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"Natural" miscarriage - what were you told to expect and did it help?

(37 Posts)
Gentle Fri 27-Mar-09 21:22:11

Only fair to say this might be hard for anyone to read who might be in the middle of a threatened miscarriage.

I have been reading through some messages here and am astonished about how many women who manage miscarriage at home are told it will be "like a heavy period" and then experience something more like labour & childbirth.

This happened to me too, 3 years ago now at 16 weeks pg. I remember sitting at home about 36 hours into it thinking, "These pains are coming regularly. I think I might be going into labour." 24 hours followed during which we kept phoning various healthcare providers and being told that unless I was haemorraging (and how do 2 laypersons determine this exactly?) there was no need for intervention. although eventually they did write a prescription for some Tramadol for my pain, which DH collected from the chemist. Shortly before I had the baby I remember wailing to DH, "I can't believe we're dealing with this on our own." I'd always thought that losing a baby, particularly after the first 3 months, was something that an ambulance came and carried you off for.

For myself, I wish someone had said, "It will be like labour, but probably without the pushing. You might see x,y, and z." I think pain relief should be offered early too, rather than begged for in the final throes.

Finally, I had a toddler to look after at the time. I thought I would just need a hot water bottle and some chocolate, but my poor little girl saw me in some distress before my husband left work and a babysitter finally was arranged.

What do others think? Was it better to go into miscarriage not knowing how it would be, or would you have preferred for someone to be more honest with you?

Wetthemogwai Mon 14-Jul-14 22:14:58

Thank you for this thread everyone.

I've experienced a miscarriage at 11 weeks tonight although the baby didn't develop past 7.
I had no idea what to expect past 'heavy period and cramps' but this thread helped an incredible amount.

I have to say that I seem (so far!) to have got off very lightly. I've had bleeding for a few days with very minor cramps every now and again then this evening for about 3 hours I had strong contraction like pain with some intervals of a few minutes.
About 10 minutes ago the pain seemed to ease and I got the urge to push. I went to the toilet and passed what I assume was the baby and the sac. I've had no pain since and only a slight ache when I move.

Obviously it's still in progress so I will keep the thread updated with anything else if needed for future readers.

Thankyou again, I hope we can contribute this thread to the miscarriage care campaign if it hasn't been already


Hannahlouise81 Mon 15-Jul-13 21:42:12

Hi all, having just suffered a natural and unexpected miscarriage at 11 weeks I wanted to share my story. I started spotting early in the week but tried not to worry too much, I was just holding out for my 12 week scan which was due next week. After the spotting turned to more significant bleeding on Saturday morning I went to A&E where blood and urine was tested and to the extent of no infections etc the tests all came back fine. I was referred to the EPU but would have to wait until Monday morning as nothing they could do at the weekend. So I went off home feeling a little more positive and knowing I could be reassured on Monday with a scan. However as the day progressed the bleeding got worse but as I wasn't having any cramps I still tried to remain positive. When the cramps kicked in later in the evening I had to give up hope as I could only guess that what was happening was a miscarriage. To be honest I am relieved that I didn't know what was about to happen. As the cramps got worse I had to move to the bathroom and sit on the toilet. What I initially felt was a small pop and an outpouring of blood. After this the pain subsided and I managed to get back to lying on the bed. A little while after, I felt a need to get back to the toilet and blood was actually flowing freely out. It was during this time whilst on the toilet that I passed initially a small chunk of tissue followed by a foetus in a sac. The trauma of passing a foetus is what I don't think I will ever forget but the fact I was at home and didn't know any better and that there were other options out there is almost a relief. It happened naturally which I hope is a good sign of having a strong and capable body. I hope maybe my story might help somebody out there, since my mc 2 days ago I have scoured the web for similar stories and find that I have taken comfort from realising I am not alone. Huge love goes out to all those that have suffered, here's to healthy babies in the future xxx

