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I'm putting this here because I tried to miscarry naturally, but after 8 days I found out that all the "products of conception" were still in my uterus and I was in so much pain, so I decided to finally have a D&C.
I hope that this story will help others going through this.
What I think makes my story somewhat unique is that my miscarriage took so long. I always thought a miscarriage was a sudden, catastrophic event and in one day you lost your baby. But instead my body labored for 8 days, and still did not succeed so I had to have a D&C. I don't know how long it would have taken naturally.
Here's my story, starting with first day of last period:
Days 1-6: typical menstrual period. This starts the 7th cycle since I went off the pill. Kind of disappointed because I thought we could get pregnant easily and quickly. I’ll be 30 soon and want to be pregnant by then.
Days 7-26: trying to conceive about every other day. Trying a new trick of lying flat on my back for at least 20 minutes after TTC to give the sperm a chance to swim upstream. I always thought they could swim at the speed of light, and figured there was no harm in getting up and peeing soon after TTC. This was my DH’s idea after reading about it online. Smart man! Duh – why didn’t I think of this!
Day 27: egg-white-like cervical mucus, indicating ovulation! But I’m away from home on business. We’ll have to get busy as soon as I get home tomorrow afternoon.
Day 28: Trying to conceive! (in hindsight this was probably the day of conception, but not sure)
Days 29-35: normal, no bleeding, just waiting and hoping. Turned 30.
Day 36: negative home pregnancy test, much disappointment, spotting started in afternoon. Wondering if I’m even ovulating. Why are my cycles so long??? And why do I spot so much? Why can’t I just have a period or not bleed at all? Spotting could mean anything!!! So frustrating. I resolve to start using ovulation tester kits so I can find out if I’m even ovulating at all.
Days 37-42: continued light spotting, dark brown. Figured this was prelude to my period.
Day 43: continued spotting, weepiness and despair like bad PMS. This is two days before Christmas. My MIL’s constant questions like “When are you going to plant the seed?” and “I can’t believe you are 30 already.” are REALLY getting on my nerves!! Feeling infertile and very sad. Plus SIL who is a few years younger than me has a new baby – love him but my jealously is getting the best of me.
Day 44: continued spotting, this has been going on for 9 days now! What is going on?
Day 45: continued spotting, breasts enlarged, harder, lumpier. This is an early sign of pregnancy but I am feeling so down I don’t believe it. But the next second I think I must be pregnant. I start dreaming of having a baby and getting excited, but then telling myself I’m probably not pregnant and to stop thinking about it. Am at my in-laws and it is Christmas day, so I’m not going to take a pregnancy test. Will wait until I get home.
Day 46: same as previous.
Day 47: no more spotting!
Day 48: Home from our trip and take a home pregnancy test at midnight!. Positive! Go out and buy a second one – also positive!!! Joy! No spotting! I want to tell everyone, but I don’t. I can’t believe that miscarriage would happen to me but I am a realist and know that it is possible. I am a private person so if I do miscarry I don’t want to have to tell a lot of people. Therefore, I have to keep this to myself. I at least want to see it in an ultrasound and see/hear it’s heart beating before I tell anyone.
Days 49-52: happiness, excitement, no spotting. DH is cleaning the house and treating me extra special. I’m wondering what the baby will look like. Red hair and fair skin like my nephews? Dark hair and skin like my DH? Blue eyes for sure since we both have them. Could have blonde hair? Boy or girl? Or twins? I’m so excited!!!
Day 53: spotting returns, brown again.
Day 54: positive pregnancy test (urine) at doctor’s office, blood drawn, continued spotting. Did not get to talk to a doctor so no answers about my spotting yet. Will ask at next week’s appointment when I get my ultrasound.
Day 55: continued spotting. I tell my best friend I am pregnant. She is concerned about my spotting, but I tell her I’m not going to worry unless it gets heavier.
Day 56: bleeding gets heavier, very dark and thick, like a period. I’m not soaking pads quickly, but when I sit on the toilet I pass globs of thick blood – very dark. My first day of prenatal yoga. I had a free pass to try out this class. Didn’t really like it very much because it was too easy – more like meditation. Maybe I would like it if I was farther along. The bleeding got heavy in the afternoon. In hindsight I’d say this is the beginning of my long miscarriage experience.
Day 57: continued period-like bleeding, cramping becoming very painful, kept me up most of night. It is Sunday and I am a new patient (I am going to a facility that specializes in pregnancy and has a birthing center – like it very much), and I didn’t know I could call after hours. There is an emergency number but I figure I can wait until Monday. I wanted to take something to relieve the pain, but since I wasn’t 100% sure I was miscarrying I didn’t want to take anything that might be harmful to the baby.
