Thank you for starting & bumping this thread. I am going through a miscarriage of my first pregnancy. It has been so hard to educate myself about something that no one wants to talk about. Here's my pregnancy and miscarriage story.
I started to have suspicions I was pregnant on August 16, but didn't get a BFP until August 21. My husband and I were surprised and happy and began to educate ourselves on how this all works. On Sept 6, we went for an early ultrasound for dating and viability. We should have been 7 wks at that point but the fetal pole measured 5 wks. I began to worry because I was very sure of our dates, but we were told to come back for a follow up in a week or so and we'd see some development. I'd also been spotting, light pink or brown, since the end of August, but I was told not to worry about that, it can be normal for some pregnancies. I had been charting using CRM so I was still in the habit of examining after I wiped, so maybe I was picking up on very faint signs that could safely be ignored. I felt pregnant - sore breasts, vaguely motion sick most of the time, very fatigued - so I put it out of my mind and focused on the positives.
My husband and I decided to wait a little longer to go back for our follow up u/s so that we could see a definite change in the growth of the baby. At around 9 wks, my pregnancy symptoms started to lessen, and the frequency of my spotting began to increase. At 10 wks we went back for the second u/s, and there was an embryo, but it measured 6 wks. They spent a long time looking for a heartbeat and we were told there was a flicker. We were told there was a high probability of a miscarriage but that it could still go either way. I had an HCG test done that day as well and was 22,555 - my mw said the hormone level was normal, but the u/s was cause for concern.
At 11 wks, my pregnancy symptoms were negligible and the spotting changed and became more like brown bleeding. It stopped and started, was very minimal. I called the mw and she told me to prepare for a miscarriage. I started to pass long, thin, dark red clots - about the length of my pinky finger - once or twice per day. I hadn't had any cramping though, so I was still uncertain about what was going on. I rested and waited, and searched forums online to try to learn about what was going to happen. How much bleeding? How much pain? How big was this going to be? The only specific advice that I got was to go to Emergency if I filled a pad within an hour.
At 12 wks, we had the follow-up u/s again. We had delayed again, this time because I thought the miscarriage might have finished by the time I got to the appointment. Instead we saw that the embryo had no change, no flicker. It was still in the center of my uterus so the doctor said that the miscarriage hadn't really started at all. I was diagnosed with a missed miscarriage. My HCG test measured 519. It was a relief to know for certain what was happening.The mw referred me to an "Early Pregnancy Loss Clinic" at a hospital, and gave me the details of the options for progressing the miscarriage. I could choose the D&C, the misopro... pill to induce, or just to wait and do it naturally. I again turned to the internet to try to understand what would happen with each of those options. I got some more practical advice, such as preparing for very heavy bleeding overnight (I put old sheets on our bed and put a plastic liner underneath to protect the mattress).
The next day, I began to have mild cramping like the first day of my period, and the bleeding started to increase. It never turned into a big steady flow for me. I was regularly passing clots the length of my pinky. The next day after that, I had moderate cramping, like the worst day of my period, and I passed some large clots, about half the size of my palm. Generally I was passing clots when I was having bowel movements. I was never instructed to retain any tissue for diagnosis, and I wasn't comfortable with trying to search for any remains. I thought, if I see it, I see it. If not, that's ok. (Again the practical details of saving the remains - like using a colander over the toilet - I had no idea.) I spoke often with the nurse at the EPL clinic and she said the clotting was the breakdown of the placenta. She said this day was the one when I had the"official" miscarriage, and that most likely, no other medical intervention would be required.
After the large clots, each day, I had moderate or heavy bleeding and mild cramping, like the first day of my period. It's been like that for 4 days now and is only slightly starting to taper. It's never been heavy enough to fill a pad so I know this is safe, it's just slower than I expected. The bleeding is bright red and looks pretty much like my normal period. Sometimes I still feel light gushes of it but I never had the contractions or very heavy flows that other ladies are describing.
My worst day was two days ago, after 3 more days of heavy bleeding. I felt physically worn out and emotionally drained. I'd had 5 days of the worst days of my period and I was getting tired of it. I wish it would be over and that I could get back to normal. However I am really glad that I didn't get the D&C or the pill. This miscarriage has progressed at its own rate, it's allowed me and my husband to process it one day at a time, .... much like the way the pregnancy began and ended as well. I had to learn how to surrender to the pregnancy and now I've surrendered to the miscarriage and this was the right choice for me, this time.
For most of the past 2 weeks I've worked from home. My symptoms were never strong enough that they would've physically prevented me from going into work, but I preferred the privacy of my own bathroom. I told my boss about the miscarriage and he was extremely sympathetic and supportive in giving me time off as I needed it.
My husband and I had announced the pregnancy to close friends and family, very early on, after about 6 weeks. We wanted to share our excitement and let them know why we were behaving differently, and we also knew there was a risk we'd have to tell them bad news. But we knew we could count on their support in the event of bad news, and this has been the case. In fact, we've expanded the circle of friends who know about the miscarriage now that we're going through it. For us, it felt better to acknowledge it. I can't imagine how difficult this is for women and families who suffer in silence. I'm very grateful for all the support we've had, from friends, family, as well as caregivers such as our midwife and the nurses at the EPL clinic.
I hope my story is helpful to anyone out there who is bracing for the worst and doesn't know what to expect. Everyone's different. This is a huge loss and I wish you strength and health and peace.
Hadn't seen this thread before.
