Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(297 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)?

fenix1981 Thu 16-Oct-14 18:02:36

HI all - this thread and some others helped me mentally prepare for my first MC however it turned out to be a bit different than expected. I miscarried at 11 weeks, but we found out at 10 weeks that fetus stopped growing at 6 wks 1 day. We also had a weekto grieve and come to terms with our loss - we were excited about the pregnancy, we just got married and were looking forward to starting our family.

We preferred to go the natural route - and wait it out instead of opting for D&C.This was due to some risks associated with D&C but also bc I prefer to avoid gen. anesthesia, and let things take their course naturally. Essentially the body should shed the lining on its own, D&C prematurely severs the sac and placenta - this was thinking anyway.
- By 10 weeks my preg symptoms were subsiding so at least I knew the hormones and my body were realizing I was no longer pregnant.
-1 week after finding out about nonviable pregnancy - so I was at 11 weeks, I started to get discharge, first pink, then brownish.
-On day 2 I had cramps and red gloops coming out, as well as some white and gray tissue. It felt like a painful period, although the cramps were wierd - I felt more pain in my cervix, and it felt uncomfortable to sit in a chair - I am guessing because it was dilating. I thought -ok well if it stays like this, I can definitely do this at home. Also - I had read on a blog prior to this coming on about how some women helped their MC along - I can't scientifically say that it this worked, but I took the following things to help my body eject the matter and in hopes of preventing infection.
1. eating a lot of pineapple ( if you google it, it's also recommended for pregnant women who have a hard time going into labor so are overdue)
2. Primrose oil capsule - I took 1 pill 1,000 mgs for first few days then took 2 a day
3. drinking raspberry leaf tea - both primrose oil and raspberry leaf tea help regulate the menstral cycle. You can read about this if you research those specific things and what they do on google - so I won't go into this here.

-so day 3 of MC, I woke up at 5 am feeling a lot of pain, ran to the bathroom but was surprized to see not much stuff coming out - which was odd. I then broke into sweats - dripping down sweat, and felt nauseous, campy and just horrible. Thought I would pass out in bathroom - not convenient when hubby and parents were esleep. In retro-spect i would recommend leaving bathroom door open, and fan off in case you need help. eventually I managed to get up and wake up husband. I few mins later we decided to make up my parents - my mom is a nurse. by then I was screaming in pain - I may have a lower threshold, I don't know but when something hurts that much you can't help it. They decided to call an ambulance. So this was all crazy and dramatic - the ambulance guys came really quickly, and they started to count my contractions - essentially I was going into labor - at 6 wks! which is crazy. I also then had the chills- so my whole body was shaking.
Got to ER within 10 mins, blood pressure was low and i was bleeding pretty badly by then and contractions were really powerful and close togther. They gave me morphine and an IV which helped the pain and my blood pressure which still got pretty low. They managed to get my GYN on the line - and did a sonogram which by then showed I had passed most of the matter - but it was stuck to lining of my vagina. So by 12 ish the GYN made the call that I didn't need D&C, and he was also of opinion that nature is better at making things happen, but I was right to come in for observation, IV etc. He removed the sac and placenta ( painless) and sent it off for analysis ( non chromosomal since it was first mC). I was able to go home by 3 pm.

1 day later - I have a huge headache ( apparently due to estrogen withrawal - and drinking coffee is recommended, seems to work), and still walk like a penguin - the cervix is still raw, and I am still passing come blood clots but other than that there is not other discharge.

Psychologically I think this was v traumatic - for me and my family but I still am not sure I should have gotten the D&C. I just wish they could admit you as soon as you start MC for observation as a normal procedure - the ambulance/ER visit was kind of traumatic part, and the fact that I had to reach the super high pain threshold to get the pain medication too.

I am writing this not to scare anyone - but to prepare in terms of what you need to have available and what options you have - you'll have to make your own decisions etc., Some women from what I read pass this as a difficult period, for me it turned out to be more than that.

All the doc's, nurses and ambulance guys were amazing btw - i got superior service and good information from them but the choice on D&C still rested with me, they hesitated to make recommendation and since I didn't have excessive bleeding - the only thing they could worry about was my blood pressure - which normalized only closer to when I was released.

So many more days of recovery for me - and my husband - who I am lucky to say was so supportive. Make sure you have at least 1 person - loved one or friend who can support you through this before and after, you shouldn't have to go through this alone. Find help with blogs or support groups.

