Advice about Miscarriage

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  • Fear about D&C procedure

    (17 replies)

    Dear community,

    I am having an early pregnancy missed miscarriage (8 weeks) for the second time this year and I was recommended to have a D&C procedure in order to test the baby's tissues. I haven't had a succesful pregnancy yet. This would be my first time going through a D&C (last time I used misoprostol at home) and I am worried about the possible complications: uterine perforation, scars on the uterus, Asherman syndrome, etc. The surgery would be done at Kaiser in Oakland, a hospital that is very new to me (I just switched insurance a few months ago).

    If anyone has experience with D&C, and more specifically in Oakland Kaiser, I would love to hear some feedback about how the procedure went, the recovery time afterwards, if there is a doctor you would recommend for that procedure,...

    Thanks a lot in advance,

    Take care

    I didn't have one at Kaiser but mine went very well. They gave me a benzodiazepine to relax me so I felt a bit loopy but I felt zero pain, it was over quickly, and I had no complications (which are quite rare). I felt back to my normal self later that day and had almost no cramping and just a moderate amount of bleeding a few days later. Much quicker/less painful than passing the tissue at home with miso, comparatively. Sorry to hear you are going through this but I think you'll do great and feel ok!

    Hi --

    I'm so sorry you're going through this for a second time! I had a missed miscarriage (discovered at my 12-week nuchal translucency scan) last June and decided to have a D&C.  I was at UCSF, not Kaiser, but my experience was as positive as it could have been given the circumstances.  My husband and I arrived in the morning (they made an exception to the then-policy of no visitors due to COVID), I spoke with the nurse about the procedure, and was given misoprostol and told I could take a walk, hang out in the courtyard, etc.  They offered me benzodiazepine to reduce anxiety, which I took.  A couple hours later I had the procedure, which took less than 15 minutes.  There was some pain with the administration of topical anesthetic and for me and some intense but very brief discomfort during the procedure itself.  (I had previously given birth, so I don't know if it would have been more painful if I hadn't -- but I don't think my previous pregnancy made a difference to how long the procedure took.)  My biggest recovery issue was waiting for the benzodiazepine to wear off -- I was pretty loopy the rest of the day.  I was told I could go back to physical exercise the day after the procedure if I wanted and although I don't think I *did*, I felt fine - basically zero physical recovery time. The docs I spoke with were very reassuring about the risk of complications, and I didn't have any. I ended up getting pregnant on my first regular cycle following the D&C, had an uneventful pregnancy, and gave birth in May to the healthy kiddo chilling next to me.

    Please feel free to reach out if you have more specific questions or just to commiserate with someone else who has been through the experience.

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I've had 4 miscarriages (at 8, 6, and 6 weeks), 3 of which I chose to do a D&C procedure. All 3 procedures were done with Kaiser Oakland, different practitioners each time, tissues were tested after 2 of them and showed chromosomal abnormalities. I'm really happy we made the decision to test. Although none of the experiences were 'great', I felt that I was treated with compassion and patience each time. There was mild cramping during the procedure, not as bad as I was expecting. Physical recovery afterwards was pretty easy, I felt. I was able to go back to work and resume normal activities within a couple of days. It was the emotional recovery that took longer. I did have some scar tissue build up after the last D&C procedure that was spotted in a hysterosalpingogram prior to starting IVF, but that resolved itself within a few weeks. 

    I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. I had a D&C in 2017 after a missed miscarriage, also around 8-9 weeks, and had no physical complications or issues. I scheduled it early in the day and was feeling physically well enough to go to a meeting in the late afternoon (with someone from out of town, I wasn't able to reschedule unfortunately - I wouldn't recommend scheduling a meeting on the same day like I did!!). They gave me painkillers to take before and after, and I think I just had to take one more later in the day after the procedure. I was feeling physically fine the next day and I was able to get pregnant again a few months later.

    I tested the tissue with Natera and found that it was a triploidy, with an extra copy of every chromosome, which is more likely to happen by random chance and unlikely to happen again. But it is associated with a molar pregnancy, which has a small chance of leading to other issues, so my doctor recommended regular hCG testing afterward to make sure it goes back down to normal - we never would have known that without the testing. So I would recommend the testing, as it may help you identify why the pregnancy was nonviable or reassure you that it was random bad luck, as it was in our case.

    Hi, I had a D&C at Kaiser Oakland 3 years ago when I was 12 weeks pregnant and I could not have been more impressed with the way they handled the entire process.  From A to Z they were so professional and also very kind.  It's an incredibly stressful, difficult thing to do. My eyes are welling up now just thinking back on it. The recovery was extremely fast. I had to fly out of state the very next morning because of a pre-exising commitment and because the D&C was essentially unplanned. I just took whatever doctor they had available... I don't remember her name. Don't hesitate to use Kaiser Oakland.  They are very, very good health care providers. 

    I had d&c at my OB’s office in alameda kaiser. I got a shot on my butt cheek to numb the pain. Had it done during covid so your experience will likely be a lot different. Recovery went along as long as I took time off from work and practiced self care. Good luck.

    First, I’m so sorry this is happening to you. But you are far from alone. I have had this procedure done on an early miscarriage at Kaiser Oakland twice now. Both times were flawless with very compassionate care providers. I opted out of genetic testing the first time, but not the second, and my advice to you, to the extent that it’s helpful, is to have the testing done. In my case I learned definitively that the issue was an abnormality incompatible with life. (It’s likely you will find the same!) My experience was that was actually very relieving for me, to know that there was nothing I could’ve done. In retrospect, I should have done the genetic testing the first time as well. It also meant, that when I was successfully pregnant later, I had more confidence that the baby was going to be healthy and okay once we’d moved out of that early phase. 

    The procedure is quick, not too uncomfortable, and recovery (for me) was fast. Much faster than the medicine route. And no one minded my tears! Best of luck to you!

    I'm sorry about your loss.  I can't speak about Kaiser specifically, but can comment about experiences with D&C.  First, although there are some risks, it should be noted that it is an extremely common procedure (used for early miscarriage which is quite common, placenta left inside after childbirth, and exactly the same set of clinical steps as a first trimester abortion) so many obgyns will be extremely experienced.  A few hours before the procedure, the doctor will typically ask you to take oral medication, IIRC a muscle relaxer and an opiate (the latter I didn't do because only the procedure itself hurts, and it is short).  They ask that you have someone to drive you to/from the procedure.  The D&C itself takes a few minutes (maybe faster, but it feels longer), and is very painful.  Afterwards, they will give you time to sit until you are ready to leave.  It helps to put a heat pad over the belly during that time, which they can provide, but you might need to ask for.   Beyond this, there might be a little bit of spotting, but not pain.  So in my experience, the physical recovery time is only a few minutes, not including the time for the oral medication to wear off.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I had a D&C due to a non-viable pregnancy at 13 weeks about 4 years ago, although I lived in Boston at the time. My procedure took place at an outpatient women's health clinic. It was an emotionally difficult experience to say the least, but physically it was relatively easy. You have to rest for a few days and generally take it easy for about 4 weeks if I remember correctly. No swimming. I actually had to take a cross-country flight 3 days after my procedure and it was not a problem. I now have two healthy children after two uneventful pregnancies. This is just my experience, of course, but I wanted to share in case it helps ease your mind. Sending you love and light. <3

    I had a D&C after miscarriage at CPMC with dr Laurie Green who is top notch and probably delivered more babies in her career than anyone else. She was my obgyn when I lived in SF but worth commuting for in my opinion if you live east bay. I’ve had two babies since the D&C and no complications or pain. Good luck!!


    I am so sorry to hear about your lost pregnancies. As for the D&C, the chances of any complications are very low. I am both a woman who has had one and a medical record coder for Kaiser. There is very little chance that anything will go wrong. When I had one the only reaction I had was nearly fainting when I saw the needle for the IV going into my hand. The doctors at Kaiser Oakland are very experienced and the procedure itself is relatively simple. The d is the dilation of your cervix so that they can do the curettage (which is usually evacuation done with a vacuum these days). Dr. Goldsmith, Dr. Mehta, and several others are all good. If anything I would just say make it clear that you don't want a Resident if it makes you nervous. 

    Also I remember my recovery time being relatively short, a week or less, and only minor cramping for a day or two. I really do think you will be fine. Best wishes and good health to you.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I had the procedure for the exact same reason in Jan 2020 at Kaiser Oakland. I’m a doctor myself and felt I got wonderful care, and it was also comforting to have the information from the tissue testing, which confirmed it was random chance due to a trisomy (eg most common cause of early miscarriage). I went on to have a successful pregnancy. 
    In my case it was a hand vacuum procedure, which is the same as is used for an elective early pregnancy termination (abortion). The risk of complications you mention is extremely low, and I spent the afternoon on the couch with fairly minimal cramping (though it is a blur because you’ll receive Ativan before the procedure). The procedure itself took about half an hour in the office. 
    Meredith Warden supervised a resident doing my procedure, and they were both excellent. She is fellowship trained in family planning/abortion and clearly was very knowledgeable. 
    You should know you’ll check in at one of the general Ob/GYN clinics, which means there might be pregnant people in the waiting room. At the same time, you are not singled out in any way why you are there so it can add to a feeling of privacy, if that is helpful to know. You’re welcome to message me directly if I can help with anything else, and sending best wishes to you and your family. 

    I'm so sorry for your loss! I ended up having three recurrent miscarriages before having a healthy boy and am now pregnant with #2 (and had one early loss before this pregnancy as well). One of my losses was a missed miscarriage and i had a D&C at Kaiser (but not Kaiser Oakland). for my D&C, a friend who had had one had recommended doing it without the heavier pain med they give you beforehand. that otherwise you are totally out of it the rest of the day. so i skipped that pain med and i will say it was painful but bearable and didn't last that long (i dont know that i recommend that option as i dont know what the w med option is like). the doc i had had terrible bedside banner and said something like how there was a lot of tissue in there that she needed to remove. after it was over, i really didn't feel much physical pain just emotional pain but went to work the next day and was fine (to me it felt easier to keep busy than sit at home and wallow but thats probably a personal decision). Its true there are risks as you named, but i think they are all quite small. In addition to testing the fetal tissue, i would advocate for the full bloodwork workup they do for recurrent miscarriages. As for Kaiser Oakland, that is where i now go and it seems like their docs are all super busy and you may just want to go with who has availability so you don't have to leave this pregnancy hanging over you. I hope you get some answers and have a healthy pregnancy in the near future! It totally sucks, but is surprisingly common and I've been amazed once i started sharing my experience how many other people i know have had similar challenges.

    I'm really sorry you're experiencing that. That is really hard. Misoprostol didn't work for me so I ended up having a D&C and it was quick and easy. I actually had a dr I never met perform it because the ultrasound tech told me there was some of the pill left in my uterus and I could start contracting again at any time. (And THAT experience was actually one of the worse experiences of my life, would never repeat that.) I didn't have any complications and went on to have a successful pregnancy a few months later. (The miscarried pregnancy had taken us 8 months and the successful pregnancy afterward was about 4 months later. We now have a second, who was via IVF, but it doesn't have anything to do with the D&C. I had a lot of scans etc when trying for the second and there isn't anything wrong with the insides of my uterus.) This wasn't at Kaiser, sorry, but wanted to share my experience anyhow. 

