Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(571 Posts)

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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)?

Hazandduck Thu 28-Jul-16 13:01:40

Willow I totally agree putting on proper clothes makes you feel alive again!! I washed my hair and painted my toenails a day after I got home from hospital and although I was still bleeding I felt normal again. It's amazing what a nice shower can do for you. Hope it is over quickly for you. I want to get back to normal! Doctor has confirmed that my cervix is now closed and other than a bit of brown spotting think mine is over. I'm actually looking forward to DTD whereas last week I couldn't imagine ever wanting to again! Think I may give it a go tonight (hopefully it won't be too painful.) Wishig you a very quick recovery and sorry for your loss X

Willow611 Thu 28-Jul-16 12:17:33


First off, thanks Kim and Kaz for your support, it really made me feel better yesterday. I'm so sorry Kaz you've had such a rough ride, I hope it clears up very soon. It's a good thing to have a little rant!

I'm having a short burst of positivity.... Unfortunately, after a bout of heavier bleeding yesterday everything slowed back down overnight so I still haven't got it over with and am still in the horrible limbo. But I've had a hot shower and put some proper clothes on and killed an hour or so with some online retail therapy which I can highly recommend, was an excellent distraction. This afternoon I'm going to try and call an old friend and generally keep myself a bit busier. Fingers crossed for everyone.

Hazandduck Thu 28-Jul-16 11:36:34

I went back to the start of this thread and have read through a lot of it! What wonderful advice and support I have found.

I miscarried just under two weeks ago, and was supposed to go back to work yesterday (I have only left the house to go to the docs) but night before last had the worst stomach upset I've ever had in my life! Literally it was like the films (sorry TMI!) Horrendous!! It felt like a definite sign that I wasn't ready to go back.

I wish I had found this thread before my miscarriage, people who had told me before that it's just like a heavy period did not prepare me for what I was going to experience. As many other of you poor ladies have gone through, I bled everywhere extremely heavily and pushing out clots with contraction type pains and at A and E had a D and C without pain relief, needless to say I screamed my head off like a total wimp! But afterwards it felt better (though sore.)

In my pregnancy pack I don't remember getting any info on this really. But it's a bit of a blur and I threw the whole thing in the bin when I got home from hospital. Thanks for all the information everyone has supplied over 4 years to this thread, the practical tips do make you feel better prepared in case this ever happens again.

My OH said we know we can survive this now. Which is true. He normally faints at blood but was actually cleaning up my clots as I couldn't bear to look at them. He was an absolute hero.

So sorry to everyone for your losses.

KazG71 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:25:03

It didn't sound too gloomy at all just real! I hope it's easier for you but I have been in pain for 2 weeks and it got so bad last Monday my OH called an ambulance. Cervix wouldnt open to let anything out even after medical management hence it being pulled out in end. Stay strong and I really hope it's easier for you than it has been for me

KazG71 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:17:25

Hi willow

Can totally relate right now. I am still bleeding 2 weeks on from initial bleed. Been prodded poked had things shoved up me and placenta pulled out by forceps finally on Monday. Physical pain finally since then but bleeding ongoing which means I can't be intimate with my OH which is now driving me nuts!! All I want to do is put this behind me and try again but can't stop crying Coz I can see no end atm. Hcg levels still at 2400 and seems a long way to go before we can even start thinking of trying again. Self employed and 2 weeks off work unpaid etc but really not feeling up to returning at the mo. Just ranting now but thinking of you as I know exactly where your at and you're not alone x

Willow611 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:13:46

I'm now really worrying that my last post was so gloomy it will be unhelpful to others... I'm sorry! Just having a moment... When I'm through this I think I'll have some more useful and positive things to say xx

Willow611 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:00:14

Hello again,

I hope no-one minds, but I'm using this thread as a bit of a therapeutic outlet as I sit here waiting for medically managed MMC to get moving. Despite having a lovely DH and a house full of relatives (mother and in laws here for unrelated reasons) I only really want to share feelings with people who've been through it.

Went to the hospital this morning to have various tablets shoved up various bits of me which actually in the end wasn't too bad, DH and I even found ourselves laughing as I fiddled about with self administering the pessaries and it was nice to have a moment of humour. Now though, it's a few hours later and after a very small bit of bleeding, nothing more is happening. I'm finding that pretty tough. Am in bed trying to get some rest and distract myself with books/tv, but the limbo really sucks.... Waiting, for the onset of heavy bleeding and potentially severe pain lasting hours or even days at the end of which all I'll have to show for it is a little dead foetus. Sorry, I think I'd be embarrassed to sound so self pitying in RL but I'm struggling to find anything positive in this situation.

