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Thread: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

  1. #1

    Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    I hope this can help all those who are going through this very sad and difficult time. I know that when it happened to me, I felt so lost and didn't really know what was going on and what to expect. Hopefully this will give those who need it comfort, and help them to be as prepared as possible. I have taken some time to write down what I have learned from my experience. It was all written by myself (with a few bits added through suggestions, thank you ) and has not been copied from another site or book.


    Missed, Delayed or Silent Miscarriage


    Sadly a miscarriage will affect an average of around 1 in 4 women. They say that a missed miscarriage only affects 1%, but yet it seems to be a bit more common than that.
    A missed miscarriage is discovered at a scan, where often there wasn't a sign that anything was wrong which makes it such a cruel and horrible way to find out the a miscarriage has taken place. A missed miscarriage is also known as delayed miscarriage, as the fetus will eventually miscarry over time, however how long this will take is unknown.
    They are very often caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the baby, which is through no fault of your own. In fact, if anything take comfort in knowing that your body was holding onto that baby and trying its best to look after it and nurture it. Sadly the fault was in the development with the baby.


    What Happens Next?


    In very early stages of pregnancy, there is a chance that the fetal heartbeat may be undetected as the baby is not at the stage yet where it can be seen. In this case, often a certain amount of time will be given and another scan will be booked to check again.
    With pregnancies further along, the heartbeat should be detected and if the fetus and sac are above a certain size a missed miscarriage will be confirmed.

    You will be given three choices on how to have the baby removed:

    * Let nature take its course
    * Medical Management (a course of pills)
    * Have an operation (to have all products of conception removed)


    How Do I Know What's Right for Me?

    The decision might be an obvious one that comes straight to mind, or it might be a difficult decision for you to make. If you can't decide, it might be an idea to make a pro's and con's list to work out which one would be best for you.

    With letting it pass naturally, it's kind on your body. However you might have to wait days, or even weeks as it will be unknown how long it will take. If you are planning on trying to conceive again as soon as possible, the time it could take could be frustrating. Also if there is high risk of infection, this may not be an option.

    Medical Management is a course of pills (some given by mouth, some given in a pessary inserted into the vagina) that speed up the process. Usually the treatment starts working within hours or a day or two. You may need to go to hospital to stay in for the day, as I had to with my course. I was given a tablet on Monday, then went in for the day on Wednesday for 3 pessary tablets and 4 more tablets by mouth. The pessary tablets start off contractions to help you pass the sac, and can be very painful. However the experience can differ from person to person, but it's good to be prepared as the pain might be more intense than you expected. My best advise is to ask for the strongest painkillers if you need them. The good thing about Medical Management is that it is still natural, but with help to hurry it along.

    The third option is to have an operation to have all products removed. What will happen? You will usually be put under a general anaesthetic. There are two types of operations, one which is typically done when the baby died early on, D&A (Dilation & Aspiration) which evacuates the womb through the use of a suction device, as well as D&C (Dilation & Curettage) which is done when baby passes away later, and is slightly more invasive as it involves scraping the lining of the womb. Some hospitals refer to both of these under a more general term ERPC - Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception. Others refer to both under the term D&C, though technically what may be done is a D&A. As far as I understand it, both are "minor" operations, though general anaesthetic is often recommended by hospitals to avoid further mental trauma for the woman. Once you wake up there will be pain like period pain and bleeding. There is a small possibility that the tools used in the operation can damage your insides, or you could have a reaction to the anaesthetic. But complications aren't common.
    Another complication is that there is a slight risk of remaining products or lining which can cause bleeding to return as any remaining tissue is passed. If the surgical team considers you at higher risk for this you will generally be put on a course of antibiotics to avoid infection. In some cases, though relatively rare, you may have to have a repeat procedure in order to complete the evacuation.


    With miscarriage, bleeding can often last for two weeks though in rare cases it can last longer. Usually the first few days are the worst, and it tapers off to pink spotting. Paracetamol is recommended for pain relief, as Ibuprofen can make you bleed heavier. A hot water bottle is recommended to help with any cramps you may be having. It is also important that you keep your fluids up, so keep drinking plenty of water to keep hydrated. If your miscarriage gets very heavy and is constantly soaking a pad, it is recommended that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.