    First, I’m so sorry you are going through this. I had my own missed miscarriage at 8 weeks back in June. I went through two D&Cs and a round of misoprostol in between before it was complete. In my experience the misoprostol was the hardest, physically. The D&C involves some serious cramping and discomfort but it’s over in 15 min or so. I too was worried by the risks involved, but (fortunately/unfortunately) it’s seems like a very routine procedure so the risk is small. After the first one I think I was a little crampy for a day or two afterwards—not a bad recovery at all. The second one was a quick one just to get a tiny bit of leftover tissue and recovery was even easier, I was fine the next day.

    Hello, I am so SO sorry for your loss. Even though miscarriage is common, it is so painful and heartbreaking and especially so when you haven’t had a successful pregnancy. I had a very bad experience with a D&C after missed miscarriage of my first pregnancy at Kaiser Oakland with a woman I believe was named Dr. Appleton or Apple something in 2010. They told me the risk of D&C was very low, and I was a wreck so just agreed to what they recommended. The procedure was very painful and then I stopped having normal periods. After a year of various doctors telling me I just should just “relax” and I would get pregnant, I finally demanded testing and learned that my uterus was completely full of scar tissue- severe Ashermans. They told me I would never carry a child because the damage was too severe. It was devastating. After reading every medical journal article on this issue I could find and fighting with Kaiser for my medical records I was able to switch insurance and get another opinion and treat the Ashermans elsewhere, but the health impacts of that D&C made both of my later successful pregnancies extremely high risk and both kids were delivered early via emergency c sections. I still have health impacts now, more than 10 years later as well. I do not mean to scare you but I wish more people talked about these things openly because there are risks. If you can handle just waiting it out, I would try to do that-  I know it’s very hard. Or if you do a D&C, please ask them to use a hysteroscope for guidance so they can see what they are doing and not damage your body. While D&Cs are generally very low risk, your uterine lining is uniquely vulnerable to damage with a missed miscarriage so special care is important. I am so sorry for what you are going through and wish you well. 

    Thank you so much to everyone from the community for getting back to me. 

    It really helps to feel that we are not alone in those difficult times. 

    I ended up going for the D&C and it went well. The staff was very compassionate and nice. It was much less traumatising than taking the medication misoprostol by myself at home. Hopefully, I will recover well without any complications.

    Thanks again and wishing you all the best,

    Take care,

  • Unfortunately, I've had two miscarriages back-to-back this year. In 2019, I had my first child (a boy) with no complications -- super easy pregnancy. I'm 30 years old, and seem to be having some trouble staying pregnant. With Kaiser, there have been extremely long waits to move forward with any testing. My rheumatologist has indicated that I may have very quiet, very early lupus (no symptoms), but that's the only clue so far as to the consecutive losses. Before we try for a third time, I'm wondering if anyone has been through something similar and had success with a particular OBor reproductive endocrinologist, line of testing, or treatment plan. My gut is telling me that the losses are autoimmune-related. I've looked up Dr. Zouves, who seems to focus on immunology and fertility, but don't think it makes sense for us to pursue IVF since conception doesn't seem to be the problem. Thank you in advance for any and all advice! This is such a lonely and frustrating experience :(

    Hi highly recommend Spring Fertility, Dr. Minjarez in Oakland. They are a fertility clinic and specialize in everything- not just IVF. She is kind, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable. It’s possible that your insurance doesn’t cover it. But my only regret is not switching my fertility care from Kaiser to Spring sooner. It would have saved time and heartache. 

    I don't have any dr recommendations really but I do know I made a lot of assumptions about what fertility drs do and there is a whole range of things other than IVF. You're having a fertility issue, so I think a fertility dr is a great person to see. It took us several months to get into a dr early this year, so I'd def recommend reaching and scheduling something. We went to UCSF Mission Bay Center for Reproductive Health and saw Dr Noel. Everyone there is amazing. Good luck and I'm so sorry for your losses. 

    I’m so sorry for your losses. I had 3 early miscarriages (at 9 and 11 weeks), no previous live births- I went to UCLA high risk OB chief who prescribed natural progesterone suppositories until 11th week as soon as I became pregnant. I went on to have 4 normal pregnancies, each with the supplement to be on safe side and had no additional miscarriages. I suggest consulting a high risk OB at UCSF. Good luck! 

    I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. I am 38 and went through 3 recurrent losses in late 2017 and 2018 before having my son last year and am also with Kaiser. My experience does not sound totally similar to yours (no indication of auto-immune issues for me), but will share a few things in case they are helpful. There is bloodwork specific to recurrent miscarriages that my OB was able to order for me (you should be able to ask for it, and if you want me to look up exactly what all they tested, DM me and i can look it up). Then, i got referred to Kaiser's fertility services. While i live in E bay, i was working in SF so was using SF's Kaiser services at that time, and my OB said that she heard E bay ones were much more backed up, so if you don't mind traveling to SF, that might be worth pursuing? I ended up being diagnosed with a borderline case of PCOS and took a supplement called myoinositol specific to that. Also unrelated to PCOS, from positive pregnancy test i took baby aspirin and progesterone daily, which are pretty standard recurrent miscarriage treatments. I have no idea if any of these things helped or we just got lucky. One other thing: not sure how far along you have gotten before miscarrying, i had 2 very early and 1 at 9.5 weeks, and the one at 9.5 weeks i was able to request they test to determine whether it had chromosomal abnormalities (which is the most common reason for miscarriages) - because mine had normal chromosomes, it was an indicator that something else was likely going on. 

    I definitely know it can be a frustrating and lonely experience, but I've also been surprised to become acquainted with so many people who have been through stuff like this, it just is that people don't typically talk about it. Good luck to you, and best wishes for a sticky pregnancy soon!

    I don’t have any advice , just wanted to say that I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing this. I’m sending positive energy and love your way.

    Hi there

    Sorry to hear about your loss and struggles. I moved here recently from Ireland. I imagine most likely you’ll be advised to go on clexane injections in combo with daily baby aspirin. I had 6 miscarriages and ten rounds of ivf. I’ve seen and been through it all. I’ve mild lupus with severe endometriosis. Once I was put on that protocol for recurrent loss, we had our baby girl 

    good luck! 

    No doctor recommendations, but maybe check to see if you’re a carrier of the homozygous MTHFR gene mutation. It’s a relatively common gene variant and is linked to recurrent miscarriages. Dr. Google can tell you more, including the potential treatment of taking a baby aspirin a day while pregnant. 

    I’m so sorry for your losses. It is heartbreaking and I’m sending you good thoughts.

    I had back to back miscarriages in 2019 (had my first child in 2017). My doctor (Sutter Health) said up to 3 miscarriages is considered “normal”, though it felt anything but normal. I’m a bit older than you, mid-30s, and mentioned my concerns about getting older and having enough time to have another baby. She agreed after the second miscarriage that we should pursue testing, starting with a test I can’t think of and a hysterosalpingogram. I got the feeling that normally she wouldn’t pursue this route until after the third miscarriage. It is a PPO, and Kaiser may be different-I had Kaiser for years and found that they seemed to have “rules” about when treatment was allowed. I had a baby this summer (after 2 miscarriages, got pregnant before pursuing the testing) and have friends who had three miscarriages before having kids. I have no idea if it is “normal” or not. That said, trust your body and if something feels off, pursue it. Wishing you all the best.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. I went through something similar and recall that the worst part, for me, was the agony of not understanding what was happening.

    After having my first child at age 35, I had three miscarriages back to back in the span of about one year when I was 36-37. I have an autoimmune disorder (hashimoto's thyroiditis) and was very concerned that there might be an undiagnosed health condition causing the miscarriages. Like you, I had zero trouble conceiving; just did not manage to stay pregnant past 12 weeks. After my third miscarriage, I saw Heather Huddleston, a reproductive endocrinologist at UCSF. I sought her out because she specializes in recurrent miscarriages and because there's still so much we don't understand about miscarriage, but I reasoned that someone working in academia would have the latest research at her fingertips. And I was not disappointed in that regard. She was so much more informative than my "normal" OB's office was.

    The first thing she did during our appointment was show me the data that pertained to women with my age and health history. The data showed two things: 1) how common it is to suffer multiple miscarriages, for women of all ages and 2) that even at my "advanced" age, I still had a very high likelihood of conceiving and carrying a baby to full term with medical intervention of any kind. One of my takeaways was that the conventional wisdom around miscarriage - that it is super rare among young women but very common among women over 35 - is not quite that straightforward and that there's a much broader range of experiences that can still be called "normal." She encouraged me to try again and also expressed a willingness to continue to work with me. I did as she suggested and my next pregnancy was the one that led to the birth of my second child, so I never did work with her on a more detailed treatment plan. But I really, really liked her and remember her as a bright spot during what was otherwise an anxious and painful time.

    I wish you the best!

    Just a note on not pursuing IVF because conception doesn't seem to be the problem.  I managed to conceive three times (with some minimal fertility treatment such as Clomid) but each pregnancy ended in either miscarriage, or in one case, a partial molar pregnancy that had to be terminated.  After these experiences, my reproductive endocrinologist suggested IVF, because she felt that with IVF, the most promising embryos can be selected, and the chances of miscarriage of a faulty embryo were thus lowered.  Obviously just anecdotal, but on our first IVF attempt we ended up with two embryos implanting, and healthy twins eight months later.

    I can recommend Susan Willman as an excellent RE.  I don't know if she has any particular expertise in immunology.  Best of luck to you--I sympathize, it is indeed a difficult experience.

    Hi, I would definitely recommend seeing a reproductive endocrinologist as your next step since you are already under the care of rheumatologist.  While I saw an RE for a different issue, they will be the most knowledgeable in what tests to perform for RPL.  For example, they could help figure out whether it's a uterine, blood or possibly a genetic issue with the embryos. I was very happy with my treatment at Spring Fertility.  I saw Dr. Klatsky at the San Francisco office, but they have east bay and south bay offices as well. I would also recommend joining reddit (if you don't have it already), and joining the r/infertility group.  I learned so much from these daily conversations between women going through the same thing and it made me feel less alone.   

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. 

    I had a similar experience about 5 years ago when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant. I also have Kaiser, and my experience was that it required some significant pushing on my part to have them recommend treatment. (They either told me it wasn't a problem, keep trying, or tried to steer me straight to IVF, which doesn't really make sense if conception is happening relatively easily.) As hard as it was in the midst of grieving, I ended up getting a recommendation to see a reproductive endocrinologist, Dr Orkun Tan, who I REALLY appreciated. He does some appointments in Oakland, but is mostly out of Kaiser San Ramon. He did blood test, a uterine saline test to check any physical issues, and an ultrasound (I think that was it, it's been a while). I ended up getting prescribed a thyroid hormone, and got pregnant pretty soon after, so assuming it helped. He also monitored the early pregnancy directly, and I had a lot more early pregnancy exams than a standard pregnancy, which really helped mitigate fear/worry.

