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How to Handle a Miscarriage at Home

How to Handle a Miscarriage at Home

You must consult with your doctor because a natural miscarriage may not be advisable in your specific situation. The following tips are meant for those who know they are going to miscarry and your doctor confirms you can do so naturally at home with lower risk. My goal in writing this is to help others who are about to go through the natural miscarriage process. Also, this is meant to help any family members or friends who will be there during the actual process, so they know what to expect and how best to help their loved one. I am choosing to avoid graphic details because I personally don’t find it helpful to read this from others, nor do I want to trigger anyone needlessly. Each of my miscarriages were missed miscarriages, this is when the embryo stops developing but the woman’s body has not completed the miscarriage process.

 

How to Handle a Miscarriage at Home

 

 

  • Ask your doctor for prescription strength pain pills.

You may not need them, or you may really need them. Each woman and each miscarriage is different. But why not be on the safe side and have them just in case.

 

 

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever for mild pain.

Keep Tylenol or Ibuprofen nearby. Speak with your doctor about when it is appropriate to take these and when it would be better to take a prescription pain pill. Each circumstance is different so always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about when and if it is appropriate to take an OTC pain pill and a prescription pill. They may advise you to take one or the other. Be careful not to overdo it.

 

 

  • Keep your phone on you.

If you haven’t already, program your doctor’s number into your phone. Most OB’s have an answering service after office hours, so if you call they can have an on-call doctor call you back as soon as possible. This is helpful if you are concerned about your symptoms but are not sure about whether you should go to the emergency room or not. You also can call the hospital directly for medical advice. Also it is good to have your phone on you if you are alone so you can call your partner, friend, or family member to come be with you.

 

 

  • Call someone you trust to come be with you.

Ideally it would be best to have your partner with you. But if they are not available call someone you trust, a family member or a friend. Tell them you need them to be there to make sure it doesn’t develop into an emergency situation. If you pass out, hemorrhage, or have another emergency situation, you need to have someone there to take over and call for an ambulance if necessary.

 

 

  • Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You can also drink Gatorade, vitamin water, or another drink that helps to replenish you.

 

 

  • Keep a snack nearby.

If it is taking a while, and you are in a lot of pain you may not feel like getting up. You can keep some crackers or another snack near you. This is when it is nice to have someone there for you to bring you a snack if you get hungry.

 

 

  • Lie down.

Whether it’s on your bed, or the couch, find someplace comfortable to lie down. Do whatever you need to do to feel more comfortable. If sitting or standing feels better for you do that. Please be cautious if you choose to stand because there is a risk of if you get light headed and faint you might hurt yourself. I found that lying down was best for me. I also put a towel down just in case.

 

 

  • Have plenty of sanitary pads and toilet paper nearby.

Try to use the overnight or thicker sanitary pads. Keep these right next to your toilet. You may be in too much pain to bend down to get anything out of a cabinet. This is why you need to have pads and extra toilet paper very easily within reach.

 

 

  • Bleeding through 1 pad per hour? Call your doctor.

Each person’s situation is different, but my doctor said if I was bleeding through one pad per hour I needed to go to the emergency room. You are at risk of losing too much blood or hemorrhaging if you do not at least call your doctor. Do not be afraid to call and ask questions. They told me if I bled through 1 pad per hour for 3-4 hours I would need to go to the ER.

 

 

  • Don’t bend over.

It can be incredibly painful to bend over, and you should try avoid doing this. If you drop something just kick it out of the way so you don’t trip over it. Or ask whoever is helping you to pick it up for you.

 

 

  • Use a heating pad on your abdomen.

The warmth can help to ease some of the pain. You can alternate using the heating pad and taking it off as needed. 

 

  • Ask your doctor about testing.

Your doctor may have you bring in your products of conception to test if there were any genetic issues, to learn what may have caused the pregnancy loss. They will give you the materials needed to do this. They might not do any testing with your first two losses. Sometimes your medical insurance will not cover any testing until after your third loss. If you want to do testing, but feel you cannot handle this collection process ask your partner or the person helping you if they can do this for you. But remember, by doing this testing you can learn what is going on and your doctor can adjust your treatment plan.

 

  • Do whatever you can to help yourself emotionally during the process.

