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Smish
04-19-2010, 07:25 AM
I know this is a sensitive topic, but I'd appreciate any responses you can provide. If anyone would prefer to PM me instead of posting openly, please feel free to do so.

I've done basic research about miscarriages, but would like to know more about:

1. The physical process for you (I understand that this can vary greatly from one woman to another). Did it take several days, hours, or did it happen quickly? Where were you when you realized what was happening? Did you experience any physical discomfort?

2. The emotional impact, including initial reactions (and men, I'm interested in your feelings/reactions, too).

3. Also, my main character is a teenager, so if anyone has experiences as a teen, I'd be very interested in hearing from you. However, I'm interested in hearing from anyone, regardless of age, who has experienced this in any way.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

:)Smish

DoomBunny
04-19-2010, 08:40 AM
My partner has had two that we know of, both at very early stages. The first we were not aware of, and was not much more than a heavy period. We weren't even aware of it until an unrelated doctor's appointment. The second was when we first trying for a baby. It was about two weeks in, and was a very heavy period. She passed some tissue, just small clots, and this lasted for a few days. She was also especially crampy, as she normally has relatively easy periods.

Emotionally, the first one didn't really bother us as we weren't even aware of it until it had come and gone. The second was pretty disappointing, and especially rough on my partner because of the hormonal upheaval, but it was so early it didn't hurt us as much as it might have further down the track. While I was disappointed, I was mostly just relieved that my partner was ok.

For the record we've now got a 10 week old daughter, and I'm covered in baby vomit. :D

shaldna
04-19-2010, 11:57 AM
It depends on the stage the pregnancy has advanced to. Many miscarriages occur in teh first 3 months, and in the first few weeks especially they can seem to be just really heavy periods.

Later on in pregnancy the foetus may be too large to pass, and a labour may occur.

It's a very traumatic thing for someone to go through, and can be utterly heartbreaking for someone who has been trying for a baby, or especially later in the pregnancy.

Also, after the occurence the woman will usually be taken in for a 'scrape', this is where they clean out the womb, removing anything that may be left behind, such as attached placenta etc. Many of the people I have spoken to say that this is the worst bit, because although you know the baby is dead, this somehow makes it all so final.

johnnysannie
04-19-2010, 02:13 PM
I know this is a sensitive topic, but I'd appreciate any responses you can provide. If anyone would prefer to PM me instead of posting openly, please feel free to do so.

I've done basic research about miscarriages, but would like to know more about:

1. The physical process for you (I understand that this can vary greatly from one woman to another). Did it take several days, hours, or did it happen quickly? Where were you when you realized what was happening? Did you experience any physical discomfort?


I began light bleeding (spotting) and for almost a week, I rested, didn't do anything too physical, in the hopes that it would stop. But it didn't work - I started feeling period like cramping and within hours, had bleeding that was similar but not quite the same to a heavy period. When I passed the fetus, I could feel it and saved it to take to the hospital so that they could confirm I had indeed miscarried. They thought this was very smart of me but I did it because when one of my aunts had a miscarriage years back, they could not do a D and C until she passed fetal material and it took hours to confirm.
2. The emotional impact, including initial reactions (and men, I'm interested in your feelings/reactions, too).

It was emotionally devasting. The miscarriage occured in my first pregnancy, less than a year after marriage. I mourned the loss of the child that would have been and still do. As a Catholic, I baptised the fetus that I passed (which can be done in emergency situations) and I still count it as a child.
3. Also, my main character is a teenager, so if anyone has experiences as a teen, I'd be very interested in hearing from you. However, I'm interested in hearing from anyone, regardless of age, who has experienced this in any way.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

:)Smish

I did my best to answer the questions I could in the quote above in blue.