RainyDay7 Thu 20-Jun-13 20:42:06

I have to say the nurse at my EPU was really good with her advice. She did make me feel prepared for what could happen. She said I may miscarry naturally between my scans and then she started to talk about what it could be like and then stopped and asked if I really wanted to hear this. I said yes I want to be prepared as possible. She explained the bleeding could be really heavy that it would be like someone had turned the tap on and that most women when it gets to that stage find it just easier to sit on the toilet. She went into detail describing the pains. How they would start out like period pains and then seem to get lower sharper and more concentrated. what the symptoms of heavy blood loss are what to watch out for. And told me to call the EPU if I felt I needed any help or advice and if they weren't open to call the A and E department. She made sure I had the number and said don't be worried about calling I have talked to many women who are sitting on the toilet going through this.
I think it was a shock when it started happening, it always is. I was in the EPU the following week waiting for my scan and had increasing bad cramps the whole night before and stood up and blood just started gushing out. I was prepared mentally though and the staff commented on how calm both I and hubby were. Unfortunatly the sac didn't pass on it's own. When I came back for the next scan in 10 days. I had to wait over a week for ERPC The nurse again told me that it could still pass in the meantime and the bleeding could be just as heavy as the first time. for the next week I had heavy bleeding off and on it would start fill one or two pads then stop again. I called the nurse she was really reasurring and sent me out a sick note for work as well. I had 4 hour bleed the night before my ERPC and the pain came in waves much like I think of contractions with loads of clotts as well. I had co codemal but it didn't touch the pain really but even so I was much happier to be in my own house in my own surroundings. I still had to have ERPC the next day because they did a scan and the sac still hadn't passed. The ERPC was much more scary experience for me personally probably because I wasn't in control of what was happening. The staff seem so disorganized and it felt more like I was a car in a garage being worked on than a human being.
Whereas the nurse in the EPU was really informative sympathetic and helpful definatly need to send them a box of chocolates as from reading other peoples experiences I seem to have been very lucky!

jimijack Thu 20-Jun-13 16:20:14

Old but interesting thread.

Ive had 7 miscarriages.

None of which have been like heavy periods.

I have been hospitalised for pain relief with all of them, gas & air and morphine until the contractions have stopped (about 24 hours) and the pregnancy has been passed.

All miscarriages have been under 12 weeks.

I am in no way soft, these have all stopped me in my tracks and have been full on contractions that usual pain killers do not touch.

Blood loss also very heavy.
Distressing and traumatic. I recover very quickly, back to work within a couple of days usually.
Horrid horrid horrid.

squizita Thu 20-Jun-13 16:12:59

I have had 3 MCs (with complications unfortunately). I was expecting horrific pain (*at no point* did any medical professional say it would be like a period, in any of mine and it's shocking that some do!). I was given guidelines about excess bleeding etc' too.

In actuality with mine, although they were painful and medically complex, they were nothing like how I expected having read some stories on the internet.

NicoleC Thu 20-Jun-13 02:04:45

I was 12 weeks pregnant when i found out i had a missed misscariage. My doctor wanted me to have a natural misscariage at home. The whole experience was horrible. The contractions started at night. It felt like real labor contractions. This went on all night. The contractions were so bad, that i couldn't do anything to help. Then they stopped for a few hour, enough time for me to get some sleep. I then woke up to the contractions again, only these were much more intense. I sat on the toilet, & got this instinct all of a sudden to push. Then i heard a "plop" sound, & there it was. the sac which my baby was in. Once that was over, all the pain & cramping had stopped. Still light bleeding. The experience overall was very hard for me, because i really didn't know what to expect. It just goes to show how strong a women's body really is! So good luck, i hope my personal experience could help. Keep in mind this all happened to me yesterday.

freelancegirl Tue 29-Mar-11 18:28:39

Hi Cotton. Gosh you have resurrected an old thread!

Obviously I am not a professional but it sounds to me like you have nothing to worry about at the moment, as plenty of people seem to have pain and bleeding and not miscarry and it doesn't sound like you are having anything severe at the moment. Please go and see your doctor if you are worried though.

