I was presented with three options and each one left me childless. This is the truth about miscarriage.
I previously shared my miscarriage story – but honestly, that post was for me.
I want this post to be for you (any woman who is unfortunate enough to know what it is to experience pregnancy loss).
In this post, you will learn about the physical, financial, and emotional cost of miscarriage, or the loss of a child before the 2oth week of pregnancy, as I experienced it.
LEARNING ABOUT MY MISCARRIAGE
I found out I was miscarrying at my 10-week prenatal appointment via ultrasound (missed miscarriage).
Minutes after learning that the baby I was carrying didn’t have a heartbeat, I was presented with three options to complete the miscarriage:
- Natural Completion – This option is basically doing nothing and allowing my body to complete the miscarriage naturally.
- Drug/Pill- There are drugs like Misoprostol (used for cervical ripening, dilation, and contractions) that help end a pregnancy.
- Dilation and curettage or D&C – An outpatient surgery where the baby in the uterus is manually removed.
As I sat in silence listening to the doctor explain my options, I felt awful and frustrated.
I was presented with three choices and each one left me childless.
I wasn’t asked or forced to make a decision at that Wednesday appointment. In fact, I was scheduled for another ultrasound appointment that following Monday.
I didn’t need it.
Three days after my appointment (Saturday), I started bleeding. The miscarriage was going to complete naturally, with or without my say-so.
Photo Credit: S O C I A L . C U T Edited by: Tiffany
HAVING THE MISCARRIAGE
First, the miscarriage bleeding was period-like flow, then it got a bit heavier, and then I started noticing a few large (quarter-size) clumps of tissue.
Along with the blood flow, I experienced mild contractions. I call them mild because in comparison to the contractions I experienced giving birth to my first-born with no pain medication – these were mild.
I used a microwavable heat pack to ease the tension and because I had read a few posts about miscarriage and bleeding from other women, I bought two packs of adult diapers in anticipation of heavy non-stop flow.
Thankfully, I didn’t experience the flow I had read about and I didn’t need the adult diapers. I wore them during the nights ‘just in case’ but I never soaked through one.
The heavier bleeding lasted a few days and the light bleeding continued for approximately six days.
|Lesson: We should be extremely thankful to every mama who is brave enough to share her miscarriage story; however, we each experience miscarriage symptoms and bleeding differently. You may have light bleeding or you could have heavy bleeding. There are several factors involved, including how far you made it in your pregnancy.|
Hormones and Getting Period Back After Miscarriage
After the miscarriage completed and the blood had stopped, I continued to visit my prenatal provider for blood checks to confirm the quant of the pregnancy hormones were declining.
This is important to ensure that no leftover pregnancy tissues remain in the uterus and the pregnancy hormones disappear.
I went to about three of these appointments and I was also still taking at-home pregnancy tests sporadically. They mostly read positive but after my first negative pregnancy test, I canceled my subsequent lab appointment.
That was it. I was pregnant and then I wasn’t.
Although I wasn’t eager to get my period back, it would indicate things in my body were normalizing. I read sources that mention it takes many women 4-6 weeks to get a period back after a miscarriage. Many women who have shared personal accounts report that it took them much longer to get their periods back. It took me approximately 7 weeks.
Below is an outline of my miscarriage timeline.
- Day 1 Learned of miscarriage from the provider via ultrasound
- Day 3 Began bleeding (start of natural completion miscarriage)
- Day 12 Stopped bleeding
- Continued prenatal care for pregnancy hormone monitoring
- Started period back at approximately 7 weeks after miscarriage
Honestly, getting through the physical part of miscarriage is the easy part. What I wasn’t prepared for were the bills and the emotions of it all.
THE FINANCIAL COST OF MISCARRIAGE
My husband and I are planners. When we learned we were pregnant again, we started putting together a plan for how we would manage the pregnancy and birth expenses. I even planned to do a post similar to a post I wrote sharing each expense involved with having my daughter – with and without insurance.
It feels unfair that the expenses we incurred, in this case, weren’t to bring life into the world.
Paying these expenses were bitter with no sweet; however, I’m thankful that we had insurance to make the expenses manageable.
|Lesson: US healthcare costs are consistently high no matter your experience (pregnancy or miscarriage). I’d recommed having the best quality care you can afford.|
THE EMOTIONAL DEVASTATION OF PREGNANCY LOSS
I began this post with the physical pain of miscarriage and the financial inconvenience of pregnancy loss because dealing with these things go away.
We stop bleeding. The bills stop coming.
What doesn’t go away is the emotional devastation that follows losing a child.
Hearing that the baby I was still carrying inside me had no heartbeat was a sucker punch to my soul. I desperately wanted my prenatal care providers to be wrong. But…they weren’t.
I desperately wanted my prenatal care providers to be wrong about my baby’s non-existent heartbeat.
I had dreams for my unborn child, I had already committed to my new family of four. Then, it all vanished. My baby was gone. A piece of my heart was gone.
Some may wonder how we can love an unborn child as much as we do and I can’t explain it. We just do.
|Lesson: It doesn’t matter where you were in your pregnancy when you experienced your loss… it matters. Never let anyone belittle your feeling about your pregnancy loss. If you were pregnant – you deserve to mourn and heal – like any other mother!|
Healing After Miscarriage
I’m not sure if moms who lose their children ever heal. I think we learn to cope.
Over time, we learn to soothe our heartbreaks more efficiently than we did the day before.
- In the days after my miscarriage, I cried.
- In the weeks after my miscarriage, I cried.
- Occasionally, I still cry.
Mostly, my tears are reserved to small and empty spaces when I’m alone and occasionally they slide down my cheeks involuntarily in the darkness of the night. I don’t like to cry in front of my daughter – she wouldn’t understand.
The tears may come for you too. Just know, there are other ways to cope after a loss.
Things To Help You Cope After Pregnancy Loss
1. Know you aren’t alone.
2. Feel your emotions, control your actions.
3. Practice self-love.
4. Reach out for support from friends and family.
5. Get a therapist if necessary.
6. Don’t feel rushed to finish grieving.
7. Admit to not being OK.
8. Let your partner in emotionally (you both experienced a loss).
9. Talk about your miscarriage (when you feel ready).
10. Join an online community.
Getting Pregnant Again After Miscarriage
I was surprised to learn that after a miscarriage many women experience increased fertility. My doctor personally wanted to see a quant of zero (no hormones) from the pregnancy loss before suggesting that my husband and I try again. Other than that, we were given the go ahead.
Although I still see my family growing, we are taking our time getting pregnant again.
In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to help first-time moms and moms who have experienced pregnancy loss.
Most recently… that is this post and coming soon is a course!!
I created a pregnancy course titled “Pregnant & Unafraid” that will launch at the end of the summer. I’m using my personal experience (two pregnancies) and education (here) to build an actionable program that helps women get informed about pregnancy and manage common fears effectively.
If you plan to try again, I wish you a healthy pregnancy that leads to your rainbow! Perhaps, I’ll see you in my course!
I hope this information helps you!
Mama. If you are still reading this, thank you. This was long. But I truly want you to know that miscarriage doesn’t need to be a dirty little secret. Our experiences can help serve others.