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missed miscarriage - what to do next?

(20 Posts)
babysaurus Tue 05-Jul-11 11:02:37

I had my 12 week scan yesterday and we found the baby had died at 6 weeks. I am booked in to go for another scan next Tuesday but know my dates and know that, despite having full pregnancy symptoms, there isn't going to be any growth / heartbeat.
The midwife told me that, if this is the case, they give me some pills which make me miscarry. I was a bit too shellshocked to take much more info in. Can anyone tell me how these pills work, and how long it can or will take? Alternatively, is the surgical procedure quicker? I just want to be able to draw a line under this and be able to move on and the idea of being 'pregnant' is heartbreaking.

Warksmummy Tue 05-Jul-11 12:37:55

Hi. Firstly I want to say I am very sorry to hear your news.

I have set out below what happened to me. Sorry if it is a bit graphic, I don't want to scare you but I really did not have a realistic idea of what was going to happen to me. I don't know if what I went through was easier or harder than anyone else's experience, it is just mine.

I went for my 12 week scan last Thursday to be told that the baby had died at 9 weeks. We elected for medical management, as the baby had not come away in nearly 4 weeks, and I wanted to avoid surgery. I took the first pill that morning and arranged to return to hospital on Saturday morning. Over the course of Friday, I began to bleed, not that much, but it was there every time I wiped after I went to the loo, but not much was going on my pad.

By around 9pm on Friday evening, I started to get stomach pains which became definite cramps. At one stage, I was in a great deal of pain, and was at the stage of going to hospital, when I passed a great deal of blood. The pains then stopped. However, they started again, and I flooded a couple of towels and we decided to do in. We got into hospital late on Friday evening and I was examined, and was told that I had done the right thing by going in. I was put in a side room and was reasonably ok, and my partner went home as it was a woman's ward. Just after he left, the pain got very bad, and they were strong contractions which came about every 90 seconds, lasting for a minute. I had been told to expect "sharp period pains". These were not period pains. I was in labour with my daughter and know the difference. I had taken some paracetomol for the pain before we left home, and I was given some morphine which didn't seem to touch it. At one stage I went very faint and felt sick because my blood pressure had dropped, so I was put on a drip.

Every time you feel blood coming out, you go to the loo (there is a bed pan over it), and let the blood come out, and the nurse checks it. There will probably be blood clots as well.

After a couple of hours, the Doctor came to examine me and I was advised to have ERPC as I had lost so much blood. By this point, I was in so much pain that I couldn't wait to go.

What I also didn't realise was that I might have to push the sac out. The nurse kept asking me if I felt like pushing. That freaked me out a bit, but I have spoken to a couple of friends who have gone through this and they did not have to push. However this didn't become an issue as I didn't get that far.

Anyway, I was finally taken down to theatre and when I came round it was all over and the pain was gone. In short, if I had my time again (and I pray that I never have to go through this again), I would just opt for the ERPC.

I hope that my experience helps. Personally, I was not prepared for how painful it would be.

Warksmummy x

babysaurus Tue 05-Jul-11 15:06:16

Thank you ever sop much taking the time to reply.
I went to the EPU just now and explained that I didn't want to wait and week only to be told a non negotiable no, and that I had to wait for the second scan next week even though 'there is a 98 to 99 percent chance its died. I was also told I'd be given tablets but am now seriously considering surgery. We also currently have no bathroom as we are renovating our house - the loo is flushed with a bucket and we have a sink in the cellar, that's it (we are showering at friends or my mums.) I think pushing for the surgical option is sensible in this case.
Your situation sounds awful, you poor thing. How are you feeling now? X

Warksmummy Tue 05-Jul-11 16:02:11

I think that each hospital must have its own procedures. In my case, I had had a scan at 8 + 6 weeks, as I was spotting, so maybe that was why the hospital moved on so quickly as they were sure of my dates.

I think that although some people start bleeding before the second pill or pessary being given in hospital, some don't start until the second stage of the treatment, so it might all happen in hospital. I just didn't want the baby to come out when I was at home (this happened to my friend). Not having a flushing loo or shower doesn't sound great at the best of times and isn't ideal in these circumstances, but you just don't know how things are going to pan out for you physically. I am still bleeding a bit, but I think it carries on for longer where you don't have the surgery. Hopefully some other ladies will reply with their experiences which will give you an alternative view.