Day 58: called doc first thing this Monday morning to tell them about bleeding and painful cramping, they said come in right away. Regular ultrasound showed nothing. Internal ultrasound showed a sac, but no fetal pole or yolk sac. Size indicated that I was about 4 1/2 weeks along, but I should be about 9 weeks along based on my LMP, or at least 6 1/2 weeks according to my ovulation time. I did not understand what all this meant. I figured I could be just not as far along as I thought, and things could still be ok. I did not understand what the ultrasound really meant. He said I had a “threatened miscarriage.” The doctor told me he was very concerned, but could not say for sure if I was miscarrying or not. He had them take blood to measure HCG levels and give me a Rhogam shot since I am O-neg and DH is O-pos. Made an appointment to come back and measure HCG again in two days. In a normal pregnancy it should at least double in two days so this would give another clue. Also scheduled an ultrasound for the following week. The rest of this day was really horrible – very painful cramping and lots of bleeding as heavy as the heaviest day of the heaviest period I can remember. Not gushing on the pad, but every time I sat on the toilet (about once per hour) I would release several globs of dark, thick blood that stayed intact and sunk to the bottom rather than dispersing through the water. I get this kind of thing when I have my period too, just not as much. I don’t know if you call these clots or what. Also I noticed that my breasts were not tender or getting larger anymore, which is one more sign that my pregnancy was ending. The bleeding was still less than I expected for a miscarriage, and I kept waiting for it to get worse. This continued all day and all night, and I did not sleep well at all. That evening the doctor called me to follow up and see how I was feeling. He was so nice. He wanted to make sure and answer all my questions because in the office that day things were rushed a little. He had two women in labor down the hall and I knew because his beeper kept going off and he would get on the phone and say things like “tell her not to push and I’ll be there very soon.” I figured those women in labor needed him ASAP and I could finish up this office visit! On the phone that evening he told me that if the bleeding gets really heavy and I am uncomfortable that I can come in any time of day or night and they have a facility at the office for miscarriage. I can’t remember his exact words but he described a vacuum system that they use to help clear out the uterus. He said not to go to the ER because I would wait forever and probably have my miscarriage in the waiting room or the bathroom. It was really nice to know that I had somewhere I could go and get cared for right away if I needed it.
Day 59: A continuation of the previous day. I had very strong cramps and passed a lot of thick globs of dark blood every time I sat on the toilet, which was about once per hour. At night I only got up a few times, and so I emptied more into the toilet than usual. I noticed in the evening that the cramps were peaking every 3 minutes, like contractions I guess. It was so painful, but I was not gushing and didn’t want to go to the hospital. I figured I would wait until it was much scarier. I wasn’t sure what they would do to me there and I didn’t want to have anesthesia.
Day 60: woke up feeling a tiny bit of relief – cramping was not quite as bad. Went to the doctor’s office to get blood drawn for HCG levels. Spent all day at home in pain like before. Although the cramping was more bearable in the morning, it got to be just as bad as before by the afternoon. I called to get my HCG results at 3 pm and found out that my level had dropped from 3800 to 2000 in two days. So this was another clue and I finally accepted that I was having a miscarriage for sure (I was pretty sure before, but just didn’t want to make a mistake). So now I felt ok to take pain pills. I took 4 ibuprofen (800 mg) when I got off the phone (they said I could take this, or else 2 Alleve, every 8 hours). They scheduled me for an appointment in two days to measure HCG again and I convinced them to do an ultrasound at that time rather than wait until the following week. I wanted to see if maybe by then the miscarriage was complete or if I might have still more material to pass. I told the nurse on the phone that I had been bleeding like a very heavy period and cramping was painful, but that I had not passed anything like tissue or anything that looked like it could be a sac. She said there is a good chance that it will not get more severe than a heavy period like I have been having, and I may never see any tissue. That afternoon I had an increase in bleeding – along with the dark globs I had bright red blood that gushed out occasionally onto my pad while I was sitting or pacing around the house. Cramps seemed to get stronger but the pain was dulled by the ibuprofen. I was so glad I could finally take something and I think this would be the worst pain yet if I didn’t. This continued on and off for a few hours and then let up a little bit that night. I slept ok. Took more ibuprofen and slept for 6 hours straight. I was worried I would soak the mattress but the bleeding let up during the night.
