Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(251 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)?

supersare Thu 14-Feb-13 11:32:59

Just read my post and realised what I wrote re it being horrible...sorry Escorpion if I could change my posting I would but I don't know how to. I meant horrible as in the thing that's happening, as in losing your baby. It wasn't painful and they give you painkillers so please don't worry xxx

omri Thu 14-Feb-13 12:49:56

Don't think my last post went through. Was just explaining that yes it's a cut throat and chauvinistic workplace and will get nothing in my review if they get a sniff that I'm pregnant or want to be... And when you're off sick you're expected to work from home! I just feel numb and don't want to open the laptop sad

omri Thu 14-Feb-13 12:51:34

Escorpion I sympathise with you completely. Holding your hand today. Let us know how you're doing...

Mamab33 Thu 14-Feb-13 13:38:28

Thinking of you Escorpion

Try to be kind to yourself. Chocolate, DVDs, book you've been meaning you read all helped me.

Omri i really feel for you. There are some careers where even a hint of a pregnancy will discount you from being respected and valued. They called ML holidays the last place I worked! Discuss with GP they may have a vague phrase that you can have on your sick line.

Big hugs to all x

omri Fri 15-Feb-13 00:03:40

Just noticed my last post never posted so wanted to say thanks mamab.. They call mat leave holidays in my current place!! shock So I emailed two of my bosses at lunchtime to tell them I couldn't join them on a conference call this afternoon as I had been to gp and he had sent me in to hospital for tests. Random and generic but they won't ask Any questions and it means when i go for my appt next week I can just say oh it's a follow up.

Bloody hell I might just tell them the truth to take the stress out of the situation but that is professional suicide in there hmm
I am sole earner in our little family here so bit of pressure to keep going...

escorpion France Fri 15-Feb-13 00:33:22

supersare i didn´t read it like that, I knew what you meant. I am in Chile, so not sure if the procedure is different but was advised to have the d&c, in hindsight I think I would do it again, just because it has given me closure quickly and I am not worried or anxious as to what is going to happen next. They gave me some pessaries in the morning and I had to wait for several hours until I started contracting, luckily I didn´t have too bad cramps, then I was taken into surgery where they gave me a sedative and then antibiotics which stung like a bitch, then the anaesthetic, the next thing I knew I woke up. I think the worst part of all this experience was the waiting, and not knowing. They are going to look at the biopsy of the remains to see if I get any answers, I am hoping it is my hashimotos and hypothryoidism because if this is the case I can get my TSH at a good level for when we try again. (Hashimotos and Hypothyroidism were discovered during my blood tests). Thank you ladies for all your best wishes. It really was a bad experience overall and heartbreaking but like I said I am glad I have some sort of closure now. Love to you all and I am so glad I found this page for the support.

supersare Fri 15-Feb-13 21:19:25

Escorpion, so nice to hear you are ok. I agree the worst part before it happens is not knowing what's going on. I was worried I had an ectopic pregnancy at one point and every twinge I felt made me worry. I also agree that it's good to have closure. MC is very upsetting but also seems to be a very unspoken subject. Love and hugs to everyone who has been through it, or going through it now xx

ChristineDaae Sun 17-Feb-13 09:00:06

This thread has been a god send, just the first couple of pages got me through yesterday. One I would add, if it's not already on here, do not look at what passes. I thought it would be better to know if it was over, now I realise that was an absolutely stupid idea sad

This thread has really helped me today and will continue to help me.
Got 3 positive pregnancy tests last week and was starting to come to terms with my contraceptive pill failing me. By saturday was getting little waves of excitment about becoming a mum again. Then by saturday afternoon i had spotting, which continued on & off scantily until today when to my disbelief i had a proper bleed. I ended up telling my close friend of my pregnancy & she then got me some advice from the hospital.

