Tips for coping with the practicalities of miscarriage

(258 Posts)
comeonbishbosh Wed 16-Nov-11 10:58:13

I?ve just had mc2, which has been emotionally more upsetting than mc1, but I coped a heck of a lot better on the practical side of managing it. And I realise that through the pregnancy books are full of tips on what types of sweets to pack in your hospital bag for labour, we?re pretty short of simple tips to make the sheer yuckiness of going through a miscarriage a little more bearable. I know there?s going to be big variations in people?s experience, and this is in no way to overrule any medical advice you get. But at least it might be a starting point.

For info, I had mc1 8 months ago, didn?t realise I was pg at the time (just come off breastfeeding DD, had massive problems conceiving before) but was probably 8-12 weeks. Didn?t realise it was actually a mc until a lot of mess later. MC2 was a few days ago, had a bit more notice as knew I was 8 wk pregnant, had been increasingly bleeding, and knowing a bit more what it was like through mc1. Neither time I needed to go to hospital.

So, this is what I would suggest helps from my experience, all offered as suggestions that may or may not apply to your situation!

1. Once you realise the bleeding has started in earnest, get home as soon as you can. You will probably need to sit on the loo for the next 1-3 hours, and that?s far nicer to do in the comfort of your own home.

2. If you need to travel in a car, sit on a plastic bag. (My 1st mc started at work, and by the time my DH came and picked me up in the car I had bleeding all down my trousers... it?s not glamorous).

3. Cancel everything, get childcare if you need it. The first time in the midst of the bleeding I tried to keep going, a builder came round to give me a quote for some work, DH went out on a pre-arranged cinema trip and I was putting DD to bed on my own. However hard it is to get a builder to quote, this was stupid priorities! Also, I now know best not to be left without another adult within shouting distance.

4. Settle in for the long haul. My mc2 was overnight, and I essentially camped out in the bathroom with magazines, world service on the radio, short scurries downstairs to make a hot chocolate. It was still horrible. But not unremittingly so.

5. Hot water bottles or hot wheatbags are great. And painkillers.

6. Get top quality sanitary pads, supersize. The maternity ones might be good for the first few hours if you can?t just sit on the loo, but they will make you miserable with their ungainliness. This is not a time to economise on the cheap versions.

7. If your mc kicks off at an evening or weekend, I found phoning my GPs ?out of hours? service loads more helpful, straightforward and kind than I have ever found NHS direct.

8. If take a pg test when you are miscarrying, it should come out positive. This is useful if, like me on mc1, I didn?t know I was pg at the time.

9. Take more time off work than you think. You are very much allowed to mooch.

Please do add any more tips. It goes without saying that I hope you and I never need these (again)?

Ellovera Wed 04-Apr-12 15:46:21

I want the surgical option but have to wait tone fitted in whichwill prib be late next week as it is sodding bh weekend. They said I was too far gone for the tablets?

Very sorry you are in the same boat. I'm in bed with pains but nothing happening. Husband off work looking after toddler :-(

KatAndKit Wed 04-Apr-12 19:13:53

The surgical option is easier in some ways but harder in others.
You'd still need help with other children as you'll spend half a day in hospital and then the rest of the day resting in bed at home as you'll have had a general anaesthetic. You'll also need another adult with you when you go back home.
I've had both. I had the pills in hospital though, they didn't send me home after the pessary was inserted. It took a couple of hours to work. It was painful, the painkillers they gave me were crap but they did let me use gas and air. Also it was horribly undignified. But on the positive side you are awake during it and feel more in control. No need to go to scary operating theatre, no need to be put to sleep.
The ERPC was painless at the time but I think it took my body longer to recover afterwards. Also it was not properly completed and I ended up having some very heavy bleeding afterwards.

Apparently the tablets for early miscarriage are best up to 9 weeks. After that they are less likely to work effectively and then you could end up having surgery after all so perhaps better to go for the surgery and be done with it. It's awful when you have to wait - my second mc was the royal wedding/may day weekend and that was rubbish.

StringOrNothing Wed 04-Apr-12 19:30:27

Personally I decided I couldn't face the surgical option because I couldn't face being alone in hospital alone without DH. I had a "natural" mc, which was the best option for me emotionally.

Excellent thread, I think nobody talks about the sheer quantity of blood involved either as a short acute burst or going on and on and on for weeks (I had the latter option, but really wasn't prepared for it).

