10 November 2019

This is to help other women prepare for a miscarriage. When I went through my miscarriage I searched the internet and could not find details of what the actual miscarriage would be like. I felt alone and unprepared.

All I found in my search was this statement “Period like cramping and bleeding”. Which makes me angry because my experience and the women I have talked to were nothing as easy as this.

My quick tips and lists of items you might need are at the top here (in case you are like I was and you need to prepare NOW) followed by my full story. For those of you with more time and looking for more details.

Some women may actually experience their miscarriage as period-like cramps and bleeding. But if you are like myself or any of the women I have talked to, you will experience something more similar to labor. Complete with contractions.

 

QUICK TIPS

If you know you are going to be miscarrying in the near future, my biggest advice to you is this:

  1. Learn how to do Lamaz breathing or some type of breathing meant to help you breathe through labor pains. Do this as soon as you can so that you are ready.
  2. Learn labor positions that help ease labor pains and will help you get through this. I found some great videos on YouTube using a yoga ball.
  3. If you are doing a natural miscarriage, be sure you are at home in the evenings as most births naturally take place at night.
  4. If you take the medicine to induce a miscarriage, go home! Do not go out. I had a friend tell me about a women she knew. The doctor gave her the meds and told her “just go about your day as normal” So she was in a mall bathroom stall attempting to deal with a painful, terrifying miscarriage all ALONE.
  5. I found I went from sweating and too hot to freezing cold with chills. So wear lots of comfortable layers and if you live somewhere with a cold climate (like us), have a little space heater nearby. You won’t be able to just jump into bed to put a blanket over you. I wasn’t able to anyway.

 

LIST OF ITEMS YOU MIGHT WANT

If you are like me, you will need to be in the bathroom the whole time so that you can be near to the toilet. If this is the case, you might want to have the following items at the ready.

  • A yoga ball (to sit and lean on during the “labor”)
  • A soft mat or towels that you can put under your knees. My favorite labor position was on my knees with my elbows in the yoga ball, bouncing or rocking my upper body.
  • Comfortable clothes to wear
  • Hot compress for your tummy
  • A warm hoodie or bathrobe
  • A bucket in case you vomit (didn’t happen to me but has to others) and especially in case you vomit while on the toilet.
  • You will probably want to tie your hair back ahead of time so it is out of the way

 

MY STORY

I had received the news that I had a missed miscarriage and was still hoping against hope the whole following week that my baby was ok.

At 11 weeks and one day, I started cramping and spotting and could no longer deny what was coming.

I started experiencing regular period cramps on Friday evening. These cramps continued all day Saturday and Sunday. There were times where I thought maybe they were more painful than regular period cramps but I also had a feeling they only seemed more painful because they were more sad.

I had had very light spotting on and off all throughout my pregnancy up to this point. But had been getting brown and dark brown the week before my miscarriage.

I had a large, worrying red spot on Thursday evening, Friday morning and Friday around lunch.

I searched the internet for information on what was going to happen and what it would be like. But all I could find was the same statement everywhere. “Period like cramping and bleeding”.

I went home on Friday after a dance competition downtown (I’m a dance teacher) and felt the urge to go to the bathroom (which I never do in the evening). I went and passed a few clots. That’s when I was sure I was miscarrying.

I passed a few more clots on Saturday in the evening before bed. I called a free service that puts you in touch with a nurse 24/7 because I wasn’t sure what to expect or what I should do. They booked me a doctors appt for the next morning to check my blood type so we could avoid possible complications from RH factors. But she wasn’t able to tell me what to expect besides “cramping and bleeding” and said to go to a hospital if I fill a pad in hour as that is too much bleeding.

Sunday started out super mild and I was wondering why everything seemed to have stopped completely not even any spotting. I went to the morning of the dance competition to watch my students and help them warm up.

Then I went to my doctors appointment where I cried the whole way there and the whole appointment. Probably because this made it seem more real and made me admit it was really happening.

I went home for the rest of the day.

I was at the sink doing dishes at 11pm that night when I started getting what I assume now were contractions. The pain was so bad it brought me to my knees.

Between the contractions, I experienced the most intensely painful cramps I have ever had.

I wanted to get my husband who was hard at work in the garage and tell him what was happening but the pain was accompanied by an intense urge to go to the bathroom.

