It happens all too often.
You’re going for a regular ultrasound check up in your first or second trimester, and you find out that your baby has stopped growing.
Your world shatters in less than a moment.
Your life slams on the brakes.
Your heart will never be the same.
And it’s just the beginning.
Not only have you just found out that you have lost your child, but you also have to figure out the most upsetting thing in the world: how you’re going to get it out of you.
Everyone seems to gloss over that, and I’m not sure why.
Even if you miscarry so early that you think you are just experiencing a heavy period, it still doesn’t change the fact that you are losing your baby.
When you have a missed miscarriage—or your body takes longer to go into action when your baby has stopped developing—not only is your mind reeling in a kamikaze cocktail of hormones, shock, and grief, but you have to wrap it around three different medical options, pretty much right away.
Recently, a friend of mine shared her own sad news with me and asked if I knew which one to pick. It made me realize that aside from the simple descriptions online, there is virtually no emotional insight offered to women in this brutal position. Here's what I shared with her:
Figuring out how to miscarry is a weirdly personal thing.
If you need to/want to go through it naturally and want to wait, because it will be the best for you in terms of emotional closure, then that's the right option.
If you want to have an idea of when and how things are going to move along, the Misoprostol is helpful. You will still be going through it naturally, however.
If you need to have it over with, then go for the D&C.
You don't need to be a hero. There is no morally correct way to go through a miscarriage.
I know that sounds weird, but I think that sometimes we feel that we should or shouldn't do something, based on the 'right' way. Really, the right way is the way that is going to let you heal the fastest.
Both of my miscarriages were considered medical traumas, but it just goes to show you that no matter what you feel you have control of, you really can only pick the best course for the moment.
My first miscarriage I decided to experience naturally, but something went wrong—one week in hospital, blood transfusions, and an emergency D&C. Almost two months recovery.
My second I went for the D&C, hoping to minimize the emotional trauma. I ended up retaining products, had to have a second D&C, then contracted a secondary infection and ended up with C. Difficile.
If you're somehow morally conflicted, because you want a D&C, but are worried about puncturing your uterus in the procedure, just know that risks exist in everything. It may well be a risk that during a routine D&C you can damage your uterus, but it is also a risk that if you miscarry naturally or with Misoprostol, products could be retained,/' resulting in . . . yep, you guessed it, a D&C.
Do what feels right.
I am not a doctor. I am not an expert. But I do know the terrible confusion and the soul-ripping and strangely clinical haze that accompanies this kind of trauma. Talk to your doctor and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want. As many times as you want.
And most importantly, know that you can change your mind.
If you, at any point, feel you cannot physically or emotionally sustain a natural miscarriage, call your doctor or obstetrician immediately. Don’t suffer in silence.
Here's a list of what I found helpful to make it through, no matter what you should choose:
No matter what, know that you are not alone.
All my strength and support to you.