Dark Days and Waiting

Some miscarriages resolve quickly, as far as its impact on the body. The heart is a different matter.

But Daniel left me quickly and almost painlessly. Yes, I know. I haven’t mentioned him before. Very few people know.

We weren’t supposed to be trying yet. I hadn’t even started taking my prenatal vitamins. I’d begun the process of charting my cycles. I knew they were long–40 days usually. And that month we just weren’t careful. I ovulated late; we didn’t use protection. It didn’t matter that much–we were about to try again anyway!

I watched the temps go up over the coverline. On just the right day, I had a small amount of bleeding–implantation spotting! Whoops! I thought. That’s okay. It’s just a little earlier than planned. I wrote “buy HPT” on my grocery list, mainly to have one to put in his baby box. I already knew.

I was a couple of days late when I went to the bathroom. I felt like I was urinating from the wrong spot and wiped to a slide of bright red blood. My heart sank. Something had already gone wrong. I felt a little hysterical for a moment, then lay on the bed and calmed down. I called my doctor and the nurse told me I could come in for bloodwork if I wanted but it would probably just resolve on its own.

It did. I had cramps, slightly stringier black-red thick blood, and lots of clots. Really, if I hadn’t been charting, I probably wouldn’t have thought too much of it. Daniel slipped away as lightly as he had arrived. I haven’t forgotten about him, his name chosen because that was the first name that popped into my head when I sat on the bed after the temps took their 18th day over the coverline. It’s a boy, I thought, and he’s Daniel. It’s just that my parents took the loss of Casey so hard, I just couldn’t put them through any more. I got pregnant again quickly, with Emma and Elizabeth, so I kept that baby to myself.

Many have a much harder time with the physical end of the pregnancy. Their bodies hang on to the lost baby, the miscarriage process going on for weeks, their hCG refusing to fall below 100, bleeding randomly off and on, until finally they take methotrexate or progesterone or get on birth control pills to help.

Others find out their pregnancy tissue has instead become molar, a type of cancer. Not only do they lose their baby, but face treatments and unending tests and bleeding and passage of dark tar or clusters of dense tissue. They can’t get pregnant again for months or even a year. Their dark days go on and on.

In the book I will need a range of experiences, more than my own. How did it happen for you? How long/how difficult was the miscarriage to get through physically?

15 thoughts on “Dark Days and Waiting

  1. You can read my miscarriage story on my blog starting here – http://gogirlygo.blogspot.com/2006/03/yep.html
    For me it was a physical non-event and it dragged on for what seemed like forever, making it emotionally even harder. I miscarried around week six but was forced to carry my dead baby for a month before I was finally given a d&c. There was no bleeding or pain in all that time, although I wished for it so that I could know that the end was in sight.

  2. My first m/c seemed to last forever. It seemed like it would never end. I had really bad cramping. I can’t tell you how many doctor appointments and emergency room visits I had. I was basically told to go home and it will happen naturally…your fine. I was finally to the point that I had nothing left in me. I was like a ragdoll, had no energy, and I wasn’t bleeding continuously but when I did I better have something under me…it was bad. I finally found an awesome midwife who advocated for me and got the dr she worked with to do a d&c. This was probably about 3-4 weeks later. After the D&C I was bleeding off & on for about another 2-3 weeks. But it was nowhere near as bad. I physically missed 6 weeks of work. I was put on birth control pills. The doctor wanted to keep me on bcp for awhile but I eventually went off of them on my own. Even though I had bcp and everything it took my cycle about 8 weeks(give or take) to start up again.

    My 2nd m/c was natural. Again, I had awful cramping. I was almost in ragdoll status again. This time I went to work. I was bleeding on/off but again when I did watch out. My supervisor took me to her gyn and this is where I found out for sure. She said I physically looked awful. Again my cycle took forever to come on 14 weeks.

    My 3rd m/c was also natural. Physically this m/c was easier. In matter of fact it was like a extremely heavy crampy (which I rarely have) af. But it lasted almost a month. If I didn’t take 3 different brand tests and found out I was pg. I wouldn’t of thought nothing of it just thinking af was lasting a really long time. When I started bleeding I went straight way to ER (as my history here isnt good) and found out. Took my cycle 6 weeks after I stopped bleeding to start.

