|A few months
Thomas was the happiest woman in Emmerdale, following
her wedding to Reverend Ashley, and then the news that
she was expecting his baby. But on April
18th, Bernice's world came crashing down around
her when, already reeling from her row with her former
best friend Tricia
Fisher, she went to hospital for her first scan - only
to be told she had lost the baby.
When she and Ashley arrive
at the hospital for the scan, they don't even consider
the possibility that something could be wrong - they're
too busy chatting about how happy they are. But when
the nurse performing the scan hurries off to fetch a
doctor, Bernice soon realises that something is very
wrong, and it's not long before her worst fears are confirmed.
Bernice had what is called a missed
miscarriage - she probably miscarried a few days earlier,
but the baby hasn't come away properly yet, which is
why she hadn't realised. At first she thinks they've
made a mistake, and she goes into denial. But when she
has to go back to hospital the next day for an operation
to remove the baby, it starts to sink in.
While Ashley uses his faith in God to cope with their loss, Bernice
completely withdraws into herself, refusing to talk about the experience
with anyone - even her husband.
She's completely numb - she can't
even cry. Nothing Ashley can say to her is right - she's
taking all of her anger out on him. Ashley had his own
grief to deal with, but everyone focused on Bernice's
pain, and forgots about how it may be affecting the man.
If ever Bernice needed a friend, it was then. But when
Tricia arrived on her doorstep bearing flowers to make
amends - unaware of what's happened - Bernice's father, Rodney, sends
her away, assuming she'll cause Bernice more pain. As it is, she doesn't even see it's Tricia at the door -
all she sees are the flowers, and she thinks, 'Oh God,
someone's bringing me flowers because my baby died.
Tricia left the village and headed for London.
Later Edna Birch visits
Bernice and proves to be a surprising comfort in her
hour of need. Her wise words seemed to unlock the emotion
that Bernice has bottled up since losing the baby.