Apparently, it could happen that long. I Googled and most of other moms’ miscarriages lasted around 2-3 weeks. They talked about heavy bleeding, which I didn’t have. And then meds used in the US is different from what we have here in the Philippines. So, I’m writing this hoping whoever needs help stumbles upon this post where I detail my journey.
One of the first things I learned was that there’s different kinds of miscarriage. Mine was a missed miscarriage, where the embryo doesn’t continue to develop but the mom’s body doesn’t recognize that the little one no longer has life, and so baby’s not passed out naturally.
For this type of miscarriage, your OB can help you assess if you can take the natural route and wait for your body to respond, medically manage (take meds) to help your body respond, or to do a procedure called dilation and curettage (D&C). Since it happened early (baby was 6–8 weeks), my OB recommended we can wait it out first, and then later on she prescribed some meds. I was actually also leaning towards waiting it out as long as it won’t be harmful for me.
Before I give you the chronology, here’s some things I experienced (or did not) that were unique compared to what I read online, and what you can also consider if you have the opportunity to decide with your OB to wait or do D&C right away.
- First obviously, that mine took fifteen weeks before my miscarriage was officially over.
- It’s possible there’s no pain involved. There was only one time in fifteen weeks when I felt a sharp pelvic pain, and it didn’t last five seconds.
- Be ready for regular ultrasounds, and the corresponding cost. There’s no other way to know if the miscarriage has been completed. I had a total of XX ultrasound procedures from the one that confirmed my pregnancy to the one that finally confirmed that my miscarriage has been completed. If your OB also does ultrasounds, that’s ideal. I did my ultrasounds elsewhere.
- Your body can respond to the meds as it should (i.e., one round of meds, bleeding for a week, then done). However in my case, my body didn’t respond to the meds. It took an ovulation (yes, inabot na ng new cycle! pwede pala yun!) which enabled my doctor to prescribe a different medicine, which finally worked (like a purge through menstruation).
- I know moms who went through D&C right away and they’re okay. I have complete trust in my OB and pretty much relied on her each step of the way. She’s been our OB since Brei and then Noah. Besides, with the pandemic, I didn’t want possible exposure to COVID in the hospital. Actually ayoko lang din talaga yung thought na magpaswab! It’s really between you and your OB.
Okay, you’ve read this far and so up next is my journey with timeline to help you be aware of this kind of miscarriage journey. Awareness helps, but remember that my experience could be different from yours. What’s critical is to keep in touch with your OB and follow him/her instructions.
Before August 28: Pregnancy test with a faint line. Alam mo yung kinutuban ka na something’s wrong but ayaw mong i-accommodate yung thought?
August 28: Ultrasound #1. Confirmed 6 weeks pregnant, but no heartbeat yet.
September 4: Ultrasound #2. Baby still at 6 weeks based on measurements and still no heartbeat. Maybe my dates were off.
September 11: Ultrasound #3. Baby still at 6 weeks, still no heartbeat. OB confirmed the baby didn’t continue to develop.
September 16: Met with my OB. It was refreshing, as always. I just love how life-giving she is!
September 16 to 18: Meds for contraction to help my body, which at the time, has not yet recognized the miscarriage.
September 23 to 24: Round two of meds. It seems like the first round didn’t have any effect.
September 27: Bleeding started, but it wasn’t that much. Guesstimate, a teaspoon total for the day, reddish but not bright red.
October 2: Ultrasound #4. Needed to check on what was happening in there so OB ordered another ultrasound, which confirmed that the baby was no longer inside, but sac still intact in mid-to-low position (meaning, “mataas pa”). I don’t really know what happened to the embryo since I haven’t had much bleeding to this day.
October 4: This was when I had the sharp pelvic pain that didn’t last fives seconds. I then had discharge unlike the earlier ones and thought it could already be the sac, so my OB said to have another ultrasound done.
October 6: Ultrasound #5: The sac is still there, but already in low position. Sonologist said maybe it will come out in a week’s time.
October 11: A blob came out. I thought that was the sac already (yet again!). So, I should have another ultrasound a week after.
October 20: Ultrasound #6: Surprise-no-surprise, the sac is still there. But from previously round, it’s now elongated. Maybe that’s a good sign, like it’s on its way out? Sent the results to my OB and she said I can take round three of meds.
October 22: Started round three of meds.
November 6: So far just mild discharge. Doc ordered another ultrasound, and this time, a CBC too (complete blood count?).
November 10: Ultrasound #7: From a mean sac diameter of 4.21 cm, the sac inside (yes, still there!) is now only 2.75 cm. Also, cervix is more dilated now versus last ultrasound. CBC returned normal.
November 17: Had mild PMS-like symptoms (mild diarrhea, little bit physically drained) from yesterday afternoon until today. Today, had transparent, mucous-like discharge with tinge of red. This was the cue for my OB to prescribe new meds—the one that would purge my uterus through menstruation. I think taken at the wrong time, it wouldn’t have this effect.
November 18: Started the new meds (3 times a day for 5 days).
November 20: Took antibiotics as prescribed by my OB.
November 23: FINALLY experienced what I have read in other moms’ stories. I had a “gush” of bleeding. It felt like, if I were actually pregnant, my water bag leaked. Like the overnight pad was filled in one “gush.” The flow stopped after that.
December 4: Bleeding was continuing to this day. Those “gushes” happened around twice a day since November 23, but decreased in volume. I haven’t felt any kind of pain since October 4 (that was actually the only time throughout when there was pain).
December 11: Ultrasound #8: I looked at that ultrasound monitor and even before the sonologist said anything, I knew the miscarriage journey is finally over. The sonologist confirmed it, and even said magaling ang OB ko, how my miscarriage was handled medically without a procedure! Nasubaybayan din kasi ni sonologist ang journey ko dahil sa kanya ako parati nagpapasched for ultrasound. When my OB saw my ultrasound result, she said, “I think finally the saga has ended.”
I still had some spotting for around a week after. But that’s basically all the medical milestones in this fifteen-week long miscarriage. If you’re at the start of a miscarriage, I hope that this has helped you gather information on what you can expect and encourage you to work with your OB for the best solution for you.
Prior to this post, I wrote about my miscarriage in It’s Okay to be Okay where I talked about how we took the miscarriage, and in my annual post for 2020, 2020: A Decade in a Year where I shared how this miscarriage became a blessing.