I would suggest you read some of the other threads that have been added to in the last few hours (the ones with titles that reflect people being worried because they are bleeding) as there is a lot of good information on there from people going through similar experiences.

cotton82 Tue 29-Mar-11 15:20:42

iam 8 weeks today and was +hopeing some one could give me a bit of advice i have had blood loss not to much but have also had stringy blood clots iam nt in pain just a bit of back ance this is baby num 5 preg 7 i have never lost a baby yet iam i lossing this one or could it be sumit els

hairytriangle Mon 31-May-10 13:23:47

I wasn't told anything at all about what to expect and I'm in the second (hopefully final) stage of a two-part miscarriage. First part was a three day bleed, followed by slow rising HCG and threat of medical management, then a faint and a heavvy bleed which has to date lasted 12 days with no letup. I assume everyone is different and that's why they can't tell you want to expect

It's very hard and sites like this are a blessing to us!

may2010 Thu 27-May-10 14:23:52

Hi all, I know this is an older thread but I felt I wanted to write as I've been in a similar situation to some of the posters and maybe these posts will help someone going through a miscarriage.

I miscarried yesterday at 11 weeks, I knew it was going to happen when I started bleeding lightly and cramping in the middle of the night. This went on for ten hours and in hind sight I wish I knew what to expect. I think I should have been offered more drugs than paracetomol, I think there should have been some kind of a + e procedure to help out women in 'early labour' as I see it.

Instead of this I had painful contractions that worsened over a ten hour period, where I was eventually given co-codamol at a + e then advised to go home. After one very painful cramp I passed a large lump in the toilet and was so terrified I flushed it away as quick as I could. The on-call doctor then came to see me and considered a pethidine injection but didn't because I 'didn't look like i was in pain'. The cramps did lessen and a scan today confirmed my miscarriage, I wish there was a proper set-up for women going through this rather than stay at home with some ineffective painkillers.

Anyway, good luck to you all and I hope these messages help someone who may have to prepare themselves for the worst xxxxxxxxx

Tads Mon 07-Dec-09 00:41:35

Yes, a miscarriage is definitely worse. At least there is usually a happy end to labour pains instead of dreadful fear that comes with miscarriage.

I'm currently on the 9th week of bleeding following a natural miscarriage at 11 weeks. I've been into hospital for a second ultrasound, an internal and a transvaginal scan. Out of 2 sonographers and 3 doctors, it seems no one can tell me why I'm still bleeding. I know we are all different, but I just thought I'd put this here in case anyone else's hormones are as crazy as mine. Apparently all looks normal in there, so all I can do is wait it out. Instead, I've decided to put myself back on the pill for a month to see if the same dose of hormone each day can level me out. Will let you know how I get on and I really hope no one else is in the same state!

Joolsiam Tue 24-Nov-09 23:26:54

I mc'ed at 11+5 last November (and have mc'ed since at 5+5).

The one last year was traumatic and scary - I went to A&E after speaking to the midwives - uncontrollable bleeding out and clots for around 4 hours. I don't think DP realised how serious it was till they put me in a wheelchair to wheel me round to the gynae emergency dept. Care was patchy, as was information. I came home and mnetted, which told me what I needed to know. I managed the pain - the next day, it was coming in waves (I presume contractions) until I understood what the urge to push felt like, resisted looking at what I pushed out and then felt the blessed relief of pain going away. I endured far too much pain as the irrational side of my head would still not allow me to take more than paracetamol, just in case of a miracle.

I'm certain that, with the severity of the blood loss, I should have been kept in. I was considered anaemic 2 months afterwards - should have been advised to take iron tablets straight away, but my GP wasn't even interested in seeing me. I was strong and recovered physically - the day before the mc, I'd been incredibly thirsty and drunk litres and litres of water. I'm convinced now that my body knew what was coming and was preparing for the blood loss - clever things, bodies.

Over a year on, I still replay those days in my head in agonising detail and have only recently seen a sympathetic GP and asked for help - have been diagnosed with clinical depresssion, brought on by post traumatic stress from the mc. Based on my hellish year, I'd urge anyone this happens to to seek counselling earlier and be so, so kind to yourself. I thought I was coping, but over a year on, things kinda fell apart ...

sweetkitty Tue 24-Nov-09 23:09:08

Can I share my experience too? I was told to expect a heavy period and slight cramping.

I mc'ed at about 11 weeks although the baby never made it past 8. I had 2 days where for about 4 hours the bleeding was uncontrollable, from this I mean I was sitting on the sofa with DD1 who was 3 at the time and has 2 pairs of pants and a maternity pad on, I felt a gush like I had wet myself but it was blood, in the time it took me to stand up the blood was running down my legs, had soaked right through the sofa cushion to the other side and was on DD1 and the toy she was holding, will never forget that. Was changing pads ever 10-20 mins for about 4 hours that day.

