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Spontaneous miscarriage at 11 wks, followed by heavy bleeding for 6 wks. Is this unusual?

(9 Posts)
portobellogirl Thu 20-Aug-09 22:12:10

Hello, I am new to MN and I'm wondering if anyone here might have had a similar experience to mine?

Back story: I am 41, always wanted children, somehow never found right person to have them with (several commitment-phobic boyfs), but then met the right person, whom I adore, last Christmas and conceived naturally in May. Both delighted and cautiously excited ...

Then, light spotting at 7 wks, nothing like blood, just a pale brown discharge, but GP was sympathetic and sent me for scan, where we saw heartbeat. Follow-up scan showed heartbeat at 9 wks, and that fetus had grown, doctors said all normal ... so we felt reasonably confident.

At 11 wks pregnant, I had to go to family wedding in North Wales (without father-to-be) - and started bleeding the moment I sat down in church. Abandoned reception, returned to hotel and within a couple of hours was having excrutiatingly painful contractions and passing huge amounts of blood and tissue. All very violent and visceral, as well as heartbreaking. My mother returned from wedding reception v worried and called ambulance. I got taken to Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor, and was eventually examined and given gas and air after I had repeated my postcode five times. Kind midwife said it was possible fetus could be OK, and I held onto that hope as hospital could not give me a scan for 36 hrs (no scans at weekends). But scan on Monday confirmed empty pregnancy sac: poor babe must have slipped down the loo at hotel on Saturday night while I was screaming.

Medical staff advised against D&C, as I had already lost so much (I was anaemic with blood loss and had v low blood pressure, 88 / 57). So I opted for medical route, taking prostaglandins (Misoposotal) for 24 hrs. Unfortunately, they failed to stimulate rest of miscarriage and I ended up discharging myself after four days in hospital knowing there was more Remains of Pregnancy to come - but staff said not very much and best to leave nature to its course.

However, I have now been bleeding every single day for nearly six weeks, sometimes painfully and, in the last 72 hrs, violently: suddenly I've been passing such big clots, with so much fresh blood, that I've been unable to stray from my bathroom for more than half an hour. I can overfill a Mooncup (capacity 15ml) in 20 minutes, it's quite mad.

After two days' persistence, I got a scan at local hospital this morning and by luck got the consultant gynaecologist. She said enough was enough and has booked me into theatre for ERPC tomorrow (though it may not happen until next week if a bed doesn't come free). Blood pressure v low again: 88/65.

Now wish I had had an ERPC / D&C immediately after onset of miscarriage, at the hospital in Wales. The past six weeks have been tough emotionally and harder for still going through it physically - I feel I've been in a limbo, grieving for the little one we lost, but also trying to keep my spirits up and be positive about our chances of conceiving another, and all this while I've still been pouring blood - as if my womb is still desperately trying to support the babe who's gone. I'm unsure whether I'm going forwards or backwards. If that makes sense.

Can't help worrying it was an utter fluke to conceive at 40 (just a week before I turned 41) and that I'll never manage it again. Though I do have some frozen eggs - harvested at Hammersmith IVF when I had melanoma skin cancer two years ago in case I had to have treatment that would leave me infertile. Most thankfully, melanonoma was caught before it spread and I've since been given green light to live life much as before. Eggs were frozen by new method, Bologna Protocol, and Hammersmith IVF has yet to try defrosting any ... so chances of them being viable is still a big unknown. Hopefully we will get there on our own again, and have better luck next time. Gynae has meanwhile instructed tests - HPG xray, blood tests re antibodies, etc - to investigate why we miscarried this time; he suspects uterine problems rather than chromosomal abnormality as the cause since I miscarried relatively late, and we know fetus was alive and well at 9 wks, perhaps longer. But I can't do these tests until cycle returns to normal and right now my cycle is nowhere to be seen. Frustrating ...

This is my first miscarriage - would have been my first baby - so I have nothing to compare it with. I would be very interested to hear your views. Meanwhile thanks for reading my over-long post!

PolarBear74 Thu 20-Aug-09 22:22:50

I'm sorry to hear your story. I bled very heavily to start with and hospitalised as well but the bleeding stopped after 3 weeks. EPRC booked for Monday to clear out the rest.

I hope that the bleeding stops soon, if not you should see a GP as surely that is too long to be still bleeding.

Thinking of you

portobellogirl Thu 20-Aug-09 22:59:04

Hi PolarBear
Very sorry to hear about your loss too. Did the hospital you were in advise you to leave nature to its course (aka conservative management)? I got the impression this was the usual advice at the hospital in Bangor, but when I got back to St Mary's Paddington for a follow-up scan, the doctors and nurses there implied this was an old-fashioned approach and that they would have sent me for an ERPC straightaway.
Now I'm about to have the op at St Mary's after all, I'm wishing I'd had it in the first place in Wales, though of course it's never worth expending much energy on hindsight!
Hope ERPC gets you to a better place, and all best wishes for better luck next time.