I was very anxious, but they said there isn't any point of me coming in as a scan this early on wouldn't show. I was told it was probably implantation bleeding or it could me a mc. I'm to take another poas Tue and if still positive, come in for a scan.
If i'm completely honest i know i'm having a mc, i'm bleeding heavily now and soaking padssad
I guess my baby wasn't meant to be, going to take time to rest.
Told my mum aswell who has bought me some thicker sanitary towels round. Have had a bath & i'm now resting.

Sorry to all of you who are going through this.
This thread is invaluable x

This thread ought to be stickied at the top of the board.

ChristineDaae Tue 19-Feb-13 21:28:16

Sorry to hear that pumpkin, completely sucks that we have needed this thread but so grateful it was here. unmumsnetty ((hugs)) for you.

(((Hugs))) to you aswell Christine xx

Bakingtins Fri 15-Mar-13 07:25:00

Bump. This needs to be on the front page.

Topslou Sat 16-Mar-13 19:42:20

Just wanted to add something on my experience. I have had two mc. One mmc last year which I had medical management for but went home after the pessary and a natural mc last week. I know lots of ladies have had horrendous experiences with bleeding and pain but its not always like that. Following the mmc last year I had horrific pain for about 3 hours but the codeine the hospital gave me sorted it out. The bleeding lasted for about 2 weeks & at its heaviest I was probably changing my pad every two hours. This time round it has been much easier physically, just like a heavy period & I've stopped bleeding after 7 days. I started bleeding on Friday & my scan on Monday showed I was almost back to normal already. You can self refer at the EPU at my local hospital so I would always ring them first before the GP to see what they can do for you. It's an awful thing to go through & don't underestimate how much it will knock you out both physically & mentally. I had 5 days off work last time & 4 this time which was enough for me but take as much as you need.

blackeyedbees Tue 19-Mar-13 17:32:36

Thanks for sharing your experiences everyone. I believe I'm in the early stages of mc and was expecting something like a really heavy period. I now feel well informed of what it's going to be like, which sounds truly awful, but I least it won't come as too much of a shock. When I started spotting a few days so I felt pretty stoic about it all but now the bleeding is heavier I don't feel quite so brave.

CelticPromise Tue 02-Apr-13 09:40:06

This thread has been helpful to me over the past couple of weeks. Just adding and bumping now mine is all over.

MMC was discovered two weeks ago and the baby had died a week ago before that at about nine weeks. I had had bleeding until yesterday afternoon but never very heavy. I was told there's no way to bring on a natural miscarriage but I read that exercise sometimes does- that might be the case for me as I went cycling yesterday afternoon.

I had cramps at bedtime like the ones that had come and gone before, but woke in the night with more severe ones. They increased intensity quickly and it was really very painful for about two hours. I was shocked at the pain. Paracetamol didn't touch it. I was getting ready to go to A&E because I couldn't handle it.

Moving around getting dressed I felt a pop and then clear water came out. It was the sac bursting and I got instant relief from the pain and the sac came out. I think the serious pain was the sac trying to pass my cervix. It was about as big as a fist although flat as the water had gone and I could see the tiny baby inside. I was not organised with a sieve but I am not at all squeamish so I just fished it out of the loo.

A few minutes later I passed some chopped liver placenta type bits. None of this was painful at all. There was blood but not lots and lots. This morning I feel fine, just tired and DH is taking care of me.

I am glad I got through it at home which is what I wanted. I have wrapped up the baby to bury somewhere special. If I had to start over I would get stronger painkillers in- I'm not bad with pain but this was really very hard to cope with. And from my own experience I would try exercise again if I wanted to hasten things along.