Whether it is distracting yourself from pain by watching a movie, listening to music, or talking with your partner. What do you usually do to comfort yourself in stressful times?

 

I will have more articles in the future on how to process pregnancy loss emotionally. The purpose of this article was more on the practical things you can do while the miscarriage happens. Be sure follow up with your doctor. You can be at risk for infection or other complications by doing a natural miscarriage, so be sure to check in with your doctor if you have any further symptoms. Please comment below if you have any advice you want to share with others about what helped you during this process. Thank you for reading.

 

Further Reading:

VeryWell Natural and Medical Miscarriage Options 

WebMD Miscarriage Treatment 

 

Image Credit: From Pexels.com 

 

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Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

 

Many of us who struggle with infertility, especially for a good length of time, may begin to feel we are losing out on time. It can be incredibly devastating to hear the news that your odds of success are low, or that they are good but face a let down every single time you lose another pregnancy. Maybe you just want to take a break from trying to conceive. No matter what your situation, for many women there is one undeniable reality, the biological urge to have children is so powerful it can take over our lives if we let it. The awareness of our Biological Clock can lead us to act a smidge neurotic at times.

I’m smiling to myself as I write this because I’ve found myself having serious conversations with my husband about kids, maybe a bit too early into our relationship. But I just felt compelled to, because I knew what I wanted out of life. Almost all of my friends have shared the same experience. Many of us are not shy at all about speaking up about when we expect to have children in a relationship, and that can kind of freak out our partners if they didn’t think that far ahead yet. I’ve also known friends who broke off their relationship because their partner couldn’t get on board soon enough and they chose to move on. Our desire to settle down and have kids can seem to dictate our lives. Sometimes we just need to take a chill pill. Once you get to the point where you found the love of your life, you are ready to start a family, but things are not going according to plan it is frustrating beyond belief. It is a real test of not only your relationship but also a test on how you adapt to the situation. No matter where you are in this process I think it may help to find an outlet for acting motherly, while we wait to become mothers.

 

Top 5 Ways to Scratch the Itch of Wanting to be a Mother

 

  1. Babysit

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We all have friends and family in our life who have children. Start to pay attention to which ones sound like they could use a good break from parenting for a bit. You could offer to watch their kids while they have a much deserved date night. Maybe they are going through an intense time in their life. Say they lost a loved one, or are dealing with a medical issue that limits the quality time and attention they want to give to their children. Or maybe their daycare has inflexible hours and they need someone to pick up and drop off their kids while they are at work. If you are able to help out, why not let them know you are available? Make that time you spend with their children quality time. Teach them something new, read them a book, teach them a few jokes, play a board game or video game with them, try a new hobby out together. If you don’t have children and are wanting more experience this is a great way to do it.

 

2) Become a Mentor

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Look into opportunities in your town to become a mentor for a child who could really benefit from hanging out with you. Look into the Big Brother Big Sister program. This opportunity can be great for the couple who may be thinking about being foster parents but may not have the resources yet that are required to become licenced. By being a mentor you are still making a positive impact on a child’s life, with the flexibility of maintaining your current lifestyle. Depending on the child and their needs, you could bring them out with you to the fun stuff you are already doing. Take them on a hike, go to the movies, take them to the state fair, bring them to the library, or try out something new together. Ask them what they would like to do for fun and what they expect from you as a mentor.

 

3) Work with Kids

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I’d recommend that if you don’t have much experience with kids try babysitting first. Try babysitting kids of different ages and temperaments to get a feel for how to be flexible and meet the needs of different kids. If you are serious about starting a career working with kids consider the possibility of being a teacher, daycare worker, tutor, school librarian, or social service work with at-risk youth (field I’m in now). There are many options to choose from, check your local job listings.

 

4) Become a Foster Parent

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Although I do not have personal experience with this, I am seriously considering it. One thing I learned recently is there are different agencies within my city to help place children into homes. I had assumed the only foster agency in my city was the Office of Children’s Services, run by the state. But I learned about several non-profit agencies who are committed to helping place children into good foster homes. They can provide a wealth of information, training, and resources to get you going in the right direction. Why not look into an orientation or open house? Call them up and ask questions about what it takes to become eligible. If you are intimidated about the potential for behavioral issues, ask yourself if you are emotionally ready to take this on right now. Do whatever you can to help the child, the best way you can. I like the commercial I saw recently with the simple, yet powerful statement, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.”