For me, miscarriages 1-5 were all very similar...just like a late, heavy period. My first was probably the worst, because it was the most shocking (not that the rest weren't as awful, but I just knew what to expect). Cramped like a normal period too, but I cramp a lot anyway. (with my very first one I also DID take methergine after an E.R. visit...miscarriage happened while we were on vacation. E.R. was terrible, asking if I was sure I was ever pregnant, how did I know, etc, then the vaginal u/s was terrible and made me bleed a HUGE gush afterward)
Miscarriage #6 was a MMC, we didn't find out until my 10 week u/s. Baby had passed a week and a half prior. I was adamant about avoiding a D&C so it was a full 2 weeks before my hCG dropped low enough for the process to begin. I had NO spotting or cramping or ANY signs of it happening until the night of 12 weeks, then I woke up in the night with full on contractions (literally, just like full-term labor) for about 45 minutes and then I passed the entire sac intact. The pain disappeared with that. I bled like a regular period for about a week more.
Miscarriage #7 was an ectopic. I had an empty uterus at my 6w5d u/s, but very clear tubes as well. My levels we dropping normally, and I started bleeding that same day, and my doctor assured me it was just a normal miscarriage. I bleed for a week...which WAS a "normal" miscarriage for me. EXCEPT there was zero cramping. At 8w3d I started to feel gassy, but without the gas. I had some dark red spotting/bleeding off and on. Called the nurse but she wasn't concerned. By that night the pain ceased. In the morning it was so bad, I barely got out of bed and just laid on the bathroom floor, unable to move and afraid I was going to vomit. Hubby (a medic) came home, MIL and FIL came over (RN and MD) and gave me zofran and a percocet for the pain, and then we decided hubby would call work so they could transport me to the E.R. (did NOT want to go in ourselves and have to lay on the waiting room floor in horrible pain) About an hour and a half later I was in the u/s room, and while she was scanning the pressure ruptured my tube. I went back to the ER and was into emergency surgery a bit later and had lost 800cc of blood by that point, and they removed an 8cm mass from my tube, as well as the tube itself. Couldn't do it laproscopically because of the extent of the bleeding and the damage, so I had a full 5" abdominal incision to recover from. Had NO bleeding or spotting after the surgery though. I DID suffer from some depression after this loss. Whether it was from the experience itself or from a culmination of 5 consecutive losses in 12 months, I don't know.
tremieli, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your story. I think that being able to read other women's stories does help because that's what I went looking for when I found out I was going to miscarry the first time. Today, in fact, is that little boy's second birthday. He was born at 12:30 AM while I labored in the bathtub. His story is here (it's at the bottom of the page).
This thread was very helpful to me leading up to my recent miscarriage, so I want to share my story to "pay it forward". I want to preface this by saying that I am a biologist with a significant amount of pathology training...my reaction to my miscarriage is definitely colored by this.
We conceived the first month that we stopped trying not to. I was banking on a couple of months as a cushion, so I was pretty surprised that it happened so quickly. I have a singleton and a set of twins and was experiencing symptoms somewhere in between what I had experienced with those two pregnancies, so I was a little freaked out that it might be another twofer! I happened to have my annual exam scheduled for the week after I got a positive urine test, so had a blood test to confirm and found good hcg, but low progesterone. Repeat blood work, good hcg, progesterone still low, so I started progesterone supplements. This was at about 5 weeks I guess.
Around 6 weeks, I went for an ultrasound. Because of the low progesterone, the fact that I have a set of fraternal twins and the fact that I had a blighted ovum in 2008 (between successful pregnancies), I was anxious to see what, if anything, was going on in there. Found embryo with normal heartbeat and of normal size. More bloodwork. Progesterone not rising, hcg rising slower than doc expected...but I held out hope because it was already high enough that doubling times should be longer.
Around 7 weeks, another ultrasound because of "slow rising" hcg. Found fetus, normal heartbeat, but not much growth since last scan. I decided at that point, to stop taking the progesterone and trust my body to do what it needed to do...whether that was to keep the baby or to abort the baby. My insurance stinks, so I was paying for the progesterone out of pocket and the side effects just weren't worth it for me. I was a cranky, stressed out mess and it wasn't fair to my three children or my husband to continue for a "maybe".
After I stopped the progesterone, I was actually kind of surprised that nothing happened. Week 8 came and went with nothing eventful as did week 9. I started spotting the day before Easter (week 10) and I knew that was the beginning of the end of this pregnancy...but it was also the end of the agony of being in limbo. As strange as it sounds, on some level, I immediately felt better once I knew what the outcome was going to be...even though it was not the outcome I had hoped for. I spotted and bled lightly for exactly one week. Two nights before I actually miscarried, I had some moderate cramping and thought that might be the day, but it stopped just before I went to bed. I didn't have any bleeding to speak of for the following two days. These days were very frustrating because after almost a week of random bleeding, I was ready for it all to be over. Last Saturday night, the cramps came back. This time they didn't go away. They were just like labor contractions, except smaller because my uterus was smaller. The pain started just below my belly button and would radiate downward before sitting in my cervix for what seemed like forever! They were very regular, but completely manageable. I spent this time sitting on the couch with my husband. I found that sitting cross-legged with my head in my lap was a decently comfortable position, so that's how I sat. About two hours after the cramping started, I felt something shift inside. I had the thought that I might want to take some Tylenol and had better get it before it was too late...but it was too late already! When I stood up, I could feel "stuff" starting to slide out and had to run to the bathroom. I had not planned to look at whatever I passed, so I sat on the toilet. As I sat there, I passed a few large pieces of "stuff" and the cramping immediately tapered off to almost nothing. I felt like I wanted to get up, so I did, but had to sit back down immediately to keep from making a complete mess of my bathroom! Shortly thereafter, I tried again to get up and, though it was a race to get my pants up before I dripped blood, I was able to do so and decided that I actually did want to see what I had passed after all. I didn't have anything in the bathroom to use as a scoop, so gross as this may be, I reached into the toilet and fished out a large clot. I tried again and I honestly couldn't believe what I saw...a completely intact placenta and sac with a little white embryo floating inside. I can't even describe the feeling that I had when I saw this...it was just amazing. Looking at it brought complete clarity to the situation...I was 10 weeks pregnant, but this was clearly no more than a 6 week embryo. What's more is that it never formed an umbilical cord...meaning that this miscarriage was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, not my fault in the least. That's a good feeling given that I had made the controversial progesterone decision a few weeks earlier. Anyway, for the next hour and a half or so, I sat on the couch with my husband and got up every 20-30 minutes or so because I felt like I needed to pee. Every time I got up, I ended up racing to the toilet because of another clot. Finally, roughly two hours after the bleeding started, it had slowed enough that I could stand up without worrying that I was going to soak through my pad. This was about 3am and I was exhausted, so I went to bed. The next morning I woke up to only a light to medium flow. I'm still spotting a week later, but I haven't had any cramping since that night and I'm feeling better every day.
