Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(378 Posts)
comeonbishbosh Wed 16-Nov-11 10:58:13

I?ve just had mc2, which has been emotionally more upsetting than mc1, but I coped a heck of a lot better on the practical side of managing it. And I realise that through the pregnancy books are full of tips on what types of sweets to pack in your hospital bag for labour, we?re pretty short of simple tips to make the sheer yuckiness of going through a miscarriage a little more bearable. I know there?s going to be big variations in people?s experience, and this is in no way to overrule any medical advice you get. But at least it might be a starting point.

For info, I had mc1 8 months ago, didn?t realise I was pg at the time (just come off breastfeeding DD, had massive problems conceiving before) but was probably 8-12 weeks. Didn?t realise it was actually a mc until a lot of mess later. MC2 was a few days ago, had a bit more notice as knew I was 8 wk pregnant, had been increasingly bleeding, and knowing a bit more what it was like through mc1. Neither time I needed to go to hospital.

So, this is what I would suggest helps from my experience, all offered as suggestions that may or may not apply to your situation!

1. Once you realise the bleeding has started in earnest, get home as soon as you can. You will probably need to sit on the loo for the next 1-3 hours, and that?s far nicer to do in the comfort of your own home.

2. If you need to travel in a car, sit on a plastic bag. (My 1st mc started at work, and by the time my DH came and picked me up in the car I had bleeding all down my trousers... it?s not glamorous).

3. Cancel everything, get childcare if you need it. The first time in the midst of the bleeding I tried to keep going, a builder came round to give me a quote for some work, DH went out on a pre-arranged cinema trip and I was putting DD to bed on my own. However hard it is to get a builder to quote, this was stupid priorities! Also, I now know best not to be left without another adult within shouting distance.

4. Settle in for the long haul. My mc2 was overnight, and I essentially camped out in the bathroom with magazines, world service on the radio, short scurries downstairs to make a hot chocolate. It was still horrible. But not unremittingly so.

5. Hot water bottles or hot wheatbags are great. And painkillers.

6. Get top quality sanitary pads, supersize. The maternity ones might be good for the first few hours if you can?t just sit on the loo, but they will make you miserable with their ungainliness. This is not a time to economise on the cheap versions.

7. If your mc kicks off at an evening or weekend, I found phoning my GPs ?out of hours? service loads more helpful, straightforward and kind than I have ever found NHS direct.

8. If take a pg test when you are miscarrying, it should come out positive. This is useful if, like me on mc1, I didn?t know I was pg at the time.

9. Take more time off work than you think. You are very much allowed to mooch.

Please do add any more tips. It goes without saying that I hope you and I never need these (again)?

FoofFighterYNWAJFT96 Mon 16-Apr-12 21:02:54

I've had the odd bit of livery stuff (not even a clot) come away, about one a day and I mced 8 days ago. if youa re worried call the midwife smile

FoofFighterYNWAJFT96 Thu 19-Apr-12 17:38:20

A very sad bump to the top for people needing to see this sad

Dillydollydaydream Fri 20-Apr-12 15:51:51

Very useful post thanks. Sorry for all your losses. I'm having a MC at nearly 6 weeks. I had a scan today following heavy bleeding and pain to be told what I'd already guessed.

My bfp was quite faint and I did 2 clear blue digi tests that didn't move from 1-2wks even after 5 weeks so I think maybe it didn't implant properly or failed to develop quite early on.
I go from feeling ok one minute to crying the next. I was looking forward to having a baby at Christmas but it wasn't meant to be sad

goldene Fri 20-Apr-12 16:02:54

I had mine on the train. Super horrible and inescapable, and with nothing with me. My saviour: waterproof cycling trousers. Hid everything. Worthwhile taking if you think this may happen to you.

WhatDreamsMayCome Fri 20-Apr-12 18:32:46

Gosh, goldene, how awful. You're very fortunate you didn't faint.

Fainting is uppermost in my mind as that is what happened to me. I never did make it to the bathroom as every time I passed through the doorway in the bedroom, the world would go black and I lost feeling in my face and hands and had to fall back on the bed. Given this, my tips are based on blacking out, preparing for it and preventing it from happening in the first place.

