My m/c wasn't at all as scary as I thought it would be. My OB had advised that it would be like a regular (but heavy) period and like PP said, to call if there were any golf-ball sized or larger clots or odor or fever or a lot of pain.
It took about 3 days after I stopped taking progesterone (prometrium) for the bleeding to start.
I woke in the middle of the night with painful cramping and there was bright red blood (which I never have with a regular period), filled up a pad by morning; went through 3-4 pads that day and the next (I took aleve twice daily both of those days with good relief of my cramping) and then 1-2 pads/d for the next couple days and then nothing after that. I felt MUCH MUCH more tired than usual but there was a lot of crying so I had that tired-eyes puffy face thing going too.
I thought I would add my experience in here as well since I unfortunately had to experience both a natural miscarriage and D&C in a 24 hour span. I found out our baby didn't have a heartbeat at 12w5d. At that point I had been spotting for a day and a half and knew something was wrong. When the dr confirmed it through an ultrasound, we were heartbroken.
I immediately scheduled a D&C because I didn't think I could handle the "at home" options in my emotional state. However, after going home, crying (a lot), talking to friends, family and doing more research, I decided I wanted to go with a natural miscarriage at home. 2 days later my cramps/bleeding really started picking up at home. I was tracking their frequency and strength. I've never been in labor before so I had no idea what to expect in terms of pain. But, I would say this is probably what early labor feels like? It felt different than a period to me.
After about 3-4 hours of the contractions intensifying, I found that standing in the hot shower did the best to alleviate my pain. I could rock back and forth and the water on my back was so helpful! At the point where the pain became most intense, I was in our living room. I was squatting on the ground and felt a "pop" during the most painful contraction I'd had. I told my DH I had to get to the bathroom. We rushed in there and fluid came pouring out (amniotic fluid?). It felt like my water had just broke. Then I felt the sac come out. In the 30 minutes that followed, everything else came out. Lots of blood and tissue. It was emotional and relieving all at the same time because the cramps were now compeltely gone.
After 30 minutes on the toilet I felt very hot all of a sudden and I couldn't see straight. I became very worried and didn't know what to do. I passed out. The next thing I remember is that I was on the edge of the tub, my DH holding me, shouting my name and calling 911. He set me in the tub until the ambulance came. They took me to the hospital and did a bunch of tests to look at my hemoglobin levels which were dramatically falling. I almost passed out again at the hospital.
Throughout the night they did a bunch of tests and ultrasounds. I had passed the baby (at home) but there was still tissue in my uterus. I had to make the decision whether to wait it out on the remaining tissue or do a D&C. Because I was so weak, I couldn't imagine waiting it out. I couldn't even stand up without getting light-headed. I just wanted everything to be over. Luckily, my cervix was still dilated, so the D&C was not as invasive as it would have been otherwise. It went much better than I imagined. I didn't remember a thing and once it was over, my bleeding improved a lot.
I wanted to share this for women who think they may struggle with anemia/hemoglobin issues. It was very scary to pass out at home and become so weak. I wish the dr's would have mentioned that something like that could happen, but we just had no idea what to expect. My husband was absolutely terrified and the experience of the ambulance coming, etc was somewhat traumatic for both of us. Anyway, talk to your Dr about this if you are worried about blood loss. Also, I second using the heating pad, IBprofen, giant pads and the shower for pain management.
If you can go through it at home with your DH or another loved one by your side, it can be a healing experience. It is emotional and difficult but there is something about it I feel like helps your body cope and move forward. Having experienced the home option & the D&C has helped me better understand the benefits of both options. If you choose to go the D&C route, this can be beneficial for other reasons. Just listen to your heart and do what is best for your own personal health & healing.
I'm so thankful for this board and hearing other people's stories. I hope this will help someone else out there. All the best!