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Missed miscarriage discovered at 12 weeks

(17 Posts)
Elvi1 Wed 10-Dec-14 10:15:45

Myself and my husband went for our 12 week scan on Monday to find that our baby had died at around 9 weeks. We are devastated - this was a much wanted baby and we had been ttc for almost a year. We had an early scan at 7 weeks 4 days and we were elated that there was a heartbeat, as I had very little symptoms apart from some constipation (ironically I had expressed concerns about mmc to my doctor having been told that my friend had recently gone through the same thing, and she kindly referred me for a 'reassurance' scan). We decided to be more positive about the pregnancy once we saw a hb although we knew that we weren't out of the woods until the dating scan. Everything seemed to be going fine and we were looking forward to getting the scan out of the way so that we could share the news with our friends and families over Christmas. Over the weekend I was panicked to find that there was a very very small amount of tan colour in my discharge, but reading other posts I felt reassured that this was common. Even now, I'm not convinced that this was a sign. I feel I didn't have any signs as I had little symptoms in first place. Oddly, the weekend just before it must have died, I had 2 days of feeling very sick and I assumed that the morning sickness was kicking in - since then I occasionally felt a bit sicky between meals. So nothing could prepare us for the scan which was (apart from my father passing away) the most painful experience I have ever had. As soon as I saw the screen I could see that there was no movement and eventually the doc focused in on a lifeless mass. Having followed my babies progress everyday, reading websites and looking at examples of scans, I knew this was not right and started crying. The doctors asked if I could be less far along, but I knew this wasn't the case. I had to have an internal scan to confirm what I already knew (I think my poor husband was still in denial). We then got taken to another clinic for further tests and we discussed options as to how to proceed. I was distraught, my husband was crushed, but we were able to make the decision that a ERCP was really the only way to proceed. The doctor was not pushy in the slightest, but I heard her colleague quietly recommend the surgical procedure when I was getting dressed. I was told that there is likely to be a lot of bleeding and I read in between the lines that this could be traumatic. I am now at home waiting for the procedure in 2 days time and the bleeding has begun with slight cramping. I still think the surgical procedure is the right thing for us so that hopefully we will get closure and start thinking about moving on. In the meantime, I am incredibly frightened about being put to sleep whilst also dealing with the emotional impact of this devastating news. It's awful knowing that I am carrying still. I know that it is still technically an embryo, but this doesn't take away from the fact that we were going to love this child and our hope and dreams for the future as we knew it 2 days ago have now gone and we are grieving for this 'embryo' who didn't make it. I feel that we will never enjoy the feeling of being pregnant again (if we are lucky enough for it to happen again) as we will always be fearful of this happening again. I was always aware that mc were common and that a mmc was a possibility, but nothing can prepare you for the pain and devastation you feel. I know deep down that we will bounce back from this and me and my husband keep saying that the main thing is that we have each other, but this is very hard. Thank you for reading my post.

CatsCantFlyFast Wed 10-Dec-14 10:22:20

I'm so sorry for your loss. Allow yourself to grieve. I wish there was something I could do to help x

CaramellaDeVille Wed 10-Dec-14 10:25:43

I'm so, so sorry OP. I suffered a miscarriage in 2013, not missed, so I know some of the devastation you are feeling. It must have been such a shock.

You will feel better eventually, just give yourself the te and space that you need to grieve.