FLORADIX!! FLORAVITAL!! Sorry to shout but this is the magic elixir for me and saved me from being put on a drip in hospital. The iron is in liquid form and very absorbable. This stuff enabled me to eventually get to the bathroom without blacking out. A few days later when I was in A&E with a placenta issue, they took blood and the haemoglobin was on the lowest figure of the acceptable range and that was after consuming a whole bottle over the day of the miscarriage and the day after. You're only supposed to take 20ml a day but little and often if you are fainting every you get up, will be very restorative. I had been taking pre-natal vitamin with iron in them but if your starting point is low, they may not be enough to cushion you against the effects of miscarriage - getting your iron levels checked througout pregnancy is very important.

I will log in with some more tips regarding this a little later.

goldene Fri 20-Apr-12 20:42:54

Gosh, fainting. No, fortunately for me. But I can just imagine if I'd been leaking blood onto the train seats -- I can't tell you how grateful I was for those trousers. And they helped me to get through Kings Cross to a taxi so I could get home -- straight into the bath.

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 20-Apr-12 20:56:15

I love this thread. This is pretty much my experience and the advice you give should see anyone through the worst of it. Mine happened all at once and luckily I was at home near a toilet but I needed help because of the speed and volume of it all. I am waiting for another natural miscarriage so this advice is heartening. Thank you.

WhatDreamsMayCome Fri 20-Apr-12 23:35:31

Some other things that may help in dealing with miscarriage:

1) Have a big bottle of mineral/filtered water by your side. The further along you are, the more fluid loss there will be. Drink little and often.

2) In the build-up to it, a covered ice lolly is helpful. I put it against my forehead as I became hot and as it progressed, I ate it for glucose. Waitrose's cloudy lemon were an obsession throughout the pregnancy.

3) You may alternate feeling hot and cold so a lovely, velvety throw will keep your feet warm and if you are moving about on the bed, it's comforting to put your head down against something with a nice texture.

4) Keep some old towels to hand or mattress pad to protect your bed sheets and mattress.

5) Ensure that you have a charged phone by your side at all times and ideally have someone dear nearby that you can shout outto if they are not already there.

6) During blood loss, check the back of your neck, if it feels very cold, call 999.

7) Sorry if this seems gross, but have some dustbin liners, an old washing up bowl, latex gloves, wipes to hand as well as the trusty big knickers. If you can't get to the bathroom from fainting, well you have to ask someone to bring you dustbin liners to put on the floor, place the washing up bowl on top and urinate there. At the time I was so tired and needing to pee that dignity was not a priority.

8) A click and lock box - again not for the faint hearted but if it is your second or third miscarriage, try to collect the contents in a box, they may be able to analysis the contents or 'products of conception' as they term it.

9) When you can get to the bathroom, put down some paper before, you may regret not looking at and catching anything you think is the fetus/baby however small if you don't think it came out with the rush of what looks like chopped liver pieces. The latex gloves make it easier. Some people suggest using sieves and collanders, but I don't I'd have the forethought to go that far.

10) After it has happened and you feel like eating, bananas are great for lost potassium. I had foot cramps for quite a while afterwards, potassium is supposed to help.

11) Before you venture outside in public, test your strength - stand for 3 minutes by the side of a bed. If you can do so without feeling weak, you're probably not going to faint in public but keep well nourished.

12) Finally, don't be jollied along - just because you are no longer pregnant doesn't mean you are magically in your pre-pregnant state. There may be other contents that pass after the event, your cervix will be sore (a hard chair feels better than a slouchy sofa) and don't be persuaded to carry anything heavy until you have been examined as your uterus and pelvic muscles will be weak. The process can be sudden and feel violent so get lots of rest and hugs from your dearest.

heidipi Mon 23-Apr-12 16:50:32

I'm so grateful for this thread. Found it last night when started spotting and feared the worse - managed to get an early scan today that confirmed it, so now am waiting to mc but feel as prepared as I guess can, given what is going to happen. Am 11+3 but scan showed baby stopped growing at 8+3.

Feel terrible for poor DP, he was still really hoping for the best whereas although I broke down at the scan I think I actually knew.

But anyway thank you for the brilliant advice and taking the time to share, and so sorry for your losses too.

Lifegonewrong Wed 25-Apr-12 13:46:46

Thank you for this thread. I wonder if anyone can advise me.

I am about 6 to 7 weeks. Yesterday I started bleeding although I would say it is not heavy. Also all day I had cramping, quite painful at times. Today it is more like a low grade back ache. I have a scan tomorrow. Am I miscarrying? I P-edOAS, still positive.

