“The Never Ending Miscarriage” — Something I Can Relate To

I stumbled onto this little gem on the Internet today. It echoed some thoughts that I’ve had over the past week, and because of that was just what I needed to hear. Sometimes you just need to know it happened to another woman the way it happened to you — or at least, that you’re not crazy for thinking something about yourself and trying to make sense of it, because she came to the same conclusion.

For what it’s worth, it is so refreshing to find someone who will share more about what happened to her physically after a miscarriage, rather than emotionally. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been so comforted reading that other women are as emotionally distraught as I over losing their baby — because of that I know that I have a right to still feel sad, to still talk about my child, to make a scrapbook if I want, to journal if I want, and so on. But I have really been looking (and looking and looking) for information as to what women who miscarry can expect physically, as I am now in that boat. So thank you to the author in XOJane for sharing your story, from all of us who are frantically Googling for information…and reassurance.

Speaking of, I stumbled on this article because I Googled “How long should your first period last after a miscarriage.” Since I’ve been bleeding for 6 weeks (mostly spotting), it’s hard to tell that I’m having a period. But it’s been heavier and redder over the last 10 days — yes, I said 10 days — and the midwife thought it was a period, so I’m going with that. By the way, did I mention I’m on day 10 of my period? Yeah, I’ve been bleeding for 6 weeks straight. I’m guessing because I was essentially 12 weeks along when I lost the baby. But who knows if that’s it. Anyway…

From XOJane.com, aptly titled “The Never Ending Miscarriage.” (You can say that again.):

I’ve spent the past month since my miscarriage poking around for information that would help me understand the science of what was happening to my body in normal-speak. Unsurprisingly, much of the writing around miscarriages seeks to avoid the “gross” realities of what happens to female bodies. That stuff lives in the comments section. But I’m not going to feel ashamed about what my body is doing. Instead, I’m going to write about it.

[…]

I took to the Internet and found the same discomforting advice everywhere: Your first period after a miscarriage could be different from your regular period in any number of ways. Lighter, heavier, longer, shorter. More painful, less painful. Shedding leftover pregnancy material or not. It was like reading the side effects of a cold medicine and learning that the likely ones are all cold-like symptoms.

So when I woke up on Sunday to a clean pad, and I only lightly spotted through Sunday and Monday, I figured I’d had a heavy, short period and was done. Next month would be regular and the miscarriage was behind me. Alas, nothing is ever that simple.

[…]

My body was in fact flushing out that extra-thick lining the OB had pointed to on the ultrasound, leftover from when my uterus thought it was going to grow a baby. This is likely all very normal. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier that, for the last 48 hours, it’s felt like I’m miscarrying all over again. Except more pain and blood this time.

Any illusion of having regained control over my body is gone. Maybe the larger lesson here -– and I’m not sure I’ll ever really learn this one because I’m nothing if not a control freak –- is that we never have any true control over the fragile inner workings of our bodies. We can make choices that might influence those inner workings, but a great deal of our health is just out of our hands. Especially when it comes to pregnancy, miscarriage and menstruation.

I do have a better understanding now of why the OB suggested waiting two cycles before considering getting pregnant again. It’s apparent that my body is still readjusting from the seven weeks of fetus-growing. And I have a different kind of respect for how much my body can and will handle. Even when my mind is reeling, my body does what it needs to do.

That said, I just really want this to be over. I want to put the miscarriage behind me, not to pretend it didn’t happen, but to know it’s done happening. I keep hoping that the next time I go to the bathroom, the bleeding will have stopped or slowed. Or at least the clots won’t appear. Or maybe could just the cramping ease up a bit?

I’m clinging to the knowledge that at the end of this period-from-hell my miscarriage really will be over. Because if there is anything left in there, trust me, it’s coming out now.

Our bodies are a wonderland. Or sometimes, a haunted house.

The parts that resonated with me the most:

  • “Your first period after a miscarriage could be different from your regular period in any number of ways. Lighter, heavier, longer, shorter. More painful, less painful. Shedding leftover pregnancy material or not. It was like reading the side effects of a cold medicine and learning that the likely ones are all cold-like symptoms.” Thank goodness she said this. I have been thinking I’m the exception, spotting for 5 weeks then having a light-ish period for another 10 days (like I said if you’re keeping track, that’s 6 weeks total, and as of today starting my 7th week). I’m hoping I finally. stop. bleeding. soon. LIKE NOW. But everyone is different. I’m just glad mine isn’t painful or heavy. The cold medicine part is hilarious, by the way.
  • “Alas, nothing is ever that simple.” I’m going to get this engraved on something. I’m not kidding.
  • “Any illusion of having regained control over my body is gone. Maybe the larger lesson here -– and I’m not sure I’ll ever really learn this one because I’m nothing if not a control freak –- is that we never have any true control over the fragile inner workings of our bodies.” ON. THE. NOSE.  J and I had a good, long talk about this a couple days ago, when I was just about to scream over what’s still going on with my body. He calmly reminded me that this isn’t something I can control, as much as I want to. It has to work itself out. And I know, after some prayer and reflection, that I have to give it completely to God and let Him handle it. Some things are just too big for me to do myself, to complex for me to fully wrap my head around. I still want to cry (and yes, scream) for lack of control and understanding sometimes, but at least I’ve been much more at peace about it over the last couple of days. And peace right now is worth it’s weight in gold. Seriously.
  • “I do have a better understanding now of why the OB suggested waiting two cycles before considering getting pregnant again.” Something I didn’t think I’d agree with shortly after my miscarriage. I figured one cycle was enough. Having given it some thought over the last 6 weeks (and being on my first cycle’s period now and not feeling physically or mentally ready yet), I now strongly feel that the last thing I want to do now is rush into another pregnancy before my body’s had a chance to fully heal and readjust.
  • “That said, I just really want this to be over. I want to put the miscarriage behind me, not to pretend it didn’t happen, but to know it’s done happening.” Uh, YES. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
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7 thoughts on ““The Never Ending Miscarriage” — Something I Can Relate To

  1. Hi 🙂

    I’ve had 2 miscarriages now. The first was “easy”, for want of a better word. I miscarried at 11 weeks, it was over in a couple of hours, the bleeding gone in a couple of weeks. Nothing major to report home.

