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Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

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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)?

RedPanda25 Tue 13-Jun-17 18:15:19

Thank you so much @Nixie8. I've told quite a few of my friends as I feel like talking about it will help me. I didn't think I would struggle this much physically afterwards at all. I just feel so weak but my husband is being great. Thank you again for your kind words x

Nixie8 Tue 13-Jun-17 17:19:04

Hi RedPanda25

I am so sorry for your loss.
Pain is quite normal but make sure you go for a check up with your gp. Paracetamol will help. I've been sent for a scan each time to check that everything has gone. Make sure you lean on those around you and talk; you'll be surprised by how many women have gone through this.
Take big care

RedPanda25 Tue 13-Jun-17 16:57:23

Thank you so much for this thread and to everyone for sharing all their experiences. This has been such a good help to me over the past few days.

I miscarried at the weekend at 7 weeks and it's been such a tough weekend. The bleeding started last Thursday and stopped on Sunday evening probably. I'm still having pain, which is now just in my lower right abdomen. Is this normal or could I have picked an infection up? It doesn't feel like the cramps that I had whilst I was bleeding.

Sending lots of love and hugs to those going through this too xx

MollyoftheFolly Tue 13-Jun-17 11:24:35

Bumping for those who sadly need this. I found it really helpful and to know I wasn't alone in going through the heartbreak of miscarriage. Look after yourselves.

Nixie8 Sun 09-Apr-17 13:54:56

Hi Ekphrasis,
First of all can I start by saying how sorry I am for your loss; it's a horrible thing and my thoughts are with you.
All the symptoms you describe are normal, I passed all sorts of clots, tissue and mucous ( sorry for tmi) for about a week or so. I also felt the pain on and off for that time. Do take pain relief as it can help so does a hot water bottle.
Take big care of yourself over the next few days and lean on those around you. Don't rush back to work, give yourself time.

Ekphrasis Sun 09-Apr-17 13:34:07

I'm grateful for this thread.

I'm miscarried naturally 5 days ago at 8 weeks, though baby showed to have stopped growing at 5-6 wks. There was still a heartbeat when I had the scan. I'm a bit worried I'm still getting phases of quite strong pains that last around half an hour or so, but then nothing for half a day. Also that I wasn't hugely aware of passing very much other than clots.

Does this found normal? Bleeding is bright and thin though regular.

I have found that peppermint ibs tablets seem to help a lot as I do seem to have some tummy issues too.

DancingUnicorn Sun 09-Apr-17 13:26:22

I'm so sorry that this thread exists, and grateful for people sharing their experiences of this tragic time.

I had a mmc, which was found at my dating scan just over a week ago. Baby was measuring 9+4. I took the weekend to decide what management to go for. I think it was important for me to think through all the options. I found the information on the miscarriage association website invaluable for this.

In the end, I opted for surgical management, which I think was the right thing for me. I hated that I'd been carrying around my dead baby for more than a fortnight and couldn't bear to wait any longer. The EPU were able to schedule it for the same day I told them that was what I wanted.

I was not prepared at all for surgery. I gave my husband everything I had with me in the waiting room, including my phone etc. But I'm actually really relieved about that. I found it really cathartic to have a few hours just lying in the hospital bed; I felt it gave me time to say goodbye instead of being distracted by the internet for hours.

I went back to work after two days off post surgery, which I think was too soon for me from an emotional standpoint. The second day back I asked to leave after a few hours. I would suggest giving yourself more time than you think you need.

I felt quite well straight after the surgery, apart from pain in my hand from the cannula. I was taken by surprise a few days later when I started feeling exhausted, achey etc. But I am learning to be kind to myself, physically and emotionally.

Love to all x

Nixie8 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:19:38

Hi Satsooma,
I have my fingers, toes and everything else crossed for you. Try to take it easy and let people take care of you; I imagine right now Monday seems a long way away. Hope it works out for you xx

satsoooma Fri 07-Apr-17 15:37:00

Just bumping this back to the front page, as I knew I had seen this thread before, but it took me a while to find. I am currently waiting to find out if I am miscarrying at 5 and a half weeks. So far just light bleeding and I have an EPU appointment on Monday.

emvy Tue 14-Mar-17 19:47:31

It's been a mixture of emotions reading about everyone's experiences. It's such a shame so many of us have to go through this horrific ordeal but at the same time, this thread has given so much comfort and support - it certainly did for me.

