Miscarriage : What To Expect
This past couple week really has brought out a humongous wave of pain and then emotions within me. It really has been difficult to work through but with the help of my husband, my children, my mother in law and and close friends I am managing to cope, beginning to see some light at the end of my dark dark tunnel. I am such a long way of being fully recovered because I am grieving for the loss of another child, 2 children lost to miscarriage, 2 children so desperately wanted of which my body just couldn’t carry. But I know I can get through this pain, it’ll take time but I know I have done it before and I can do it again.
At the beginning of October I have arranged to go and visit my Gynecologist, as I already know I suffer with Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovaries but there is also a possibility I also have Adenomyosis. From doing my own research through NHS Direct I really am worried that having these 3 conditions doesn’t leave me in good stead for my future health/fertility/pregnancies. At the end of the day it took just over 18 months to conceive my last pregnancy of which was ended only 6 weeks later. I need to find out if future pregnancies are likely to go the same way or if I can be at all successful.
With this blog post I want to share with you how I am coping, recovering and sharing the emotions which come with a miscarriage.
My main point for this blog post today is to share the symptoms I experienced of a miscarriage, sharing what happened to me and hope it can provide some comfort to women who are perhaps going through a similar situation. The reason behind this is due to the severe lack of information that I found provided to me and also what I found on the internet. I want to provide comfort, not scaremonger, so that any woman knows what to expect but also know that she isn’t alone.
For me my miscarriage didn’t just happen, it didn’t just appear out of thin air, it took around 4 days to arrive and I really should have spotted the signs earlier. I actually think my miscarriage began over a period of 7-14 days. Here is a short list of things I firmly believe that women should look out for as signs of an impending miscarriage and what happened to me.
- Tender breasts; This is the first sign that I really should have noted that things really were not heading in the right direction. Earlier on in my pregnancy my breasts were getting more and more tender as the days/weeks passed and then later on the tenderness was getting less and less to eventually there being next to no discomfort at all.
- Nausea; Not wanting to completely blow my own trumpet but I was so lucky to not suffer with the nausea that I had in my previous pregnancies. I’d have waves of nausea, sometimes not appearing for 2-3 days but not having nausea for over a week really should have made me aware of something not being right at all.
- Spotting; Taking into account the symptoms above when I started spotting I really began to put the equation together. Spotting came on gradually over a 24 hour period, starting with a couple of specks and then stopping. Gradually the spotting became more pronounced and then refusing to stop so within a couple of hours I was on the phone to midwives, GP and then my local Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAS) seeking an assessment – They weren’t to then see me for another 48 hours!
- Bleeding; The spotting stayed pretty much gradual for another 24 hours, before progressing into a continuous low flow bleed. But i’d pretty much let myself fall knowing that this timescale of bleeding really was not good news. The morning of my EPAS appointment brought more blood, a gush, I knew instantly that my appointment was going to be an utter waste of time, I was miscarrying.
After the appointment and the news that my baby had no traceable heartbeat and a miscarriage was incredibly likely I was sent home. I was offered no support by my local hospital, no information on what to expect (expect to take paracetamol for any “pain”) and told to return in a fortnights time.
The situation of which I was faced with really maddens me, if the NHS can provide women with a EPAS Unit why don’t they provide a service to help support women who are miscarrying?! At the end of the day the unit was plastered in posters “1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage”, surely if they have that statistic they can draw up a “what to expect” leaflet and provide telephone numbers to support helplines?? I think this is awful as I was utterly clueless what to expect and really felt unsupported. My previous miscarriage was a medically induced miscarriage at 16 weeks, taken place in hospital with a nurse for support, this time I was alone, at home.
From getting home things REALLY ramped up and this is what I want to share with women on a “what to expect” basis, it’s grim, and I am sorry but if this blog post helps only one woman then I am happy. I firmly believe that from getting home to 6 hours later I had miscarried, alone, in the bathroom on the toilet in utter agony physically and emotionally. Shortly after getting home the bleeding really came in floods, and I mean floods, I was fully utilising full sized “nighttime” sanitary towels within the hour and it was horrendous. But what I didn’t expect/forgot about was the intensity of the pain, now I’m sorry for swearing but no amount of fucking paracetamol is going to provide comfort/adequate pain relief for a woman in this amount of pain and turmoil. I am utterly disgusted that we are just left to “manage” with it. What a woman is experiencing here is child birth, your hips are on fire and your abdomen is in utter agony as your body prepares for the passing of a fetus. Now I’m not exactly saying this is a gas & air/spinal block situation here but surely a stronger paracetamol could be recommended or even prescribed here?
After the “event” your body takes hours to recover from that pain, as the contractions subside and the bleeding is brought back into a realm of being manageable again. Also expect to bleed for a good week, possibly two afterwards as your body calms down again.
For me the miscarriage at home was by far the worst experience of my life, the unknown, the severe lack of support and the complete inadequate level of pain relief. My medical miscarriage although was a horrid experience I was supported by a trained nurse who could explain what was going to happen and administer a decent amount pain relief.
I was due to return to my hospitals EPAS unit a fortnight after first seeing the nurses, where I would be told whether I had suffered a miscarriage or not. I knew I had (with the help of a negative pregnancy test only 48 hours before my appointment). I rung the unit and explained that I wouldn’t be turning up for my appointment as it was pointless. The nurse on the phone wasn’t overly happy with my decision as they like to “check everything came away” but I didn’t want the lack of support which would come inevitably afterwards, and i’d stopped bleeding and my body was returning to normal. I was just another woman to the NHS, miscarried and expected to just “carry on”. I felt empty and cold.
I wish I knew what to do to change the way this system works, helping women who are going through this absolutely horrific time of life but sadly I don’t run the NHS and have absolutely no say.
What I would like to do though is open this blog post up to any woman experiencing/experienced a miscarriage to share their thoughts and feelings, together we can all help and support each other. Please do leave a comment, lets get a support circle forming.