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Thread: My Gawd, how long does it take to have a natrual m/c?? Reply to Thread
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04-30-2014 09:44 AM
shamumama So… just to describe my own experience thus far and hoping it might help someone else. 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 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 I tried moving around the bathroom for a few minutes without the maxipads in place to get in the shower and clean up, and it was an absolute horror movie mess.

I became extremely fatigued about halfway through the process, around 2am, when I tried cleaning up the sticky, scary mess of blood spatter on the floor. Bending down 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 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 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.
04-30-2014 09:26 AM

I'm sorry you are going through this. Do you know when the development stopped? I think things can be very different depending on the size of the embryo but also the length of the pregnancy. My losses at 6 weeks and (almost) 10 weeks were very different from each other, despite the fact that they were of similar gestational age. My uterus had filled up with blood and I passed a lot of large clots with the latter. The first one really was like a period + the sac.


You might find this thread useful as well:

04-30-2014 09:06 AM
shamumama Yes. I am at 10weeks in the midst of a natural mc and this was the only thread I came across that helped me understand the time frame, what to expect physically etc from the experience. I thought others might find it helpful. When I asked him, my OB looked at me like I was a dunce and said it would be 'like a period"... Umm... no.
04-30-2014 07:45 AM

Why are you bumping a thread from 2004/05? Are you going through this now, shamumama? Do you have questions?


I will say that I believe my last pregnancy was a blighted ovum and I started to miscarry around 9 weeks.

My previous pregnancy stopped developing at 7.5 weeks and I lost it at 11 weeks.

My first pregnancy was lost spontaneously at 6 weeks and it looked like what the OP eventually described. I believe that was a blighted ovum as well.

04-30-2014 03:45 AM
shamumama Bump
01-08-2005 12:59 AM
Sleepymama Just adding my experience--I started spotting at 8 weeks, very light off and on for 3 weeks, with cramping and some mucus plug-like stuff. I confirmed no heartbeat at 10 weeks. My midwife kept advising me to wait it out, that many women take up to 6 weeks after the baby dies before a natural miscarriage happens (usually around 12-14 weeks). Finally at 11 weeks I could not take it anymore, and took cytotec (suggested by OB). Had some major cramps that night, and slightly more bleeding the next day, not even as much as a period. 2 days later woke up in a pool of blood, almost passed out, went to ER, waited forever, bleeding slowed on its own but I hadn't passed anything but a bit of placenta, so had a D&C. They said it looked like the baby stopped developing at 9 weeks.

My body didn't want to give up, I think. This was in the end of september.

I am positive I o'd 2 weeks later, and have had short, heavy, and crampy periods since (and I have a urethrocele now as a result of the cytotec. I wish I had waited it out, but at the time I just couldn't). We started TTC again after that 1st AF. I have been sick a lot this fall, and not entirely in the best place mentally, so I'm sure that's why I haven't gotten PG again yet.
01-04-2005 11:59 PM
jenangelcat Lets see... I started spotting on the 18th of December. Confirmed no heartbeat on the 20th. Passed the "baby" on the 23rd. Passed the placenta at the hospital after I started pouring out blood on the 30th. And today the 4th of January I am still bleeding a little bit lighter than a regular period. The cramps and bleeding have been very sporadic during this time some days, no cramps, little bleeding, others intense cramps followed by tons of blood. I've been going for about 2 1/2 weeks and I've heard it can last a a lot longer than that.
01-04-2005 09:20 PM
*Amy* For those of you who have chosen a natural miscarriage (or are considering it), I thought it might be helpful to know that I have only now passed the majority of tissue from my miscarriage on August 1st of 2004 (so, five months ago). Granted, I chose not to have a D&C or use any synthetic hormones, but I had absolutely no idea this could happen. I have even ovulated and had 4 periods since that time, and could not figure out why I wasn't able to get pregnant again.

My GYN assured me that this is not abnormal for natural miscarriages.

