I'm finally feel emotionally ready to post this.
In November I miscarried naturally at exactly 11 weeks.
At 10w1d, I had some pink spotting out of the blue. The next day I had a routine appt with my MW, so I mentioned it to her and she did an u/s to check on the baby. She couldn't find a heartbeat nor movement, and estimated that the baby had died at around 8 weeks. She works in an OB practice, so protocol dictated that an OB come in to talk to me about what to do next. He pushed a d&c, but I refused. He said some things about how bad natural m/c would be and how I may end up getting a d&c in the end anyway, but I still refused. He left the room and I got to speak with my MW alone. She told me she fully supported my waiting to m/c naturally, that it would be what she would do too. She told me it would probably go just fine...but she warned me that it was going to hurt and would feel a lot like labor. She told me what to watch out for and what would warrant a call to her.
I continued some very sporadic spotting for the next couple of days, and all in all it took 5 days of waiting for the miscarriage to start. During this time, I came here and found this thread. I can't even begin to express how much I needed to read the stories in this thread! What a wonderful resource of information AND encouragement it was. I read every single story over the course of those 5 days of waiting, and I felt confident of my body's ability to handle the m/c when it finally happened. Finally, on the day I would've been 11 weeks pregnant, it began. This is the story as I wrote it the night after it all happened.
I’d experienced spotting all weekend, and it turned to light bleeding by bedtime last night, with mild cramping. I went to bed around midnight and slept well.
I was awakened this morning at 6:30am by strong rhythmic cramping. It intensified quickly, and by 7am, I was clearly having contractions. They came on top of each other for about 15 minutes, during which time I got up, and somehow managed to wash my face and brush my teeth. While brushing my teeth, I felt a distinct pop and an instant gush of blood and fluid. The pop and gush felt exactly the same as when my water broke with DS nearly 3 years ago (except that it didn’t flood the house
). I finished brushing and then walked carefully and woke DH up to ask for his help. More gushing. I knew that the process had officially begun.
I initially tried to handle it out in the main part of the house, since DH hadn’t awakened yet. But that soon proved to be too messy, so I moved into the bathroom. I began passing HUGE clumps of tissue along with more blood than I imagined possible. The blood was pouring into the toilet and sounded like I was peeing, but I wasn’t. Several of the clots were 5 inches long by 2 inches wide, although most of them were about half that size. They had the consistency of jello and the appearance of raw liver. The contractions that preceded these clumps were incredibly intense and wouldn’t let up until the tissue passed. Then there’d be a pause, followed by more contractions until the next round of tissue and blood began descending. (This is the part that, had I not had this thread to read beforehand, I would've been terrified that I was bleeding to death...I would've definitely gone to the ER had I not read all the stories here and found that it's normal and is totally what to expect with a natural m/c.)
Around 8am, I decided to get into the shower to clean some of the blood away. While in there, the contractions picked up significantly. Just like my MW had warned me, they felt exactly like the contractions from my labor with DS…the only difference was they were concentrated down around my pubic bone because my uterus was much smaller—but it was just as painful as middle stage labor. I felt my cervix dilating just like I did all during labor with DS, along with all the pressure and discomfort that accompanies the dilation. I was amazed that it was so similar.
For the next two hours, I stayed in the bathtub, alternating standing under the shower (during the let-up times) and crouching down on the tub floor on my knees and elbows (during the contractions and during the passing of tissue/clots). The contractions would hit for a few minutes at a time, during which time I’d hit the floor. They’d end with the passing of clots and blood galore, and then I’d stand up and let the shower wash all the blood away from my legs and from the tub. I’d stand there resting, until the contractions hit again. This cycle repeated over & over for those two hours in the tub. It was intense and raw.
Toward the end of the two hours, I spent most of the time crouched down on knees and elbows, as the contractions and expellations became constant and this was the only way I could manage them. I just stared at the tub floor and tried my hardest to make it through. I breathed, cried, and rocked back and forth to try and coax everything down through my cervix. I prayed for strength, protection, and for it to end soon. I kept telling myself that the process of miscarriage was engineered by God, just as a live full-term birth is, and I kept reminding myself to trust in the process he’d set up. It’s efficient, natural, and relatively safe for most women, and I kept telling myself I’d get through it just fine, just like I got through labor just fine 3 years ago without any intervention. I thought of all the millions of women throughout history who’ve miscarried, and I felt at one with every one of them…no doubt most of them got through it in the same way I was getting through it, and it actually felt somewhat empowering to feel the connection.
