April 22, 2010,
M.P. asks from Greenville, SC on April 18, 2010
Missed AB- Miscarriage Questions
I went for my first ultrasound on Thursday and was told that I more than likely had a missed ab. For those of you who don't know what that is, the baby basically stops growing. In my case, it maybe stopped growing four weeks ago. FOUR WEEKS!!! They kept asking me if I had any cramps, pain, or spotting, and all I could say was no. I had no idea. They also told me there was a 30% chance that they were wrong. WHAT? I saw the gestational sac- it was empty, and there was no mention of a heartbeat. How on earth could they have such a huge margin of error? And why would they be so absurdly optimistic?
For anyone who has been through this- did you have a D&C? Evidently, that is the typical "next step" in these matters, especially since it's been so long since the baby died and I haven't shown any signs of passing it on my own. I really don't want the D&C; I would really prefer to let nature take its course. I have every intention of talking this over with my doctor, but I want to make sure I have as much information as possible BEFORE my next appointment.
How do I get over this? Fortunately, we had decided to tell no one until our first ultrasound, so it's not like I have to deal with prying and concerned friends and family members. But I'm so sad all the time and feeling like I want the world to go away. I don't feel like doing anything, and my appetite is ZERO. I know I need to "get out there" and take my mind off of it, but at the same time I want to take a moment to mourn the loss of the baby who is still inside me. How do I move on?
So What Happened?™
Hi everyone- thank you so much for all your stories and support. It has been really helpful to know that this is not an unusual event and I will get through it. I had blood work done last week that showed my HCG was declining rapidly, and today I had another ultrasound to confirm what we already knew. Only this time they told me that I had in fact lost twins. Doctor said that I could wait to pass it on my own, take medicine, or have the D&C. She said that waiting did not increase my chances of infection, that there were chances of infection for all methods. I elected to go with the medicine and plan on taking it this weekend. I have taken some of your advice to talk about my recent loss with some close friends, and it has been amazing how therapeutic just talking can be. Thank you all!!!
S.B. answers from Redding on April 18, 2010
I think what you are talking about is called spontaneous abortion. It basically means it wasn't a viable pregnancy, depending on how pregnant you were.
My diagnosis was fetal demise and they never did have an answer for what happened.
I was devastated, to say the least, because I was pretty far along, but I just decided to accept that it all happened for a reason I couldn't understand. There was obviously something wrong with the baby.
I know this is very hard for you right now and I'm so sorry you are going through this. I've been there and I know it hurts, especially if there are no answers as to why.
I'm not a doctor, but I wouldn't be so set against a D&C because it might not be healthy for you to have remnants inside your body.
In my case, they had me take blood tests to confirm the lowering of the pregnancy hormone to confirm everything before my procedure.
It's certainly not the outcome I expected and there was grief to go along with that for sure. You should give yourself time to grieve.
Be sure to get some help if you feel your grief is leading to a full on depression.
All I can tell you is that it takes time and although you never really forget, you can get through this. I suffered a loss beyond imagining, but thankfully, I have two beautiful healthy children now.
I also find peace in knowing that my baby didn't suffer in any way. It just went to sleep to the sound of my heartbeat one day.
I'll keep you in my thoughts and again, I'm so sorry for you loss.
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E.M. answers from Dallas on April 18, 2010
First of all, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I had a miscarriage at almost ten weeks; no pains, etc but woke up bleeding one morning. Went straight to the doctor, and they did an ultrasound: no heartbeat. I chose to do the D&C that very day, because I didn't think I could take just "waiting" for nature to take its course. It was a good decision for me, and I didn't have any complications. It meant that the physical healing could be "behind me" and I could work on the emotional healing. We hadn't told too many people we were pregnant yet, and we ended up telling more people at that point, just so they could understand what was going on, why I was so distraught, etc. Turns out I had a "partial molar pregnancy" which meant I had to go for weekly bloodwork for literally six months afterwards. That was more difficult, I'd imagine, since we couldn't start trying again right away: there was a risk if I didn't let a particular hormone level get back to normal first. That was a year and a half ago, and we're trying again now. It still haunts me (my husband and I will say "Wow, he/she would have been a year old now" etc, and that first Christmas afterwards was especially difficult). We have an almost-four-year-old son, too, and he has been such a huge part of our healing.
I wish the best to you. Honestly, I would recommend sharing this with people around you, at least for the support. Good luck to you! :)
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A.C. answers from Houston on April 18, 2010
My sympathies and condolences go out to you. Take the time you need to cry and be angry and accept what has happened. It does help to talk to someone--either someone you know or a professional. There is no need to feel as though you need to do it alone.
I've had three miscarriages over a period of 10 years or so...the last was just a year before I got pregnant with my now three year old daughter. It was also the hardest. I was 13 weeks and had JUST told my family the day before. I cried for days.
Ultrasound has a pretty big margin of error. I know you are distraught right now, but they can only give you the information that they have.
I never did have a D&C. My first two were quite early and were just heavy cramping and bleeding. The third was certainly worse...I essentially went into labor for 5-6 hours before it passed. I went through them all at home--there are risks--and got checked out the next day to ensure nothing was retained. I feel like I healed faster, mentally and physically, by letting nature take its course.
There are risks to waiting to let nature take its course...and and risks to going for the D&C. It is the waiting that will be the hardest if you go the natural route.
The hardest part of getting over it is the next pregnancy. My "safe" date with my daughter was the same date as my miscarriage the year before. I visited my midwife's office many more times than necessary to just hear the heartbeat one more time during the first 6 months of my pregnancy...then I was finally able to relax a bit.
