Hi, I’m a regular bee going anon due to the nature of the post (very few people IRL knew I was pregnant).
I’m glad you posted this. I have been debating whether to post something about miscarriage since last week, since, like you, I found very little online to prepare me for what was physically going to happen. I was unprepared for what it would really be like and thought writing about it might help someone in the future. It’s quite graphic (warning).
I became pregnant at the start of October on cycle 2 of NTNP. My husband and I were very happy that we’d managed to get pregnant so fast. We found out about the pregnancy at Wk 5 with a really strong BFP.
Up until Wk 12+2 everything seemed good. I only had minor pregnancy symptoms (tiredness and slightly bigger boobs) – no nausea. But I just thought I was lucky, as other family members didn’t have nausea with their (successful) pregnancies.
On the evening of 12+3 I did several hours of heavy exercise (this is nothing unusual for me though). When I got home discovered a small amount of light pink streaking when I wiped after peeing. I thought it was probably due to the exercise. It stopped again very quickly. I phoned the midwife, since up to then I’d had no spotting or bleeding, and she said it was common and since it was such a tiny, tiny amount not to worry. So I didn’t worry much.
At Wk 12+5 we went for our first scan. The sonographer had trouble finding the baby, which I immediately felt wasn’t a good sign. She wanted to do an internal exam too. The baby was much smaller than expected – only the size expected at Wk 6+2. She asked if we could have got our dates wrong; we wanted to believe that that was a possibility, but really we knew we couldn’t have got the dates that wrong and the baby had stopped growing. But to confirm, they booked us in for another scan a week later. Of course we were very upset and that week felt SOOOOO long.
I didn’t know that it was possible to not realise you’d miscarried for that long. I’d always imagined if I miscarried it would be obvious. I felt cheated that my body could let me think everything was fine for over 6 weeks when it wasn’t.
Over the next week, whilst waiting for the second scan, I started to bleed a small amount (like a very light period). There was no cramping or anything. But I began to wear giant overnight pads all the time, just in case.
The evening before the second scan, we went out with friends to see a show in a large city about a 1.5 hr train ride from home. About 15 mins before the end of the show, I felt some cramping start. It came and went; it was a sharp but short kind of pain.
As we all left the venue, the cramping got a bit worse. I turned to my husband and said ‘I’m in pain’ and we immediately left the rest of the group without saying goodbye. The pain wasn’t that bad, but bad enough for me to be worried about what was happening.
About 5 minutes later, whilst walking to the subway, I had a kind of involuntary pushing reflex. It was like a plug was opened, and the blood absolutely FLOODED out. In a second, the huge pad was saturated, and I could tell that the upper half of my jeans were also soaked with blood. Luckily I was wearing a long coat and it didn’t soak through that, so passers-by couldn’t see. But I was absolutely traumatised and started crying. My husband was amazing and steered us through the subway to the train station.
Once on the train, I found the toilet and realised the ‘plug’ was the sack and embryo. It didn’t look like a baby, it just looked like a baked bean covered in blood. I cleaned up as best I could but there was nothing of course that I could do about my jeans. I came out and sat with my husband – I sat on a newspaper to protect the seats.
Once we’d got home, I had a shower and laid down lots of towels on the bed. But I couldn’t sleep because the cramping got much worse. The only position I could get comfy in was sitting up and leaning forwards. The cramping would build up until I’d pass more blood and clots, then the cramping would die down again for a short time. Then it would repeat. I started to feel nauseous and I threw up.
After about 1.5 hours at home, I managed to fall asleep on my stomach. I woke up an hour later to find I’d bled through my pajama bottoms and new pad into the towels, and went back to the toilet where I could feel a large mass slide out. I assume it was the placenta, but I didn’t look.
After that, the cramping went away and I could finally sleep. So from start to finish it lasted about 4 hours or so.
By the next morning, the day of our second scan, I was bleeding like I would do with a normal light-ish period. The scan confirmed that my womb was empty (and most of the lining had gone too). So I didn’t need any medication or surgery (although, tbh I’d have chosen surgery if I’d have had the choice). The medical staff were lovely. Really kind.
So my experience involved the baby dying at 6+2, but not passing the baby until what would have been Wk 13+4. The actual miscarriage was 4 hours of the worst cramping and bleeding of my life, surrounded by about a week of lighter bleeding either side. Those four hours were NOTHING like a period. It was awful. With hindsight, I wish I had bought some adult nappies or something to wear. I’m so grateful that I was wearing trousers and a coat. I don’t know what I’d have done if I’d been wearing a skirt. I wish someone had told me what to expect.
I have never given birth, so I cannot compare it to labour. However, I imagine that my experience was not as painful as labour.
The same day, one of my close friends, who didn’t know I was pregnant (still doesn’t), texted me to announce her pregnancy. She’d had a scan that day too and sent me a picture of her healthy 12 week pregnancy. Life sucks sometimes.