There are three ways of Managing a miscarriage. The Miscarriage Association website tells of things in a bit more detail, but upon being chatted to at the hospital there are three options, surgical, medical and natural.
- Surgical – Under a local or general aneasthetic the remains of the pregnancy are removed.
- Medical – A pessary is used to start the process off.
- Natural – nature takes its course. Normally recommended by the medical profession if the miscarriage happens in the first three months.
It is your choice which option you choose, the medical profession will have their say, but it is down to you completely. And you are allowed to change your mind.
You may feel you need to bury something. Part of my lessons in this was to let go, but I still felt I needed to return something to the earth. (TMI alert coming up…). I was quite shocked to go to the loo and catch a dark lump on the piece of tissue. It was the first that came away. I put it somewhere safe and then I buried it in my garden somewhere. It was quite weird – after the initial shock of “Oooooh noooo” and trying to work out what it was (if it was the baby or not – at 7 weeks no bigger than the a rubber on the top of a pencil), I put it to one side somewhere safe (and wrapped up), with the thought that I would get up early in the morning to return it to the earth. At going to bed I wondered if I should do it then. But something made me wait. I woke, clear as a bell at 3am. I knew what I had to do. It didn’t seem right to let my baby go down the toilet system. Instead I did what I felt I had to do, what was right. I returned a part to the earth. The rest drifted off out down the waterways, and is bobbing about in a nice warm ocean under a comforting blanket of stars. (It’s my head – let me keep this fantasy). More information on this can be found here – If you miscarry at home.
You’re going to be hormonal. – You’ve still got pregnancy hormones racing through your system. And you’ve just learned your baby has died. Get tissues and chocolate. Even better, get someone else to get you tissues and chocolate. Allow yourself to be all over the place and with a soggy tissue in your hand for as long as you feel you need to. Do whatever it is you feel you need to do to help you through these dark days. Talk to people, don’t talk to people. Cry, be quiet, whatever it is – its right for you (as long as it doesn’t harm anyone or yourself). It will take as long as it takes for you to come to terms with what has happened. There is no right or wrong answer. Go with how you feel.
Your OH has lost a baby too. You are the one who has the more grisly bits to deal with – as in the baby coming away. For you it feels very, very real. If like us your baby died before that first scan, your OH is probably still getting used to the idea that this is happening for real. For him it could well seem completely surreal. Compassion and patience on both parts will go a long way to helping you both heal from this.
It may feel like a mini-labour – Not kidding on this one. I was 11 weeks, but baby had died at 7 weeks. Something the size of a pencil top rubber. I had lower backache, a need to keep moving, swaying side to side. And a familiar yet weird sharpish pain at the top of my vagina – my cervix was opening. I didn’t feel like I had to push, because I stayed on my feet the whole morning moving, gravity did its thing. I did feel when something was moving as I just felt I had to go to the toilet. Throughout the morning about 6 large bits came away. I couldn’t tell you the size of the last 5 as I didn’t catch them. I continued to bleed with more smaller clots coming away for another two weeks. The bleeding has only just stopped now, nearly a month later. After the initial coming away and the labour style pains, what happened next was really bad period pains. I could tell the change as with the first ones I had no choice but to move. With the second type of pains all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball. (Don’t – keep moving where you can).
Trust your body – It knows what to do. It also knows how to tell you there’s something wrong. At the first sign of temperature, or bleeding getting worse, or increased pain in your tummy area ring your EPU, or go to A&E / Primary Care. Listen to your body!
Breastfeeding an Older child – if you’re still breastfeeding a child whilst you have a miscarriage, just be aware that breastfeeding can kick off the bleeding again a bit heavier. Everything is connected on the female body. I’d love to see a wiring schematic. Just a tip though, make sure sanitary pad has been changed/is in the right place whilst you feed.
You may well feel extremely horny. I’ve left this one to last as it is a bit contentious. I did think I was losing my mind when I realised I was miscarrying (well, bleeding after the remains coming away) yet drooling over my OH at the same time. Your baby has died, your body is doing its thing and helping it on its way and you find yourself looking at your significant other like he’s a sex god incarnated into human form. This is one thing I couldn’t find any comments on, but I’m going with the following explanation. Your body is pregnant. The chemicals that are still racing round your system are screaming PREGNANT!!! WHERE’S THE BABY???? Biologically you may well crave the person with the ability to give you their part of the stuff to make a baby. Genius right? The other reason for this is when you’re pregnant you can feel extremely horny due to the increased blood flow around your nether regions. Whilst you’re going through this miscarriage, that blood flow is still there whilst your chemicals and system returns to a ‘non-pregnant’ state. Its biological. You are not crazy.
(Just a tip though – please wait till the bleeding has stopped before you have sex again. Further information here).