At work what worked for me was going straight back to work on Monday after a Friday mc because I couldn't face being alone on the house - work gave me something else to think about. Obviously that's not going to be emotionally or physically possible for everyone. I would agree that I wouldn't tell my boss and colleagues if I could avoid it, both because of career implications and because I didn't want to see it in their eyes when they looked at me. I told only one very close, very discreet colleague, who I could trust to cover for me by eg chatting loudly if a vistor suddenly announced her pg and I couldn't speak, and I would recommend that if possible.

LadyMaryCrawley Wed 04-Apr-12 21:41:35

I miscarried on 8th March, naturally with no medical management, so here's my twopenn'orth:

1. Arm yourself with cocodamol and max-strength ibuprofen. If the pain gets too bad, go to A&E. I didn't because it was 4am and I was out of my mind with pain, but I should have done because it felt like I was being cut in half from the inside and veering between throwing up and passing out and going from sweating to freezing in minutes. Not good.

2. If you have DC, get someone to look after them.

3. Make sure you have got someone with you. Have that someone on standby to fetch painkillers/freshen hot water bottles/go out for sanitary pads/listen to you if you need to talk.

4. Stay in bed with a hot water bottle. Pay no heed to clocks, calendars etc.

5. Expect to feel weak and feeble for at least 4 days after everything is out.

6. Expect to bleed a bit more once you think it's (eventually) stopped.

And then afterwards:

7. If you tell people, half of them will have either experienced it first hand or know someone who has and will make you feel like you've been admitted into some sort of massive silent sisterhood, and the other half will go "oh" and not know what to say and stare at the ground for a bit. I found that by being honest about it, people were generally great, and it was much easier to be a bit moopy at work rather than pretend I'd had flu or whatever and have to say "Oh yes, I'm feeling much better now, tra la" when I was clearly still as miserable as sin about the whole thing.

8. I actually feel ok most of the time, and a bit guilty about feeling ok, until all of a sudden I hit what my DH calls a "sad pocket" and I feel very sad about it for a bit, then I start to feel ok again. However you feel, IT IS NORMAL.

Like the OP, I hope that we never need this advice again...

I had a spontaneous mc in Oct, and a MMC followed by an ERPC at the beginning of March. I had a hard time with the first MC, probably due at least in part to the awful fever/throat infection that I had (my infection markers were so high that they were worried I had a ruptured appendix or some other underlying condition), and spent 4 days in hospital. I don't want to scare others though, so please know that my experience is not typical. It just meant that I tried to prepare as best as I could the second time around.

I was worried that I might start MC naturally before the ERPC that I had arranged, so I saw the doctor and got a prescription for some high strength painkillers, just in case.

I stocked up on easy to prepare meals - lots of microwave stuff and things that were easy to eat.

I found out that it was a MMC at the hospital, so I took home a lot of mattress protectors - I think they are the same as these maternity mats

I didn't feel like drinking, but some people swear by having a nice glass of wine.

Baths, footrubs, hot water bottles, tens machines, basically anything that can make things a bit easier, go for it.

As I had a bad experience the first time, I also packed a hospital bag, in case it all went wrong quickly. I packed a change of clothes, a few pairs of old knickers, pads, a towel, a book, night clothes, dressing gown, slippers, phone charger, book and some snacks. I let friends know what was happening so that they could be on standby to look after DS and/or feed cat.

In the end, nothing happened before my ERPC, and the procedure went very smoothly. I'm still glad i prepared though. It gave me less to worry about and I felt prepared.

This is a good idea for a thread ( I should be a sticky).

Those ladies who are have gone through this already, or who have already gone through this, you are all in my thoughts.

That should of course read:

Those ladies who are have gone through this already, or who are going through this, you are all in my thoughts.

sunshinesue Thu 05-Apr-12 14:28:13

I'm sorry for your losses everyone.

Unexpected I've had 2 mmc. The first happended naturally in between the first scan and the second to confirm a mc. It was honestly no worse than a bad period. Not particularly painful, bleeding over in less than a week. The worst bit was when the sac came out, it wasn't painful and I didn't see anything but it was such a shock even though I knew it was coming. Thankfully passing the sac usually means the bleeding starts to stop and everything returns to normal. The second I had an ERPC, very little pain and bled lightly for about 12 days. If I was to do it again I'd have the ERPC just to get things over with but if I could be sure that a "natural" mc would be as straightforward and quick as the first time I'd go for that and avoid surgery but obviously you can't know that in advance.

Sorry just noticed your post was yesterday, hope you're ok today xx

Quenegge Thu 05-Apr-12 15:26:28

I'm so sorry for all of you who have been or are going through this. I hope all you ladies who have posted this week are doing ok.

I had a mmc in October last year. I opted for ERPC but it happened naturally overnight the day before my appointment. It wasn't very physically painful for me, but the bleeding was heavy enough that I had to wedge a bath towel between my legs every time I rushed to the toilet.