    Sending you and your family good thoughts. It's a hard situation. Happy to answer any questions directly, too.

    I don't have any advice or recommendations, but what you are experiencing is really hard and sad and I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I commend you for seeking the answers and not giving up. 

    About 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, given that probability. women have about a 6% chance of having one right after the other. That's significant. It may just be a fluke. I know someone who had back-to-back miscarriages and then went on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy children with no more miscarriages. Wishing you future success. 

  • Dear community,

    I am facing a difficult choice and need your advice. I am visiting China when spotting started 2 days ago. I was 6 weeks 5 days. Went to ER the next day and they did an ultrasound. They were still able to see the sac and heart beat. I was prescribed Dydrogesterone tablets. But since I got home from the hospital, the bleeding increased dramatically and passed lots of blood clot. I went to ER this morning for another ultrasound. I was told I was having an “unavoidable miscarriage”, the tissues are still not passed. The doctor strongly recommended me to do a D&C immediately to avoid infections.

    I had a previous miscarriage in SF, at 6 weeks. At that time, I was just sent home and was told to come back in another week to check my HCG level. Anyone please has any experience/advices to share? I would rather wait it out but of course don’t want to end up with infections/complications while away from home. Thanks.

    I'm sorry about your loss. I don't think there is a right answer. I can tell you that when I miscarried it stopped developing around 7 weeks but spotting didn't start until 12 weeks. I had uncomfortable cramping and spotting about 10 days and eventually went the D&C route. Honestly, if I had to do it again I would have done D&C immediately. Much easier, faster closure, and wouldn't have to worry about infection or anything. Good luck! 

    Hi Eski, I am so so sorry for your loss. I had a missed miscarriage with my first pregnancy at 11 weeks and was advised to do a D&C when the pills didn't work. Unfortunately the Kaiser Oakland doctor who performed the D&C did a very bad job and severely damaged my uterus, leaving me with Ashermans Syndrome, where instead of being an open cavity where a baby can grow, your uterus is filled with dense scar tissue. As a result, I was told I would never be able to carry a child. I then read every medical article I could find and learned that after a miscarriage you are quite susceptible to developing this condition unless precautions are taken, liking doing a D&C guided by a hysteroscope. Ultimately I found an amazing surgeon who was able to repair my uterus and I was able to get pregnant, but my pregnancy was complicated and high risk because of placenta previa, which is common among people who have had Ashermans. My son had to be delivered via emergency c-section a month early to protect me.

    That is a long way of saying, please proceed with caution. Ask if you can wait longer or take other steps to avoid a D&C, or if the D&C can be done guided by a hysteroscope, and please make sure you are working with a very skilled doctor. I am so sorry you are going through this, my heart goes out to you. I will try to also send this to you privately so you can respond if you have questions.

    First of all, sorry that you're going through this. I started to miscarry at the same time and was heading out of the country a few days later. They were concerned that I would have major bleeding in the air or but be able to get medical attention quickly if bleeding didn't stop so we did the d&c and it gave me to piece of mind to travel safely and feel like I wasn't in danger. I also found out 4 weeks after the trip that I was pregnant again..apparently you're the most fertile right after a miscarriage. We now have a 13 month old.... Thinking good thoughts for you whichever you choose

    I don't have any medical advice but wondering if you're able to contact your primary care physician or OBGYN at home and see what they advise. It might be helpful to get some advice from a medical professional you have some experience with. 

    I imagine this is also emotionally difficult. Thinking of you and wishing you strength and love. 

    I am so sorry for your loss. I've had two miscarriages, both at around ten weeks. I was bleeding and assumed that I had passed the fetus, but I had not. Cramps a few weeks later and I passed what was later confirmed as a six-week-old fetus. It sounds awful, but I was more intrigued by that time than anything else. There was more to this story, but I don't remember it now! I just know that my body's wisdom passed what was not viable. The fetus stopped growing at 6 weeks in both my miscarriages. I had no issue with any infections with this first one even though I obviously was carrying around tissue for a few weeks.  The second miscarriage I was passing a lot of blood clots and went to the ER in the middle of the night. They kept checking for the fetus, but I had not passed it. They did an ultrasound and saw lots of tissue so I opted for a D/C that time. The second miscarriage was more traumatic than the first due to a number of factors, including a very nasty doctor on call. I don't regret the D&C, but it would never be my first choice. I would first give me body a chance to do its thing, and if that wasn't working I would do what was necessary to avoid infection. This was a personal choice and not necessarily the right one for everyone. Good luck. I was 38 for the first miscarriage and 42 with the second. I decided not to try anymore after the second one. Good news is that I had a healthy baby boy in between who is now 20 years old! He was and still is a good egg! :)

    First, I am so sorry you are going through this - I know how hard it is. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks, and was also advised to have a D&C since, like you, lots of spotting and the tissue had not passed. I had the D&C with no issues and in the end, I was glad I did it.  The good news is I became pregnant with my daughter shortly afterward the miscarriage, and had a healthy full term pregnancy. Thinking you and wish you the best!

    I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks and then a D&C. I got pregnant almost immediately afterward. No problems at all. 

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August 2008

After 4 miscarriages (and one little boy), we are getting serious about international adoption. And while we are excited by the possibility of a new little person joining our family (and aware of the complications), what we don't know is if our little heartache about not being able to have another child will always stay with us. I'd love to hear from adoptive parents with infertility/miscarriages to see if they get over the ache and move on or if it sticks with them. anon

Like you I had many miscarriages before adopting. For me, it's been 15 years since the last miscarriage. I would love to say that the ache is entirely gone; it's not, but it has gotten more bearable. I've been to several counselors for this but maybe because none of them had experienced a miscarriage, I never felt therapy helped much. What has helped is remembering that every human being experiences loss. (This sounds a little trite and silly, but honestly this is what helps me: nobody makes it through life unscathed.) I send you much empathy. Knowing this experience first- hand, I understand how that pain can fill your thoughts. I think we just keep moving forward as best we can, hope for strength and let ourselves experience happiness in the children we are allowed to keep. Ann

We adopted two children after infertility treatment. When we finally realized that we were going to create our family not biologically but through adoption, I went through a period of anger (mostly at my spouse because it took so long for him to be comfortable with starting a family) and mourning for the child/children I had dreamed of birthing. At first I couldn't talk about our decision to adopt without crying. But now, I feel privileged to be raising two vibrant, delightful children from a birth culture and ethnicity that, though different than mine, has enriched our family so much. The unfulfilled dreams I grieved now seem so trivial compared to the unexpected richness we gained through international adoption. Now my only regret is the time and money I invested resisting adoption--although I also realize I needed to move through the infertility treatments to move forward with creating the family we now have.

It helped me mourn by building a clear image of the child/children I had dreamed I would parent and also of how I had dreamed those children would come to be part of our family. Then I mourned for what I had lost. I also forgave my husband and myself for decisions we made to delay starting our family until we were in our late thirties. I also felt that my body had betrayed me and needed to get over that, too.

Afterwards I became aware of what I really wanted--a family. At that point, I saw that biological reproduction had never been my goal (although I know some people for whom that was most important). My goal had always been to be a mother. Then the decisions we were making to adopt and then to adopt internationally became energizing and fulfilling.

I always expected parenting to grow me in new directions. Parenting internationally adopted children has expanded my understanding of the world and myself beyond what I think would have happened through biological parenting. While biological parenting was what I had wanted and worked really hard to achieve, I am now grateful and humbled to have been privileged to parent through adoption because I have gained so much. While I can remember the grief and anger I felt when I first turned toward adoption, it's always leavened with bemusement because the joy of adopting my children is so much more powerful than those past feelings. Adoptive mom

Both happen. You move on and it sticks with you. Infertility and miscarriages are extremely difficult. There's so much hurt and loss and sadness (and anger). Those don't go away. BUT they do get less intense and if you want more children, having another child is a blessing regardless of how you get him or her. All I can say (I've been through it) is respect what your feeling, it sucks. But when you're ready, move on. You will probably always remember the sadness and loss, that's part of who you are now - but it shouldn't stop you from moving forward with your life. I'm sorry for your loss.

I suffered a miscarriage early in our marriage. Subsequent attempts to get pregnant w/Clomid, then injectibles and IUIs all failed. We decided to adopt. I can honestly say that I could not fathom loving a biological child more than I love my girl, who is now 6 years old. My heart still ached for the possibility of still conceiving and carrying a child until 1 1/2 years ago, when I had surgery (elective) to destroy the lining of my uterus. The surgery was to eliminiate heavy bleeding and very painful, frequent periods. I also had to be willing to relinquish my desire to ever become pregnant as a result of the surgery. I decided at that time that I had made my peace w/not having a biological child. My daughter is a daily reminder to me that it is not how the journey to parenthood happens, it's that it happened and for that I am eternally grateful to her birthparents. I wish you well. barbara

please consider adoption! I too had many miscarriages and wondered about this same issue. My husband & I now have two beautiful girls from China, 8.5 and 2.5 years. I did grieve my inability to have bio kids, but then got totally caught up in the paper chase of adoption, made friends with the group of families we traveled with, and have never really looked back. Any worries or fears i had vanished when my first daughter was placed into my arms 7 years ago, and other a-parents i have spoken to with similar issues report similar feelings. family is family, no matter how you get there

First of all, I am sorry that you have had to experience four miscarriages. And glad that you have a son, and are also considering adding to your family through adoption. As a Marriage and Family Therapist who works with adoption and infertility issues, my perspective is that infertility and miscarriage are really significant losses. People are affected differently, of course; some have a heartache as you mention, and others are devasted. But it is important to go through the process of grief, appropriate to the level of loss one is experiencing. In the adoption community, it is often said that to feel truly entitled to be an adoptive parent, it is important to work through the loss and surrounding issues. Otherwise, unresolved issues can come up in unconscious ways later. Open Path (SF) and the national infertility organization Resolve (online) or short term therapy are great resources if you feel the need to pursue any other support. Good luck in your journey, Lynn

My husband and I had a very difficult 3 years of infertility treatments and IVF culminating in two devastating miscarriages. We had agreed on an end point, though. We couldn't keep trying IVF forever. It was hard for me to let go of the desire to have biological children together. For me, that was harder than dealing with the loss of the miscarriages. My husband just wanted to be a daddy. He became really enthusiastic about adoption. Once we both resolved that we did want a baby, and that we'd adopt, the whole process just flowed along, and we no longer thought of the loss. As they say, With adoption, there is ALWAYS a baby. We adopted domestically - Adoption Connection is wonderful - and we now have the greatest 7-year-old kid who is a big silly nerd just like his daddy! I don't even remember why I cared so much about having a biological child, and can't understand anymore why we waited so long before starting the adoption process!

