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)?

DontBeBlueBeARainbow Thu 10-Jul-14 11:58:19

This thread was SO SO helpful to me last month and I'm now ready to add my own story, especially as it was on the less severe end of the scale:

MMC discovered at 7+4, probably happened around 5 weeks, so may be called 'blighted ovum' (am abroad so not exactly sure what the doctors said). Brown spotting started at 7+3, became heavier and red at 9+0, but died down a bit. At 11+5 i finally passed a large bloody clot and quite a bit of blood in a restaurant toilet - I'd got sick of hanging around close to home after it dragging on so long. Bleeding died down a bit but continued. At 13+0 I passed another medium clot, not bloody but brown and quite solid, after intercourse. The next day bleeding/spotting stopped altogether. Such a relief after 6 weeks of bleeding. Two weeks later I did a HPT and got a lovely BFNegative. I'm so relieved I can finally move on, though I feel like I was rather lucky with it not being all that severe, perhaps because the pregnancy failed relatively early on.

Now I just have to get my mental state to catch up with my physical state, something tells me that might not be as smooth sailing sad but onwards and upwards.

MN and all the lovely ladies on here have been such a lifesaver and pulled me through some crappy days. Thank you all thanks and wishing you all speedy recoveries and future bundles of joy smile

Bouncey Sun 06-Jul-14 21:38:51

This is making me nervous. I am 8+3 weeks pregnant and threatening miscarriage - have had consistent light bleeding and cramps since yesterday, definitely not spotting but not too heavy. Went to A&E who booked me for a scan at EPAU on Tuesday. I hadn't realised miscarriage could involve so much blood and I'm on my own with a 2 year old - DH is in the army and in Afghanistan and my parents live in Northern Ireland while I'm in London - so I'm freaking out a bit about how I will cope if I have huge blood loss. Think I might have to fly my mum over!

jurisane Fri 04-Jul-14 14:08:01

Thanks for the reply rascalrae. I've been reading more threads and it looks like I'm not the only one whose had very little bleeding and physical pain. I plan on calling my doctor on Monday when we get home. Only a few friends knew we were pregnant (were going to tell our parents this weekend ;_;) but everyone know we've been trying. I'm afraid if I don't go to the reunion after driving all the way here and getting a hotel they will be suspicious. I don't think I can handle my whole extended family trying to comfort me. I need some distance or I don't think I'll be able to handle it. I don't even know if I can tell my mother and I know that sounds terrible.

rascalrae Fri 04-Jul-14 13:56:36

Hi Jurisane, really sorry you're going through this. It's a horrible time with so many questions. I didn't get much bleeding when I found out about my missed miscarriage and I opted to have surgical management 9 days later. I cancelled all my plans though because I wanted to be at home rather than have heavy bleeding start somewhere inconvenient. It's completely up to you whether you feel strong & well enough to stay for your reunion. Big crowds might be hard to cope with or it might be a nice distraction. Sounds like you should contact your EPAU to ask for a scan to see what's going on. Best wishes to you thanks x

jurisane Fri 04-Jul-14 13:35:43

Foxtrot7459, please I would like to know what your experience was after your post. I just know I'm having a MC because I'm pretty sure I already passed what there was of a sac. I would have been 7 weeks on Saturday (today is Friday). My issue is there has been very little bleeding all told. There was some slight bleeding on Wednesday but I was told it was just implantation bleeding. Yesterday there was a little more bleeding but not enough to fill a pad. But I did pass mucus like tissue and passed a little bit more this morning but again the only blood was when I wiped after peeing. Will there be more heavy bleeding?

I'm 8 hours from home at a hotel. I'm supposed to be at a family reunion on Saturday. Should I go? Or should we just drive home. I haven't seen many of these people for 2 years and was really looking forward to seeing them. I was going to go see my sister today but should I just hang out in the hotel bathroom instead?

I've had heavier bleeding and cramping with a normal period than with this so I'm confused. Add to that the fact that its a holiday weekend and I'm sure the only way I'll get a hold of doctor or nurse would be to go to the ER--something I would really rather avoid.

