At eleven weeks pregnant, Elizabeth Salton went in for a routine checkup with her nurse-midwife at McFarland Clinic. “I was by myself, my husband wasn’t there because I thought it was going to be a normal visit. I didn’t think there was going to be anything wrong. The technician said she was sorry she didn’t see any heartbeat. I remember putting my hands over my face and just crying," said Elizabeth.
Nurse Midwife Dawn Heaberlin says one in 5 to 6 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. “Usually the woman is brought to our office and we just sit down and talk about what has transpired and we go through the different options. Probably mostly it is just the support that we try to offer at that time.”
Elizabeth says a nurse at McFarland Clinic was especially compassionate. “This one nurse Tracy, I remember she just hugged me and didn’t dismiss my feelings. She made me feel like it was okay to feel what I was feeling, which was sadness, anger, just intense pain.”
"We try to spend as much time as we can with our clients and try and empathetic, understanding the situation as much as we can." Dawn says recurrent miscarriages only happen one percent of the time. Following the loss of a pregnancy, they advise the couple to wait 2-3 months before they try again. “That is more a mental readiness than a physical one to give them time to grieve for the pregnancy loss before they have another.”
Elizabeth has this advice for women who have just experienced a loss. “You kind of feel like you shouldn’t tell people because it is sad news, and people don’t want to hear sad news, but you have to tell people, otherwise other people are going to go through the same thing and they are going to feel that same hurt you did, and I think it is important to let everyone know you aren’t alone, it’s not something they are going through by themselves.”