Sorry to anyone who is looking at this thread going through miscarriage. And thankyou to everyone who has already posted, it's very helpful and noone tells you this stuff. thanks

gonnabeamum Tue 02-Apr-13 21:00:32

Thank god i had read this thread before i miscarried. like loads of others on this thread, i felt that i didnt get a huge amount of information from the hospital/doctors etc - this was my first pregnancy and i had no knowledge or experience regarding how painful, bloody and traumatic it could be. i got all my info from this site mainly! i think that doctors should provide more information about these realities - it helps to know what to potentially expect, although i know everyone has different experiences - heres mine...
- 12 week scan shows blighted ovum. i was booked for a second scan a week later but wasnt given much information. sadly i had to go online to educate myself.
- 5 days after scan i start bleeding although its very light and manageable.
- 2 days later i go for a second scan. docs confirm that sac is empty and then go over all my options (a week later than they should of in my opinion) i opt for an ERPC. this day is thursday and the earliest i can get booked in is the following tuesday (i found this upsetting as i didnt want the trauma of going through it naturally).
- 2 days later - my worse case senario happened - it was saturday evening and the pain and bleeding start to increase. i started to pass large clots. after about 2-3 hours the pain started getting intolerable. the bleeding and clots were also starting to get unmanageable - i was changing pads every 10-15 mins so my partner took me to the hospital. we phoned the ward first in advance who told me to come straight in ( it was about 2am at this stage) i was also cold and clammy and almost passing out at this point. when i arrived at the hospital the pain increased even more - felt like it was cutting me in half. the doctor at this point did an internal exam where he removed a large amount of material from my cervix - this eased the pain almost immediately.
- i was kept in hospital for the next 12 hours for observation and given another scan that morning which showed a majority of the material had been passed - was still bleeding fairly heavy-ish at this point.
- i had 2 smaller clots a day or so after i was discharged and have since been bleeding on and off.
- this was 2 weeks ago. i went back to work yesterday and feel ok now physically except for the odd cramp pain here and there. emotionally it may take me longer. i have had a couple of teary moments the last few days - mainly when people who knew about my pregnancy see me for the first time and dont know what to say. that awkwardness or consoling hugs seem to trigger the emotions for me.
Sorry if this seemed a bit rambling... in a way it has been sort of helpful for me to write it down. i hope also that my rambling words can be of help to other women going through this - i know that other peoples posts helped me anyway.
it is a shitty situation for anyone to go through - my thoughts are with everyone else who finds themselves in this position. xxx

p.s - maybe i need to change my username - possibily "gonnabeamumsomeday"

rundontwalk Fri 07-Jun-13 03:12:15

Bumping this for someone going through this horrible process. So sorry for anyone going through this sad