  3. We had moved into a new apartment before I was able to test, but I was pregnant, and I was carrying pretty heavy boxes, something I always blame for the mc. I started to spot very lightly a few weeks later, didn’t think much of it at first, and then after having sex one night the next morning I woke with bright red blood, like a period. My husband had gone fishing for the day, it was a Saturday, and I was left home alone to deal with it. I became more and more panicked as the day went on, and began to have cramps. When he came home in the afternoon, I knew what was likely happening and thought that there might be a way to stop it. I laid down and rested. The next morning at church there were several baptisms. I completely lost it when the congregation sang the song “I was there to hear your borning cry.” I became hysterical and had to leave. We then drove to the ER and had a sonogram, which confirmed the miscarriage. I was prescribed vicadin, which I took, because the cramping was so bad. I was 8 weeks along, but the baby stopped growing at 5-6 weeks. The bleeding lasted maybe a week and half. I mentioned in a previous post that dh and I took off in the car and just drove, to get away from work stress and deal with the loss on our own. While camping, I passed a really large clot, what I thought was the baby’s tissue, and I showed my husband. He took a clump of sage brush and lit it, and we burned the tissue and said a very sad goodbye to our baby.

  4. Kathy, I’m so sorry that that last tissue loss was so hard and in such a difficult place. I can imagine it was hard to know what to do. A ceremonial cremation is probably the best in that situation. What an image.

    Of course, you know (even though you seem to have lingering doubts) that lifting boxes did not cause your loss. You weren’t even far enough along to have a placenta yet, and a placental tear is the risk in heavy lifting later in pregnancy. Even then, most tears will heal themselves, it is a rare complication for the placenta to pull away. And bleeding in that case happens immediately. Your baby grew beyond that point, so it had been fine through that.

    I know that song “Borning Cry.” They sang it at Elizabeth’s baptism, but I also associate it with my loss, and her twin that didn’t make it.

    Thank you for your story–and Lisa and LynnieRae too. It helps so much to keep me thinking and planning these women’s stories.

  5. I’ve had 2 m /c’s. The 1st started at 11w6d and was spontaneous. I started bleeding at work. The OB was wonderful thru the whole ordeal. It took another 4 weeks for the tissue to pass, after having 2 u/s to confirm it was still there, a nurse digging around at my cervix trying to pull it out and lastly a week of Provera. I felt it slide thru my cervix while I was picking up rental equipment for work. When I got back to the office I went to the bathroom where it slipped out into the toilet. I had to poke my head out the door to have a coworker bring me something to put it in.

    I got pg again when I ovulated exactly one year after the bleeding started for the 1st m/c. My OB saw me right away. At the 1st u/s the tech said I was measuring 2 weeks behind, but I knew that was OK because I knew I Oed late. But continued bw showed things didn’t look promising. I told my boss at work that I was likely having another m/c. (They all knew about the 1st.) 2 days later they laid off 2 people, including my support person, and my workload more than doubled. The next day, a Friday, I had another u/s where it was confirmed I had m/c. The sac had shrunk instead of grown. My OB pulled a lot of strings with the hospital and my insurance, on her day off no less, to get me a d&c first thing that Monday morning.

    I found your website a couple months later, but it took weeks before I finally had the courage to post on the boards. The boards were a lifesaver to me!

    About the same time, I started going to an Infant Loss Support Group through the hospital, at the invitation of an acquaintance who was one of the ministers running it. I was surprised at all the husbands who came. Mine did not, due to his work schedule. Some women even brought their Moms, sisters, cousins and friends. They very rarely spoke and when they did it was usually to say I just want to know how to help.

    I stopped going to the support group when I made the comment to the group that I felt my grief was now more from my infertility than from my loss. It was then that I knew I no longer had a place there. But I did on your boards!

    After seeing an RE for 6 months, I am now pg again, and God willing, this one is going to make it. I still don’t feel like I have place in the support group, but I do on your boards. It’s the only place where people truly understand what I have been through (loss as well as infertility), what I am going through now (fears and insecurity), and what I will go through in the future. I have made some dear friends on your boards and often forget that I don’t really “know” them. But they (and prayer!) are what keep me sane.
    Some other random thoughts:

    My best friend was complaing about how every piece of clothing was covered in baby spitup. This was after my 2nd loss. I looked her in the eyes and said I’d give anything to trade places with you. She looked away sheepishly and said she wouldn’t want to trade places with me.

    My in-law’s were visiting and the 7yo nephew was running amok. My FIL asked me “You really want one of those?” Bewildered, I rpelied “Yes, I do,” while thinking why do you think I’ve put myself through all of this?