OneWriter
04-19-2010, 05:10 PM
Mine was within the first ten weeks, and it began with light spotting, which is sometimes normal and so I didn't know right away that I was miscarrying. The emotional roller coaster pretty much depends on how the obgyn's react too: a friend of mine was told right away that she was miscarrying, and being so early that it was normal (10% of pregnancies end within the first 12 weeks), so both her and her husband were prepared. In our case, they did a blood count and they told me I was "high" so probably it was just spotting, go home and rest. The problem with just one blood count is that you don't see the slope of the curve. In my case the slope was negative, ie my counts were declining, but I didn't know that. So I got home with my hopes still high and the spotting didn't stop. I hung in there for a couple of days, then one night I started having a fever, at which I freaked out (first pregnancy, everything made me freak out). I spent the night bugging the midwife on call, poor woman, she kept telling me to go back to bed and rest and make an appointment for the next morning, but I kept calling. Anyways, I did go the next morning and that's when they took a second count and saw I was indeed miscarrying. Up until then I only had light spotting. After that, I went home and started having contractions. They were true contractions, they wouldn't spread throughout my entire belly like when you deliver because in that case the uterus is way larger, but I truly had 12 hours of contractions which I handled pacing around the dining table and breathing. I swallowed the max allowed of advil but it did absolutely nothing to ease the pain. It was sheer pain as if somebody was squeezing my inner belly like a lemon, squeezing and releasing at regular intervals. Later I was told that was really good practice for delivery and when my daughter was born (ten months later) I had a pretty fast labor.
But anyways, emotionally this was devastating, even though it was an early miscarriage, for both my husband and me (he was pretty drained too). It was our first try at getting pregnant, both my husband and I were absolutely thrilled and things happened so quickly that we didn't have much time to ponder over what was truly happening. Also, the fact that they told me I wasn't miscarrying when I already was didn't help. We had our little private mourning for a week or so (the hormones also made me a lot more emotional, I understand that part), and after that recovered pretty well. I got pregnant right away again one month later, so that helped too. And nine months later we had a torpedo in our lives and never though about the miscarriage again, although it made me a little jittery throughout my two full-term pregnancies.

Oh, I didn't have a D&C because it was early and they told me I would recover by myself, which I did. A friend of mine though she did have the D&C even though she was early too and from what she tells me her body recovered way faster. Still, I'm happy I didn't have it. Whatever keeps me out of the OR makes me happy.

shadowwalker
04-19-2010, 05:27 PM
I had what I've now learned was a "disappearing twin". It's been almost 30 years so my memories are a bit foggy, but somewhere around the two month mark my doctor suddenly straightened, then listened some more, and then told me very matter-of-factly that there were two heartbeats. I was amazed, shocked, dismayed (single mother) and overjoyed. And then, about six weeks later - only one. I couldn't understand what had happened - I knew I'd had a few days of feeling nauseous, but otherwise I'd felt fine. But I think the hardest part was actually that there was no "miscarriage" per se - the second baby was just gone. I guess absorbed into the placenta and the other baby. No idea whether it was boy or girl - just gone. And yes, I still had the one, my son, who's now a healthy happy 28 year old - but every now and then I get all weepy, thinking about what it might have grown up like, esp if it had been a little girl. What s/he would have looked like. What kind of personality s/he would have had. But it's hard because there was nothing to say s/he ever existed, except that little note in the doctor's chart - "twins".

shaldna
04-19-2010, 05:39 PM
I lived in fear throughout my entire pregnancy that I would miscarry.

I was told at 17 that I would never have kids due to a condition I have. When I found out I was pregnant at 24 I was also told that my chances of miscarrying were very high.

Fortunately I didn't find out I was pregant until I was 4 1/2 months (periods didn't stop and I just thought it was too much cake) so I had actually missed the scariest part of my pregnancy, which was a massive relief.

thethinker42
04-19-2010, 05:51 PM
1. The physical process for you (I understand that this can vary greatly from one woman to another). Did it take several days, hours, or did it happen quickly? Where were you when you realized what was happening? Did you experience any physical discomfort?

With my first, I was maybe 6 weeks or so, and it was a lot like a really, really heavy period. I have endometriosis, so I'm used to very painful periods...that one wasn't much different.

With the second, I was about 8 or 9 weeks. The bleeding lasted for about three weeks, and was surprisingly painless except for the day I actually "lost" it. I was at work when the bleeding started, and immediately asked my boss if I could leave. I went to my acupuncturist (who was an absolute saint, seriously), then went home. Things didn't really go downhill until I went to the ER a few days later, but that had more to do with the staff than my miscarriage. I lost the baby about four days after the bleeding started.