I began loitering on the miscarriage board after a scan at 6 1/2 weeks showed two sacs, one more developed than the other and no heartbeats. We were told to prepare for the worst but not give up hope - there were two babies, I prayed every night that it would be good news at the next scan. Unfortunately, a very long, emotional 10 days later it was confirmed that one had completely stopped growing and the other wasn't growing enough. I had the choice to let nature take its course or opt for intervention. I was told the natural option could take between 4 and 6 weeks. I opted for surgery.

I prepared based on everything people had said on here and I have to say, I actually over prepared but I would rather that than the alternative! I have bled very little - stopping the day after the surgery and then just passing fibre-like substances. Cramps were also very mild, paracetamol when I was uncomfortable, twice a day tops after day 2 post op and that was enough. Now, a week on, my pregnancy symptoms are finally beginning to subside and I'm feeling much more emotionally stable and more like myself again.

Here's what I learnt:

1) It's the most emotionally upsetting yet bizarre feeling you'll go through (bizarre in what way I can't actually describe).
2) You'll learn new things about yourself and your partner, build on these.
3) You'll sob your heart out at the silliest of things, even when you think you're done crying.
4) It's your journey, behave, talk, eat, sleep however, whenever and wherever you want.
5) Take time to find you again - who you were before ttc (if you were), before pregnancy - find your happy again.

I'm sorry for everyone's losses but thank you for sharing your experiences.

Kay1983a Sun 12-Mar-17 09:06:05

Just to say thank you to everyone who has shared their experience on this thread - it has been the most useful advice I have received over the past few weeks. I started reading before my MC last week. We had known there was a high chance since unexpectedly finding out 4 weeks ago (I was about 9 weeks). The practical advice really helped me to deal with it. I was going to go for medical management but I started bleeding naturally and then had emergency surgery. While it was happening I kept thinking about what everyone has said and found it strangely reassuring. I was also prepared with pads, wipes and a lovely smelling hand wash which helped me to feel better. I would also recommend light entertainment - I didn't feel up to reading a book or watching a film but welcomed the distraction from magazines and the radio.
What I wasn't prepared for was the emotion after. We had counselling before because of the difficult situation but I didn't realise how up and down I would feel. I have become so teary and will happily hug everyone (not like me at all). I'm going back to work tomorrow and not sure how I will cope. Only my boss and one close colleague knows and I'm sure everyone else will ask if I am feeling better. However, I feel I need to go back and now is the right time.

Nixie8 Sun 05-Mar-17 20:29:28

Dear @PaulaMidds,
First of all let me say how sorry I am for your losses; I know I feel that my angels are somewhere together now, even if I never got the chance to meet them. It sounds like you have a wonderful partner and I hope for you both things work out for you. Take care

PaulaMidds Sun 05-Mar-17 20:10:55

You stories and advice has been helpful to me so I'm going to share my own experiences and reflections from my own babies.

I had my second miscarriage in Feb 2017 at five weeks, the first was at seven weeks in Oct 2014. Neither was planned but we would have welcomed them into our lives if they had decided to stay. The little tinkers had other plans it seems.

My partner of 6 years and I were both living in different counties and traveling to each other every other weekend during the first MC so I went through that completely alone.

It was devastating, painful, frightening, my doctor wasn't very reassuring, the hospital staff made me feel like I was over-reacting, I didn't take any time off work, didn't tell anyone what had happened and stopped taking care of myself for a few months afterwards.
My partner really didn't seem to understand what I had been going through and found it very hard to talk to me because I was obsessed with talking about the MC with the only person who knew.
It put a lot of strain on our relationship, I was very angry for a long time and we definitely had sex before I was really ready to which caused me more emotional upset.
With the help of 8 weeks of private counseling for myself, he stood by me, I was able to move forwards and we have now lived together for almost two years.

I regretted some of the choices I made at the time so when I knew I was going to have a second MC last week I did a lot of things differently.

I now live with my partner and he spoke to his manager who very kindly allowed him to work from home for two days so he was there to take care of me.
He also called my manager and told her I needed to be off sick for the week which wasn't an issue for her (she's a fabulous boss).
Knowing neither of us needed to worry about work meant we could be together and gave us the extra head-space we needed to cope.

