Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(405 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)?

chandelierswinger Sun 23-Aug-15 13:17:47

This is my second time on the thread. Having had a natural mc at 5 weeks (we think of one embryo), I ended up having surgical management at 10 weeks (mmc) for (what we think was) the second embryo a month later.

I had a fair few complications, so ended up in hospital for 4 days, having the surgical procedure twice confused and am now on two types of antibiotics sad This is fairly unusual though.

I'd just add to keep drinking plenty of water and try to keep your bowels moving (strong pain relief/general anaesthetic can mess you up) as that only adds to the discomfort.

Thoughts go out to everyone needing to access this thread flowers

mrsdiddlydoo Tue 18-Aug-15 21:18:03

Bump

147RedDog Tue 21-Jul-15 17:40:35

I went for medical management under local anaesthetic. I had a 'good' experience: great staff, high level of care, procedure went well (fingers crossed). My tips:

1. Painkillers.
The nurse advised dosing up on ibuprofen and paracetamol. Consider swapping paracetamol for co-codamol. It will make you feel dozy. You'll need someone with you to remember the advice/help you work out where the exit is.

2. Snacks and supplies
I had to fast before the procedure and they need you to hang about so they can check your blood pressure, pee and walk about before you leave. Bring good food to look forward to (hosp food is depressing) and something to pass the time.

3. Cosy clothes.
Be comfy, whatever that means to you. Your tummy might feel tender afterwards. Also, big pants for big pads.

Packing a wee bag was a way to think about what to expect and how I might feel. It also helped me feel prepared and a bit more in control of the day.

Sympathies to anyone who is waiting for EPRC/medical management of miscarriage. It's a bit grim but it's overly fairly quickly.

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 21-Jul-15 10:17:31

I went for medical management and this was 11 days ago now. I was 6 weeks pg but the pain was unbearable, I almost passed out and can definitely say it was akin to labour. Except you know that the pain isn't going to have a happy ending.

I still feel so wrung out, so tired and this morning I passed another big clot. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone. My DM is looking after my DS which I am so grateful for as I just want to hide. Is this normal and will it pass soon? I'm due to take a pg test on Friday and even though I know I'm not pg anymore I am dreading taking it.

Tips for coping with the pain from me would definitely include heat patches. I wanted to walk around, sway and get on all fours and couldn't keep a hot water bottle in place whilst doing this.

Keep telling yourself that the pain will pass; in my case it was around 4 hours of severe pain and then returned to period type pain. I had a few more bad cramps over the next few days but only lasting a few seconds.

Make sure you have childcare for your DC; I am so grateful that DS didn't see me at my worst.

Ask for an anti-emetic as the pains can make you feel very very sick and these worked for me.

I am so sorry to every woman going through this, I don't think I'll be trying again, it's just been too much.

LillianFullStop Mon 20-Jul-15 18:23:24

Here is a tip from someone doubled up in pain even after dosing on panadol and neurofen. Prepare for the worst - I tried to be optimistic and gravitated towards the posts where it was not so bad (I think they call that selective research). But now that the show has kicked off for me I would say it's closer to labour pains than period pains. I've never been in labour but I've had period pains before but this is something else!!!

Made the mistake of going in to work and the tube journey home was hell.

chandelierswinger Mon 20-Jul-15 15:22:38

Thank you CatnipMouse It's been a tough few days (was in hospital in the end) but the kindness of people irl and on these threads has helped immensely.

CatnipMouse Sat 18-Jul-15 19:53:11

Hope you're managing OK chandelier and have some real life support. Thinking of you.

chandelierswinger Sat 18-Jul-15 18:20:14

Thank you for this thread. Although very sorry that so many have had to post on it. It's helping me immensely today. flowers

CatnipMouse Fri 17-Jul-15 16:16:57

Hello - like others I have found this thread useful and so huge thanks to everyone that has shared their experiences.

Glitter, Eleanor, Positivity, and anyone else who has had this recently, my thoughts are with you. Goulash - hello again, sorry to be joining you here. I hope you have recovered from the ERPC.

I thought I would add mine to help subsequent people. I had medical management yesterday and overall, it was probably the right thing for me and not as bad as I feared.