EldonAve Thu 20-Aug-09 23:07:28

I think it's fairly normal for the NHS to avoid doing an op if they can possibly

Not that that makes you feel any better
Hope the ERPC goes well and you feel physically better soon

portobellogirl Fri 21-Aug-09 09:42:43

Many thanks - am having the ERPC this afternoon, and hoping it will help us draw a bit of a line under the mc, at least physically.

Though I don't know how soon TTC is allowed after an ERPC: do any of you?

CMOTdibbler Fri 21-Aug-09 09:49:13

I'm really sorry for your loss. I started to TTC straightaway after the ERPC for my third miscarriage - and conceived straightaway and had a live birth.

But as your mc hasn't been that straightforward, I'd wait for your period to turn up, and then TTC again if it feels right.

They honestly can't tell what caused a mc by the stage you were at, or if a heartbeat was seen. My last mc, the baby looked fine and happy at 7.5 weeks, I had some brown spotting at 8.5, and the scan showed that the baby had died probably the same day as the 7.5 week scan sad

Joolsiam Fri 21-Aug-09 10:09:29

Portobellogirl - what a sad and long-drawn out trauma to go through

I too miscarried at about that time (11+5) in November - 2 days after my 39th birthday - and it was my first. I hadn't had any early scans but did have a teeny bit of bleeding and 5 mins of severe cramps at 7 weeks. Mine was also spontaneous, and terrifying - was more fortunate than you in that most of it passed within a couple of days and I stopped bleeding after around 3 weeks.

After 6 weeks, I bled very lightly for 9 days - having researched, I think this was an anovulatory bleed

4 weeks later, I had a period and, even at my age, I managed to conceive again within 2 cycles. Unfortunately, that one ended in early MC but I am hopeful I can do it again. If you've conceived once, you can do it again.

You may need to be tested for anaemia after such prolonged blood lost - they didn't test me till I saw a sympathetic GP 2 months later and the difference it made was amazing.

As for grieving, and hormones - I don't think I really came back from that very dark hole in my soul until I passed what would have been my due date at the end of May, but every day it got a little better.

this website helped me enormously with what to expect and coming to terms with it all.

Will be thinking of you

EldonAve Fri 21-Aug-09 12:38:56

You can usually TTC immediately but it's best to ask the doc at the hosp to double check

portobellogirl Sat 22-Aug-09 15:04:01

Thank you, CMOTdibbler. V sorry to hear you had three miscarriages but glad you also had a successful pregnancy. That's some encouragement.

I wasn't counting my chickens - have friends who have had pregnancies go disastrously wrong in later stages, even labour - but I was pretty hopeful when we saw a heartbeat at 9wks 3 days that all would continue to be well. If I do manage to conceive again - and I agree, Joolsiam that if someone's managed it once, or rather, if two people have managed it, they will again; we have to have hope - I will find it hard not to worry throughout. I'm sorry to hear you had two mc in a row, and that at least one of those experiences was terrifying.

I did not realise, until I had my mc and started wading through websites, that most mcs are missed and, often, only picked up on a scan. How disorientating and devastating it must be to be told, when you thought you were carrying a growing baby, that s/he had in fact died days or weeks earlier.

In retrospect, I think my pregnancy symptoms lessened in the two days before the bleeding started. I'd been feeling bigger and more tender by the day, and was worrying I wouldn't fit into the dress I'd bought for my cousin's wedding, but on the day I wasn't bursting every seam. At the time I was relieved about that as none of that side of the family knew I was pregnant and I didn't want to tell until I was further on (news would have caused some consternation as I'm not married and they're all very conventional; even my mother was struggling to be pleased for me). Then I started bleeding in the church ... and am only beginning to stop today, six weeks later, after having an ERPC yesterday.

One of the things I found out was that the chances of a pregnancy continuing healthily after a heartbeat has been seen on a scan at 10 weeks are something like 99.6%, and something like 97% at 8 wks. At first, those stats made me feel incredibly unlucky - but reading other people's stories here makes me doubt them. So many women here have had recurrent miscarriages - one brave soul had 23 - that my experience seems quite commonplace.

Joolsiam, I am very sorry for your two losses and wish you far, far better luck next time. Yes, like you, I was anaemic. This was picked up by the hospital in Wales after the initial massive bleed. They gave me iron pills but taking the prescribed 3 a day gave me constipation, so I've only been taking one a day, and trying to eat the right stuff. Even so, yesterday my haemaglobin was only 9 when it's meant to be 11-15, I think.

Thank you for the link - that's a website I hadn't come across before.

I feel so much better for having had the ERPC yesterday, which went fine, without any complications. The gynaecologist couldn't have been nicer and said there was no reason not to TTC immediately if that's what we wanted - thanks for the tip, EldonAve. Though there was no knowing if I would ovulate before the period she estimated would arrive in 4-6wks. (But when she scanned me, we saw a follicle in each ovary and it's cheered me up just knowing that they are there.) The reason for the prolonged bleeding was that there was - contrary to what I'd been told at the previous scan two weeks earlier - some pregnancy tissue still there.

Thanks, everyone, for all your advice, consolation and encouragement - and good luck to all of us.

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