DH had been coming in to check on me at intervals. He was busy getting DS’s breakfast and then later, keeping him out of the bathroom. He came in at one point and told me it was 10am. My knees were hurting from kneeling on the hard floor of the tub, and I had the bright idea that I could get DS’s potty seat and sit on it. That way I could sit, but still be elevated so that everything could come out, yet still be under the hot water. I sat on that for about 20 minutes, enduring intense contractions like before, but at least my knees didn’t hurt anymore.
Then, at around 10:20, the contractions let up significantly. After a few minutes, I asked DH to bring me some cereal because I knew I should eat while there was finally a break. I was feeling a little weak and I was afraid this may be my only chance to eat before it all started back up again. I ate my cereal in relative peace, and started to wonder what happened to all the contractions, but I kept sitting there on the seat for a while.
At 10:40, I suddenly felt a strange fullness and pressure at the top of my cervix. It didn’t really hurt at all. I instinctively gave a little push to test it, and it moved downward. Suddenly it felt HUGE inside my birth canal…it felt almost exactly like DS did whenever he began descending, just not quite as huge as his big head (it’s amazing how I instantly remembered all those sensations!). I knew this had to be the sac/placenta, because it felt very solid and round compared to the jello-like consistency of the clots I’d been passing. I pushed again and felt it falling down, and then it came right to the opening and was sort of stuck. I could feel the stretching and was careful not to push too hard for fear of tearing something. I just let it come out on its own. In a few seconds, it slipped out of me and hit the bowl of the potty seat. I called for DH.
He came to me, and I stood up to see it. It was a ball of tissue, a little bigger than my fist in size. It was the sac, complete with the placenta surrounding it. We both realized what it was, and that’s when I completely lost it. I collapsed in sobs. I totally didn’t expect to feel the emotions that I felt at that moment, but I was hit with such grief, regret, sadness, guilt, and loss that I couldn’t even begin to contain it. I was also feeling such relief that it was over and that I had made it through all the pain and fear. From the moment I’d awakened this morning with cramping, till the moment it passed, was just over 4 hours.
After I’d cried for a long, long time, I got as cleaned up as possible. The bleeding had tapered off immediately after the placenta/sac has passed (it slowed to what would be a normal heavy menstrual flow). There was no more pain either; just the equivalent of regular menstrual cramps was left over.
After I came out, we took the placenta to the kitchen sink and looked it over. We peeled back the placenta to reveal the gestational sac, which was clear and filled with fluid. I gasped when I saw the baby, the actual fetus floating in the fluid. It was white, and when it bumped up against the wall of the sac, I could see its eyes—little black dots.
DH used a knife to cut a slit in the sac. The fluid spilled out, and I opened it up and there was our baby, right before our eyes. It looked just like all the pictures you see of developing fetuses. It was about an inch long, with a huge elongated head, little black eyes, nostril indentations, a mouth, ear buds, and with tiny little hands and webbed fingers. I couldn’t make out feet, but inside the abdomen we could see dark shadows of organs inside. It was breathtaking, heartbreaking, and awe-inspiring all at the same time. Never in my life would I have imagined it to be that perfect-looking. I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world went wrong. *sigh*
I held our baby for probably 20 minutes, intermittently staring at it in awe, and bawling. Then we both kissed it and then we put it in a ziploc bag and into the refrigerator. Later, when we can figure out exactly how we want to do it, we’re going to bury it here somewhere.
All day long I’ve been so proud of my body for how well it handled what had to be done. We have amazing bodies that are so equipped and efficient at what they were created to do! I’m so glad I didn’t get the D&C or take anything to interfere with my body’s natural process. It happened at the right time, and in the right way. And in letting it do so, I got to peek at a miracle. I got to actually hold in my hand the tiny little creature that was formed inside of me during the weeks before whatever went wrong, went wrong.
After that day, I didn't have any more cramping, but I bled like a regular period for about 4 more days. Then it lightened up and became spotting. The spotting went on until almost exactly 2 weeks after the m/c, and during this time, I had serious hormone crashes—hot flashes, migraines, dizziness, and overall feeling like crap. But it ended within that first 2 weeks, right about the time the spotting ended. I didn't ovulate that cycle. My period returned exactly 28 days after the m/c began, and it looks like I've just ovulated as usual, so I'm hoping I'm back on track now.
Thank you for reading. I hope that it can help someone in the way that many of these posts helped me.