Day 62: This morning I thought maybe it was letting up but the painful cramps and bleeding came back again by 8 am. I took more ibuprofen and wished I had taken it sooner because the cramps were really painful. I vowed to take it every 8 hours even if I wasn’t in pain, until the bleeding got really light. Feeling so depressed because it seemed that I would have another day of the same thing – painful cramping and lots of bleeding and wondering if it was going to get worse or better and when. How much longer do I have to deal with this? I can’t concentrate on anything – just am pacing around, watching TV, and reading on-line about miscarriage. Am getting stressed because I’m falling behind on work deadlines. I also have plans to fly to NY to visit my family in 8 days. We have been planning this trip for a long time. The whole family will be there to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday. A week ago I was debating whether I would tell people I was pregnant when I was there. Now I’m just hoping this miscarriage is over and I feel close to normal before the trip. Cramping was bad and I bled a lot all day. I was instructed to take the ibuprofen every 8 hours, but it seems to wear off after 4-5 hours, so the last few hours are really bad before I can take it again. Today I took it at 9 am, so had to wait until 5 pm. From 2-5 I was in a lot of pain. By 6 I felt much better. And by 7 pm I was thinking maybe this thing is finally ending. Still bleeding moderately now, but it is letting up and no more cramping. By 10 pm when I went to bed I was feeling ok like maybe it was finally over. Went to bed feeling quite relieved.
Day 63: Got up at 6 am and went to the bathroom. Lots of clots (I now believe these thick globs coming out are what most people refer to as “clots”) came out – more than ever before. But this was after 7 hours in bed so it was probably just accumulated. After that I slept another hour and then got up. Bleeding was not very heavy and cramping was light. I was feeling like this must be over. And I would find out today for sure because I was having an ultrasound and bloodwork to measure hormones again. This is when things took a turn for the worse. Went to the doctor’s office for my 9:30 appointment. First thing I did was go to ultrasound where I was shocked to find out that the sac and all “products of conception” were still inside my uterus. I was thinking I was going to find out that this awful thing was over with, but instead I learn that all of my pain for the past 8 days has accomplished nothing. The doctor then tells me I have a choice. I can have a natural miscarriage and just wait for it to happen, or I can have a D&C that day. It worried me. If I could somehow know that I would have the miscarriage within 24 hours I would wait, but there was no way of knowing. The doctor said it could be several days, maybe a week. I could not stand the idea of continuing in the pain I had had for the previous seven days. So I said ok. I asked if they could do it without anesthesia, and he said it would be too painful. So I went straight down the hall to surgery. I had to wait 8 hours for my breakfast to be gone, and I couldn’t eat anything. Also had to sign a few forms. I spent the afternoon in a room in bed waiting, wearing one of those hospital gowns. My husband came and stayed with me. At 4 pm they did the surgery. The doctors and nurses were very friendly and comforting. I remember laying there in the OR feeling dizzy with the early part of the anesthesia. That stuff must make you feel good because I was feeling very glad to live in a time where this kind of thing is an option for women going through a miscarriage. If all went well (and it most likely would), I would be rid of the “products of conception” very soon and could recover in a few days. What a relief to know this. Next thing I know I’m in the recovery room and my nose itches like crazy (this is normal after anesthesia). I had no pain, just an annoying IV and itchy nose. I went back to my room where my husband was waiting. I ate soup, bread, and jello and drank a bunch of water and sprite. Once I was up and could pee they let me go home. I was home by 8 pm. We stopped on the way to get my pain killers. They gave me both anaprox (prescription strength Alleve) and percocet. I went to bed that night feeling basically ok – a little sore in the nose from rubbing it and a few spots around my uterus felt bruised. Also my breasts felt sore and I have no idea why. Maybe they are still adjusting back to normal with the hormones decreasing.
Days 64 – 71: Recovery from the D&C was fine. I had light bleeding and the percocet and anaprox kept pain to a minimum.
Days 72-94: waiting for my period… Wondering how soon I can start TTC again. Doc. Says after 3 normal periods, but I don’t want to wait longer than the first one. Feeling ok about the miscarriage – it was horrible and painful, but fortunately I could take the time off from work and focus on me during the long event. Feel that I’m over the loss and want to try again, and now am encouraged that I did ovulate and we can conceive. Using condoms for contraception just in case.
Days 95-99: Six days of PMS symptoms including emotions and cramps
Days 100-105: Period! Much more painful than normal – not heavy flow, but clotty with heavy cramps. Took pain meds left over from D&C to help with cramps.
Now that it is all over I have told lots of people. I'm mad that miscarriage seems to be something that many people experience, but no one ever talks about. But people should talk about it, at least so when others go through it they know that they are not alone.