CaramellaDeVille Wed 10-Dec-14 10:26:07

Sorry, that should read time and space...

bakingtins Wed 10-Dec-14 10:28:52

I'm so sorry elvi it is devastating news. flowers

On a practical note if you already have some bleeding/cramping, were you told you need to use pads not tampons? You can also use paracetamol and ibuprofen together - stagger the doses so that they are not both wearing off at the same time.
Have a read of the 'tips for coping thread' ( I will find and bump it up for you) and you will see that the GA is normally much less scary than people expect. I've had several natural/medically managed MC and never had an ERPC (would have been my preference but the MC always happened before I could get one scheduled) but I had a GA for surgery after the birth of my son and it was fine.
Emotional recovery takes much longer than physical. Allow yourselves to grieve however seems right to you - you are spot on that it's a bereavement of hopes/dreams for the future. Very few people who've suffered a miscarriage see it as an 'embryo' it was a baby as soon as there was a line on a test.
You will be more anxious in a future pregnancy, MC robs you of the naive belief in everything working out okay, but actually your chances of success next time remain at 85%, you are no more likely to miscarry again than someone in their first pregnancy. There are lovely supportive TTC after MC and pregnancy after MC threads on Mumsnet who will help you through.

radiobedhead Wed 10-Dec-14 10:34:03

Hi OP. I had exactly the same experience a few years ago just before Christmas. It was awful but in time we felt better.

Don't worry about being put to sleep etc. They doctors were very kind and it was all done quickly. The recovery was fine too, and I felt well enough to go back to work on the Monday (had it on the Friday).

Ours was unplanned but then much wanted. I felt the overwhelming need to get pregnant again ASAP. You can try after you get a period.

Sorry for your loss OP.

Artistic Wed 10-Dec-14 10:38:07

Sorry for your loss. I was in a similar position as you having 'discovered' the miscarriage at 12 weeks just days before we were going to announce. It was devastating! Much more for me than DH as he hadn't experienced 'carrying' the baby. It took me months of physical fatigue & emotional emptiness before I could consider trying again. After that we've had 2 DC - with no mc. But you are right, the fear follows you. We just didn't let ourselves believe we were pregnant until week 13 the next 2 times. But much bigger was the pain of the mc that never quite left me at all. Even now I find myself in tears over that first baby. It's like a piece of me which was torn away from me & is now gone forever.
Allow yourself to grieve for as long as it takes & give your body time to recover. It does take a few months though most people believe you will be 'ready' in weeks.
The surgical procedure is very quick & leave you with a bit of bleeding & discomfort, but it is definitely the best way to go.

Hope this passes quickly & you will have your baby in your arms very soon.

sizethree Wed 10-Dec-14 10:41:49

Oh elvi1, I am so so sorry for your loss. It is such a heartbreaking experience.
I could have written your post, it struck many chords with me as I had exactly the same experience last year. Even down to the timing of the reassurance scan, heartbeat, MMC and size of fetus and 12 week discovery.
My heart goes out to you. It really was the most heartbreaking moment of my life when I saw the ultrasound screen and realised what had happened. The image still haunts me.
I am glad that you are getting good care. The doctor and nurse seem to have given you good advice. And although 2 days may feel like a while to wait, for what it's worth, I think it may be helpful to have this time to come to terms with what has happened and be able to say goodbye.
You're right, this exoerinece will take away the innocence of a future pregnancy, but you are still to much more likely to have a healthy pregnancy next time, than for another miscarriage to happen. For most women, it is a one off.
Feel the way you need to feel. It's a devastating experience and a loss at any stage of pregnancy is so hard to deal with. It's the loss of hopes and dreams and resetting a timeline that you're grieving. It is absolutely normal to be devastated. I hope you and your partner are able to stay close and help each other through this.
In the future, when you're physically and emotionally able, it may be comfirting to consider marking this loss in some way.
Lots of women on these threads have commemorated their loss by planting a tree on their garden. Or buying a special piece if jewellery. You can also purchase a star, so when you look up at the sky at night, there'll be a twinkley reminder.
My husband and I commemorated ours by on what would have been my due date, buying a beautiful white rose and going to a beach, and releasing it into the tide at sunset.
I'm so sorry you are going through this, but if you ever need any support, there's a lot in wonderful women on these pages to help you

gingerbreadmam Wed 10-Dec-14 10:52:23

Elvi, i am so sorry you are going through this. i hope that you are getting lots of support.