We've been trying to conceive for a year now and we really wanted this baby. At least my husband is here to cry with me.

Kat2608 Sun 15-Jun-14 23:41:14

I wish I'd saw this thread last year when I had mmc. It started with spotting so I rang NHS Direct, who asked me "Could it be your period". No I'm pregnant I re

Foxtrot7459 Sun 15-Jun-14 16:54:36

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread. Unfortunately I am currently going through a miscarriage. I started bleeding a few days ago and had a private scan yesterday which confirmed a sac but nothing else. I was almost 11 weeks, however according to the scan the sac only looked 5-6 weeks. I have been given an appointment for another scan in 9 days time.

I currently feel in limbo - bleeding has continued but only light and nothing like what has been described by some here. I don't know what to do about work - mine isn't really a job I can do half heartily at the moment - I either commit to it or have time off but I'm not sure if the situation as it stands warrants it. Do I not work and wait the next 9 days out waiting for something to happen naturally - I would obviously need a doctors note for this amount of time off (will I get one?) or I go back to work and face the prospect of a natural miscarriage happening or starting whilst I am there which is something I want to avoid if at all possible. I don't really feel up to returning to work as things currently stand.

I am going to go to my GP in the morning to see if I can move things along quicker - I would prefer the surgical route and I would like to be able to move on as quickly as possible. Do I get to choose the method or do I have to do what the doctors say?

Sorry for all the questions but any would appreciate any advice. I am obviously devastated but want to deal with this and move on if at possible as soon as I can. Thanks xx.

taylor83 Wed 11-Jun-14 22:00:31

thank you everyone so much for all the advice and sharing your stories. I'm going through a miscarriage right now with my first pregnancy. I'm feeling ok, but of course just wanting it to be over so I can move on...I'm wondering if anyone has advice for what to say to people when I get back to work and normal life?

We hadn't told anyone that I was pregnant except our fact no one even knew we were trying to have kids....Obviously this has been a very personal and private time for us and I just don't know what to say to people who I don't want to share this with....advice?

rascalrae Sun 08-Jun-14 13:05:14

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I found out yesterday at the EPAU that my baby no longer has a heartbeat at 9 weeks. My scan the week before had shown everything was ok but I'd had spotting then light bleeding so was worried things weren't right. My tip would be that if your local EPAU can't fit you in for a scan straight away, it's worth asking if there are other options nearby. I went to a different hospital and the nurses were so much kinder than at my local hospital.

Reading the posts has helped me in deciding which option to go for to progress the miscarriage. But I wondered, if you choose medical or surgical intervention, are they willing to scan you again? I know they told me there was no heartbeat, and brought in a nurse for a 2nd opinion, but I'd still hate to do something without knowing the baby has definitely gone. I know it's unlikely the machine was wrong, but I just need to know for definite.

My heart goes out to anyone who is going through this or who has already been through it. My heart feels broken & I don't know how I'm going to get back to normal, especially as so many friends have recently announced pregnancies.

Lots of love & hand holding x

Merinda Thu 05-Jun-14 22:16:14

Ladies, I am booked for ERPC on Saturday. Can you please let me know what I need to take with me to the hospital, what do I wear etc?
Thank you

bakingtins Sun 01-Jun-14 14:18:05

BumpIng for marmaladecat.

Purplefrogshoes Mon 26-May-14 12:18:51


Shiplover Thu 15-May-14 09:30:20

This is such great information and so helpful to me.
I'm so sad to read everyone's story of loss but this thread has helped me.
I was feeling so alone and isolated, I'm going through a MC now at 7 weeks, the biggest problem is this pregnancy wasn't planned and I'm 41, my DH is 43 so everyone says things like, "it's for the best" etc. even my DH sees it as a lucky escape. It's not for me, all I can see is it was my last chance. I am blessed to have two amazing DS but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I was over the moon as I always wanted more children.
My bleeding started as light spotting then increased over the last week, it's now like a heavy period. I was sent by my GP to the EPU for a scan as they were concerned I was ectopic, the scan showed a 5 week foetus but I knew my dates were spot on. They couldn't find a heartbeat but think it's because it's so early. I just knew It had died that's why I'd been bleeding. They arranged another scan in 10 days which is booked for next Thursday, they said to take paracetamol and let nature take it's course as that looked like the likely outcome. No more information was given, not even a leaflet. Thank heavens I found this thread.
My pain is quite intense and getting worse so I don't think it's over yet. My DH even asked if I was going to work today, he has no idea and is no support though he's usually so good.
Hot water bottles are great so if you don't have one go out and buy one ASAP that's my advice
I hope everyone gets through this terrible experience and you can one day soon start to smile again

