I am hoping that by sharing the details of my experiences and my opinions, that others will gain an insight into the types of miscarriages available. I realize not everyone will want to read this, and that’s okay.  Please skip this if you need to.  And, if you are reading this, I understand that you are likely in need of some more information on miscarriages.  Please know that I firmly believe no-one deserves this painful experience and my heart breaks for anyone going through this.

It is my experience that as you enter into the world of miscarriage, much of the medical language becomes very factual, harsh and cold.  Expect to hear words like pregnancy products, abortion medication and fetal demise,  For me, it was hard to hear the doctors refer to my baby as simply products of pregnancy, and to have doctors say that fetal demise is confirmed (i.e. my baby has died).

There are essentially 3 ways for the miscarriage to occur:

  1. naturally
  2. induced through medication known as Misoprostol or Cytotec
  3. surgery known as Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

Typically (baring some sort of medical complication) it is the parents’ choice how they want to proceed.

Whatever you choose, make sure you are making the right choice for you. In most circumstances you do not have to make an instantaneous choice the second you find out your baby has died or is dying. Take a few days if you need to. And, remember, the majority of people do not go through this multiple times – in fact 3 consecutive miscarriages occur in 1 % of couples, so while you may have fear trying again, remember that odds are, your next one will work!

I have had 5 pregnancies that have all ended in miscarriage. More specifically my experience is as follows:

  • Pregnancy 1 – Natural miscarriage
  • Pregnancy 2 – Misoprostol (2 maximum doses) and emergency D&C on day 2
  • Pregnancy 3 – scheduled D&C / abortion due to septic infection
  • Pregnancy 4 – Misoprostol (4 maximum doses) and multiple in office procedures to suction remaining pregnancy products out of my uterus over the following 29 days.
  • Pregnancy 5 – Biochemical Pregnancy/Natural Miscarriage which ended naturally within 48 hours

I have decided to do 3 separate posts on miscarriage options, one post on each type. Today I will focus on Natural. You can read about my D&C experience here, and my misoprostol experience here.

Please remember this is just my opinion and I am NOT a medical professional. Consult with your medical professional to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances.

Natural Miscarriage

Natural miscarriages can happen at any point early in a pregnancy. They can happen on their own, before you are aware that the baby has died via an ultrasound, or they can happen after an ultrasound has confirmed that the baby has died. If you find out via an ultrasound that your baby has died, you may choose to wait for the miscarriage to occur naturally. It can take up to 6 weeks before your body will recognize the miscarriage and expel the pregnancy on its own.

I have had one natural miscarriage and one biochemical pregnancy, both of which ended in essentially the same way – a bad period. My very first pregnancy was a natural miscarriage at 5 weeks, and our biochemical pregnancy essentially ended 48 hours after the double faint line on the test strip appeared. At the time of our first miscarriage, I thought it was a horrible experience. I thought it was as bad as it could get. Little did I know, I would eventually consider these to be my easiest miscarriage. As it was early on, we never saw our baby on an ultrasound and we saw no heart beat.  We had no warning that it was about to occur.

The actual miscarriage was essentially just a horrible period. I cramped for a few days, and then passed more clots then I normally would during a period.

That said, the emotional impact of our early natural miscarriage was tremendous.  As it was unexpected, this meant that we were not prepared for it.  It took us by surprise, and just as quickly as we were pregnant, we were not.  It was hard to digest, and understand.

My opinion:

  • As my natural miscarriages occurred without warning, I didn’t have a choice in terms of what procedure to use.
  • At 5 weeks, it was unpleasant and uncomfortable, but the pain was easily numbed with extra strength Tylenol. I was able to work through the entire thing, with the exception of the first day when I was so emotionally upset that I didn’t want to go into my office for fear of crying at work. (I would assume that if you are further into your pregnancy, the experience would be significantly more unpleasant).
  • If your miscarriage is confirmed by an ultrasound, you are may given the option of waiting for the miscarriage to occur naturally. This was not our experience with our natural miscarriage as it occurred unexpectedly.
  • With our other miscarriages that were confirmed via an ultrasound we have not chosen the route of waiting for the natural miscarriages because:
    • Waiting for a natural miscarriage to occur because it can take up to 6 weeks. The thought of carrying my dead baby around in me for weeks was too much for me to bare.  And, the thought of waiting for my body to expel my baby is just too much. The idea of having to continue living (i.e working) while waiting is too hard. And what if it starts at the worst possible time, like during my husband’s grandfather funeral?
    • I find the hardest part of a miscarriage is waiting for it to be over, so for me, the ability to kick start it is essential to my mental health.
    • Misoprostol/cytotec forces your body to do what it will eventually do on its own. So, we saw this as simply speeding up the natural process.
    • With a natural miscarriage it is still possible that your body will not expel all the products and you will require a D&C eventually.