I just wanted to let y'all know because it was a pretty big shock to me. I don't regret my choice to let it happen naturally, though.
11-09-2004 08:08 PM
*Amy* It's been forever and I was just wondering how the rest of you non-D&Cers are doing. I had a very light and short period on 10/16 and then started another very normal one on Sunday, so I feel I can finally say my body is back to normal. It took about 3 months overall, but I am still glad I chose to do it naturally - although I didn't have any major side-effects like I know some of you did.

So...we're trying again. Send lots o'baby dust our way, especially around the 21st of this month!!

08-25-2004 01:27 PM
Karennnnn The weirdest thing.
My ob's office called today to check up on me and told me that if my bleeding increased to call them back, etc etc. My bleeding did seem to be tapering off but is now more drippy and that kind of stinks.
I'm going to take it easy the rest of the day and take the evening off (I work at night). I think I was doing too much too soon.
I passed the placenta, etc on Monday and actually was out that night buying shoes for my sister's wedding. Then yesterday I did work.
I feel like I'm not out of the woods yet and definitely don't want intervention but of course I will if need be.
I did talk to my midwife yesterday and I don't think I posted this, but she said that as long as I didn't have a d&c, I still have my uterine lining, which makes it safe to ttc as soon as I wanted. She said if I had had the procedure and gotten pregnant right afterwards, I could have an accretia which could in turn cause me to lose my uterus altogether which is a no go!!! So be aware of that... I'm sure that the obs would tell people that, but if not, there it is.
Well that's about it! I hate calling out of work, even if it's for a good reason. It makes me feel really icky. But I guess it's better to rest than to bleed out!!!!!!!
Take care,
08-25-2004 11:54 AM
*Amy* Yay, thank you for this thread, Karen!

I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum on 8/1 (at 11 weeks with betas at 40,000) and I chose to avoid the D&C. I started bleeding on 8/3 and it was mostly light and spotting for several days, and then I began to pass clots and have some mild cramping. I had another ultrasound on 8/9 and the gestational sac was still intact, but my betas had dropped to 9000, so I kept holding out for the natural miscarriage. Another 8 days of mild bleeding and passing clots, but I was never aware of passing any tissue or the sac itself.

The bleeding stopped on 8/15 and I started to feel much more like a normal person again (my betas were down to 490 on 8/23), but for the past couple of days, I am feeling intensely premenstrual. My breasts are heavy and tender, I'm *very* rritable, and really tired. I am not sure if this is related to my HCG dropping or if I am going to have something like a period again so soon, but my midwife did warn me that I might bleed for a while, and then start up again a couple of weeks later.

I will have another beta test on 9/6, which I expect will be back down to zero. If it has plateaued, I'll have another ultrasound to be sure that all of the tissue has passed.

Right now I'm just tired of feeling like crap. I am really grateful that I had the miscarriage naturally and avoided surgery, and so far it appears that there are no problems...but I know I will feel so much relief when I get back to having regular cycles, and after a few months, TTC again.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for posting armonia; I was really wondering if anyone else had started bleeding again within a couple of weeks.

For everyone else, my heart is with you. This is a crappy experience, no matter whether you choose natural or D&C.
08-23-2004 07:04 PM
Originally Posted by Karennnnn
Thanks Joan... Hugs to you too.
I am amazed at how good I feel now and I know I should rest even though this is how I feel.
I'm glad that you feel well, just be careful. I felt really good this a.m. and decided to go to the store for a couple of things. I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch with cramps and generally feeling exhausted. So, just go easy on yourself and listen to your body.
08-23-2004 07:01 PM
Karennnnn Thanks Joan... Hugs to you too.
I am amazed at how good I feel now and I know I should rest even though this is how I feel. What's strange is that I thought I felt fine before.
I went back to look at the tissue again because I wanted to see the empty sac. I actually found it. Somehow I knew where it was and blam, there it was. It was pretty tiny, like the size of a large grape, and it brings into perspective how amazing life is, how it takes an actual huge ORGAN to sustain the life of something so tiny (My sac stopped growing at 6 weeks). Or something potentially so tiny in my case.
Now I am preparing myself for the hormone withdrawal. Wah.
Take care,
08-23-2004 06:44 PM
SagMom Oh Karen!