In the end, I am a little surprised at how un-tragic this feels to me. I know I'm supposed to be all torn up inside, but somehow, this tragedy has ended up giving me a different sense all together. Life is largely about perspective...mine's just different, I guess. I have three children, all of whom were born in a hospital with an epidural...this was my first experience with "natural labor" and though it didn't result in a living baby, it did result in a sense of empowerment that I've never felt before. My body is incredible and I will definitely be more trusting of it and myself the next time I have to make decisions about labor and delivery!
hmbill I am sorry for your loss. I really appreciated your story. I am a geologist and sometimes that scientific perspective is misunderstood as uncaring and insensitive but I don't think that your story comes off that way at all. I think your choice to stop the progesterone was spot on. I had to giggle just a little bit when you said that you weren't going to look at it. I thought yeah right that scientific curiosity is going to take over and sure enough it did. I am glad that you have closure, which looking at it provided.
It is such a gift to be able to read all of your stories. I have not had a loss, but I know the statistics and, as we plan on two or three more, it seems more likely it could happen. I have always avoided reading about miscarriage, as if avoiding the subject would save me from having one; I am very glad I decided to read your experiences. I don't know, I hope that doesn't sound flip or insensitive. I really feel so thankful to all of you for sharing your stories. You are all so wonderful and strong, and I wish you all so much love and light.
Partial molar pregnancy at 9w1d.
I got my bfp at 10dpo and I was thrilled. My tests got darker faster than any of my past pregnancies. And that's saying something because with DS my beta's doubled every 24 hours. By 6 weeks I was starting to feel a little nauseous, which isn't like me in pregnancy, at 7w6d I found the heartbeat, but I didn't get my hopes up because i'd miscarried after this point before. By mid week 8 I could tell my fundus was measuring ahead, even for me. In hindsight these were all signs of a partial molar (except the heartbeat thing.) but at the time I didn't want to worry myself.
At 9w1d we were talking about how much I was showing, and I joked about twins. But I knew it was unlikely since i'd only heard one heartbeat. So, smarty that I am, I went to check again for TWO heartbeats. Only this time I didn't find any. The longer I looked the more I knew. I'd been here before. I wasn't finding the heartbeat, because there was no heartbeat to find.
That afternoon I went into the ER. They took me in quickly and thought they saw a heartbeat on the portable ultrasound. Went upstairs for a proper one and they were wrong. There was no heartbeat. It was a partial molar pregnancy. They explained to me the complications of this. A PMP can cling extra hard to the uterus, and not clear out easily. Bits of it can metastisize to the lungs or liver, so I had to have a blood test and lung xray.
The next morning I was scheduled for a D&C. I came in at 7am and was not allowed to eat or drink. It took til about 4pm before I was finally taken in for the D&C. They explained my anaesthesia options and wheeled me in. When I woke up in the recovery room they explained to me that they thought (incorrectly) that they had perforated my uterus and I had to have a laparoscopy. Which means a breathing tube down my throat and 2 pokes to my abdomen. I also needed a stitch to my cervix, which upset me because they had said the chances of such were like 1 in 1000.
It's been a couple days and I'm home now resting up. My arms are bruised from needles and my belly hurts the most. My throat still hurts a little. Emotionally it hasn't much hit me yet. But I think it will when I pick up the remains on in 2 more days. Which by the way, they won't give you until you make arangements with a funeral home, because the chemicals used by pathology are carcinogenic.
So. I'm also waiting on pictures from my ultrasound. That will help too. But for now i'm sort of in the limbo phase. Oh. And I have to go for weekly betas, and I'm not allowed to ttc until they've been solidly negative for a few months. So that's where I'm at right now.
I read through this thread while I was waiting for my 3rd miscarriage because my first 2 were so different from each other and now I think I should add my own stories. They will be in 3 different posts though.
#1. December 20, 2008 was the day I reached 6 weeks of pregnancy. When I woke up early in the morning to pee, I noticed spotting, which worried me, but I put a pad in and went back to bed. It was my first pregnancy and up until that point, the only thing that concerned me about the pregnancy was that I was still taking my basal temperature in the morning and it had dipped on the 18th and 19th. It was still above the coverline, but lower than it had been. When I mentioned it online, i was told to stop temping after getting a BFP. In any case, when I woke up for the morning, I was experiencing full-on period-level bleeding. I called the on-call doctor because it was the weekend, and he told me I was probably miscarrying and there was nothing he could do for me, so he said I should just stay home or go to ER if I started bleeding excessively or developed a fever, etc. I got off the phone and cried.
