Miscarriage: What They Don’t Tell You

>> Monday, April 27, 2015

For those of you who read here mostly for food and fitness, I want you to know I’m nearing the end of wanting to write about my miscarriage. But I have had enough moments where I’ve had things happen or experienced something that I’ve wanted to share related to everything that happened exactly a month ago (I just know because I had blood work done this morning).

Regardless: I’m moving forward, or at least trying to.

Like I said, in the wake of my D&C, I’ve had some things happen. Or just been surprised, etc. Things I didn’t except. Things that were good . . . and others that weren’t. I wanted to share them here for anyone else who might be going through something similar. (And if you are, I’m so sorry for your loss.)

Your Body Does Its Own Thing

After my D&C, I had a week of night sweats very much like after I gave birth to Ada. It’s the hormones. I have even started losing my hair like after I gave birth to Ada. So weird. From everything I’ve read, women react differently to miscarriage and medical intervention. I only made it to around 10 weeks, but some even have their milk come in and other physical reactions as if the baby was born and in their arms. It adds insult to injury, but it’s something I totally didn’t know about until after the fact.

There Will Be Blood

As far as bleeding after a D&C, I was told I should expect pretty much nothing heavy. Maybe a regular period, but more likely not. I won’t go into details, but I had several days of crazy bleeding and more because part of the placenta wasn’t taken out during my procedure, so my body had to pass on its own. So, if you’re bleeding heavily or something is different, call your doctor. Many times, it’s completely normal (even a LOT of blood, clots, etc.) and you’ll get a prescription for something to make your uterus contract and get out whatever needs to happen to “complete” the miscarriage. I bled for three weeks after the D&C.

Your Period Might Take a While

I’m a full month out from the procedure, and I’m pretty sure my cycle isn’t returning anytime soon. The “normal” timeframe I was given by my doctor was around 4-6 weeks after to get that first period. But after that, the cycle might not be like clockwork. It might be heavier or lighter. It might be erratic, etc. Basically, except the unexpected. Usually your body will need to go under 5 mIU/IL of HCG to ovulate (or initiate a period otherwise). If you were up in the tens of thousands (or more), this can take time. Usually HCG levels drop by around half every 48 hours. But this can range due to a number of factors.

People Might Not Know What To Say

I’ve been fortunate to have a ton of supportive friends and family by my side. That being said, even the most supportive and amazing person might just not know what to say about stuff. I mean, it’s heavy. For example, Ada keeps telling my friends that her mommy is having a baby. My friends know the whole story. And this is hard to hear . . . but it’s hard for my friends to know what to say. It becomes this awkward moment. So, I’ve learned to just put it all out in the open and explain that I’m OK. That it’s OK to talk about it. That -- yes -- what Ada said is awkward for me too, etc.

Emotions Will Strike

I’ll have several days when I feel like I’m emotionally in a great place. But then something truly random will set me off. The other day I took Ada to Toys ‘R Us to get some art supplies. She needed to use the bathroom. And BAM. There we were in the middle of the crib section (which is where the bathroom is), surrounded by pregnant women, cribs, and tiny baby things. Another time, I was getting something out of the spare room closet and I had forgotten that I stashed these little baby booties back there. They fell on the ground, I had to pick them up, and I had a good cry. It’s OK to have this lurking below the surface for a while, it’s grief and it takes time. (I’m telling myself this, too.)

Your Partner Will Deal In His/Her Own Way

Stephen hasn’t expressed his emotions as freely as I have. But a couple weeks after the miscarriage, he came home and said that something he teaches each year completely caught him off guard that day. It was Hemingway’s six-word short story: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Yeah. When he told me, I about lost it. So, even if your partner isn’t crying as much as you are or talking about what happened, he or she is still coping in one way or another.

// Thanks

And to those of you who have written me with positive feedback about these posts, thank you. Sometimes I don’t know if I’m crossing a line into beyond-TMI territory. (I mostly definitely do.) At the same time, there are so many times I’ve been helped by something I’ve read online -- so I want to add my experience to the mix. It’s a crazy life, and we live in this age where we can connect with others who’ve experienced the stuff we’re going through.

Missed miscarriage is not something I ever imagined being a part of my story, but with the help of friends and those special internet connections, it’s been a lot less scary and devastating.

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