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Don't Give Up! It's not over until it's over!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:32 am
by slatta
I am sharing my story because my wonderful sister is struggling right now with the possibility of a misscarriage. I am an Emergency Room nurse and I see women every week who are having or are threatening to have a misscarriage. I always tell them my story and tell them that it "isn't over until it's over." With my fourth pregnancy (1 miscarriage, 2 sons - second marriage - first child for my husband) I started bleeding at six weeks gestation. I was very sure of my dates. I went to see my new OB who was highly recommended by several different people who didn't even know each other. The bleeding I was having was red, but "spotting" - there would be blood on the tp - but not really in my underwear. It was like the end of your period, very light, but not just a dot either. Enough to actually freak you out. I had no cramping. She did an ultrasound - nothing there to see. HCG level was low. Repeat HCG level didn't rise. My OB was very conservative. She said, "Most DR's would rush you into a D&C now, but we will wait." Waiting is very hard. I continued to spot. I was on bed rest. We repeated U/S and HCG every three days until there was an embryo and rising HCG levels. I continued to bleed every few weeks. I was on pelvic rest (pretty tough for newlyweds) and bed rest most of the pregnancy. Every time I would stop bleeding I would go back to work and then the bleeding would start again. I couldn't even go shopping for maternity clothes because walking into the store started the bleeding again. My doctor said, "implantation bleeding" during the first trimester. During the second trimester it was a "partial placenta previa", third trimester the previa was resolved but I kept bleeding. "Maybe the placenta just isn't attached very well on the edge." My doctor said there isn't any proof that stress and activity cause bleeding during pregnancy or that bed rest improves the outcome, but that it was sensible to assume that bleeding can cause cramping and cramping can cause more bleeding and that could lead to a misscarriage. In retrospect I believe that stress and dehydration lead to the bleeding. I had a very stressful job and I know I didn't drink enough or rest enough. So, you want to know what happened? Well, we celebrated our son's tenth birthday last November. With my next pregnancy I wasn't working, walked every day, took a nap every day, and made sure to drink lots of water every day! Dehydration leads to muscle cramps, why wouldn't it lead to uterine cramps as well? I have never seen any "scientific evidence" to that, but I feel it played a big role in my bleeding. With my fifth pregnancy I only had one episode of bleeding and it was during a camping trip with my Camp Fire group. I did an incredible amount of walking, it was hot and I didn't drink any water. I started bleeding the next day. I took notice and made sure to stay really hydrated and it didn't happen again. I also learned later that my mother-in-law also bleed the entire ten months when she carried my husband. So maybe it was a water and stress, maybe it was a genetic thing, maybe it was just what it was. This is why I tell women, "it isn't over until it's over." Please don't rush into a D&C until it is really over. How do we know when it's really over? When your cervix is open, your bleeding, there isn't any fetal anything and the HCG levels are dropping. My advice is: be informed, be your own advocate, listen to your body. Also, a little known or discussed fact is that one in every three pregnancies end in miscarriage. This is nature's way of ensuring you have a healthy baby. Many embroys just stop growing because something is wrong. It is not your fault. It is your right to grieve the loss of your pregnancy and child. One misscarriage or many doesn't mean you will never carry a baby to term. I know many women who have had babies after years of miscarriages. I know a woman who had a baby after two tubal pregnancies. Miracles happen every day and nature has a way of working things out. In case you are wondering, I have four children. My first pregancy ended in miscarriage. My oldest son will be 20 next month. I have a 16 year old son, 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter. Good luck to all of you! My thoughts and good wishes go to you. :)8 [/list]

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:17 pm
by Ginpop
WOW - thank you so much for your WONDERFUL post. And to have it come from a nurse means alot.
I had a natural miscarriage in August - when I was first told that it was a b/o - my doctor said I HAD to have a d&c and scheduled it for the following am. A different doctor in the practice was to perform it at the hospital the following day. So the next morning I go in to get my pre-op work done, and he informs me that we should hold off, maybe it's just too soon to jump the gun. I came home in shock - I had prepared myself for the d&c and here I was not having one done. That night I found this website and realized how little I know about my body and miracles that do indeed happen. Unfortunetly the first doctor was right, I ended up having a natural miscarriage 5 days later. BUT, I was so grateful that this second doctor held off, I was so grateful to have a natural miscarriage. I didn't know that I had any options.
Unfortunetly - I ended up having to get the darn d&c in September due to remaining tissue and getting an infection. But it was needed and I was fine with that. It's when you don't really have to have it done I'm uneasy with.

Needless to say - this second doctor is now my new doctor. He was wonderful thru out the whole miscarriage and will be doctor when I get pregnant again.

There are some truly remarkable stories similar to yours - thank you for sharing - hope it helps someone going thru a similar situation.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:30 pm
by leopardgrrl23
That's a lot of what I'm going through now. I'll know more on Monday if my levels have dropped or gone up, but it definitely does make me think. Thanks so much for posting your story!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 8:31 pm
by Kay
Thank you so much for sharing your story. You've given so much helpful information. I bled heavily with my first pregnancy and pretty much bled the entire trimester and, despite being told I was most likely miscarrying twice, that baby is now seven years old!

I just love hearing that women like you are working in the ER. We've seen too many ER doctors and nurses doom pregnancies too early. Can we just send all the women here to you? :)

Thank you again for posting. You're a blessing.

Glad to help

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:10 pm
by slatta
I am so glad that my story is helpful. I don't think medical people mean to be so harsh. It can be so dificult to tell people bad news - some MD's and nurses act cold about it because it is so emotionally hard to do over and over. Some people think that its better to just be blunt and totally honest. Some people think that telling stories of the few miracles makes it harder to accept the truth. I think there is always room for hope. I certainly don't think doctors know everything. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to be informed and get a second opinion if things don't ring true for you.

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:10 pm
by jennikoosh
That is very great advice, slatta ~ thank you so much for sharing your story with us all!