Need advice re: miscarriage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I am new to the Mothering forums, having found this while trying to find answers about my current situation. The women are amazing here with offering support and advice.

I want to preface this by saying that if I am stepping out of my bounds asking this, I totally understand that one might not be able to answer. I am just desparate.

My husband is an Army SGT. and we are stationed at Ft. Richardson, Alaska. I will be 16 weeks tomorrow with a child who apparently passed away at about 13.5, almost14 weeks. According to the ultrasound measurements, she measured about 13 weeks. The doctor for some reason is telling me that she was a 12 weeker and thus this is an early miscarriage. I charted previous to this and KNOW when I became pregnant, I also know that it was 13.5 weeks that I last heard a strong heartbeat from her (154 bpm). 3 days later it was confirmed that she had passed away. I heard her heartbeat at home with a doppler that I had rented.

Well after having waited to find a doctor that I would feel comfortable performing a D&C, since I have not been having a lot of luck passing the baby on my own, this last one was not understanding at all. She scheduled the D&C for my son's birthday. She told me that it was an emergency that we have it done as soon as possilbe but apparently not an emergency enough to be done in the day or two following my appointment. I understand scheduling conflicts but I cannot reconcile this. I am in constant pain, there is a constant ache in my back as if a period is going to start, similar to the pain that made my healthcare provider suspect endometriosis. There is occaisional sharp pain in my back and groin shooting upwards and down the full length of my legs. I spotted a bit this past Sunday night and the weekend before, it seemed as though the miscarriage was about to happen but then stopped as soon as I got to the ER.

I really don't want this doctor performing the D&C, much less on my son's birthday but she is unwavering. Mainly because I had the D&C scheduled for last Tuesday but canceled because I had numerous questions that the doctors apparently refused to answer in the days leading up to the surgery. For some reason, there was a breakdown in communication at the hospital and no one was told. So throughout my appointment, despite my having explained that I did inform the clinic, she kept telling me that I had wasted their time last week. And also that for some reason that week and a half between the first scheduled D&C and the second made the procedure much more dangerous because of the baby's bones. Don't know if that is true or not but she explained all of these additional risks that *I* imposed on myself because of waiting, like further infertility (we tried for 19 cycles after my husband's vas reversal) and cervical incompetence, hysterectomy, etc. I don't know if that is true or not.

My question is this. Should I take black cohosh or something to help contractions start? Most of the risk, according to this doc is in dialating the cervix. Don't know if that is true or not either. If I should, how much should I take? I bought it in pill form because I have had a hard time stomaching anything. First that was from morning sickness, now it is from grief.

Thanks in advance. Again, if I am asking a question that is out of bounds, please let me know so that I know for future reference. I completely respect if this is not an appropriate discussion for this forum.


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#2 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 01:45 AM
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First let me say that I am sorry that you are going through this. My thought and prayers are with you.
I had a simialr experience. I thought that I was 15 weeks and I had some spotting actually a big gush of blood. The measurments said that I was oly 13 weeks along. The baby had died about two weeks earlier. I decided with the help of my Doc that I would do everything at home. We found out Jan 27th, and I passed the baby on Feb 11th. I did take black cohosh. Prescribed by my Doc. I took the liquid form. Do you have the current issue of Mothering? There is a great article about miscarriages and The need to grieve. If you do have the d&c make sure you get to see your baby. If you want to. This helped me tremendously. I can't tell you how much better I felt about the whole experience. Good luck to you
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#3 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 02:21 AM
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I am sorry for your loss. I also experienced miscarriage at about the same time in my first pregnancy - 13 wks. I opted for the D&C simply because it wasn't a very stable situation on the homefront, and I much rather wanted to do it somewhere I felt comfortable. I had my D&C two weeks after the baby died, and this was almost six years ago.

I am sorry that I cannot give you advice about taking the black cohosh -- I did read about it a bit during the week after, but can't recall the specifics of dosage and procedure. I do, however, have a bone to pick with this Doc of yours. She sounds as if she lacks the compassion that should be exercised in your situation. I think you should get a-crackin' and read up, search on-line, etc. and try to find out information and become comfortable with how to use the cohosh as soon as possible (if you have enough time between now and the appointment--and if you aren't searching already), simply so you don't have to see that doctor again. You should be getting support and encouragement and information and options, not demeaning comments. Are there any other doctors you could interview, or have you already been down that road? Well....I wish you all the best now and for the future. Post again & tell how you are doing.

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#4 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 05:23 PM
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Hi! I forwarded your post to our group... and wanted to share their responses...

The Lord bless you,

--- In [email protected].., "babemidwife" <[email protected]..> wrote:
Dear Precious mom,
I hestitate to give you medical advice, because I dont know you or
your health situation, but all I can do is tell you what happened to
I was pregnant for the 3rd time. At about 14 weeks, my husband and
I went on a little vacation. While away from home, I began having
incredible pains shooting through my abdomen, so much so that it
scared me and all I could think of was my baby. I was taken to the
hospital, and they waited around, checked me out, took my blood,
finally did an ultrasound. And then told me they didnt know what had
happened. (At the hospital, I wasnt hurting much anymore). It was
suggested that maybe I had had an ovarian cyst that popped.They said
to see my care provider at home. But they also said "are you sure you
are that far along?" I knew exactly. It was my only planned
pregnancy. We drove home and I called my nurse-midwife. We talked
and she ordered an ultrasound for me and hormone tests, etc. to make
sure what was happening. I didnt have any more pain but did begin to
pass some clots occasionally. My hormone tests were normal. They
wanted be really sure the baby had died before making any decisions.
Finally the ultrasound day came, and the technician just coldly said
it looked like about 8 weeks instead of where I was at now 15+
weeks. Then he called it a blighted ovum and left. Finally, we made
the decision to have a D&C because the miscarriage wasnt happening
like it was supposed to. That evening I went into the hospital I
would have been 16 weeks along. At that point, shortly before going
in, I was becoming sick, and was developing a fever. That is the
only reason, I know that decision was the right one. I had the D&C,
and went through a couple of weeks of serious grieving, until I
realized that I will see my baby in heaven someday and that
everything was alright. I think it sounds cruel of them to schedule
a D&C on your son's birthday. I would not go along with it, either.
An emergency is if you are ill from it, such as the fever or
hemorrhaging. Maybe this will pass normally, or maybe it will not.
But I feel for you and you will be in my prayers.
Sincerely, Wendy
--- End forwarded message ---