The whole day was spent crying and bleeding, but it really wasn't much heavier than a period, except there were clots, which were mostly very small. In the evening when I went to the bathroom and wiped, something fell out onto the toilet seat (I really don't know how it landed there instead of in the toilet) so I picked it up and examined it. It was blood covered of course, but it was a roundish fluid-filled membrane. I'm going to say it was about 3 cm in diameter (just over an inch?) and I can't remember if it was ruptured when I picked it up, but it was when I was done. I jammed my thumbs in and felt around for an embryo. I found nothing. I wrapped the sac in toilet paper, said my goodbyes and flushed it.
On Dec 23rd I had my first official prenatal visit scheduled. I showed up to see if my doctor could confirm the miscarriage. The bleeding had actually tapered off to spotting by then--I only bled for 3 days (20, 21, 22)--but then again my periods tend to be light and I wondered if this may have contributed to the miscarriage (not enough uterine lining). I told the secretary when I arrived that I believed I had miscarried over the weekend. She got me to give a urine sample anyway, and she dipped a pregnancy test strip--it came out positive (although weak). She shrugged and said, "Actually, I guess that could go either way. Let's wait for the doctor." The doctor came in and did an internal exam. He told me my cervix was closed so I was not currently miscarrying, but he couldn't tell by the size of my uterus whether I was pregnant or not. He sent me for an ultrasound.
Amazingly, I was able to get an ultrasound that afternoon. The technician was very impersonal. She told my husband to wait outside. She put the gel on my belly, waved the wand around a few times and said, "Okay. I'm all done." I said, "What? You're done? What did you see?" She said, "I can't tell you that. I will send the report to your doctor within 24 hours." I was speechless, but she chased me out of there. I called my doctor when I got home, and he said he had not yet received the report, but he would call me as soon as he did. He pointed out that they were open the next day (Christmas Eve) only until noon.
December 24th - I called the doctor's office a few times in the morning and spoke to the secretary, who promised he'd call me back. He did call at 12:30 to say that my uterus was all clear. There was no sign of pregnancy remaining. It had all passed naturally. He told me to try to enjoy the holidays with my family and said that I could start TTC again as soon as I felt emotionally ready. Merry Christmas!
We did start trying right away and 4 months later I became pregnant with my son.
I just wanted to leave that one on a happy note. I will be back tomorrow with another.
January 13, 2013: I was approximately 11 weeks pregnant when I woke up at about 2:30 am not feeling well. I went to the bathroom to pee and I noticed I was spotting. I was devastated because this was exactly how my first miscarriage had started. Up until that point, I had believed that it couldn't happen to me again because a) I had had a healthy pregnancy in between, so everything obviously worked, b) I was so much further along in my pregnancy than I had been when I had my first loss, and c) I had strong pregnancy symptoms starting a couple of days before I realized I was pregnant (4w) and continuing on... although the nausea had started to lessen after about 8 weeks. I had an hcg level of almost 41,000 around 7 weeks, which I thought signified a healthy pregnancy, so I had started telling people around 8 weeks. Everyone was so excited for me that I couldn't imagine letting them all down now. I somehow managed to get back to sleep despite my worries.
When I awoke for the morning, the spotting was actually the least of my concerns. I woke up experiencing watery diarrhea and forceful vomiting, which I was quite certain was not pregnancy related. Fortunately, the spotting was no heavier than spotting. Since it was Sunday, my options for medical care were limited, so I chose to stay in bed (with plenty of trips to the bathroom) and I got my parents to come and get my son so I would not have to take care of him while suffering from the effects of a Norovirus.
January 14 (Monday): I called my doctor's office in the morning to tell him about my weekend. The vomiting and diarrhea was definitely a virus going around and there was nothing the doctor could do about it. As for the spotting, he said again there was nothing he could do, but if I wanted to get an ultrasound to check things out, my best bet would be to go to ER. He said that he could not requisition an ultrasound for spotting, and even if he did, it would not be a priority so it would take up to a month to get in. Again, he recommended the ER. So I spent the afternoon in the ER waiting room. Spotting is not an emergency, and it took 6 hours for me to be seen.
The ER doctor was not terribly compassionate. She seemed annoyed that I was wasting her time by coming in for spotting. She did an internal exam and said, "Your cervix is tightly closed, your uterus is enlarged, and you are hardly bleeding at all. You are not miscarrying." I was relieved for the first time in 2 days! But I still wanted reassurance. I asked if I could have an ultrasound to see if everything was okay or to find the reason for the bleeding. She said, "No, but we can do some blood work." It was not what I wanted at all. I didn't think that blood work could tell me anything at that point, and it meant waiting another 2 hours to get the results. I just wanted to go home at that point and be happy that I wasn't miscarrying and see if I could get an ultrasound arranged by my doctor for sometime in the near future. But finally I was called back in by the (not-so-compassionate) ER doctor.
Dr: "Your blood levels don't look good for 11 weeks. Are you sure you are 11 weeks pregnant?"
At this point my heart dropped again and I asked what they were. I figured out she was talking about HCG.
Me: "Uh, are you sure? They were over 40,000 at 7 weeks."
Dr: "Oh yeah? In that case, it really doesn't look good. I can give you medication to end the pregnancy tonight--you can take it vaginally--or... maybe I can send you for an ultrasound."
Me (weakly): "I would like an ultrasound please."
The doctor shrugged and said, "okay, I'll go arrange it with the OG/Gyn staff" and she left the room.
I started bawling. I knew there was no way that the pregnancy could still be viable if the HCG level had dropped that much.
