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Woman 'angry' after baby scan shock

Danielle McGookin was speaking to UTV.

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.

Tuesday, 03 June 2014
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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."