Would you believe it that as a woman, I was clueless about what my body could do. Not only was I clueless but I was under educated on periods, contraception, sex in general, how to make a baby, and all of the issues that women may experience throughout their teenage years and adult life. For example, my severe periods were never taken seriously. I didn’t know that women ovulate and that’s really how you make a baby. I didn’t know how common miscarriage was, until I started trying to conceive. I didn’t realize how common it was to be diagnosed with endometriosis, PCOS, infertility, male factor infertility, etc. I just didn’t know these things and maybe it was up to me to figure it out but as a woman, in a world filled with women, I’m upset that no one educated me on my own body.
With that being said, the purpose of this blog post is to talk about what I didn’t know about miscarriage until I had one. I’m writing this in hopes that it will educate other women so they can be more prepared going into a situation rather it be in their personal life or someone they know. Before we went through our loss, I tried so hard to find out what I could expect from miscarriage. No one really told me the truth. What I heard the most is “it’s like a heavy period” and that I would need a day off work and pads. Ladies, ladies, ladies, I am here to tell you the truth. It’s not like a heavy period. It’s honestly nothing like a heavy period, at least my experience and I miscarried around eight weeks. I get that everyone might experience different things but so much happened to me during and after my loss that I wasn’t prepared for. I’m here to prepare you, per usual. If you haven’t read my blog post about what miscarriage is really like, i’d read that one first! But i’m warning you - there are a ton of triggers, trigger warning, and miscarriage is talked about in detail. Please do not read if you feel that it will trigger you.
Trigger Warning: Pregnancy loss is heavily discussed from this point on in this blog post.
If you believe that you may be experiencing a miscarriage or have been told by your doctor that you have had a missed miscarriage and are weighing your options, please read these blog posts: (trigger warning, very graphic detail)
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT MISCARRIAGE UNTIL I HAD ONE
I didn't know that often times you start spotting for days or weeks before the actual miscarriage takes place but that it’s also possible to start miscarrying at home with heavy blood. Every miscarriage is different! I believe that most missed miscarriages start with spotting but I could be wrong.
(HEAVY TRIGGER WARNING) I didn’t know that the gestational sac would come out intact. In my head, I assumed that a miscarriage was just a bunch of blood clots especially that early in pregnancy. I was luckily told this information by my doctor earlier in the day that we miscarried at home and i’m thankful that he warned me because the sight of that sac would have frightened me much more had I not been prepared.
On top of not knowing that the sac would be in tact, I also didn’t know that you pass two sacs in a miscarriage. Again, my doctor did tell me this. He explained it to me that one sac is the gestational sac with the actual embryo/baby and the other is the placenta. Our miscarriage was odd because our baby never had a heartbeat (that we saw) but my gestational sac and placenta grew as if I were still very pregnant.
And to follow my last point, I didn’t know that your pregnancy can still in a way grow even if you aren’t pregnant. In my case, our baby was gone but my gestational sac kept growing and was measuring at 9 weeks (where I should have been) but our baby was measuring at about 6.5 weeks and we never saw the heartbeat. The reason for that growth was from the pregnancy hormones that the placenta was feeding my body. It was all very neat to learn but it made my miscarriage harder because I miscarried the size of 9 weeks instead of where we were measuring at 6.5 weeks.
I didn’t know that a miscarriage can last hours, even after you pass both sacs.
I didn’t know that the pain during a miscarriage can be so intense that you can get sick (in one of two ways).
I didn’t know that even after the worst of the miscarriage, you can bleed for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I bled for two weeks after my miscarriage.
I didn’t know that I would be as sore as I was after the miscarriage. Of course looking back, it makes sense but I thought that it would just be a heavy period because that’s what a lot of people told me and I’m not usually sore after a period. For about 3-5 days after the miscarriage, I was physically sore and my hips, thighs, and legs felt like jello for awhile. I did a lot of couch resting for the days after our loss.
I didn't know that pregnancy hormones hangs around your body for weeks after your loss. It took me 4 weeks to get my HCG levels to 1 (and that’s when my cycle started)
If your doctor prepared you for this, awesome! I think in our case, I just wasn’t thinking about what to ask because I didn’t think it was happening that soon. Plus, we had arranged to have a D & E two days later because my doctor saw no signs that I was physically miscarrying. I think had I planned to do it at home, I would have asked more questions and been more prepared.
If you’ve experienced a loss, what was something that isn’t on this list, that you didn’t know prior to experiencing it?