Not a fun topic.
Anyway, here’s the place for those that have been through it to provide a comment or useful pointer on recovery. No need to share if you don’t want to. I’m not going to make this a purely “don’t talk about living children” space but some discretion, yeah.
I pulled my ribs a week after my miscarriage surgery because apparently the relaxin is still all in there and took 6 weeks to recover. The hormones all take a while to go away. So keeping from yanking out plants in your garden is a good idea.
I also had the fun of being tracked at least once a week on my HCG as I had a partial molar, where the placenta tries to be a tumor. It took 8 weeks for that to go down to 0, which is apparently about average so pregnancy tests may not be useful on the first couple of months.
My body had been pregnant and even though it ended early and no baby, still had a lot of the weird niggles that happen after one of my term pregnancies.
Important take away I hadn’t realized- after only an 8 week loss, and a “blighted ovum” so not even an embryo present, I had straight up baby blues after my D&C. Afterwards it made sense- I went from pregnant to not, why wouldn’t that happen? - but I was surprised nonetheless.
Thanks for starting the topic, LadyDuck. And both of you for insight.
So far, I am surprised how OK I am emotionally, obviously with no judgment for anyone who has reacted differently. It’s such an individual experience, both pregnancy and loss, and so informed by our upbringing and cultural environment. With some people I told, it seems like they expect I feel like I lost a child, and for me it’s not quite like that? I don’t viscerally feel like I was carrying a person yet, though I am deeply sad and grieving for the dream(s) I had and am giving up for the next months and year. I am not ruling out that a bigger emotional hit will come with hormones, or at milestones.
Stupid analogy but it’s like the HCG strip is first round of interviews and first tri is the second, so I got my hopes up for the Dream Job but then got cut. And now have to start over.
So far the biggest thing making me a less functional person is the physical side of feeling crampy and miserable. Which is about to get worse but then hopefully better. My doc recommended medication to basically get it over with. This gave me a new appreciation for the inanity of abortion restrictions and made me mad. I’m in CA where mifeprex can be prescribed by Telehealth and mailed ( ) but due to old restrictions and processes, my OB had to send me to a different facility 20 min away the next day where they had it to have another MD watch me take a pill for goodness sake. And it’s not even the one with bad side effects. Said MD had to fit me in between deliveries due to flu season staffing issues and left with he words “we had someone pushing”. Like this process is shit in so many ways! For me and other patients! (not even covered above: my appt was almost canceled and took a lot of legwork by some nurses to reinstate and I had 5 phone calls while trying to train the new hire) Yes I’m still working, it’s a distraction and we’re swamped. I’ve been doing half days due to appointments and feeling sometimes.
I have Hyperemesis Gravidarum and had bleeding throughout mine. I didnt feel confident it was going well even after the 6 week scan (low heartrate, looked wrong to me even though its a jellyblob at that point).
So a big feeling along with shock was relief, because I didnt have to monitor every one of my movements in case it increased the bleeding again. Then frustration because my body was unable to complete the miscarriage on its own.
Edit: found it had passed away at 7 weeks size when I had my 9 week appointment. Surgery at 11 weeks.
Reading back, I wanted to add that both my OB and the doc at Other Facility were fantastic. OB was super calm but not cold and sympathetic but not effusive. Other doc was also friendly, calm, caring. The nurse at Other Facility even stopped herself from wishing me a good day and switched to good holiday. A small gesture but considerate. Everyone was just working in an old system
Also the access thing is a problem even here. I was with a private practice and my OB didnt charge me anything for the visit we found out, and was really supportive of me choosing how I wanted to proceed (wait & see 2 weeks then surgery). This was a Catholic hospital.
Friends in the public system had to go back for a second ultrasound, wait weeks for surgery when they just wanted it done ASAP etc.
I’m so sorry.
I had a D&C once and misoprostol once. I kind of wish I’d just done misoprostol the first time too, but that’s hindsight and variable mileage and all, but the medication worked very quickly (~4 hours) and effectively, even starting from “nothing happening”.
As noted above hCG can take a very long time to go down. 11 weeks (and two normal periods) the first time and I think 8-9 weeks the second time.
I named the first one as the loss was after a heartbeat was detected and didn’t for the second. Both are valid.