I had a private scan at 10.5 weeks which showed that growth had stopped a while ago and there was no heartbeat any more. I was very upset but not surprised because an early scan at 8 weeks had shown that growth was a week behind where it should have been, although there had been a heartbeat then. (It was IVF hence the extra scanning)

I got myself down the local EPU that same day to discuss options and decided on medical management for several reasons - mainly, I just wanted it dealt with and over. I didn't want to be in limbo waiting for natural miscarriage, especially seeing as it had probably already been over for a couple of weeks and nothing had happened yet. I would have had to have waited a while for ERPC and didn't want to have to manage it myself at home (or worse, at work) if it happened naturally during that wait. And finally, the nurse who did my 8 week scan at the IVF clinic said that if it came to it, it was probably better to try and avoid surgery (I don't remember this conversation so I'm not sure why she said that, but my husband said this is what they recommended). They gave me the first pill at the EPU that afternoon and booked me in for two days time for the rest of the process.

I then came home and read up on medical management, including this thread, and got a bit scared, but also grateful for the information and advice. I went back to the hospital yesterday morning for the actual miscarriage. It was painful yes but not unbearably so. The pills cause contractions, I can't compare it to labour as I haven't been there, but it is certainly a strange feeling. They gave me codeine which took the edge off. I did get the shakes and chills early on, not sure why, but it wore off.

It was bloody of course but not nearly as bad as I feared, I was expecting a lot worse. It wasn't a huge gush as some people have experienced. I could feel lumps and clots sometimes when I was on the loo, I didn't look as I was already pretty wobbly and fainty. Where I was they give you cardboard inserts that you put in the loo, everything comes out into the insert and you put a lid over it and write on your bed number. The nurse takes it away and checks all the pans until they see you have passed the sac.

They gave me the pills at about 9 am, by 1.30 I'd passed the sac (I didn't realise at the time, it didn't feel different to me from all the other stuff and I'm not one to look), and I was feeling a lot better by about 3 and went home at 4.30, by which time most of the bleeding had stopped. Today I feel OK, maybe the odd twinge, there's still some bleeding but really not very much. I wouldn't want to go for a run or anything but I'm not feeling very weak. I would opt for this again (but bloody hell I hope I never have to) unless I was a fair bit further on in which case I would probably ask for ERPC instead if they could do that without too much waiting.

Where I was you could take in a friend or partner which is probably very useful and positive for some people, although I decided to manage on my own as I thought the nurses would probably be the best ones to look after me. They were very very good, it must be a horrible job but they were excellent and very kind.

My top tips for what they are worth:
The pads they had were OK but after reading this thread I took my own which I preferred. Tesco Maxi Night - they are much longer than the ones provided, cheap enough to buy loads, and did the job.
Sports bottle so you can drink while lying down. Drinking a lot helps with blood pressure and helps replace any fluid you are losing.
Chocolate or favourite sweets of some kind, this is not a day to diet. Get a load of sugar in your bloodstream, helps reduce wobbliness.
Chewing gum - helps to take your mind off the pain a bit perhaps, also might counteract the toothrotting amount of sweets?
A good book and your phone.

I hope this is a little bit reassuring / useful for people considering medical management - everyone is different of course and this is just my experience. And I really, really feel for anyone else who has to go through all this shit, because even if you are 'lucky' enough to have a choice about how to manage it, and whichever option you go for, it is still a shitty, horrible place to be.

positivity123 Fri 17-Jul-15 13:20:40

I thought that after the 2 days of heavy bleeding and passing the sack I would be ok. I tried to go back to work after a couple of day and had to leave after 4 hours as I bled heavily again. Emotionally I found this hard as it has been going on for over a week. I need to learn to give myself time

eleanoreleanorhen Thu 16-Jul-15 10:23:46

Thank you so much everyone who has posted here. I'm currently waiting for my miscarriage to get going. I had a 12 week scan a few days ago which found an empty sac & no fetus. The sonographer was quite positive and wouldn't even discuss the fact that I could have had a miscarriage and kept on saying 'maybe you've got your dates wrong', and booked me in for another scan in 2 weeks to check on progress. I knew my dates weren't that wrong and I knew when I saw the scan I had miscarried. I wish they'd discussed the possibility that I could miscarry with me so I could prepare myself. My DP left the scan feeling quite positive and it took a lot of persuading from me to convince him that it was not going to be OK. I've now started bleeding with some cramps and have felt quite worried about what is going to come. Thank you everyone for describing your MCs and the practical tips. I've taken some time off work, got some thick sanitary towels, bed pads and chocolate in and now just want it to happen. I feel prepared and less scared first what I'm about to go through, so thank you. I also feel less alone knowing so many people or there have experienced something similar. Thank you.

MsGlitterJunkie Tue 14-Jul-15 11:10:08

Hello everyone. Thank you to everyone who has shared their stories/ offered advice. This thread was invaluable after I miscarried at 8 weeks back in Nov just gone. I subsequently had another miscarriage at 5 weeks in Feb of this year. I thought I would share what happened to me in case it helps anyone.

