First loss and dealing with denial — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

First loss and dealing with denial

Yesterday turned into my worst nightmare, as I had my 8 week ultrasound expecting to see a heartbeat, and instead I had an empty sac measuring 6w1d. My doctor explained that it could be that the baby passed already, or that I got my dates wrong and I'm not as far along as I thought. I know my body well enough to be sure it's not the second one. My cycles are always shorter than 28 days, so if anything the baby should be bigger, not smaller. So I just know it's all gone wrong and now I have to start thinking about medication vs DNC, and I'm so overwhelmed. But DH doesn't want to hear anything about it. He's convinced that nothing is wrong, and when we go back next week for the follow up ultrasound there will be a baby in there. He's upset that I've "given up" and I've tried to explain that I haven't given up, I'm just positive this is how it is. I feel like it's going to make for a really long week, because I am most definitely grieving our loss and he's still, naively IMO, holding out hope. I know everyone processes this sort of thing differently, and I don't begrudge him that. I'm just wondering if anyone has had this sort of situation, and if so, how you dealt with it. I'm also interested in hearing your stories about whether you opted to go for the surgical, medicinal, or natural route. 

Re: First loss and dealing with denial

  • edited April 2016
    I'm so sorry you are in this situation. I have found (and I'm sure others will echo this) that DHs will process these situations differently. I pray your follow up US gives you good news, but it sounds like you are more than likely correct about your situation. DH needs that follow up to make it concrete in his mind. Unfortunately, my losses have started out with heartbeats that eventually stopped, so DH and I were on the same page and there was no room for denial. 

    I can offer you my experience with D&C. I have had two now. I was never offered cytotec either time...it was either "expectant management" or D&C. Since my line of work doesn't really allow someone to just up and leave when they start to miscarry (and I felt that waiting would cause me severe emotional distress) I opted for D&C both times. There is a very slight risk of uterine scarring, but most providers only use the vacuum and avoid actual scraping so that risk is very low. The recovery my from the first was rough initially (the next day I had a mini-labor with regular contraction-like cramps and passed a good amount of blood) but I believe this is not the norm. After the second I had minimal spotting for about a week and almost no cramping. The anesthesia is a "twilight" sedation through the IV and rarely requires "general." Either way, you do not remember anything. The advantage of D&C is that you can try to have the remains genetically tested in an easier and less traumatizing way than saving the remains yourself, but in your case this doesn't sound possible, so there's that. 

    Only you can decide what is the best route to take, along with talking to your OB. Many women here have shared their experiences and are always willing to share again. This is a very supportive community. I'm sorry you have to endure this. 

    Edited for clarity. 
    AandDM2014
  • I'm so sorry. So very sorry. This sounds very similar to me. I was 7 weeks along but my scan showed a 5 week baby. They said my dates were wrong. One week later, at 8 weeks, the baby was measuring 7 weeks with a heartbeat!!!!! We were relieved. We went for a scan one week later at 9 weeks and the baby was smaller than 7 weeks and didn't have a beating heart any longer. 

    I immediately knew I wanted a d&c. I had a natural m/c 9 weeks prior and it was painful. I'm a SAHM with a toddler, and was terrified it would happen when I was watching her. I also had morning sickness that I wanted to be over with. Additionally, I was panicking knowing I was pregnant with a baby who wasn't alive. It scared me to the core. The d&c was a breeze. I had complications though, because I had retained tissue and needed a second d&c. This is uncommon and I would still choose a d&c again. 


    AandDM2014
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  • Thank you both so much for your stories. I am leaning toward a d&c because i am ready to just have it over with, and I really appreciate hearing from others who have had to make this same choice. I don't have anyone in my life who I can talk about this with, and like I said before DH isnt ready to give up, so I am so grateful to have so much support from here while I mourn my first and only baby.
  • I am so sorry @blacknightsky.  I think it is very common to process grief differently in this situation, and what helped my DH and me was just acknowledging that how each other felt was valid and that we supported each other no matter what.  

    I chose to have a d&c.  I had initially thought I would take the pills, but decided against it.  I never really considered waiting for it to happen naturally because it seemed like the baby had died a week or two before we discovered the loss, based on size, and I still had pregnancy symptoms.  I did not feel I could wait for my body to come around to reality.  The d&c was fairly easy, physically.  It was sad, though, and I remember crying when I got my IV, crying when I woke up in recovery, and things like that.  I ended up having retained material and decided to take the pills (after going to the ER for pain) almost a week after my surgery.  The pills for me were not physically that bad, I think because I was already cramping a lot and I did not have that much I needed to pass because of the d&c.  It was difficult, emotionally, though, and when I administered the pills, I knew I would have been a mess if I had chosen to do the pills initially.  