I think the most important piece of advice I can give someone facing these options is that there is no single right or wrong answer, and as such do whatever feels right for you.

For further information on my miscarriage experience, you may find these post helpful:

12 Things I Wish Someone Told Me about Miscarriage

Owning Our Darkest Moment

How to Have A Miscarriage – The Practical Way

Miscarriage Options – Misoprostol/Cytotec

Miscarriage Options – D&C

A Calm Persistence – Using Cytotec: 4th Miscarriage

Laughs N’ Love – Taking Misoprostol for Miscarriage

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

As a child I loved going swimming.

I loved splashing around in the water.

I would spend hours at the local pool.

My parents put us in swimming lessons to make sure we knew how to swim. Once we were good enough swimmers, and mastered the basics (front crawl, back crawl, diving, treading water, etc.) we were allowed to quit lessons and just swim for fun.

So, when my sister and I were old enough to bike to the local pool, we’d go every day possible during the summer for public swim. Entrance into the pool cost $1.00. When they put waterslides in, the cost was $1.00 to swim + $2.00 to go on the slides. But, you didn’t have to pay for the waterslides if you didn’t want to go on them.

My parents agreed to pay the $1.00 for us. But if we wanted to go on the slides, we had to pay the extra from our allowance. Ya right, we totally “snuck” the extra $2.00 each from their change jar to pay for it. As, an adult, I now realize we were really stealing form our parents (so not cool). I suspect they knew and didn’t care, because really it was the cheapest, safest and healthiest way for us to pass our summer.

While my sister and I almost always rode our bikes together on our way to and from the pool, often times we’d met friends there and go our separate ways once we inside. Other times, we’d go together, spend the time together in the pool just enjoy the company of one and other.

I remember, the very first time I was able to go into the deep-end of the pool (3m deep I think). It was clearly over my head, but I was a good enough swimmer that it just didn’t matter. I felt like i could conquer anything!

So the next time, I intentionally set out to swim to the bottom of the pool and touch it with my hand. Yup, I could conquer anything! We would have races to see who could touch the bottom and get back to the surface the quickest.

Other days, we would see who could tread water the longest before having to retreat to the safety of the pool’s edge due to our tired arms and legs. Yes, we were daring little kids. But, wow, was it fun!

My love for swimming continues even now as an adult.  Whenever we travel somewhere warm, whether we are in Panama, Thailand, Cambodia, or Hawaii, I am always happy to find a nice pool to jump into, or a calm ocean to dip my toes in.  And, if I’m lucky my husband will even join me.

20141001 - Head Above Water2

….

 

20141001 - Head Above Water3Now, here I am, feeling like I am playing a constant real like version of the treading water game, and I’m the only competitor. I jumped off the ledge over two years ago, the sharks have tried to destroy me on 5 different occasions and yet I am still here, treading water and working tirelessly to keep my head above water. The sunshine is fleeting at best, the water somehow seems darker, the depth unknown and the creatures below less friendly.

I can see my husband, he’s in the water with me – neither of us can save the other one, yet neither of us can do this alone.  We have a few

people on the side lines cheering us on, but really, I’m alone in the deep-end, and no-one is able to throw me a life preserver. I am scared of the sharks below, and fighting to stay afloat.

To lose, means I have to admit defeat and give up. I either drown in the pool (which sure as hell won’t happen, I just won’t let it) or swim back to the ledge, and accept that our current childfree life will continue. I hope that rather than swimming back to the same ledge I jumped off of two years ago, I’ll be able to cross the pool to the other side, and see this all in a different light. Make peace with the deep-end.

To win, means our gamble on Dr. B, works. Our substantial financial and emotional investment will pay off, and we will get the healthy baby we have been dreaming of. The hope that has kept us going, doesn’t let us down in the end. And, eventually, if we win, I’ll be able to go back into the pool without fear, my nemeses, at my side. I’ll be able to return, with our baby to spend mommy and baby time at a swimming pool. Teaching our child to swim, just as my mom did with us.

Oh, please let us win this…

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

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