    Your Emotions

    I have found that a missed miscarriage can bring with it so many mixed emotions, and some feelings that feel un natural to have. The most important thing is to remember that you are grieving, and you are on a rollercoaster of emotions from day one.
    They can range from feeling completely numb, to hysterically crying to being so angry and depressed that you want to take your own life. The important thing to remember is that is does and will get better. That may not mean much now, but over time the pain will ease and you will be left missing your baby but without feeling utter despair every second of the day.
    Some days you may be up and down constantly, it may take only something little to set you off crying or feeling so depressed.
    Everyone will react to a miscarriage in a different way, so don't ever feel that you're not "normal" because someone has reacted to a similar situation in a different way. And as emotionally draining as it is, sometimes it's best to just go with the feelings, and always remember that in time these wounds will start to heal.


    Your Body

    Unfortunately one of the possible side effects of a Missed Miscarriage is the continuation of pregnancy symptoms. As your hormone levels may still be high, your body thinks that it is still pregnant and due to this you may continue to physically feel like you did before your loss. Pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. Over time they will go, as your hormone levels drop down again.

    What People Say

    Many people may not know what to say to you after you have your miscarriage. They may come out with things such as "At least you know you can get pregnant" or "You will have another baby one day!" which are of no comfort as you wanted this baby. Just remember that as hurtful as these comments seem, people do actually care they just don't know what to say to you to make you feel better. I found saying "Knowing that you're thinking of me is a comfort" is a good way to let people know that they don't have to say anything to you to show they care


    Remembering

    Miscarriage is such a heartbreaking event to go through, and the sad loss of your baby will no doubt be remembered for the rest of your life. A number of things might help you to cope with how you are feeling, and give you a feeling that you are respecting and showing the love you had for your lost baby.
    Some people find it helpful to write down how they feel, a little letter or poem to their baby telling them how he/she was loved and how they will be missed. And you may want to make a memory box where diaries, scan photos and pregnancy tests can be put away as a special dedication.


    When Will My Cycles Return?

    It is hard to say exactly when your next period will arrive after your miscarriage. Your hCG (pregnancy hormone) level will drop to zero before your cycles resume. Usually normal ovulation will occur between 2 to 6 weeks after miscarriage. But it all depends on the level of hCG that was present at the time of miscarriage, as to how long it takes for it to drop back down to zero again.


    Is It Safe To Try Again Immediately?


    It depends, it is best to talk about it with your Doctor during your treatment. If everything is going well and there are no complications it may be safe to try right away. But some Doctors say to wait for at least one period before trying again, which may be for dating purposes so they know how far along you are if you get pregnant straight away. But obviously there may be complications and each miscarriage is different, so the best thing is to talk about it with your Doctor. It is also best to wait until both you and your partner feel emotionally ready to try again. Miscarriage is a very upsetting and stressful time, and as good as it is to have the hope of a new baby, you both need to feel as prepared as possible to try again.


    Conclusion

    I hope that you have found this guide useful and comforting during this difficult time. Please remember that even though you may feel it right now, you are far from alone. And it is a promise that in time things will get better, and life will once again be worth living.
    Last edited by BabyLoving; 08-11-2011 at 11:39 AM.

    Wishing Mummyhopeful a happy and healthy 9 months!
    MMC at 9 weeks, Nov 2009 - Love you forever little one

  2. #2

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    This is a fab post - you've hit the nail on the head - the only problem i had was that they said since my bubs had been there for 2/3weeks, it didn't look likely that it was going to come away by itself and that possibly the tissue would cause an infection and possibly not be good for me, anyway i don't think i wanted to let it pass itself.
    fab post - maybe it could be stickied
    DS1 - 6
    DS2 - 3&1/2
    DD1 - 18 months
    DD2 - 1 month

    Take your FOLIC ACID - preferably before conception. Your babies brain develops before 12dpo
    MMC@ 12+3 July 09 - Chem Preg Jan 10

  3. #3
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    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect



    This is a great idea, wish this had been here a week ago.