    My second not so “easy”. I didn’t know I was pregnant, I woke with stomach pains, phoned in sick at work with what I described as “waves of pain”. Yep, that will be contractions! 3 hours later i started bleeding heavily, called Mr M and told him to come home ASAP and take me to hospital, suspected a miscarriage. The miscarriage had happened before he arrived, the pain subsided but I felt hot and dizzy. He rushed me to hospital, I’d lost 5 pints of blood and had to be admitted, attached to a drip for 24 hours.

    The pregnancy hormones didn’t leave my body for 7 weeks, I had to have my bloods taken every Monday. I couldn’t climb the stairs without getting a blinding headache, sometimes couldn’t sit up because of it. The bleeding subsided after a week or so then returned a fortnight later, even heavier and stayed a couple of weeks longer.

    Now it’s nearly 4 years later and every month when I get my period, it kicks the crap out of me and all I can do is sleep. I never had that before. We still don’t have any children, I don’t trust my body enough to risk it, that last time was enough for me.

    I hope you feel better soon xxx

    • MissMelvis, I’m so sorry for your losses. Not only the loss of your sweet babies but all the physical pain you’ve had to endure the past few years, and the loss of your (for lack of a better word) ‘hormonal’ health. I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep going, 4 years later, not feeling like yourself anymore physically (and no doubt emotionally) and I’m guessing still wanting a baby(?). I hope that things begin to turn around for you and that you feel better. ‘Feel better’ sounds so lame because it sounds too easy…but I hope you know what I mean. I truly hope you start to feel better. Will pray for you. Thanks for sharing your story… that’s why I started this blog, to hear from others.

      • Thank you for your reply and for your blog, it makes a refreshing change to read other people’s stories. It’s strange after almost 4 years, some days all I think about is what I’ve lost, that all I want is a baby, my babies. Other days, I feel blessed with what I have and sometimes even feel happy and content.

        I know I’m not the person I was, the optimist has gone and now I worry a lot more about everything. I don’t go out very often, I lost a lot of my confidence but these days I’m happier to stay home than I am to venture out and socialise. I’ve lost a lot of friends, cut contact with them when they gave birth which is a little mean on my part but my way of coping, I suppose.

        I guess what I’m trying to say is I do “feel better”, I couldn’t have felt much worse but mist days it gets better and some days it gets worse, kind of like 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I’m still further forward than I was, just not as far as I’d like to be xx

  2. This was helpful to read. I had a miscarriage three years ago and thought that heavy bleeding and pain and ER was a “normal” miscarriage. Then I got pregnant in March. When my new baby’s heart stopped, I thought the body would simply miscarry. It didn’t. It refused. To be brief: days of crazy, knowing it’s dead inside you until you beg the Dr for a D&C you never wanted in the first place, then a week of nightly hours of labor pain–the pain w/ no baby. Then spotting for weeks. Three weeks of little white bumps on my chest (“just hormones”) and breasts still tender, body still not realizing. Even the uterus continued to grow. It’s been one month now since the D&C and the hcg levels are still there. Nobody tells you it can go on and on and on. I, too, continue to go to the lab weekly to wait on the hcg levels to get down to the magical number of two, and it is hard to see all the pregnant women there, the fig tree in the yard popping out plump figs, fertility everywhere but in me. And as of today, a crazy torrential period. So, wow–we don’t have much control, do we? We can’t tell our bodies not to bleed away gallons and get rid of every ounce of iron in them, but all we can do is let it release. And try to do the same.

    • Kerbey, what a story. I’m so sorry for your loss, for your continuing symptoms, and for the incredible sadness you must have felt knowing your child was not alive inside you and having to carry him/her anyway. That is so sad…my heart breaks with you.

      No-one seems to understand what miscarriage really does to your body, and no-one really talks about it, not even doctors! That’s what frustrates me more than anything. OB’s act like you’re fine. I called mine the other day, after having bled now for 7 weeks, just to ask if there is anything I should do to move this healing along. She relayed the message through a nurse that I should “just watch it” — REALLY. As if I’m not already living in this (excuse my language) hell and watching it every minute of every day, hoping it will stop. SHE better watch it! LOL… anyway… my mom told me today of a girl she ran into that said it took her 7 months to physically heal after her miscarriage. Unbelievable. I wish you the best and I hope you start to really heal soon. Thanks for reading my blog and for sharing your story with me.

      • Thanks. I will “watch it” as well. My docs always say, “Let us know if it’s still like that in two weeks.” I just hope you’re not anemic after 7 wks of bleeding! Today I was told by someone that I can choose to get bitter or to get better, so I hope this is somehow growing my character–and perhaps we can share our stories w/ other women who face this hell as well.

  3. Pingback: 30 Day Book Challenge – Day 23 | Me, Bookshelf and I

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