 

5) Get a pet

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Our puppy. Believe it or not this is his super relaxed face after getting belly rubs from his daddy. Blissed out!

Check out the animal shelter or ask around to see if your friends have any puppies or kittens they want to give away. You can even foster pets these days too. Pets can brighten our day, make us laugh, and become a special part of the family. We help them as much as they help us. I was going through another miscarriage while at the same time our Sheltie (looks like small Collie) passed away. It was heartbreaking to experience two losses at the same time. After some time passed both my husband and I wanted to get another pet. We got a new puppy and boy did he keep us busy! It was a little overwhelming at first, especially since he was the first puppy I ever had (we had always gotten older pets growing up). But with some time and attention I was able to teach him a good amount of tricks and I can happily say he is now potty trained! Thank god for that.

 

Try to think outside the box. This goes for men too, seek out ways you can act like a father figure. If one method doesn’t really seem to be a good fit, try something different. Dip your toes in first before you decide to fully commit. One way to do that is to ask a lot of questions and learn from others first. But also don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Even if you feel like you are sucking at it, you are gaining valuable experience and challenging yourself to try something new. Tell me if you’ve tried any of the suggestions above and what has helped you. What would you like to add to the list? As always, thank you for reading.

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Review of “Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic (IVF Documentary)”

“Baby Makers: The Fertility Clinic (IVF Documentary)”

Found on YouTube from the Nurture series

Length 58 min

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

This was an excellent documentary to watch. I’m about to undergo my first round of IVF and this documentary did an incredibly thorough job showing the process from start to finish. I liked seeing how the embryologists actually chose the eggs and the sperm and match them together with ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection). I think this was the first documentary about IVF in which I actually saw the entire process.

 

The interviews with the clinic’s staff covered not only their specific duties but also how they felt about the incredible responsibility of potentially creating a pregnancy for infertile couples. It was nice to see a variety of life experiences of the staff. Not to sound ageist, but it was somewhat surprising to see the young twenty-somethings working as embryologists, including the youngest one who was only 24-years-old. But I have to say they were all dedicated, focused, and committed to providing the highest quality of care. All were required to have a minimum of three years of specialized training. There were other seasoned staff, some who were childless by choice, and others with children and grandchildren. They all shared the common goal of giving couples hope, and the peace of mind knowing they tried everything in their power. For each couple their “end point” is different for when they decide to discontinue pursuing assisted reproductive technology.

 

Different couples were interviewed before, during, and after IVF. Each couple invested everything into the process; physically, financially, and emotionally. It was easy to feel connected to each one, given that I am about to also go through this. Without giving away too many spoilers, sadly the outcome did not prove to be successful for some of the couples. One couple was successful the first try, but for the couples with a failed IVF cycle, their story continues beyond the length of the film. Some chose to continue with another round of IVF and were successful while others chose to take a break.  I wish each couple the best of luck with whatever happens with their fertility future. I was rooting for all of them while I watched, and I know you will too if you check out this documentary.

 

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One Step at a Time / Suppression Check: Take Three

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So many appointments lately.

 

Yep, hopefully third time will be a charm with these damn suppression checks. I finished my second one on Wednesday and scheduled my third one for this next Wednesday.

 

The cyst persists,

Please cease and desist,

I just couldn’t resist.

 

I’ve already cried, all I can do now is just laugh at the whole thing, hence my stupid poem above. This cyst has me paying for flight change fees, rearranging hotel reservations, and needing to take more leave time from work. There’s probably no definitive way to know if the antibiotics interfered with the birth control pills, which in turn could have influenced the hormones, ultimately affecting my ovaries. But I have a sneaking suspicion that had I not got this staph infection and needed antibiotics, I would not be rearranging my entire fertility timeline, every…single…week.