Reading back over some of the previous posts I'm reminded that I might need to be more prepared for this to take some time. Had just hoped to have it over quickly. I feel guilty about not spending time with my DS who wants to be with me even though his grandmas are taking good care of him. But I just really want to hide from the world till this is done with. My family are so supportive and sympathetic but I feel, strangely and illogically, kind of humiliated that everyone knows what's going on.

Love to anyone else who might be reading this and in a similar position.

Kimphoenix Wed 27-Jul-16 15:49:31


I started bleeding and cramping this morning, have seen the gp, he's booked me in for a scan tomorrow morning. Currently at home with paracetamol. I'm only about five weeks gone, but I just can't stop crying

Willow611 Tue 26-Jul-16 16:28:23

Hi everyone,

I've always been a bit too shy to post on forums but this thread is so very useful for me given my current situation and so I wanted to say thanks, and to share some experiences myself in return.

I still can't quite believe I'm here at all, I've always had a terror of MMC and worried about it constantly during my first pregnancy. That time I was lucky enough not to encounter it but yesterday, I went for an early scan (9 weeks) and was told the baby had stopped around 8 weeks and there was no heartbeat to be found. I feel like I knew as soon as I saw the screen, it was just so still. I'm sure I'll never forget hearing those words from the sonographer. It's making me feel pretty weepy to write this but thinking maybe that's a good thing as since the scan I've gone into super-practical, put a brave face on it mode, but clearly there's a lot of emotions hiding in there!

Anyway I'm currently booked in to start the medical management process tomorrow morning, and being able to read some straightforward no-frills advice about what I might be facing is so helpful. All of you ladies who've been through this and are prepared to share what you've learned are brave and amazing! Women are a tough bunch. Am feeling pretty terrified about the amount of blood and the pain if it's anything like labour pains as some have experienced, but I guess I'll get through it one way or another.

Think this thread should definitely be made permanent.

KazG71 Wed 20-Jul-16 19:48:32

Thanks so much moobeana. Really wasn't prepared for how much this would hurt both physically and emotionally. Want to keep busy to take my mind off how I feel right now and trying to stop blaming myself. However physically in so so much pain still that the second I try and do anything I have to sit or lay down again because the pain is unbearable

moobeana Wed 20-Jul-16 19:34:30

Hi Kaz, I am so so sorry you have had to come find us here.
I understand your devastation. Just keep breathing, hug those you love and ask anything you can't bare to out loud.

My only platitude will be this. It does get better. I promise.

KazG71 Tue 19-Jul-16 20:46:57

Hi all. Struggling to find the words to say right now. Had a miscarriage this morning at 9 weeks pregnant. I am 45 years ago and my only child is almost 20 now. I'm tears and pain and struggling right now. Anyway just wanted to say hi and introduce myself

MrsMillions Mon 18-Jul-16 18:39:31

Bumping for LeannRegs

MrsMillions Mon 18-Jul-16 18:39:05

Bumping for LeannRegs

ellewalk Mon 04-Jul-16 16:53:11

Hello everyone. It has taken me a few days to get to a place whereby I could talk about my recent experience with miscarriage. I have been seeking strength from this thread. It has surprised me how common the experience of miscarriage is but how even today we don't really talk about. Hearing other ladies experiences has helped me greatly over the last few weeks.