Miscarriage number 1 started on a Wednesday, small amounts of brown blood which carried on until Saturday when a few spots of red appeared. It got increasingly worse on Sunday and clots appeared too. The pain was horrific, honestly I have always had heavy periods so my pain threshold is very very high but this was on another level.

I had an appt on Monday with emergency gynae by the time I got there I was convinced that the miscarriage was complete but the sac was still in there perfectly in tact so I opted for an ERPC the next day as the pain was making me faint.

But in the end I miscarried naturally that night. I can only describe as hell on earth, endless hours of pain with no pain relief, horrific cramping (essentially the same as labour) I went for a wee and the sac literally fell out into the toilet. If anyone is wondering how they will know if they have passed the sac, trust me, you will know.

I was in pain for about 5 days in total but that was much easier to manage after I got hold of some co dydramol, it saved me.

I go into such detail about this as I had no idea, none whatsoever, about miscarriage or what to expect and hence it was incredibly frightening and traumatising. If I had read this thread beforehand/ during I truly feel I would have been more prepared.

I would ensure you have plenty co dydramol to hand and take it religiously every 4 hours, don't wait for it to wear off before you take the next dose. I also took ibuprofen with it (as advised by my Dr.) for stronger/ more effective pain relief. Also stock up on heavy duty sanitary towels and be prepared for the fact you may be wearing them for quite some days.

Miscarriage number 2 happened at exactly 5 weeks and to be honest it was like a very very heavy period with lots of blood clots. Much less traumatising physically but worse mentally.

I am truly, truly sorry to those who have gone through this or who are going through this at the moment. There are no words to describe it but you WILL get through it. Time, it just takes time.

positivity123 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:47:01

I went to the hospital last Tuesday for my 12 week scan for my first pregnancy and found the foetus was only 6 weeks sized and no heartbeat. They couldn't confirm it was a miscarriage so booked me into the EGU in 2 weeks time. I've had light bleeding all week but yesterday I was cramping most of the day then at night I had heavy bleeding. I was up every 3 hours and sat on the toilet for an hour at a time as the blood and a few clots dripped out. The pain wasn't too had but I just feel wiped out today. I've spoken to the EGU this morning and they have recommended I rest and look after myself and they will confirm everything has passed at my appointment next week.
This thread has been very useful as it shows different people have different experiences in terms of pain levels. When I found out last week I was pretty thrown for a couple of days but then felt fine and over did it so it hit me last night. I'm going to be kind to myself for a few days and not go into the office, watch movies and eat nice food. My DH has been supportive as have work.
Massive hugs to anybody going through this. It is horrible but suprisingly common. Xxx

GoulashSoup Mon 22-Jun-15 19:37:30

Bumping so I can find this again.

Thank you for sharing your experiences, I hope it will help me and others have a slightly less unpleasant experience.

I'm currently waiting to see what happens before surgical management a week tomorrow.

tossedsalads Thu 18-Jun-15 11:29:02

I'm going through this at the minute, although as mine is quite early (6 weeks) it hasn't been too rough, just like a very heavy period.

For the pain I have been using co codamol and a hot water bottle which really does help the cramps.
I'm also feeling very achy down below and no idea how to fix that.
So sorry to everyone having this horrible experience x

Glomerulus Wed 17-Jun-15 16:48:23

Bump - this has been really useful today. Sorry for all of your losses x

Autumn2014 Sat 06-Jun-15 19:01:15

Bump

Cosmo123 Thu 04-Jun-15 11:49:35

Hi, ive just joined this forum. Im really sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage on Tuesday 2nd June and I'm finding it so hard to get over. I was 7 weeks pregnant and started getting brown discharge a week before and it carried on for 6 days then turned red. When the discharge was brown I went to a&e and was told this is very common just worry when I start bleeding red. After reading all the comments on this page it has made me feel better. But the one worry I have is will it happen again? And the pain Ive had since the miscarriage has been awful. This was my first pregnancy

iamadaftcoo Sun 31-May-15 21:23:09

Thank you Mama. I'm feeling ok. Only light brown blood so far and no cramping yet. Going for scan tomorrow just to double check it's not ectopic.

Been reading the miscarriage thread and quite terrified of sudden rush of blood and horrible pains...

MamaLazarou Sun 31-May-15 18:17:55

flowers to you, iamadaftcoo - I am sorry for your loss. How are you feeling?

iamadaftcoo Sun 31-May-15 06:58:40

Just bumping. Waiting to miscarry at 5 + 5 weeks x

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

Bump

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.

thanks

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