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Going into labour - what's it like after a miscarriage?

(5 Posts)
SmallScrewCap Sun 16-Aug-09 22:08:15

I'm 39 weeks and trying for a VBAC (posting all over the place about it tonight, in fact!)

I have been in early labour once this week, which stopped for various reasons (some mysterious).

I once lost a baby at 4 months and delivered it naturally at home. DD was born by elective section, so the miscarriage is my only experience of labour.

When contractions were coming, I had to relax not just to deal with the discomfort, but to remind myself that this was a live baby coming this time, and that the pains this time would be bringing me closer to joy, rather than grief.

Anyone else dealt with this? Did you have any wise words for yourself, mantras, etc?

mathanxiety Mon 17-Aug-09 06:53:25

I miscarried at almost 14 weeks, and also delivered it at home after a few hours of contractions. I actually felt the contractions subsiding for about half an hour and that was the only way I knew it was over. Got up, and started walking to the bathroom -- I think I'll omit the rest, but there was nothing at all recognisable as a baby in what I delivered. I kept all the tissue I delivered, and Dr examined it, said all was well. Next baby went to term, and in fact I was induced because she was late and amniotic fluids were getting low. But I had also had a "normal" labour prior to the miscarriage. Labour for a full term baby is far different from what I experienced with the miscarriage. The womb is working to push out a much larger baby, and it takes more work and usually a longer time. I think the miscarriage labour lasted, for me, about three or four hours in the evening after a day of occasional cramping. Most of the contractions were at diarrhoea-strength discomfort levels (sorry if tmi), strong enough to not really be able to talk and to want to be alone and not have older DCs there with me -- packed DH out to the garden with them, whereas labour at full term far surpasses that level, even more if you are induced. I have to say, I thought of the baby who had not made it while in labour with my DD, and felt a funny mixture of physical pain and gratitude that it was not all in vain this time around. Even asked the 'lost' baby to give me some strength. Sorry to hear you suffered a miscarriage. Pregnancy is not always predictable, is it. Hope your delivery will be uncomplicated, joyful, and not too painful or long.

SmallScrewCap Mon 17-Aug-09 10:23:10

Oh mathanxiety, thank you for that, so reassuring. I was in active labour for a good 9 hours with my miscarriage and quite stupified by the pain (doctor came out and gave me strong painkillers in the end when it was clear nothing could be done), but I can imagine that a term labour reaches a point where things are quite different - pushing, for example!

It brought tears to my eyes to think of "talking" to the lost baby while in labour with the next. What a lovely thought. Thank you.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Aug-09 06:05:30

I'm glad you didn't think I was a weirdo, smallscrewcap.

Sounds like you had quite an experience. Painkillers are something to keep in mind for your upcoming blessed event. It really does get intense, and when you start pushing you may well wonder if this is really the way nature intended for it all to happen. It may seem as if you are faced with an impossible task. BTW, it's also a very messy and smelly task, because when you push, you push out everything in your bowels. Hosp staff have seen it all before, probably several times a day. Don't be embarrassed. Warn your birth partner in advance, though (weeks in advance), and don't hold back when the time comes.

If you deliver in a hospital you can sometimes expect company in the form of med students, nurses, anesthesiologists, even phlebotomists who went to the wrong patient... The hospital delivery I had after my home mc (basically on my own, by choice) was actually very quiet and private for once, just me, DH, nurse and dr (not even my own dr, the one I got was a resident but really nice).

Best of luck!

SmallScrewCap Tue 18-Aug-09 19:45:25

Thanks again. Of course I didn't think you were a weirdo!

Don't worry, I am not going to be a warrior when it comes to pain for precisely this reason! On my birth plan under pain relief it simply says "Make me an offer"

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