy period I would have been terrified, absolutely terrified.

"The information they are giving women is woefully inadequate, they are sending these distraught women home with a piece of paper which tells them nothing about what they will be going through. "I read stories of women thinking they were dying, phoning ambulances, and throwing up from fear."

NHS Fife director of nursing, Janette Keenan, said: “The loss of a pregnancy is incredibly difficult both for the women involved and their partners and loved ones. 

“We take great care to be as considerate as we possibly can at such a sad and difficult time.

“There are some circumstances where women requiring review will be asked to attend hospital via the entrance at our maternity services. In such cases, women are seated and seen in a separate area away from those awaiting attending our early pregnancy clinic.

“While we are unable to comment on the care of any specific person for reasons of patient confidentiality, we would urge the individual in this case to contact our Patient Relations Team to discuss their experience with us in more detail. 

“All the feedback we receive, whether positive or negative, helps us continually improve the services we provide to people in Fife.”