Natural Miscarriage: My story of loss, emotions and recovery
I am currently going through a natural miscarriage. I apologize ahead of time, I’m wordy and it is difficult to be brief but hopefully my detail can help someone (possibly me) through their own trial. I see all kinds of miscarriage stories on the internet, from blogs to forums. Some are very PC (politically correct) and give only general details, some speak only about recovery, others are mothers who are anticipating the best, going through the worst, all who are TTC (trying to conceive) and sharing our unfortunate experiences with one of many of the most terrible side endings of pregnancy, miscarriage.
First, I want to thank you to all the women whose stories I have read, for your tremendous bravery in sharing your real, natural miscarriage stories. I’ve been all over the internet looking for something real and raw about natural miscarriage, not sugar coated and certainly not watered down. I’m so grateful for all of your stories. I have cried through them with you, sat in awe and empathized and sympathized. It has made my own current personal experience a little more tolerable. And even though I’m in pain, emotionally and physically and out feels like it’s almost indescribable, I am confident there will be an end. Although it seems so far away, too far to grasp and totally out of my reach right now. So I suppose this starts my experience if it will help anyone. If anyone can relate or learn from this experience. If it will help me self-heal. There will eventually be a time when I’m okay, When the pain subsides, the bleeding is gone, AF returns and we are trying again.
So I suppose this starts my experience if it will help anyone. If anyone can relate or learn from this experience. If it will help me self-heal. There will eventually be a time when I’m okay, When the pain subsides, the bleeding is gone, AF returns and we are trying again.
I feel selfish to think of trying again, the miscarriage is still happening. This little nugget didn’t stand a chance and it was SO wanted, this pregnancy was very wanted and desired. I almost feel guilty reading and wanting more. We are a blended family. I was an only child, DH came from a large family. We both had previous marriages. Me twice, him once. I had/have 5 healthy children, 2 miscarriages. He had/has 2 healthy children. I had my tubes located, snipped/burned and we wanted kids together and I had a tubal ligation reversal. We have a miraculous, rambunctious, beautiful, healthy baby boy who is now 2. We both still want a large family. And I feel terrible I’m complaining about a loss when I have SO much to be grateful for and I am grateful for… We just were so happy with THIS pregnancy ( I miscarried also last year and had a D&C at 11 weeks, 8 weeks gestation).
I knew, I just KNEW I should have waited to tell my job and my family until after 12 weeks, or at least after the first appointment. But I was having the “symptoms” and it was hard to hide rushing to the bathroom for vomiting and diarrhea and using someone to cover me at my desk (I work at a college in enrollment/financial aid). So I went ahead and announced it, and they were excited… no babies had been born in the department in a couple of years. This Friday was the doc appt., we didn’t make it until then.
This past Thursday, Mar 30, I felt cramping and saw light pink. I knew cramping was part of early pregnancy and that bleeding was sometimes ok. It could be implantation bleeding. I justified. The cramps were getting a little stronger and I noticed most of my pregnancy “symptoms” have all but disappeared. No sore breasts, no nausea/vomiting, no diarrhea bouts, no headaches. We should have been about 8-9 weeks, again I justified that it was just “over” and I was having an easy pregnancy.
Until I got home.
Cramps were stronger when I got home from work. I walked upstairs to our bathroom and the bleeding was more. I told my husband to have our older daughter watch our youngest. And head to the hospital. We went to one of our nearby hospitals, not much of a wait in the ER and then to the room. The physician on call stopped in, said his hello’s, checked my heart, lungs, pressed on my belly and said he ordered an ultrasound. At this point, I had reserved myself to knowing it was a miscarriage. My poor DH was hopeful, he went through the scare of implantation bleeding fiasco with our son and thought everything was going to be okay. It wasn’t. The tech came in, in the US, they generally, as a rule in the emergency room don’t let us see the sonogram. Some do, most don’t. They did the vaginal Ultrasound in the room, my hubby positioned himself so he could try to see. He has no idea what he was looking at. The tech was nice enough, she talked about our kids, and how she also came from a big blended family, but NOTHING on the fetus/baby. Just apologies when she switched to the belly and pressed hard to try to find my ovaries. No vaginal exam, the doctor gave me a choice and I opted no, I was discharged with threatened abortion (miscarriage) rest, follow up with OB and a doctor’s note until Tuesday.
