An anembryonic pregnancy - my story in the hope it helps others(13 Posts)
I don't know why I feel so compelled to write an account of what has just happened to me. I found myself searching late at night when I was feeling frightened for blogs, threads, pages with advice or comfort in the past 2 weeks and I suppose I'm hoping that by recounting what has happened to me might in some small way offer some support or reassurance to any one else going through something so horrid.
I was one day away from 12 weeks when it became obvious there was a problem. It was the day before our first scan, something we had been looking forward to so much. The pregnancy - my first - had not been easy with constant morning sickness and various bumps along the way.
But, I'd just started to display a little bump which was a bugger to hide at work and I really couldn't wait to share with my friends.
Only the next day something went wrong, I could feel it, I was 11 weeks and 6 days and it started feeling like I was getting a heavy period. The cramping felt different to the many twinges, aches and pains I'd suffered for 2 months. I tried to ignore them, my hubby kept assuring me it was nothing until after a trip to the bathroom I noticed I'd started to bleed. It was light really but I still felt panic. It was the evening and so we called the hospital who advised visiting A&E. So off we went, and we waited and waited until eventually a very kind nurse took us through to the back room. She took my blood pressure and pulse and kindly advised that as it was at night there was no one there who could scan me - the scan is all you want in that situation trust me - you don't care about anything else, you just want to see your baby on the screen and know that he or she is tucked up in there safe and sound.
She advised I go home, try to rest and come back at 9am to the early pregnancy unit where they could give me a scan. So that's what we did, numb and clinging on to the stats. Some women just bleed a little during pregnancy right? I'd read that online plenty of times and I still looked, felt, was pregnant. Only something also felt different, I just knew it wasn't going to be. Hubs was keeping a brave face on it all assuring me there was still a chance but I knew.
The next day we waited anxiously at the EPU and I was given the much wanted (though still awkward and embarrassing) internal scan. Much silence, whispering doctors. I was then told that my pregnancy was anembryonic. There was no baby. The picture on the screen, the one I was so used to seeing in friends sonographs with the tiny bean shaped thing where you have to pretend you can see it's a baby. It was just blank, empty. I was 12 weeks exactly, I knew that as my husband had been away and there was only one viable time we could have conceived (bloody Valentines has a lot to answer for!!) but on screen all that existed was an empty sac.
I was told that there was a chance my dates were wrong, that I should come back in a week and be rescanned just in case by some miracle a baby appeared. But in the meantime I might just miscarry naturally and if I didn't, and there was no baby, we could talk surgical or medical intervention next time.
So off we went. Feeling empty inside. Mourning the little baby us that we'd found ourselves so attached to. Life can be cruel. Especially as no less than 3 friends announced their pregnancy within 48hours. Seriously, what are the odds! Crueller still when I was summoned apologetically back to the hospital the next morning for a blood test they'd forgotten to take and had to sit with expectant mothers and newborns in the waiting room. Yes I did break down once out of there, you have to let it out.
The week that followed was a strange ole time. My husband, who I love dearly but who is as emotional as a front door, became this wonderful and pragmatic support. Comforting me, loving me and forcing me to go for walks and do some gardening and other trivial things that sound silly but really did help. Slowly the bleeding got a little heavy and the stomach cramps tighter until 7 days since the scan I found myself in agony. I wasn't prepared. No one told me it would feel like I imagine labour might, that naively believing maybe it is just like a period wouldn't be the reality.
Over the two days the pain became worse and worse and deep within. Painkillers didn't touch it and only hot water bottles offered some comfort. Bleeding got heavier and heavier soaking pads and eventually [graphic content] I passed a number of golf ball sized amounts of tissue. I'm writing that because it frightened me at the time and I wasn't prepared. I had no embryo to pass it was just the sac and tissue but it frightened me. I had about 2 hours with scarily heavy bleeding and materials. It happened suddenly, I was at a friends house for a cheering up meal and I had to get a taxi home and stay up most of the night hugging a hot water bottle changing pads.
My tips for the scary horrible day if it does happen naturally:
- Stock up on paracetemol and ibruprofen (you can alternate both)
- Have two hot water bottles, one for your front, one for your back
- Wear your comfiest pants and your biggest sanitary towels - better still apparently there's something called maternity pads which are better.
- Be kind to yourself, you're amazing and you will get through it.
But, there is hope. After that horrible night the pain in my stomach eased. Only slightly but it did ease. Over the next day or two the bleeding carried on, like a heavy period, some tissue still but nothing like that night.
I went back to the hospital today. This scan confirmed my wombs lining was at 13mm and slightly rough so it wasn't over yet but the sac was gone and as I was under 15mm it was advised that a surgical/medical intervention was not necessary. My body was doing it itself. This was good news for me as I didn't want the general anaesthetic or medical intervention. In another two weeks the bleeding will hopefully be over.
My only slight fear is that - as I'm rhesus negative - I wasn't offered an Anti D injection because I was just at 12 weeks. I have read it's standard not to below 12 weeks and I suppose there was no baby so perhaps it just wasn't needed so I will try not to dwell on this. Because today I feel for the first time in weeks like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Emotionally it will take time to move on but physically I hope I can now start putting it behind us, something I couldn't do until this second scan.
Everyone will experience a miscarriage differently I'm sure. For others surgical/medical might be offered right away and might be the best decision for you. But my advice would be don't freak yourself out reading every horror story and ask lots of questions of the doctors - they won't mind and it's better to make informed decisions. I wasn't really prepared and it was a little traumatic going through the miscarriage but I did get through the worst part of it. You're capable of being stronger than you ever know. Just be kind to yourself, look after yourself. Look to your friends and family for support and remember that the odds are in your favour for most people to go on and have a healthy baby and this experience will make you so much stronger.