The next day was fine in the morning well period type loss then in the afternoon it started again, again soaked through the sofa cushion and at one point I actually just sat on the toilet and let it flow out as I was running out of pads, DP was at work and I remember DD1 and 2 playing round my feet and me resting my head on the wall. I phoned the hospital and was put through to a MW I think, she said "well if you are not coping at home you might as well come in!" as if it was a burden and I was making a fuss. I couldn't go to hospital as had DD1 and 2 with me with no childcare.

Luckily it stopped after about 4 hours again and that was that, I think I lost the baby down the toilet that second time sad

When I told a MW about this a week later she said there was no way I should have been at home passing that much blood and in pain too.

Why wasn't I told that?

As someone else said on here, there was no mention of what to do if you think you are bleeding too much

It was a horrendous experience and although I went on to have DD3 shortly after the lochia stage brought it all back with the pads etc. If I were to have another mc I would have an ERPC like a shot.

Unfortunately my PC was broken and I had no MN.

So in answe to OPs question, I would have wanted the honest truth.

LadyGaGaGoo Tue 24-Nov-09 22:53:34

I had a MMC two weeks ago at 12 weeks and was completely unprepared. I ended up going into hospital twice I started bleeding when near a big hospital with an EPU, and rushed there as I was worried. They did a scan and said there was no heartbeat.
Not a great experience - the doc was obv busy and kept on being called out during the scan/chat afterwards (The second opinion one they called in was nice). I was so shocked and upset that I couldn't take anything in, went home and started bleeding in earnest - going through 8 pads in 3 hours feeling faint. I just couldnt remember whether the doc said whether to go back and also had DC asleep in bed so just carried on.
It quietened down after that for 2 days except then it all kicked off again, walking down the street, bleeding really badly and wouldn't stop. I went back to the hospital and had an injection to stop the bleeding, anti-sickness stuff and another scan. They decided against an EPRC in the end.
Sorry for all details I am just worrying the hospital has probably put on my notes I should have stayed at home, and coped by myself. I feel guilty for taking up time there and although the second time I went in everyone was lovely, the first doctor I found distracted and prob thought I was making a fuss. But I found it very scary, painful and nothing like a 'heavy period' both times.
Two weeks on, still bleeding a bit and trying to be jolly for DC, DH and be ok, but I feel very down and confused. Sorry MNers, no one else to talk to....didn't mean to rant like this. A bad moment I think.....

pruneplus2 Mon 23-Nov-09 22:53:10

[sussexpud] Sorry for your loss.

I have given birth twice (I have 11 and 8 yr old DC's) and I naturally miscarried twice this year at around the same gestation as your loss.

I can categorically say that my 2nd m/c was unbelievably painful. I was virtually climbing the walls and it was on par with giving birth pain wise - in fact it was worse. I had the same as you, relentless agonising contractions that had a milisecond between them.

[HOWEVER], giving birth does hurt like hell, but IME it is a positive pain - I know it sounds like a cliche, but when labouring you are working towards something that has been 9 months in the making, possibly months or years in the planning. You can practice breathing and relaxation tecniques throughout pregnany. Positive emotion spurns you on. NOTHING can prepare you for miscarriage - the physical pain or emotional aspect.

You have many, many pain relief options when giving birth and its usually a less intense experience and usually over a slightly
greater length of time.

Not sure if I have helped! When you are ready to start again, bring up your concerns with your midwife who will hopefully help you make choices regarding pain relief in labour.

Best wishes x

sh77 Mon 23-Nov-09 16:39:57

Oh gosh. Reading this thread promted me to have an erpc afte waiting 3 weeks for a natural loss. The heavy bleeding started 2 days before and I passed a huge clot on the morning of the erpc. Glad I didn't go through with natural.