    In the year between my 2 m/c’s, no less than 12 women in my circle of influence got pg and gave birth. These were friends, the wife of DH’s friend, a coworker (she got laid off while on maternity leave, how cruel!), friends of friends, friends of my mother, cousins that I was no longer in contact with, my brother’s SIL, etc. Only one was someone I saw nearly everyday, but all I heard about frequently. It was torture for me.

    I know I’ve rambled on and on and on…….Thanks for letting me!

  6. Thanks for sharing your secret with us.

    I’ve never m/c’d naturally. The first was a missed m/c at 11 wks 5 dys, but the baby stopped growing at 9 wks. I recovered quickly (physically) from the d&c and was pregnant again 3 months later. But I knew that one was going wrong very early on. Still it lasted 13 wks with continued “slight” growth of the baby, until the dr finally said it was time to give up and do a d&c for testing. That one took longer to recover from. After a few weeks with slight spotting, I began cramping. I knew it shouldn’t be af. I was driving home when I felt the surge of blood come gushing out. When I got out of the car, I looked and saw blood flowing down my legs. I ran into the nearest building to the restroom, and I had passed a large clot. Since it was already late, I waited till morning to call the dr. The nurse tried to assure me that it was just af arriving, but I knew it wasn’t. Four days later she called me back to say I needed another sonogram, but it would have to wait till Monday. On Saturday I began cramping again and passed a very large spongy, tissuey material after about an hour of the worst cramps I’ve ever had. I saved the tissue in the freezer and took it into the dr on Monday. She said it was just residual placenta and the sonogram showed I was clear. I bled for 39 days straight and was finally put on birth control pills to get my cycle back on track. I’ve been regular ever since but was never able to conceive in the months after. I can’t say that I’ve healed physically because I still have no children. I know that I’m not completely healed emotionally either. Do we ever heal completely? (I still have the placenta in my freezer almost 2 years later.)

  7. I was 10 weeks when I found out about my missed miscarriage. I had some very slight spotting one Sunday and my husband and I went to the OB the next Monday for our first appointment. My OB did an internal and said that she believed the spotting was of no concern but we could go across the street to the hospital for a sonogram just to be certain. I can’t believe that it’s still hard to talk about this over a year later. Anyway, the technician was very quiet and finally told us that our baby had stopped developing at 7 weeks. We were devestated. The OB gave us the option of a D&C or waiting to miscarry naturally. I wanted the D&C immediatly. I was in so much emotional pain, I just knew the waiting would destroy me. The earliest D&C appointment I could get was for Wednesday.
    But the weirdest thing happened. I really and truly believe that when my brain heard that the baby had died, I began to miscarry naturally. It was a terrible experience. I had terrible cramps that lasted over twenty four hours. I stayed in bed and cried and prayed that I not lose the baby at home or in the toilet. I was still hoping to have the D&C on Wednesday, so Tuesday night I got in the shower. After my shower I walked into the guest bedroom in only a towel to get a hairdryer and I felt something very large fall out of my body. It honestly happened in slow motion. I screamed for my husband and ran into the bathroom. I sobbed and shook and couldn’t catch my breath. My husband confirmed that yes, it was the baby that I passed. He put it in a baggie and we called the on-call doctor. The next morning, we took our baby to the hospital for confirmation. It didn’t occur to me until we got home that I should have gotten her remains. I then felt like a terrible mother because the hospital surely just threw her away and I would never get the chance to show her she was loved with a ceremony.
    Anyway, I know that my story is not at all unique. I lurk on the boards often. However, in retrospect (and I don’t know if this makes sense or not), I am marveled that my body protected my brain by not passing the baby until I was told by the doctor. I really think that was the case. Once I heard that the baby had died, then, my body could begin a natural process. I still wish that I had the D&C. I could not go in the guest room of our house for months–and still swear I can see a spot on the floor where the baby fell.
    But as I sit here typing this today, I am listening to the sweet sounds of my 3 month old baby on the baby monitor. She was born with a heart shaped storkbite right between her eyes. I wear a reunion heart necklace in memory of my angel. I know that my angel kissed by baby girl on the forehead in heaven and sent her to me with the birthmark to show me that she is happy now.
    Thank you for sharing so much with us Deanna. Without this site, I would still be so lost.

  8. My first – I was approximately 8 weeks along and there was blood when I wiped. No cramping. I was told that the lack of cramping was good and to simply rest, but that nothing could be done. It turned into a heavy period. Physically it was very easy. I probably would have thought nothing of it if I hadn’t known I was pregnant.