Things I plan to do to work through this
1. get plenty of rest
2. talk to my close friends
3. think and do other things to replace negative memories with positive ones
4. re-start my yoga practise, and hiking - two physical activities I love and which help my stress levels
5. be profusely thankful to my family for being there for me smile

If you are reading this - you may be trying to learn what to expect - all I can say is, prepare what you can, and try to relax as you are going through it - stress makes everything worse. life is full of ups and downs, and this is a difficult moment in your life but it's a common female experience and you can get through this as many of us do and have. the physical, the emotional are just as important and you need to take care of both sides of yourself. all will turn out ok - but make sure to have what you need to help things along in case of worst case scenario.

hope this was helpful for some people.

CSLewis Thu 09-Oct-14 22:59:21

Bump for Newbie6

Leela5 Wed 01-Oct-14 11:48:29

Thank you for this thread. I'm going through mc just now and found this useful

Flower29 Wed 01-Oct-14 11:37:06

Friendofsadgirl - you sound like a lovely thoughtful friends! having been through this myself I would say just to keep asking how she is and if she'd like to meet up or for you to go round to hers. It is a week and a half from my mmc and some days I just want to stay at home and mope and not see anyone but my friend is coming to see me in a bit so looking forward to that. Your friend may be very up and down. Don't be afraid to ask her about it and make her know she can talk to you about everything. I've found that some people don't want to talk about it in case it upsets me but it's a horrible feeling thinking nobody wants to know. Sure you're doing a great job anyway!
Lobster -sorry you're having to go through this! I had medical management and was very scared but also read up on it and spoke to people so felt quite prepared (as I could be). Hope it happens as quickly and painlessly as possible for you. Just take your time after it has happened. I was quite crampy and sensitive when on a my feet for a while after, so put your feet up. Also it may take time for the emotional aspect to sink in so please be kind to yourself and don't feel pressured into getting back to 'normal', do what you feels right. Thinking of you, you're not alone.

LobsterMagnet Wed 01-Oct-14 08:21:48

Thank you to everyone who has posted here and given their experience and tips. It makes me feel better prepared - much more useful than information given by the hospital. I was told at my first scan a couple of days ago that I had a mmc and now I have to wait for my body to go through the mc. I'm scared but at least I can expect what's going to happen & prepare for it the best I can!

friendofsadgirl Mon 22-Sep-14 20:38:34

Is there any advice you can offer for me to support a friend who just found out today that she mmc at 8 weeks (3 weeks ago). She had slight bleeding over weekend but couldn't get a scan until this morning.
She's my friend and colleague and I really want to say/do the right thing. It was her 1st pregnancy and was after ivf treatment. She will find out tomorrow when she has to go back to hospital for surgical procedure.

Tranquilitybaby Wed 17-Sep-14 17:38:54

Bleeding's not as bad as it was last night and pain fine of unless I do too much xx

Thepurplegiraffe Wed 17-Sep-14 08:52:36

Ok but if you get alot of pain or really heavy bleeding maybe go and see someone. Hope you have some support there.

Tranquilitybaby Wed 17-Sep-14 08:41:06

I saw her yesterday and she sent off a urine test. I guess I can just let them know over the phone in a few days. Thank you x

Thepurplegiraffe Wed 17-Sep-14 08:33:12

Hugs Tranquility , it's so tough, especially after what you went through in April. Are you going to see the doctor this morning? Someone said to me the other day, it is worth getting it recorded and making sure that you are ok physically. Thinking of you.

Tranquilitybaby Wed 17-Sep-14 08:26:47

Thank you purple, I appreciate it. Pain finally subsided so I could get a bit of sleep. Feel completely lost/angry/tearful this morning.

Thepurplegiraffe Wed 17-Sep-14 06:47:39

Oh Tranquility I am so sorry, was really hoping that wasn't the case. I didn't have that much pain so I'm not sure, have you tried calling 111?
Not silly at all re paracetamol, I avoided caffeine etc for the rest of the weekend even though I knew there was no point. Hope you have some support there in rl.

Tranquilitybaby Wed 17-Sep-14 05:09:57

Looks like in mc right now, I only got a bfp yesterday. sad

It's 5am and I've woken up in a lot of pain, bleeding lots with tissue in it when I sit on the toilet but not really into a pad so far. TMI but feel like I need to poo, have that pressure but can't go, is that normal?

I've only taken two paracetemol (nothing stronger just in case - who am I kidding? sad ) but it's not touching the pain, I don't know what to do with myself so just staying in the bathroom.

This is just awful, an ectopic in April and now this, need a break.

Thepurplegiraffe Sun 14-Sep-14 14:26:50

Hi Miffy, I'm sorry you are going through this, especially so far away from home. I am also going through something very similar, I don't have a huge amount of pain but I do have nausea and am bleeding alot.