I stayed in bed for the first few days and alternated between sobbing on my partner and sleeping (he would work in the office next door while I was asleep and sit with me when I was awake), on the fourth day I was bleeding heavily and had stabbing pains to the point that I had to go to A&E.

The doctor and nurse who saw us in A&E were such a comforting presence and sent us straight up to the Gyno. Emergency Unit where I had an internal ultrasound; there was still quite a bit of 'stuff' still up there and they discovered a small benign cyst on my left ovary.
My cervix was slightly open so the doctor talked us through our options and we decided to go home and see if the rest would pass naturally over the weekend with the possibility of medical intervention on the Monday.

I went back in on the Monday for another scan and everything seemed to have passed which was a huge relief to me. I am still bleeding on and off but it's getting lighter and the pains are intermittent now so I'm confident that I'm okay. I am going back next week for another check up, this hospital couldn't have been better with me and have reassured me throughout the whole thing.

My partner wrote what had happened down on a piece of paper and showed it to the colleagues he wanted to know about our baby when he went back to work because he couldn't physically say the words. I'm so proud of him, it was so hard for him to do that.

I went back to work after a week off and sat down with the colleagues I wanted to tell individually and told them what had happened. Their reactions varied from shock to actual tears from my closest colleague (which actually made me feel very loved and validated my loss). A few of the girls clubbed together and bought my a big bunch of roses which they gave to me privately after everyone else had left the office, it sounds weird but it feels amazing to have my pain recognized this time.
I don't feel any shame or pressure to keep going this time around, if I need a minute I can just shut my office door without making excuses for myself and that alone has taken a huge weight from me.

I am currently in the top role for the job so I didn't need to worry about it having an impact on my promotion prospects. If I ever want to move up I will have to change departments or move to another company. I might have done it differently if I was looking for a promotion, who knows.

Personal lessons I learned from my babies:
- Taking time off work is an absolute must, even if it's only a few days
- Having your partner there makes such a difference
- Tell whoever it feels right to tell, be selective if you want to
- Cry as much as you need to
- Put something under your bed sheets*
- If you want to talk to a counselor, do it
- Buying a little memento can be a help and a hindrance

With my first MC I bought a big snuggly scarf with little bear ears on the top of the hood and a little unicorn ornament. I have since thrown the ornament away because it made me sad to look at it.
I still have the scarf and use it on very cold days when I am feeling silly and want to wear bear ears. It brings me comfort in a very private way when I use it.

For the second MC, my partner has suggested we buy a large candle and burn it on the evenings when we want to remember our little ones. He doesn't want to have a permanent reminder in the house because it will make him sad whenever he sees it and I agree. I love his idea so will definitely be buying a candle when we find a base we like.

*I wish I'd thought about using one of my dog's old puppy pads under the sheets before leaking on our 4 month old mattress. Turns out a mattress protector isn't very good with blood (or dog vomit).

We were not trying for babies either time that I fell pregnant, they were unexpected but definitely not mistakes. We are currently in the process of buying a fixer-upper house in the countryside so I am very hopeful for the future. I have a good feeling that my partner will propose to me either this year or next year (which will make 10 years together) so I am hopeful about that too.

We have talked about babies and have both decided that waiting a few more years suits us both in terms of our age (he's 30 and I'm 27 now) and will give us the time and money we need to fix-up our dream house and save for our wedding.

I sincerely hope that you are all able to have what you need to cope through the sad times and that you all have lots of glad times to come.

Thank you for your stories, they help me more than you know xxx

HK1234 Sun 19-Feb-17 00:29:19

Just wanted to thank you all for sharing your experiences and add mine for what it's worth. I had my MC this week at 10 weeks (on Valentine's Day) after spotting last weekend turned to bleeding. It was my first pregnancy.

In comparison to some I've had a relatively easy ride- the actual MC was painful and all the bleeding looked like a horror movie (sorry if TMI!) but fortunately it seems as though my body has dealt with it on its own, I was able to stay at home, the bleeding is now tapering off and HcG levels are going down.

