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advice on ERPC v natural

(46 Posts)
BatsInTheSnowglobe Sat 21-May-11 00:11:41

Hi, I found out today that I am having a mmc. This is my first pregnancy, so first mc. I am 9 weeks but measured between 5 or 6 weeks. I've been bleeding since Wednesday, but only lightly and with only mild stomach cramps. I have to decide what I want to do - ERPC or just let nature take its course.
What is the ERPC actually like, is it painful afterward and how long did it take you to recover? Is it all over faster going the ERPC route?
Any advice would be great as I'm not sure what to do, i've had a rubbish week (grandma died tuesday then mc) so my heads with the fairies!
thank you.

BellaBearisWideAwake Sat 21-May-11 09:52:15

You poor thing.

I've had both. With one massive caveat I preferred the ERPC because it was over and it didn't hurt asmuch. The caveat is that it didn't actually work and I unexpectedly mc'ed naturally a week later, which was crap. That is, however, very unlikely to happen.

I hope you get better soon.

LIG1979 Sat 21-May-11 11:46:40

So sorry about your losses. I would not wish what we are all going through on anyone. I decided to wait for a natural miscarriage as it had already started to happen. Now 6 weeks later I still have a small amount of product so need to have an erpc on Monday. There are risks to erpc but it does help to get closure quicker although I imagine that if your body does do it naturally it would be the best solution and that does happen (just not for me) but can be painful and take a long time.
Hope things get better soon x

Missgiraffe1 Sat 21-May-11 11:53:20

Bats, sorry you're having such a rubbish time.

I had an ERPC on Monday. It was absolutely fine. They usually give you painkillers before you go to theatre, then give some home with you if you feel you need them.
I had only mild pain for the rest of the day, and haven't had any since. I hadn't started bleeding at all before the ERPC, so don't know if this would make any difference, but I have already stopped bleeding, and it was only very light from Tuesday to Thursday.

I was scared of making the decision but, once I made it, I felt much better, a relief.

Physically recovered very quickly. Emotionally, it's quite a challenge. I felt I was entirely focussed on the surgery. I'm a bit of a control freakl! But, then, once it was done, I start to grieve my loss, which is amplified by loss of symptons (got up last night to go to loo and realised that - for the first time in 6 weeks - my boobs were not sore anymore. That kind of thing.

I haven't had a natural MC before (although bled before they discovered ectopic last year) so can't advise on what's that's like at 9 weeks, but hope at least my account of the ERPC will help. There are some other threads on here with experiences of both.

MrsDoylesTeaCosy Sat 21-May-11 12:39:46

so sorry for your loss Bats and everyone else too!

I had a natural miscarriage 2 weeks ago and it wasn't as horrific as I'd anticipated. I had a Missed MC, found out at 11+3 weeks, my baby didn't make it past 7 weeks, complete devastation doesn't cover it. For me my decision was taken from me as I started to bleed the same day I found out, followed by 2 days of increasing but manageable painful cramps, then on day 3 had what felt like a mini labour (urge to push) for in total around 6 hours, 2 hours of which was very very painful (I rec codeine!), passed a few large clots (TMI could feel it coming out). At the time is was very intense, but very quickly the pain subsided and after a few hours I only felt tender, no cramps. I bleed for about a day (not heavy) and then spotting for a few days. Had a scan a few days later which showed that I had passed everything so didn't need further treatment.

Personally I am glad that I managed to do it naturally, it was very cathartic for me, and although distressing has helped me to begin to process what has happened. I did think about ERPC but as I said earlier nature took over. From what I have read on other threads, most people rec ERPC mainly so that it done quickly, with less pain, but everyone copes differently and you need to do what is best for you. I was so terrified of the pain and blood and of what I might see (nothing recognisable as a baby), nearly had a panic attack, but the reality for me was very manageable. However, this is just my experience, its different for everyone

My heart goes out to you and the loss is so real and devastating, I didn't think I would feel the loss as bad as I do, but just over a week later I am beginning to heal a little. Please look after and be kind to yourself, and make sure to give yourself time to process your tragic loss


googietheegg Sat 21-May-11 13:24:05

Hello bats, so sorry for your week, it sounds awful. I also found out on monday I had a MMC for my first pregnancy and I've been taking misoprostol all week, which has been pretty grim, but I'm steadily feeling better. I suppose taking tablets (I have to take 2 three times a day, rather than one massive one which seems to be common) has meant that it's been a slow process, but it's given me time to get my head around it a bit.