i have just been through the same thing, fortunately i discovered it at 9 weeks as i had a small bleed but mc yesterday at 13 weeks. i read up on erpc as an option but unfortunately my hospital didnt offer it. if you take a look at he mc boards here you will get lots of information of what to expect.

if it reassures yu i think you are only slightly sedated and from what ive read it only lasts around 20minutes. also i read that most people didnt get lots of blood afterwards, certainly not the same as natural mc or medical management which is one of the reasons i would have opted for the erpc if i had had the choice.

do you work, have you taken time off? you really do need to give yourself time to grieve. for three weeks i cried most days, sometimes all day. as someone else said, it does start to feel better now. i obly mc'd yesterday but already i am looking forward to trying again. it will be a worry if i do fall pregnant again but i am thinking of some things i can do a little different almost like a safety net think that will keep me from panicking all the time.

i hope you are getting lots of real life love and support, thinking of you thanks

acharmofgoldfinches Wed 10-Dec-14 11:21:58

So sorry for your loss Elvi, I know you and your husband will be feeling so very sad and my heart goes out to you.

I had exactly the same thing happen a few years ago, and it is absolutely devastating to find out at a scan that your baby has died; it is such a shock. Like you we had also hoped to tell everyone at Christmas...the world felt very cruel that year, particularly as it felt like I was grieving whilst everyone else was enjoying themselves and may find the sadness is too much to keep to yourself, and you need to tell someone anyway. However it works for you is fine, just do what you need to do to get through this.

Try not to worry about the ERPC because it is a very short procedure, and you are only asleep for a few minutes. Part of the reason they recommend ERPC is because after a mmc it can take several weeks for your hormones to fall enough to allow the miscarriage to happen naturally - this can add even more distress to an already difficult time - I felt I couldn't go anywhere and my life was in limbo, emotionally as well as physically. It is horrible to feel that you are still carrying, and the ERPC will get you past that feeling; I felt relief after the ERPC, still sad but at least knowing the embryo wasn't still there. It is a wretched time.

If you have an ERPC the bleeding afterwards can be like a very heavy period, and it can drag on a bit but no more than that; you will almost certainly go through lots of pads for a few days (get some of the big night-time ones), but it does ease up after that, and then drizzles on for ages. It can also seem like it has stopped, and then start again - that is completely normal. You will have clots, some quite large and alarming, but the procedure will have gently removed the embryo so do not worry that you will find it, because you won't - the medical team will make sure that all that is left is womb lining; I know because I asked, because I was terrified I might have to deal with finding the baby sad.

As you are already having cramps and bleeding it is possible that the lost pregnancy may be ready to come away naturally anyway - even if that is the case your clinic may well decide to go ahead with an ERPC just to "tidy up". If that is the case and they offer it, I would have it done (and I'm not someone who likes medical things if they can be avoided), as it will help you get through this early horrible stage more quickly.

You will feel sad of course, allow yourselves all the time you need to grieve. You may be able to cope with other people's babies, or you may find it too difficult - do what you need to do, and if that means making an excuse not to attend something at this time of year, then so be it.

You will get through this, of course you loved the baby (even if it was just an embryo) and it is heart-breaking to have lost it. The pain of that will feel unbearable for a while, and then it will ease a little, just be very gentle with yourselves and each other to get through the difficult days.

Elvi1 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:40:16

Thank you all for spending some time to respond to my post and I am sorry for your own mc(s). I have taken the rest of the week off work to deal with things and will have the weekend following surgery. Next week should be quiet at work and then I will have a break to recover. Christmas and particularly New Year are going to be so difficult, thinking this was meant to be a new year, a new family, a beginning of a new life, but I will seek comfort in your posts. I am grateful for the reassurance about the ERPC; I will proceed with this despite the bleeding so that my body can begin to recover physically after Friday. (In response to one of the posters, I am using towels). Although all mc are painful, I already feel that the first pregnancy is the most special; finding out you can conceive, the excitement that your life is going to change forever, the blissful ignorance to the pain that will occur if mc. I am sure that up until the date of birth and beyond this will be raw. I will always remember this one which was lost.