The doctor came back in and said, "What's wrong? Did I say something to upset you?" Anyway, to her credit, she had arranged an ultrasound appointment the next day, followed immediately by an appointment with an OB/Gyn to go over my results.
January 15 (Tuesday): I went for my u/s at 2:00 in the afternoon. It was in the same place as my previous miscarriage ultrasound. The technician had a little bit more bedside manner than the last, but she didn't let my husband into the room and she didn't comment on what she saw. After a few minutes, she told me that she needed to do a vaginal ultrasound to get a better look. I said, "That's not a good sign" and she said, "I'm sorry I can't say anything." So I got to pee and change into a johnny shirt and then come back to the ultrasound room for a better look. she took some more pictures and then when she was done, she directed me to where I was supposed to go to get the results.
The OB/Gyn I saw was fairly compassionate. When I arrived, he asked me to tell him what I already knew so he could fill in the gaps with the ultrasound information. According to the ultrasound, there was no heartbeat and the fetus measured 7w4d (1.3 cm). It had stopped developing weeks ago. It was a missed miscarriage. We discussed options and I chose D&C. The doctor told me that Wednesday was his surgery day, so he would schedule me in for the next afternoon. He did do a pelvic exam on me and told me that my cervix was still tightly closed. Then he had me fill out all the consent forms and paper work for the D&C and told me to take it home with me and bring it when I came into the hospital the next day. He also said that if anything changed between now and then--any increase in bleeding, cramping, etc.--I should go back to ER right away and bring the papers and they would wave me through (so I wouldn't be stuck in the waiting room for another 8 hours). Anyway, we wrapped up our meeting and headed home. On the way home, I started to feel cramps.
I got home around 4 and called my mother to update her on the situation and she decided to keep DS another night (she had been planning to bring him home that day). While I was talking to her, I said, "Wow, I feel like I'm having contractions here" and she said, "You should probably go rest." So I got off the phone and went to the bathroom. I sat down to pee and felt a gush come out of my vagina, along with a really large clump. I fished it out of the toilet and put it into a yogurt container. It was at least the size of a fist, and blood red. It was bigger than the amount of tissue I passed with my first miscarriage, and I really and truly believed that was it. I poked around looking for the fetus and found a small, fetus-shaped blood clot measuring approximately 1.3 cm in length. In retrospect (after my 3rd miscarriage) I believe this was, indeed, just a blood clot, but at the time I thought it could be my baby. It was the right shape and size, except it was blood red. There was no other colour present. When I tried to turn it over in my hand for a better look, it slipped back into the container with the rest of the blood and I never saw it again. At this point, I may have noticed I was bleeding profusely. I briefly considered not going back to the hospital because I thought I had passed it all, but then I remembered what the doctor said about going back if anything changed, so I placed a disposable diaper inside my underwear (I knew better than to bring cloth pads to the hospital), took my bloody yogurt container, and we headed back to the hospital.
I was admitted quicker upon arrival (around 6pm). I could barely walk because I felt like I was gushing so much blood and i was experiencing full labour contractions at that point. I was wheelchaired into a private room, where I stayed until I was ready to brave going to the bathroom again. DH notified a nurse, who came with me because I was scared of what I might find. One unexpected thing that I have mentioned to very few people was that as I walked to the bathroom, the disposable diaper in my underwear started to expand itself up my vagina, which was a startling sensation to say the least. When we got to the bathroom, the nurse came in with me. As I pulled down my underwear, there was a bit of a popping sound as the cork from the diaper was pulled out and the amount of blood and tissue I saw at the point was seriously traumatizing. I think someone else in this thread mentioned seeing something that looked like a liver. Yeah, that was in the pool in the diaper, and as I sat on the toilet, I could see/hear chunks falling out of me and blood flowing like pee. I had to have a pep talk from the nurse to get out of that bathroom. i was mad when she threw my underwear away, but rather than asking for it back, I just said, "How am I supposed to walk back out of this room without underwear to hold a pad?" She gave me an adult diaper and wrapped a towel around me for a skirt. I was very grateful for this nurse who stayed with me throughout the evening. We left the bathroom, which is where I believe my little embryo ended up--either in the toilet or the garbage (diaper). I got back to the hospital bed and was given an IV of fluid and my blood was drawn in order to get my blood type in case I needed a transfusion. At this point, I was glad to be in the hospital. I don't think I would have been able to handle it on my own. I might have passed out from blood loss.
After a few hours, I still had not passed everything (despite the on-call gynecologist trying to reach into my uterus and retrieve tissue, while being annoyed that I was in pain from contractions, and I was still bleeding heavily, so I went to the OR for a D&C around 10:30 pm and I made it out of the hospital a little after midnight.
I couldn't sleep at all that night. I wondered if it was an after effect from the anasthesia. I did end up sleeping for a large part of the next day (Wednesday). When my son came home that evening, he nursed for the first time in more than 3 days, and it didn't hurt anymore, as it had throughout the pregnancy.
I spotted on and off for 2 weeks after the D&C. I met with the doctor who I had discussed my u/s results with and he said the procedure appeared to have gone well. He said that there was no fetus found in the tissue extracted by D&C (which is why it must have come out in the toilet; the ER doctor had dismissed the yogurt container contents as "just a couple of blood clots") and that the tissue was tested for molar pregnancy, which it wasn't, so I should be fine to try again after taking a cycle or 3 to heal. He said that since I had a healthy child, there was no reason to believe that I couldn't have another healthy pregnancy, and he assured me I would see him again under better circumstances (implying that I would go to him when I got pregnant again, which was rather presumptuous, but he was trying to be comforting so I let it go). I ordered a bunch of cheap pregnancy tests online to check HCG levels and by the time they arrived 3 weeks later, I tested negative for pregnancy. We avoided TTC that cycle, but I believe I O'd around 26 days after the D&C. I guess I should mention that after my natural miscarriage at 6 weeks my urine tested negative by 2 weeks (when I received tests) and I O'd on day 23. So it wasn't much of a difference in return to fertility.