I read your email with great empathy. I had 3 miscarriages and have one healthy, beautiful son. While we did not adopt following the miscarriages, I just wanted to add some reflections. No, the heartache does not go away. Yes, it gets put into perspective. As my life has gone forward, I find I can hardly remember life without my son, and I am so grateful to be his mom. That's where most of my attention and focus is. I can sometimes recall the pain of the miscarriages without feeling the pain anew. And then there are times--often completely unexpected--when something triggers the pain anew. I have seen the same thing happen with women who are in my mother's generation.

I think that you will find yourselves wrapped up and delighted with your life and your family, however you fill your family. I hope so. Once in awhile, a renewal of grief is not a bad thing, it is a true thing. It is part of the tapestry. It's important to allow that grief, and just as important to return to the living--your child, your family, your life. open hearted

Anon, It's hard to say you ever get over the ache.It's a real broken feeling inside of you when you know no more kids.I understood you have one boy. After years, you try to get to know how to live with it, but people questions keep remembering you of the pain. Lots of people advice it needs self-confident, and to tell yourself it can be much worse.Accept the present. Infertility survivor

I am the parent of two daughters whom I adopted. I too faced not being able to have biological child due to medical issues. I remember well the words of a Kaiser OB/GYN who talked to me when I was heartbroken. ''In the middle of the night, when your baby is sick and cries out, you will have no doubt whose child that is''. He was oh so right. I adopted my first child at birth. By 3 weeks of age I was head over heels in love with her. if I had been given the choice then to give her up and give birth to a biological child I would have said no, no to any other child but this little one My second daughter I adopted from China as an infant. The agency social worker coming to my house two months after my daughter arrived home. When she asked me how I felt about my daughter tears filled my eyes. I simply said, ''she leaped into my heart''. I think it is important for your husband and you to explore an important question. What makes a child ''your own? Is it the genetic link, the act of giving birth or does love grow from taking care of a child? To me, is the raising of a child, all 18 years, that makes a parent, that forms the bond. You might want to talk with a professional who works in the field of adoption, to discuss your questions and to talk about issues of adoption for your future child and family as well as issues of race an culture. Peggy

I'm the mom of a daughter adopted after my twins were stillborn. The answer to your question is complicated. I adore my daughter and can't imagine life without her, but adopting her 10 months later didn't erase the pain of the loss. We still had to grieve the loss of our boys. If you feel that adopting is the right way for you to expand your family at this point, by all means do it, but at the same time give yourself permission to feel however you feel about not having another biological child. You can be sad about that and still be a great parent to all of your children--no matter how they came into your family. The loss was devastating, but our daughter wouldn't have come to us without it, and I'm sure I'm a more consciously grateful parent than I would have been if becoming a parent had happened more easily. Good luck

We also adopted after 4 miscarriages. For me, the joy of a baby in the house erased the pain. I do still remember that pain if I think about it, but it seems more like a very sad movie I saw once that I don't want to see again. All our attention (and time) is taken up now with the new, much happier little worries of parenting!

Miscarriage of unplanned pregnancy

March 2008

I recently had a miscariage of an unplanned pregnancy. This is a first for me, both being pregnant and miscarrying. I have a few questions: Is it normal for me to be so physically exhausted? My emotions are all over the place, which I figured to be normal but how long does that last? It's been 4 weeks since I first started bleeding and I am starting to feel ''back to normal.'' BUT the last few days, everytime I see kids, all I can think of is having my own. Before this incident, I wanted to wait because we were NOT ready, but lately this is all I can think of. Is this normal? I am 25 years old and am in need of some guidance and advice. I haven't told anyone in our family because this is something they are all looking forward to and I don't want them to have to feel this pain. Please tell me your thoughts. Thank you... emotionally confused

I am so sorry to hear about your loss! It doesn't really matter if the pregnancy was planned or not, to lose it means you have to deal with the loss. It sounds like what you are experiencing is perfectly normal, if painful. Your body will settle down, for me (I've had three miscarriages) it usually took 1-2 cycles before my body felt strong and ready to go forward. But the emotions took longer to work through. It is completely normal to think about children and about being pregnant, even to obsess about it for a while. But I do recommend you get some help to work through all of the emotions. You say you didn't think you were ready for children before this happened, so it might be a good idea to more formally work through your feelings now, alone and with your partner. You might ask your doctor for recommendations for grief-work groups. I know there are many out here that deal with pregnancy loss, and an ob/gyn office would be sure to know what is current. You might also check the archives here to find an individual therapist who can help you deal with the loss.

You WILL feel better in time. All the same, this loss with be with you forever, a part of your personal story. My wish for you is that you can find solace for now, and that the experience of this loss will open you to a deeper gratitude when children do come your way. I wish you peace

Oh honey, I feel for you. After three miscarriages (and one child born in the midst of them), I know how much losing a pregnancy makes you understand what's at stake. I don't think you're abnormal. I think you've been introduced, all of a sudden and in a hard, hard way, to the world of longing to have a child.

You mentioned that you hadn't told anyone in your family because you want to spare them the pain. If I have any advice, it'd be to reconsider that. I did the same thing for 2 out of 3 losses, and I know it put me back. Really, seriously back. At least tell a friend who can help you out. anon

I am very sorry for your loss. When reading your post I felt compelled to write and suggest finding some extra support from a compassionate therapist. Be kind to yourself -- this is very difficult. Best wishes to you in your recovery. Suzanne

I lost my first son, who was planned, at full term for unknown reasons. After going through this tragic ordeal, (4 1/2 yrs ago now) I've had occasion to talk to a lot of people with all varieties of similar experience, so I would venture to share with you. The idea of a child is so huge, so important, so full of so much, the loss of that particular idea that had taken shape inside of you for a while is a lot to process. Your body, your brain and all that makes up the rest of you is deeply involved. It's a big change to go from not pregnant to pregnant and then back again- no matter what the circumstances! Planned, unplanned, early miscarraige, live birth, full term still birth, SIDS, or abortion. It's really intense, it seems there is no way around that. Sometimes we can't process it right away fully, for your body to remain affected is totally normal. I don't know exactly how long the bleeding lasts in this circumstances, you can probably find a midwife in the phone book or talk to your doctor about that. I was obsessed with my son's loss for pretty much every second of the day for months and months. Slowly slowly gradually gradually it lessened and loosened as I dealt with it all. It seems that people who have early miscarraiges are often treated like it shouldn't be that bad as they did not have as much time to attach to the child. It may be true that it is easier earleir than later, but that does not mean it is easy.

While it may be virtuous and proper ettiquitte to keep this loss to yourselves and not tell your family, that is a big burden to bear alone. One of the hardest things for me after losing Finnegan was how upset others would get when I would tell them. It seemed they didn't want to hear such sad news, yet I was bursting with it every minute. I don't mean to compare to your experience, as we are all so different, but I would encourage you to talk to someone. Maybe your closest friends/family could bear some of the pain with with you as grief can be so very isolating. I found through my experience that our culture really doesn't like to deal with death, and death of a child, or miscarraige, while very common, is not talked about, and thus; quite misunderstood.

Yes, looking at children will bring up the loss. Every baby, car seat, stroller, baby back pack etc. had me in bits. I craved a child with everything in me. Because I was full term, I really had to let go of that particular child before I could be ready for a new one. We conceived our second son 2 years to the month that we lost our first. We needed that time to process our experience, it was just right for us, but there is no right way for everyone. Having a second child has by no means replaced the first one, but it has filled our empty arms and given us such a tremendous joy and fullness, there is less grief in the experience of being fulfilled with a child. You are young, and you have time if that is what you honestly want. Your emotions will take whatever time they need to sort themselves out. Hormonally, again you should probably speak to a midwife or doctor for some concrete facts on that. I know how it is, once you lose one that longing is strong- it seems really really natural and normal to me, and to so many I've spoken to. Only you can find your own experience, but it is yours, and there is nothing wrong with you for it being precisely just how it is. Rachel

I'm so sorry for your loss. First of all, you may want to see if you are anemic and may like to take some iron--I was anemic for a long time after I had my son and didn't realize how exhausted it made me. Exercise will help to even out the hormones.

Secondly, find someone in your family, maybe an aunt, to chat with. Your family will understand the miscarriage and your feelings about children. Miscarriages are quite common, not that they are not painful, and there is probably a woman in your family who will understand. We had quite a time of it conceiving our son and didn't tell anyone, after a miscarriage or two, and they were all a little surprised I didn't say anything.

You may need to put a polite halt to discussion later--with my family, I have to let them know I'm done talking about something, as they will often bring it up. Be prepared to stand up for yourself with family, too, but it's likely they'll understand. Feel better soon! mommy who's been there

Your feelings are totally normal. For one thing, your hormone levels just changed when you were pregnant, with certain hormones increasing to levels you have never experienced before, and then they came right back down with the miscarriage, which would leave anyone feeling more emotional. You should be back to normal soon. I didn't realize how much I wanted children until the first time I was pregnant. I was one week late with my period (the pregnancy was unplanned) and I was starting to really realize that I may be pregnant. I started spotting and assumed it was my period and I was suddenly so depressed. Boy, did I want kids after that moment. Luckily I was pregnant and it was just some spotting from implantation. Let your body recover from the miscarriage and from the emotional rollercoaster and then decide if you want to start trying again for a child right away or if you want to wait. You are young so you have time still.

One unfortunate fact about being a woman and having children is miscarraige. They are extremely common, and out of all the women who have been pregnant, more of them had had miscarraiges than have not had them. I bet some older female relatives of yours have had a miscarriage, so if you told them about the miscarriage, they would understand. One fortunate thing about miscarriage is that miscarraiges do not affect your future fertility, so you good to go to try again when you are ready.

If you can't seem to get a handle on your emotions, make an appt with a counselor to talk these feelings through, but please know that these feelings are normal. Anon

I'm so so sorry. Yeah, it's totally normal to be feeling all the things you describe. And it'll get better week by week. I still think about my miscarriage (of a planned pregnancy) and it was a year and a half ago, but it's not really painful anymore. If you have anyone close to you who's been through a miscarriage themselves I'd suggest talking to them. My family tried to be supportive but didn't really know what to say to me, and my husband was clueless too, but talking to a couple of friends who'd been through it (who aren't even that close actually) really helped a lot. I have a wonderful 7 month old daughter now, fyi. Jenny

Try again right away after a miscarriage?