The OB got me in the next day and did another vag US. It was my first time with this OB, and while he is a little quirky, he was amazing. He apologized for the ER not showing is (I understood why, but he knew we wanted to be informed). He showed us the sonogram and step by step explained what was happening. He didn’t say blighted ovum but from what I read I understood it as such. Gestational sac 7 wks + 4 but no fetus in sight, he explained it might have just been “sucked back in”. He could see the yolk, the sac, everything intact and to wait it out. Since I already had a dilation and curettage, D&C from our last miscarriage within the last year, he said to try to do it naturally, we DON’T want to “cause” issues unless absolutely necessary. Especially since we don’t see the baby and if it’s in there, it’s only about 2cm long. He said to prepare for light labor pains, bleeding, heavy period, nothing spectacular for my students to see and I could return to work next week. He was SO wrong on this one.
We left the doc office in a little higher spirits. I felt relieved almost. I’m sorry if this harms any of you who HAVE had to go through this experience and empathize. I had DnC’s for my pregnancies that carried longer and had older fetuses because they were missed miscarriages and I had trouble expelling. I was devastated and felt like my body was a failure for not working, which I know now was wrong, itches to do with HCG and the body taking over for the 1st 12 weeks and then the uterus determining if it’s viable when IT takes over. My body was protecting me and the babies before, and it was only a matter of time. I knew with this one I wouldn’t have to look hard for a baby, I wouldn’t have to bury the baby, I wouldn’t have to grieve as hard or have imprinted in my brain what would have, could have. My body does know what to do, it can function and protect itself and dispose all on its own. So we prepared to wait, we didn’t have to wait too long.
I was hungry, I hadn’t eaten most of the day, save a few grapes and a cup of water in the morning after preparing the younger kids for school. I was worried they would schedule an immediate D&C, so I didn’t want to have to wait because I had eaten. We went to Five Guys. I stood in line, ordered, and waited, got my Mr. Pibb drink. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give it Away played in the background and I tapped my feet and mouthed along the lyrics. All seemed just slightly normal. I sat in the car with hubby, ate the fries and 1/4 the burger while he searched for food for himself and had a horrible feeling of having to make a bowel movement. The nearest store… a Circle K. Great! I had no choice it was there or the car, there I was lightly bleeding, “going” in the bathroom and praying and crying HARD that I didn’t miscarry in a gas station bathroom. I didn’t and as things eased (I was lucky enough to have wipes in my purse) I ran to the car.
We picked the baby up from daycare, I stayed in the car and DH got him. I could feel the contractions increasing and quickening. I was in tears. I could feel slight increases in the flow but NOTHING significant, yet. I felt a popping sensation and yelled to my husband “SPEED!” Minutes later I started feeling gushes of liquid. I leaned the chair back and sobbed. I didn’t want to move. My one pad I had on soaked up some of the liquid but it was quickly becoming too much. In between contractions, I called my daughter to come downstairs to get the baby out of the car seat, I wasn’t going to make it. Hubby stood me up out of the car and 1, 2, 3 steps I felt everything explode. My underwear, pad, and pants were soaked with blood. Everything else I had on was lifted off as I made my way up the stairs.
I sobbed at every step. Uncontrollable sobbing and tears that never seemed to end. I just kept hearing DH say, keep going, I’ve got you, I’ll take care of it all. I sat on the toilet and before I landed, the first huge clot fell out on the floor. I sat and cried while my insides expelled. DH undressed the bloody clothing, wiped everything up and disposed of it. I didn’t ask him to look, he didn’t look. I almost forgot this must be as distressing for him as it is for me, he is basically watching his wife hemorrhage out the remains of our pregnancy. I climbed into the shower to rinse the blood off of my thighs and legs and area. As contractions came, more clots expelled. I would sob, my husband would reach in with a baby wipe and remove it and place it… wherever he was placing them. I could hear our son trying to get to us from downstairs. The little intuitive nugget, he didn’t know what was happening but he knew his mama and dada were distressed.
As things subsided, I must have spent 3 hours on the toilet, feeling like I was going in and out of consciousness, leaning on the sink. It must have been about 9 pm on Friday evening. I placed two overnight pads and laid down finally, to what I thought was going to be rest. My 2-year-old came and lay with us, he wanted to nurse, I felt guilty refusing his comfort nursing but I couldn’t muster the energy. My husband held him and rocked him to sleep. About 1Am another round of contractions, stronger than the first and more clots expelled. I almost went to the ER but no heavy, heavy bleeding, no fever and no foul smell, just labor pains, and clot expelling. So I took 2 Advil and hoped it would subside the pain just enough to rest again. I’m emotionally exhausted, more than labor because this is loss and physically exhausted.
