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MY DOUBLE BABY LOSS NIGHTMARE; MUM'S MESSAGE OF HOPE TO OTHERS AFTER MUM'S MESSAGE OF HOPE TO OTHERS AFTER PREGNANCY TRAGEDIES PREGNANCY TRAGEDIES.

Byline: ABBIE WIGHTWICK

A MUM who had a horrific double miscarriage wants to help others with the agonising grief of losing their babies.

Georgina Horton-Jones, who is from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, was left traumatised after having the miscarriage at home, not knowing she was expecting twins.

Georgina, 32, was 11 weeks pregnant and had just had a scan but medics didn't spot she was carrying two babies, she says.

Two days later, she felt severe pain and rang the Early Pregnancy Unit at Withybush Hospital.

"They said it sounded like I was having a miscarriage, to manage the pain and carry on," Georgina recalls.

She already had three children but was shocked by the extreme pain of contractions which started in the morning and went on for 12 hours.

"It was horrendous. I was in terrible pain," she remembers.

At 11.30pm that night, Georgina miscarried a tiny baby boy and went to bed wondering why she was still in agony.

"I thought that was it, because at the scan, they never said there were two."

But when she woke up, she miscarried a baby girl who was "the size of my palm".

Distraught and in pain, she asked husband Grant, 37, to call the hospital.

"At that point I didn't know what to do," Georgina says. "Grant got the phone but couldn't speak. We were both so shocked.

"When I spoke to them they said I was due for a scan on Wednesday and to come then to make sure I'd passed everything.

"When I asked what I should do with my babies, they said, 'Do what you want with it'.

"This was the people in the Early Pregnancy Unit. There was no compassion.

It was like they didn't care once you didn't have a baby."

Georgina, who began miscarrying on a Friday, wonders whether she received worse treatment because it was a weekend, but says she was stunned by being left alone, frightened and in pain with the remains of two dead babies.

Scared and not knowing what to do, she put the remains in the fridge.

"I sat in the bedroom for days. I was numb. There was no support," she says.

At her scan five days later, the grief was made worse when medics wanted to see if her baby had grown.

"They hadn't written anything in my notes about what had happened," explains Georgina. "I just burst out in tears. Then I had to walk out through all the other pregnant women waiting for scans. They should have another door."

Georgina, who miscarried in 2007, says it took her a year to come to terms with what happened.

"The lack of support was unbelievable and not something I expected.

"Just having someone to talk to and explain would have helped."

Georgina, who named her twins Caderyn and Charlotte, later had them buried beside her grandmother's grave in the town's garden of remembrance, but never found out why she miscarried.

She hopes no one else will have to suffer like she did and has set up Charlotte and Caderyn's Wings of Hope, a not-forprofit organisation offering advice and support to women who miscarry and to raise funds to buy headstones and memorial plaques.

"I was so upset that it took about a year for me to come to terms with what happened," she says.

"Miscarriage is not something you get over, just something you cope with. You learn to move on."

Recently, Georgina wrote to Withybush Hospital asking if she could display her organisation's cards there and explaining what happened to her four years ago.

"They offered me counselling but it wasn't offered at the time," she says.

Four months after losing her twins, Georgina became pregnant again and now has four children.

She says Cameron, 14, Catryn, nine, Caitlyn, seven, and Isabella, three helped her pull through. The children joined her on a fund-raising climb up Snowdon and Georgina is also walking the length of the Wales coastal path. All money raised will help fund plaques and headstones for miscarried babies from families who can't afford them.

Charlotte and Caderyn's Wings of Hope now has 500 friends on Facebook and Georgina is training to be a bereavement counsellor. "It's difficult to talk about miscarriage.

It's like people think there was never a baby there," she says. "It's like saying they're not babies But they are, however small. I just want to help other people. It does help to talk.

"Recently a neighbour came up to me and said she thought it was great what I was doing. She'd had a miscarriage 40 years ago but it had never been talked about."

Every June 30, the day Georgina miscarried, the family lights candles, let off balloons and eats cake. "It's a way of remembering them and making them part of the family," she says.

Carole Bell, assistant director of midwifery and safeguarding, at Hywel Dda Health Board, which runs Withybush Hospital, said: "We regret that Ms Horton-Jones feels she did not receive a sympathetic level of support from the Health Board.

"Sadly, one in eight pregnancies result in a miscarriage.

"There are a range of professionals who are trained to provide support to women who suffer a miscarriage and there are systems in place for women to gain prompt access either in the community or hospital to our services. "Women are provided with information at the time of the miscarriage and of support groups who can provide ongoing counselling at what is a difficult time for women and their families. The Health Board also every year holds special memorial services for families who have been affected by miscarriage, still birth or neonatal death."

* Georgina wants people affected by miscarriage to meet her for a day out at St Fagans National History Museum on October 22. She can be contacted at charlotteandcaderynswingsofhope.

webs.com and on Facebook.

October 9-15 is National Baby Loss Awareness UK Week.

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Georgina Horton-Jones with husband Grant and children Cameron, Catlyn, Catryn and Isabella PICTURE: JAMES DAVIES
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Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 2, 2011
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