Date: Tue Aug 27, 2002 1:40 pm
Subject: Re: [Godsbabycatchers] miscarriage


I grieve with you over this terribly difficult situation, and I sooooo hop ethat it will resolve itself naturally...however, having had several miscarriages of my own and also having cared for miscarrying women numerous times in my practice, I do have a few concerns to just share my thoughts with you about.

Wendy said: >>>An emergency is if you are ill from it, such as the fever
or hemorrhaging. Maybe this will pass normally, or maybe it will not.<<<

I have attended miscarriages as late as 19 weeks, and one thing I always keep an eye on when a pregnancy is retained after the babe's life has gone is Mom's clotting factors. DIC is a very real complication, though it does not occur often. It can be a simple thing to draw a blood sample and check clotting factors to be on guard for this while you wait.

I also have Moms take 20 drops of Echinacea tincture qid, and also 1,000mg vitamin C every few waking hours to guard against infection. Incidentally, this much C can trigger loose bowels, so if it does, just back the dosage off to 500mg at a time. Sometimes those loose bowels stir up some uterine cramping that works to your advantage as well.

I have, on occasion, used herbs to stimulate cramping/dilation when I was concerned about waiting any longer, such as if Mom has already been cramping and bleeding for a while without delivering her wee babe, or if her cervix feels particularly rigid and tightly closed. My favorite combination is 30 drops blue cohosh/15 drops black cohosh,/20 drops Angelica sinensis. I also like a homeopathic combo from NF Formulas called Matrigin, which contains (among other things) Pulsatilla and Arnica. I find these particularly helpful in keeping Mom calm and unafraid, and also with relieving the sharp pains and soreness that accompany an untimely labor. I have also used evening primrose oil rubbed topically onto the cervix if it is very rigid, and taken orally, one capsule twice a day until the delivery is completed.

I continue the echinacea and C for 5 days or so after a miscarriage, especially if I had to do anything much internally...I recall an instance of having to tease a 16 week placenta through a cervix that had previously had cryosurgery and thus had some rigid scarring impeding delivery. In such a case I like to cover a little aggressively for infection possibilities. Check Mom's temp at least twice a day, watch her pulse rate, check twice a day for abdominal tenderness, etc.

Tis is just generally how **I** have managed these types of situations. I would DEFINITELY NEVER suggest that a woman embark on this journey alone, but that you should have someone with you who feels confident handling your care...and have a plan in place for the possibilities of needing to seek hospital-based care if it becomes necessary.

I sure hope this helps...if not, or if I left any gaping/comfusing holes, please feel free to ask for clarification.

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#5 of 9 Old 08-27-2002, 05:31 PM
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Also, this is what the Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susan Weed says on completeing a miscarriage:


To complete a miscarriage, 1) have an experienced and skilled assistant with you, 2) have herbs which control bleeding on hand, 3) use 20 drops each or blue and black Cohosh tinctures every hour to empty the uterus. Do not exceed 5 doses.

To control bleeding, use 10-20 drops of Shepherd's Purse tincture or Witch Hazel tincture (not drugstore variety) under tongue as often as needed. (See pages 71-73)

Pages 71-73 are detailed discussion on hemorrhage and herbal treatments for hemorrhage...

I hope that helps some,

The Lord bless you,
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#6 of 9 Old 08-29-2002, 06:25 PM
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This is a reply to the woman who has yet passed her baby that died. I had a very similar story. I took the herb the tincture form. I also rubbed a reflexology point the webbing between thr finger and thumb. I passed my baby..whole in her sack with no complications, 30 hrs later.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-01-2002, 08:05 PM
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I don't have any advice for you but just wanted to say how sorry I am. I assume your choices are few in Alaska but is it possible to find a midwife or women's health care specialist? Your doc/hospital personnel do not sound very compassionate. Our insurance covers midwife care as well as women's health care specialists so maybe yours would too?
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#8 of 9 Old 09-05-2002, 04:35 PM
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I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you. I don't have much more to offer than the suggestions already given. But I understand how hard it is when the doctor you run into isn't very understanding. I had a CNM when I had my miscarriage, but they needed a MD to come in and do the ultrasound to make sure he was no longer living. When it was certain he had died, the Dr. said, "Oh, what a bummer." I've never been so angery in my life, and to have that emotion at a time that I was also the most saddened... it was too much to bear. I'm sorry you have to face a similar situation. I hope you are able to make some peace in your own time. And know we are thinking of you.
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#9 of 9 Old 09-06-2002, 01:31 PM
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Hey Anais,

How are you doing? I've been thinking of you. Hope all is well.
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