It was still heavy the following day so I called the EPU and they asked me to go straight in. I was sent up to the gynae ward and given an injection to stop the bleeding, tucked up in bed with a cup of tea and told to rest. A few hours later the bleeding had subsided a lot and they sent me home.

I wasn't too bad emotionally at first, it really hit me a week or so later. For a few months I would burst into tears at the drop of a hat, and it's all come back again now, two of my friends have given birth this week, and my due date was the beginning of May, I was so excited about sharing the experience with them. I didn't get a chance to tell either of them I was pregnant and I didn't tell them afterwards, I didn't want them to feel guilty or weird around me. But I visited one of them this week before she gave birth and she sent my DS home with a Baby Shower balloon she had been given. As soon as DS went to bed I asked DH to throw it away, I couldn't have it in the house.

We have made the very painful decision not to try again. It is still very upsetting but I think once my due date has come and gone I will be able to start to move on. I'm really happy that my friends and their babies are healthy and well and I'm looking forward to giving them a cuddle.

Sorry, that was a bit of a brain dump blush. It's been hard this week, wanting to be happy for my friends but feeling so sad for myself and my family.

Take care of yourselves everyone thanks.

DangerMousey Sat 07-Apr-12 18:54:15

I had a spontaneous miscarriage at 5 wks 5 days earlier this year. Bleeding-wise, it was just like a slightly heavier than normal period, but could manage with normal pads I use every month. I bled for 7 days, whereas my periods are normally just 4 days. Cramps were quite bad, took ibuprofen and paracetamol at the same time.

I guess i was 'lucky' (feels so weird saying that, but you know what I mean?) because physically it wasn't too bad. I suppose cos it was quite early.

The one piece of advice I would give to women in my position who start bleeding before 6 weeks, is go to A&E if it's the weekend. Even if you're only 5-6 weeks.

I went to A&E cos it was a saturday, the although I had to wait hours, saw a really nice doctor who had a look inside and confirmed at that point my cervix was still closed and it was a 'threatened MC'. He told me to go home, rest, and that I had a 50:50 chance of it either settling down and being fine, or progressing to a full MC. Unfortunately, it went the latter route, and I bled heavily on sat/sun, and then did a preg test on sunday and got a BFN sad

But i really appreciated knowing what was happening when I was in A&E, and what the odds were. The doc also did an internal exam to double check it wasn't ectopic, which was really reassuring. I just know I would have spent the whole weekend panicky and prodding my shoulders for telltale signs of imminent collapse if he hadn't reassured me on that front confused.

Emotionally, the MC affected me quite badly, I was very teary and upset for weeks afterwards. Only took 3 days off work, which on reflection probably wasn't enough. Take your time to get over this upsetting loss.

FoofFighter Fri 13-Apr-12 17:43:24

Bumping

Ellovera Fri 13-Apr-12 19:37:22

I would say laxatives to add to the list! Sorry if it's there I call ant remember now

I've been in a lot of pain after erpc this week baby died at 12 weeks

If you are that far gone you will need a pessary most likely to protect your cervix and to open it . this was realised before I was about to be wheeled to theatre and delayed the rest of the operations that afternoon and I was left on my own in a cold room etc , it takes 2-3 hours to work. Forewarned and all that it's def worth mentioning to the right person to allow the right time for this to work

And the laxatives as there was enough pAin down there as it was and they def helped . I didn't expect to be out of action for quite a while afterwards , but I am , day three and can't get out of bed too long as very sore.

Don't be backwards in callin gp to ask for stronger painkillers. naproxen def helped more .

You will get through and recover and be fine . Be nice to yourself as others said to me and ask for help!

Cakeplease Fri 13-Apr-12 21:04:42

Oh honey, I didn't had to make that decision mc started naturally. Didn't want to leave you unanswered. Mine wasn't too bad, relatively quick. Really bad bleeding was only a few hours, some very heavy bleeding for 2 days then period type for rest. It wasn't as bad as i'd read / thought it would be. Sorry to hear about your mc. X

Cakeplease Fri 13-Apr-12 21:06:21

Sorry was a confusing post! Basically 4 days very light spotting, got heavier then awful for 4 hrs then heavy (changing pad every hour) for 2/3 days then lighter period type for not long then all done x

Cakeplease Fri 13-Apr-12 21:07:23

Oops! Phone didn't update other posts so my post WELL out of date! Sorry!! These lovely ladies got in with better advice xxx