Feb 2008

Does anyone know of any reason I couldn't try to get pregnant after my first period post-dnc/miscarriage? I keep reading and hearing you should wait for emotional reasons, but the clock is ticking over here and I am ready to roll. anon

I went through this too and when I asked the doctor, she said the MAIN reason they want you to wait one cycle is so they can accurately date the pregnancy (your cycle will take at least a month to regulate post miscarriage). I've also heard it's good to wait to build up the lining again, etc, etc, but the dating thing was my doc's primary reason. Anonymous

Sorry about your loss. I just had a miscarriage myself in January. My doctor's advice and from what I've read, the big deal about waiting 2 cycles is to give your body a chance to recover and more importantly to allow yourself to recover emotionally. Doctors are afraid to deal with ''difficult'' patients. They are concerned that you may be overly obssessed with monitoring during the early weeks of the pregnancy. But aside from that there isn't any major obstacle to trying again soon. My doctor said there was one small study that said waiting 2 cycles slightly decreased the likelihood of a repeat miscarriage. Good luck. crystal

Our doctor (a very distinguished publishing academic) said that it is best to wait at least one or two cycles for the uterus to return fully to its pre-pregnancy condition, or else you would have a greater risk of pre-term delivery even if you do get pregnant. Also, if you haven't done so already, getting a ''post-partum'' ultra-sound will show if you have started to ovulate again. His advice was three cycles, but it sounded like the third cycle was for emotional reasons, not medical. Good luck! Been there

I got pregnant the first month after a miscarriage and everything was fine. I had also heard you should wait 3 months or something like that, but I checked with my midwife (Lindy Johnson) who told me that wasn't necessary and that if my body was ready, I could get pregnant. anon

First off - I want to tell you I've been where you are, I know it's a really tough time, when the clock is ticking every month your wait feels like forever.

BUT - I would say wait until you get one regular period - and THEN go for it again. I've heard a variety of reasons for this, some of which may be old wives tales, but in the end my experience is that it is better to wait.

I had three friends who got pregnant the month after they miscarried. Two got pregnant with twins, and both lost the babies, one at 5 months, the other at 7. It was horrible. The third had a singleton, but the baby was very premature, and had a rough time for the first year. This may have had nothing to do with the timing of conception, but it seems natural to me that your hormones and the whole system, needs time to settle in after a miscarriage -

After I had a miscarriage I wanted badly to try again as soon as I could. I would have, except that when my period DID come again, it was on a strange schedule, and didn't match up with my normal cycle, given when I'd had the D My husband was out of town, so we had to wait. My period came the second month after the D, about six weeks later (so two weeks late), we tried the month after that and got pregnant with my son, who is a healthy happy 4 year-old now. My experience..for what it is worth. Whatever you decide, best of luck. figure the wait is worth it

I have a friend who is currently about 30 weeks pregnant and got pregnant the first month after a miscarriage. So, I don't think there's any reason to wait. I also had a miscarriage and went ahead trying to get pregnant again right after my first cycle. Trying again after a miscarriage

I had a miscarriage between kids 2 and 3. I was not planning on getting pregnant right away, but only had one period before I was pregnant again. I had borderline placenta previa with the new pregnancy (not sure if it was related or not). Everything worked out fine with me. I think you need to know your body well enough to know if you are ready. I think you are the only one to decide. Sorry to hear about your miscarriage! Expecting #4!

Go for it! I had many miscarriages, and seemed to get preg more easily after a m/c. The first m/c was traumatizing, but after the 2nd/3rd etc (sigh) I was just angry, & wanted to get preg. You should be the guide of your own emotions. If you're traumatized, then wait. If you're ready, go for it. Just don't tell others, because those who are lucky enough to have never miscarried, or who only miscarried once, or may have been traumatized by it, may find it troubling, which may make you feel awkward. I remember feeling a little guilty about the fact that I just wanted to move on (when everybody else wanted me to grieve and dwell). I grieved/dwelled for a short time, then I suppose I steeled myself against it, since the clock was ticking. And it's nobody's business but you're own. PS I did eventually carry to term, and I think I was downright surprised about it, and I saw that baby as one strong little soul! I also didnt' tell anybody I was preg till the amnio, b/c it's really painful to tell people you're not pregnant anymore, especially those who aren't close to you...)

No reason to wait, especially since you are more fertile for a cycle or two following a miscarriage. I'm sorry for your loss. baby wishes

There is no evidence-based reason to wait to conceive. Once you've had one normal period, you can go for it. I conceived my one-year-old before I got a period after a miscarriage, even though I had planned to wait! Best of luck. OB/GYN nurse practitioner

I had a miscarriage on October 27, 2004. We started trying again, against my doctor's wishes, after my first period in December figuring my body would know when it was right! We were pregnant in January and I delivered a healthy, little boy in October, 2005. I say listen to your heart, good luck! Andrea

My understanding is that you should wait for two cycles before conceiving again for reproductive rather than emotional reasons. Apparently, there is a somewhat raised risk of another miscarriage if you conceive again before your body has time to recover -- and two cycles is thought to be enough time. Obviously, there will be lots of cases of people who were successful after one cycle (I imagine some will write in) but I believe there is actually a heightened risk of miscarriage, and if you do miscarry again, you'll push the clock back even farther. You could roll the dice and get lucky, but waiting two cycles is probably the safest course... anon

i have heard to wait for a while, in order for your nutritional stores to come back up. the longer the pregnancy was, the longer you should wait. somewhere between 3 mos for a short pregnancy, to 9 mos for a second trimester loss.

you probably lost blood, and your body needs time to replace it. you can follow the hemoglobin levels to see what's circulating, but the rise there is partly from replacement from bone marrow stores. that gives you enough red blood cells to get through the day without feeling exhausted, but it's not optimal for building a new human being.

besides new blood cells (and ferritin, the form of iron used to make hemoglobin), you also need to replace mineral stores.

so waiting a while, and paying attention to eating very well (such as iron rich foods), and taking a trace mineral supplement, will give you what you need to give your baby a strong healthy start. ~can't give the baby what you don't have enough of.

There can be a great deal of emotion and feelings that arise with a pregnancy post miscarriage. In addition to seeking some counseling to help sort through all of the feelings, putting some healing energy into your body is also a very good idea. Acupuncture is a very gentle way to help your body heal from the miscarriage as well as prepare for the next pregnancy. Homeopathy can help smooth out the rough edges and is totally safe during pregnancy. I would be happy to speak with you further and answer any questions you might have. My office number is ________. CL

Before getting pregnant again, make sure your folic acid and iron levels are back up to where they need to be. If your miscarriage occurred at less than 12 weeks, and if your folic acid and iron levels have returned to normal, there is no reason to wait before trying again, especially if you're over 35. If your miscarriage occurred after 12 weeks, ask your doctor what the waiting time recommended by current research is.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence that acupuncture and/or homeopathy are helpful after a miscarriage. Cautious

Miscarriage and chromosomal translocation

Jan 2008

Has anyone successfully done IVF to get around a balanced chromosomal translocation? I have one and we had one child successfully and found out that both he and I had a translocation from the CVS. Just miscarried for the 2nd time at 11 weeks and we are thinking about using IVF and PGD to get around it. I have a 50% chance of miscarriage per pregnancy. We were thinking we could do PGD and get the embryo that doesn't have the translocation, but wondering if we are just as good off if we try naturally and play the odds (I get pregnant quite easily). I have heard Zouves in Daly City is the man to go to if we do. Thanks

My wife has a chromosomal translocation as well (6-9), which we didn't discover till we'd had two miscarriages. Our history was as follows (starting when my wife was ~36:
--First pregnancy miscarried at around 12 weeks --About three months later, second pregnancy miscarried at around 7 weeks --Three months later, third pregnancy carried to term --2.5 years later, 4th pregnancy carried to term (with our second daughter carrying the translocation as well)
We were given the same odds you were (roughly 50% chance of miscarriage) and also like you, had no troubles getting pregnant. I obviously can't speak as to whether IVF would help, as we just stuck with it naturally.

Best of luck to you as you try to sort out how to proceed. Been there...

I too have a balanced translocation as well as my 14 month old. Before we had him I tried ivf with the posibility of pgd. Basically, i did not stimulate well(only 4 eggs). they said it was not enough to continue with pgd since some of the eggs would be lost in the transporting and testing. i was devistated. then i read that pepole with translocations tend to not produce as many eggs with stim meds. I too get pregnant very easily naturally. we tried on our own after the whole ordeal, and had a healthy baby(with the same translocation as me). I would love to talk to you more about this. you can email me directly. 11/22 translocation

i'm so sorry about your second miscarriage. if it's of any help, we successfully did ivf using polar body testing. we were initially going to do pgd for chromosomal issues, but decided to do polar body testing instead. it's much less invasive than pgd as it's testing just a strand of the egg and not the embryo itself. it's also useful when you know it's an egg issue and not a sperm issue. we had four eggs tested and surprisingly the two larger ''stronger'' eggs had chromosome issues and the two smaller ''weaker'' eggs were healthy. the embryologist told us if they hadn't tested they would have transferred the larger abnormal eggs. thankfully, we avoided a 6th miscarriage.

there are two ivf clinics in the country who are capable of doing p.b. testing - ccrm in colorado (considered the most successful ivf clinic in the country) and a clinic in chicago.

good luck. anon

Depression after loss, hard with a toddler

March 2007

I've recently loss a pregnancy and and very depressed from it. I still have to take care of a 2.5 year old boy. I have help from family right now but will not for long. I am very anxious and nervous about it. Does anyone have any tips and advice on how to best do this when I have such low energy and am so sad about children in general? I don't think I can afford a nanny, but it's very scary to have to be with the child all the time. The weather also has not been very good to take him out to preoccupy his time. sad and worried anon

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I lost a pregnancy when my son was about 2, and it was very hard to balance the emotions and the demands of childcare. A few things helped me. First, finding people who understood and would help with the childcare through thingss like playdates. You might check out parks, toddler play cafes, even BPN listings for playgroups. You might also check with your ob/gyn about support groups--there must be some that offer play groups! Second: playing with my child.

There is nothing like yielding to the joys of loving a child to heal you. When you get some support for yourself, I think that will be easier and more enjoyable. Are you married? Ask your spouse for help. Ask friends and relatives for help too. Hard as it may be at first, now is the time to bond with others. I wish you well. anon.

First of all, if you are depresssed, you should get help. Start with counseling and perhaps medication, if you are not opposed to meds. You shouldn't have to just ''cheer up'' after such a is a big deal and you should get help getting through it.

As for your son, rather than looking at him as an obstacle to getting better, why not look at him as a means to get better? Yes you lost a child, but you still have one that loves you and needs you. Pour your love into him and make him your special buddy. Try to have some nice reading time and craft time. Let his sweet innocence help pull you out of your despair.

Sister-in-law lost 6.5 month pregnancy

Nov 2006

Hi, My dear sister-in-law just miscarried her 6.5 month old baby. She is really devastated, as is my brother. She would have been there first child. She has the nursery all done and had a baby shower just recently and has all these baby things around the house. She is quite overweight so it is not-so-obvious that she isn't pregnant anymore so people constantly ask her ''How's the little girl doing?'' and it breaks her apart. As a good friend of hers, I was just wondering if anyone had experienced this and had people be really supportive/helpful. Other than listening and praying, is there anything I could do? Thanks Anon

That poor woman. I never miscarried that late, but from my experience, one of the worst things was having to answer those questions about the pregnancy that was no longer. If she's up for it, you could be the one to contact her friends and acquaintances to let them know the sad news. Other than that, I think the easiest thing would be to just do things with her for a while, and let her know that if she wants to talk about it again, and again, and again (till she gets it out of her system) you'd be a wonderful and very special friend. If you're close enough to her, you can also ask her if she'd like you to help her do something with the shower toys and nursery things, and you can even say something to empathize with her, but when she's a little more ready, you can say, I know it's too early to think about it now, but you'll probably have a healthy baby in the future, so you probably don't want to get rid of these things.... (but would it help her to remove them for now?) I've also heard about premature deaths (it's only a miscarriage until 3 months, technically) holding some kind of ritual to say goodbye, send the baby on to a better place, etc.