Lynzw75 Wed 25-Apr-12 16:36:14

Lifegonewrong, I'm sorry you're experiencing these painful cramps. Unfortunately this doesn't sound good. You can still have a positive pregnancy test even after miscarriage as your HCG levels are still high. I had light spotting with mild cramps for 6 days before I miscarried with doctors being so positive telling me it was probably normal. A small light bleed may be implantation bleed but accompanied with cramps it is more likely to be miscarriage. Please feel free to keep posting as I, personally, have found this very therapeutic. Sorry I couldn't be any more helpful. Take care. xxx

heidipi Wed 25-Apr-12 16:39:54

Hello Life, so sorry you're going through all this worry. I didn't want you to go unanswered and someone who knows more may be along soon, but I'd say that only the scan can really tell, some people have cramping and bleeding but things turn out ok, so you may not necessarily be miscarrying. Pg tests are still +ve for a while even when things go wrong, so that doesn't necessarily mean good news though unfortunately.

Good luck for tomorrow - I really hope you get good news. x

Lifegonewrong Wed 25-Apr-12 17:44:47

Thank you both for answering. I thought that the test would still be positive but couldn't help trying it, looking for answers. tomorrow seems like a long time away, esp as I am on my own. Bleeding is light now but passed some clots or tissue. I don't know if there is more to come/ lots more bleeding plus pain to come. From what I have read everyone is different.

heidipi Wed 25-Apr-12 18:11:39

Hi - yes it seems everyone's experience is different, I've been reading lots of threads looking for clues as to where I am in this awful process. My scan was only 2 days ago but I seem to have been waiting (and bleeding) for ages, but not even any clots yet. Grim.

Is there anyone who can come and stay with you, or go to the scan with you?

Sending hugs to you, hang in there.

wilderumpus Sat 28-Apr-12 19:40:12

I thought I might post because I had medical management, so had my mc in hospital which was daunting in itself I think.

This thread helped so much, the one thing I was ridiculously grateful for was the wipes i took in. I used loads, if I hadn't had them I would only have had loo roll which would NOT have cleaned me. They made me feel human, so thank you, thank you for this thread.

I would also say take some music, take reading material - stuff you can read snatches of and not concentrate on, like a mag or papers, and your PHONE.

Take snacks, some crisps and biccies, as I found the 'contractions' came and went and I would actually find an appetite sometimes and it is good to be able to keep your strength and morale up. Though a food trolley comes round it is nice to have it there and you might not want to chat when it does come!

Don't worry if you are told to leave your 'products' (aw) in a paper bowl for them to look at, I had to leave it in the loo then tell the nurse when I came out which was fine by me (rather than walking round with it), and everyone was up to it (not for mc, but these paper bowls were omnipresent so I didn't feel like the gross freak I thought I would).

take a change of clothes in case, and some trackies/pj bottoms that are loose around your waist.

Take lots of water, pads, paracetamol and ibuprofen. I know you are in hospital but the nurses are busy and you don't want to be waiting for simple things! I found it brilliant that I was basically left to my own devices in my bay unless I needed anyone. This privacy and sense of independence meant a lot to me, as I felt I had forfeited that simply by having to be in hospital to do something so private.

All the best, am sorry anyone has to know these things.

wilderumpus Thu 03-May-12 15:49:52

bump

ej23 Thu 03-May-12 17:07:18

Thank you to all who have shared your experience on this informative and useful thread and so sorry for your losses. I am currently 10 weeks and having MC at home. Started spotting last night and had scan at EPU this morning where I found out the embryo stopped developing around 6-7 weeks. I now feel a lot more clued up on what lies ahead and think I definitely need to buy bigger pads! Am embarrassed to say i bought panty liners! Doh. No one has mentioned Raspberry leaf tea and I was wondering if this may help speed things up. Have put on shopping list in any case. Currently cuddling DS watching Scooby Doo and thinking us ladies get a bum deal.

spicymum Wed 16-May-12 11:20:13

Thank you so much to the op and to everyone who’s added their advice. It’s really sad that this thread exists and that you’ve all been through/are going through this. I have just had a natural mc (I wanted ERPC but they were not 100% sure from the scans, so I wasn’t allowed one even though I knew the baby had died). This thread helped me loads, both in a practical sense and also helping me know what to expect.