My pains were not too bad given the amount of blood I lost. I have had labour pains and they were hell. Epidural was the most amazing thing ever.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 23-Nov-09 14:11:51

I wasn't told anything and it was awful. I lost most of my 'products of pregnancy' sad sitting in my car stuck in snow after having been told to home fromt he hospital, having sat in the antenatal ward waiting room for 7 hours, bleeding all over their chairs (left a stain blush) while they worked out whether or not I had a molar pregnancy. I remember sobbing uncontrollably on the phone to DH, stuck in snow in another car. Horrible day, and I'm crying now just thinking of it, nearly 7 years on.

sussexpud Mon 23-Nov-09 14:05:43

I was told there was no heartbeat at 12 week scan - they said the heart probably stopped beating at 8-9 weeks. We were given the option of waiting, medical, or surgical (ERPC)...we decide to wait....expecting my mc to be like a heavy period. I have never experienced so much unrelenting pain, heavy blood loss and passing large clots. As I have never been pregnant /had kids I was thinking surely labour cannot be worse???? There was no let up.....just a a constant contraction with no space of relief in between. Horrendous experience - paracetomol no help....ended up in ER (A&E) for painkillers......I was bleeding heavily and still had to wait......Anybody been thru both labour and a miscarraige and found the pain from m/c worse? because right now I am terrified of labour pains and am considering an epidural.

detoxdiva Mon 09-Nov-09 12:18:16

So sad to read these just highlights a need for more help and advice for women going through this.

My mmc was picked up at my 12 week scan sad and I was given the option to come in for an ERPC or to wait to mc naturally. I booked in for the op but mc over the weekend anyway. I was told to expect a heavy period with similar pains. What I got was contractions and massive blood clots that lasted the best part of a day.

I think with hindsight that I would have wanted to know what could have happened - to be mentally prepared, and to have stronger painkillers ready in case I needed them.

RnB Mon 09-Nov-09 12:05:04

So sad to read these awful experiences. I think I a still scarred by a miscarriage I had at 10 weeks 3 yrs ago.

bb99 Mon 09-Nov-09 11:29:43


I am so sorry for your loss and what you have been through sad. There is no exscuse for the lack of information available and I know from my own experience and reading on here, most women NEED truthful and sometimes graphic information about what to expect from a miscarriage at any stage. It is a scary and traumatic enough time without trying to figure out if what is happening is normal or you need a blue light service to the hospital.

I have just miscarried again and had a threatenned mc at 11 weeks with this pg. Having had a 6 week loss I knew that the doctor was WRONG when he said that the 'show' could have been the baby.

It's almost as though they think they are being kind when they don't tell you these things. For me not knowing what is happening to my body is an even worse loss of control than having mcs in the first place.

I hope that you can find the support you need to come to terms with the feelings you may be having and to recover.

be kind to yourself and remember you can always ask as many questions as you like and you have the RIGHT to be treated in a dignified and sensitive manner by any health professional. (sorry for the hijack)

Much luck to you xx

jodi25 Mon 09-Nov-09 11:15:31

I cannot believe i have just found this page after everything i went through last week during my miscarraige!! i went for scan at 10 weeks and 3 days and was asked if my dates were right which i knew were, as they could only see the pregnancy sac and yolk sac. they told me afterwards i either got my dates wrong or was in early process of miscarriage.

3 days later i started to bleed lightly then next day was having contractions (i know as have 3 boys 4, 2 and 1) got the urge to push after 3 hours of this extreme pain so i went to toilet and 2 liver like lumps came from me same size and colour. i was in complete shock. i was told the same as most on here "expect a heavy like period and pains" mine was more like labour and birth. nothing like a heavy period at all.

then a few hours later went to bed after taking paramol with ahot water bottle still in alot of pain but i was just so tired woke up 2 hours later in a puddle of blood urge to push again and another liver looking sac came from me. about 2 hours later the pain had eased and was the "like a period" in both blood and pain.

all as what was going through my mind was is this normal because it was nothing like what i was told or what i expected. then yesterday my sac came from me, luckily i saw know baby but at times a wouldnt look as i was suffering enough emotionally. i can honestly say it the worse by far experience i have ever had and i for one wish i was told to expect this even if they gave me a leaflet to read through. any woman experiencing this is going through enough as it is without the shock that comes with the pain and birth like experience. it has crushed me emotionally, i am still in tears every couple of hours as i feel like my body has rejected a baby at 11 weeks and i literally had to give birth to whatever ws comin out of me and i was just left at home to do so with 3 kids downstairs.

when i rand the midwife today to cancel my appointment for my bloods she told me it is normal to experience the contractions and the liver sized clots, so why the hell didnt the midwifes and nurses at the hospital tell me the same and what to expect. i dont feel women get enough info or support from the health professionals at the hospital although my midwife has been great with me, she has been fantastic just wish i had rang her before today so she could of told me what to expect - although would she have told me before hand??

any women out there who have been through this or are going through it know my heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you.