((HUGS)), NSmomtobe. I'm so sorry.
And now the story of my most recent loss.
3. After being caught off-guard twice before, this time I had a feeling that something was wrong from the beginning of my pregnancy. On Nov 7, my temperature dipped to tell me AF was coming, but 2 days later when it still hadn't shown up, I took a HPT and saw only a hint of a line after the 2 minute window had passed. I repeated the next day and the next, and on Nov 11 (CD 32) it finally showed up during the specified time frame. I continued testing, but the line never got any darker. Also temperature was erratic. It never went below the coverline, but it came close a few times, each time eventually going up. I had to stop temping because it was worrying me. Around 5 weeks, I took the test that lets you know how far along you are, and it said 3+ weeks, which means 5+ weeks, and I believe corresponds to HCG levels of at least 2000, so that was reassuring. At 6 weeks, I had my first prenatal check-up and I talked my doctor into doing HCG testing. He gave me to blood reqs and told me to go a week apart, so I went at 6 and 7 weeks, and my levels were 12,732 and 26,821, respectively. My doubling time was almost a week! But dr said not to worry because both were in the normal range for their week and doubling time slows after HCG reaches 6000. However, due to my anxiety, he scheduled me for an "early" ultrasound on Friday, Dec 20. I would be 10 weeks by LMP, but I was thinking I may have O'd a few days later to explain my lower HCG. So 9.5 weeks.
On the weekend before my ultrasound, I thought I was developing a yeast infection. I was feeling irritated and itchy and then my discharge took on a greenish tinge. On Tuesday Dec 17th, it turned brown, just before I started spotting. I had an evening doctor's appointment, in which he took swabs and said he saw no sign of infection--only blood. The blood was coming from the cervix, which was "tightly closed." I got a blood req for HCG to be taken the next day.
On Wednesday morning there was a snowstorm, so the local blood lab was closed. I had to travel through the storm to a blood lab in the city. Fortunately, no one else felt like braving the storm so the service was quick. I went home (called in sick) and waited for my dr to call with the results. The bleeding was getting heavier and more period-like. After my doctor hadn't returned my call, I called the clinic and asked the evening secretary to tell me the results. She told me (or I heard) that they were just over 2000. At that point, I knew it was over. I called my parents (who didn't know I was pregnant) and told them to come watch my son because I was miscarrying and might have to go to ER. It took them hours to get here because of the storm, so they spent the night and took DS home with them the next day.
On Thursday morning, my doctor called to say my HCG level was a little lower, but everything could still be okay. I asked, "What do you mean?" and he explained that the number had dropped to a little over 20,000, but it is normal for them to start to go down after 8-9 weeks and since it was a different lab it could give different results. I still don't know how I heard 2000 the night before, but I told him I was bleeding more now and he said it wasn't a good sign, but encouraged me to go to the u/s appointment the next day to find out for sure what was up. My bleeding got heavier throughout the day and I had very painful gas-like cramps. At one point I bled through a pad and needed help getting off the couch to walk to the bathroom because I was bleeding so heavily. On the toilet, I passed several large clots, about the size of my fist. It was very scary and emotional and somewhat painful. However, when I attempted to scoop them out of the toilet to see if there was any tissue, they dissolved into strings of blood. I put in a new pad (a heavy duty hospital one I had left over from my previous miscarriage) and bled through that in an hour, along with more large clots (same as above). I repeated again. I know I should have gone in at that point, but I didn't want to go back to the previous ER. I wanted to go to my u/s appt the next day, which was at a different hospital. So I went to bed and the bleeding actually slowed down to almost nothing.
In the morning, I showered, had breakfast, and drank my water. My bleeding had slowed down to heavy brown spotting. I went to the hospital for u/s and had to fill out a questionnaire about the pregnancy and my history. I mentioned the bleeding and cramps. I went in for the u/s and told the tech that I was probably miscarrying and I didn't want to wait until Monday for the results. She promised she'd get me answers that day. She was very thorough, spending more time on images than any previous u/s tech had, although she wasn't showing us the screen (my DH was allowed in the room this time). Then I had to pee and get the vaginal u/s. Then she went and got a doctor. The doctor said, "You know I don't have good news for you, don't you." and I told her that yes, I knew things didn't look good. She said my uterus was enlarged and full of blood clots and "debris" but the only sign of pregnancy was a small gestational sac, measuring about 5 weeks, which was empty. She told me that the hospital had an Early Pregnancy Complications Unit, which was closed for the holidays, but she had managed to track down an on-call doctor or intern from there, who would see me in the Early Labour Assessment Unit. So I ended up back in the room I had been in when trying to convince others that I was in labour with my son. It was surreal. Of course I picked the D&C option again because I just wanted the pain and bleeding to stop.
When they found out it was my 3rd miscarriage, they brought in a Reproductive Endocrinologist who specializes in early pregnancy loss. She agreed to send the tissue from the D&C for genetic testing, and also to run blood tests on my and DH. The D&C was done under conscious sedation. This sounded scary to me, but apparently I did quite well, and DH noticed that I recovered much faster after the procedure than I had from the last one. With conscious sedation, you are given pain medication and something to make you forget(???) but you are not unconscious. However, I am told that most people sleep through it. I don't know if I did.
