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Medical management and 9 hours of contractions (what they don't tell you)

(3 Posts)
May38 Sat 29-Apr-17 14:15:04

Hi all.

I've never posted on a tread before but after my recent experience I thought it might help someone. Sadly, at my 12 week scan in March my husband and I learned that our baby had died, somewhere around 8 weeks. I was offered medical management or a D&C but as I had already started to bleed naturally I thought I'd let nature take it's course. The bleeding lasted 2 weeks then eased off. I thought we were out of the woods. We were keen to heal and move on so we could try again. But 2 weeks later my pregnancy tests were still positive. So last friday I went back to the hospital for a scan and the main sac / baby was still there. So I opted for medical management. They said I'd experience some heavy bleeding and cramping - which I'd prefer over surgery (D&C). However, 30 minutes later I experienced extremely painful contractions, every two minutes, each lasting a minute ... for an hour. After that they eased off, but then they started again from 1am to 7am. I have a high tolerance to pain but SEVEN HOURS of excruciating contractions was almost too much for me to bear ... especially in these circumstances :- ( All I could do was breath, pant, groan and hold on for the minute gap before it all started again. Despite all that, I was still bleeding but I hadn't passed anything of substance. I had two days of no pain but then it kicked off again, worse than ever. My poor husband was at a loss. Thankfully we were already heading to the hospital at the time because the nurse had failed to give me an Anti D injection after giving me the medical management (NOTE: If your rhesus negative you DO need an anti D injection, even before 12 weeks IF you have a termination / or medical management - I only discovered this after doing my own research because everyone seems to be in two minds about it all). I was terrified the nurse's mistake would lead to me having antibodies but thankfully a blood test later revealed no antibodies. When I arrived at the hospital the pain was so unbearable I was admitted. A new scan showed that the main sac / baby was still there so they decided to dope me up with morphine (which made me nice and dopey but didn't do much for masking the pain unfortunately) and hopefully I'd pass the rest there but if not I'd have a D&C the following day. So after all that pain, all that waiting ... I'd end up going for the surgery route after all. As it happened, after spending another 9 hours of contractions, later that night I did pass the sac and baby down the toilet ... it was very sudden, and very sad. I had no more contractions after. A scan the following day showed it was finally clear, I didn't need the D&C and I could go home once I'd had my anti D. At the final scan the nurse turned to me and said 'No one told you did they? ... no one told you about the contractions' I said no. She said 'They never do. I have no idea why but they never warn women how painful it can be!' and that's why I'm writing this thread. I don't know why they're not forthcoming about this information - I can only assume it's because it's much cheaper to give out pills. If women where aware of what could happen most would opt for the D&C which is much more expensive on the NHS. Perhaps that's why? but surely they're obliged to tell us on a legal basis? I read a lot of info before opting for medical management but I didn't read anything about experiencing labour, not on 'official' website. I thought perhaps my experience was rare but some of my friends admitted having been though a similar experiences, and I've since seen similar experiences on here. Of course some women just have some cramping and bleeding and it's bearable. But while this experience has been utterly draining on every level - emotionally, mentally, and physically, I'm a tough cookie, I'll be ok ... but I don't think all women would cope with this ... It's just too much. If I could choose over I'd opt for the D&C in a heartbeat (under general anesthetic, not sedation.) I realise it may come with risks but I'd take those over the chance of this happening again. What angers me is no woman should be given this option without knowing exactly what she might have to endure. So I thought I'd share for what it's worth. I hope it helps. I'm home now, resting and healing. In time we'll try again. xx

ForeverHopeful21 Sat 29-Apr-17 16:41:11

May38 I'm so sorry for what you've been through. MC is such an awful thing and I believe that no one understands unless they've been through it themselves.
I too wrote a thread after my MC which helped get some things off my chest, so I hope you feel a tiny bit better for sharing your experience flowers .

I was also very shocked at what MC entailed. I knew there would be a lot of bleeding but I lost so much blood that I was told I needed a blood transfusion. Which never happened in the end, (to this day I still don't know why!!??) but I've been left severely anaemic and 7 weeks on I'm still struggling with extreme fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath & restless leg syndrome. It's just a constant reminder sad .

I agree that some medical professionals & hospitals don't handle MC well and don't provide enough information to those who have never been through it. That said, I think the problem is that it's different for every individual. I had natural MC at 12 weeks and although it was horrendous I never suffered the awful pain that you did. I never felt as though I was in labour and it was all over in 8 hours. For me the worst thing was having 'product' removed from my cervix, which resulted in an infection. I was kept in hospital (on a ward with new mothers angry ) and then sent home with packs and packs of tablets and antibiotics. Like I said, I'm still not ok physically. But we'll get there!

I'm glad your resting and taking care of yourself. It can be a long process. Wishing you well xxx

May38 Sat 29-Apr-17 19:25:21

@ForeverHopeful21 Thanks for posting. Ah I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through too. It's just so sad isn't it? whatever way it's experienced. I can't believe you were put on a ward with new mothers :-( I had to sit in a waiting room with lots of expectant mums and that was bad enough, that must have been incredibly hard on you.

I think you're right, it's definitely different in each individual. I experienced contractions when I started miscarrying naturally but it was a lot worse with medical management as the tablets cause your uterus to start contracting. They don't give you any inkling it can get that bad though ... not all will experience it that way, but many will. Even on the miscarriage association it's simply described as 'severe cramping'. I have written to them in the hope they might address the issue and their wording so it's a little clearer for others. They probably won't listen but it's worth a shot.

I hope you continue to recover too ... yes it is such a long process. Our poor bodies just need time but yes, we will get there! :-)

All the best to you too xx

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