Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(384 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)?

mistbecomingrain Wed 27-May-15 22:19:16

For medical management bring lots & lots of underwear and changes of pyjamas to the hospital as it can be like an extremely heavy period - very heavy.

The first time I had a MMC at the hospital I never realised I would have the option to see the baby. It was 12 weeks when I miscarried - and it was so sad to see it. The hospital put it in a little basket with a blanket. You could see everything - eyes, mouth, fingers, little feet. It was heartbreaking but good to be able to say goodbye. The hospital I was at arranged a burial.

Also, if you're in a maternity hospital it's weird as most people are there for normal pregnancies - and you see happy dads and grandparents on the way in to visit the new babies. I felt like people would be looking at me - walking around in pyjamas with no bump wondering what I was doing there.

bakingtins Tue 26-May-15 19:26:33


Disneyangel Tue 05-May-15 08:39:44

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences .
I've had a bit of a roller coaster of a week. This time last week I did a pregnancy test partly as I was having pregnancy like systems but convinced that they were peri-menopausal . I'd been told I was possibly peri menopausal after having a bartholin cyst last year. But I was indeed pregnant ! I was shocked . I'm 43 mother of an amazing 12 year daughter who despite trying much earlier never conceived again. I'd had an earlier miscarriage before my daughter which was discovered as a missed miscarriage at the 12 week scan.
After the initial shock I became very excited , told hubby and daughter and we got used to the idea of this little bonus in our life's. I had to tell work as I work in clinical trials so lots of risk to little unborn babas .
But on Friday night I started bleeding . A few spoonfuls of red blood with sharp pain followed by constant cramp. I called nhs 24 who got a nurse to call an hour later and advise paracetamol and rest whilst she got a doctor to phone back . A doctor called around 3 hours later at 2.15am and made me and appt at out of hours clinic for 9am which I duly attended and then was refererred to gynae as EPU closed for holiday weekend . After another 3 hour wait I was examined and given my first hcg blood test and asked to return for my 2nd on Monday . I returned on Monday after a lot of cramping on Sunday night and a little more bleeding only to find they didn't have a note of me and didn't know why I was there. The nurse actually wrote my name etc on the back of a paper towel to go and look me up . After they'd established I was meant to go back they took the 2nd test and advised I'd probably not get the results until this afternoon again due to bh weekend . However late yesterday I got a call saying I have an urgent scan this morning at 10 am. My hcg levels have fallen but not significantly so they need to do a scan. The doctor told me on Saturday they were meant to double if the pregnancy was viable so I'm presuming this is not a good thing and am scared of seeing another screen with no heartbeat .
I know that I'm really lucky , I have my 12 year old and this wasn't planned but even in a week I feel I had got ready for this wee bundle .

GinPleaseThankYou Sat 02-May-15 20:09:41

Bumping for megarobot.


ThePug Sat 25-Apr-15 15:16:52

Thank you everyone for this thread. I read it all on Tuesday when I was sent home from EPU with two doses of misoprostol and it helped me to prepare for what was going to happen. Unfortunately nothing did happen and I am now booked in for ERPC on Monday morning, so I'll go back and re-read everything about that too.

bakingtins Fri 24-Apr-15 19:09:49


Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Fri 17-Apr-15 18:07:55

Thanks to everyone who has posted and sorry for your losses. I read this entire thread on Tuesday while waiting for my medical management appointment which was two days ago, on Wednesday. The background to this is I had a little spotting at 8 weeks and so had an early scan at 8 weeks which revealed baby had died at 7 weeks. I thought I would share my story in case it helped others who have had a missed miscarriage....

I think my body would have shortly started miscarrying naturally (i had cramps and light bleeding the night before the hospital appointment) but I didn't like the idea of hanging around waiting and prolonging the misery. When we went along on Wednesday to have the medical management, the doctor and nurses were lovely and I had time to consider whether I wanted to proceed with it - I did. Once the tablets had been inserted at about 10.30am we had to wait for two hours to check I didn't have an adverse reaction. During this time I got very shivery - apparently happens to lots of women - and my temperature popped up a bit. After about an hour stomach cramps started. I immediately took cocodimal provided by the hosp and alternated this with ibuprofen for the rest of the day. By the time we left hospital I was also getting back pains. At home I curled up with a hot water bottle in bed. The pain was unpleasant but not unbearable. Thank god for the painkillers. I was also desperately thirsty.