RainyDay7 Fri 07-Jun-13 07:34:58

Just feel like this the right place to share my expericance cause it may help other people.
This is my first pregnancy and first miscarriage. I also just got a promotion in my company and moved to a new department on the 29th of April. We don't have a car and no close family around us our nearest hospital is only 2 miles away but they have shut down all their emergency maternity services and so to get to EPU is a 20 minute train journey for us followed by a 10 minute bus ride.
I started spotting blood on the 7th of May and went to our local A and E they referred me to the local EPU. I got a scan on the day. I should have been 9 weeks but baby was only showing 6 and was told to come back for a rescan. I started having cramping and some more heavy spotting in the meantime. It was weird though how I just didn't feel pregnant anymore I knew it was over. My boobs felt deflated, my nausea had gone away.. I told work they have been really supportive but everyone kept saying oh be positive they could have got the dates wrong. But I knew what my body was telling me. I had read up on what miscarriage could entail so I took some days off as my work is also a 20 min train journey away and I didn't want to go through that there.
I went back for a rescan on the 14th. The night before I was up the entire night with cramps that just got worse and worse. The train journey was agony I don't how I would have coped without hubby there as he kept my spirits up. We arrived 30 minutes before the scan we were the first appointment I was so uncomfortable I couldn't sit. I told the reception she said can you wait 20 minutes as your the first on the list? Well my body couldn't and I had a huge gush of blood right there in the waiting area. In less then a minute I had blood from my waist to my socks! Despite having an fresh overnight pad on. They were so kind to me got me a gown hospital knickers and put us in an exam room. The doctor examined me and told me with a very serious face, your actively miscarrying now. Yeah I thought I noticed that.:0) They did a scan and the sac was still there. I went to the toilet a few times and passed some massive clots. The doctor brought in the registrar and they did another exam for the purpose of removing the sac as my cervix was open. Seriously painful, but they thought the sac had passed in the meantime as they couldn't see it. They kept me there all day and bleeding had stopped. Hubby had to go out and by me clothes so I could get home. I took the rest of the week off work as I was exhausted and in pain. I went back to work the following work still light bleeding thinking it was all over. We went back for a follow up scan on the Friday and it turned out the sac hadn't passed. We were shocked the nurse was surprised as well as I had been doing so well. We decided to opt for ERPC as the pill option would mean having to go back and forth to a hospital which in our situation is just ridiculous. I had to wait over a week for the appointment though. Emotionally I had been coping ok wrote baby a letter said goodbye even put some flowers down at our local church but now it wasn't over. I told work to not expect me in until a week after the ERPC and the EPU signed me off. In the week before the ERPC I had at least 3 boughts of heavy bleeding. Sometimes it would only last an hour. The day before I had the ERPC I was on the toilet for 4 hours and the pain got to the point of contractions coming every couple of minutes. But I knew it hadn't passed it felt like my body was really trying to pass something but in the end it just gave up and the scan the next day confirmed it. The Sac was still there. I had the ERPC and the prep up to the operation was the worst part. The staff were so disorganised they kept having to go and find stuff. I normally don't let myself get flustered but I hadn't had any sleep and this was the first operation I had ever had. I nearly walked out! I felt so much better when I woke up and it was over. Even when the nurse came to search my bed for the keys she had lost while she had been maneuvering me while I had been unconscious in theater. Luckily she didn't find them stuck to my butt she had dropped them somewhere else. You have to laugh. I am now home looking forward to going back to work on MOnday and feeling massivly better. It has taken me about a week to get my strength back.
Things i have learned.
1. Learn to listen to what your body is telling you it's probably right.
2. Talk with your other half and try to keep a sense of humor this helps with all the long waits for scans and hospitals. Remember your both grieving and we all handle grief differently. he hasn't felt baby and he is helpless to help take away the pain. We have found crossword puzzles are life saver and you can do them together.
3. Talk to someone who has been through it or at least read about it. But remember everyone's body and miscarriage is different your experience may end up totally different to theirs but it's good to know others have got through this.
4.Talk to a pharmacist/doctor anyone about getting good pain killers. They take the edge off and a glass or two of wine might help but not at the same time as the painkillers!
5 Take more time off work than you think you need because you need it. This is a direct quote from the CAB website advises." Time that you take off sick because of an illness resulting from your pregnancy, such as high blood-pressure, shouldn’t count towards your sickness record at work. This includes any time you take off because of a miscarriage.

If you are disciplined or dismissed because of your sickness record when you're pregnant, this may be discrimination. You should get advice.

If your employer decides to dismiss you for taking too much time off sick when that time was due to being pregnant, this is likely to be pregnancy and maternity discrimination. You can make a claim to an employment tribunal about this.

If you take time off because of an illness connected with your pregnancy, or because of a miscarriage, this should be recorded. You might want to keep your own records of time you have taken off sick because of your pregnancy."

6 Get comfy pads, I normally use pads with plastic like most major brands but I have found that using all cotton natural pads are much more comfortable on my skin than plastic all the time. They also reduce smell. Though they can be hard to find. Naturacare brand is one of the few I have found. Though their maternity pads are called new mother pads, bit of a kick in the guts! I felt better having a heavier bulky pad it made me feel safer, when going out. Laying down towels on the bed can help too if you can't find a maternity sheet. Boots does stock them.

7 Remain optimistic but realistic and give yourself time to recover both physically and emotionally. Cry if you need to but remember you can still laugh too. I have been watching loads of standup comedy and it does help to laugh.

8. ask for help. as soon as I told people they were more than happy to help. I got lifts to and from the hospital for the ERPC and a friend even stayed with me when my hubby had to go to work.

Love and hugs to everyone going through this I hope this helps someone out there.

