D&C questions: What to expect/how to prepare? — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

D&C questions: What to expect/how to prepare?

Hello, new here from the N18 board, wondering if you ladies could help me out...

A bit about my history, had 3 high risk, but otherwise good pregnancies in 2005/2007/2009. Divorced, remarried and had a surprise pregnancy early last year. No symptoms of miscarriage other than a scant amount of brown spotting, but it was enough for me to worry. Scans at 7 and 8 weeks showed baby never developed past 6w2d and we never saw a heartbeat. Dr. gave me Misoprostol which I administered at home. It was heartbreaking, but generally textbook and I passed the gestational sac about 5 hours after inserting the pills. After that, we tried a year of no birth control, to see what would happen. Turns out, nothing, my 36 bday was the cutoff, and that passed in Feb. We made peace with that and were OK. Then, Mar 7/18, BFP! Nervous and excited, we waited. My PGAL brain had me at the dr a week in asking for some reassurance. She ordered blood work and ultrasound. HCG was good and rising well. Scan showed baby about a week behind, no heartbeat and suggested "possible embryonic demise" repeat scan ordered in one week. HCG was still good. I went into the second scan already crying. Results showed growth, healthy baby and HB of 112! A week and a half later was my first OB-GYN appt at 8 weeks. Scan there showed growth on track, HB of 154, and we got a new due date. Feeling a little more confident, we told our blended crew of 5 kids age 8-13. They were so excited! Especially my DD who started talking to the "little bean" in my belly and my SD who said this was an answer to her prayers.

Around Wednesday this past week, my anxiety was starting to build again. Still experiencing the glory of first tri symptoms, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. Tried to be more positive, pray, shake it off. Couldn't. I found out on Thursday night that you can book a private heartbeat scan for about $20. Called on Friday morning, they got me in on Saturday afternoon. DH was home with our crew, so I asked my mom to come with. 30 seconds in I was already starting to cry and I said there's no heartbeat, is there. She's not a medical/diagnostic tech, so she said all she could say was that she saw a baby of 8-9 week size and she couldn't see what she should be seeing. There was no flicker, no HB. She said to go to ER or call my Dr, there was no charge for the scan, and take the time I needed before leaving. Mom started driving while I paged my Dr. When I reached her, she checked to make sure I was safe and well-supported, but that since I wasn't experiencing any physical symptoms, that I should come in fasting on Monday morning to see her in fetal development, and we would decide what to do from there. I asked if I should confirm the findings of the clinic since they aren't diagnostic, but she said they are still well-trained sonographers and she trusted what they saw. 

I'm devastated, my family and kids are being fantastic and supportive, though my daughter just cried with me for a good long while. My heart knew first, now my brain does, but my body is betraying me by still feeling very much pregnant. It's just so awful. I feel stupid for allowing myself to hope and dream that this might end differently.

Finally my questions: I'm assuming that since she specified I should be fasting, that she wants to be ready for a D&C? What should I expect? (I am 36, 9w2d, and have a complicated medical history) How long is it likely to take? How much time should I plan to take off work? Am I OK to go alone and drive myself about an hour home? (DH has a job that is tricky to book off from, and is working on Monday) Any help/advice/guidance is welcomed. Thanks for taking the time to read <3

Re: D&amp;amp;C questions: What to expect/how to prepare?

  • I am so so so sorry. Heavy heart for you!!

    I'd be surprised if they did the procedure same day but I guess this depends on the clinic and doctor. Maybe call the nurse line to find out the typical process.

    To answer your other questions, I had a D&C a little over a month ago and it was a pretty simple procedure physically.

    A lot of the answers you need really depend on how they do the procedure. If they are using anesthesia you will not want to drive after the procedure and will want someone to stay with you for at least 8 hours. The procedure itself is typically less than 30 minutes but expect prep and recovery time so total time around 2-4 hours but again all depends on how they do the procedure and anesthesia options.

