So I’ve been having some post-miscarriage physical problems for a few weeks and finally went to the doc today. Apparently all is well, but it has been causing me a lot of anxiety. I have been through as much emotional trauma trying to figure out what is going on with me physically over the last 6 weeks as I have in being sad about the child I lost. It’s exhausting.
And no one warns you about it. No-one ever tells you (my OBGYN or her nurses included) that your body is thrown completely out of whack by a miscarriage. You can ask someone who has miscarried, but she’ll tell you what happened to her. Your issues probably aren’t going to be the same as her issues. And if you’re like me, your doc is useless, not proactively helpful. You can go to Google to find answers, reading other womens’ stories of the strange physical things that happened to them post-miscarriage, but all of a sudden you diagnose yourself with about 20 different things — none of them helping you to remain calm in the midst of your ridiculously plummeting and shifting hormones, and most likely, none of them are what’s actually happening to you.
Did I mention that its been almost 6 weeks since my miscarriage, and I still haven’t seen or heard from my OB (who’s been my personal GYN for 3 years now)? No call to see if I’m doing okay, no personal attention whatsoever. Am I crazy to think that at least getting a call from your OB would be standard practice? I get that I miscarried over the weekend, in the ER. They sent me on my way, and told me to follow up with my OB. I did. I wanted to get in with my OB fairly quickly, that Monday, to make sure I was okay physically and no tissue was left behind, since I passed the placenta that Sunday at home, so I called right away. I saw a midwife at that office visit. I understand not being able to squeeze me in with my OB the same day. She’s very busy. But I still haven’t seen or heard from her. And the only reason I went to the doc today (saw a midwife again) was because I was having problems — not because they do any 4 or 6 week follow up appointment after a miscarriage. I called them. Apparently in this office, you’re on your own.
And ER docs aren’t any better. The ER didn’t warn me about passing the placenta — all I got was “there was nothing on the ultrasound” and didn’t say anything about what to expect from that point on. And I was clueless and didn’t realize there might be more. They just prescribed me Vicodin — and I was too foggy to remember to get it from them before I left. Oh and they prescribed me something for nausea too, saying something about me being pregnant and if I ever have any problem with nausea that I can take those. I told them I never had problems with nausea while I was pregnant. But they seemed to think that I might need it because I was pregnant, not acknowledging that I wouldn’t anymore because of what just happened. Seriously. I’m not making this up.
So this is probably TMI, but for those reading who are having crazy symptoms after a miscarriage, you might find some comfort in this. No-one’s experience is the same, and yours is surely different, too. It’s true for emotional healing but also, as I am now discovering, just as true for physical healing. Sure, it generally takes a few weeks for your hCG levels to drop to zero (or below 5). Sure, you’ll be bleeding or spotting for a few weeks. Sure, you’ll ache and have mood swings. But those are all vague descriptions of what happens in general. Everyone is different, and I am proof of that.
Okay, to the TMI part — for the first two weeks after my miscarriage I felt fine. A little achy “period” pain off and on, but for the most part physically okay. In the third week I developed bladder inflammation, but I didn’t know that’s what it was at first. It was off and on for about two weeks, and after the first week of it I got checked for a bladder infection, thinking that had to be it. Wrong. Negative for infection. But it wasn’t just bladder spasms, which I have sometimes. It was some burning in my bladder and at the opening of my urethra, as well as urges–so I knew there was something going on. No fever or cramps, so I didn’t think it was a uterine infection or anything from the miscarriage. I was at a loss. Then, I noticed it got worse when I had coffee, alcohol, coke, and other acidic things, and so I began to lay low on those types of things. Within the next week it finally got better, and now it’s been almost two weeks since it’s healed. (I will say the first time we had sex it came back a little, then went away within a few hours. It’s like we jarred it while it was trying to heal — and this was at least a week after it had been feeling completely better.)
During that time, I also got an irritation down there. Nothing I could see, or even feel that much (just a slight sting every now and then), but it was there. Enough to think, “What the heck is going on with me?” I knew it wasn’t yeast (I used to have bad problems with that) or anything else I could think of (I’ve been tested for stuff and it was all negative, plus I’ve been married for a couple years–and with him for five years–and we’re flat-out monogamous). It was a little bump under the skin you can’t even see, and an irritation to the skin right around it. No itching, burning, or swelling, though, and it’s not insanely red or anything and there’s no weird discharge. It has been there for over 2 weeks now and isn’t getting worse, but isn’t subsiding, either. So today I finally went to the doc. The midwife took a look and said it didn’t look like anything serious or anything I should be concerned about. I told her about everything that’s gone on with me, and she said it sounded like my body is just still trying to heal. All of that worry for just realizing that yes, 6 weeks later, I’m still physically healing. In that time, I’ve had these weird, not-at-all-by-the-book physical ailments that I can’t seem to find another occurrence of in other post-miscarriage stories or threads via Google.
I don’t understand women who get pregnant 2 weeks after a miscarriage. It can’t be good for you. And who wants to be touched? I’m just now starting to want intimacy, and I was honestly scared to do anything even this week. Luckily, it wasn’t painful.
About when people stop bleeding, that varies too. I passed the placenta completely, at home, with not too much pain thank goodness–just some light cramping. The next 4-5 days I had what seemed like a light to regular period. Then it went to brown spotting — and I spotted continuously until now (so, for 5 weeks). It took 4 weeks for my hCG to drop below ‘5’ (I had to have blood tests once a week until it hit that range). Then, less than 2 weeks later after my last blood test (4 days ago) I started bleeding like a regular period, and I thought that was because it was right after we had sex for the first time in weeks. But it kept coming and today the midwife said it looked like my period to her. So I guess that’s some good news — my hormones must finally be evening out and my cycle is getting back to business as usual… 6. weeks. later.
That’s enough of the TMI, I just wanted to share what happened to me in case it helps anyone else out there who is baffled by what’s physically happening to her after miscarriage. You want to be “back to normal” so bad but your body just won’t let you get there. Let it have it’s time. You can’t rush it, anyway.
They told us to wait 2-3 cycles to try to get pregnant again, and at the time I didn’t want to think of it. I was still so sad over losing my baby, I didn’t want to think of attaching myself to another one just yet. (I was also silently angry at anyone who hovered around the topic of trying again, because they didn’t understand that it wasn’t the pregnancy I missed, but my baby.) Then over the last few weeks I thought, well maybe after 1 cycle we should be fine. But honestly, now, I’d rather not rush it. Yes, I want to be pregnant again. Yes, we want a child. But I can wait another month. Apparently my body isn’t ready yet — and honestly after all of this emotional trauma and hormone fluctuation, I need another month to breathe before we start all of this again. J probably does too. Bless his heart, he’s had to put up with not only my crazy hormones but also my anxiety and physical issues for the past 6 weeks!
I’m so ready to be a mom. I already feel like one. And when the day comes and we’re ready to try again (hopefully next month), I will be glad I didn’t rush myself physically. And for what it’s worth, it’s hard to think about moving on to another child so quickly. I still love this one.