Jucymyname Fri 07-Jun-13 10:06:15

It is a great thread, helped me in October last year and is helping me now.

What I want to add is don't try to be brave. I tried, went to work, got cramps and broke down in tears. It's not worth it, work can wait.

Love to all you ladies going through this.

TeaAndANatter Sun 09-Jun-13 19:59:21

Just started miscarrying this morning (I was expecting it as my HCG had gone through the floor: 63 on Friday and 28 today). Very blessed to have two other children, and very grateful for them, but nonetheless very, very sad to lose this one. Still ever so early on, but surprisingly (to me) emotionally painful.

I'd gone to John Lewis's yesterday to buy him/her/it a soft toy as a kind of sop to fate (God only knows what I thought I was going to achieve), like a way of telling it to hang on in there, and they were going to have such nice parents. I'm so full of just about every feeling there is going right now. I'm not even sure how I'm meant to feel anymore.

Anyway, the bit I'd meant to say was, thank you to every woman who posts on this thread, and this site. The information you post fills the gap that so many times has been woefully missed by health professionals. Without your words, and your advice, and your support, so many women would be doing what we're doing on their own. There is, I believe, pretty much nothing that can be said to make things feel better for women walking this path, but your posts manages to at least make sure that we don't walk alone. Thank you.

jellyandcake Thu 13-Jun-13 11:48:02

I'm waiting to miscarry - got three negative pregnancy tests yesterday at what would be 5+5 weeks. Had got a clear positive a week ago. Just phoned EPU as I was panicking about what might happen - worried about pain and heavy bleeding. Was advised that it probably won't be too bad as a negative test shows there is no pregnancy tissue and she said it would probably just be like a period. It's so helpful to read this thread and hear experiences and advice though I'm sorry to read what people have been through.

At the moment I am just so nervous waiting for the bleeding to happen, I just want to get it out of the way whatever it is like. Feeling very nauseous and. don't know if that's nerves or not. Very rundown with a heavy cold

jellyandcake Thu 13-Jun-13 11:50:31

Posted early!

So in general am not feeling good emotionally or physically. Am just hoping to get it all over with soon.

FoxMulder Fri 14-Jun-13 11:38:51

This is freaking me out a bit. Hospital yesterday told me I was probably miscarrying as hCG was way too low for 6 weeks. I started bleeding this morning but am back at work today after being off all week with spotting.

I told my boss as I thought I needed a pretty good explanation for practically running out of the office on Monday & not coming back until today!

DogandBeth Fri 14-Jun-13 12:22:36

I'm grateful for this thread too, am in the middle of an mc and haven't told anyone in rl, apart from dh nobody knew I was pregnant. Dh has gone to work today and I'm on my own with my 2 dcs one of whom is ill so we've all been to the docs already today. Went to hospital wed eve and yesterday for blood tests and scans, lost it a bit when sat in the waiting room with lots of ladies happily patting their large bumps. Should have been about 9 weeks but scan was less than 5. Got to go back to hospital this eve for more blood tests although I clearly have mc, not that painful but lots and lots of blood, tissue etc. Am trying not to inspect it too much as don't really want to see the sac. This is my 3rd mc and my second in 3 months. Dh keeps telling me how lucky I am to already have 2 wonderful children, which is true but not really want I went yo keep hearing at the mo. Got lots of other stuff going on too, dc1 is at the beginning of what will prob be as diagnosis and it's all a bit overwhelming dealing with all the medics and agencies about it, my mum is in the throes of dementia and it's tearing my relationship with my sisters apart, oh and I will be losing my job in a few months too! Sorry for rant just feel very very alone right now and physically I'm struggling to cope today with the bleeding, exhaustion and demands of a small child and ill baby. Guess I'm just hoping someone on here wouldn't mind holding my hand a little, as I have no one in rl who will today
Anyway enough of my woes, I'm so sorry to hear all your stories and a big hug to those who are going through it too today, I have found this thread a comfort and I hope you all do too xx

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