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My experience of ERCP(3 Posts)
I thought I’d write a diary over the days following my experience of surgical management of missed miscarriage (ERPC). I was absolutely petrified and everything I read online was terrifying so I hope this can help even one woman facing the same. I should add that I had my surgery privately but I’m sure the process is very similar on the NHS...
I found out through an early scan on Thursday night that I’d had a mmc. I thought I was 7w but was only measuring 5+5. I’d had another scan the week previously and there was a heartbeat then but this time it had stopped. I’d had no pain or bleeding so it was a complete shock. (I was having weekly scans for another unrelated issue btw).
This was my first miscarriage. I have two daughters through healthy pregnancies. The consultant who scanned me offered me the three choices but I was terrified of the pain and bleeding and of the 25% chance she told me of still needing surgery if medical management failed, so I opted for the ERPC.
Due to Covid I had to have a swab and self isolate for three days so my children stayed with my parents and my husband and I had a rather slow weekend.
Day of surgery:
I was booked in for Monday 7th December. I was nil by mouth other than water from 7.30am and arrived at 11.45. I met the consultant again (we’d met at the scan and had a couple of phone calls before already) at 12.15, met the anaesthetist at 12.35 and walked to theatre at 12.50. I was petrified - I mean, petrified. I freaked out in the anaesthetic room but the nurses and anaesthetist were brilliant at calming me down. They held my hand and stroked my hair. I wasn’t told to count down or think nice thoughts or anything. I simply started feeling drunk and then was out.
I woke up to two lovely nurses in recovery. The procedure took 15mins and I needed another 45mins or so in recovery. I remember chatting loads. Almost like I was trying to convince myself I was fine. I was alive! They were probably sick of me yacking away! I wasn’t in any pain just felt a bit woozy. I was wrapped in a heated blanket to prevent shaking which I’m told is normal but didn’t happen to me. In fact I got a bit hot!
Back in my own room by 2.15 I think. The lovely nurses checked me and did my obs every half hour. The consultant came to see me twice, checked my pad (minimal bleeding) and felt my tummy. Throughout the afternoon I had a cup of tea, some toast and fruit which I grazed on and watched tv. I was helped to the loo. I seemed to go loads as I was drinking so much and was on a drip but was told the more I wee, the quicker the meds flush out. I didn’t have a catheter.
The consultant explained that she was confident she got everything out but that I’d have a repeat scan in ten days just to be sure. Unlike medical management’s 25% failure rate, there is a 5% failure rate for ERPC. The hospital will dispose of the pregnancy contents in a cremation service which I thought was beautifully dignified.
At 6pm my husband collected me so 5 hours in hospital in total. I was home by 6.30 and tucked into what felt like the best pizza ever! By this point the painkillers were wearing off and I was having mild period pains and a bit of a headache but my god it felt good to be home! I took some paracetamol at 9, my first drugs since surgery and went to bed. I was ok on my feet but had dh walk behind me up the stairs. I was told to keep the compression stockings on for 72 hours.
Day 1 post op:
I’m tired today as I didn’t sleep well last night. I think all the drugs were keeping me wired. I woke up to a dry pad, no bleeding, though consultant did say it would likely be stop/start for up to two weeks. I’m able to walk around the house fine but I plan to basically be sofa bound for the next 48 hours to let my body and mind rest. Tummy feels swollen and bruised, needed paracetamol at 4pm but this is the first lot of painkillers since last night. The nurse from the hospital rang to do my 24hr check, basically to see if the GA effects have all worn off.
Slept soo much better, nine hours solid! Still no bleeding on waking but I’m sure it’ll start up. Consultant phoned to check up on me and explained everything I’m feeling / not feeling is fine. Went for a walk to the end of the road to post Xmas cards and I’ve been wrapping presents. My kids are coming back today! God I can’t wait to squeeze them. Needed a dose of nurofen but it’s been 24hours since I’ve had anything.
Feeling pretty good. No bleeding. No pain. Followup scan booked for 10 days post op. I can essentially drive from today but nowhere I need to go! I’m aiming to be back at work in a few days.
I have everything crossed that my scan is clear next week. Miscarriage feels so unfair and frankly all of the options are an emotional and physical challenge but for me, I’m so pleased I went straight for ERPC. It’s given me closure. I got a date and a time to prepare, it was quick and relatively painless. I hope this has helped anyone considering this option to know it wasn’t all doom and gloom. X
@dippyegg32 such a strong and beautiful lady. Proud of you ❤❤
Thank you for posting and sharing. I remember when I had my procedure last year - it felt strange to walk to theatre. A student nurse took me. I remember her staying how calm I was - I was calm but scared. She said she had seen people breaking by down at the stage - perhaps I was just numb.
I remember the theatre nurse and anaesthetist being so lovely and making me laugh. I did wonder if as they know what you are having done - those people are the last people you are with before you lose your pregnancy. You are treated with such kindness.