I went to the gp on Friday as I was spotting even then and she has given me a referral for an early scan. Obviously things have moved on since then and I know the outcome but I think it is important to go and make sure everything is going as it should. I don't think you should put yourself going to work on Monday, maybe call your gp and see what they say on Monday. Unless it gets really heavy and you are worried, then of course you should see someone sooner.

Miffy2014 Sat 13-Sep-14 21:49:34

I'm sorry if this has already been covered but there are hundreds of messages to read...
I'm currently miscarrying while a couple of hundred of miles away from home. I have been staying with family when it all started. I'll be travelling home tomorrow as pre planned.
I don't really know what to do next. Do I call my gp on Monday to refer me into the EPAU?
TMI: The bleeding is heavy with big clots. I am experiencing strong cramps which come in waves and feel nauseated. I don't have a temperature though.
I have no idea what's 'normal' or whether I just carry on with going to work on Monday.
I feel lost if I am honest. What would you advise?? I'd appreciate any form of opinion. Thank you

ToriB34 Thu 11-Sep-14 11:43:40

trix... I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you're doing as well as can be expected today. Xx

ToriB34 Thu 11-Sep-14 11:42:15

coco...I'm sorry for your loss. You don't have to tell anyone if you don't want to. Miscarriage seems to still be something of a taboo. But if you want to tell people and feel you can't do you think that's maybe because you're scared of their reaction? I am extremely open about my miscarriage - I don't know how else to be. The first few times I talked about it face to face I cried so much but I can now talk about it mostly without tears. I have had the most amazing support and the emotional recovery has been easier as people understand if I'm having a bad day.

With the not wanting to see people, it seems to be a fairly common reaction. I didn't leave the house for ages after my miscarriage and when I did panicked in a supermarket. But it will ease I promise xx

ToriB34 Thu 11-Sep-14 11:36:15

saraha... I'm sorry for your loss. There is no magical point at which you're supposed to feel better. It will take time and probably more than you think. I had a medical management of a mmc in July and I am still having bad days. Be kind to yourself and don't expect yourself to feel fine straight away. There is an emotions after miscarriage thread on here which I've found useful.

BePositive04 Thu 11-Sep-14 09:20:42

Great thread ladies! I found out I had a missed miscarriage on Monday, should have been 10.3 weeks along, baby was actually 9 weeks along and no heart beat. I opted for the medical management option (mainly because I have PCOS and was worried about possible scarring if I had the op and thus further reduced fertility. Plus I didn't like the uncertainty of waiting for a natural miscarriage as I am due back to work soon (this has happened in the middle of my holiday) and I really don't want to have to tell anyone at work. They didn't even know I was pregnant. Anyways, before I got the mc induced I went into active mc naturally yesterday. It started with really intense abdominal pain. I was really worried at first as I took two nurofen express tablets as soon as it started but they didn't seem to do anything. But fortunately the pain eased after an hour and whilst I have had some pain since then it is intermittent and less intense. I was fine over night (slept well) and I haven't needed to take any more painkillers yet. My advice to anyone going through a mc would be stock up on loads of winged long night time sanitary pads (or more industrial ones if you can find them), stay at home near a toilet if you can for at least the first three hours or so, have wet wipes with you as well as lots of toilet roll (I was in public loos when this happened to me but at least with the wet wipes I was able to clean up after myself, toilet paper on its own wouldn't have worked.) if you do go out and about take spare clothes as well as underwear with you (my jeans were soaked through by the time I got home having toilet hopped the whole way). Also, I know this won't be the same for everyone, but I am feeling much better emotionally as well as physically now the process is well underway. Before i couldn't speak about the mc to anyone without bursting into tears and was permanently on the edge. I think it was hard dealing with the fact I still had the baby inside me and still had the bump and looked pregnant and I was also really worried about how much the process was going to hurt. Whilst it has been very messy and there has been a lot of blood it wasn't
as painful as I expected. I am still obviously very upset and sad that my pregnancy has ended this way but I am starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to all of you having to deal with this sadness in your own lives. Wishing you all the best and sending you lots of hugs. Xxx