I hope this helps anyone going through something similar and if it's just a long diatribe then it was at least cathartic to write.
Thoughts with all those going through something so crappy.
Sending you a hug xxx I had a miscarriage at ten weeks a few years ago and it was similar to how you describe with the bleeding/pain etc although I did pass a tiny foetus. Took me a long time to get over mentally as was a much longed for baby (and still saddens me greatly but is definitely easier than it was). I had counselling which really helped me and subsequently had a gorgeous dd which most definitely helped. Sounds great your dh is looking after you. Look after yourself and give yourself time to grieve for this baby as well as getting your strength back physically. x
Sorry for your loss lynne. Your story sounds much like mine & i also wish i'd known more what to expect. There are some good post m/c threads on here. Take care of yourself over the next few days
Aww lynne99 thank you so much for sharing this. You're very brave and very strong x
I'm so sorry for your loss. My MC happened a couple of days off 12 weeks too (last month) and I experienced the same fear after having to visit A&E on a Sunday then wait for 9am Monday for the EPU. I had already started to miscarry heavily by then so they couldn't even tell me what gestation the foetus was when it died. I opted for surgical management as I had a funeral to attend in another part of the country and didn't want to travel whilst bleeding. I think you are so brave to have allowed it to happen naturally. I miscarried a lot of it naturally but there was still 'retained products' as they call it and I couldn't risk another big bleed. I can relate to not knowing what to expect - I was in hysterics when I passed tissue, and for some reason didn't realise the pain would be actual contractions (I have a DS already). It's hard, isn't it? Thank you for sharing your story, certainly makes me feel less alone. <thanks>
Thank you very much for sharing your story. You are right in that you are a very brave lady and sincerely hope you continue to heal both physically and emotionally. I have a very similar story to yours and you are absolutely right in it feeling like labour. Unfortunately for me during one of my miscarriages something got stuck on its way out and I ended up passing out and being blue lighted to hospital It did all sort itself out eventually and I now have 2 more children (my miscarriages were after the birth of my first) so please take hope in that.
Do take time to grieve. I named my "baby" and remember "her"'every year around my EDD and when I lost her. Not dwelling on my loss, but remembering that "she" did exist, and that for 11 short weeks I was her Mum and I had hopes and dreams for her too.
I hope that your husband continues to be supportive, it's good to be able to share that with him.
Look after yourself and give yourself time. In my own experience it has been a great healer.
(Un Mumsnetty hugs)
Sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Please check about the anti-D I though you should be offered it after any bleed in pregnancy.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has been really helpful to me personally as I am going through this right now, I am in the limbo of waiting for a second scan though we already know the outcome. (ours was our wedding anniversary weekend away) I just wanted to let you know that your story has helped and reassured someone that they will get through this too. Hugs and Thank you.
I'm so sorry for your loss. This sounds horribly similar to my own anembryonic loss at 12 weeks. I could have almost written it myself. I agree that the physical discomfort and blood/ tissue loss was far more frightening than I was led to believe by the info given to me at the hospital. It also took a very long time for my hormones to settle down again. However, there is hope. Three years later I have a beautiful baby girl. You never forget the loss, but you will smile again. Be kind to yourself.
I'm so sorry you have been though this. When I had my miscarriage I was just so angry that people had no idea how horrific it can be. Just thinking you would bleed a little and that was it. Thank you for sharing our story xx
Sorry, that should have been 'your story'
Im sorry to hear what you have been through, it must have been very traumatic for you going through that and not knowing. Your story has made me realise i am not the only one who is going through this as i am only young (21) and have not known anyone go through this let alone heard of it before.
This week i found i had anembryonic pregnancy aswell, but i did not experience any bleeding or discomfort, i went to my 12 week scan on monday i had mixed emotions happy excited nervous as to what it would be like to see my baby for the first time. I had a student sonographer taking my scan and as she started to rub over my belly i could see the screen to the side of me, i saw the empty sac and was thinking there should be a baby shape fetus in there but wasn't get too worrid at that point as she was student and just might not have it at the right angle, she said to me are you in your early stages, i replyed no i was 12 weeks yesterday and she carried on looking
A minute or 2 later she said let me go see the senior sonographer so when she walked out i turned to my partner and said something wasn't right but he said lets just wait to see what happens just then the senior sonographer walked it and started, i was looking at the screen and still could not see a fetus. He then asked me how far along i am and i told him 12 weeks, he then started clicking on the screen measuring the sac and he then told me your have had anembryonic pregancy and the sac was about 9weeks along and if the was a fetus he should be able to see it. At this point i aort of zoned out and could not take anything in.
I was then led to another room where i could talk to a midwife as to what happens next. When the midwife started talking she said to me there is 3 options that i could take: patient management, medical management or surgery. As this point i was overwhelmed with information but the only thing i could think of is not patient management as 3 weeks have already gone and my body was still thinking it was pregnant so it could go on for another 3weeks or so.
In the end i went with medical management and i was admitted in to hospital at 9am the following day and was given the medication at about 10am. 7 hours later still nothing had started to happen and they was about to discharge me home as they started the paper work i had a huge clot (which i thought it was the sac) they then said they going to keep me abit longer just to keep an eye on me and see how the bleeding goes and after that i had afew more big clots.
It got to 11.30pm the nurse came to me and said the bleeding has settled and i can go home she then explained to me that i have not yet passed the sac and i would have to pass it at home and that i am rhesus b negative. Still not taking anything in i went home and the next day after having a bath i passed out and had to go back to hospital for more check luckily it was nothing. It is now friday and a have my next scan a week today to make sure it has passed it all but so far nothing.
I hope you didn't mind me sharing my story with you but i hope that both our stories help other woman know that are not on there own.