 

So rather than crying in a ball in a dark room, like I am normally inclined to do (kidding, kind of), I am in full force Distraction Mode. I’m trying to do anything and everything to distract myself from thinking about it. When my infection was full blown I was reclined on the couch, binge watching Lena Dunham’s “Girls” and laughing my ass off. Now that I’m on the mend I was able to go for a walk today with my husband and our puppy. I played Mario Kart on the new Wii-U my husband just bought me. I love me some Mario Kart! And I tried the “Just Dance” game, it was so much fun. When I was a teenager I was insanely into DDR (Dance Dance Revolution), I looked cracked out my mind while I furiously stomped on the dance pad like my life depended on it. Think Jennifer Beals from “Flash Dance” when she’s practically creating a fire underneath her feet from how fast she dances to the song “Maniac.” That’s pretty much what I looked like, but instead add 50 pounds and much paler skin. Those were the days. It was nice to get back into a dancing game. I’m terrible at it, but hey it’s fun and it’s keeping my mind occupied.

 

“The mantra, “One step at a time, one appointment at a time” helped me to cope way better than I imagined I would.”

 

I used to get really annoyed when people suggested I needed to distract myself from my crappy feelings. I would say, “But you can only distract yourself for so long” or “distractions are like band-aids, the wound is still there underneath.” But I’m learning now the more I focus on things other than my fertility, I start to feel happier. I’ve managed to live 31 years of my life childless, I can endure a few more months (hopefully months and not years).

 

I confirmed with my doctor via phone at the sonogram office that my body is not quite ready for IVF. I managed to hold it together as I left, didn’t even tear up this time. “What do I have control over in all of this?” I asked myself. I thought about it as I got into my car and started down the road. I began thinking of the mantra, “One day at a time,” it’s a nice sentiment, but in that moment it’s too vague for my taste. I needed something more specific to inspire me. As I drove on I told myself, “one step at a time, one appointment at a time.” Voila! For me, telling myself this over and over again the whole drive home comforted me.

 

The next step could mean different things for different people. For me, it means taking my fertility medicine that evening, returning a phone call from my doctor, paying a medical bill, getting my blood drawn, or whatever the next time-sensitive step is to get me closer to my goal of having a baby. I also feel in control with each appointment I go to because it is a tangible step in the right direction, no matter what the current status of my womb is, I am that much closer to my dream every time I show up to the many appointments I have. The mantra, “One step at a time, one appointment at a time” helped me to cope way better than I imagined I would.

 

“. . . no matter what the current status of my womb is, I am that much closer to my dream every time I show up to the many appointments I have.” 

 

One last thing before I sign off for the night, or I should say morning now. My husband has been open about talking with his friends, family, and coworkers about our infertility, as have I. While we stood in line at the movie theater he showed me a text that his coworker sent saying his wife was willing to be our surrogate. That totally blew me away! I began to tear up in the line for popcorn. That is so beautiful and amazing that someone I have not even met would make such an offer, all because our husbands were open enough with each other to talk about this and try to come up with solutions. At the moment there is nothing physically wrong with me, my uterus is not inverted and I no longer have scar tissue blocking potential implantation. My egg count is low and that could be a problem. Perhaps we could use donor eggs and my husband’s DNA and implant the embryo into me if none of my eggs are good after multiple IVF attempts. I still want that experience of giving birth. But I think surrogacy would be the final attempt, and I’m still at the starting line. But such an amazing offer! I’ll definitely keep her in mind for the future.

 

“Once you are able to pull back the veil of grief and privacy, it becomes so liberating.”

 

Every day I am feeling more and more connected to people because of how open I’ve become about my fertility issues. When I was ready to start opening up with people I told my husband he could do the same if he wanted. It’s incredible how encouraging people are. Once you are able to pull back the veil of grief and privacy, it becomes so liberating.

 

 

 

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Oh S**t, A Cyst!

True to form, my body has to be a pain in the ass. A happy little cyst decided to form in my right ovary, not that abnormal, but it is enough to completely shift my IVF time schedule by a week, or even longer if it persists. According to my doctor, 10-15% of women who develop a cyst on their ovary need to delay their IVF cycle. Lucky me! Flights will need to be changed, our hotel, our work schedules. My mind is a swarm of curse words and to top it off my ovary further spites me by cramping up. Thanks ovary, thanks for nothing!

