Okay, first off, I will say that everyone’s miscarriage experience is going to be unique to them, and I am by no means telling you what should happen or how you should feel. But I know that when I started miscarrying, I was hunting the internet for descriptions of other peoples’ experiences in an effort to somehow arm myself against what was going to happen to me. So I am going to share this day-by-day description of what happened to me physically, in the hopes that it helps someone.
Day 1: Some brown ‘spotting’ in the evening – a few sort of strands of pale brown that came away when I wiped.
Day 2: Morning: Some medium brown discharge when wiping. A splotch of it, about 3cm in diameter. Late afternoon: some small black/red sticky congealed bits, and a bit of fresh red blood in with the brown.
Day 3: Morning: More stringy/gloopy black/red stuff when wiping. Much larger strands. Had scan at EPU which confirmed 6 weeks growth rather than 9 weeks. A little fresh red blood after the scan, maybe dislodged by the internal scan? Then in the evening, some mild cramping, quite a bit of brown blood (needed to change a sanitary towel a few times during the day – not soaked, but enough blood to warrant changing after going to the loo), a feeling of bloatedness. (I went to watch my brother play a gig in a city an hour away from me on the evening of this day, and was totally fine.)
Day 4: Morning: passed a 2p-sized clot of red/black stuff in the toilet. Then some more brown blood. Some more black goopy stuff in the evening. Blood mostly brown.
Day 5: Blood dark red, more like a period. Not lots. Mild aching feeling on and off. A little more goopy stuff.
Day 6: At about midday I had cramps that weren’t terrible but made me think, ‘uh-oh’, so I went and took two ibuprofen. Then (thank god) my son went down for a nap, and I spent the next two hours moving between my bed and the toilet. During this time I experienced lots of rushes of wet red blood, which felt a bit like I was wetting myself, and which because they were quite big and fast managed to overshoot my pad a couple of times and soak through my knickers and trousers – even though my pad wasn’t saturated every time, it just wasn’t big enough to catch where the blood was running to, if that makes sense. Fortunately I had put a towel down in the bed. I changed my pad about three times in two hours – it was only totally saturated once, the other times it was just messy enough that I wanted a new one. Spent quite a lot of time just sitting on the toilet, bleeding into it, and occasionally feeling clumps of stuff slithering out. The clumps were jelly like, blackish purplish red, and some of them were quite big – like 5 or 6 cm across. When I wiped, more clumps of stuff came away. I inspected everything that I could but couldn’t see anything that looked like a sac to me.
After a couple of hours of this, my son woke up, so I had to go and play with him and I was able to. I just sat on a towel (good job too because I had another little rush of blood which went through my leggings in a couple of spots!). I did squat a bit too; I felt that that would help stuff come out of me. About three hours after the big bleeding started, it all tailed off again. The cramps went away. I was still bleeding in the evening but it was just fresh wet red blood with a very small amount of clots, and there was not loads and loads of it any more.
Also, to add: I was barely in any pain the whole time. I used to have HORRIFIC period pain before I had my little boy, but I have had about 10 periods since having him and haven’t had pain with them since. I do wonder if this would have been a lot more painful if I’d gone through it before having my son, as giving birth seems to have done something to me in that I no longer have painful cramps.
Day 7: I dropped my son off at nursery while wearing a night-time pad, and bled through the pad and my trousers AND the fricking towel I had put on the car seat to protect it, so the car seat is now a bit stained! Thankfully I had a long coat with me so I managed to rush in and out of the supermarket to grab a load of maternity pads. Went home and put on maternity pad and completely soaked it in less than 2 hours, and passed more clots (at this point I phoned the GP). It slowed down again but I continued feeling quite a bit of pressure in my pelvic area so felt wary that it might start up again.
Day 8: Had some cramps in the early morning, got worse when I got up around 6.45am. Went down for breakfast but couldn’t face it. Took two ibuprofen (only my second lot since it all started so I think I may have got off lightly). Lay in bed for about 45 minutes, cramping in waves and breathing through the cramps. Felt like the really bad period pains I used to get in terms of intensity, although I didn’t feel much pain, just the intense sensation of cramping. I guess it was rather like the contractions I had in labour, too. Because of this I went to the toilet, convinced I was going to end up pushing out the sac, but I didn’t. Just a more fresh red blood, and a couple of extremely small clots. For a couple of hours afterwards I did experience some light dizzy spells, but I had eaten ‘breakfast’ (a couple of digestive biscuits, some toast and a jam doughnut – classy) late so that may have contributed. Had the dizzy spells worsened I would have rung the doctor.
Day 9: Quite a bit of red blood all day, having to change towels fairly regularly – I would say this was more akin to the start of a normal period. Blood is quite slippery, as if mixed in with discharge maybe? Switched back to ordinary sanitary pads from maternity.
Day 10: Went back to EPU for scan to see how it is progressing. Blood this morning was bright red and still like heavy period. The scan showed no sac/pregnancy, but still a thick lining and ‘something’ sitting on the cervix waiting to come away. I think all the prodding with the internal scan stimulated things to get going again, as I started cramping in the car on the way back from hospital, and just lost a couple of pretty large clots in the toilet. Switched back to maternity pads!!!!
Day 11: Like a heavy period. Dark red blood.
Day 12: Like a medium period. Red blood, some browny.
Day 13: More of the same.
Day 14: Passed a couple of very small clots when wiping after bowel movement. Dark brown blood, like the end of a period.
Day 15: Pale brown spotting. Switched to pant liners.
Day 16: Minimal pale brown spotting.
Day 17: Minimal pale brown spotting.
I then had 9 days off before… a period! My first period after the miscarriage was definitely not normal. It was dark brown to begin with, then red, with a few small stringy clots. It only lasted four days, and wasn’t anywhere near as heavy as normal – but I guess my body had had barely any time to build up lining since the miscarriage.