Physically I am fine, and emotionally I think I am ok but I am realistic enough to realise that I am probably still in shock. I think adrenaline got me through the hospital experience. Today I decided to go out to the shops and was feeling quite positive, but the car battery was dead. That just seemed to defeat me. I felt like crying and had to come in for a sleep!

I am devastated about losing my baby and am not sure when it will hit me. However, I am thankful for many things: I am lucky enough to have a beautiful 2 year old little girl who is the best thing that ever happened to me. I am also thankful, if this doesn't sound odd, that it happened now, and not later on, as every day the pregnancy went on I was getting more and more attached to my baby. I know miscarriage is a tragedy whenever it happens, but how people cope when it happens later on, well, I just don't know how you'd move on from that.

Please take care and keep me posted xx

Catsycat Tue 05-Jul-11 17:35:08

Hi babysaurus. I'm really sorry for your loss -I miscarried last week, and it is just horrible. I would opt for an ERPC - all my details are in a thread called "So fed up of waiting" but it's pretty unpleasant. I ended up bleeding very badly, and having the ERPC as an emergency. I have a real phobia of medical procedures, but if I am ever unlucky enough to be in that situation again, would opt for an ERPC (I hope I never have to do it again).

Re. the waiting, I was also told I had to wait a week. The EPAU midwife at Warwick told me there is a national protocol that the scans have to show either no growth between 2 scans one week apart, or a 6mm foetus with no heartbeat before they can act. I had a scan that showed a 2.7mm foetus, much too small for my dates (I was 9 weeks), so had to wait and go back a week later to rescan - the day before the second scan I had the ERPC because it was obvious by that time I had miscarried, and I was told the surgery was the only way to stop the bleeding sad So if your baby was less than 6mm that might explain the wait - if the baby was bigger then I'm not sure what the reason would be. I hope this makes sense.

I have also heard that the pills can fail to make the mc happen, so ERPC seems a more reliable bet, especially so because of your bathroom situation which would be awful if you bleed like I did.

Again, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Take care x

ThursdayNext Tue 05-Jul-11 17:48:36

Very sorry for your loss.
I took the medical option for a missed miscarriage a couple of years ago. It was fine, I found it like a bad period and not like labour at all. It was the best option for me, but experience is obviously very variable. I think your bathroom situation is a potential problem, I did just sit on the loo for an hour or two rather than soaking through loads of pads.
At the hospital I went to they said I could wait for a natural miscarriage, take the medical option or ERPC. I got the impression this was fairly standard and the choice should hopefully be yours rather than having to push for any particular option?
All the best.

jetmonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 17:50:55

Sorry to hear of your loss babysaurus. It happened to me too. Had a scan at 8 weeks and told it was 5 weeks and no heartbeat. Had to go back for a second scan a week later and still no heartbeat. I was not offered a pill, told I could wait 2 weeks for a m/c to happen naturally or have an erpc. I thought about it overnight and decided to go for the erpc as I just wanted it to be over and to begin to move on. I didn't have a great experience in hospital but only period type pain and not much blood.
About 6 months later I got pg again but had a natural m/c at 8 weeks. The pain was like a really bad period and I did pass clots but managed it all at home.
I have since had dd 22mths and now we are TTC again, but I was just thinking yesterday what would I do if it happened to me again - I guess I would go with what felt best at the time.
Lots of Luck

babysaurus Tue 05-Jul-11 18:11:24

Thank you everyone. This will be brief as replying on my phone.
Your replies have been lovely, and its reassuring to know there are people here who know what its like.
Will keep you posted but am pushing for the surgical option (not sure of the acronyms) xx

babysaurus Wed 06-Jul-11 22:23:37

Small update. Started to bleed this morning - not heavily, but noticable. Went and bought pads and painkillers from Boots in preparation and not much else seems to have happened. DH thinks I ought to call the EPU tomorrow and they'll hopefully be able to do something but I am wondering if they'll just say stay at home and its happening on its own. Are they likely to re-scan anyway to check there is nothing left? Am guessing so. The blood isn't that much considering so am a bit confused! Or am I just wrong assuming it would be far more bloody than its turning out to be?
Sorry for all the questions! X