I took last week off work as the physical symptoms meant I couldn't be in. Had also taken 2 days the week before with the worst migraine I had ever had, which I now know was the first sign of the MC as I tend to get pre menstrual migraines. Things are crazy at work right now and I need to go back on Monday but I'm dreading it. My boss knows what has happened but I don't know what to tell everyone else about why I've been off- I'm sure they would mean well but I don't think they'd understand and it's a very gossipy place. I also need some flexibility from the heads of the teams I work with but it's tricky as I don't feel that comfortable telling them but I also don't want people to think I was off for a non legitimate reason or that I've been slacking. I think if I could choose I'd take another week as I've been very emotional but I guess I need to try and be distracted. I also have a history of anxiety and depression but am still trying to wean off my antidepressants and am scared about having a big relapse. How did you cope going back to work/life?

I'm very up and down at the moment and feel a bit clearer headed sometimes and then descend into darkness and uncontrollable crying the next. The world feels very bleak at my low points and I feel so empty and stuck in this bad place. I desperately miss someone I never got to meet. I want to feel better and feel bad if I wallow but it's very hard.

In terms of some suggested ways to help, I have started to see a fertility acupuncturist - if nothing else, it helps to talk to someone who understands, work to improve my diet and lifestyle plus the acupuncture relaxes me. I'm terrified to ttc again at the moment in case this happens again but I know I will want to. I also have a large subserosal fibroid and polycystic ovaries without the syndrome (other than crazy long cycles sometimes) so I want to get my body in balance for when we are ready. Other than that, as we moved house a couple of months ago I'm going to throw myself into decorating and once that's done we are going to stop putting off our plan to get a puppy- certainly not as a replacement for the baby but we had intended to get one this Spring anyway before I found out I was pg. Whilst this is such a horrible time, it has put things into perspective and it feels like life is precious and we just have to go for what we want and find little bits of happiness and joy where we can.

Sorry for the essay. All the best to all of you flowers

Leesyloo2017 Sun 12-Feb-17 00:00:32

I had a natural and complete miscarriage at home in the night almost a week ago and I thought I would share some of my thought/ tips which might offer an insight to others. I was a few days from my first 12 week scan.

1. I was shocked I lost SO much blood in the first few days - it was way more than any period I had ever experienced. Drink lots of water to keep your fluids up the days afterwards and I found it helped to take every movement that bit slower. I was told by the hospital that if you're having to change a sanitary towel once every half hour then it is time to go to hospital. Also, if you feel faint and dizzy then it is important to go to hospital.

I was also advised it would be a good idea to take iron supplement tablets (as well as usual folic acid) to help get my iron levels up and replenish my body.

2. The silence. I had never experienced anything like this before and i had no idea how I would emotionally process the information. I have tried to remain open to my emotions and be kind and gentle with myself. To begin I can only describe that I felt and could hear a deep silence, as if it spanned for miles and miles. The background sound of chitter chatter in my mind had been switched off - instantly. A week on I can only just hear the silence when I am walking on my own and I feel I have connected to nature again and can hear the birds sing and see the spring flowers start to come up. I think this is because my miscarriage was 'natures way' so maybe I am looking to see nature in the everyday.

3. A Mum hug or hug from your bestie. I cried and laughed, cried and laughed and squeezed those close to me tight. Every time I cried, I felt lighter. I didnt feel guilty laughing and smiling at the irony and theatre of life. I laughed that I spent my 20s terrified I might get pregnant when in reality there are only a few days where the risk is fearfully high and here I am in my 30s having miscarried. For me, it helped to laugh and also, to treat myself to a gin and tonic (I'd missed those).

I also sometimes feel as if I am living a double life as I've chosen not to tell anyone at work. I dont want to risk being treated differently and people feeling awkward but it is tiring to carry the weight of the grief around with me. If only it had all just been a 'tummy bug'...

4. Keep talking. I talk to my hubby about how we're feeling every day, sometimes over dinner and sometimes as I have a cry in bed at night or first thing in the morning. Oddly, the miscarriage itself felt quite lonely - being stuck on the loo for hours, sitting, waiting, wondering when your body will do what it needs to do. For me, it has been important to share my feelings as there could be a tendency to emotionally cut myself off.

My body is recovering very quickly and I feel as if I am my pre-pregnant self. On the one hand I'm thankful to my body, its been through a lot, but on the other hand I am saddened that all my pregnancy symptoms are gone. The recovery of my body has been one step ahead of my emotions but the two are coming back together again. They'll shake hands, reaquaint, say hello to one another again. Slowly we'll move forwards together - I'm going to need these two when I'm pregnant. I ain't giving up yet.