2. The emotional impact, including initial reactions (and men, I'm interested in your feelings/reactions, too).

Ooooooh boy. We'd been trying for about 3 years, so it was devastating. To sprinkle a little salt on the wound, it happened a few days before my birthday, and my husband had to ship out ON my birthday. All of that aside, the emotional roller coaster was insane. I only had a few days of sick time, so I had to go back to work before I was ready, and that was awful. Trying to deal with customers while struggling not to cry (whether because of the hormones, the situation itself, the loss, etc)? Not pleasant.

The worst part was actually the post-partum depression. I'd never heard of PPD after a miscarriage, but holy shit...about 7 weeks after the m/c? My God. Ton of bricks. I've experienced some serious depression in my life, but that was...honestly, just thinking about it makes me shudder.

So there's my experience in a nutshell.

cbenoi1
04-19-2010, 09:25 PM
> 2. The emotional impact, including initial reactions
> (and men, I'm interested in your feelings/reactions, too).

It happened twice to us.

Wife called me at the office when it happened the first time and I rushed home. The fetus was at eight weeks, so there was not enough emotional attachment at that point. We went through a period of gloom for a few days.

The second time was far more serious - we had a case of Trisomy 13 / Patau Syndrome. The wife had to undergo therapeutic abortion at month number four. She went into labour, but we both knew how the story ended for the eight hours the ordeal lasted. It felt as if we'd lost a child. I don't think there is anything in the English language that can describe this. As human beings, we project ourselves into our own procreation. It's our way to become immortal - our values, our hopes and fears, can last forever. When that is lost, you kinda question what role, if any, you have left to play on this tiny blue dot.

We have a 12-year-old boy we cherish. He's by far my pride and joy. I know it's cliche'd by I don't care.

-cb

Smish
04-20-2010, 06:08 AM
I want to thank each of you for sharing your experiences with me. I know it probably isn't easy to think about and talk about, and I truly appreciate your willingness to do so.

Your responses have all been very open and honest, and have helped me better understand the physical and emotional impact of miscarriages.

Thanks again,

:)Smish

stitchingirl
04-20-2010, 04:55 PM
I was spotting blood and had abdominal pains so I went to the ER. That's when I found out that I was pregnant, but I had already miscarried so there wasn't anything that they could do. I was a month along when this happened.

I remembered that I cried and felt like it was my fault. Had I eaten better than it wouldn't have happened. If I went a doctor then it wouldn't have happened. Even though I didn't have signs of pregnancy (sick a lot, vomiting, sore breasts, etc.) and didn't know that I was pregnant, I still kept thinking it was my fault.
Of course the abusive idiot that I was with just sort of shrugged it off and got mad at me whenever I started crying.

I did end up pregnant about a year later..that's my babygirl (she's now 18).

stormie
04-20-2010, 05:09 PM
My miscarriage was like this:

In my fourth week I started spotting. Went to the covering dr. who didn't say yes or no that I was miscarrying. So I went on thinking everything was okay. The spotting stopped, I felt pregnant (I had two full-term pregnancies before) so I knew the feeling--sore breasts, queasy, tired. About two months into the pregnancy, I had an ultrasound done, and it was the day before my birthday. I'm glad my husband was with me. They found two empty saks in my uterus.

I remember it was the first time in my life that I truly felt I was grieving. I'd walk down an aisle of a supermarket, look at something as innocuous as rice, and start crying. My sons were young and didn't quite understand. They thought I was upset with them, or that they caused the baby to die.

My younger son, one night, after prayers, said, "Good-night baby up in heaven." Oh, that was a real tear-jerker!

Anyway, I didn't miscarry until I was almost four months pregnant. It was a searing pain that went from my navel to my groin, like a sharp knife. It looked like my whole insides were coming out. I didn't go to the hospital, just went to the dr.

To this day, I still feel a sadness.

Perks
04-20-2010, 05:30 PM
I had a miscarriage at about three months gestation. In hindsight, it seems I should have known. All pregnancy symptoms disappeared in the two weeks or so prior to the miscarriage: I wasn't sleepy anymore; my appetite decreased; my breasts were no longer sore.

Then one day there was some bleeding and cramping. I spoke to my midwife on the phone and we agreed that I was likely having a miscarriage. (And here's an important note: there was nothing to be done. No rush to the hospital or putting my feet up or drugs or any of that would have changed the outcome. Later in pregnancy, when you're threatening a premature labor, hydration and rest and sometimes drugs can stop it, but you cannot stop a miscarriage. They are very different processes.)