I’m so sorry you are going through this. I was surprised by the week of migraines I had after my D&E surgery.
Details that may be distressing
In my case I was 13/14 weeks along and we knew the baby had a condition that would not result in live birth. Since I was also showing signs of preeclampsia I wasn’t able to let nature take its course and I had to have the surgery immediately.
It was so heartbreaking to see him on the screen, looking healthy to my eyes and to be told that he wasn’t going to make it.
It hit me again when I saw my chart at the OB last week. It said pregnancies: 3, live births: 2, miscarriages: 0, abortions: 1. It made me sad because in my mind I had a miscarriage, not an abortion, but it’s technically true that it was an abortion.
I’m sorry you had to go through that. I remember it was a rough start and you were finally excited by that point. My heart broke to find out your news.
I think you’re 100% justified seeing it as a miscarriage, whatever the official medical terms are for whatever reasons.
I was 10 weeks (possibly less a few days but I knew my LH peak/sex date and tested + 2 weeks later) but the fetus was only measuring 5w6d and no heartbeat, same as my ~8wk scan (but it had a heartbeat then ).
I’m sorry for all who have been through this.
details of my miscarriage
I also had a partial molar pregnancy like Ducky (in reflection the chances of knowing someone else who has had one is really small, the chances that two people who know each other experienced one close together much be so so tiny).
I was an emotional wreck afterwards. I had an 8 week scan and nothing seemed wrong at the time. I went back to have a scan at 13 weeks which was a morphology scan and was going to have the NIPT blood draw at the same time. Immediately it was obvious something was wrong. The pregnancy was measuring 8 weeks so probably ended right after the first scan. It was rough. I still had a lot of pregnancy symptoms (probably due to the partial molar aspect). Since I was past 12 weeks, even though I hadn’t had the scan yet, I had let myself feel pretty confident about the pregnancy. I also was treated like a medical mystery by the oncologist I saw because the initial tests indicated a complete molar pregnancy, they threw a lot of theories around that were really unhelpful for me to hear - I was told it could have been a twin pregnancy with a viable twin that died due to the genetic problems with the other. I went through additional genetic testing to find out which did at least give us the answers to what happened, which is more than most people who miscarry get.
I was also surprised by the headaches after my D&C. I did feel immediately better after the D&C. I am really glad that my OB did not really entertain the other options for terminating the pregnancy. I also appreciated that she booked my surgery for extremely early in the morning, before the hospital had really woken up so I didn’t run into pregnant women or newborn babies. I did not appreciate the nurse when I was in preparation having a loud rant about the number of “elective” procedures that had been booked at that time.
I found the whole experience very isolating. Everyone moved on I was left there. I also had to keep going back and getting blood tests until my hormones went back down which was hard. Then there was just crappy timing with everything. The baby was due on Mother’s Day. We had the scan on the 1st of November, I had surgery on Melbourne Cup day. All those dates are prominent in the calendar and are now linked to my miscarriage and bring is all back every year.
details of impact on subsequent pregnancy
I used the same OB and hospital for my next pregnancy. One thing I didn’t consider was that because I had a caesarean that I would be in the same theatre as when I had my D&C. It was ok but I had to pass through feelings of dread and panic when I was in the same place again.
On Luck (or statistics, or lack of luck)
My mum had a full molar, and a friend had a molar and then had to do chemo for it a year after I’d had mine. I appear to be an epicenter.
I never saw an oncologist or anyone besides my OB. We didn’t know until the day after my surgery that it was a partial molar, and felt extremely glad we had decided to go surgery rather than the pills since I would not have been monitored or so sure they’d gotten everything, or had at least tried to get everything. Getting a panicked call from my OB to get a blood test ASAP while still fuzzy from the anesthesia and stuff wasnt great.
I really appreciated that you’d shared your experience since mine mirrored key aspects.
I also used same OB and hospital for all my pregnancies and having an induction for my third instead of going in already in labour definitely amped up my stress and affected my mindset in labour. The miscarriage also made my mood even lower and depressed in the subsequent pregnancy on top of my other issues and increased my perinatal depression.
That’s almost exactly what happened to me the first time. Saw the heartbeat at 8 weeks, ended up having to get a D&C at 10 weeks. Fucking sucks.