Is This Really a Miscarriage?

Cynthia Flynn's picture


Dear Midwife,
I am about 8 weeks pregnant on 02/23/. I had some minor bleeding during the day on 02/22/ and returned home for some rest. At 1830 I had a sharp cramp like pain and some bleeding. Cramping got a little worse and the MD on call suggested I went to the ER to be checked out.

At the ER we sat there for an hour and half before being seen. I had yet to soak through a pad. Cramping had near enough stopped and was thinking about going home when they called us back.

After blood work, they sent me down for an ultrasound. I knew I had a retroverted uterus so I informed the US tech of that. I did not have a full bladder when they attempted the trans abdominal Ultrasound. Then a trans vaginal ultrasound was performed. At this point and time I was not allowed to see the monitor or anything. She was just taking pictures and asking if I had passed any clots. With the answer being NO! She kept asking me like I wasn't telling her something.

The blood was never really DARK red, more bright. The ER Doctor then came in to do a vaginal exam. Nothing like I have ever had done. He was like 'yep, there is your cervix.... okay I am done' and walked out.

Sometime later he came back and said I was having a miscarriage and to take some Motrin when I get home for pain if I needed it.

We get home and are DEVASTATED! We have lost the baby.

I get up in the morning and there is minor blood. Nothing like a normal period. No cramping or anything. I had a few cramps (nothing worse than I get with menstrual cycle) during the day with bleeding (red - pinkish).

I called OB/GYN and find out blood levels are in the high 8000 but the Ultrasound said nothing was found so therefor diagnosed with a miscarriage. (ER did not provide us with any of this information, just the diagnosis)

Bleeding stops that night and started back up again today 02/24/ while at work.

I have yet to pass ANY significant clots or large amounts of blood. (or what I would think was a large amount, I get more on the menstrual cycle that I do right now) Bleeding is still redish-pinkish.

I have an appointment scheduled for Friday with OB/GYN for a 'problem' checkup.

Should I be in more pain or experiencing more cramping/bleeding if I am miscarrying? How long do the symptoms for a true miscarriage kick in? I heard the cramping pain is unbearable.


I am SO sorry all this is happening to you and that you had such a poor experience at the E.R. These are times when it is great to have a supportive midwife on your side. Anyway, if there is nothing in the uterus at 8 weeks, then you have indeed lost the pregnancy.

It can take a long time for the products of conception to either be expelled or absorbed, and for your pregnancy hormones to disappear. Basically, you have three options:
1) surgery (a dilation and curettage or D&C) to scrape out your uterus;
2) medication that will increase the cramping and hopefully expel everything; or
3) let Mother Nature take care of it.

As long as you are not hemorrhaging or getting a fever, IMHO you have all three options open to you--it's your decision.

All of this should have been explained to you in the E.R. and if not there, then on the phone by the OB/Gyn's office. Hugs, and know that we understand how loved your baby was and is.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

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