My Musings

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Guilty (adjective): Justly chargeable with a particular fault or error

Opening Statement

I write because it helps me to process all my feelings, to assess what’s really wrong. Yesterday, I felt so low, I didn’t even want to write. That’s not happened before. But I know what’s been going around in my head, and it’s the blame game.


Apparently doctors don’t tell patients more than they think they need to know. They don’t want to overwhelm them, they assume that – in difficult times – there’s only so much a patient can take in. I agree with the latter premise, but personally, I think it’s so important to tell the patient whatever you can, simply and slowly. Because every grieving parent is going to ask themselves WHY and will try to piece together some sort of answer, to gather the facts and try to determine what happened, so any information is like gold dust.

The Investigation

The last time I was in the hospital, I was in for yet more follow up investigations. I sat in the waiting area and I made a list of questions for the doctors. I thought I’d done a good job. But now I’ve had time to think about the snippets of information I was given, I have more questions and no one to direct them to. It’s not just that, I have a whole new theory and no one to disprove it. To confirm or deny. Because I’ve figured out who is to blame here.

The Trial

And it’s me.

It’s the twist in the proceedings: I thought I was the innocent bystander, but it turns out, I’m the guilty party.

Background Checks

It’s one month since I went into the hospital and if you recall, they told me that I have an adhesion in my womb which will require surgery; I am still awaiting a date for that. It was explained to me as being like a bit of elastic that’s separating my womb, which will need to be cut away.

The consultant also seemed oddly excited about how polycystic my ovaries were looking, he started counting “look there’s over 20 cysts on that one! And look so many on that one too!” – this was obviously not a good thing, so I didn’t question him about it. It was just more bad news.

The doctors were right: I could not think straight. I was in shock that there was something wrong with my womb and that my ovaries were both so riddled. I have had countless scans and probes, I really was not expecting them to find anything. I thought it would just be another case of “all things normal, you’ve just had bad luck with your pregnancies”.

I’m fairly certain that one of the snippets the doctor gave was that due to where the adhesion is, my left ovary would not be able to ovulate, but he said this quickly and casually, more to himself, so I’m only fairly sure that this is what was said. (This pandemic makes things worse, as there’s just me that has to do all the questioning and remembering now – James is no longer a secondary witness to it all).

My adhesion was likely caused by one of the two miscarriage surgeries (ERPC’s) I had, but which? The doctors did not want to commit to an answer, but I’ve now convinced myself that it occurred after the surgery with My Baby (as opposed to the surgery I underwent, after Summer).

Evidence for the Prosecution:

  • Adhesions can cause second trimester miscarriages. Summer was a second trimester miscarriage.
  • When the consultant looked back at a scan on my womb that was taken a week after Summer passed away (before my second surgery), he saw something which perhaps could have been an adhesion. He couldn’t confirm it for definite, it was very blurry, but surely seeing anything at all, is indicative of something having already been there?
  • When I was pregnant with Summer, I started to get pain on the left side during the second trimester. We put this down to round ligament pain, even though it usually occurs on the right. Seeing as my adhesion is on the left hand side, surely this was confining the growing baby and causing the plain? I only made this connection two nights ago.
  • Most of my pain with Summer occurred during the night. We could never figure out why it was always a similar time, perhaps this is when Summer was having her growth spurts and pushing against an adhesion?
  • After my first miscarriage with BoC, I fell pregnant again within months. I had always heard that women are often more fertile immediately after a miscarriage, and that seemed to be true. After we lost My Baby though, it took eight months to conceive Summer. I was heartbroken to go through My Baby’s due date, still not pregnant. What’s worse, my periods were so irregular: every 6 to 8 weeks. When we fell pregnant with Summer, I was so surprised, because by that point it was clear that I was ovulating irregularly. Looking at the dates, it suggests that I was missing every other ovulation cycle: given that ovaries usually take it in turn to release eggs, surely it was my left ovary that had been obstructed from doing so?
  • We need to go through all my past medical notes. I’m fairly sure that with BoC we were told the egg had come from one ovary, and the next pregnancy we were told it was the other ovary. (I remember thinking it was superfluous information, but at one scan I did smile and joke to James “good old lefty!”). I can’t remember which pregnancy was left and which was right. Perhaps we also have a note regarding Summer and which ovary had ovulated. I don’t think I want to know, because it will confirm what I think I already know: that my left ovary was failing before Summer arrived.

Evidence for the Defence:

  • The earlier scan pictures were not clear or conclusive
  • I have had polycystic ovaries since I was a teenager and so my periods have always been irregular. The eight week periods after My Baby, could have been a coincidence.
  • I had a few regular periods after Summer, so maybe my left ovary is in fact working and the adhesion (which, as I understand it, is basically scarring after surgery) formed later. Except I’m now having eight week periods again – suggesting a missed ovulation, which is what has made me realise that this is what may have happened previously.

The Verdict

The adhesion was probably caused by the surgery after the miscarriage of My Baby, had I pushed to have medical investigations at that time, they would have seen and removed the adhesion.