    I'd take a day or two off mostly for emotional reasons. Depending on how physical your job is you may need that time for recovery but I actually returned to work the next day to my desk job. I work from home though so consider that.

    Come on in here for support anytime. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow @prairiemomma82
  • Thanks, @bethica83, I appreciate you sharing your experience. The only reason I think she wants to do it right away is that she asked for me to be fasting? I was talking to her only about 15 minutes after leaving the clinic with the news, so I was too emotional to ask any intelligent questions. Calling a nurse line is a great idea, I'll try that this afternoon.

    DH has decided to call his supervisor and just insist that he has to take the day off for a family emergency. (My back up was to call him if I needed help, and they would just have to scramble a bit to cover his spot)

    I just multiple jobs, the main one is simple admin, and I got a sub to cover my art teaching time for this week.

    Again, thanks so much for the advice. <3
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  • I am so sorry for your loss. Do not feel stupid, we all get pregnant and want the outcome to be a beautiful take home baby.  I don't look at it as your body betraying you. I also had a missed misscarriage. In my mind, my body was fighting for and trying to keep the baby even though it was not possible. I know everyone has a different perspective, and that's mine.

    As far as the D&C, my actually procedure took about 10 min. I arrived at the hospital for 630 and left by 830. They were adamant on having someone to drive me home and take care of me for a bit as I was under full anaesthesia and given valium before hand. I had the surgery on a Thursday and the doc said he didn't want me to go to work on Friday. I don't know what he would have recommended had it not been a weekend. I personally felt having those 2 extra days was good for my mental health.

    Take care of yourself :heart:
  • First, I am sorry you your loss 

    I would assume she wants you to fast to do blood work.  I had to have pre-ops with my last 2 d&cs. I would also hope your doctor would give you choices as to how you want to end the pregnancy.

    D&c is generally a quick mostly painless experience.  I wasn't even given pain medication after my 2nd one.  All mine were done at the hospital.  I feel like you are there forever waiting, but the procedure is quick, and you get to go home pretty soon after.  I had some cramping and bleeding after,.  I took a few days off for work after.  


    Me: 30 DH:32

    DD 3/11  

    MMC 2/12

    DS 1/13

    TTC #3 since 2/17.  Malignant molar missed miscarriage 8/22/17

  • I am so sorry. If they do a d&c I would be sure they used anesthesia. I would not be awake for it. If so you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for the rest of the day. Keep an eye on your bleeding after. 
    My first mc/d&c was a nightmare (not sedated), but my second was a breeze. At least physically. 
    Again, I'm so sorry. 
  • ble1ble1 member
    I am so sorry. The d&c itself was not bad. We found out Thursday and had surgery the following Monday.  I went back to work Wednesday(modified hours)It took me until Saturday or Sunday to feel "normal" both mentally and physically. The following week I was still bleeding with some cramping on and off. Everyone is different, take it easy and allow yourself time to physically and mentally heal. Have someone pick you up afterwards, you might feel groggy and its better not to get behind the wheel. Let us know how your dr visit goes tomorrow.
  • I spent all weekend praying that there was some error, and for a miracle heartbeat, but it wasn’t meant to be. Dr confirmed that baby passed sometime last week via tvus and taus. No heartbeat and no growth past about 8w3d. (I’m now 9w3d) They printed out a couple pictures for us (by request) and gave me the choice of medical or surgical intervention to move things along since my body is still showing no signs of miscarriag. I chose to administer misoperetol at home, as doing that last time allowed me to save the gestational sac to bury and grieve/honour our loss  DH is home with me today and tomorrow to support and monitor.

    Thank you all for the guidance and support <3
  • Again, I am so sorry. I'm glad you made a decison that feels right for you. I hope you and your family find peace.
  • ble1ble1 member
    I'm sorry for the loss of little bean. I'm glad you are able to bury and grieve, and dh is with you. 
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