Woman 'angry' after baby scan shock

Published Tuesday, 03 June 2014
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A woman has described the harrowing experience of being told by a doctor her unborn child was dead - only to find out it was alive when having a scan two days later.

Danielle McGookin, 30 and from Rathcoole, is 13 weeks pregnant and expecting her first baby to arrive this Christmas.

But she claims that only weeks ago she was told by a doctor at the Royal Maternity Hospital in Belfast that her child was dead.

"We went in to see the doctor and he gave me a tummy scan, it was awful," Danielle said.

"Me and my partner asked separate times, 'is that definitely it - the baby's gone?'

"And he said 'yes, sorry for your loss'.

It was like the worst day of my life. It was a big shock, in that minute it was like my world had ended.

Danielle McGookin

Danielle and her partner have said they were told to go home and the hospital would be in touch about arranging to have the baby removed.

"I still had pregnancy symptoms, so I was devastated because I did still think I was pregnant," Danielle continued.

"I was quite angry at myself because, for three weeks, I thought I was walking around with a baby dead inside me and hadn't realised.

"I didn't eat, I didn't sleep, I just cried constantly."

But Danielle said it was during a final scan to get a picture as a keepsake she got some unbelievable news.

"They did an internal scan, because they thought the baby had stopped growing at eight weeks, it wouldn't show through the tummy," she explained.

"The screen was turned away from me, but my partner, he could see it and he said 'is the baby moving?' And it was just like shock, I got that wee bit of hope.

"The midwife went 'yes, this baby's alive' and turned the screen around. So it was amazing."

Danielle said the feeling she got was like "winning the lottery 100 times over".

But she has said she is angry about what happened to her and is concerned the upset may have put her baby at risk.

"It was two days of stress on my baby, of not eating, of not sleeping. I was taking tablets for the pain, which I wouldn't have if there was even a one per cent chance it was still alive."

In a statement the Belfast Trust said: "We are sorry that this lady feels her care has fallen short.

"We are currently investigating several issues and we will respond to the family using the Trust complaints process in due course.

"In the early stages of pregnancy if for any reason no foetal heartbeat is detected, the woman is referred to our Early Pregnancy Unit, where a further scan will take place, to confirm the initial diagnosis."

"To minimise the understandable stress, this usually takes place within two or three days."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
claire in belfast wrote (235 days ago):
I had the same thing happen to myself but unfortunely my outcome was different. It was after i had the DNC carried out that i was informed that it was due to the blood i received in a transfusion that was the cause of my misscarrige. I picked up the anti-kell antiobody through the transfusion which attacks the foetus. I have no regards for the nhs
MICK in co. antrim wrote (235 days ago):
With my first over 13 years ago I was told by my own GP it was in the hands of God - no smypathy whatsoever as I thought I was going to lose my first baby. I had to undergo an internal scan but it didn't stop me worrying the whole way through the rest of the pregnancy. I was also told that special care would need to be taken at the delivery due to blood loss. I had to remain in the delivery suite the whole night with close observation being monitored following by continuous blood transfusions. I hope and pray this woman continues to have a normal pregnancy and a lovely little bundle of joy at the end of it
Mairead in Belfast wrote (236 days ago):
Liz and pregnant in Belfast, you are both entitled to your opinion and to make your own choices, so is this lady. No one has any right to judge her. I had my baby in the royal and had a terrible experience, in my opinion people are entitled to know both the good and bad aspects of maternity care. My sister had, one good, one bad experience and I know many people who have had different experiences. My point is people are entitled to know and can make as informed as possible choices as to where they feel they and their baby will receive the best care. Most importantly what this story shows is that you should not be afraid to question your care nor to ask for second opinions.
mee in co.derry wrote (236 days ago):
i was at another hospital, and was told my baby was 'ok' and after the third visit to them (3days in a row) i was told it was 'gone'!
pregnant also in belfast wrote (236 days ago):
Liz in Belfast- I totally agree with the points u made in ur comment. It was unnecessary to take this to the media as it may now make other pregnant women in the care of the Royal to start doubting the hospital and the level of care they are or are going to receive. My heart does go out to this lady bit at the same time, I now worry about the number of other pregnant women with the Royal who are going to be nervous and anxious about how they are going to be treated during their own pregnancies.
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