After My Stillbirth I Blamed Myself – Now I Know It Could Have Been Avoided If Doctors Had Supported Me

I went to my doctor with high blood pressure but I was sent home with no advice – knowing what I know now, my baby could have been saved
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This week HuffPost UK, with the World Health Organisation, is hosting a week’s worth of personal blogs reflecting on what it’s like to experience baby loss across the world: in the UK, USA, Nigeria, Colombia, and India.

Warning: This piece includes graphic descriptions of what it’s like to experience stillbirth, which may be triggering for some readers

When I had a stillbirth at 32 weeks, my baby already had a name – Julio Cesar.

I was rushed to the clinic with very high blood pressure. After a checkup, the doctor told me to take some rest and prescribed a medication to lower my blood pressure, but gave no other advice. At the pharmacy they gave me much more advice about avoiding certain types of food, drastically reducing my salt intake, resting more and how to lay down – none of which the doctors had told me at the time.

After a week I still had the same symptoms, so I returned to the clinic. The doctor then rushed me to take an ultrasound during which he told me that something was wrong. When I asked what it was, he then told me that the baby had no vital signs. I already knew that my baby was dead.

I know that my stillbirth could have been avoided. If I had been given more information from the very beginning, and received more medical attention at critical moments of my pregnancy, my baby could have been saved.

Immediately after the ultrasound I was transferred to the delivery room where they induced labor, and I had to go through a natural delivery knowing that the baby was already dead. It was very painful and mentally devastating.

The doctor and the nurses did not let me see the baby. Despite this, I think the medical staff behaved very well. I asked the nurses to describe my baby and they did, and everyone was very professional and compassionate. But neither the clinic nor the medical staff offered me any advice on funeral services.

My husband took care of the funeral procedure. I spent three days in the clinic and during the postpartum period my mum took care of me and even hired a nurse to help me.

At no time did I receive any information about what happened and I did not receive any type of counselling. I tried to give myself an explanation, I imagined the worst, strangest things and blamed myself, but I knew that none of this was the real cause.

I received full support from my family but nobody dared talk about it because I would cry easily, I was very fragile and nobody wanted to make me feel worse. Just a year later I got pregnant again and gave birth to a healthy daughter, and only then did I feel like I had the strength to talk about my experience.

For more information, visit the WHO website