There is a lot of information about miscarriages on the Internet. And a lot of misinformation, unfortunately. As I expect many women who are preparing to miscarry naturally do, I scoured the Web for any and all information that might be available.
If the Internet was to be believed, I could expect the worst pain of my life -- worse than real labor! -- in addition to vomiting and probably passing out unconscious on the bathroom floor.
What I think is probably true is that miscarriages are different for every woman. I'm certain a lot of it has to do with how far along the pregnancy was.
So what I'd like to do is explain, without reserve, the details of my own miscarriage in case there is a woman out there who is going through this same thing and is, perhaps, a little terrified by what she's read on the Internet.
Now for starters, I'm not going to leave out the dirty details that I feel lots of Internet miscarriers leave out. That is to say: I had diarrhea every day for 10 days before the miscarriage. This may not be normal, but this was my experience.
I'd been spotting off and on for almost two weeks before I started bleeding, like a period. The bleeding began four days before the miscarriage.
The evening before the miscarriage, I was feeling pretty good but there was definitely a tightening in my abdomen; some cramping that I could feel growing stronger. I went to bed around midnight.
I woke up at 3 a.m. with strong cramps. It felt like very strong period cramps. I knew this must be the beginning of the miscarriage, and I got up to go sit on the toilet. First there was more diarrhea - joy! About twenty minutes later, the first chunks of uterine lining slipped out.
Now, what I guess I hadn't anticipated was how that was going to feel. It felt larger than I expected. I didn't look at it; I just flushed it. And then I cried for a good ten minutes.
I'll interject here to say that while the cramps were painful, and the contractions did ramp up over the next three hours, at no point did I feel the absolute need to take the Vicodin my doctor had prescribed. This was not the worst pain of my life, and I am sure real labor will be worse. That being said, the embryo had died at 6 weeks, 4 days, so it was small.
So over the three hours of the main part of the miscarriage, I had contractions in waves. I would sit on the toilet, push out a chunk or two, get up, walk around, drink some water, lie down for a few minutes, and then repeat. The worst part of the whole thing was probably the back labor -- a deep ache in my lower back that was very uncomfortable.
*Note -- I think staying well hydrated during this process helps keep things moving.
I did finally take a look at what was coming out and I'm sorry if this grosses you out, but it looked like pieces of offal. Chicken liver and such.
At 6 a.m., I was too exhausted to continue. I was still cramping, but the cramps had leveled off to a level I thought I could probably sleep through. And sleep I did, until noon, getting up once to change my pad at 9 a.m.
Throughout that day I had some cramping, especially in the early evening, when it got so bad I did consider taking the Vicodin. Luckily, after about two hours it had stopped.
On Monday I was feeling physically pretty good. I still had some niggling aches in my lower back, but it wasn't constant. I decided I felt well enough to run some errands. About 30 seconds after I walked out of the house, I felt the amniotic sac slide out.
I am quite certain it was the amniotic sac because it was large -- about the size of my hand -- and grayish in some areas. Parts looked veined, if you can believe it. In all honesty the thing creeped me out so bad I could barely look at it. Another reason I'm quite sure this was the amniotic sac is that the cramps stopped right away. Everything I've read on the Internet has said the sac is the last to come out, and as soon as it does, the cramping stops.
I have an appointment this afternoon for an ultrasound. I fervently hope everything came out. I can't have gone through all that, only to then need a D&C.
Physically, I'm feeling decent. No more nausea, thank goodness. I do still feel a little fatigued, which is probably to be expected, and I've unfortunately developed pupps rash -- a rash pregnant women sometimes get after labor. It's quite itchy and annoying.
Emotionally I am relieved. I feel that now that this is hopefully behind me, I can move forward. Not just with trying to conceive again, but with other areas of my life. This experience has helped me reevaluate the way I've been living, and it's lighted a fire under me to be more ambitious.
As far as when we will try again, I don't think that emotionally I can do it right away. My current plan, barring any unforeseen change of events, is to wait until January to try again. I hope that by then I can get to a healthy place where I feel completely ready to embark on this journey once more.