Not everyone talks about the different ways a miscarriage can occur. We often don’t hear women talk about it, and we rarely find out until it’s happening to us. Doctors can sometimes describe it, but hearing it from people who have actually gone through it often makes more sense.
What is a Natural Complete Miscarriage?
A natural miscarriage, as the name suggests, is one that happens on its own without interference from doctors or third parties. Sometimes not all of the tissue is naturally expelled by the body, so a D&C, also known as dilation and curettage is still required to be performed.
When a natural complete miscarriage occurs, it means that all tissue has been naturally removed by the body; so a D&C is hence generally not required. An ultrasound together with OBGYN diagnostics will generally confirm that the miscarriage is ‘complete’.
Sometimes when an impending miscarriage is underway, we are given a choice – to have a D&C or natural miscarriage? But if we don’t know what a natural miscarriage can feel, how can we choose it? We asked our readers to share a story which we have included below.
What is it Like Having a Natural Miscarriage?
One of our readers shares their story:
“I wasn’t given a choice between D&C and natural miscarriage.
After sexual intercourse at around 8 weeks, I started spotting blood. When the spotting continued, it was suggested that I have an ultrasound. At around 9 weeks revealed that I had a blood clot bigger than the size of my baby where the placenta connected to the umbilical cord. If it ruptured, it was likely that a placental abruption would occur. I was told this was highly likely. In the meantime, my baby was doing brilliantly – growing well with strong heartbeat of 152. But, I couldn’t do anything but “wait and see” if the placental abruption would in fact occur.
The two weeks that followed were the longest and most painful of my life. My bleeding continued, getting slightly heavier each time and yet never heavier than my period. I knew it was headed in a bad direction though once I started cramping. When I say ‘cramping’, I don’t mean period-pain type feelings; instead, it felt as though every muscle in my lower abdomen was contracting. It was so intense that I would be temporarily crippled with pain, unable to move, and shaking in agony. These pains increased in frequency as time progressed, and would happen day and night. I was later to discover that these pains were in fact labour-like contractions.
As the contractions increased in frequency and severity, the bleeding started being accompanied by masses of tissue. It was scary to see. I would wonder each time if it was part of my baby being expelled. It was terrifying. I recall one of the worse contraction being accompanies by a feeling that I needed to pass my bowels. There was fluid on my undies and more clots being passed. I had a feeling the fluid was my waters breaking, but couldn’t be sure until I went to get an ultrasound.
Sadly, I was right. The ultrasound revealed emptiness. Everything was gone but a small shadow inside me at the base of my uterus. My lifeless bub lying there, not yet expelled. I was in shock. I didn’t cry because I sort of knew already. This didn’t mean I didn’t feel anything. My shock was suppressing it. I was told to make an appointment for a more comprehensive ultrasound the next day before booking a D&C.
The next day, on my way to the ultrasound clinic, I had another contraction – I thought they were over? I went to the bathroom and as I pulled down my undies, there was a mass on my undies. It was my baby enveloped in its sac. It was one of the most horrible things to see. A little 10 week old fetus with perfect little arms, fingers, toes… I could see it all.
At 10 weeks old, there is no burial or recognition of the passing. I didn’t know what to do with my little bub. I wrapped him up in a sanitary pad (I’m convinced it was a he, after dreams I had about him) and took him home. I know it sounds weird, but the bloodiness was washed away, and my Mum helped wrap him in a little face towel and bury him in a pot plant under a beautiful flower.
The emotions hit me so hard that night. It took a year to move forward and two years to move past the image of seeing my bub that way. It was traumatic for so many reasons.
I haven’t written this to scare anyone. I just wanted to give a real account of what a natural miscarriage can be like. It’s not so easy to just ‘move on’ and when people say ‘it’s ok, you can try again’ it doesn’t help. I lost my baby, trying again won’t replace him or her. Just give me hug and say you’ll be there. “