    Sending you good thoughts, especially as you get through this difficult week. 
    About me:
    /loss mentioned/
    TTC#1 July 2014
    dx: MFI (morphology)
    IUI #1 w/Clomid + Ovidrel Sept. 2015 ~ BFN
    IUI #2 w/Clomid + Ovidrel Halloween 2015 ~ BFN
    IUI #3 w/Clomid + Ovidrel Thanksgiving 2015 ~ BFP!!
    hb 146 bpm at 7w5d
    1/28/16 ~ began to say goodbye to our beautiful baby at 11w 
    d&c, followed by cytotec
    TTCAL April 2016
    IUI #4 w/Clomid + Ovidrel Apr. 2016 ~ BFN
    IUI #5 w/Clomid + Ovidrel ~ CP
    IUI#6 w/Clomid + Ovidrel ~ BFN
  • Hello, and sorry for your loss. I too chose the D&C route, as I was not offered cytotec. Even if I had been, D&C was the right choice for me. I am naturally an emotional person, so waiting around for a natural miscarriage would have been unbearable. I was not given sedation, like many are. I took 10mg of Valium and 10mg of Hydrocodone Bitartate shortly before the procedure. I've taken Valium before for embryo transfers, so knew what to expect from it. I hadn't take Hydrocodone before, and wow is it a fun drug. From what I read it's kinda like being high, and boy did I feel good while taking it! So I was awake, and fully conscious for the whole thing. It wasn't that bad. Yes, it was painful, but nothing I couldn't handle, and it didn't last very long. The worst part was having that damn speculum in for so long. So unpleasant!

    I hope that you find peace in whatever you decide to do.
    About us:
    Me - 28, Lean PCOS
    DH - 31
    Married June 2010, TTC since March 2014
    Blog: ourbinarystar.com

    FET cycle #3 Transfer July 28th 2016, Triplets born healthy on February 26th 2017 at 33w1d!

  • I have had 3 losses,  the first natural & the second 2 with cytotec inserted vaginally. 

    For me the cytotec worked perfectly both times with most of the tissue being passed in less than 12hrs from insertion.  I had cramping but it wasn't unbearable.  My doctor gave me Percocet.  The first time I used it (more out of fear of the unknown than any actual pain) and this last time (last night) I did not.  3 Advil would have been plenty but I didn't even take it.  The first time I had no retained tissue and was able to try again as soon as I had a period.  I expect the same this time around.  I feel good
    today.  Just like I have my period.  No more cramping.

    I would not be able to just wait it out.  I just felt creeped out by knowing it had stopped developing and it just leaving things & did not want to prolong my upsetment. 
    ****TW****

    Me: 39 DH: 40
    Married: 12/6/2014

    BFP#1: 1/20/15      MC: 2/14/15
    BFP#2: 10/28/15    MC: 11/24/15
    BFP#3:  3/20/16     MC: 4/26/16
    BFP#4:  7/15/16     DD: 3/18/17
    BFP#5:  5/1/18     EDD: 1/12/19
    Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker


  • I am so sorry for your loss. I chose to have a d&c. I was scared to miscarry naturally and wanted to know for sure when it would happen. My procedure had minimal pain and the doctor and nurse were very understanding and validating I cried before and after. 
    AandDM2014
  • Thank you everyone for your kind words.
  • @blacknightsky I am terribly sorry for what you are going through.

    Just out of curiosity, do you temp to confirm ovulation?  I know you said you are very regular, but as you'll hear on the Bump you are regular until your not, so there is a chance you Ovulated later then you thought.

    As far as miscarriage, I miscarried naturally on my own.  My body had started the process before the confirmation even came back from the doctor that it was a miscarriage. It was painful and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

    Again, I am so sorry you have to go through this.
     Me: 27 | DH: 28
    TTC since January 2016

    BFP - 3/12/16 - MC 4/5/16
    BFP - 6/11/16



    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @MrsDramaK no, I don't temp, but I got my BFP at 3w5d, a full 4 weeks ago. I guess I should have mentioned that, as that's why I'm so sure of what's happening. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story.
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