So I am 38, put off having children whilst I built my career, have been trying to conceive for 14 months, then at the beginning of May I had that wonderful BFP, I was overjoyed, although also very scared. Everything was going fine, then about 8 weeks later i woke to see that I had bleed a little in the night, only a little and it brown blood. I assumed it was juts old blood and tried to put it to my mind. Pregnancy symptoms were still in full force. Horrid morning sikcness (all day long) breasts so sensitive and sore I could hardly touch them. So I carried on as normal. No more bleeding so thought I was okay. About a week later I had a little bit more brown spotting, only when i wiped. Thought I better get it checked out. My GP referred me to my EPU at my local hospital and they arranged for me to have a scan the following day. I thought all was going to be okay, the bleeding had stopped and I had no pain at all. Oh how wrong I was. They scanned me and told me that the embryo looked small and not what they would expect at now 9 weeks. They took bloods and asked me to come back in 48 hours for a repeat blood. I duly did, my HCG level had gone from circs 50000, to 65000 but whilst going up it was not going up as it should. They asked me to come back 48 hours later for another scan. This time I took DH, they told me then that I had a blighted ovum, the baby had not developed, the sac was growing hence my HCG levels going up but no baby there. I was devasted, i fell apart in DH arms. I was sat around watching people have their baby scans and coming out with their smiles and pictures, my heart felt like it was breaking. They took more blood and told me that they would see what my levels were doing and then sort out what to do next. My levels rose again so they offered me ERPC or I could wait it out and deal with the situation naturally. They said that my body would catch up eventually that it needed to miscarry. I did not want to wait. My body had already taken so much time and not caught up I wanted an end to the matter! Next day i went in for the ERPC, the hospital were great. They put me in a private room so was not witness to all the pregnant ladies etc. I had the operation and all went well. I came back from the operating room and was told I should be able to go home in a few hours. After about an hour, i started to feel pain in my uterus, like period pain but not. I suffer from painful periods so am quite good at dealing with the pain and have a high pain threshold. This pain was off the scale, within minutes of the pain starting I was writhing around in agony. The pain was intense, I have not had a baby but it must be like child birth, I was contracting and pushing it was horrid. My DH came to pick me at the time he thought I would be going home to find me delirious with pain. No matter what pain killer they gave me it just did not touch it. Eventually they brought out the good painkillers and after 6 hours of agony they got on top of the pain and it subsided. Because of this they kept me in over night. Since then I have little pain, about a week of bleeding which slowed to a spot and then a stop. In the last week I have had an abundance of jelly/egg white discharge (It will 4 weeks this Thursday since the ERPC). I mean great big globs of it. If i was TTC i would be excited that I am ovulating but surely I am not?? We are not TTC at the moment. I am not sure I want to again. I change from wanting a child to not wanting a child almost hourly. So i have decided to take some time to sort my head out and then decide what we are going to do. All in all the experience was horrid and the pain (emotionally) is still on-going. I am sorry for all the ladies that have posted on here and those who don't post but just seek comfort in the words of others. Good wishes to you all.

TurquoiseDress Thu 23-Jun-16 13:34:07

Hello everyone

I thought I'd come back & post again about my experience of medical management of a MMC....

We learned of MMC at 12 week dating scan- baby stopped developing around 7/8 weeks.

I declined surgical management. Took the pessaries at home last week- within about 4 hours I had abdominal cramping, lots of bleeding & passing of large clots.

Thought it was all over and done with, then exactly 1 week after the pessaries, all dressed & ready to go back into work- developed severe cramping & bleeding then the clots just kept coming & coming.

Almost 48 hours after this episode, woke up with more cramping & felt a strange trickle. Got out of bed but barely made it to the bedroom room before there was a gush & fluid running down my legs and all over the carpet- was like water (with some blood)- I wondered if this was the sac rupturing/amniotic fluid going..?

This was followed a good few hours of bad cramping pains- in fact, like contractions, coming & going every 10 mins or so, with clots/tissue/blood coming out each time. When I say clots, they were approx the size of my palm and lots of them.

This was the worse episode by far- I was so very glad not to be at work/dropping my LO off at childcare/in the car/at Sainsburys.

So, yesterday felt like the actual miscarriage.
It's been well over a week since I put the pessaries in & almost 7 weeks since the baby stopped developing.
A bit fed up now, just want to be not pregnant & put this all behind us.

Just a warning to those who go down the medical management route- it does not always work straight away! Take at least 1 week off work...I thought it was all over & went off seeing friends and doing normal things, but now I'm staying close to home.

If yesterday had happened outside the home, my clothes would've been soaked in blood...I was soaking a pad in about 15 mins which was scary as I've never had really heavy periods before, so I could see it was relatively huge blood loss!

I was concerned it hadn't worked properly- as I had felt it had been too 'easy', not as much blood etc as I had been expecting (based on what other women have written online).

But also because I know it doesn't always work, I was one of the unfortunates to have a MMC, didn't see why I wouldn't be one for whom medication doesn't work.

I wanted to avoid surgical management at all costs.

All I can say is- if you go for medical management at home, do not venture too far from the bathroom/home, have lots of heavy duty pads in stock (I also made use of left over maternity pads!), pain relief and trashy magazines/reading material to distract you.

Good luck to all of you going through this horrendous time!

TurquoiseDress Sun 12-Jun-16 12:16:55

I have never looked at this topic on mumsnet- up until a few days ago I was 12 weeks pregnant.