After my post on Sat. my cramps began to feel very much like labor. In the evening, I had what felt like a contraction (how cruel) and passed a lot of tissue. I thought that it was over, but then over the next couple of hours began passing more...stuff--I had no idea it would be that much--the amount of bleeding really concerned me and we ended up making a trip to the ER. Fortunately, the flow slowed on its own, and the ER doc/nurse were supportive of my wishes to avoid a D&C unless absolutely necessary. We went home around midnight and the last of it passed around 2 a.m.

I never expected it to happen like that either--I figured it would be a heavy period with smallish clots.

Rest as much as you can, Karen. I hope you feel well soon.
08-23-2004 05:30 PM
Karennnnn Wow. Talk about wierd!!!!!!!
Today I began having cramping that felt like early to mid labor. So I stayed in bed and put a dvd on for my son.
Long story short, I felt something happen after one contraction and then they stopped and went back to mild cramping. I went to the bathroom and what seems to be the whole thing plopped out. It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my LIFE!!!! Hopefully whatever it is (I'm assuming a placenta and sac together?) is intact and nothing is left that can't come out easily on its own.
I didn't expect this; I really expected clots, etc.
Anyone else experience this?
I'm relieved now; I feel like now we can move on.
Take care,
08-21-2004 11:54 PM
mclisa Hello Karen. I found this website shortly after miscarrying and found the women here to be very supportive. I hope you find what you need as you deal with what's happening.
I think my m/c happened as you expected. I had some light spotting on a Thursday. Then on Friday I had horrible cramps. I took 4 motrin and it didn't even touch it. It felt so strong. Still very little bleeding. I had an u/s that afternoon which only showed a thickened endometrium. I had some bleeding on that Saturday. Then on Sunday the floodgates opened. Very heavy and I passed several large clots as well as tissue, but no pain. I had lighter bleeding the rest of the week and it finally resolved on that Thursday. Though the following Sunday I spotted again, but nothing else.
08-21-2004 10:02 PM
armonia I started bleeding on a Sunday, it got heavier over the next few days. Not really any cramping at all. On Weds. I felt very odd...but it wasn't really cramps (this is the day I think the baby came out), still bleeding w/ smallish clots. The next Friday, I had a vaginal ultrasound that indicated the baby was completely gone. I bled for another 9-10 days, total of 14 days of bleeding. I never really had cramps.

Bleeding stopped, then 10 days later I had 5 days of bleeding, 2 days were very heavy. I was told it was my period already returning, but I am not sure.

I am so sorry for your loss.
08-21-2004 08:35 PM
Originally Posted by Karennnnn
Wow Joan we have a lot in common. Looks like we shared a due date too!
Are you planning on TTC soon after?
Did you also have a blighted ovum?
Karen, we haven't used birth control in a very long time--first we were not preventing, then for about 2 1/2 years we were actively ttc. I don't know yet what we'll do when this m/c is over.

I didn't have a blighted ovum--we saw the baby on the ultrasound, but at 9 1/2 weeks she was only measuring 7 weeks, and, of course, there was no heartbeat.

I've never had a problem carrying to term before, but I am an "older" mom so the clock is ticking...I guess we'll just wait and see what happens.
08-21-2004 07:02 PM
Karennnnn Wow Joan we have a lot in common. Looks like we shared a due date too!
Are you planning on TTC soon after?
Did you also have a blighted ovum?
I'm having this overwhelming voice in my head that says to ttc as soon as I know I'm ovulating. I don't know if this is impatience talking or if it's the same voice that told me I had a blighted ovum right from the start of this pregnancy.
To keep things light I think I figured out why this happened. Remember how they did those rituals in the movie Weird Science? Then they tried again at the end of the movie to make a girl for their new friends and forgot the final step (hooking up a doll)? I'm saying this is what happened
When ttc my son I made my husband endure disc 2 of the Beastie Boys compilation cd. I felt like we had to do that for some reason lol.... So maybe we'll try that this time eh?
I hope everyone is feeling well today, if not physically, but spiritually.
Take care,
08-21-2004 03:13 PM
SagMom Shannon, Karen, I'm so sorry for your losses.