Elvi1 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:46:14

Sorry Gingerbreadman - things are still very raw for you too :-(

gingerbreadmam Wed 10-Dec-14 12:53:07

elvi it was my first pregnancy too and that is one the most difficult things about it tok i agree. it is amazing to see those two lines on a test and think wow look at what my body has done. to experience all those bodily changes for the first time and to feel so protective over the tiny thing you are pinning all your hopes and dreams on.

the way i have coped with it is by thinking well you can get pregnant which is an amazing thing so when you are ready to try again you should manage it just fine.

also reminding myself of the statistics, it is not often someone tells you theyre pregnant then miscarry as you know a lot of people keep it to themselves for the first three months when it happens to you and you open up about it you will be surprised how many people you know that have been through the same thing. its terrible but there is no rhyme or reason behind it really.

i think you sound like you have made an informed decison and it sounds like the right one for you. also good that you have some time off it is just what you need. i hope you are ok.

Elvi1 Sat 13-Dec-14 09:09:52

Morning, I thought I would write an update as to how I have been coping In the last few days which might be viewed by someone else who has recently discovered a mmc or have mc. I'm sorry, it is an essay!

So since finding out about my mmc on Monday, I began bleeding lightly from tues-thurs, with a lot of clotting when wiping. Although i remain crushed by our sad news, the bleeding did allow me to accept that what had happened was happening. My husband had to return to work on the Wednesday but rang me frequently during the day to check I was ok. I think he found returning to work difficult - leaving me and dealing with his own grief. He kept me going - got me out of the house in the evening to a local coffee house, made sure I was eating. Going to sleep and waking up during this period has been the worse...I tried to calm myself by watching TV until I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open anymore. When you awake, you have that momentary feeling that things are ok, and then the grief washes over and you have to start another day mourning the lost future. It helped though to role over to see my husband wide awake, united in our grief.

On Friday morning, the day I was due to have my ERCP, I felt a gush of blood come out of me which woke me up. I ran to the bathroom, stupidly locking the door in the process. And so the miscarriage began to dispel; endless blood and clots being passed. I couldn't leave the seat to unlock the bathroom door for my husband who was begging to come in. I felt no pain and tried to make myself as comfortable as possible. My husband put the heating on so I was warm and I wrapped myself in my dressing gown. Unfortunately I started to feel increasing unwell - this is why you must not lock the bathroom door! I did manage to leave the seat and let him in and shortly afterwards I fainted due to the loss of blood at which point my husband called the ambulance who were great. When I was well enough to move, they took me in.

I need to be graphic here to help readers who haven't yet been through this to know what to expect, but please don't be frightened. I only glanced down the loo which was full of think blood and clots. The female paramedic who got a better look told me that the embryo had passed and promptly flushed the loo, which then promptly blocked! I hadn't read about this happening- the toilet blocking due to the clotting. I don't know how I would ever have been able to deal with this if it wasn't for my husband. Whilst in the ambulance they were very tactful and said my hus was 'sorting a few things out and will follow us' as one of the medics past an industrial bag and bowl to their colleague to take in the house. I later found out that my poor hus had to de-clog the toilet by hand removing the sac, embryo which he took to the hospital. It must have been so traumatic for him and I know he cried. He hasn't talked about it much and I think he gets his strength my supporting me but I have said that he must talk to me or someone else if it continues to affect him. I just want to recommend that if you plan to miscarry naturally, you might want to discuss the possibility of this happening and prepare your partner or anyone who will be there to support you. And don't lock the bathroom door- I put myself in danger!