Bleeding started a few days before my scheduled scan & was like a period. Had a bad feeling about it all, despite all the threads I read after desperately googling to find out how things had turned out for others.

Had a sense of dread before the scan and deep down knew we would be exceptionally lucky to see a baby and heartbeat on the scan.

So it was a missed miscarriage...apparently 1 in a 100 women.

Still bleeding lots, has been almost 7 days, ERPC is booked but I think I'm going to cancel it & take the medications instead. I have the feeling a lot of stuff has passed already. Surprisingly no pain at all so far.

Now starting to feel angry & annoyed at the loss. Seeing other women I know who are pregnant, a couple months ahead of me or so. So frustrating not to be having a baby now.
And the prospect of starting all over again.

This thread has been so helpful from a practical point of view, getting ready to face taking tablets/pessaries tomorrow & potentially kick everything off, although a fair amount had passed already.

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread.

licorice flowers.
I had a mc at 9 weeks, three years ago. Looks like I will be starting on my second very soon. I passed the sac and foetus in one go. I didn't catch it, but did hover over the loo for a while, wondering whether I should fish it out. I didn't. I flushed. It seemed the only practical thing to do in the circumstances.

pandabanana Tue 07-Jun-16 21:53:02

I just had a MC at 5 wks. It was horrible... I was on bedrest for more than a week with visits to the doctor only for shots to help the baby "stick" but I lost the him/her/it anyway. I used the heaviest flow sanitary napkins for overnights and changed frequently. I also recommend using doggie pee pads under you in bed to protect your mattress and sheets. It works and is cheap.Get the big kind so you have more coverage. I stopped bleeding 3 days ago, supposedly, after the ultrasound I was all clear... then a few hours ago I started bleeding again. So back on the pads I go. To top it off, I get the flu! Fun.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 06-Jun-16 12:18:49

flowers "Licorice"

My baby was also about 8 weeks. I don't know when I passed the sac, I didn't see it. But I would have done the same if I had seen it. I don't think you shortchanged it.

LicoriceComfit Fri 27-May-16 20:25:55

This is a very good idea for a thread.

I had my miscarried a whopping 21 years ago, but the memory is very clear.

I was eight weeks, bled off and on for a day or two and then had a sudden urge to push, like (TMI) if you have a heavy period with a clot.

Warning - possible distressing content here.

I contracted and pushed (not sore at all) - and thankfully was in the loo because of the feelings - and on a piece of tissue paper caught the, well, at first glance large clot, at second glance a tiny sac and teeny blueish baby.

I didn't know what to do with him/her. I still don't know what was right. But I cried (am actually crying a little now writing this) and said goodbye and wrapped him/her in tissue and flushed. I feel bad about that, but what else could I do?

Then I went downstairs and sobbed as I announced it was over.

Does anyone have a better idea of what I should have done with this teeny, tiny remains? The size was slightly larger than a 50p, but still my child.

And tears again; oh dear, seems I haven't really made my peace as much as I had thought.

AnUtterIdiot Fri 27-May-16 14:53:27

Oh - when I started shaking we called out a paramedic and he did my obs, which were bang on normal, and said I could keep going at home (he was very nice). I think he would have taken me in if I had been alone though.

AnUtterIdiot Fri 27-May-16 14:51:17

My experience/tips:

I found out at 12 weeks that I had an MMC at 8 weeks. I wanted a D&C partly to avoid what I thought would be a painful and messy experience at home and partly because I am self employed and could not work with the risk of miscarrying. I ended up miscarrying yesterday at home, the night before the scan.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be. We had codydramol and diclofenac which I think really damped down the cramps, which were painful but manageable. I started out on the loo but found that very uncomfortable so DH put a plastic sheet on the bed with a towel, which I found easier. I was very cold, probably shock, so we had lots of blankets on hand. The cramping and blood clots lasted about 4.5 hours and then I was able to sleep. I had bought a load of max absorbency Tenalady because whilst they are for incontinence they are also huge and don't leak.

Today I had a scan and it turned out I had passed the sac. To those who are afraid of seeing the sac, I was told that this can happen but at my stage it was more likely to break down and pass out in a clot so you wouldn't see it.

I would still choose the D&C over home if I had the choice, but I found natural miscarriage manageable.

AnUtterIdiot Fri 27-May-16 14:38:35

Thanks, Tinkly. This really helped and I thought it would be good as a sticky too.

Tinklypoo Thu 26-May-16 19:06:51

Just posting to bump and to ask MNHQ of they'll consider making sticky? Thanks

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