 

At the same time I’m dealing with another issue that could potentially throw off my IVF timeline. I spent the evening at urgent care due to what looks like another staph infection developing on me. I just got over my previous staph infection on my leg from a few weeks ago. The doctor tonight prescribed me a topical cream and an antibiotic to take only if it gets worse. I imagine it will get worse due to it quadrupling in size within a single day and the symptoms are nearly identical to what I felt before. I hope to God this cream works. If it gets any worse I’m popping that antibiotic ASAP.

 

“According to my doctor, 10-15% of women who develop a cyst on their ovary need to delay their IVF cycle.”

 

So how is it that my staph infection could interfere with my IVF? As you may be aware, whenever you take an antibiotic you are supposed to use backup means of contraception (or abstianance) due to antibiotics reducing the effectiveness of birth control pills. Well I am in the Suppression phase of my IVF which means I am taking birth control pills in order to reduce potential cysts and to help time my cycle for my egg retrieval. I picked the doctors brain about whether he thought taking an antibiotic would affect the size of my cyst. He said, “theoretically speaking, yes, although this hasn’t been proven yet.” Although this new little redness on my leg isn’t full-blown staph, it is concerning so he gave me the cream to try first. If it gets worse then I have no choice but to take the antibiotic. Staph infection is no joke, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I will gladly pop an antibiotic in order to prevent that terrible pain again. If that means I have to postpone my IVF, well I’d have no choice really because flesh rotting away is more of an immediate priority, wouldn’t you say? My sense of humor gets a little warped when I’m stressed, have you noticed?

 

So I guess during stressful times I should focus on the positive. Hubby took me out last night which definitely helped me to feel better. We had a yummy meal at Olive Garden and went to Dave & Buster’s. I had my first Long Island Iced Tea. I always thought it was a wimpy drink, just based on the title. But I heard some bars limit the drink to two in a night. I learned it’s insanely strong and like Kurtis calls it the “kitchen sink of drinks.” I haven’t had a drink in a long time. I’m not pregnant and I’m not on the injections yet, so the rare drink for me I think was just fine. There will of course be other women out there who believe they must incorporate only the healthiest of foods into every meal, avoid any and all processed foods, and exercise as if their fertility future depends on it. Well, I am human, and like most women who get pregnant naturally, I don’t follow a strict regimen. I know alcohol is not the healthiest of coping methods but it sure did smooth out those rough edges in my mind. Plus it made me less inhibited at Dave & Buster, and you just cannot be a sad panda at Dave & Buster. I promise to eat more salad tomorrow.

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First Long Island Iced Tea. So strong, holy moly!

 

So as far as the healthy coping methods I did, one was to inundate myself with some good music. I discovered some new bands I liked on YouTube. I’m really digging the band Young the Giant. It felt good to lose myself in new music. I binge-watched about a whole season of Girls, I needed a good laugh. I also listened to my husband’s advice, which always is simplistic yet revelatory. He said, “It is what it is, don’t stress about it.” I don’t know what it is but he always knows how to ground me when my mind takes off. I think it’s his certainty that everything will be okay and the timing of when he tells me. He lets me get things off my chest, listens to me, then summarizes what I need to do in exactly the way I need to hear it. He’s the Yin to my Yang.

 

 

“If you are considering what type of work schedule you need to make IVF possible, make it as flexible as possible.”

 

The other good thing is that my work situation at the moment is quite flexible. I work on-call on the overnight shift, which is perfect for the many doctor appointments I’ve been going to during the day. I’m getting enough on-call hours at the moment to have a full-time income. I have to fly out of state for the egg retrieval and one month after that I fly back for my frozen embryo transfer (FET). I can easily choose which days to work and which not to in order to make my two flights work for me. Having a flexible schedule at work is super important for me right now, so I am pretty happy this is working out. If you are considering what type of work schedule you need to make IVF possible, make it as flexible as possible. Whether that’s doing what I am as an on-call, or overnights, part-time, working from home, saving up a lot of leave time, or saving up money to take time off, whatever works for you financially and what you and your partner agree to. As much as I wanted to be off work completely, it was just not financially doable for us, so I think I’ve managed to adjust my schedule enough to make taking time off stress-free.

 

Question of the Day:

Did you have to deal with a medical issue, such as a cyst, that delayed your IVF cycle? If so, how long did you have to postpone your IVF cycle?

 

 

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