Miscarriage

Ok, I know the picture isn’t all that appropriate, but this topic needed a good laugh before I start. So, I’m not morbid, just as an FYI.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to post about this or not. I have about 10 other posts written, but this one kept popping into my head. I think there is a lot people don’t know about miscarriage, and it isn’t understood enough.
Miscarriages in the medical community aren’t mourned. You are scraped, and prodded, and told your baby has no heart beat anymore. Sometimes they do a D & C and clean you out, and that is all that is left of your baby.
And I know ‘technically’ it isn’t a baby yet, and it isn’t a stillbirth because it occurs before the 20th week, so you don’t even get to bury or your mourn your loss. No one understands why you are so upset, since it isn’t really a baby yet, and they don’t understand why you have to grieve.
Miscarriage in the medical profession is referred to as “Spontaneous Abortion” or SAB. What a GREAT name…
It happens when a pregnancy ends on its own withing the first 20 weeks of gestation.
The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) says that anywhere from 10-25% of confirmed and clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. 50-75% of chemical pregnancies (lost shortly after implantation) end and women think that it is just their regular period.
These numbers both shock and amaze me. 50-75% of pregnancies aren’t recognized, but we still have babies born every 3 seconds. Considering how the odds are stacked against them, that is absolutely amazing to me!
Most miscarriages occur before 13 weeks gestation. It is a common thing to tell people that they shouldn’t announce their pregnancy before 13 weeks, but if they lose the baby, how will they have any support? They will be all alone in their grief, and no one will know why. I can understand only telling family and close friends, but you have to have someone besides you and your spouse if something happens.
The majority of miscarriages cannot be explained. It is said that something is wrong with the egg, so it is expelled on its own.
Other causes could be hormonal problems, infections, or maternal health issues, your lifestyle (smoking drinking, drug use, malnutrition, excessive caffeine, exposure to radiation/toxic substances), implantation does not occur properly, maternal age, and maternal trauma. Exercise and work do NOT factor into the causes of miscarriages. They can occur because you work too hard, but most time if you are going to miscarry, you could be on bedrest and still lose your baby.
The chances for miscarriage can range from 10-25% for healthy women in childbearing years. It doesn’t seem very high, but it happens everyday.
The increased risks for miscarriage are:
-Under age 35 is 15% chance
-35-45 yrs have 20-35% chance
-40 yrs is 50%
-Anyone that has a previous miscarriage has a 25% chance (slightly elevated from normal)
The odds are so terrifying if you are pregnant or TTC. Just the thought of losing your baby after you work so hard for it and get so excited breaks your heart. But, even with all this, people still have babies everyday.
The warning signs on miscarriage include:
-mild to severe back pain (worse than cramps)
-weight loss
-white/pink mucus
-true contractions (every 5-20 mins)
-brown or red bleeding with or without cramps
-tissue like clot with material passing
-sudden decrease in pregnancy signs
There are different types of miscarriage also.
Threatened Miscarriage: Some degree of early pregnancy uterine bleeding accompanied by cramping backache. The cervix remains closed. This bleeding is often the result of implantation.

Inevitable or Incomplete Miscarriage: Abdominal or back pain accompanied by bleeding with an open cervix. Miscarriage is inevitable when there is a dilation or effacement of the cervix and/or there is rupture of the membranes. Bleeding and cramps may persist if the miscarriage is not complete.
Complete Miscarriage: A completed miscarriage is when the embryo or products of conception have emptied out of the uterus. Bleeding should subside quickly, as should any pain or cramping. A completed miscarriage can be confirmed by an ultrasound or by having a surgical curettage performed.
Missed Miscarriage: Women can experience a miscarriage without knowing it. A missed miscarriage is when embryonic death has occurred but there is not any expulsion of the uterus. It is not known why this occurs. Signs of this would be a loss of pregnancy symptoms and the absence of fetal heart tones found on an ultrasound.
Recurrent Miscarriage (RM): Defined as 3 or more consecutive first trimester miscarriages. This can affect 1% of couples trying to conceive.
Blighted Ovum: Also called an anembryonic pregnancy. A fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins. Often there is a gestational sac with or without a yolk sac, but there is an absence of fetal growth.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A fertilized egg implants itself in places other than the uterus, most commonly the fallopian tube. Treatment is needed immediately to stop the development of the implanted egg. If not treated rapidly, this could end in serious maternal complications.
Molar Pregnancy: The result of a genetic error during the fertilization process that leads to growth of abnormal tissue within the uterus. Molar pregnancies rarely involve a developing embryo, but often entail the most common symptoms of pregnancy including a missed period, positive pregnancy test and severe nausea.
The treatment of a miscarriage is to prevent hemorrhaging and/or infection. Most pregnancies in the first trimester expell themselves. If not, a D & C is performed and everything is scraped away.
The prevention of miscarriage is a common myth most times. You can try to stay healthy and safe, but if the egg is incomplete or something is wrong, there is nothing you can do to stop it.
I think this is the 2nd most terrifying thing that can happen in pregnancy, second only to stillbirth. To have your baby taken away from you is absolutely terrifying.
My only problem with the medical system and their treatment of miscarriages is that before you lose 3 babies, they will not do research to find out why. Until you are classified as a “recurrent aborter”, you cannot have workups done to see if it is a fixable problem or if it is something that will always happen to you.
So, instead of having women only losing one baby, they have to lose 3 to find out if they have a problem. It is so wrong. One miscarriage is hard enough. Three would be unbearable.
BUT, miscarriage is NOT your fault!! It may feel that way. You go for weeks after pondering and wondering what you did before you lost your baby. Did I make my bath too hot? Did I eat or drink something that could have hurt it? Did I bump into something without knowing? It is one of the worst times of your grieving process.
My only suggestion (one that I have found works AMAZINGLY well) is to join a support group. It could just be your family or your close friends, or an online group, or a group that meets monthly or weekly. You need to be able to let out your grief with people that understand and have been there. You did nothing wrong, and it may take some time to realize it, but it is NOT your fault.
I know I blamed myself for a very long time. This last week, one of the women in my group announced she is pregnant and has her first u/s scheduled for next week to make sure everything is ok. For the first time since I lost my first baby, I was truly happy for her. It has been a year this month since I lost my first, and I was so excited to be happy again. I never thought the day would come.
So, for anyone out there that is TTC, or has had a miscarriage, or is having a healthy pregnancy, just know that no matter what you have or haven’t had, if it ever happens to you, know that it does get better. The ache slowly lessens and you are able to smile again. And you are able to be around pregnant people again. The hole will always be there, but it doesn’t have to run your life. You can truly be happy again, whether or not you have a successful pregnancy and family.
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3 Responses

  1. Tough topic, but you did a great job sharing it. I am sure it was tough to do. I appreciated it.

  2. This is a powerful post. I personally do not think miscarriage is talked about enough. I was completely devistated and it took me a long time before I could talk about my twins without crying. I now wear a memory necklace so when people ask me about it I can tell that part of my story and spread the word that grief over a m/c is normal.

  3. You did such an amazing job on this topic, it isn’t easy to write about, I’ve tried, and I’ve never experienced a confirmed loss.

    Thank you

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