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ERPC at 11 weeks & recovery

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sherbertfountain99 Tue 21-Mar-17 12:12:00

I’m a long-term Mumsnet lurker but have never posted before. But having had an ERPC in the last month, I thought I might share my experience for any ppl facing the same thing.

I know I was obsessively googling before the experience and really valued all the info I found online, especially practical advice at a time when I was an emotional mess and finding it hard to think straight. I thought perhaps that doing the same could help someone else in a similar position, though I know it’s a place that none of us would ever want to be in.

Diagnosis and EPU: After some brown bleeding, I found out during a scan at 11+3 out that our baby had died just before 11 weeks. That was beyond awful but appreciated the attitude of the very caring hospital staff. They did offer for me to go to a private room after being told, which in hindsight I should have done rather than try and control my emotions in a public waiting room.

Then was called in again and was given a choice in miscarriage options to take in a very honest way. Got the impression that an ERPC the least traumatic option for me personally, especially given how far I was along, so called that morning to arrange surgery – which was scheduled for the next day. Very quick, but kind of enveloped me in a whirlwind of action, so all passed by in a weird blur.

General and procedure: Besides feeling obviously upset and nervous, the hospital staff were very good. Went under and woke up in pain (but manageable with drugs) and pretty nauseous. Felt in a daze afterwards but surprisingly intially ok. Had procedure in the afternoon and went home in early evening after going to the loo and eating a sandwich. I didn’t find the pain too bad.

I’d recommend bringing slippers, wet wipes (found the hospital bathroom a bit lacking and this helped a lot rather than fiddling with a sink), large sanitary pads, something to while away the waiting time (I brought a book to take my mind off everything), a robe, clothes that are easy to put back on (leggings for instance) and a easily reachable pair of knickers you don't mind ruining. I neglected that (they were packed in a place I found it hard to get to) and ended up with weird hospital plastic ones.

Recovery: Now here’s where my experience differed from many accounts I read online, and what partly spurred me to write this. I found the recovery (and I'm relatively fit and in my early 30s) actually physically very hard, alongside the obvious mental side.

I read of people returning to work within days. Now for me, that would have been impossible. Luckily I’m freelance so I could take some time out, but I felt like I’d been hit by a tonne of bricks, physically and emotionally. Now I have a suspicion I was anaemic even before the operation, but I was struggling to lightly stroll for 15 minutes even days afterwards, easily got out of breath, couldn't concentrate and looked a nasty shade of translucent grey for weeks. My tummy felt really bloated and sore and that took a while to dissipate. Plus had some shooting pains for a while too.

Overall I was extremely exhausted for a week and a half and now (three weeks later) am only just feeling like myself and the bleeding, which was always light, is tailing off. It weirdly got worse at two weeks on, but the doctor I called said it was quite common. Saying that, I was able to fly long-haul a few days ago, but would not have felt happy/capable to do that any earlier.

So my advice is to really take it easy and get all the help you can and don’t stretch yourself to either return to work or your normal routine if you feel you can’t.

Emotionally, I think it’ll take a while to get through, but hope this account helps anyone else facing the same thing, and my sympathies to anyone reading this in a similar situation x

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