StuffedOwl Sat 03-May-14 21:00:18

Just wanted to bump this up the page. I had light bleeding on Tuesday, was referred by my gp to the EPU for a scan Weds morning where they told me my baby hadn't developed past 5 weeks and had no heart beat, despite being 11 weeks pregnant (and no way had I messed up my dates, this was a very longed for baby).

I was sent home with the leaflets on miscarriage and an appointment in a weeks time to plan what to do next. I mc naturally Wednesday evening, luckily after finding this thread because quite frankly the leaflets did not prepare me in any way shape or form for what happened.

I wanted to thank everyone for their advice, it really helped reassure me and prepare me for what has been a very difficult time. And I echo to anybody else that has to go through this horrible horrible thing..... Drugs, hot water bottles, and someone (as amazing as my DH) to support you.

Tilly73 Tue 29-Apr-14 21:54:33

This is the first time I've ever been on here and wish I wasn't but want to say this whole site has helped. I had my second scan today confirming I have had a MMC and am having medical treatment on Friday.
I have to admit I am relieved to have the answer as I knew things weren't right from last week. I am frightened of going through with the treatment but it has helped loads reading all your stories

marshmallowpies Sun 27-Apr-14 23:56:45

Wanted I think it took me a couple of weeks to accept in my brain I wasn't pregnant any more. Every so often I would catch myself, remember I wasn't pregnant, and have a little moment of feeling blank and confused.

And feeling guilty for drinking coffee again, eating goats cheese, etc. I still haven't drunk alcohol yet, but that's partly with a view to TTC again and just trying to be generally healthy.

Also I began to feel more 'normal' when I could tell hormone levels were adjusting - feeling happy again for no particular reason made me think I must be getting back into my normal cycle, and I think I ovulated last week. It was a relief to feel those changes happening again and knowing that my body does still work, that there's still hope.

WantedGSOH Sun 27-Apr-14 22:20:58

Thank you for your really kind replies, it is good to know what is likely to happen next. Things are a little better physically now although I still feel abit adrift. No matter what I think I can't completely convince my brain that I'm not pregnant. Probably that's normal, the thought of adjusting to it makes me feel sadder - in a way it's easier to be in a kind of not-on-purpose denial.

I'm terribly sorry for everyone who has written on this thread, its really tough.

mintleaf Sun 27-Apr-14 08:44:52

Hi wanted. I'm so sorry for your loss. I had pretty much the same experience last year (in terms of dates, how I found out etc) and it was absolutely devastating. I booked in for an ERPC but ended up miscarrying naturally in the hospital on the day of the op before it had taken place. I remember it being awful and just being relieved it had coincidentally happened in hospital because that way I had nurses looking after me. I really really feel for you having to go through that at home. Look after yourself.

marshmallowpies Sat 26-Apr-14 23:48:32

Wanted I'm so sorry, that sounds horrendous especially the unsympathetic GP. I hope the hospital team are kinder when you go back - when I had a second scan just to confirm what had happened they were very nice to me. Just little things that meant a lot - in the notes that were printed out & given to me, rather than just saying what had happened in a clinical sense, it said 'sadly, evidence of an incomplete miscarriage was found' - it really mattered that they acknowledged it was sad!

The term 'incomplete miscarriage' sounded scary but from the examination they could tell me the remains of the sac were very low in my cervix and likely to come out soon - and was only a tiny bit left to come out, the doctor was very reassuring. I passed the remaining contents the very next morning and bleeding began to decrease steadily after that.