Lynzw75 Sat 14-Apr-12 14:35:36

I was on my 5th day of "spotting" when i finally had a scan which told me that I had a blighted ovum at 6 weeks (i was meant to be 13 weeks). It devastated me but I soon came to realise that it wasn't my fault etc. Because the bleeding hadn't been bad we went to the safari park the following day me thinking it would be ok cause we would be in the car most of the time. We had taken our own Son and my sister in law and her son. We got out to take the kids on the rides and i started cramping very badly. I went to the toilet and everything was fine but i passed a large clot. Then we sat down for lunch and the cramping got far worse. I looked down to see a very large blood stain in my jeans. I ran (as best i could as I could feel blood pouring out of me) to the toilet to find a pad I'd changed not 10 minutes before completely soaked and as i sat on the toilet i felt everything (and i mean everything) leave me into the toilet bowl. It was like a blood bath. My pants were ruined, my jeans were absolutely covered in blood and i was shaking and so embarrased. I had to go and sit in the car after this and wait for the kids to have a few rides before we went home. If I'd have known it was going to happen this fast I would never have left home. It literally happened in 10 minutes. Absolutely awful experience and so embarassing trying to hide it from everyone when I was so upset about it anyway.

jodidi Sat 14-Apr-12 17:26:08

Lynz That sounds awful for you. I'm so sorry. I was wondering how you were getting on, I'm sorry it happened like that for you. Mine happened quickly too, after days of spotting. I'm just glad I was at home for it, and dp was there to help clean up afterwards.

Lynzw75 Sat 14-Apr-12 21:13:03

The miscarriage was yesterday, today it's like I'm having a light period. I thought I would be ok to get up and clean the entire house. I managed to hang up the ironing, strip the beds, bath my son and wash up before I crashed. I was hot, physically tired, back ache, abdominal discomfort. I had no idea that miscarriage was so debilatating. My mom came round and cleaned my house and did my washing. Health professionals don't give enough info on this subject. They could at least give out leaflets or booklets with the bounty pack.

jodidi Sat 14-Apr-12 21:42:03

You need to give your body time to recover. My mc was on Sunday and I've done very little all week. I went shopping on Thursday and into town to go to the library and I thought I did really well, but then I was wiped out and shouted at dd2 just for doing normal toddler things. Take it easy, the housework will keep for when you are feeling better. I'm only doing the really essential stuff, like washing up (delegated to dd1 today), clothes washing and cooking. Obviously I'm also doing childcare.

pinkapples Sat 14-Apr-12 21:47:46

I know I have definitely miscarried as the scan said so but I am feeling slightly odd that I have had none of the things you describe (apart from the blood obviously) bu there was no need for pads it was only when I wiped sorry tmi and there was no pain

I'm really sorry ladies for all your losses hopefully we will all start to feel better soon

FoofFighter Sun 15-Apr-12 04:55:37

Lynz, go easy on yourself!

I went to the shop yesterday, ten mins away and 6 days after my mc and I was whacked.

Keep an eye on the abdo pain and hotness though, could be signs of infection brewing.

Can I ask has anyone else been suffering with a kind of clingy, don't want to be left alone, don't need OH to say or do anything just be here by my side nearby, don't want to go out alone style thing post-mc?

Ellovera Sun 15-Apr-12 08:49:20

Yes foof I've been feeling very hormonal. Don't wanttobe left alone but need some space , I'm not normally very tactile but havebeen very huggy , teary at silly things too like soppy songs

Having quite a bit of pain still but gonna try go out today, I've cancelled jobs etc for this week . Very weary and just meh

Feel very sorry for all you mummies who have been through the same it's sad andvery tough

Lynzw75 Sun 15-Apr-12 17:12:16

Foof. Thanks for your advice I will monitor. I have also felt very clingy. My DH went back to work yesterday (the day after the miscarriage) and I totally didn't want him to go. We were bored at home just watching crappy tv but we were together and that's what I've needed. My Mom's been round when he's been at work but it's not the same. I got very teary asking for my bacon sandwich to have egg on it (after having not been able to have that during pregnancy).
I have a first aid course to attend tomorrow and I'm meant to be back at work on Wednesday to a job that needs me to be on my feet for the best part of 9 hours. When did everyone else go back to work? I really can't afford to stay off too long but if I have to I will. Emotionally I'm pretty upbeat but it's just the physical side.

funthatisfunny Sun 15-Apr-12 20:37:01

I am clingy too. Dreading Dh being at work tomorrow sad

Lynzw75 Mon 16-Apr-12 20:13:19

How long am I meant to lose clots for? The majority passed Friday but I've had some every day.

jodidi Mon 16-Apr-12 20:23:06

I don't know. Mine all passed on Sunday then I had no more clots, just blood. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

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