Tads Sat 24-Oct-09 00:53:39

Ebb and castlegirl, I'm so sorry for your losses as I am for everyone else on this site.

I have a 15mo ds. Makes it a little easier for those with kids I'm sure, but I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I don't think there is any wrong or right with this situation. I just feel that my care has been particularly bad. I have been bleeding (now spotting) for 21 days and, whilst I'm not particularly concerned for health reasons, I am absolutely exhausted ALL the time (way more than when I had my son) and I haven't gone a day where I can risk not using a pad which is, frankly, really annoying. To top it off, I took a pregnancy test yesterday (day 20 after the start of bleeding) and it was positive. Arrrggghhh!

In fairness, my doctor did call me a day after I'd had the us and asked if I wanted a check up at 6 weeks post m/c. I refused because it seemed too much like my experience post happy birth and I figured I'd be fine by then as I was still in shock.

All the literature I received from the hospital said the bleeding would stop between 7-10 days and I just feel reluctant to call, because I feel like I'm creating a fuss and that they will just tell me to wait it out.

Ironically, my mother (a nurse) told me to eat as much iron as I could because she thought I was anaemic. She suggested liver and I can't imagine a single woman post-miscarriage who would consider that as a food source ever again, even if they ever liked it!!!

Anyway, I'm still of the mind that a little info on the fact that some people experience labour-esque pains would be good. Without wishing to sound OTT, I went through 101 hours of labour with my ds and it was more manageable and less traumatic than the 3-4 hours I spent in indefinite agony whilst having a miscarriage. There were times when I really did think I might be bleeding to death, but felt too out of it to care. I'm quite glad I didn't go to A & E actually, because to go through that in a waiting room would have been totally unbearable!

I really wish you all the very best for any future pregnancies and am so grateful for this forum for making me feel normal!

castlegirl Thu 22-Oct-09 17:05:22

I miscarried at 12 weeks, and was not told what to expect. I had had an abnormal scan so was expecting something, and had looked on the miscarriage association website. I miscarried large chunks of what looked like raw liver, which terrified and horrified me, sending my body into panic mode. Luckily the information I had read mentioned similar things, so I knew it wasn't abnormal. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt, and I really think I should have been given painkillers by the EPU. It's the only time I've ever considered taking many more painkillers than it says on the boxes, because I was totally desperate.
More detailed and unfortunately graphic information would have been useful for me, but I don't think everyone would like it - some people would be very scared. It would also have been useful to know about this group before it happened, but I only found out afterwards.

Ebb Wed 21-Oct-09 11:40:10

I totally agree that the lack of information of what will actually happen is really poor and I'm so sorry for everyones losses and I'm shocked that those having late mc's have been treated so badly and expected to labour at home.

I miscarried on Monday night at 9wks. I'd had a scan at 8wks which had revealed no heartbeat so I knew I would mc soon. I was totally unprepared for what I went through. At my scan it was all very 'positive' and questioning my dates. Nobody said what might happen.

At about 10.30pm I passed a big clot and then started bleeding really heavily. I was changing night time pads every 10mins. I had an early booking in appointment this pregnancy so rang the emergancy midwife and was told to come in to gynae ward. By the time I got to hospital ( 20min drive ) I was soaked in blood and really freaked. I didn't expect that level of pain either. It was like constant labour pain. The hospital staff were faultless. I was treated with consideration and respect. I was kept in over night on a drip and a scan confirmed the mc in the morning. I have to be rescanned next week to check everything is gone but at least the bleeding has eased. I was sent home with a supply of pain killers and told I could ring the ward at any time to discuss anything.

My boss has had 3 mc's and she said hers were just like very heavy periods so I guess it varies from woman to woman. I would like to have been better prepared though as I found it all really scary.

I feel lucky that I have a 17mo Ds. I think that's made it slightly easier to cope with. I swing from wanting to try again soon to not wanting to try again at all for fear of having to go through that again. sad

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