    Might be worth mentioning that there seem to be at least two types of operations. One which is typically done when the baby died early on, D&A (Dilation & Aspiration) which evacuates the womb through the use of a suction device, as well as D&C (Dilation & Curettage) which is done when baby passes away later, and is slightly more invasive as it involves scraping the lining of the womb. Some hospitals refer to both of these under a more general term ERPC - Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception. Others refer to both under the term D&C, though technically what may be done is a D&A.

    Edit: sorry hun, didn't see that you mentioned this again later in the first post. x

    As far as I understand it, both are "minor" operations, though general anaesthetic is often recommended by hospitals to avoid further mental trauma for the woman.

  4. #4

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Thanks for that info girls, I will add it now!
    Turnip, hope you don't mind that I used your exact words as I couldn't put it better.

    Wishing Mummyhopeful a happy and healthy 9 months!
    MMC at 9 weeks, Nov 2009 - Love you forever little one

  5. #5
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    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Oh, and also, maybe something of what to expect in terms of your cycles returning to normal, and getting back to TTC.

    I read this this morning which is quite good:
    http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/men ... er-dc.html

  6. #6

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    great idea BL.
    Wish it'd been around when I'd had mine. Can't add to it, just makes me sad that so many of us have been through it
    xx
    "Flo" is now 6.
    "Dot" is now 4.

  7. #7
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    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Oh, and even with a surgical evacuation there is a slight risk of remaining products or lining which can cause bleeding to return as any remaining tissue is passed. If the surgical team considers you at higher risk for this you will generally be put on a course of antibiotics to avoid infection. In some cases, though relatively rare, you may have to have a repeat procedure in order to complete the evacuation.

    Edit:
    Randomly, I was advised to take antibiotics, paracetamol and ibuprofen - paracetamol for pain, ibuprofen for anti-inflammatory. Weird, when it might cause more bleeding? x

  8. #8

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Thanks ladies, Turnip I have added some more info as suggested!

    Wishing Mummyhopeful a happy and healthy 9 months!
    MMC at 9 weeks, Nov 2009 - Love you forever little one

  9. #9

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Turnip - i was saying to Karli that it is good in a way that if our combined trauma can help some other women to cope with their decision and choices then i'm pleased.
    for all of us that have gone through it and are now experts in MM/C and how they are dealt with
    DS1 - 6
    DS2 - 3&1/2
    DD1 - 18 months
    DD2 - 1 month

    Take your FOLIC ACID - preferably before conception. Your babies brain develops before 12dpo
    MMC@ 12+3 July 09 - Chem Preg Jan 10

  10. #10
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    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Yeah, it feels nice thinking that it could be some use to someone else.

  11. #11

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Oh and the other thing i would add about trying again, is that my Dr advised me to wait a month due to dating and also due to emotional upheaval and to try to give me time to get over my loss.
    DS1 - 6
    DS2 - 3&1/2
    DD1 - 18 months
    DD2 - 1 month

    Take your FOLIC ACID - preferably before conception. Your babies brain develops before 12dpo
    MMC@ 12+3 July 09 - Chem Preg Jan 10

  12. #12

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Thanks Jill, I added that in!

    Wishing Mummyhopeful a happy and healthy 9 months!
    MMC at 9 weeks, Nov 2009 - Love you forever little one

  13. #13

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    This is absolutely fabulous, it covers the main areas that go through womens minds when they find out they've had a miscarriage; whatever the type it is. x
    Ryan Alexander - 7lbs 14oz, 20th December 2010 @ 38+2

    William Lewis - 8lbs 1.5oz, 19th March 2012 @ 39+2


  14. #14

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Great thread Babyloving

  15. #15

    Re: Missed Miscarriage, What To Expect

    Great thread Karli Definitely one to be stickified.......


    PF member since March 2006l

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