Catsycat Thu 07-Jul-11 11:41:30

Hi babysaurus, I hope you're OK today. I would have thought EPAU would want to rescan to check everything has come out, so you might want to phone them to get advice. If the bleeding is manageable, I would imagine they will leave you to deal with it at home. They should be able to guide you as to what level of bleeding would mean you need to be seen at hospital (I was told soaking three "heavy flow" pads an hour, but I have heard others say they had different advice). I bled very lightly at first for about 5 or 6 days, then it got very heavy, and I needed to go to A&E. Take good care of yourself, and try to take it easy. I'm thinking of you. x

babysaurus Thu 07-Jul-11 12:17:24

Hi Catsycat, I called the EPU and explained that yesterday it looked like things were happening but since then there has been nothing. The midwife on the phone said it 'could be just normal pregnancy bleeding, especially if there are no clots or cramping' and said I need to just come back on Tues as planned. Kind of the reponse I expected really. Maybe I am having a similar start to you then. Who knows! However, what I do know is how sick I am of bloody waiting (grumble grumble.)
Thanks again, x

emptyshell Thu 07-Jul-11 12:51:29

I've had both. They do wait to rescan you (felt like I was repeatedly being sent away to cook for another 10 days) in order to confirm it's all over - I had to go back twice as they found changes (and another lost twin) hiding away at the back (yes, I defeated the NHS leaflet making machine - they didn't have one to cover that contingency) - I've got a funny tilted womb apparently... bit of advice is not to sit there and Google - you can find all sorts of tales where a rescan revealed it was all ok - but get your head around the worst likelihood before you start looking for the best possibility helped me a great deal.

The tablet one - I found very very painful, didn't pass everything naturally so ended up in there overnight and having to have surgery anyway. Found the whole having to go to the loo in bedpans and leave them to be inspected and the feeling of the sac passing very very very distressing to be honest.

Surgically - I found it much easier (but I'd had a long time to get my head around the fact that hope was lost because of umpteen rescans) - felt very dehumanised, detached and on a conveyor belt because of how our hospital deals with these things - but I think I needed that autopilot almost out of body feeling to get through it all to be honest. In hindsight I would have asserted my rights a lot more - although I'm sure they have me down as an arsey bugger anyway - I refused to allow them to call it by that vile ERPC term in front of me, challenged them when they referred to my babies as "products" and the like... I remember being backed into signing the form saying they could do what the fuck they liked with my children (yep, given literally no other options - gotta love my hospital) and thinking, quite detached and rationally but unable to express it at the time that "no one should be having to sign something like this" - really quite surreal.

I was waiting in limbo so long with the really drawn out one - and I remember the feeling of utter utter pant paranoia whenever I went to the loo - was I/wasn't I going to find blood... did I dare go out to the supermarket in case it all started to happen why I was out - things like that, I had a few bits which looked like the start of things - but none that ever came to anything which is why I ended up in for the surgical option. Living in limbo was probably the worst part.

Whatever you do - stock up on lots of nice sanitary towels (the hospital-provided pant pillows make you feel even shittier than you already do), lots of chocolate, lots of very very mindless DVDs (I found there was - still is although I'm proud to say I survived last week's Waterloo Road without crying and reaching for the remote - lots and lots on TV at that point that triggered me off very very badly so it was explosions and giant shooty robots all the way to avoid it - hell I spent nights going to sleep in front of QVC as the least baby-potential option available) and whatever else is going to make it easier for you. Bizarrely I found having some brand new bed linen to come home to made things feel a lot better psychologically - it didn't have all the emotional connotations of those wretched sleepless nights lying awake wondering if/when the bleeding was going to start, did they make a mistake, and all those hideous what ifs going round in my head - it really was such a stupid little thing that helped so much.

