Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(562 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

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)?

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

AKP79 Sun 22-May-16 20:40:01

Fuck, cheeky... I'm so sorry I'm reading this. I'm gutted I'm seeing you here. Xxxx

redstrawberries101 Sun 22-May-16 17:58:20


I had a mmc in Jan at 12 weeks and referred to this thread at the time and it was a great source of help. My experience was pretty horrendous but at least I had some sort of expectation after reading here. I won't go into that now.

I'm currently going through 2nd miscarriage at 6 weeks. Found out today my HCG levels were only 129. So far I've just had a tiny bit of discharge and passed one string like clot. Not sure what to expect this time as I'm obviously not as far on as last time. Can anyone help?? I've had backache and cramps but nothing a hot water bottle isn't helping with.

anewbie86 Mon 09-May-16 11:29:45

I also wanted to add a few tips for people supporting friends going through this as I have seen some friends posting on here. At times I was a bit underwhelmed by my friends responses but I think it's because they just didn't know how to handle it.

So here are some things:
1. Saying something is better than saying nothing. Silence is the most lonely place to be. One of the most comforting things a friend said to me was when I told her I didn't want to chat one evening and she said that it was fine but that she would check on me in a couple of days. Just knowing that I was in her thoughts and that she would come back to me was a real comfort. That said...never ever ever ever drop the 'at least you can get pregnant' bomb. This feels very ouchy. No one gets a prize for just being able to get pregnant.
2. Don't feel like you have to fix it for your friend - this is natural to want to make things better when you see her in a lot of pain emotionally and physically but no one can 'fix' it for her. A lot of people said things to me about trying again, thinking to the future and that sort of stuff. For someone who is going through a missed miscarriage this can be very hard to take if the baby is still inside your body. Even though it feels like you're trying to give your friend hope, what they really need is for you to be there in the moment with the pain, with them. Acknowledging that it's shit is the best thing, because thinking too far into the future kind of demeans any grief they might be feeling right now, no matter how well meaning you are.
3. Bring them things. Visit, even if it's just for 5 minutes to check in and give hugs. Magazines (trashy celeb stuff was great, as were puzzle books for distraction) and chocolate were fab. A friend also brought round her collection of 'escape the world' DVDs. But also visiting gives your friend a chance to open up and just hug or cry. When I was going through it I did feel very alone, but didn't necessarily feel able to pick up the phone and open up. When a couple of friends came around to see me at home, I felt safe enough to open up to them and tell them about it, and the feelings of shame, guilt and loneliness I had started to fade once I started talking.
4. Also offer to bring them food. We lived off takeaways for over 2 weeks after our first scan which indicated missed miscarriage, as we didn't feel up to doing anything at all. This is no doubt the least healthy fortnight of our lives! I really wished that someone could have brought me a home cooked meal with some damn vegetables in, but didn't feel able to ask. This is only happening tonight for the first time (a friend is coming over to cook for us) and I am now 2 days post-miscarriage (the actual event). Or shop for them and take them some things - nutritious food will be much appreciated I am sure.
5. One thing that helped me massively was when a friend said she was going to send me a list of fun things to do once I was feeling up to it. Things like crazy golf! At the time I was in a very bad way but her saying this reminded me that I won't always feel this awful, and when I don't she will be there and we can do fun things, and that felt like a bit of a yay. I'm now looking forward to my body healing so that we can start to do some of the things on the list and I can feel a bit more normal again.

Hope these are helpful. Ladies again just big love to everyone who is experiencing this xxxx

anewbie86 Mon 09-May-16 11:11:11

Hi all. So sorry for everyone experiencing loss here - there are so many of us in this club of super strong ladies (even if we don't feel it a lot of the time).

So like many others I just experienced my first miscarriage (first pregnancy) - died at 6 weeks and discovered at 9 weeks but didn't pass naturally until 12 weeks (not part of the plan but after 2 scans the hospital refused to confirm my diagnosis to allow me to go through the treatment - that's another story). Thank you to everyone who has written on here - it was good to have the practical advice for how to get through it - the information they give you is just not enough. Through talking to friends who have experienced it I also felt like I knew what to expect as well - how much pain and the amount of blood loss etc - it is different for everyone of course but for me I assumed that a 6 week miscarriage would be small - boy was I wrong! Anyway I am 2 days out now and my body is slowly recovering (weirdly because of the amount of time it took to get to this point, the emotional recovery is way ahead of the physical now).