After this miscarriage, I bleed lightly for almost a week and then spotted for another week. It took almost 5 weeks for HPTs to turn negative, and this coincided with more spotting/light bleeding. Less than 3 weeks later, I'm spotting again, and I still don't think I have ovulated. Suffice to say, my cycle is still screwed up. I am getting the blood work done this month and seeing the specialist in March to go over the results. I feel like the purpose of this pregnancy was to get me to the right doctor to figure out what is wrong with me so that I can have a healthy pregnancy in the future.
I posted this as a separate thread, but now see it belongs here as well. Peace and healing to you all…
Though it is difficult, I believe that sharing these stories is empowering, and sharing the details of delivering our lost babes may help many women. I’m so sorry for anyone who experiences this. Thank you for reading my story, as it is part of my healing.
We found out 6 days ago at 11w+4d that our baby measured at ~8weeks and the heartbeat we saw just 2 weeks previously had ceased. I had no cramping, bleeding, or other signs of impending miscarriage, and had attributed my diminishing symptoms to rounding the bend from morning sickness. Of course, we/are were shocked and crushed.
My goal was to avoid medical intervention if possible. I wanted to complete this life cycle on my own, in the comfort of my home, with my husband nearby. On Friday I began taking homeopathics sepia and sabina, Yogi Moon Tea, and red raspberry leaf tea as well. I went running one day, played tennis for 2 hours another, and walked for miles and miles each day.
On Monday evening around 6, cramping and spotting began. My energy really began to flow, where it had felt blocked before. I became unafraid, though my sadness was huge. The cramping came in waves, not unlike the tales of labor I’ve read in natural childbirth books. I slept fitfully, woken by discomfort through the night.
Tuesday (yesterday) came. I had walked already in the morning, but after lunch my husband accompanied me on another loop around the neighborhood. The contractions (there is no denying what they are) came intensely throughout the walk. I would zone out and focus on my body almost unconsciously when they came. We got home and as I was telling him I thought things were really happening, I felt a sudden gush of fluid. I am not kidding you, my tiny water really broke. (It is absolutely insane that the docs tell you to expect a “really bad period”.) I sat on the toilet and pink-clear fluid rushed out, followed by blood. In the next 2.5 hours, I had intense contractions followed by some giant blood clots that looked like liver. At the height of the pains, I delivered our tiny little underdeveloped baby, who looked just like one of those week-by-week illustrations of the 8 week mark. I moved into the shower and the placenta came. It looked just like a placenta (like in birthing videos and stories), and it was big! The size of my whole palm, plus some. I had immediate physical relief after a few more pains and expulsion of what I hope were the last of the clots. I was exhausted, but also so grateful that I could accomplish this at home. I was impressed by the process, and so happy that I could have this tiny taste of motherhood. It felt nice to be free from anxiety after all this time.
I delivered our tiny child just yesterday. We placed its body and placenta among the flowers in our backyard. Though I’m still healing physically, I believe that having a natural miscarriage at home is helping me to heal emotionally as well. No woman’s choice is wrong, however, but I feel it was best for me. I wish healing and love to anyone who must endure this loss.
So… just to describe my own experience thus far and hoping it might help someone else. Cross-posted this in a thread about natural m/c, here: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/184910/my-gawd-how-long-does-it-take-to-have-a-natrual-m-c
I am 42, one healthy child, this was a surprise pregnancy. No complications, I am in good health and all of my initial prenatal testing came back with flying colors. I had one TV ultrasound to date the pregnancy at 6.5 weeks and everything looked normal and healthy, a singleton.
At about eight or nine weeks into the pregnancy, I remember remarking to my DH that, despite my nausea and exhaustion, there were definitely times where I "didn't feel pregnant" over the last few days. I could sense a sort of vitality missing from my uterus, and I felt oddly detached from my baby. I would try to talk to my little bean, and there was no response, in the sense that there wasn't the feeling that there was a being there. And there had been, before. It wasn't the same absolute definitive feeling that I've had with knowing I had become pregnant, but it was different. I had been preoccupied with health insurance coverage problems and having to switch providers, so I chalked it up to tiredness and worry.
At 10 weeks into the pregnancy, on the day that my menstrual flow would normally have started if I were not pregnant, I began spotting in the morning. It was barely noticeable, light brown to pink, but continued throughout the day with a couple of small clots. I felt sad and panicked but also resigned to whatever process was going to happen.
That evening, when I stood up from the dinner table, I had a severe cramp in my mid-upper outer thigh. It felt like a bone-deep pulled muscle. It was very odd, and I did not think it was related to the spotting. Along with the pain in my leg came a sense of dread and mortality, and a lot of hypochondriac thoughts that I was dying or had cancer or had a fatal blood clot in my leg.
The second day, I felt two bouts of lightheadedness in the morning and cancelled my work plans. The strong cramp feeling in my thigh was severe enough that I went to urgent care, where a physician who knows my medical history reassured me that it was nothing serious. I twice passed a few small clots and a little bit of bright red blood, perhaps a quarter teaspoon each time. I prayed that it was some kind of minor hematoma and not the end of the pregnancy.
By dinner time that evening, I had developed "period" cramps in my lower back, glutes and perineal area that eventually became severe enough that I could not eat dinner. Some of the cramping could only be relieved through labor type meditation on the sensation. My DH gave me some labor type massaging and that helped. I also took a 10 minute walk outside, and that helped me to stay calm and relieved some of the stronger sensations. I had a sense of resignation. I struggled to find a comfortable position, often curled up in child's pose with back rounded and a pillow under my belly.