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J.B. answers from Atlanta on April 18, 2010
I have two friends who had this happen several times. They were able to hear a heartbeat, but when they would go back -it was gone -however they never "miscarried" themselves and had to have D&Cs to clean out the uterus. I think it's one of the saddest types of miscarriage because you have all that hope and excitement until you're at the doctor's office! I don't know what they're talking about with the "maybe not" business if they can't get a heartbeat. When are they planning to try again? You should have them do it immediately! First of all, this is emotionally awful for you, and secondly, it's not healthy to go around with a "spontaneous abortion" inside of you if your body isn't going to expel it. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this!
1 mom found this helpful
C.G. answers from Augusta on April 18, 2010
I have been through this myself and also am a nurse-midwife so I have been on the other side of it. The reason they are saying they aren't sure is that if your dates are even slightly off at the beginning of the pregnancy it makes a huge difference in what they can see on an ultrasound. So for instance 5 weeks vs 6 weeks would mean the difference between just a visible sac and a beating heart. So they are hoping that your dates are off and you are earlier than you thought.
As far as the D & C it is really your choice, there is no magic answer. After a long time has gone by (as in weeks) you are at risk for blood clotting problems and infection if you do not begin to bleed. However, a D &C is a pretty traumatic procedure and carries with it the risk of infections and causing problems with getting pregnant in the future. For myself I chose to miscarry on my own but had I not started to lose the pregnancy within a few weeks I would have opted for the D &C thinking that by then the risks were more equal. That was my feeling after couseling many women through the same thing, seeing several D & Cs, and my feelings on being able to handle miscarrying at home emotionally. Only you can decide for you.
You may feel the urge to talk about it- we had only told two close friends I was pregnant but ended up telling many more about the miscarriage because we had to cancel plans, get some childcare for our other children, etc. I found it was very nice to have that support. Funny that we didn't tell about the pregnancy very early so we wouldn't have to tell people we miscarried and then ended up telling anyway.
Best wishes to you on feeling better soon! It is a hard place to be and a terrible loss, not only of your baby but of all the dreams you have. Please know that things will be better for you again and while miscarriages are very common, most women go on to have healthy babies after going through one. Take care and be easy on yourself.
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K.S. answers from Minneapolis on April 18, 2010
Take your moment. You and your husband and the baby you lost deserve whatever peace you can find.
You do not need to make a decision tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow. But I would offer a few thoughts:
A.) Consider telling someone. Though you won't have to deal with prying and concerned friends because they did not know you were expecting...You might benefit from carefully picking someone who can help you share your grief.
B.) Ask your doctor about other alternatives; which might include waiting a few more days/weeks for a spontaneous miscarriage or the possibility of a pharmacological solution.
C.) A D&C is usually not medically traumatic. It is safe and easy as far as recovery goes. Any road you take will of course be emotionally traumatic so try not to burden yourself with too much worry about the procedure itself.
D.) Life is on one hand a matter of simple biology but on the other it is mysterious. Doctors and science can try their hardest but they simply don't know why things happen the way they do. They will try to allow for a glimmer of hope because we all need to hold onto that.
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on April 18, 2010
When I was 6 weeks pregnant, and at my sonogram at that time... the fetus showed 5 weeks gestation. Not 6 weeks. Concurrently, at that time as well, I was having spotting. At that sonogram, there was a heartbeat. Doctor said to watch it, and if I keep bleeding to come back in 2 days.
I was still bleeding, bright red by then... and I went back to see my Doctor. He did another sonogram.... and at that time, the Sac was empty (I saw it empty) and no heartbeat.... I was actively miscarrying. I had no pain or cramping though. Just bleeding/spotting.
I then right there, had a D&C. The D&C is so that your uterus is cleaned out thoroughly, because if any tissue is in there & does not pass and come out fully, you can get infections. Thus, if you let yourself naturally miscarry or pass the tissue... it may or may not happen completely. Thus, a D&C.
I have no idea how your Doctor... ascertains that there could be a 30% chance of being wrong. But if the sac is empty and there is no heartbeat.. then what? So, what are they saying? To come back and do another ultrasound? And when?
all the best,
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D.S. answers from Atlanta on April 19, 2010
Hi! M. P. my name is D. S. - Faith. Faith will see you through this. God loves you. Lean on him.
My first pregancy was a miscarriage. I was devastated. I was about 4 to 6 weeks. I remember missing my monthly and taking a store bought pregancy test. It was positive. Then I saw the doctor and they took a test and my HCG hormone was high. Everything seemed good. Then one night I started spoting and it didn't stop. My husband took me to the emergency room and they ran a HCG Test and at that moment it was fine but by morning the bleeding had not stopped so they took another HCG hormone test and it had dropped. The next thing I knew they were rolling me over to the hospital for a D&C. It was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. Do you have a strong faith in God? He was the only way I made it through.
My doctor told me that 30% of all first pregancy end in misscarriage. This at least made me feel like there wasn't something wrong with me or my body that would prevent future children. You are mounrning the loss of a life and that is ok. Get angry, cry, beat a pillow it is all ok. But know that you may still have a baby later. As soon as my doctor said it was ok, my husband and I began trying again. And nine months later I had a beautiful baby girl. Don't give up hope on the future. If you have any reason to doubt what your current doctor says then get a second opinion.
I pray that God surround you at this time. You and your husband. I am sure he is mourning too. Hold on to one another and it would be ok to tell your family and friends. They would understand and support you I am sure.
God bless you.