The advice on this thread was completely amazing ladies. Just wanted to add a couple of extra pieces of advice from my side:
1. Buy those lilac coloured sanitary disposal bags from boots... these took me back 20 years to when my mum bought my supplies for my first period so mega nostalgia (who knew using sanitary towels could make you feel like you're 12 again eh) but they were great for making things feel cleaner and less gross. I had a million of them in the bin by the time the night was over but it didn't feel too gross.
2. When you start to feel the pain and you know it's going to happen, line everything up in the bathroom - sanitary towels, wipes, bags but also extra clothes as I found that I got quite cold sitting there even for 15 minutes or so - extra layers are good. Plus extra knickers and leggings/pyjama bottoms in case of leaks.
3. Also sort out your bed (or have someone sort it for you) - get all the pillows you have plus cushions so that you can make yourself comfy. Have some dark coloured towels to hand (or pads as others have suggested...I didn't buy these) so you can put them under your hips for when you feel like sleeping (which eventually you will - after a while I got so tired that I just had to pop a couple of codeine pills to knock me out and sleep for a couple of hours).
4. There's a reason why they use those bouncy gym balls during labour...for me moving about when I was experiencing the contraction-like pains (thanks to my friend for letting me know that this can happen as it would have been a massive scary shock otherwise) really helped with the pain. Also I found meditation cushions and yoga bolsters fab to make me comfy - you can lay over them or use them to gently move over when you are in pain. Makes it sound dramatic but it isn't really - the aim is to keep yourself comfortable even if you're putting your body in funny positions!
5. Get a few supplies from the supermarket in - make sure you have plenty of tea bags (we ran out just as it was starting!! shock horror) but sweet tea was a real saviour, also get bread as I found toast with jam was a good pick me up when I got tired. My boyfriend feeding me mini triangles of jam toast at 4am in bed was a new place for our relationship haha. But also get some sports bottles or straws - you will need to drink lots so you don't get dehydrated but once you've reached the bed stage if you're like me your belly muscles don't seem to do what you want them to do and you need to drink lying down. Straws would have helped massively with this :-)
6. And finally, even though it all sounds so scary (I was incredibly scared before it happened to me) know that once it all starts your body sort of takes over and handles it all (similar to labour I should think...perhaps I'll let you know about that one day haha). It was strange for me - once the process started I wasn't scared anymore - nature just takes over and carries you through whatever is to come. We women have super strong bodies and even though I'd never been pregnant before mine just knew what to do when the time came.

Love to all who are going through this.

Alicejj8 Fri 29-Apr-16 14:25:04

So scan showed abit of retained products left in me- the doctor said its nothing to worry about as the worst is overV but the scan lady told me something different she told me that there was a lot left inside but the doctor said the worst was over :/ I am abir confused tbh but they don't want to see me for any re scan only unless I want one ? is that a good thing or bad thing do you think

Alicejj8 Sat 16-Apr-16 17:09:58

Can anyone give me any advice please
I took the pessaries on Friday evening to start off the miscarriage I have literally not no pain at all but the bleeding started at 4am this morning and lasted till around 9-10am since then it's not been any thing like it was and when I go for a wee its like the bleeding has stopped? I have passed a lot of clots and a lot of blood but it seems like it's stopped now? is that a good thing or could that mean it hasn't worked

Alicejj8 Tue 12-Apr-16 07:40:38

Hello everyone- I still haven't managed to get anywhere from the last post with my treatment as we've had to have another growth scan and still no change. Have to ring the hospital today that I am receiving medical management off and hopefully be booked in for this Friday for the tablet... I know a lot of people choose this option as to surgery but then some do choose surgery I just want your feedback from people who have took the tablet just so I know if it did work for you and all the tissue came away? and if you had to have a follow up scan after the tablet to make sure it was all gone. Thankyou smile

Sojii Fri 08-Apr-16 12:33:50

This is a brilliant thread. It's really helping me. I'm having mc2 now and was still mystified as to what to expect. Just knowing other people know how I feel helps as DH really tries but can't understand. Even my mum said I should rest for a day then when it's over I should just pull my socks up. A day! The first was 8 weeks. I don't think anyone understands this as it's not talked about at all.

1st time went for the scan was asked by the nurse 'who told you you were pregnant? ' Then she sent me to A&E where I sat for 9 hrs until They said the baby had died at around 8 weeks and I should just go home and wait.

1st time I had the hospital route as I thought it would be over quickest. It wasn't. So my tips are as follows:

In hospital take a bag of supplies.
Wipes, pads painkillers ( they won't automatically bring those things to you and it's nice to not have to ask) a comfortable robe. Water and something to distract you. I couldn't read but listened to radio with earphones.

When home take plenty of time off if you can. Get blankets to sit on and the best biggest best quality pads and pain killers.

This time I was 6 weeks and it happened spontaneously. So I've made myself a nest in the bedroom. Box set to watch, warm cat to use as hot water bottle and this thread to read to reassure myself I'm not bonkers.

Doctor wasn't that helpful last time and just gave DH a printout . A leaflet on what to expect / what to watch out for would have been very useful. Apparently 8 weeks solid bleeding wasn't normal but I'd no idea. I eventually nearly fainted at work and A&E gave me something to slow the bleeding. But until then I didn't realise anything could be done.

Thanks guys. X

fi1984 Wed 06-Apr-16 14:22:32

Oh Becky how awful that it's all been prolonged for this amount of time. I didn't realise you could have the misoprostal orally I was only ever told by my EPU it would be given as pessaries. It was this (as i'd have to lie down for an hour while they dissolved with two toddlers running around) along with the 85% chance of it working that put me off going down this route. I hope the surgery goes well for you.

Banana I was told to do a pregnancy test a week after my last scan (the scan had confirmed everything had come away properly) I did that test this morning and still got a positive. I'm assuming it's just taking a really long time for my HCG to go back to 0. Will do another test at the weekend and see what result I get.

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