After an hour or so, essentially there was a mini contraction and it felt like water breaking. I spent the next several hours - basically the entire night - in the bathroom with more mild contractions, and expelled over several hours probably about 1 to 2 cups of bright red fluids, and tissue that looked much like my placenta from my 1st birth. It did not smell offensive, but the volume was incredible. It would come in waves at pretty regular intervals of several minutes, and then slow down. I didn't think to time it. At some points I tried moving the process along by bearing down and pushing a little bit, and would pass more tissue.
Eventually I brought a garbage bag into the bathroom, a roll of paper towels, and went through at least three rolls of toilet paper and five or six maxipads through the process.
I tried occasionally to read, to keep myself distracted from very painful cramping, but it was extremely difficult to concentrate. I had a sense that I was in "laborland" mentally.
It occurred to me a couple of times through the night that it might be helpful to try and pass the tissue into a collection bowl rather than the toilet, to be able to inspect it more carefully, but I didn't have the energy. I did, as others have mentioned, occasionally scoop some of the solid tissue out of the toilet by hand to inspect it. The placenta-like material was very firm and seemed to have a thick rounded lip on it. One particularly firm and large piece seem to have the shape of the fetus inside it. It was about an inch long with a longer tail-like strip along the back of it. I found myself marveling at the health of all this material. It felt like such a waste, my body had grown this huge healthy organ and it was being shed. I had vague thoughts of examining the material and the fetus-like mass further or trying to save it to bury, but I didn't feel the attachment strongly enough and didn't have the energy to figure it out logistically. I gave it my respect and my acknowledgment, we forgave each other, and I let it go.
I took periodic breaks when the flow seemed to cessate a little, and found that stretching out my hips on a yoga mat was really helpful at relieving the cramping. At one point, when I thought I was safely between contractions, I tried moving around the bathroom for a few minutes without a maxipad in place to get in the shower and clean up, and it was an absolute horror movie mess. Other than the appearance, the blood spatter on the floor caused a strong smell of blood.
I became extremely fatigued about halfway through the process, around 2am, when I tried cleaning up the sticky, scary mess on the floor. Bending down, combined with the now powerful smell of blood, caused me to feel nauseous and lightheaded. I took a break and drank some electrolytes, finished cleaning and got some sleep on the yoga mat.
I got up at 4:30 PM, needing to pee, and passed a very small additional amount of tissue. At that point, it seemed to me that it was finished. I felt an urge to "work" and "finish" the miscarriage.
Throughout the third day I experienced moderate bleeding (bright red fluid), much like a period, with more cramping that was uncomfortable but milder than many of my periods, which tend to be very heavy and severe. I probably went through 3 maxi pads. I tried to limit my activity, but still had to drive the car and run a few errands. Being on my feet was particularly exhausting. But the bone deep pain in my thigh that had preceded the m/c had completely resolved.
I contacted the very few people who knew about the pregnancy and let them know that it had ended. When they responded with kindness and sympathy it made me cry. It was as if I needed the confirmation of others to admit the pregnancy was over and grieve. I could feel my "happy" pregnancy hormones waning and my heart felt very heavy. At the same time, I felt so grateful that my body was rejecting what surely must have been an unviable fetus, and I felt a sense of connection to other women who have lost a pregnancy. This mix of upward release and downward loss, combined with needing to put a brave face on for most of the rest of the world, including my 1st grader, and employees and visiting family stopping in and out of my space, made it really hard to truly process or grieve, or express the deep and conflicted feelings. I actually curled up for a good cry a few times and like clockwork someone would show up other than my DH and I would have to put a brave face on things. Due to my age, and the early stage of the pregnancy, we had told few people about it, and particularly not some of our more gossipy friends, employees and relatives who had consistently expressed judgmental views to us about older women having "deformed babies" etc.
The following evening at around the same time, more severe cramps began again. I was awoken by a contraction in the wee hours of the morning and passed a bit more placental tissue, perhaps a tablespoon or two worth. Some of the contractions also yielded a clear slippery mucus.
The fourth day was easier, but I still felt quite sore with the need to rest. I could feel that my uterine and lower back muscles were exhausted. I spent most of the day sitting sort of balled up on the couch catching up with visiting family members, and occasionally passed a bit more tissue with frequent trips to the bathroom. The tissue was becoming less and less "alive" looking, instead they were 2-4" strips of brownish red tissue that appeared more broken down. Each time, there would be a sudden rush of flow that would send me running to the bathroom. I was at the end of the box of maxi pads, using about three but not 'filling' them. The flow was still bright red, with some small dark purple clots and some more clear mucus.
Later in the day, while running the afternoon errands, the opportunity finally arose for me to tell the visiting family what had happened, to explain my unusual lack of activity and ability to carry heavy items. They were kind and sympathetic. This brought a sense of a bit more emotional relief, but not release.
On the fourth evening, I experienced cramps higher up on my back, from below the shoulder blades to the top of the hips. A massage from DH did not help relieve it, and it was extremely uncomfortable but not sharp. Stretching helped a little, but it was a difficult area to stretch. After falling asleep exhausted, I was awoken again by a contraction at 3AM. I passed another piece of tissue on the toilet, this time something slippery, small and hard. It occurred to me that this may have been the sac with the fetus but I was too sore and tired to examine it, and thought that surely after a few weeks it would have been disintegrated. After another hour, the back pain stopped.
I have been drinking red raspberry leaf tea, trying to eat iron rich foods, and resting as much as possible while maintaining my routine of regular light, non-work activities such as shuttling my child to school and light house chores. My feeling of depression makes me want to exercise, but I feel like my physical body isn't ready to do that. I feel weak and anemic.
The one thing I am a little worried about is an infection. My home is --not-- a sterile environment. but, I am guessing that infections would be pretty rare, and perhaps more likely if you are in the hospital.