Good luck to you all xx

Sojii Thu 09-Feb-17 11:32:12

So sorry Lrscott, you must be feeling terrible. I've had three mc twice on my own one at hospital (Mmc) Twice it started with spotting and didn't start properly for a while. Last time I was a work and had plenty of time to get home. I would think you will have a little warning or cramps and spotting a little bit like a normal period first .so you don't have to stay home but wear some night strength pads. If you can wangle time off work somehow I would recommend it. I found this thread so helpful. My top tips would be a box set of something to watch, box of chocolates/biscuits and hot water bottle. Get the best pads you can, loads of them. I wore two pairs of pants and two sets of pads just to be sure. Towels on the bed. And loads of cuddles from whoever is offering to bring you tea and keep their mouth shut. My DH handed me the cat and backed slowly away. Just what I needed. Good luck Xxx

Lrscott Thu 09-Feb-17 08:41:47

Hi ladies, I'm sorry for all your losses. I had a scan at my local EPU yesterday at 7+2. I had a gestational sac measuring about 7+5 but no foetal pole or yolk. I'm devastated but not surprised as my symptoms have tailed off over the last week or so. I took the day off work yesterday to process. I do a 45minute commute by car and today I'm too frightened to go into work incase I begin my miscarriage there. I don't know if I'm being unreasonable or not. I've read all you comments and found them very helpful especially for when it begins - but what about the wait? I'm too scared to leave the house. Can anyone give me advice?

MochaChocaChino Sun 22-Jan-17 18:07:01

Hope you're ok LargeMelons? Such a horribly difficult time.

Thank you once again to everyone who has posted on the thread I've read it all the way through numerous times.

I didn't think I'd make the surgical procedure I had booked for Tues, and it seems I was right as I naturally miscarried this afternoon. Still bleeding heavily but the cramps have subsided. Will call the EPU in the morning to understand what happens next (if anything).

In terms of practical support you've all been amazing and spot on - lots of pads, painkillers, choc, baby wipes and a full phone battery got me through...

Sending love to you all, and take care of yourself LargeMelons xxx flowers

Largemelons Sat 21-Jan-17 19:18:31

Thank you for this thread.
I had a very shocking dating scan which showed a mmc. I had slight bleeding at 5 weeks but a private scan at 8.5 weeks was perfect and I've had no bleeding since.
My symptoms are still full on too, the baby was measuring 9-10 weeks with no hb.
So I'm still feeling totally pregnant, awful and waiting until Tuesday for the ERPC.
This will be my fourth mc (not in a row thankfully) but by far the worst as the others were all around the 5 week mark and felt like a heavy period.

It's just awful and I feel in absolute limbo.
This thread has made me feel less alone.

Nixie8 Fri 20-Jan-17 23:24:42

Hi Mochachocachino,
First off let me say how sorry i am for your loss, it really is such a horrible thing to have to go through and so confusing. Make sure you lean on those around you and take lots of care. Plenty of pain killers and pads. Lots of water as u may be dehydrated.
Thinking of u

MochaChocaChino Fri 20-Jan-17 21:56:54

Thank you so much for this thread.

Discovered today at 12w I've had an mmc. Trying to get my head around things and think practically so this thread has been amazingly helpful. I'm booked for surgery on Tues but don't think I'll make it as already bleeding and just started getting cramps. Preparing for what the weekend will bring 😔

So sorry to all of you who've also been through this xxx

1oneout Mon 16-Jan-17 10:03:00

God bless you for this thread. I had a mc yesterday night. Alone at home and without a clue what to do. You literally saved me! It has been as horrible has everybody describe. My personal thing to add is that I was sweating a lot over night so I have changed pijis 2 times.

Thanks again and a big hug to all the lovely ladies that had the misfortune to read this.

BWatchWatcher Thu 29-Dec-16 10:29:31

Bumping this

whyistherumgone Wed 21-Dec-16 10:26:07

thanks Nixie that's really helpful.

Nixie8 Tue 20-Dec-16 10:32:52

Let me start by saying I am really sorry you are going through this, it's horrible and I don't think people really understand. I was in a similar position to you and opted for medical management; I passed lots of quite big chunks (sorry for tmi) unlike when I had my natural miscarriage and it all came out in a big wish but the thing I have learned is everybody is different. Give yourself time and lean on those around you, they will want to help. Take care

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