We also lost a baby and the support of friends meant the world to us. A few things that helped us the most follow: Friends letting other friends know what happened so we didn't have to. In retrospect, I also wished we had some sort of commemoration but we were in no shape to plan it ourselves, a friend taking that on, with our permission, would have been wonderful for us. (we did have something on the year anniversary and it was very valuable). Another thing that helped a ton was people brought us food -- every 2 or 3 days and would stay and visit. A friend organized it and scheduled people. There are also some great books --''Empty cradle broken heart'', ''Still to be born'', etc. I would also recommend encouraging her to seek counseling as losing a baby at 6.5 months is a tremendous loss. I am a therapist I would happily help her find a trusted therapist to work with. Another very helpful thing for us was the Alta Bates ''Walk to Remember'' (in October) commemorating the loss of pregnancies and infants. Offering her resources and letting her know that you are there to listen is a huge support. Everyone grieves differently, respecting her approach is key. It also helped u when friends that acknowledged the grief process was long and that the loss would never disappear and they were going to be there to listen even after the initial crisis is over. I have read this kind of loss takes 4 years to process. It is also very helpful after a trauma to be able to tell the story and recall important thoughts and moments over and over. Listening again and again can make you feel connected to her and it is very good for processing. Finally,when people offer to help by saying ''if there is anything I can do'' It actually put too much responsibility on us to figure out what I needed and ask for it. It was great when people either just jumped in and did things i.e just bringing a meal or asking specific helping questions like can I pick something up for you? Massage was also very helpful for me but may be too evocative for some people. If you or she would like to talk further feel free to email me jen

I am so sorry to hear of your family's loss. When you have a quiet moment with your Sister In-Law (do check with both) perhaps you could ask her how she would like to memorialize her baby. Perhaps she would like you to make a gift to a charity that supports people going through this terrible ordeal, or hold a service. Ask her if it is okay with her if you contact people she knows to let the know what has happened. Then you could send everyone a note saying something like, ''Dear friends and extended family, our dear Jane and John Doe have tragically lost their baby girl, named ______, who was due to arrive _____. Please keep them in your thoughts (or prayers/meditations), and surround them with your love, for this is a time of great sorrow and terrible grief. The family (is, or is not) accepting visitors/ phone calls at this time. The memorial service will be held _________. If you wish, a memorial contribution may be made to _(entity of family's choice)...'' Some may disagree that this is not the type of announcement one sends notes out about, but I think it would spare your sister and brother's hearts, and also helps friends stay ''in the loop'' and gives them something to do in this situation (family members & friends feel so helpless when something like this happens). Also, your sister and brother in-law will appreciate the gifts made to a charity in their daughter's name anon.

If she lives close by, I would call and offer to deal with the ''nursery'' - pack up stuff, label it and put in away - in a place she does not have to see it (deep basement, friends house etc). if she wants, paint the room, go to IKEA, get some basic stuff. This happened to me and it took so long to reclaim the room - for months and months it was so awful to look at. If she is in the bay area there is a great therapist - she wrote a book on pregancy loss- but her name escapes me -- I am sure its in the archives of BPN. Be there, listen. The holidays will be awful as well as her due date. Maybe help her make a plan to get thru both. She is lucky to have you Been there

I wanted to say that you sound like a wonderful, caring, sister- in-law. I haven't been in that situation but I am quite overweight also and can imagine how painful that would be. Personally I would suggest just hiding out for a few months and not talking to people. Over time everyone will learn about the miscarriage and then she won't get so many of those awful questions. I would retreat and protect and regroup privately. I don't see any other way to handle it anon

I just had my third miscarriage

March 2006

Please help me. I have just experienced my 3rd and most traumatic m/c in a row. The 1st was a blighted ovum and ended naturally at 6 weeks. With the 2nd we saw a heartbeat at 6 weeks but no h/b by 7 weeks. I took pills to make my uterus contract. The 3rd was going really, really well. At 9 weeks, things looked great. By 10 weeks, no heartbeat. I had a D I have had a whole slew of testing (@ Kaiser Oakland), and they can find no cause for my issues. They are going to try to test the tissue of this most recent m/c to look for chromosomal abnormalities. I am 32 and otherwise very healthy. Husband has also been tested. No problems in either of our families. Has anyone else been in this situation? Any recommendations for how to handle this? Further diagnosis and treatment? I am just so sad and frustrated right now. Thank you!! Anon

I was in a very similar situation about 5 years ago...I had 3 miscarriages in a row (all at different points in the pregnancies; one was ectopic). Like you, my husband and I were tested, which led to no conclusive results. This was one of the hardest times of my life. It was really hard to do everything--go to work, plan my life, be with pregnant women, enjoy other people's children, etc. It really felt like God was out to get me.

The thing that helped me the most was to take care of myself as best I could. I didn't go to 1-year old birthday parties or baby showers, and told my friends why. Since we were not ready to consider adoption, my husband and I made plans for a life without children, which ended up sounding like a life we would be able to enjoy. I cried so, so, so much. I also gave myself a deadline and tried to figure out how much more loss I could bear...I didn't want to spend a decade trying to have a baby...I wanted to move on.

The happy ending is that now I am 37, have a 3 year old, and am 8 months pregnant with my second child. With both pregnancies, I ended up taking baby aspirin and using progesterone suppositories every day of the first trimester. (Who knows if this helped or not?)

I'm not sure knowing my story will make you feel better, since you don't know what will happen in your situation. I do know that finding out about other women's fertility issues made me at least feel less alone. But, whenever I found out that someone who'd been having trouble was successfully pregnant, I felt both happy and jealous. Infertility is a really rough road. I think that most people just don't get how hard it is unless they have been there themselves. my heart is with you

I am so sorry for your losses. If you are interested in therapy or a group, I know of 2 very skilled practitioners who speicalize in pregnancy loss: Kim Kluger-Bell (510) 524-1475 Donna Rothert (510)273-9548 I saw Kim after I lost a baby & know Donna personally & professionally. They are both great resources. Best of luck to you. Virginia

Have you had your husband's and your blood work up done with a genetics specialist? My mother and my sister had repeated miscarriages and we found out (through amnio's and bloodwork) that our family carries a ''balanced translocation.'' I have it, my brother has it and so does my sister that we know of. My brother passed it to his son and my son mutated his own! Since it is balanced there is no developmental issues, but one issue is that pregnancies are harder to carry b/c you can create genetic anomolies with the balanced translocation. If one partner has one, the chances of miscarriage are greater. You can google balanced translocation and find more info.... anon

I've been in your boat almost exactly except the 3rd m. was at 12 weeks. Hang in there. It took us 3 years, but at age 37, I delivered a healthy and beautiful baby boy. We didn't do anything but rest in between pregnancies. The third miscarriage and fourth pregnancy elapsed time was about 14 months. We didn't do any testing at Kaiser, but I did talk regularly with my Kaiser nurse practicioner. The hardest part is wanting a baby so badly and not feeling that it will ever happen and then running into friends and relatives who are successfully reproducing with abandon. Find a friend in the same boat and pour your heart and grief out. The second hardest part is the hormone roller coaster. Know that you are on it and give yourself and your partner extra kindness. Best wishes to you. Lessly

Hi - First let me tell you how sorry I am for your losses. They are real and hurt very, very much. I also suffered three miscarriages between my boys so I can really relate. If you aren't already, see Erica Breneman at Kaiser, Oakland. She's the best and finally did figure out (in conjunction with Drs Newman and Walton) what was causing my repeat miscarriages. Have you been tested specifically for Lupus Anticoagulant Antibodies? It was not a test that Dr. Brenaman ordered until I requested it - having read about it online and in books about miscarriage. Lo and behold, that's what it was - and it's pretty common. It's treated with baby aspirin and progesterone suppositories during early pregnancy. I think it was discovered as a common cause of miscarriage in 1984 and is pretty controversial, because the general rule has always been to totally avoid aspirin during pregnancy. Anyway, see Dr. B and ask her to order the tests for this for you. She was so sweet and empathetic and, when I finally became pregnant again, she allowed me to have HCG levels drawn in the early weeks to confirm that the pregnancy was ''sticking.'' It DID and I have a lovely baby boy now who just turned one! (As an aside, I didn't have this condition when attempting to get pregnant five years earlier - easy conception, easy pregnancy, lovely boy #1!) -I wish you luck.

have you had them check your uterus for abnormalities? i have a bicorunate (heart shaped - the uterus is split in half) uterus which was not discovered until my water broke early and after two days of trying to induce labor nothing happened and they sent me to surgery. for some women it just causes an early delivery, for others it can cause miscarrages. it is sometimes difficult to diagnose (i made it to 37 wks and they only found it during the c-section). anon

First, let me express my deepest condolence for your loss with your third miscarriage. I had an early pregnancy loss and sadly, know many friends who also had miscarriages. My good friend and clinical psychologist, Donna Rothert, PhD ( has a web site with many books and information about pregnancy loss and support groups you may want to consider. There's also a book by Jon Cohen called ''Coming to Term' which came out last year. I hope this information is helpful to you during this difficult period. Yali

You've already got a lot of answers to this question but repeated miscarriages can also be caused by thyroid issues, this is more common than some of the clotting disorders mentioned, and commonly overlooked. More info about this is in this list and on line check Best wishes. anon

I did not respond to the earlier post, because I did not know what exactly the antibodies problem is called. I am glad many individuals took the time to tell you about it. I was tested after 1st miscarriage, and told it was not a problem. After a second miscarriage and two failed IVF's, I was tested again, and it was an issue. My fertility doctor told me you can sometimes develop the condition after a failed pregnancy. The test was relatively inexpensive (especially in relevance to the cost of the IVF). I gave myself heparin shots through the first trimester and now have a beautiful baby. My regular ob (who had me tested the first time) still did not think I had the condition or that the heparin was necessary, but I was willing to do anything at that point and she did not override my fertility doctor. So even if you are borderline or it is not showing up at all, you might ask your doctor about taking baby aspirin anyway to see if it works. I have more than one friend who had the same condition but was able to carry a baby after taking heparin (I hope spelling is correct). I wish you the best on this difficult journey. anon

Conceiving after a miscarriage

Feb 2005

I'm only 22 but last June I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. When I went into my first appointment with my OB she could not find a heart beat. I had a D and seemed to recover pretty well. The only strange thing is that I didn't have a period until last month (that's 7 months with no periods). I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences after a miscarriage. Did it take a really long time for you to menstruate again? Does anyone know if it has anything to do with being very irregular? When I was on the pill my periods were very regular but before they were very irregular. Can anyone give me some advice as to what I should do about this whole thing? I'm lost and confused and scared to go to the doctor because I don't want them to tell me something is wrong with my uterus. How long did it take you to get pregnant after your miscarriage if you are irregular like me? Help set my mind at ease please!! Nina

