Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things No One Tells You About Miscarriage

This post is not for the faint of heart. I'm writing it for people like Old Me, who, one year go, had no idea what suffering a miscarriage entailed. One year ago, I was happily pregnant and hoping and planning for the best. I had seen the baby's heartbeat, and my dear parents, wild with excitement, had told every family member and friend on planet earth that we were pregnant.

When the doctor told me and my husband that the baby's heart had stopped on August 26th, 2010, when the baby should have been about 10 weeks, I was devastated. But I had no idea about the horror show I was in for.

1. You may have to deliver the baby. After that fateful August appointment, my doctor sent me home with no advice and a prescription for Tylenol Codeine. A few nights later I woke up with a fever and the worst pain of my life. My husband rushed me to the ER, where they pumped me full of Dilaudid. I delivered our tiny baby that night, and yes, I could see the baby and placenta.
2. You might need a D&C. If I had known then what I know now, I would have a requested a D&C immediately. They knock you out and take out the baby and placenta, etc. There is some risk of scarring, but the benefit is that they can keep the fetus in a sterile environment and test for the cause. This is important with repeat miscarriages. 
3. You will bleed like crazy. I bled for weeks after both miscarriages, more blood than I've seen in an episode of True Blood. I bled some normal blood and lots of red gelatinous stuff as well. You really don't want to be far from home during this time.
4. You can't have sex for a few weeks after. This was never a problem for me. Who wants to have sex while balling your eyes out? Still it's important to note.
5. You will feel sadness and anger and jealousy beyond your wildest imagination. You must be kind to yourself during this time. Here are some ideas.
6. You might suffer post traumatic stress syndrome. It's gory, it's death, it's horrific. Do the things you need to do to cope. This is a perfect time to visit a therapist (you can find them in your zip code via Psychology Today) or join a support group through RESOLVE.
7. People will say the stupidest things imaginable. And you will be left wondering if you're in the Twilight Zone. Have some answers ready, and don't let yourself be a doormat.
8. You will find kindness and hope with people who understand. Whether on the Internet or in your daily life, seek out people who understand, and they will comfort you. Find a friend to email (you can always email me) and vent. It helps.

I know miscarriages can be different depending on the situation. Did I forget anything?


  1. hmm. Bold/italics aren't showing up in Firefox. Does anyone know what the deal is with that?

  2. Very informative post, I think you hit most of it on the head. I wish someone had given me a list like this before my first.

  3. I agree...a very good list. I have one to add, something I am currently working on, and that's making amends with my body. Forgiving your body for allowing you to feel joyous and happy and then letting you down so horrifically is a hard thing to do. I don't entirely trust mine anymore and cannot say that I will ever forgive it entirely. It's changed the way I think about myself. It sucks.

  4. I've had two miscarriages in the past year. I don't think my body's the same anymore, especially since the second one. Every month I think I'm pregnant. Nausea, sore breast, exhaustion, LOTS of saliva...all kinds of things. It really feels like I'm pregnant, but I'm not.

  5. Wow I've had the same thing happen to me too Dani I was even 3 weeks late for my period I was convinced I was pregnant but every test was negative. It sucks!

  6. Just found your blog - wish I'd found it sooner! I just had my first m/c about 6 weeks ago. I never knew that about PTSD, but it totally makes sense. I keep re-living certain moments, like when we found out the heartbeat had stopped, and I've been feeling shell-shocked ever since.

  7. I totally echo your sentiments re: getting a D&C if I had only known. I wanted to pass my first naturally, and then I had to sit, bawling, in front of the toilet, my hand hovering over the flush lever, trying to convince myself to flush the tiny little being I had just passed. It. Was. Awful. I promptly opted for D&Cs for the next two m/cs. Albeit gory, this is a great post about what m/c is really like, even when your doctor tells you it will simply be like a heavy period.