    My second – I was about 6 weeks. I was at work and getting ready to leave for an early ultrasound. In the bathroom I found I had started bleeding and instantly knew. I prayed and begged God, but the baby was gone. That one was also physically easy and like a period.

    I have detailed descriptions at home if you’d like. I can email them.

  9. Im so very sorry to hear about your losses. I just had my second miscarriage on Saturday. my first was seven months ago. The first m/c I went psycho. i wanted to kill myself becasue I thought it was my fault and knowone in my family had any difficulties carrying their babies to term. The doctor reassured me it was not my fault. Then I found out I was pregnant two weeks a go and sense My fiance and I are getting married in four weeks we were so happy. But On saturday at work I started cramping and I just knew I lost the baby already. Just hang in there. It hurts really bad, to lose such a big part of you. But do not give up faith and I will pray for everyone, because I know the hurt and suffering you are all feeling. Thank you all so much for sharing, because I felt so alone and now I know Im not the only one getting picked on!

  10. I am so happy that I got to this website. I am in the process of miscarrying at 7 weeks although the sac stopped developing a 4 weeks.

    I feel very lonely and my emotions are going haywire. I am surprised with how sad I am. I feel like I am greiving my grandmother’s death all over again. This site is helping me cope with what I am going through. It’s comforting to know that others are going through this with me. Thanks so much.

  11. Hey Deanna I’d just like to thank you for sharing the story of Daniel with us. It was a big shock to me when I read it I had to go back and read it twice over. I can’t believe you have been thru so much. Just thanks for the awesome website and the up-to-date and helpful information. You are a true inspiration to us all.

  12. Hi Deanna & everyone. Thanks for sharing your experiences, and I’m so sorry for your losses.

    My first m/c I found out really early that it wasn’t looking good, as I had bloodwork at 4 weeks due to some bad pains. But there was still a slight possibility so I had follow-up b/w the next week, plus another ultrasound, and another one a week later, and so on. Each result was conflicting, so I had three weeks of rollercoaster emotions as one week things were ok, the next week not. In the end, after accepting that my baby had died, I only had to wait about one week before I started to bleed. I had been feeling physically fine during this time, with mild nausea. At 7 and a half weeks, after having bd the previous night, I started to bleed. I was scared, I didn’t really have any idea of how bad it could be.
    It was the strangest day – the neighbourhood was planting trees for all the babies born over the last two years, and my son was just past two, so we were in on the whole thing. Each family (with gran and grandpas, the lot) dug their patch, planted their tree, but I was upstairs in the flat crying, wondering what was going to happen, thinking about life and death and planting things. So I missed all the photographs with my lad and the family. My DH hadn’t even hugged me when I told him I’d started bleeding – he’s generally pretty supportive, but I just don’t think he knew what to do.
    I ended up going down there for the post-planting lunch, face washed, stocked up with my mooncup and serious sanitary towels. And then I just went into an act, chatting with everyone, smiling and laughing. My sister-in-law asked me if I was ok, she said I looked a bit pale, so I told her it had started. The entire family had known about the whole malarkey, so it had just been a matter of time.
    I bled heavily for maybe three days, with not-too-bad cramping, then it began to peter out and had finished by the end of the week. I felt I had really got away very lightly with the whole thing. I went for an ultrasound to check that I was clear. I felt physically and emotionally fine for a few days, and then went into slight meltdown. I found this site a couple of weeks later, and was so relieved.

    WAITING. Seven months later, I’m now waiting for my second m/c to start – I had an ultrasound three days ago at just over 8 weeks, and my embryo had stopped developing shortly after the last scan two weeks before. I’ve been so upset and distraught, exhausted by all the acting at work and with neighbours and family (they know thing about this pregnancy). Physically I feel fine, despite still having mild nausea and slightly sore breasts – cruel tricks. I don’t want to have a DNC, I want my body to do its thing, but I’ve realised that this could take a few weeks, which I dread. I’m concerned about an operation resulting in a much longer wait to get my cycle back – I have to check this out.
    I’ve just been to the dentist, a new one – I’ve got a tooth that really needs to be pulled, but she can’t do this before seeing it on an X-ray. I just couldn’t let her do it! I felt a fool, but I told her I might be pregnant so she could give alternative treatment. I know may baby has died, I know there’s no chance, but I just couldn’t lie there and let someone zap its poor little body with nasty things. Nor have I been able to take serious painkillers for my tooth, ‘just in case’. Just in case what? I’m not pregnant any more.
    One of the few people who I’ve spoken to about losing this baby is my sister – last night on the phone she asked me how it feels to ‘have that inside you’. I felt quite offended – it’s not a ‘that’, it’s my embryo. All I could say is that it doesn’t feel like I have a dead baby in me, it feels part of me, despite not being alive. I want to get the bleeding over with, to move on physically – but I will also be torn apart again when this bean finally leaves me. How do you explain that? Maybe you don’t have to.

