What To Expect From An Early Miscarriage

What To Expect From An Early Miscarriage Katrina Over 30s UK blogger talking about parenting, autism, mental health, books and coeliac disease.

What Are The First Signs Of A Miscarriage?

For me the first sign that I was miscarrying was bleeding. It wasn't gushing from me like you see on television and I wasn't in any pain. I know that bleeding is common throughout early pregnancy and so I was determined not to panic until I had been told it was bad news.

My partner had been at work so i'd left a message explaining that I had started to bleed, I was with my best friend when the bleeding had started so I had some support straight from the off. It sounds stupid but I hadn't thought to change my underwear or put a sanitary pad on to measure the amount I was bleeding. Thankfully my friend took charge and said to ring 111 to ask their advice. They told me to see a gp within two hours. My friend took me to my mums and we all just sat there waiting for my appointment time to roll around. I didn't cry until my partner came to my mums after work. As soon as I saw him there was a rush of emotion, I'm not sure what it was- I felt pain that he was suffering, that I was somehow responsible for the sadness and worry he was feeling. I'd already started to blame myself.

The advice from 111 had been to keep what I had passed. . As the world continued around us in the gps waiting room, I clutched a carrier bag of bloody tissue. It felt like an out of body experience, watching people coming and going, none of them knowing what I was holding. It was the most surreal moment of my life.

What To Expect From A GP Appointment When You Are Pregnant and Bleeding.

I saw a lovely female gp who was very kind and reassuring. She offered me an internal exam to determine whether my cervix was closed. It was, which was a positive sign. She telephoned the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) to book me in for an ultrasound and gave me a blood test form to check whether my HCG levels were rising.

My Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit Experince

I began bleeding on the Monday, I couldn't get an appointment for an ultrasound until the Wednesday. It was an agonising wait, especially as I continued to bleed. At this point I still hadn't experienced any pain and I interpreted that as a positive sign that our baby was going to be okay.

My HCG levels had been measured on Tuesday and they looked healthy and were at a level that indicated pregnancy. Based on this we had a small flutter of excitement that the ultrasound may show us our baby. Sadly that wasn't the case.

Ultrasounds In Early Pregnancy

The sonographer struggled to see anything clearly via an external ultrasound. This was due to my uterus being filled with blood. I needed an internal ultrasound to determine what was happening but even then it was unclear exactly what was happening (click to find out about different types of ultrasounds).  As she described what she could or rather couldn't see I began to cry and my legs began to shake uncontrollably. It was an indescribable emotional pain.

Following the initial ultrasound myself and my partner were taken to a counselling room. We sat for a while. We cried. We questioned 'why us?', we even thought that maybe everything would still turn out alright. We were given plenty of information on coping with miscarriage. The team at the EPAU were fantastically empathetic and informative. They explained that my bloods were to be taken again the following day and I would receive a phone call with the results. If my HCG levels had doubled then there was hope, if they had dropped then a miscarriage was inevitable.

Confirmation of miscarriage

I received a phone call on the Friday afternoon confirming that my HCG levels had dropped and that I was in the process of losing my baby. At this point I had been bleeding consistently for five days but I had yet to experience any pain or extreme blood loss. This began the following day. It was mid-morning on the Saturday. It began with what felt like strong period pains. The bleeding got worse and I started to pass what was easily identifiable as pregnancy tissue and clots of varying sizes. I doubt that I will ever forget the feeling of passing what would have been my baby. I held my partners hand every time I went to the toilet. I couldn't deal with this alone. The combination of pain and bleeding continued for at least a week. In total my miscarriage experience lasted about 3 weeks. It certainly wasn't the painful gush of blood and it's over that the media had made me believe it would be.

I had a follow up ultrasound to confirm that the miscarriage was complete and that my uterus was empty of all pregnancy products. This was heartbreaking but also a relief and offered much needed closure after a long few weeks. I was relieved that I wouldn't need any medical intervention. Now the only thing left to deal with was the emotional aftermath. I am still dealing with it and suspect I will be for my entire life. I know how old that baby would have been. I still imagine what their face would be like. I still cry for the baby I lost but one thing I don't do is blame myself. I got through my miscarriage by telling myself that it was my body's way of protecting that baby. I believe that for some reason that baby would have suffered too much if it had been born. I believe I was being a good mother to that baby by letting it go and protecting it from suffering. That's how I survived without my mental health deteriorating or my relationship crumbling. I told myself I was being a good mother. I was suffering so my baby didn't have to.

I sincerely hope that you've read this post out of curiosity rather than necessity but if you are experiencing something similar i've written a post offering some advice on how to practically prepare for miscarriage. though I do hope you never need to read it.

 Thanks For Reading 

Katrina Fox UK based parenting blogger. Writing about Coeliac / celiac disease, Aspergers Syndrome and Autism, Pregnancy, Parenting and both Childrens and Adults Books

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