But if you are still getting cramps now - a very hot water bottle wrapped in a bit of blanket really helped me. And do go to the hospital if you are worried about the bleeding!

WantedGSOH Sat 26-Apr-14 18:49:26

I'm right in the middle of my miscarriage and this thread has been invaluable .

I started bleeding on Wednesday & called the GP. I am /was 11weeks pregnant. He was uncomfortable with the conversation, and unsympathetic but I expected that as he was hopeless during my previous pregnancy.
I went for an emergency scan at local early pregnancy unit where they told me there was no heartbeat & the baby had died at about 8& half weeks old.
I was broken, just devasted by the news. I'd tried to prepare myself for the worst but you can't really.
Looking back it seems obvious, my boobs had stopped hurting, my extreme dizziness & faintness had stopped but at the time id been relieved as I just thought it was pregnancy symptoms moving on to the next stage, as they tend to. My previous pregnancy was so straightforward.

I'm now in the middle of a natural (is that the official term?) miscarriage and not a single person either from my GP or at the hospital gave me any indication of what to expect or offered pain relief.

I didn't want a surgical or medical mc as I found the thought of the surgical scary and invasive, and tbh I thought a miscarriage would be bad enough without adding nausea etc from the side effects of the medical option.

Until a few hours ago I had experienced mild to medium constant pain & continual bleeding, like the second day of a period, with a few clots. Then a few hours ago I experienced the most agonising cramps - so painful I started to black out, and gushes of blood. Luckily we found some codeine in a cupboard leftover from after my emergency ceasarean. And I found this thread.

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to write. I am coping ok now with some pain relief and at least I now know what to expect.

I still don't know what will happen regards follow up scans. I was told to expect a call.

I am so shocked by horrendous a miscarriage can be physically. I'd really had no idea.

mismylinford Fri 25-Apr-14 20:48:01

This thread really helps. Im going through my first mc. I had extremely heavy bleeding... Basically stood in the bath and it was gushing out. Hubby rang ambulance as the amount of blood lost was very alarming so quickly. Hospital basically told me. Nothing to come on Sunday (2 days away) for a scan. They havnt told me its a mc.... But i know it is. I havnt felt right in the past week a knew something was wrong. When you need it most this thread is here to help. Sorry for all our losses.

mrsdiddlydoo Fri 25-Apr-14 20:21:05

this thread is amazing and helping me so much at this difficult time. Thank you everyone for sharing your tips and experiences.

marshmallowpies Tue 08-Apr-14 19:53:47

Smiling, it won't be the same kind of normal, but getting into a routine of doing everyday things has helped me, although perhaps trying to do too much too soon was a bit much, I'm back on the sofa under a blanket feeling shattered.

But in my case, I went out today with DD for the first time since Wednesday when the MC properly started. Taking her to a playgroup and seeing lots of smaller babies there was really hard, but I wanted her to have fun and enjoy being outside again.

But on the way home, it suddenly hit me that this is the first time anything really sad has happened to me since before DD was conceived in 2011. Since she was born, I've been in a kind of happy cloud, and now something has knocked me off that cloud. Just getting used to the idea of being sad again, having a general background sadness to my life that wasn't there since DD was born, was very odd. And I know I'm one of the lucky ones as I do have one beautiful DC already, but as I say, I'm not sure normal will ever be quite the same normal again.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 08-Apr-14 13:25:03

Started spotting on fri, went to a&e and got sent home after being told everything looked fine. Had a scan yesterday and my baby had stopped growing at 11 weeks, I would have been 13 weeks.

I cant stop crying but this thread has been a great help.

Ive opted for the surgical route I cant face just waiting I feel that to start moving forwards I need to get it over with as soon as possible, which makes me feel so guilty. Im booked in tomorrow at 7.30am, the dr said to me today that after tomorrow life will return to normal, the nurse looked horrified and I just burst into tears, how is life ever going to be normal again.

bakingtins Sat 05-Apr-14 21:23:59

Sorry, MissH that sucks. Make sure you ask about referral for testing if this is #3 and come join the RMC thread for some moral support flowers

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