At about 4.30pm I went to the toilet to do a wee. At this point (sorry if TMI) I saw loads of blood was coming out and there were a couple of plops in the toilet. I hated the idea of the baby ending up in the toilet so I fished around a little but couldn't find anything. After this the cramps eased off and since then I have just had period type bleeding. I feel a bit wiped out but, assuming the current situation continues and tails off and assuming there are no further complications, the whole thing was nothing as terrible as I thought it may be. Emotionally I was a bit of a wreck yesterday, I think my hormones were crashing around, but today I have been up and about a little and feeling more positive.

wishing everyone going through this lots of luck for the future.

nehagarg Thu 16-Apr-15 16:16:21

Thats heart-breaking, Skip! Lots of love and hugs for you and everyone else going through this. Me included. I started miscarrying this morning. Have known since last saturday that I am sitting on a mmc so to be honest, its a huge relief. The wait is without question, the worst part of a miscarriage. Now that it's started, at least I know it will be over soon and I can at least begin trying to put it behind me.

This is an amazing thread and thanks to everyone who posted here. I was so much better prepared with my chocolate and loo rolls and juice and extra pads. So So much more helpful than anything the EPU have done or said so far smile

Lots of hugs.

Skip2435 Thu 09-Apr-15 16:56:22

I have just had a miscarriage, I was about 9 weeks pregnant but miscarried I am told at about 5-6 weeks. Its my second pregnancy and cuddling my gorgeous little boy does help. I am so lucky to have had one healthy child, but still feel empty at the moment and that I dont really have the right to be upset as so many others never even get the chance to have one child.

Hasnt helped that today I have actually started passing large clots, its just so unpleasant and i have no idea how long it will last. The staff at the EPU were not empathetic at all, gave almost no info, I wasnt told about any support available, and when they scanned me and found the sac with nothing in it it was as though they were just telling me that i was being diagnosed with the flu. H
DH has been amazing, I am lucky to have him. Sending love to everyone else out there who is going through this at the moment x

Catinajar Mon 06-Apr-15 11:24:54

Hi Butterflygirl

I'm so sorry you are going through this. I just returned from hospital after SMM and only had antibiotics just before discharge. They have to give them to go as your uterus is expanded and open to infection. It's highly unlikely you will be allergic to ALL antibiotics (I'm allergic to penicillin) so they can adapt around your needs. Just make sure they know about it when you go through pre-clerking.

Hope that all makes sense. My thoughts are with you xx

butterflygirl1515 Thu 02-Apr-15 10:56:04


I have posted on here under my own topic but wanted to post here for advice. I was 12/13 weeks along when bleeding and cramps started so had an emergancy scan. It showed an empty egg sac of 9 weeks growth.

My miscarriage bleeding started last Wed. It was like a period but with lots of v small clots. I did pass something which wouldnt break so i think that was part of the egg sac a couple of days in about an inch long.

Yesterday I passed a dark red jelly thing which were about the size of a 10p coin across and then a liver like thing that was a bit bigger again. Do I have still have a lot more to pass?

I rang the EPU for advice and they said it was just progressing slowly. I have a scan booked for next Wed.

Im allergic to antibiotics so am very wary about having to have a DandC in case I have to take them. Does anyone know if you have to take them if you do go the surgical route?

Many thanks for any advice.

LostInTheTriangle Wed 01-Apr-15 21:14:19

Big love to everyone who has posted here. I have read the entire 15 page thread over the last few days and it has helped me mentally and physically prepare for what was to come when I began spotting at 9 weeks pregnant (5 days ago).

It was my second pregnancy, an amazing surprise given it took 3 years and a successful round of IVF to conceive our daughter, who is 15 months old.

I suppose it always felt too good to be true. Like many, our (challenging) quest to have children has put unmeasurable pressure on our relationship. This pregnancy felt like an opportunity to heal the traumas of Ttc and assisted conception.

