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Woman lost two babies in lockdown - while partner waited in car park for news

PUBLISHED: 12:43 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:54 28 September 2020

Keeley and Ashley Kemp who have lost five children over four pregnancies, the experience of miscarrying during lockdown being particularly painful Picture: Keeley Kemp

Keeley and Ashley Kemp who have lost five children over four pregnancies, the experience of miscarrying during lockdown being particularly painful Picture: Keeley Kemp

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When Keeley Kemp found out she was pregnant in April she was over the moon.

Keeley Kemp whose experience of losing two babies during lockdown lead top her involvement with Cradle, and Sam Jones, bereavement midwife at JPUH Picture:JPUHKeeley Kemp whose experience of losing two babies during lockdown lead top her involvement with Cradle, and Sam Jones, bereavement midwife at JPUH Picture:JPUH

With three miscarriages behind her and the muttered reassurances from medics that she would be super unlucky to lose baby number four she persuaded herself she could be more relaxed.

Her hormone levels were soaring and this time she felt she was “properly pregnant.”

But there were soon problems and an early scan revealed the worst.

The baby was missing and they didn’t know where it was.

Keeley and Ashley Kemp have suffered the pain of multiple miscarriages. Keeley's most recent experience of losing two babies during lockdown has lead to her involvement with Cradle, a charity that helps bereaved mothers Picture: Keeley KempKeeley and Ashley Kemp have suffered the pain of multiple miscarriages. Keeley's most recent experience of losing two babies during lockdown has lead to her involvement with Cradle, a charity that helps bereaved mothers Picture: Keeley Kemp

Because of the coronavirus pandemic husband Ashley was not allowed to attend.

She had to ring him as he sat in the car park to tell him the terrible news.

“That was one of the stand-out appointments,” she said.

“It was really hard to have to be the one to ring him and tell him.”

Cradle is a national charitable organisation supporting bereaved parents following early pregnancy loss.  Keeley Kemp, who lost two babies between April and August 2020 during a rare heterotopic pregnancy, is a  Norfolk ambassador. Pictures: Brittany WoodmanCradle is a national charitable organisation supporting bereaved parents following early pregnancy loss. Keeley Kemp, who lost two babies between April and August 2020 during a rare heterotopic pregnancy, is a Norfolk ambassador. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

A medically-managed miscarriage followed but, bewilderingly, every test said she was still expecting.

More tests and scans, which she had to attend alone, revealed she was a one-in-30,000 patient to have two eggs implant in the wrong place, the second being in the fallopian tube.

This was the second stand-out call the 30-year-old had to make to her husband sat in the car park - the pregnancy had been heterotopic and dangerous.

They had lost two more children.

Two rounds of chemotherapy followed to end the pregnancy, crucially saving the tube.

In all she had been pregnant for five months, potentially with twins, finally being discharged from the clinic in August.

It had meant upwards of 30 appointments, numerous blood tests, and being admitted on the ward - never having her husband by her side, adding to the emptiness and isolation.

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“The staff are lovely,” she said.

“And I could not be more appreciative of the nurses. But it is just not the same not to have your partner.

“From my hospital bed I was desperately searching for some support. The usual things you would do like go and see friends or go on holiday you could not do.

“I felt totally isolated.

“Searching online I stumbled across Cradle and a project they had in King’s Lynn at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where when someone is admitted they get a bag of essentials for their stay.

“During the pandemic you couldn’t have anyone bring things in for you, you just had to rely on what they had on the ward. I just felt it would be a really good thing for our hospital.”

Back at home in South Quay, Great Yarmouth, she set about sourcing donated everyday items from supermarkets to make up comfort bags on behalf of the registered charity - handing over the first set during lockdown.

She said: “The staff at the JPUH were all amazing, and so caring but more than ever I felt the emptiness and isolation that losing your babies can bring.

“Volunteering for Cradle and working with the wonderful team of ambassadors in Norfolk has helped me not only in raising awareness of the impact of early pregnancy loss, but also to remember my babies while knowing they are making a difference to other people experiencing devastating loss.”

Head of midwifery and gynaecology services at JPUH Kirsty Cater said: “We would like to thank all those at the Cradle charity for supporting us.

“The comfort bags are a really thoughtful way to provide support at such a difficult time and we know they will be much appreciated.”

The comfort bag project was originally set up to support women who may be admitted to hospital unexpectedly during ectopic pregnancies, but are now available to women admitted into hospital for any type of pregnancy loss.

The bags are filled with practical items and toiletries, such as wet wipes, lip balm and deodorant, but the most important thing is the dear friend letter, which signposts women and partners support services.

Mrs Kemp is now an ambassador for the charity. Search for Cradle Norfolk on Facebook to find out more.


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