I thought I would go and get him afterwards when the pain subsided but there was no “afterwards” and the pain did not subside. I wasn’t able to stand up and walk downstairs again due to the pain. So after about 15 mins I realized I would have to text him to come up to me.

In the meantime, I looked up Lamaz breathing and a labor video on YouTube to get through it all. That part made me the saddest. Having to learn how to do labor so soon and not being prepared for it at all.

I was crushed to be learning these techniques in a panic, in pain, in a bathroom, for a miscarriage, months before I should have been. Instead of going to classes with my husband and learning together with other pregnant ladies like in the movies.

My husband got my texts right away and spent the night by my side coaching me when to switch positions and reminding me to change breathing techniques. After we had watched the videos 2-3 times, we put on some soothing yoga music instead and he set timers using his phone.

The main excruciating pain and passing of tissue in the toilet was from 11:00pm to about 1:50am.

Then from 2am until around 3am, I got contractions with only medium painful cramps, producing blood into the toilet. But at least during the cramping time between the contractions I was able to get ready for bed and walk around a bit to help ease the pain.

I climbed into bed around 3:20am and would fall asleep in between contractions for a few minutes until the contractions eventually stopped and I fell fully asleep.

I woke at 6am to the full pain of contractions again. I at first assumed it was just the “residual contractions”. I fell asleep after the first contraction for about two mins only to be woken by another one.

I headed back to my post in the bathroom on my yoga ball as full pain cramps, contractions, and toilet trips started up again.

This time around I only passed blood. No clots or any significant tissue. My husband woke up about ten mins in and came in to help me through it again. We considered calling the 24/7 nurse advice line again because it was so strange to be having the full pain a second time. But he read the list of symptoms you should have before you call and I didn’t have any of the symptoms you need to call in about so we just soldiered on.

He also tried to find some miscarriage stories by other women that had been through it (as I had done countless times this week) but with not much luck either. Finally he found one woman that said she would get bouts of these contractions and cramps throughout a full week!

This second stage of miscarriage labor ended around 7:30am and I crawled into bed to try to go to sleep. I would fall asleep but be woken up every 2-3 mins with the contraction cramps so I went back into the bathroom to watch some YouTube, Lamaze breathe and bounce some more on my yoga ball.

Somewhere during 6-7:30am I was hungry and asked my husband to bring me some food. I was scared to eat because I had read one woman’s miscarriage story and she ate something near the beginning of her ordeal and threw it up. I ate and was totally fine and it made me feel a little stronger but I also was nearing the end of this session so I wouldn’t recommend eating at the start.

Eventually the contractions stopped and I was left with just regular gas pains but they were too intense to fall asleep so I parked myself on the couch to watch some TV and do some yoga to help relieve the pain.

Around 10am the sharp pains subsided to a regular threshold and I was left with bad period cramps.

I got a sub for my classes that evening (Monday) and slept the rest of the day.

Tuesday passed meek and mild with just regular period cramps. I went to work as normal in the evening.

That night/Wednesday morning I was woken again with miscarriage contractions and labor at 4:45am. Not as intense as the other two times on Sun night/Monday morning but it was still painful enough to need to breath and use the yoga ball and I couldn’t sleep until it stopped three and a half hours later.

Once I woke up, at 10am I had sharp, stitch like cramps accompanied by period cramps so bad, I could only stand and walk if I was hunched over.

After a half hour, I performed stomach vacuums from yoga.

I went to a doctors appointment to get a requisition for an ultrasound and finally around 1pm decided that I wouldn’t be able to teach in the evening so I made arrangements for a sub (Wednesday evening).

Around 2pm I all of a sudden felt the urge to pee. I went to the bathroom and with pushing just hard enough to urinate, I think I actually passed the fetus. Which was alarming and a little traumatic but it came out easily. I  think it was the stomach vacuums that helped pass the remaining tissue but I don’t know for sure.

I was relieved to have it pass as I was hopeful I wouldn’t have to schedule a D &C and drag the process out for another few weeks waiting for the surgery.

But looking back now, I have no idea why I wasn’t offered a D&C weeks before when they first didn’t hear a heartbeat and the baby wasn’t growing at any of the ultrasound appointments.

I had an ultrasound the following day (Thursday) to check that everything had passed or if I need the surgery to clean it out. They said everything looked good and from there I started on the journey of my emotional healing.

 

This year I will:

Have a day to be sad.

 

Comments are closed.