I just want to add that my experience was very stop-start - I had bleeding and bad period-type pain on Monday afternoon and then none of either all Mon night and Tues morning. This made me worry I’d had an incomplete mc - EPU were useless when I called them for advice. But then things started up again on Tues afternoon and I (fingers crossed) passed all of it in a couple of hours. Pain was bad but manageable with strong codeine, paracetemol and hot water bottle. Now Wed morning I have no pain and only a little bleeding.

Hope you are all doing ok x

Rebecca21 Fri 18-May-12 09:00:30

Hi, Not sure if this thread is still active but wanted to feel like I am not alone. For 2 weeks I have been having blood tests as having pains. HCG levels going up but not enough. Was called on monday and told pregnancy not viable. Went for scan tuesday (which was so awful sitting with all the excited couples waving their scan pictures around). There was a sac in the womb but also something on ovary. 4 hours later and more blood tests was told I was being admitted for emergency laproscopy as it could be ectopic. The surgeon went home so it was 12 hours later I found out I was still officially pregnant as they had only removed a cyst. They sent me home to await a miscarriage. Being monitored as they may have to interevne if HCG still rising. Feel in most awful state of purgatory. My body still acting pregnant. It was reassuring to know what it might feel like. It just feels like a very strange thing to have to do, to wait for this to happen.
Thinking of all of you who have posted here.

Claireedee Tue 22-May-12 11:55:16

Oh Rebecca, that sounds awful. How are you feeling now? I had the whole shared waiting room thing at my first mc - well, there was a sort of screen in the waiting corridor, they had tried, but it just hid faces not voices or activity. I'm currently going through my 2nd mc, trying to be stoic and get work done but am exhausted and had a lot of contraction pain yesterday.

I've been expecting this for weeks: although 'dating' scan (should have been 11 or 12 weeks, was actually more like 7) which confirmed it was 2 weeks ago I had 'known' for about 10 days, and told DH and the few family who we had told that I wasn't optimistic. I happened to be on holiday, and had a trip abroad with friends and kids booked. We went anyway, and I can honestly say that I was very glad of the distraction and the support of my friends, who i had told. Admittedly the drive back across northern France could have been more fun as the nausea and cramps started to kick in

Definitely need big pads, hot water bottle, time, space, quiet support, painkillers and, as it turns out, whiskey.

wilderumpus Thu 14-Jun-12 12:07:14

bump!

alwayshopeful13 Sat 16-Jun-12 20:40:14

Just found this thread 6 months after my mc but it's still so comforting. So good to know there's somewhere to find out the practical stuff that nobody told me.....not my doc ("call in the morning to try and get an appt"), to NHS direct (who were actually amazing....so comforting...but couldn't do much) to out of hours doc ("yes, go to A&E very urgently, bleeding means baby not in womb....not the most sensitive way of putting it) to EPU in Kings London (sorry, there's no heartbeat - we'll get you back in a week just to make sure everything "has finished"). So nobody explained what would actually happen, or what my options were (should have been). I was just sent home and told to come back in a week, so it was a good thing I have an amazing friend who had been through the same thing a few weeks before and told me what to expect. And that was basically not to leave the bathroom until everything had happened.

Honestly, if I'd known at the time what this thread tells you it would have been so much easier.

Sending love and good wishes to everyone recovering from mc and looking forward to what this month (and beyond) may bring xx

lovethesun1 Tue 19-Jun-12 13:54:50

I found this thread whilst under-going my 1st mc at 8 wks,& have come back to it now I am sadly having my 2nd mc at 5wks. I do have a gorgeous 3yr old so am hoping I've just been unlucky.

Wanted to add the things I found helpful:

1) hot water bottle/microwaveable wheatie

2) large bottle of water (i got really thirsty)

3) spatone iron sachets-helped with the tiredness

4) proper sanitary towels with wings

5) wearing leggings (felt more 'secure')

6) a really nice showergel & handwash-dont know why but it made me feel better

7) giving myself permission to drop the brave face & cry. I felt crap at the time,but recovered emotionally quicker in the long run (compared to bottling it up).

So sorry to everyone else going through mc,it's crap!

WhatDreamsMayCome Fri 22-Jun-12 01:58:03

Bump for Haylebop.

Haylebop12 Fri 22-Jun-12 02:19:26

Thank you :-)

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