The Truth About Miscarriage *Graphic Content*

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The Truth About Miscarriage *Graphic Content*

02/24/2017

February 24th Mama Blogger – Allison

Allison is a born-and-raised Saskatchewan farm girl.  She’s a mother of two crazy little boys and married to a wonderful, patient man. 

The Truth About Miscarriage

 

Miscarriage.  The word brings a feeling of dread and panic to a pregnant woman, especially if said woman has experienced one (or several) in the past.

(Let’s get one thing straight here, I am not telling you my story to scare you, even though it was scary. I’m telling you my story to educate you, as I was not)

My husband and I have two gorgeous little blondies, aged two and a half and four. Crazy, rambunctious (and exhausting), wonderful little boys.  Early last year, we decided that we wanted to try for one more (for me, my little girl, fingers crossed!) and became pregnant around the beginning of June.  JOY! I was so happy and thrilled we would have a new baby in late February/early March of this year (in fact, right around the date of this blog).

I am mid-30’s so I feel that I’m getting to the end of my child-bearing years (although many women of “advanced” years have conceived and carried to term healthy and happy babies). But because I had never experienced any issues with my previous pregnancies (I got pregnant easily and carried each to term), the dreaded word ‘MISCARRIAGE’ never entered my mind.  I found myself strangely disconnected from this pregnancy (maybe my brain knew something my heart didn’t). About 10+ weeks into my pregnancy, I started spotting.  I panicked. I tried really hard not to, but I did.  I Googled everything to do with miscarriage (Let me warn you, there is SO much unfiltered information and photos on the internet, I kinda wished I hadn’t) and then played the blame game in my head. Did I lift something heavier than I should have? Did I do something to cause this? Did I? DID I?? (P.S. Unless you were drinking like a sailor and doing hard drugs, you did NOT cause your miscarriage).

I made an appointment with my GP, a brand new doctor right out of medical school.  That Friday, she examined me and uttered, “Oh.” (Oh? That’s not really something you want to hear from your doctor, she needs to work on her poker face).  She then did something that I commend her for, she asked if I would mind if she had another doctor come in and examine me to confirm what she suspected (which I was not privy to at that moment but my mind was running wild).  I agreed and in came an OB/GYN who happened to be in the clinic at the time.  He checked me and said in a very calm and soothing voice, “I see tissue in the cervix.  You are not dilated but my gut tells me that this is a miscarriage.” (World implodes) He laid his hand on my knee and expressed how sorry he was and left.  I tried really REALLY hard not to cry in front of a bunch of strangers but a few sobs escaped.  I then turned to my doctor and blurted that we would experience our first together, she smiled and laughed nervously. (When you’re traumatized, some of the weirdest things come out of your mouth, I tell ya)

My doctor put me on the list for an emergency ultrasound to confirm miscarriage but with it being a weekend, I had to wait until Monday on bedrest (and so came the first part of the torture that is miscarriage, staying in bed clinging to the hope that staying still would save my baby).  The appointment came for the ultrasound and that was an ordeal on its own. The tech the first time around (yup, the first time) told me there was no fetus (WHAT?!) so I was elated, thinking this was a blighted ovum and my baby didn’t die, it just wasn’t there…but after a few more long minutes, she said she found it, she found my baby. No heartbeat. Then to make matters worse, I was asked to sit in the Emergency waiting room for the results of the ultrasound (where the radiologist reads the photos).  For hours I sat there, holding my breath for something, anything, any piece of information, (and trying not to lose my sh*t in public).  The nurse calls my name and says, “They need to do the ultrasound again.” (AGAIN?!  Shove an ultrasound wand up my vag AGAIN and tell me AGAIN I will not have a live baby. The radiologist had asked for another set of photos because the measurements of the fetus didn’t coincide with the date of my pregnancy…WTF?!?)

Finally the results were ready and I went back to my doctor directly afterward.  She told me that it was in fact a miscarriage and that fetal death occurred at six weeks.  (My baby had been dead inside me for four weeks before my body got the memo) I was given a couple choices: a) wait and see if my body would expel the “products of conceptionnaturally (yes, that’s what they called my baby); b) Take a series of pills which would put me into contractions to expel the baby, (which is pretty much labor and very painful); or c) book a surgical procedure called a D & C (dilation and curettage, where they essentially scrape the insides out of your uterus but they knock you out).  The doctor felt confident I would be able to proceed naturally as tissue was already coming out from my uterus and they would allow me to go two more weeks with the baby inside me without being concerned about infection.  (By this point, I had talked with Dr. Google extensively and figured that if the baby was small enough and I didn’t have to see a baby in my toilet, then I would choose a natural miscarriage because it’s easier supposedly to get pregnant afterward, in case I wanted to try again). There was always a chance that I would need a D & C anyway if there was any tissue retained inside me.

So I went home.  And waited.  Alone with my thoughts. (NOTE: Stupid move #1, NEVER be alone when you think you are miscarrying, continue on to see why…) The very next day, I started bleeding heavily. Every time I sat on the toilet, blood and clots and tissue would gush out (yeah, it was nasty and scary as hell).  I had what I would describe as back labor and period cramps and the gushes went on every 5-10 minutes for over two hours.