I'm finding it tricky that it was my first pregnancy too, especially when other people say 'oh I had a miscarriage too' or worse 'I know someone else that had one' but you find out it was when they already had a baby/child. I know it's always an awful experience, but it's the thought that there's a problem I'm worried about.

BatsInTheSnowglobe Sat 21-May-11 13:51:34

Thank you for all your replies, they've been really helpful. I still have to wait until Tuesday before I can opt to have a ERPC, which feels ages away. But i do now feel a bit more prepared for if it all happens naturally over the weekend.
I'm still bleeding fairly lightly with only mild cramps and discomfort. I feel like a time bomb waiting for the worst to happen. It's the thought of the pain and what I might see that scares me the most about letting it happen naturally.

googie completely understand i've had the same fears that if it's happened once it might just keep happening. I'm sick of people telling it just wasn't meant to be or it's better it happened now than later etc. My sensible side knows it's probably right but while I'm going through it I really don't want to hear. I just want to feel for myself for a while!

Thank you again for all your advice x.

MrsDoylesTeaCosy Sat 21-May-11 14:26:06

I forgot to mention that it was also my first pregnancy and like you both I'm terrified it will happen again and that there is a major problem with me, and i will never have my baby. Right now such thoughts cause me great pain, so I'm trying to focus on the here and now, and take each day at a time. Two of my friends have recently had a mc and it was their first pregnancy so it helps to know that I'm not alone.

I hope one day soon to see you all on the pregnancy threads (or even better the parenting threads!) x

Chestnut99 Sat 21-May-11 15:08:45

Hi Bats - so sorry to hear you are going through this.

First things first, one MC is genuinely not something to be concerned about. It is very very common - you will probably learn about lots of similar experiences which friends and family have had. I have so many friends who had one MC before successful pregnancies that I almost began to think of it as a sort of dress rehearsal (my DS was born after one MC). Secondly, this part of MN has a sadly high number of people struggling with recurrent MCs (including me, trying for DC no 2) so try not to read those threads because it really doesn't need to be in your head.

Re ERPC vs natural miscarriage, I chose to do it naturally the first time. It was slow (took about a month in all and took about a week to really get going). But I do believe that although it was grim dealing with it over an extended time, it also meant that the pregnancy hormones dropped off more gradually. I never hit a wall of emotion which so many friends warned me about. Plus by the time it ended, I was fed up to the back teeth with the whole thing - which was a kind of healing in itself. Have gone with natural both times since DS was born. All my MCs have been different but all with about 6 hours of heavy cramps and lots of blood and then differing lengths of time for the whole process to get done (between 2 weeks and a month). I also preferred keeping it private and personal and not medical (except the follow-up scans).

I think like all things to do with pregnancies and babies there is no perfect way of doing it and you need to concentrate on which option you feel most comfortable with.

Be gentle with yourself - best wishes.

BatsInTheSnowglobe Sat 21-May-11 19:59:20

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, it has really helped me understand and so I'm less scared about whats going to happen to me now. It's also reassuring to know I'm not alone.
I know what you mean about the dress rehearsal Chestnut my sister said similar to me. She had a miscarriage and went the natural route only ended up in hospital as the pain was too much, which is why that route scared me so much. After reading your replies though I'm less worried if it does happen naturally.
Yes MrsD fingers crossed it won't be too long before we all see each other on the happier threads smile
Thank you again I appreciate it so much x.

googietheegg Sun 22-May-11 11:32:32

How are you feeling today bats?

BatsInTheSnowglobe Sun 22-May-11 14:07:02

Hi googie, bit rubbish tbh starting to get worse period type pains now, but its the anticipation of getting awful pains that the worst bit. My OH is being great but I've still never felt so alone before, think it's starting to set in whats actually happening. Not looking forward to having to be on my own next week while OH is at work, feel quite pathetic and sorry for myself really!
How are you?

googietheegg Sun 22-May-11 17:00:40

Bats, I think this is certainly one time in your life when you can feel sorry for yourself. Can you make sure you have nice easy to make food and decent books/films to hand to get through next week?

I'm not too bad, thanks for asking. Tomorrow is the last day I have to take the misoprostol, so it will be better not to have the horrible cramps that come with it. The worst thing I'm feeling today is that no family members gave me any support at all, and I feel terribly let down by it. My husband says I mustn't 'scapegoat' them and just focus on the sadness of loosing the baby, but I can't believe neither my mother, father, mother in law or bil/sil called (or sent a card) me all week when they knew what happened on monday.