Bristolian1 Thu 11-Sep-14 08:32:04

Hi trixlady, I'm so sorry for your loss. I had medical management for my first MMC, just like you they gave me one lot of prostaglandin medication which you insert into your vagina with a tampon (sorry if TMI!). After wearing this for a few hours, I started to have strong period pain type cramps and then started bleeding. The bleeding was quite heavy and the pains were like really bad period pain, I took paracetamol, codeine and ibuprofen and that was strong enough. It enabled me to have my miscarriage at home which felt more private and dignified, but it was a little scary at times with the heavy bleeding. This thread has some amazing advice, and I would re-iterate it - keep taking your preg vits, they have iron in them which might help you recover from the blood loss, and keep yourself well hydrated. A hot water bottle helped me with the pain. I hope this helps, and really sorry to hear that you are going through this. I've been lurking on here as am having my second MMC and going in for an ERPC (for medical reasons) tomorrow.

trixlady Wed 10-Sep-14 19:42:12

So glad ive found this thread. Im 8 weeks pregnant. Had a scan yesterday and the baby has no heart beat:/they discused with me about medical removel which I said yes too. And im in tomorrow. The first lady I spoke too said I would have two lots of pills one yesterday and tomorrow but then saw the specialist and she said she wasnt going to give me the first lot of pills as the baby has no heart beat so the second would be enough to help the miscarrage along :/ I know everyone is different but what should I expect? Ive read a few posts on here and should expect heavy bleeding but what about pain wise? Im really nervous, my app is at half 10 tomorrow :/ xx

CocoWootie Wed 10-Sep-14 00:23:12

Just gone through a d&c after finding out I had a missed miscarriage at my first scan the day after I found out I was pregnant at 9 weeks. Felt quite stupid to be so totally unaware I was pregnant but after the endometriosis and being 35 I didn't think I could get pregnant without trying and knew it sometimes takes a few months for cycles to get back to normal after stopping birth control so wasn't too worried when I missed one period. Now that I think about it I was totally in denial of all the signs.

Physically I feel alright (felt really good to get back on my bicycle this week) and am glad I went with the d&c option which wasn't too bad, but emotionally still going through all kinds of crazy mood swings, feeling sad, crying at random moments, and finding it really difficult to talk about.
I haven't been able to tell anyone other than my partner and my mother (who I waited a week to tell, even then it was really really difficult) not even our flatmate who just knows I have been off work on sick leave, and my workmates who know I have had to take leave for an unspecified medical matter.
Quite a blessing no one has pressed me for details (probably some of my workmates have guessed) as I feel really unable to talk about it, but I'm really struggling with not being able to simply pretend everything is normal. Feeling guilty for ignoring texts from friends asking me out to lunch or drinks, but I don't even know how to start to explain.
How do I talk about this? What do I say? Will it get easier?
I don't know why this is so hard for me to talk about. I hate making lame excuses (lying) or being intentionally vague when I run into a friend at the super market. Normally I am a very outgoing and cheerful person but I just wish everyone would leave me alone at the moment.
It all just feels so raw and painful and personal and such a huge deal, I can't bear to bring it up. I dread leaving the house and having to talk to people. How long will this take to pass? How do you talk about a miscarriage?

Saraha3776 Tue 09-Sep-14 22:49:39

Hi all. Well over a week ago I had my miscarriage and my head is still all over the place. Mine sounds quite easy and pain free considering what some of you went through. On the Thursday I had a scan which confirmed early pregnancy and then the day after the nurse gave me a scan and said the pregnancy had gone but I never passed the baby until the Saturday. Other that that my bleeding was like a period that eventually stopped the week after the initial bleeding. I'm signing my self back to work next week as I need the money. I just still feel down a week and a half later. I'm 34, 35 in a few months and have no other children. I'm worried that I won't get over it when I'm supposed too xx

MrsSordy Fri 22-Aug-14 09:20:44

Warning - the below is my account of my miscarriage and may be TMI for some.

The last few days have been tough. After leaving work on Wednesday, I spent some time with my nieces and nephews which really helped and kept my mind focused on something other than losing the baby.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time alone which was not good. I was brooding and was crying on and off throughout the day. I went to Tescos to stock up on pads and nearly broke into tears when I walked past the baby aisle. Like someone else had mentioned before, I could not bring myself to buy baby wipes. It felt like a sick joke so I opted for moist toilet tissues.

Last night I woke up at midnight and my bleeding was a bit heavier ( I have had light bleeding for a week). I woke an hour later and had a dull stomach ache. By 1.30 the pain was getting worse so I took cocodamol. I sat on the toilet for a while and then felt a whoosh of liquid leave my body. I am guessing that this was the waters breaking. As soon as this happened I felt the pain subside a little. I am guessing this was because of the release but may have been a combination with the painkillers. I went back to bed for about 15 minutes. When I stood up I realised that I was losing a lot of blood and for a moment thought that I was going to leave a huge mess on the bedroom floor. I went back to the toilet and spent the next couple of hours there. The bleeding was too heavy for pads to cope with so the toilet was the best place. I periodically tried to clean myself up but it was pointless. The blood continued to flow and there were some very large clots so any effort to clean up did not last.