Near the end of that last hour, I started feeling woozy so I called my husband to come home from work.  We commute 40 minutes to Regina every day for work and he also had to grab the kids from daycare so it took him an hour to get home. He’d only been home 10 minutes before I lost consciousness, flat on my back in bed. While out, I apparently had a small seizure and vomited.  Someone was watching over me because my husband had just rounded the corner to our room as I puked and was able to lift me onto my side so that I didn’t choke to death on my own vomit.  I came to and my husband was on the phone with 911 (Do you know they will still charge you for an ambulance ride even if they don’t take you?!). By the time EMS arrived, I had stabilized enough for them to recommend my husband take me to the hospital. (Thanks guys, ~eye roll~). As we drove into the parking lot of the hospital, I passed out again. (Bright side, it got me into a room and seen by a doctor rather quickly)

ER doctors did an internal exam and manually removed some clots and tissue from my cervix and he explained that the tissue in the cervix could be the reason for passing out along with the blood loss.  Apparently the cervix is super super sensitive when dilated and your body can respond in this way. (Come to find out later that the “stuff” they threw into the garbage in my room was probably my baby. Harsh.)

To add insult to injury, the nurses had a hard time inserting an IV.  They tried in two areas on one arm and three areas on the other before they finally got it in successfully.  (It hurt.  I cried.)

Immediately the doctor wanted me to take the pills to cause contractions but I requested another ultrasound to make sure that there was still tissue inside that needed to come out. (I mean, really, why cause myself more pain when we weren’t sure it was needed)  The doctor wasn’t “thrilled” that I was questioning his orders but because the ultrasound technician was already onsite due to being needed with another emergency that night, I was able to have my ultrasound. (GOOD…but awkward, poor guy was not used to doing THESE kinds of ultrasounds, he looked mortified).

Results came back that there was still a small amount of tissue retained but no fetus. Also because it was at the entrance and inside the cervix, it would indicate that with some effective contractions, I should have no issue passing the remaining.  So THEN I agreed to the Cytotec pills that he recommended to begin with (Begrudgingly)  My GP had come down to check on me and she was able to give me some pain reliever (Hallelujah for narcotics!) so that I wouldn’t have to endure the pain of the three to four hours of contractions I would have to suffer (oh yeah, by the way, this was a little before midnight so no sleep for me!)

My husband had to leave me to go get our kids because our only close family member was unwilling to watch them all night because they had to work in the morning (…yeah… Just yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother blog for some other time).  This was probably the worst point of the entire ordeal, being alone, in pain when my body was shaking with contractions.  It broke me.  Thankfully, I had one amazing charge nurse on that night (Shout out to Taryn!!). She held my hand, got me warm blankets to help the shivering and snuck me some water.

They had taken blood when I arrived and had been testing me periodically to check my hemoglobin levels (Loved being a pincushion).  My hemoglobin numbers had dropped but not quite far enough for a blood transfusion (close but I suppose it was a good thing that I didn’t need one).  The OB/GYN examined me the next day and was confident that I had passed everything and did not need a D & C.  (Although, had I known how horrible my natural miscarriage would be, I may have opted for a D & C if I could have a do-over, but in reality I probably wouldn’t have made a scheduled D & C anyways). He prescribed OTC iron supplements to replenish the iron I lost with my blood, for two months and rest (man was I exhausted after the whole ordeal, mentally, physically and emotionally).  I was off work for a week.

I feel like there should have been a way for me to find out the facts of my options before making those decisions, (without having to resort to Dr. Google).  I was completely unprepared and somewhat unaware of what was going to happen with me and my body.  That is an incredibly scary and dangerous thing to go through alone.  We, as women, should share our experiences so that someone like me, in the future, will have the knowledge to make decisions that work for them. Whether we have another baby or not is up in the air but we will see what fate has in store for us.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m not telling this all to you to scare anyone, but I think every woman should hear our stories, for the knowledge and truth.

Thank you

 

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2 Responses to “The Truth About Miscarriage *Graphic Content*”

  1. Nicole says:

    Hi Allison! I know that you wrote this a few years ago, but man I wish I had read this a week ago. I had my first pregnancy, and my first miscarriage this year. I got pregnant for the first time with my husband in October, and we lost it last week in December. It’s covid, and I had to go to the hospitals by myself. I had to be told also by a group of nurses and OB that I was having a miscarriage by myself. It was the worst feeling in the world. The entire world turns black and there is nothing anyone can do to make time reverse and take back that horrible word “miscarriage”. I took the pills…and I had to take them 3 times…so I had contractions for hours. It fucking hurt like hell, the shaking, the blood. It all is just one of the worst days of our lives. Thank you for sharing your story. I am trying to find groups to hear other women too, but there isn’t really anything like that right now because of covid. Even though it is horrible, I’m glad I could at least connect with you. I hope your boys and family are doing well! Thank you agaian

    • jennievessey says:

      Hi, so sorry for your loss. I’m so happy to hear this article helped you. If there is anything you need please let me know – I know COVID is such a hard time for everyone – the isolation is so hard, and going through things alone is so hard.
      Virtual hugs to you!

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