Topic: Missed Miscarriage at 12+ weeks/I don't know what to do
A few weeks ago, at a little past 8 weeks, I went in for my first OB appointment, and my wife and I saw our baby on the ultrasound monitor, measuring appropriately and with a strong heartbeat. I went in yesterday, just shy of 13 weeks, for my regular appointment and learned that the baby had died. The whole experience was awful. I was by myself because my wife has just started an intensive training program for her new job; she's not allowed to miss a day and we were unable to re-schedule this appointment for her lunch break. The doctor first checked with the doppler and was smiling, talking about how she could detect all of this movement, that she was surprised I wasn't feeling more because the baby was obviously very active and the whooshing caused by all of the movement was preventing her from finding the heartbeat but that there had to be one because you couldn't have movement like that without one. She then brought in the ultrasound machine and less than 2 minutes later I went from having an overactive baby to having a dead one. I can't say it any other way. To me, it's not a loss. It's not tissue. It's not a missed miscarriage. It's a dead baby. My dead baby.
For the first few minutes, I couldn't even cry. But when I did, I couldn't stop. My wife came for me immediately and took me home, but what was I supposed to do then? What am I supposed to do now? I'm a college professor. I teach summer school every day. I gave a lecture this morning. I almost cried in front of my students. My body is still apparently making pregnancy hormones as my symptoms have barely subsided. None of my regular clothes fit and I couldn't bring myself to put on any of the maternity clothes that I'd bought, so I have one dress to wear. I still look about 5 months pregnant. I have a very small frame and this was my third baby so by 10 weeks there was no hiding it anymore. We didn't really tell anyone til we'd passed the 12 week mark, but lots of people had already figured it out, including our 5 year old who I had to tell last night. An hour before my appointment, the barista at the coffee shop where I get my daily decaf latte asked if I was expecting. Every Saturday afternoon, we go swimming with a group of families from our synagogue, so they all saw me in a swimsuit last week and offered their congratulations. I can't bear the thought of having to repeat the reality of this loss over and over.
There was no hint--no cramps, no spotting, no nothing. I can't stop thinking about how, for weeks, there was a dead baby inside me (and there still is). Part of me just wants it out, for everything to go back to how it was before--before I felt too tired and pukey to make dinner for family, before I looked like a bus with enormous boobs. The other part can't bear the reality that this pregnancy is really over.
I am scheduled for a D&C on Friday, but I am beyond petrified. My doctor recommended it because I show no signs of completing the miscarriage naturally any time soon, and she thinks it's a good idea to take care of it in a controlled environment as opposed to starting to bleed when I'm in the middle of teaching summer school or taking my other kids to camp. I also don't know that I could handle that, to go to the bathroom one morning and be surprised by all the blood, to see the "tissue" that was our baby. I don't think I could handle the torrent of that emotion. But I am so scared of the D&C. For those of you who have gone through this, what were the pros and cons for you of either process (or managing medically which my doctor didn't really present as a strong option)?
I know many of you reading endured similar losses. My sister and my best friend are far away, and I don't know how to talk to my wife about everything that I am feeling because I know that this is her loss, too. Thanks for letting me share my story.