At about 3.00am I tried to leave the toilet as it is not the most comfortable place to be. I stood up and walked about for about 20 seconds but very quickly started to feel faint and was burning up. I had to dash back to the toilet and remained there for another half hour.

I returned to bed for a short while at about 3.30am but was worried of making a mess. I returned to the bathroom a few minutes later. I heard something drop into the toilet. There was a lot of blood in the toilet so I could not see what it was and could not bring myself to fish it out. I could be wrong but I am guessing this was the baby. This was the bit I was worried about and so in a way am glad I couldn't see it.

By 4.30am things had settled down and I was able to return to bed and get some sleep. I am now settled in for a recovery day at home watching films and not doing much at all.

I feel mentally in a better place today. Yesterday I just wanted to get it over with so that I could move on. Going through the miscarriage I think helps to give closure. I am not saying that I am over it but it is a huge step in the process to get past.

My husband and I got pregnant on our honeymoon. I am 34 and my husband is 43. We knew that we had left it late so just said, if it happens it happens and did not have our hearts set and focused on children. However when we got pregnant it made me realise that I wanted a baby more than I thought I did. And now having lost one, I realise just how much I wanted it.

There was no pressure before as we were very relaxed about children. But it now scares me to think that I really want it and am not sure if I can go through this emotional roller coaster again.

I am sorry for my long posts. But I actually find writing about this experience very therapeutic.

Katimp Thu 21-Aug-14 01:09:23

Italygirl and MrsSordy I hope you are as ok as you can be right now. Before this, I had no idea at all and it's through the experiences off others that I have found solace. Although we would wish no-one to be going through a miscarriage - if you are, know that you aren't alone - ever. The testimonies of women on this website are there to support you and give you strength through this horrible time.
Today I went back to EPU, as Italygirl rightly said protocol is that they need 1wk between scans to verify mmc. I wasn't sure whether we should go this morning, as yesterday I began to bleed heavily. I think I passed clots but me being me I couldn't look. The splashes into the loo kind of made me think that. My lovely mum took ds and dd to her house and I am so grateful. Yesterday early evening I began to have really strong pains, literally contractions, but without the excitement that something good was going to happen. I alternated between the loo and bed for a good few hours. Poor DH didn't know what to do, and being honest he couldn't do anything thing but being close really helped. I managed some sleep but awoke at 5am with horrible pains particularly on one side. I forced myself into the shower and when DH woke I asked if we should go to EPU as was obvious what was happening. Part of me was scared that I was only at the beginning stages as the pain was really getting to me and the blood loss was scaring me too. Not long before we were due to leave I had to go the loo again and I literally felt a "Woomf". At my shout of "oh my god!" Poor DH was shouting do you need me??? After that I bled heavily but padded up and went to EPU. They re-scanned and said I'd, thankfully, passed the majority of the pregnancy tissue. The sonographer was lovely and I felt so relieved, tbh I was terrified that I wasn't coping or couldn't cope if the pains got worse. But, knowing that hopefully the worst(physically speaking) was over, was really reassuring. I've slept a lot today, and managed to talk to family members who since last wk I couldn't. I don't know quite how I feel, but in a way I do feel like something has lifted physically from me. I'm sad, and DH is sad but we're going to get through this. We've laughed at completely inappropriate things- I've been totally honest about what has happened in the bathroom, something I never would've before. Bizarre but true - even after 2 home births I was still a bit 'private'. Not any more! The worm has turned!!!

My advice is get through by whatever means. If people offer to help, accept it - it's not a sign of weakness, you are going though a traumatic time.
Ask about pain relief, I really wish I had had the opportunity to or even if I'd been clued up enough to ring the doc or the out of hours. There is no need to struggle through if it can be helped. Believe me paracetamol and hot water bottles don't cut the mustard, I wish I'd rang the doc and got a prescription- it's not a bravery competition.
Get the bestest pads you can. I used always night ones, had to dbl them up a couple of times but to be honest that was more for my head than was necessary for bleeding as I was never far away from loo and able to change.

I know that I am not by any means over this but, having had a 'missed' miscarriage which has now happened, I feel like I can accept it a bit more. I will get through this, and if you are reading this then it means that you need to know this- you will too. We will never, ever forget but we will get through, because do you know what? That's what mums do. Just because this baby didn't quite make it, doesn't mean I'm not it's Mama. I am mine, and you are yours. X

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