PenguinArmy Sun 22-May-11 17:09:31

Bats sad and <hugs> and you too googie do try and keep DH filled in your feelings

Let yourself feel as miserable and as sorry for yourself as you can, it's all justified.

You can let the threadkillers hold your hand while your OH is at work

gd1976 Sun 22-May-11 21:32:32

I'm sorry to read all your threads, it's just a horrid experience to go through.

My only experience is an erpc just over a week ago, and I'm really glad I opted for that. All very straight forward, and bleeding stopped after 2 days. There was no pain really afterwards, just a slight dull ache. However what i have stuggled with is the emotional side which i never imagined would be so awful. And some poeple's reactions are so insensitive and they just act like you've been to the dentist for a tooth out!! i know people don't know how to react but it's still pi**ing me off!! Also your hormones probably don't help with the emotional side of things.

My thoughts really are with you, and good luck with whatever route you decide to go down x

I hope you can

BatsInTheSnowglobe Tue 24-May-11 21:51:45

googie that's awful your family haven't been in contact, your husband is right though try to focus on you. How are you now you've stopped the medication?
I'm ok, OH has been working from home so not been alone, pain has kicked in and have horrid cramps now sad

Thank you penguin

gd I know what you mean about the insensitivity, it's amazed me how people think it's a comfort to be told that so and so had 3 miscarriages before she had a healthy baby - thanks thats a real comfort to know i might have to go through several more miscarriages, joy! MIL was the worst for this! And yes hormones haven't helped especially when it comes to tears!
How are you now after your erpc?

I've finally been booked in for a erpc thursday morning, 7:30am!!! but at least it gets it over with. Bit scared now. But i just want it all to be over now.

Thank you all for your support x.

googietheegg Wed 25-May-11 15:04:04

Hi there bats I hope tomorrow goes as well as possible. Will you have to stay the night before or just get there really early?

Now I've stopped taking the misoprostol I actually feel more like myself, with hardly any bleeding today. My mil is also great at making me feel shit, DH says she doesn't mean it, but it happens a bit too often for that... Current favourite is how kate silverton is having her first baby at 40ish, like that's supposed to make any difference to me?!

I'm also trying to just think of this as a 'trial run' as someone else on here said, as it being my first pregnancy too, like you, I can't bear to think there might be a major problem. We'll just start trying again in a month or so and hope for the best.

Huge happy feelings for tomorrow - it won't be the best day of your life I'm sure.

BatsInTheSnowglobe Wed 25-May-11 22:32:25

Thanks googie I have to be there at 7:30am, at least i won't get time to get hungry! Although I think i may have just passed the sack (sorry for tmi) i just went to the loo, after spending this afternoon and evening in huge amounts of pain, and loads of gunk just came out including a large bit that went plop and quickly ran away down the u bend! i'll mention it to the doctor tomorrow but knowing my luck they'll be no one to scan me and id end up finding out it's still inside and i need the erpc next week instead!

Glad you're starting to feel normal again. I think you have to try and look at is a trial run, it helps stop me panicking about what could be wrong with me etc we're planning to start trying again as soon as possible - so looks like, if all goes to plan, OH is going to have a fab July!! haha

I feel loads better about everything just knowing after tomorrow it will be over with and i can then start to move on, feel in limbo at the moment.

googietheegg Thu 26-May-11 09:24:50

Hello bats that does sound like the sack - the same thing happened to me with the plop, I was never sure if that was the worst of it over, but I think/hope it must be as the bleeding's nearly stopped now.

I do hope you're all right today.

BlueCrane Thu 26-May-11 15:55:13

Hello sorry to hear you have all had mc/mmc.

This morning I went for my first scan (I should've been 11 or 12 weeks tomorrow) I have had no spotting, bleeding or cramps but there was only a sac measuring 5-6 weeks and nothing in an MMC. We've opted to let things take their natural course and I have another scan booked in for 10 days time but really beginning to wonder what the next few weeks have in store. Emotionally I would prefer to let it happen naturally but am definietly concerned about the pain, bleeding and what I might see. Also my first ever pregnancy.

googietheegg Thu 26-May-11 16:36:00

Oh blue I'm so sorry. Unfortunately I do know exactly how you feel. My first pregnancy too, same scan at 11 weeks was nothing, even though we'd had a heartbeat a couple of weeks before.

