Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the story of miscarriage

This post has graphic descriptions of miscarriage. Read at your own discretion. ~Alicia

I started bleeding for my second miscarriage on the four month anniversary of the D&C for my first. I don't know what to say about my body except that it has timing.

I knew it was likely coming. On Saturday, I started spotting brown discharge. By the end of that day, we had decided to call my OB's office and cancel the D&C scheduled for early Monday morning in the hopes that I would miscarry on my own. Late Sunday morning, I wiped and saw small red streaks mixed in with the brown. My cramps were becoming more like cramps than a persistent aching.

By the end of that day, I asked my mom to come up. I hated asking her to drive the two and a half hours to Nashville from Alabama, especially because she had already been traveling that weekend. But when you need your mama, you do your best to kick your pride and guilt to the curb.

My mama arrived at 6:40pm. At 7:00pm, as I hugged G goodnight, I felt a sudden wetness between my legs. I rushed upstairs to the bathroom and sat on the toilet in time to pass a large clot and a few gushes of bright red blood. The miscarriage was definitely happening.

I called my OB's office and spoke with the on-call doc from the group (who happened to be the one who had delivered G!). I told her what was happening and just asked her to give my OB a message for in the morning. My OB had asked me to call before taking my Cytotec, a drug to induce cervical contractions that she wanted me to talk as soon as I had bright red bleeding. The on-call doc said my OB's nurse would give me a call in the morning to check on me, but I shouldn't hesitate to call back if I had any problems. I know I've said it before, but I love my doctor's office.

By the time I hung up the phone, the contractions and cramps were coming stronger. I put three Cytotec pills in my cheeks; I would take another three after those dissolved. My mom, Dave, and I all gathered upstairs to play a game and distract me. I sat with my heating pad, alternating it between my tummy and my lower back. Every 15 to 30 minutes, I would feel a little wetness and taking off quickly to the bathroom. Usually, I would pass a mass of clots and blood on the toilet before joining the others back in the room.

By 9:30 or 10pm, the contractions/cramps were strong. I was on hydromorphone and strong Ibuprofen pills, and I was still in a lot of pain. After a while, I couldn't concentrate on playing games anymore. My mom and the hubs distracted me by sitting with me on the floor and chatting for the next few hours. I spent most of it rocking back and forth, a motion that really helped, and heading to the bathroom to pass some more clots. Nothing during this time was as big as that first clot.

Around 11:30, I noticed that my cramps had lessened. I was worried about this because I didn't feel like I had passed anything that looked like the gestational sac - it all had looked like clotting. Mom and Dave argued about who would stay up with me; finally, my mom won and Dave headed off to try to sleep for a few hours.

At midnight, I decided that the cramps weren't strong enough to keep me from sleep. I sent Mom off to bed and crawled in next to a passed out hubs. I laid there until 1:30am, dozing, waking with cramps, dozing again, until the cramps/contractions became bad enough to send me to the bathroom again. I passed my biggest clot then, though it still didn't look like anything but blood.

I stayed up by myself until about 2:30 before deciding to try to sleep again.

My mom and the hubs got up when G did, around 6:30, and I stayed in bed a little later, closer to 7:30. At 7:55am, my OB's nurse called to check on me. I told her what happened overnight and answered her questions. They decided to have me come in for an ultrasound to see if I'd passed the fetal tissue. We went in for one at 10am, and the ultrasound technician found only blood clots. It looked as though I had passed all of the sac already. This was great news, and we were all very relieved.

This morning, I did end up passing a large piece of gray tissue that had a large clot attached to it. I'm guessing it was hidden on the ultrasound or something because it was definitely different than only blood. Today's bleeding, after that tissue, has been much more period like with almost no clotting, so I hope that means I'm in the clear now.

All in all, the experience was more positive than my D&C. I hated having to go to the hospital and spent a lot of time there by myself, whereas miscarrying naturally at home meant I could be surrounded by those who love me. I'm so happy my mom made it in time to help me out. The worst of the miscarriage only lasted a few hours, but having her as a distraction made things so much easier. It was also wonderful that the miscarriage happened right after G went to bed, so everyone was able to focus on helping me through it.

I did get emotional at the beginning, but overall, it was less traumatic than my D&C. I'll definitely choose a natural miscarriage over a D&C if I have to in the future, at least for early miscarriages. This miscarriage has sucked so hard because it was my second in a row, but this baby likely never even had a heartbeat. The fetus never looked very baby-like on the screen, likely from severe defects. And maybe after losing baby #2, I'm too jaded to feel like I could be pregnant with my take-home baby.

I'm still mourning baby #2, the one we lost at 14 weeks, so comprehending the loss of a second baby has been very difficult for me. How can someone hold that much grief? How can you mourn two babies when you never got past mourning one? When I think about baby #2, my heart clenches tight. When I think about baby #3, I just feel numb. Maybe I can't deal with even more loss so I'm shutting myself down to keep from feeling the pain. I can talk about this miscarriage easily with my husband and my mom, but when I try to talk to anyone else about it, my throat tightens, my jaw clenches, and tears rush into my eyes.

Does it get easier, the more losses you have? Or do you just utilize your well-worn coping skills?

We get to start trying for baby #4 after I have a regular period. I don't know if I'll be conceiving my second living child or my third angel baby.


  1. I've lost 2 babies as well, the first a miscarriage at 12 weeks, this second one was an ectopic, followed by a rutured tube. I can say it was easier with the second loss. I'm not sure if it was because I never formed an attachment with this pregnancy, or because I was so focused on trying to save the tube, and then once it ruptured, trying to save my own life.
    But anyway, I'm so sorry you are going through this, it never seems fair.


    1. I wonder if maybe earlier losses are just easier? Maybe our first ones hurt so badly because 1) they were the first, and 2) they were later on in the pregnancy. I went to your blog and read about your recent experience - how scary!

    2. I'm not sure what it is. I know with the first, I thought I was out of the woods so to speak. I figured 12 weeks, basically the end of the first trimester, I saw the heartbeat, I've had 2 perfect ultrasounds, what could go wrong now? This one I was expecting the worse, hoping for the best. So maybe that's it. Either way it sucks, and it really sucks to think that we may have become de-sensitized to the heartache.

  2. My sister in law experienced a loss at 23 weeks and 12 weeks and about 3 days after losing the second, they decided they weren't going to try any longer. She was/is so defeated and even a year later, is grieving that first loss at 23 weeks. Being close to her, I know how bad it hurts her and I'm so sorry you have to go through that. I hope you can get past grieving and have an outside baby sooner rather than later!!

    1. I've certainly thought about giving up, too. I'm willing to go through maybe two more pregnancies before resigning myself to making G an only child. It's such a difficult process to go through once, much less multiple times. I'm sorry for your SIL. :(

  3. You know I haven't really talked about Our miscarriages. I almost lost M the first time and the second I had a constant fear that it would happen again. When D came along I was detatched because of all the fear and worry I was carrying.

    For me it's always there but it's more of a knot than pain now.

    1. Hey Tim, I didn't realize you had lost two babies; I'd only heard of the ectopic. I can definitely see it being difficult to attach to a baby later. I certainly felt more distant from this pregnancy than the last. Maybe it's a way of protecting ourselves.

    2. We really didn't tell but a few family members about it so most people don't know. I am sure Dave is being his super self and I am sure with some time things will refocus again.

      As always if you guys need anything just call day or night.


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