I will try to rush through the last bit (which actually is a very very long day). I arrived at hospital at 8ish and wheeled directly to the room. The doctors and nurses were so sympathetic and kind. I then had to be taken to the early pregnancy clinic which was all the more painful as the waiting room was full and I had been there several weeks before for a happy scan. I didn't want the other mums to be to see me - I didn't want to distress them and also felt like a reject so I held my head down and closed my eyes. An internal scan revealed that there was still products inside. We felt it would be the correct decision to proceed with the op. I was far too poorly to return home anyway, but I didn't want the uncertainty.

After then being transferred to a ward and then the day surgery - the waiting in the day surgery was the worse part of the whole day. My husband wasn't allowed through, I was told I would be taken to surgery immediately, but I was waiting alone for about 90mins. I felt so lonely and having received such fantastic support from the nurses, doctors and porters throughout the day, I was even the more sadder that none of the nurses popped their head around for what must have been an hour to see if I was ok - I lay sobbing without my rock, my husband. Despite the kind assurances from the posters above, I was incredibly nervous about being put to sleep, but the team were very nice and reassuring. I soon woke up in recovery to Christmas music. This didn't match the sadness I felt. Upon being discharged the doctors didn't come to see me to provide me with advice (I was told literally as I woke up in groggy state that everything went perfectly). I asked the nurse a few questions but she essentially relayed info from the fact sheet I was given which I suppose is fine. That evening I sat by our christmas tree with the glistening lights, eating pizza, with my husband and sister, and our cats. This was somewhat comforting after the physical ordeal was over.

So in the end I had a natural miscarriage and the surgical procedure. I don't regret how things happened. For me the natural miscarriage wasn't painful and the ambulance was only called because my body couldn't cope with the blood lost. This may have been prevented if the timing was different - because it was the morning of the ERCP, I couldn't eat or drink anything to replenish my energy. It is a shame I needed the ERCP anyway, but I was broken emotionally and physically anyway.

Today....I'm feeling 'ok'. During periods when I am feeling 'ok' I will try not to feel guilty or worry that people think I am over this. I know this will continue to hit me out of the blue like a punch in the chest, a longing and wishing that things had turned out differently and we were one of the lucky ones. It's torturous to think what might have been, like a lot of things in life. But I must focus on the new future - a new timeline as another poster mentioned. We hope and I'll send a pray to my dad that things will work out for us and we will get our baby. I hope this comes sooner rather than later.

Thanks for reading my essay.

acharmofgoldfinches Sat 13-Dec-14 10:49:13

my dear girl, I am so sorry you and your lovely husband have been through such a hard time - miscarriage is a wretched thing and we have to learn far too much about things we'd rather know nothing about. But well done for your bravery in posting, as you say it may help someone else and it is good to talk about things to start to get them out of your head.

The waking up and remembering thing...oh I remember how hard that is, but it will pass, one day you will wake up and not have that plummeting feeling, maybe not for a little while yet, but it will happen I promise. In the meantime you and your husband hold on tight to each other - my husband and I already had a strong relationship but going through this brought us even closer together; it sounds like that will happen for you too. Just keep talking to each other, cry when you need to, and when the days seem a little brighter allow that to happen too. You will get through this.

Trying to work out what had happened to us, I did a lot of research and reading, and I discovered that the ancient Buddhists believed that the soul of a baby lost through miscarriage will come back to you - in Japan they are called Mizuko or Water Children. This gave me a lot of comfort at a very dark time, as once I was ready to focus on the future rather than what we had lost, I felt that "our" little one would come back to us somehow. I am not Buddhist, not even religious really, but this was a small scrap of light to hold onto, and I hope it will help you too.


gingerbreadmam Sat 13-Dec-14 12:24:30

elvi, im so sorry you had such a difficult time. sounds like you have been strong throughout and your dh has been a tower of strength for you also.

i hope you are starting to feel a little bit better now and you and dh are working through the emotions together.

thinking of u thanks

Elvi1 Sun 14-Dec-14 20:26:08

Thank you, ladies. The soul of a lost baby returning...that's a nice thought.

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