Missed Miscarriage {Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss Awareness}

A missed miscarriage is when embryonic death has occurred but there is not any expulsion of the embryo. 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. Most missed miscarriage occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Technically my first pregnancy was considered a missed miscarriage. You can read my whole story here but I basically went in for an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy and the midwife wasn't happy with the size of the embryo so she asked us to come back the next week and use the big ultrasound machine at the hospital. We went to the hospital the next week and a faint heartbeat was detected so we were asked to come again in another week. That week it was confirmed. There was no heartbeat and we were miscarrying.

I've had a missed miscarriage, now what?
There are two options for a woman who is having a missed miscarriage. They can either wait to let the baby pass naturally or they can opt to have a D&C. About 50% of women who miscarry do not undergo a D&C procedure. Women can safely miscarry naturally without the need to have a D&C. But if your pregnancy was more than 10 weeks along a D&C is usually recommended due to the risk of the natural miscarriage being incomplete (tissue is left in the uterus).

I will be going into more detail about each experience in the upcoming weeks but after choosing to have a D&C myself I almost always look back and second guess my decision. I have heard a few stories about misdiagnosed miscarriages. Women who are told by their doctors that they are miscarrying but then a week or so later find out that they are, in fact, carrying a healthy baby. By choosing to miscarry naturally I would have had to go through the drawn out pain of waiting and bleeding but there may have been a slim chance that my baby hadn't passed.

What to expect afterwards
Because a missed miscarriage can be so unexpected, the grief may not hit right away. The hope that the doctors were wrong can be big. Your body still feels pregnant, you aren't bleeding, right? When the miscarriage is confirmed and you either start to miscarry naturally or choose to have a D&C the reality hits. And for me it hit me hard. I had 4 weeks to dream, hope and plan for this baby I had growing inside of me so the emotional pain was the hardest.

There is also some physical pain. No matter if you elect to have a D&C or miscarry naturally there will be cramping. If needed, please ask your physician for medication to help with the pain. I found that a heating pad helped a lot. And lots of ice cream. But that may have helped with the emotional pain too.

Do I talk about it?
It might be hard to talk about your miscarriage to friends and family. You may have told some people and now you have to untell them. Or you may want to share your loss with others so they know what you are going through. No matter what your situation is I highly suggest finding someone to talk to. Even if you might already have a child or if you don't think your loss has affected you greatly. Sometimes grief can manifest into other emotions and dealing with those emotions is very important.

And remember that your partner can also be experiencing grief as well. Sometimes they are forgotten in this experience Talk to them, open up about how you're feeling. You may find that they are feeling some of the same things. If you feel comfortable enough talk to a friend or family member. Maybe one who has experienced a loss before. If you don't feel comfortable you can always talk with your religious leader or a therapist. They should have some great ways to help you deal with your miscarriage.

"No farewell words were spoken, No time to say goodbye, You were gone before we knew it, And only God knows why" - author unknown

Sources: American Pregnancy Association,

1 comment(s) with love:

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

It was nice to meet you at Java Momma yesterday. I'm enjoying your blog and hopefully will see you soon. By the way, my daughter had that same 4th of July outfit that your little girl is wearing!