Hello Nina, I had a miscarriage too & did not get a period. But if you want to try to conceive again, then do it now. I miscarried in Feb. last year & had a successful pregnancy a couple of months later. After a miscarriage or even given birth, conceiving becomes a lot easier. So don't worry about your period, just keep having sex. I didn't know I was pregnant the second time since I didn't have a period, so that can be good too then you won't be so worried about another miscarriage & the next thing you know you will go to the doctor thinking something is wrong & you would already be past your 1st trimester. At least that's what happen to me........Good Luck! Shelly

I had a similar experience. I miscarried at 10 weeks and did no! t begin menstruating again for several months. I also have an irregular cycle when not taking the pill. Before I miscarried, my OB thought that I might have a bicornuate uterus. After the miscarriage I had a histeosalpincagram (Sp?) to confirm the uterine abnormality. Needless to say, this added to the anxiety I already felt after miscarrying. Now for the good news...eight months after the miscarriage, I conceived w/o intervention and now have a beautiful 6 month old daughter. Please feel free to email me directly if you want to know more. Good luck! kris

Irregular periods rarely mean there is something wrong with your uterus. Periods are more affected by your hormones. Since you were pregnant, your hormones changed to support a pregnancy. They have to revert back to a nonpregnant state and it can take a while. Especially if you have had irregular periods in the past. But don't be afraid to go to your OB. The problem could be as simple as having a thyroid imbalance. Or perhaps you have Poly Cystic Ovary Disease (espeically if you are overweight). Your OB may also look at your fertility hormones such as FSH and LH (blood work). But again, it is highly unlikely it has anything to do with the structure of your uterus. Dr. M

Nina, I also had a miscarriage followed by a DNC and it took me several months to start my period again. You should definitely go and see your doctor. I was put on medication to induce my period and that has helped me become more regular again. I have typically been more regular but you should not be afraid to see your doctor. They are there to help you understand your body and explain the changes that can happen. Good luck and ask lots of questions! anon

I have had irregular periods since I started menstruating. I would often go 6-9 months before getting a period. If you had irregular periods before getting pregnant, then it's not suprising that you didn't have a period for 7 months after. I think that the best thing you can do is talk to your doctor about it. Worrying about whether there is something seriously wrong isnot going to make it easier to get pregnant. Stress can affect your ability to get pregnant. When I was 23 I had a whole work-up at the doc to see why I was irregular...they didn't find anything wrong. And now that I am older (and weigh more), I find that my periods are much more regular...for me, it was my weight. Anon

I'm much older than you but have always had irregular periods, and never found that the m/c affected my period much. Checking it out to find out what could be the problem may be a good idea, and frankly, you're lucky to be your age in that most problems have a solution if you have time. I have heard of someone still being pregnant after a m/c (i.e. she miscarried a twin), but that wouldn't happen after a D, and you could be missing your periods for other reasons, including diet or exercise. jan

I also have irregular periods (and now have 2 beautiful girls). Get a good book on conceiving using natural methods...learn how to recognize the signs that you are ovulating. Anon

Commemorating my friend's miscarriages

April 2004

I have a friend who has lost 5 babies to late miscarriages (at around 6 months each time). Her family has pushed her to forget about the babies because they weren't born yet, but I see in her heart she wants to acknowledge that they were her children. I'd like to get her some small, discrete something as a memorial for them. Something she could keep on her dresser or mantle to remind her that she is a mother and has carried 5 children. She has mementos from the last baby, pictures and a shirt, but nothing from the others. Any ideas on what a good gift might be?

As a person who had several miscarriages (though earlier in the process), I can only say that your desire to memorialize your friend's losses is both caring and vitally important. I am a psychotherapist, too, and believe strongly that feeling, acknowledging and mourning those losses is totally important. Holding onto the feelings or not acknowledging them can create all kinds of problems for the future, including emotional as well as physical problems. Your offer of help can save your friend from such a fate. If she had names for these children, you might consider making a watercolor, painting or drawing that includes each of their names and framing it for her to view when she wants. I see lovely spring flowers around their names when I imagine your gift! Ilene

What about a small charm bracelet - she can wear on days (anniversaries?) she need to be close, and have out on her dresser if she wants to see it daily, but can also be tucked away on days when the reminder is more painful than comforting. Your thoughtfulness and time in acknowledging her losses, regardless of a physical token or gift, is, in itself, acknowledgement enough. An ear is a great gift, it is okay to ask her about her feelings and offer a willingness to listen. Although her partner may be feeling losses too, we all have our own way of dealing with the grief and she likely needs to talk to someone outside of her partner. been there

You're a great friend to be so thoughtful. Maybe just talking to her (that is letting her do all the talking) would be helpful? Being able to acknowledge her and her loss is a very powerful tool for healing. For a token in rememberence of the children perhaps something small like a ring with their birthstones or a necklace with an angel (or wings)? For me I would want something that I could keep private and share with others only when I wanted to. I too have miscarried although they were early (13 weeks) compared to your friend. Part of my difficulty in getting over it was that nobody wanted to acknowledge it, which made me feel very invalidated (as if it was all in my head). The one thing that pushed me on to the road of recovery (from the depression that followed my first miscarriage) was a close family friend that knew I was pregnant and no one told her that I'd miscarried. She saw me across the room (my head only) and shouted ''Hey! let me see how big you are!'' The room fell silent and I said that I had lost the baby and promptly broke down into tears. She took me in the next room and told me she was sorry it happened and proceeded to validate that I had been pregnant, it was real, and it was a real loss. After our talk I felt so much better. We decided to try again and 6 weeks later I was pregnant again! Anon

You know, just telling her that you remember her lost children, and value them, and wish that things were different for her can go a long way. A simple card can make such a difference, especially with a person surrounded by people telling her to ?move on? and forget such significant grief. Some friends of mine who have multiple losses have constructed their own ways to remember, but appreciate things like gifts of candles (to be lit on significant dates like anniversaries of loss, due dates, etc.). Some have received gifts in the form of donations in their childrens? names to relevant research institutions or charities (you would know how relevant based on the details of her pregnancy and losses). I am sorry for your friend?s losses. I hope she gets the help and support she needs to work through her grief. You are a good friend for wanting to help her in this way. Donna L.

I would suggest asking your friend whether she would like to have a ritual or ceremony remembering the children. She could either say or write something to each of them (or to them as a group) letting them know she dearly wanted them and also acknowledging that she releases their spirits. I did such a ritual for myself (including an actual burial of dolls I had made) and it did a world of good for me. I bought myself a ceramic egg to keep in the child's memory. I think eggs are symbolic of birth. Your friend would be able to figure out what type of physical object would help her acknowledge and honor her desire to be a mother and the children she carried. I would be happy to discuss my ritual with either you or your friend. I can be reached at (510) 964-9570. I encourage to talk to your friend openly to see what would make her feel better. She's lucky to have you. carlacal5 [at]

You are a good friend to be wanting to do this. I have lost two babies and very, very few people realize how hard this is. Some ideas: some people really like angel symbology for their unborn babies. Or a pendant she could wear - symbolic of her being a mother. And then the other idea is a tree or something she could plant in their memory. She is lucky to have you. tc

Wow. If she's lost them all at the six month stage, those aren't miscarriages - they're more like stillbirths. Devastating. Good for you for being so sensitive. I lost one more than thirteen years ago and have not forgotten. A lovely, poignant gift would be some kind of birthstone bracelet or necklace. Or maybe a little something for an altar, some small figures or something emblematic of the children? I have a beautiful little etched print of an egg that is my symbolic remembrance of our lost son. Anon

I have never miscarried so my advice lacks the true understanding that one would have if she had gone through that experience But I can tell you that a friend of mine did miscarry once and she chose to go with a small group of friends to plant a tree as a memorial. I don't know how that would tie into a gift except that maybe you could plan a similar event (with her permission, of course) and could plant five trees which can then grow into five strong trees. It occure to me that this could talke on many varieations as appropriate - she could plant them close to her home so she could nurture them and watch them grow or plant them far away to help her to let go, she could choose five trees that are the same (siblings?) or five different trees to symbolize each fetus' uniqueness, she could choose fruit trees that will one day produce fruit to nurish her, you could take photos of the event to and make an album for her, etc... My thoughts are with your friend. S.W.

I strongly encourage recognizing your friend's miscarriage(s). After my friend miscarried at 11 weeks, I asked her if she wanted me to join her in creating a ceremony for closer. The two of us met at 6:00 AM as the sun was rising over the East River (NYC). She brought the sonogram photo she had. I brought 3 roses. We tied the sonogram to the roses and she tossed them into the water; we stood in silence and watched as the current took the littel bundle out to sea. It was a simple and moving moment for both of us. anon

I think that it is a wonderful thing for you to acknowledge your friend's miscarriages with some type of momento for these five children. When my cousin lost a baby at birth, my mother sent a silver cup with the baby's name engraved on it. She has kept it on her mantle these past 7 years. Hallmark type shops have these type of things (I am thinking of a shop in Hilltop Mall that has tons of commeritive items for special occassions) As you may not know the names of the children, an engraver can etch five little angels or five little ducks or some other sweet thing for each child (make sure you have the right number) While your gift is likely to cause an initial floodgate, it will be appreciated and remembered and treasured. In a society that doesn't address loss very well or hardly at all, your friend is lucky to have someone in her life who is sensitive and not afraid to step forward with a little acknowledgement. While I have never had the devastation of losing a baby, I will always remember the nice things a few really caring friends have done in honor of my deceased father and two brothers. Whatever you do, roses for her garden, etc. will be such a nice gesture. Kelly

Taking baby aspirin to prevent miscarriage?

Feb 2004

I have a three year old child and have since suffered two ''chemical pregnancies'' (losses prior to a heartbeat - both at about 5 weeks) and one miscarriage at 10 weeks. We are in gear to try again after a series of tests have been run to determine that nothing's wrong. The doctor doesn't believe the tests will find anything and will therefor give us the green light to try again. My question is whether or not anyone has heard about taking baby aspirin while you are trying to conceive and then throughout the first trimester? My OB/GYN mentioned it in passing and I will persue it further with her at our next meeting, but if you have any experience or more information about this, it'd be great appreciated.

PS I am the same person who was fearing another miscarriage last week - and it happened. Thanks to those of you who offered your suggestions and support. I will save them for the next go 'round. Keep on keepin' on...

Sorry to hear about your loss--there's nothing to say except that I know how much it sucks. Since my wife and I had six miscarriages, we were able to try out all the different potential solutions, trouble shooting them down one by one. Aspirin was one of the things we tried, without success. It may very well work for you, but I think you need to step back before you go through another pregnancy hoping that an aspirin is the cure.

From your history it sounds like you need to do a more thorough investigation of uterine formation problems. I know you've had a zillion ultrasounds and Histrosalpingograms and all, but you may still be missing a septate or bicornuate uteru! s. we saw every doctor in the Bay Area--all the big names-- and every single one of them missed the diagnosis of a septate uterus. I don't know why, I don't know how, but the docs here seem to be untrained to see this common problem.