I began spotting on Wed. (I was almost 10 weeks.) This continued, off and on, through Friday. On Friday, I had some cramping and some bleeding with clots, then it went back to spotting and no cramps. A few hours ago, it picked up again--passing more, with cramping somewhere between a bad period and early labor.

I'm expecting that it might go like this for a day or two, then taper off, but I've never been through this before so I don't really know. My midwife was pretty sure that it would happen before Monday.
08-21-2004 01:08 PM
Isfahan Hrmm... my midwife - naturopath has given me some herbs to take and will be doing acupuncture on Tuesday to help the process along. She said that the dosage is critical and its obviously important to have the care of a naturopath while taking them. I was 9 weeks but had no spotting at all.

I'm starting on a low dose that she thinks will start the process but not bring on cramps yet. She's also given me an anti-haemoraegic (sp) to take on her instructions if I am bleeding too heavily.

Like you, I want to avoid a D&C. Not because of the risks of the procedure at the time but because they sometimes damage the cervix. Plus, I just don't want to have any procedure at my Ob's right now. I just feel emotionally like avoiding the place (much as I loved my OB last time).

08-21-2004 12:51 PM
Karennnnn I found out last Monday and at that point I was a few days shy of 10 weeks.
I was planning on using a midwife too for a homebirth. I never got to make an appointment with her since she wants you to wait till 12 weeks. I knew why then and certainly know why now!
I decided to see an ob in case I needed to have a d&c afterwards. That way I'd have someone familiar working on me!
But anyway, she told me that she didn't think it would be long since I had already started cramping, but since that stopped that's why I was wondering.... She said most of the time they give people about 3 weeks or so; usually they find out because of a sonogram that was NOT prompted by bleeding, so that's why. Since I had already started she seemed to think that within the next week it would happen.
Just so bizarre how I can be bleeding like this without the cramping! But maybe it really isn't that bizarre!!!
08-21-2004 12:42 PM
Isfahan Hi Karen
I have no answer to your question but am interested in other's experience. I am kind of waiting (hoping) to start bleeding after we found my baby had no heartbeat and stopped growing at 6 weeks.

My midwife said it is common to have 4-10 hours of cramps and heavy steady bleeding followed by much less flow tapering off over a week or more.

I don't know how different that is based on where you are in the first trimester. How many weeks along were you when you found out about the Blighted ovum?

08-21-2004 12:09 PM
Karennnnn I actually haven't been waiting too long since I found out that I had a blighted ovum (this past Monday).
Since then, I had one day where I was cramping really good for about a half hour and then it stopped. I'm bleeding like a period on the second day and have had no more cramping and I'm not passing any clots of notable size.
Am I going to maybe just explode without warning? Is *this* the m/c??
I would have been 10 weeks this week.
I'm sort of on edge after reading stories and hearing personal experiences. It seems like a lot of women suddenly just begin to m/c, without warning.
I really thought it would begin with cramping, I'd bleed, then bleed a whole lot and it would feel terrible, and then it would slowly taper off within a few days.
I guess that's what it's like in a perfect world.
I think also like most women who go through this I feel like rushing things along so I can get on with ttc again.
It's very strange, I don't feel sad exactly.... Very put out if that makes any sense.
On top of all of that, my car broke down yesterday. I'm sitting there with my almost 4 year old thinking "My car broke down and I'm going to possibly bleed out right here during the whole thing." It was in a comical way. It was the only time next to when I told my little guy about there being no baby that I really wanted to cry.... That brings me to another ? that I'll post in another thread; how did you tell your little ones? But if you want to answer look for the other thread....
Take care mommas,

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