And yes it's crapper than a crap thing that it has to happen to anyone - you're fully entitled to feel angry as fuck and wish bitter piles the size of a planet on anyone with a baby bump - it's totally normal (just keep the pile wishing on a personal private basis ;-) ). I never ever ever want to hear some nice chirpy woman pipe up with "are you sure of your dates" again as long as I live.

babysaurus Thu 07-Jul-11 18:56:35

Hi Emptyshell, thank you for your reply. The more I read about it, the more I want to insist on the surgical option asap. Unfortunately they won't even consider anything till next week's scan but after then I think a bit of foot stamping is required. It might be the anger at this happening in the first place, but I now feel as if I want my body back and want to feel in control once more. This shitty limbo business is stoppiong everything and I can't even try and move on until after. I was told 'well, its only a week' but a week is a fucking long time when you are in my shoes!
I have never been on the miscarriage boards before now but must say, you are all so helpful and thank you SO much for sharing your own shitty experiences. Does anyone have any children already? I don't and another thing that's making me feel sad is the knowledge that I can never be pregnant for the first time again.

kat2504 Thu 07-Jul-11 19:10:29

I'm so sorry for your loss. i've had two missed miscarriages and it is so shit. I have had both the surgical and medical evacuation procedures and although there are reasons for both, I found the surgical route much less traumatic. The medical route was very painful and I found that added to my upset. Some people would rather avoid surgery, but it was a very simple procedure and was over and done with quickly and only 5 days bleeding afterwards.

I do know what you mean about never being pregnant for the first time again. There is something special about the first time and you can never get that back. It is another thing that you are grieving for, that lovely feeling of a first pregnancy.
The limbo is hard. People don't realise how long that week can seem. I felt the same about wanting my body back. And the same about not being able to move on.
Thinking of you and wishing you a quick recovery.

babysaurus Thu 07-Jul-11 22:22:04

Responding on DH's phone so have to be brief - went to loo and very dark red, almost black, stringy clots are there when I wipe. Did anyone have this? And does it mean that things might start themselves? I was concerned re the colour too, thought it might be more red / periodly.

kat2504 Thu 07-Jul-11 22:24:27

That's normal to have the black stringy clots. Yes it does mean that you might be miscarrying naturally. It doesn't mean it will complete by itself so please do get in touch with your epu/doctor for advice. It will taper off to be more periody but at first it will be a lot more clotty than normal.

Mama5isalive Fri 08-Jul-11 00:20:33

Ohhh Babysaurus - im so sorry you are going through this awful time! my God the waiting thing im so glad i never had that what madness and how un thoughtful to leave anyone in limbo for a week surely there should be a better way!( Hi Catsycat)
also a big sorry to others that have lost and had to go through this also.
the thing i think also is how to you keep your self sane when pregnant again and going day to day hoping it doesnt happen again being pregnant is hard without the added pressure of hoping you go full term with a healthy baby at the end of it all! its been 17 days for me, 17 days from being pregnant to not and just hoping praying that the months fly by so i can get back me!
good luck to all and i hope all will be well again for us all real soon! xx

JoJo586 Fri 08-Jul-11 11:17:58

Hello Babysaurus im so sorry to hear of your loss. Im new to all of this but thought id share my experience with you.

I went for my 1st scan on 31st December thinking I was 14 weeks to find baby had died between 6 and 9 weeks. The consultant talked me through all of my options which were medical, surgical or let things happen naturally. I thought if its been stuck inside for however many weeks how much longer would it go on for so opted for the medical procedure.

I was given a tablet to take oraly to start things off but nothing happened. I then had to return 2 days later for the day. Upon arriving the nurses settled me into my bed and talked me through what would happen throughout the day. I was then given two tablets which i had to insert into myself again to get things started then every three hours given tablets to take orally. The nurse also asked me if I wanted to know when the pregnancy had passed which I suppose is personal choice. She showed me the toilet which was full of sanitary towels which looked more like nappies, disposable knickers and bed pans where she proceeded to tell me that each time i went to the toilet, regardless of what it was for it had to be in a bed pan to which I was horrified! (but they need to know what is there)

When everything did start to happen it just seemed like a normal period until i passed the first clot which felt awful. (sorry to be graphic) Anyway the bleeding got heavier but then tailed off which i thought was a good thing but it was not. It did start again very heavy I was going through about 4 towels an hour as well as several changes of clothing. The cramps as they called it also got worse but i don't thing that that was cramp I believe I was in labour. Anyway the pregnancy did pass and i was asked if i would like a cremation of just everything to be exposed of, again its personal choice.
All in all I was in hospital from 8am to 12am and even though the staff were faultless it has to have been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.