Regarding the pain, I found that it was like a really bad period for about a week, with blood volume like a heavy period. I passed the sac on day 3 of 7 after having horrible cramps, and then it gradually got 'better' from then on - still bleeding but it felt like the worst had passed. It also emotionally felt like the worst had passed, not the same 'pregnant' feeling after day 3. I had plenty of ibuprofen to hand and didn;t really bend or lift for a few days.

I do hope it's as ok as possible for you. ANy questions just ask - this thread and the pregnancy loss board has been really helpful for me the last 10 days or so, even though I wished I wasn't here at all. xxx

LIG1979 Thu 26-May-11 16:37:35

Hello Bluecrane

I am so sorry for your loss and I hope you are doing as well as can be expected emotionally. I had a mc 6 weeks ago but it did not complete and so I had an ERPC for the last bits of material on Monday. (I was about 5/6 weeks when the embryo died but found out when I got some spotting/bleeding at around 9 weeks.) To be honest, I did not have much pain at all and alot of it almost disintegrated rather than having blood or pain. I think the experience can vary dramatically from short and painful to long and very undramatic.

I did spend the 1st couple of days scared to go to far from the house incase it happened and then realised I couldn't be a hermit forever. So left armed with painkillers, sanitary towel and spare underwear just incase but never needed to use it.

I hope this helps. Personally, the physical aspects have been ok it has been the emotional bits that have been difficult and I don't think I ever realised it would hit me the way it did. Having said that I feel so much better now and almost back to my normal self again even though I do have bad times still.

Sending you lots of hugs x

YBR Thu 26-May-11 18:30:12

So sorry for your losses. I've had 2 MMC and opted for ERPC both times.
If you cope OK with the anesthetics then the procedure is fine. One of them I landed an internal infection after (I was told that was rare) and it took maybe 10 days to recover physically, the other was quicker.

The other thing I have to comment on was that these occurred at 2 different hospitals and the first treated us badly. I don't want to scare you all with horror story but that experience was traumatic even though the Op itself was not. On that basis it took 3 weeks before I could face work again.

It was intended to go something like this - turn up at ward early in morning having fasted, fill in usual forms and get talked through everything, change into gown etc. Head off to Operating theatre some point in the morning, wake up some short time later and get wheeled back to the ward. As soon as they see you're recovering OK and have eaten and been to the loo they seemed happy to discharge.
Remember to ask for doctor's note if you need to give it to your employer. Do give yourself some time to begin grieving.

PieMistress Thu 26-May-11 19:45:07

How did it go today Bats? I read through the thread and was thinking of you.

I had a 'natural' miscarriage recently (nearly 3 weeks ago) and am amazed by the support on this board, it's been such a help for me. Pregnancy test is still positive though which is hard.

Am sorry for all the losses here, it's so unfair and horrible :-( Fingers crossed we don't have to go through it again (but at 39 i'm realistic it might very well strike twice).

Look after yourself Bats (and everybody else). I have perhaps done the wrong thing and buried myself in my work since it happened, am scared to let my emotions go yet

BatsInTheSnowglobe Thu 26-May-11 20:34:43

Hi Thank you everyone I'm fine. I went to the hospital first thing this morning told them i thought i might have passed the sack so was sent for a scan, which showed a completely empty uterus, everything had gone. The nurse who had done my bloods y'day saw me waiting for ultrasound came over and said oh dear you've not had a good night then... umm no! Talk about passing it at the 11th hour! So I was sent home again! A really strange anti climax after getting so worried about the procedure! I now just have to let nature finish it's job, so will prob bleed for a few more days. If i get any problems go back to my gp or midwife at the early pregnancy unit.

Blue I'm so sorry you're going through the same. I was really scared about going through it naturally. I found the idea of erpc less scary, mainly as i was worried about the pain and what I might see, purely the unknown. But having experienced it, yes it was painful and I hope I never have to go through it again, but if i did miscarry again I wouldn't be scared of letting it happen naturally. I found it helped knowing what other people had gone through so I knew what to expect, so this is my past couple of days...
I have been bleeding for 9 days so far and passed the sack late last night on day 8. I had pain on day 7 and 8, but only for a short period of time. The pain for me was like intense period pains, but i took the advice above and already had plenty of pain killers - i took ibuprofen and when needed also took paracetamol with codine, which worked well at getting rid of the pain. I also found a hot water bottle permanently sat on my tummy helped really well.
I had no idea what to expect if I passed the sack, but when you do you just seem to know.

Sorry for long post! But I hope this helps you a bit and I hope you're ok Blue. Glad you're starting to feel better googie.

Thank you all for all your support and advice / info it really has been a huge help to me to get through the past week.

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