I began spotting Saturday night, nothing Sunday, spotting Monday, booking appointment with Midwife Tues morning by which time spotting was more like brown blood. She booked me into EPU for this morning (Wed). However last night (Tues) I began passing sizeable clots and was actually convinced that I had passed all necessary tissues. My husband is working away and I persuaded him it wasn't necessary to return. I bled alone while my baby girl slept next door. I wept and wept.

Today at the EPU, a scan confirmed that the baby had passed away at 8 weeks. To my further shock, everything was still intact. Everyone, doctors, nurses, sonographers were so kind to me.

I booked the operation to remove the foetus under general anaesthetic for tomorrow morning, but spent 4-7pm on the loo bleeding this afternoon. My in laws, who are usually very hands off, looked after our daughter all day and have been amazing.

For me, it was right to look at what passed this early evening. I have the sac and I clearly see the 'baby' (embryo? foetus? Yep guess who spent her biology lessons reading 'Just 17'). I kept gazing at this little sac in wonder; it held so much hope and was a ray of light for my mum, who has been at the bedside of her partner for 6 weeks since he had a stroke. Doctors are not predicting he will recover.

The pain, faintness, nausea, bleeding has subsided. One minute I am calm and stoical, the next crying inconsolably. My husband will be here in under an hour. He cried on the phone (I've never heard him cry in 7 years) when I told him we had lost the baby.

From reading the thread, it seems everyone has different experiences and ways of coping. I will be re-reading after going to hospital tomorrow to see how people move forward, or don't.

I desperately hope I have passed all that is needed and my body can now just continue to do its thing with no further medical intervention. They gave me a scan photo of the baby (asked me if I wanted it, gave choice) and I haven't looked yet. Will leave that for another day. Xx

i2cute4words Sun 29-Mar-15 11:47:39

So currently going through a miscarriage. Spotting started on Tuesday. Bleeding started on Thursday. Liken it to start of a period. Found out baby had no heartbeat and had not grown since scan 10 days prior on Friday. Was told at hospital there was nothing they could really do until at least Monday. Yesterday was ok. Cramps were there but not hugely painful. Probably as bad as period pain. Today is Sunday. Heavy bleeding. Bad cramps. Worse than bad period pain but not quite as bad as labour contractions. I would, however, liken the cramps to contractions rather than period pain. Foetus passed shortly after lunchtime and one big clot this afternoon. Soaked maybe three pads today - 2 regular and one goodnights and bled into toilet a bit. No cramps after the big clot. Hoping that is it and bleeding stops relatively soon. It's already slowed after the big clot. Not looking forward to follow up tests and probable hospital visit for EPAU which they are supposed to be scheduling for Monday (tomorrow).

jassS Fri 27-Mar-15 15:15:12

I would add that in case you bleed very little, your cervix may be not co-operating and all the stuff is gathering inside. That is why then several days later you can have a real bloodshed even if you think you have had it, clotd and all - I would not go anywhere without a change of clothes and serious pads.

Also, if you have a cervix which tends to close before it is over check beta levels carefully or keep testing out - retained products may still remain which give pos hpt.

I have had 3bligthed ovums (attempted naturals, one attempt at medical management, always end up with retained products and eprc) and one 9w3d mc (last week, eprc). So,in case you already have a history of retaining products opt for eprc if possible.

fruitlovingmonkey Fri 27-Mar-15 06:59:27

Just wanted to add what is happening from a practical perspective. I took 2 tablets vaginally in the evening, 2 orally in the morning and another 2 vaginally the next evening. Nothing happened and then the next morning I took the oral 2 but held them under my tongue for half an hour before swallowing. Could be a coincidence but around an hour later blood and clots started pouring out of me. For me waiting was the hardest part so I would definitely recommend the under the tongue method.

fruitlovingmonkey Thu 26-Mar-15 17:45:30

I understand that, I think if I had a garden I would much prefer a burial and planting something nearby in memory. Sadly I live in a flat so I can't think of a good option, not sure a pot plant would be suitable. I'm finding some relief in dark humour, hope I don't offend anyone.