    What will be very, very hard is being with my TWO pregnant sisters-in-law, both carrying their healthy babies, and me there with my womb-tomb. At some moments I can rationalise this, see clearly how life and death are so interwoven, how these things can happen to any of us. But right now there are more moments of dread and wretchedness at having to go through this whole thing again. Sh*t.

    With love,

  13. Me again – just wanted to add a bit to my first m/c story, about the tree-planting day. My son’s name is Kimetz, it’s Basque for ‘new leaf’/ ‘new shoot’ – it felt such a strange, beautiful and incredibly painful moment to not be able to go down to the park and celebrate the life of my first child by planting a new shoot, because my second child was literally slipping away from me. I guess that’s why I just decided to get out there and pretend, for all of us.
    That’s one of those life/death interwoven moments that are easier to ponder on long after the event.

  14. I had a miscarriage three weeks ago. I have two lovely beautiful healthy kids, but I grieve this lost baby like I have none. My heart hurts so much and I find myself shutting down. I had to go to a party tonight and a friend said to me you don’t really want anymore children do you? She didn’t know I’d just m/c, it was a truly awkward moment. I looked at her and said actually I just had a miscarriage and no I wasn’t planning on having anymore children but I’m so sad that I lost this one. She hugged me and then said she’d had a miscarriage when she was younger too. I am constantly surprised at the number of women who’ve had them. Of course, my night was pretty much over and I quickly left the party rather than start crying and ruin everyone else’s fun. Then I found this blog and I’m so glad. Thank you for writing your experiences.

  15. This is going to sound strange, but I’m so glad I found this site. I’m currently going through my second miscarriage.
    I have one healthy 15 year old son. A year an a half ago I discovered I was pregnant and we were estatic. But when they drew my blood, the HCG levels were low. I’m sure you all know what comes next, every other day blood draws only to be finally told it’s a “chemical pregnancy” Does anyone else despise that term like I do. It lessens the reality of it. I WAS pregnant.
    Anyway, that M/C was easy – not emotionally but physically. Heavy AF bleeding, a few small clots and was over within a week.

    This time I am almost 11 weeks by my dates. At 8wks 4days, I went for my first ultrasound. They measured my baby at 6wks 3days, and didn’t see a heartbeat. I worried, but tried to stay positive, as I probably ovulated late, and you can’t ALWAYS see the HB that early. Had the bloodwork to check the levels. I went from 35,000 on the first test to 39,000 on the second. The doc said that because it wasn’t dropping, it wasn’t a definite MC, but she was concerned that it didn’t double.

    My second U/S was Tuesday the 21st. My baby has shown no growth, so we know for certain now that it’s over. The doctor gave me three options.
    1- Schedule a D&C
    2- Wait until I start bleeding then come in for the D&C
    3- Let things occur naturaly

    I’m really confused and don’t know what to do. I can’t mentally wrap my mind around having the D&C. I know the baby is gone, but I feel like having a surgical procedure to remove it is wrong. But then I’ve heard horror stories about people that have gone the natural route. My DH and my mom (who is an ER nurse) feel that medically, it would be better to have the procedure. That it would be less painful (physically) and would help me emotionally because it would be over. No more waiting.

    My emotions ARE all over the place. One minute I’m fine, the next I’m bawling my eyes out. Today is Thanksgiving. We’re supposed to go to family’s house for dinner, and part of me doesn’t want to. I’m afraid I’m going to get all emotional while were there. I’m thinking that maybe it would be better to just make the appointment and “get it over with” But for now it’s a battle with my mind and my emotions. The only decision I’ve made is that I’m going to wait until Monday to decide. I AM leaning towards the D&C, but I can’t do it until I’m 100% sure.

    Thanks for giving me a place to ramble, and for everyone who has gone through this, I’m sorry for your losses.

Comments are closed.