At this point I don’t want to move, every pain leads to cramping, every cramp leads to a clot, every clot leads to more bleeding. I stayed near the bathroom all Saturday. Sunday I began moving more normally around the house. It was refreshing to not feel confined to my room or to the bathroom. I swept a little, folded clothes, tried to do a little Sunday routine and planned to head to work on Monday. Until around 11 pm Sunday night. Right uterine or ovarian pain, so bad. More clots and pieces of bluish and purplish tissue like clots. Did I do too much? Is this the broken down placenta that people have referred to? I called out again today, I’m scared to death of bleeding so heavily at work and having to rush home anyway. I rang my boss in the morning and had to explain natural miscarriage to him. I do love my job, he was very understanding and after explaining said that I may need a few days out, to just let him know after I see my doctor. I contacted my OB office and spoke to the nurse, who is a gem. She explained it could take, sometimes, up to 3 weeks. She relayed briefly her own experience with miscarriages and everyone is different. That the first “bout” of clots and bleeding may not always be the only or the last. She convinced me that if I’m taking off work, it’s best to see him now instead of waiting for our follow up on the 10th of April. So I go in today, still mild cramping and light clotting. I’m assuming to see if there are any “retained products of conception” and if everything is moving along okay. I’ll update to let you know the what’s, when’s, where’s and how’s when I find out from my OB today.
Update: I visited with my OB today, having pains still on the right side of my uterus. Today felt a bit more rushed and put off. I opted for a 2:50 appointment and waited to be seen until around 3:20 as women with viable pregnancies moved from waiting room to room. I was in tears at times, from pain and didn’t want to distress any of the others mom’s to be, so my husband asked how long for our room, we had been waiting a 1/2 hour. They responded in to say a room was being prepared. I sat and waited. The nurse came in and took my blood pressure and got nurse details of what I was going through. She suggested he might have to exhume (?), I didn’t ask for details, although I assumed what it might mean and figured if the OB needed to do it, he would explain it beforehand. She left and I briefly waited some more. I could hear the doctor in the hallway speaking to a student (who they asked if it was okay to come in the room with the doctor and I consented).
He came in and I almost felt reprimanded. He first stated he didn’t see anything outside of the norm. No exam, no feeling of my belly, no ultraSound, what is he seeing? I’m frustrated, I’m scared, this is my first time going through this type of natural miscarriage. His speech involved statements like, I explained the last time what was going to happen right? You seem to be following the exact things we spoke about right? There is nothing outside of the norm here. I’m looking to my husband for responses, the pain is coming in waves, I’m tearing up and frustrated, and writing this all off as me being pretty emotional and extra sensitive. I get it, my cervix is open, the risk of infection is high, uterus manipulation can cause things like placenta not breaking down correctly, retained product, which could cause more issues. But I needed these explanations from him, not from my knowledge of internet research. He explained I was probably experiencing more pain than expected (no shit, captain obvious). We asked a few questions, he gave me a doctor’s note for work missed and offered pain killers. I declined, I’m taking extra strength ibuprofen at home. He explained nothing will remove ALL of the pain and did reassure us again, things were ok and ordered bloodwork for Hcg levels.
After leaving the exam room, I got a bad cramp and went to the ladies room and passed more bluish gray and clotty tissue. The office didn’t seem interested in asking me to retain any clots from the beginning, so I opted to flush after my very uncomfortable DH watched me briefly inspect it (it was on the wipe I used, I didn’t dig in the toilet for it). We rescheduled my original 4/10 appt to 4/24, so things could progress and end. The office returned my call today, my HCG levels are lowering, as expected. Increased bleeding, clotting and pain, is as expected. I am ready to return to work and put this, this experience, this whole fiasco behind me, grieve, mourn, and heal.
Mind you, I still adore my OB/GYN and his office, and I still know I am an emotional wreck at this time, and I also recognize that sometimes no emotion/concern or low emotion/concern for a grieving, borderline snapping to hysteria, miscarrying mother is probably the best response in the case where everything is happening so quickly and there is no need to worry.
I’m still committed to this, hopefully without complication. I’m hoping this is my body’s way of fixing itself and realigning physically. I will be spending a good portion of the next few months realigning my spirit also, through deep meditation and prayer. I’m a firm believer that a healthy body can’t exist without a healthy mind. Then maybe, before that final clock ticks… this will be a more positive story to share.
I plan to do an update in the future. Please feel free to leave a comment and review the resources I have shared below.
Until then, Peace.