AuntieDee Thu 26-Mar-15 16:22:42

It's hard because I wouldn't even flush a goldfish, never mind a baby sad I'm tryin to talk him into talking to someone - he doesn't like to burden people though... I'm going to insist x

fruitlovingmonkey Thu 26-Mar-15 16:17:56

AuntieDee, sorry to hear that you've found it horrific. Is there anyone your OH can talk to? Mine had to tell a colleague for practical reasons and it turned out his wife has been through mc too. I know everyone has different views on what to do with the foetus, I actually think I would prefer to flush it, even though I'm grieving more than I ever imagined. Don't be too hard on yourself. I had a yogi tea this morning and the or tune said "forgive yourself", made me cry hysterically because it seemed so apt to our situation.

AuntieDee Thu 26-Mar-15 15:58:37

About the drugs - they inserted 4 tablets vaginally. It worked within 10 minutes! I would advise anyone going down the MMC route to take co codamol and ibuprofen with lysine an hour before the apointment.

I was also unexpectedly violently sick about an hour after too.

Unfortunately my cervix stopped being dilated so never completely lost. I had a second round of tablets but took them orally.

I think I have finished now. It's been 72 hours of pain and bleeding and if it happens again I think I will opt for surgical intervention sad I found it all quite horrific.

I also have taken it really badly that I flushed my baby down the toilet. I tried to catch and examine as many clots as possible (some palm sized) but never found the foetus. It's awful to think that my baby is in my septic tank sad

AuntieDee Thu 26-Mar-15 15:52:16

There needs to be more info and support for men. I'm going through it right now and my OH had no idea what to do for the best and neither do I. It's resulted in him feeling useless and me feeling a bit abandoned...

SandmanSlim Thu 26-Mar-15 15:42:32

It started by itself. Had my appointment with the epau this morning and they seem to think it might happen soon anyway from my scan so I'm trying without the tablets first. I'm not good at this waiting around though, I'm too scared to take my 3 year old to the park.

babygiraffe86 Thu 26-Mar-15 13:26:52

I would also add that the EPU are your friends, dont be scared to call them or ask for their advice.

I had to have medical management, and then had to be admitted as i lost too much blood (required 3 transfusions)

DP said I had gone grey and was slurring, EPU advised that had i waited much longer to go in i may not have made it due to the blood loss. was in for a week sad

Don't try to just carry on either, i had only known i was pregnant for a week or so but ended up signed off work for a month, work were fantastic about it.

and honestly - talking about it, for me, helped so much. before I hadn't been aware just how common and how many people I know had experienced miscarriages!

fruitlovingmonkey Thu 26-Mar-15 13:05:49

Hi SandmanSlim, I am also going through MC at the moment, in my case MMC. No symptoms other than my breasts stopped being painful but I read that lots of ladies don't have/ lose pregnancy symptoms and go on to have healthy babies. Went in for my 12 week check, expecting to be able to tell everyone this weekend and found no heartbeat and no growth since the routine US I had at 10 weeks. Did your bleeding start naturally or did you have drugs to help it? I am now on the drugs but nothing much has happened yet. So sorry you are going through this and sorry if it ruins your weekend away too. Just take each day at a time.

SandmanSlim Thu 26-Mar-15 01:07:13

Thank you for sharing your stories. I'm 12w and started bleeding 2 days ago. Had it confirmed by a scan in a&e that there's only an abnormal looking yolk sack in there yesterday. I'm finding it all very confusing. I felt guilty going to a&e since I wasn't sure where I should be and I'm hating the waiting around until my appointment tomorrow. But it's great to have some idea of what might happen. I guess I need to cancel my weekend away really! This completely sucks. Sorry you all had to go through it too.

NowImfeelingsad Mon 09-Mar-15 13:14:24

Just to reiterate what others have said - day 3 after surgical managment was the one where the hormones kicked in, and I literally could not stop crying, all day. So embarrassing when you're dong routine stuff with people you don't know. So if at all possible my advice is to try and make sure you are at home with nothing to do on that day.

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