I always knew that two first-trimester miscarriages would be medically considered “just bad luck”, that the NHS would not investigate until I had three consecutive miscarriages. But why did I trust and go along with that? Why did I not pause and investigate? We could have paid to go private. Why did I allow myself to have a third loss?

I’m not someone who ever just goes along with things I don’t understand. I pride myself on this at work: ensuring that I understand things myself, not just assuming that someone else does. Yet, I did not advocate for myself or my future babies and in doing so, I waited to have a third miscarriage.

You know, even when I got pregnant with Summer, I said “if it happens again, they’ll help us now” – how undeserving of that baby I was, to say that. As if that were a sacrifice worth making. I know a loss mum who has been much smarter. She paused after two losses and she’s started to investigate. It never made sense to her, that she should have to wait to lose another, before realising that something was wrong. Why was I so stupid, so cavalier? These are not my usual attributes.

I generally don’t do regrets, because I make considered decisions. But I didn’t do that here. I trusted other people. I am finding it difficult to forgive myself for this. I deserved this loss and I killed my baby.

I’m guilty.

Closing Statement

Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, it’s because I’m stupid and make bad decisions.


I will now have to figure out how to live with this knowledge. It is a lifetime, not a fleeting, sentence of guilt that I will have to live with.


I don’t write for people to try to convince me otherwise, so there’s no need for you to interject. I write to document, assess and revisit. It’s been helpful to reread my earlier blogs and to see the progress I’ve made, feelings I no longer feel, or to acknowledge the lingering challenges to my mindset. The blog about my last appointment at the hospital has been useful to recall my immediate takeaways and I guess, this is the follow up investigative blog. I hope in time these feelings will change, but I know it’s more likely that these thoughts will linger.


N.B. I did not intend to put myself on trial. I just started writing and once finished, I realised that this was the format the blog had naturally taken. The blog name and section titles were added last, once I realised what the paragraphs and wording were suggesting.

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(5) Comments

  1. Claudia says:

    You know… there is a reason why trials are witnessed…
    I think you’re forgetting 4 very important things:
    1 – ignorance. When you had your first miscarriage you read everything about bringing a baby home. You can be aware all you want that these things happen, nothing prepares you for it.
    2- hope. Both second and third losses where conceived in hope of bringing a baby home.
    3 – this system fails us. You should not have to go through losses to find out that sometimes, these could be prevented. There isn’t enough information. There isn’t enough listening to our concerns. There isnt enough support.
    4 – hindsight. I think we could go through a thousand losses and on all, you will look back and regret this or that.

    That being sad, there is jo denying our bodies are not listening to our hearts. Regardless of the whys.

  2. Rachel says:

    Anj, you did not deserve this and you did not kill your baby. This is coming from someone with medical background. I can see the links that you have made but you are simply not to blame. I promise. It’s so easy to look back in hindsight but I wouldn’t have done any different to you. Please don’t blame yourself, you MUST start being kind to yourself. I’m so sorry you are having these thoughts. I’m thinking of you always 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

  3. Claire says:

    Anj, I really couldn’t disagree with you more. I wish I could write as well as you in order to express quite how much I disagree with most of what you have said. It is pretty unusual for me to disagree with you. I know, however, that you would want me to call you out on any misplaced judgement on anyone. And right here, this is what I am calling you on. You have judged yourself incorrectly. You are judging yourself with hindsight which is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. You followed all the advice you were given by people who are in the best place to give that advice. You did not do the wrong thing in trusting that advice. You don’t have any real proof that that adhesion was there before Summer and even if it were, there is no fault on you. There is no fault on anyone. I would not have acted in any way differently to you. You did everything you should have done. xxxxx

  4. Karen Palmer says:

    So, I agree with all the people who have already commented. You’re not to blame at all.

    But I do get it. I still think my self indulgence with chocolates/sweets led to me needing a Mercury filling in the very early stages of pregnancy, and that very probably led to all of of our Jennifer’s problems.
    And there are countless other things I’ve done wrong, or not done right, that have caused harm in little or large ways to all my loved ones, all my life.
    I’d be completely lost, were it not for grace, mercy and forgiveness.

  5. Melanie says:

    Dear Anj, this is an unfair trial, even a mistrial! Please be kinder to yourself and do not play the blame game. It is completely understandable that you are looking for answers, trying to connect the dots, trying to make sense of the horror and “bad luck”. It is human nature to do so. It is also human nature to trust in medical professionals – that did not make you cavalier. Unfortunately I think – and this is the most frustrating “answer” of all – the medical professionals don’t have all the answers. Through all our ivf, I came to realise that there was still so much the specialists didn’t seem to know about fertility. It truly shocked me. And I can imagine the same goes for miscarriages and baby loss, and the pain of not knowing why it happened would be even greater. It seems incredulous that fertility specialists can’t tell you why any of this has happened. But that also means you cannot conclude it is your fault.

    Although it is certainty and explanation you are looking for the most, please don’t go drawing the conclusions that any of this is your fault. There is so much about growing a baby we cannot control xxx

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