Over the next day and a half I had bleeding and cramping and developed a terrible headache that ultimately lasted for four days.

I cried the day I spoke to my midwife. I had really just gotten my head around the reality of the pregnancy and was excited, so it was very sad that this would not be a baby I could keep, but even then, I realized it was a very natural thing. I had done some study towards becoming a midwife myself, so I understood everything that was happening. Also, I had a two year old daughter, so I didn't have that fear that often plagues first-time mothers who miscarry. I think that's an important distinction. Statistics don't always dispel a fear that there's something fundamentally wrong with you when you miscarry your first pregnancy. It can be quite traumatic for some women.

Anyway, the evening of the next day - I always remember that it was during the third commercial break of ER, how weird is that? - I went into the bathroom and felt the fetus pass. It was a very strange reaction because I automatically scrabbled through the water, which was opaque with blood, to pull it out. It doesn't seem at all like something I would do, but it was completely autopilot. Immediately, I could see that the fetus had stopped developing probably a month before (like I said, I'd been a midwifery student.) It was in a clear sac about the size of nickel, like one of those flattened glass beads they sometimes put as anchorage at the bottom of flower vases. Inside, there was a little white curl; it looked more like a garden grub or a shrimp than a baby - which is good news. It would have been more disturbing for me had it looked recognizably human. But it didn't and I was prepared, so it was interesting more than upsetting.

Over then next five days, I bled, but healed, and the following year I became pregnant with my second daughter with no complications.

thethinker42
04-20-2010, 05:40 PM
To this day, I still feel a sadness.

This.

Mine were in 2004 and 2006, and even though I'm now childfree by choice (husband and I decided after four years of trying that we REALLY don't want kids after all), the lingering emotions from the miscarriages are...complicated. Sadness. Guilt (for reasons I won't get into publicly). I don't want kids now, and am very content with my childfree life, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a devastating experience. It's hard to explain, given my circumstances, but the emotional toll is unmistakable.

OneWriter
04-20-2010, 05:49 PM
A lot of it is hormonal. I'm not saying that the sadness isn't real because it is, it's a loss and as such it's devastating, but the hormones affect your mood in a way that no matter how hard to try to put it into perspective, you just can't help but feel the sadness, and then the tears come rolling down...

I experienced it again (sort of) when my daughter was born, because I had a very lengthy and somewhat strong post-partum depression, and even though I had a baby and she was healthy and beautiful, the hormones just made me sad... So, couple that with the loss, instead of a lively, healthy baby, and it's just... overwhelming.

I can't even imagine what people must go through when they lose a child.

Perks
04-20-2010, 05:54 PM
It's a complicated fact of life because there are physical, chemical, situational, and even cultural aspects to a person's reaction to a miscarriage.

We were casually trying for a second child, so the baby was wanted, but after the initial twist of disappointment, I wasn't devastated. I was headachey and in some pain, but I was okay.

I imagine you could write almost any reaction to your character's miscarriage and make it belivable if it's consistent with her mindset, personality, and circumstances.

Cella
04-20-2010, 06:05 PM
I was out of town when the Dr called with the results of the blood work. That certainly complicated things.

What I remember most physically, was that the night before I started bleeding I had terrible cramping and back pain. I guess it was a mild form of labor.

**hugs everyone in thread**

quickWit
04-20-2010, 06:26 PM
I don't know how far along my wife was with our first. I remember taking the call from the doctor at the nurse's station at the hospital, hearing her say that we lost the baby and the nurse hugging me as I cried. I recall trying to figure out how to tell my wife as I walked to the examining room. As it turned out, I didn't need to say anything - she saw it on my face. She wailed, and cried, and begged for it not to be true. I stayed with her until she went for the dnc, then made the necessary family calls.

I felt quite sad and lonely in that time, and as others have said, that child and the other that we lost later are never far from my thoughts even today, nearly twenty years later.

Smish
04-21-2010, 04:49 AM
I imagine you could write almost any reaction to your character's miscarriage and make it belivable if it's consistent with her mindset, personality, and circumstances.

That's very true. However, I do think it's been helpful to hear the stories of those who have experienced this type of loss. So, thank you all again for your comments. I really appreciate it.

And I'm so sorry that each of you have had to go through this. Cella's right - hugs to everyone.

:)Smish