If it ever happened again which i pray it doesn't id go for the surgical option as it seems less traumatic.
So theres my story but I believe that only you knows what is best for yourself.
As they say time is a great healer and by god it hurt like hell. I couldn't eat sleep or talk to anyone but now 7 months later with the support of my family and friends i feel like me again. There will be times that are sent to test you but life does go on and I will never forget my little angel!

Sending lots of love xxx

Catsycat Fri 08-Jul-11 13:41:26

Hi Babysaurus how are you today?

You asked previously if anyone already had children. I have two DDs, 3.8 and 18 months. I'm know I'm very lucky. This baby was meant to have been our last one, and I never had any bleeding or problems during pregnancy with the other two. I had already imagined what this baby would look like (my DDs were virtually identical when tiny), what it would be like to hold it for the first time, the smell of it's baby skin... I had already had the experience with the other two, and know how wonderful it was. When I look at my two, I can't help thinking what I have lost, as well as being grateful for having them here. I hope I can have another, because I think I will always feel "unfinished" otherwise (though there will always be one child missing now). I do hope this doesn't upset anyone who hasn't already had children - hope you're not thinking I'm a greedy, ungrateful cow!

I know I'm very lucky, as I said, and I think it's a really cruel thing to happen to anyone, whatever their situation. It must be horrible for this to happen to your first pregnancy - I really do feel for you. I know that when we try again (hopefully soon) if I'm lucky enough to get pregnant, I'm dreading not having that innocence of knowing the bad stuff is out there, but feeling it is rather removed and won't happen to me... now I know it can and might, and am kind of thinking "what else will it be next time".

(Hi mama5 nice to see you!)

babysaurus Fri 08-Jul-11 22:28:06

Hi everyone, thanks - for what feels like the millionth time now - for sharing your experiences and also for your kind words. It is an enormous comfort to be able to 'talk' in detail far more graphic than I would in real life, to people about this. I am also so sorry to hear that many others have had the same kind of experiences. While I know miscarriage is common etc etc it isn't to us is it? Also, finding out at the 12 week scan makes it, and I realise I can't speak for everyone, it so much harder as. If it happened at 6/7 weeks I would still have been upset but it felt as if finding out at the scan, esp when still (and I still do!) have so many symptoms is absolutely grim.

I now seem to be having what feels like a heavy period. This started about 2pm today and still seems to go in stops and starts, but is heavy when it happens. It is also a bit clotty but not dark red, more of a bright red. I am now really hoping that I can get away with not having any other 'medical assistance' (or an arguement about how I don't want to take tablets which is what I feel will happen) when I have the last scan on Tuesday. I am also hoping that all of us can get back to feeling at least half way normal as soon as we can!

Catsycat - I dont think you sound remotely greedy or ungrateful! I guess already having some children makes it just as horrid but in a different way to someone who hasn't yet had any.

Everyone - how are your DH's / DP's about it all? Mine has been fab but has also said that he feels a bit useless / redundant and doesn't know 'what he can do to make it better.' He doesnt really know what to do, and while I think he is also sad about it I think men can remove themselves a bit more from it than we can. A friend of mine had a very early miscarriage and her DH said 'its okay, we can make another' which didn't go down very well at all, even though he didn't mean any harm! As we are renovating a house which needs a shit load of work, he is a tiny bit relieved I think and he also said tonight that he likes the idea of us being able to 'live' and relax a bit in the house first (we moved from Bristol to Yorkshire in May and I found out I was pregnant a week later.) This grated a bit although I didn't say so. I can see what he means to an extent, and he is by no means pleased by what has happened, but he is also able to look at things in a far less personal or emotive way to me at the moment. Hope I haven't managed to make him sound like an absolute twat! He's not, really really!

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