I know I probably sound like an infomercial, but I can't tell you in strong enough terms--you MUST send your slides (or better yet, yourself) to Dr. Charles March in Los Angeles. After three years of miscarriage hell, Dr. March diagnosed my wife's septate uterus and corrected it with a simple, outpatient surgery. The next pregnancy went off without a hitch and our little boy is five weeks old now.

My wife's former roomate had the exact same miscarriage presentation as you describe. Docs here kept saying ''your uterus is fine, don't worry, have an aspirin.'' We sent her to LA, Dr March found her septum and now this friend of ours is well on her way. I can't explain in, but! the docs here just absolutely miss this simple diagnosis.

The fact that you've made it to 10 weeks strongly suggests that you have a uterine problem. Please please please don't go down the ''what the heck, we'll just have one more miscarriage for kicks'' road that we travelled on for so long. Send your x- rays to Dr. March and conclusively rule out a uterine problem first. I'm at work now and don't have his contact info handy at the moment, but if you're interested, please email me and I'll give you all the numbers. Good luck! zac

Your story sounds like mine. After 3 miscarriages in a year, I was tired of it. I went to a specialists for recurrent miscarriages and they did alot of blood tests on me and my husband. They determined that I had a problem with my autoimmune system attacking the pregnancies.! I would recommend seeing someone immediately before trying again. Three miscarriages is definitely a sign that something is wrong. I went to a blood specialist in San Francico, Dr. Stricker, who I would recommend. I first went to a website of Dr. Beers to learn more about it. His recommendation was a little drastic to me, so I went to Dr. Stricker. You may not have the same problem, but it would be good to know before trying again. A baby aspirin alone may not be enough. I got an IV treatment to neutralize my white blood cells once a month for 7 months. This was successful. It was pretty complicated and about 6 years ago, so things may have changed since then. Good luck and don't give up. angie

Yes, two studies have linked use of aspirin and ibuprofen to miscarriage. See You may have to paste the link together in your browser. David, Berkeley

Yes i am currently taking baby aspirin too. I have in 2 years had 3 clinical miscarriages. one chemical and 2 were blighted ovums. Good news is that I am currently pregnant 14 weeks with a healthly baby girl!!.... I am 41 an this is my first child. since you have already had a child you will get pregnant again. you will find the '' golden egg''. This starts happening as we age. I have done 2 ivf's and many rounds of iui's totalling 18months at a fertility clinic. My dr could not find anything wrong with me or my husband it was just age. At most clinic's today they put everyone on baby asprin because it has been proven to help in blood flow to the uterus. My advice is take a baby aspirin a day and keep trying it will work. Feel free to email me for further information. dianna

A friend of mine had something like 7 miscarriages before they tried this approach. I think she took 1 baby aspirin a day and her last pregancy was a success. Good Luck!

I just heard from a friend about a woman who had experienced multiple miscarriages. After some tests her doctor said her blood was ''too thick'' to pass effectively to the baby. She started taking one (or maybe it was a half) baby aspirin a day and got pregnant right away and everything was fine. Sorry it isn't first person but it seems worth looking into. Elizabeth

After suffering several miscarriages myself I started taking baby aspirin. I'd read some information (on the web mostly) that suggested that baby aspirin would help. The idea is that it thins your blood and allows more blood (and therefore nutrients) to the egg, potentially preventing miscarriage if the growth isn't happening the way it should. My OB shrugged her shoulders and said she wasn't sure it would work, but it wouldn't hurt so why not. If you aren't breastfeeding, there's not generally a problem taking baby aspirin, but it's not guaranteed to prevent miscarriage. Causes of many miscarriages are unsolved, so sometimes the response is to take care of things you can do that won't hurt. I also took progesterone suppositores for the first trimester. I still had another mi! scarriage after that, but successfully carreid to term afterward. Maybe the m/c after aspirin & progesterone was due to chromosonal difficulties. You may also want to request some of the other standard blood tests to rule out any of the other standard solvable problems. It will also make you feel better that you're addressing the problem as best you can by fixing what you can. many OB's are not familiar with these, and don't understand what's needed. You might want to check w/ a fertility specialist to get their list of first round tests. (I had to fight w/ my first OB to get the tests ordered, but felt much better after I'd eliminated most of the problems, and uncovered another potential problem that may or may not have been one of the issues (ureaplasma-some interesting papers available on the web). anon

What to say to a friend who miscarried?

November 2003

I'm looking for advice from others who have been through the pain of losing a baby. A very close friend recently lost a baby 22 weeks into her pregnancy. Her water broke and there was no way to save it. She had to go through labor and their daughter was stillborn. She and her husband are devastated, of course.

Our friendship has become very close recently because I was being supportive through her IVF process. It had been a long road for her, but things were going very well lately. We were all thrilled at the apparent success. I have a 16 month old daughter, so we had bonded about pregnancies and parenting.

I'm now at a loss for what to say or do. I want to be helpful, but have no idea where to start. Does anyone have suggestions for how best to do that? I'm the kind of person that wants to fix things and I'm just heartbroken that I can't fix this.

Part of me wants to say there's another chance, you can adopt, etc, etc, but of course I don't really know. Any suggestions are appreciated. Lori

I am so sorry the loss of your friend's baby. You are right, this cannot be ''fixed.'' The best thing you can do is listen to whatever she needs to say, or even just sit with her in sympathy as she cries, or says nothing.

Please try not to talk about ''next time.'' Aside from the fact that there may not be a next time (some things are just not up to us), her grief is for this time, this child, who was already loved and welcome in their lives. If there is a subsequent child, that child will not be a substitute for the one she lost, and will not erase the grief of this initial loss. Time and subsequent children may make the loss easier to bear, but the loss will always be there, and that must be respected. It has been four years since I lost my infant daughter, and I miss her right alongside the love I feel for my two subsequent children.

Because you bonded over pregnancy hopes after IVF, and you have your child with you, you may want to avoid bringing up your child in her presence for a while, or at least talk frankly about how you don't want to hurt her by talking about (bringing into her presence) your child, and ask her how she would like you to handle it. If you aren't sure what to say, just say that. Whatever you do, don't say nothing. It is horrible, the things the bereaved can imagine are behind the silences with which we are greeted.

Alta Bates in Berkeley has SAND, Support After Neonatal Death, a face-to-face support group that includes people who have lost children to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. You can call the hospital for the number, I believe. Your friend may be too early in her grief to encounter people face to face, but the group may be valuable to her a bit later on. There are many online support groups, some of them also have webpages with advice for those who would like to effectively support the bereaved. I am a member of the online community MISS, Mothers in Sympathy and Support, at The MISS website includes messageboards for support, and advice/suggestions for the bereaved and those who care about them.

I wish your friend gentle moments where she can find them. Grief is a terribly hard road, and I wish her the best in an awful situation. Donna

I lost a baby at 23 weeks 7 years ago. After the loss we had a lot of trouble having a baby. In all I had 4 additional miscarriages.

I had a number of people in my life who said all the sorts of things that people say at moments of loss and in the months/years afterward. ''It was meant to be, something must have been wrong with the baby,'' ''Three's a charm!'' ''You can always adopt'' and so on. I found these reassurances to be empty and not helpful, except to understand that the speaker cared about me and was doing his/her best to comfort me. I also realized that the baby, since unborn, was not as real for them as he was for me.

My advice is this:

1. Spend time with your friend, doing things you both enjoy. It is helpful just to start recreating you life again. The thing I never appreciated about the loss of a child is that from the moment a pregnancy is discovered, parents rewrite the story of their lives to include the child. When the pregnancy ends, their dream of their new life also ends and they have to find/create a new story about their future.

2. Ask her how she is doing with the loss of her child, then listen. When you feel you need to say something try, ''I'm so sorry, I know you loved your baby very much.''

3. Realize that everyone greives differently and she may need to talk about this for years. Make it O.K. for her to talk with you about it, no matter how long it takes.

4. Ask her if she would like to participate in a group that helps parents with the loss of an unborn child. Resolve offers these groups and they are highly recommended.

5. Ask her if she would like to memorialize her child in some way. Here are some suggestions: Name the child. Have a memorial ceremony (alone or with family/friends). Collect all the things she had for the baby and create a memorial of some kind. Plant a tree or rose in honor of the child. Make a donation to a charity or non-profit organization in honor of the child. Write a letter to the child expressing her love and grief.

Wishing you and your friend peace, karen

You'll probably get a lot of responses to this one, so I'll keep my advice short. I've had three miscarriages, and the support that helped most was from friends who understood that this is a death in the family and treated it that way. It may be true that the parents can try again or adopt, but saying so is not a way of helping the parents grieve the loss of this one particular child. You are very kind wanting to help, and for a while, consider helping without your own child around. That can be a painful reminer of loss for awhile. Listen as much as possible. Send flowers. Make dinner. Send prayers. anon

You (and your friend) may want to visit I am having trouble keeping early term pregnancies and found that these pages below spoke pretty well to how I'm feeling and how I might want others to behave (who know of my troubles). Through the years I've had friends who've lost inutero and very young babies, and while I grieved for/with them, I now know, having my own losses, I really didn't have a clue.

She doesn't want to know that others have had the same pain and gotten through it (by whatever means) she just needs to know you care. And will talk or listen when she needs it. And will silently understand if there are times that she needs to walk the other way when a pregnant woman or young baby comes in the room. That said, my husband's way of coping with our troubles has him being drawn to pregnant women and young babies. So listen to what she (and he) need.
understanding more

Your friend is lucky to have a friend like you. I would suggest not telling her that she can adopt or conceive later, etc. - even if these things are true, they are irrelevant and mean nothing to her now. I remember being devastated when people said similar things to me after my miscarriage - it seeemed as though they were trying to minimize what, to me, was a very real crisis. The greatest thing you can do for your friend is to empathize, and to accept that she is going through a terrible time.

There is a great book by Kim Kluger-Bell called Unspeakable Losses, which addresses the heavy emotional impact of reproductive crisis (stillbirth, miscarriage, and abortion). Kim Kluger-Bell has her own practice in Albany (she's in the phone book). Her book will give you insight into what your friend is going through. And at some point, if she's ready, your friend can read it herself. brie

I know you mean well, but speaking as a mom who has sturggled with the agony of miscarriage and IVF, please don't remind your friend of her options. Believe me, she knows very well what her options are. Reminders only serve to take the focus off of this death. Be there for her with hugs, soup, reminders that you are thinking about her, and calls for coffee or lunch so she has someone to talk to if she needs it. My friends all seemed to disappear when I had my MC's and I just wished one or two would have called to say 'I was thinking of you today and wondering if you want to have lunch together today'. Let her do whatever talking she wants to do. You can do so much good by being a listener and a shoulder to cry on if she needs it. Jen

What you have to do is listen sympathetically. You don't need to understand what she's going through, per se; just understand that it's rough for her. Don't try to change the subject to something less somber; let her cry, if she needs to; and NEVER suggest that anything she did (or didn't do) could have made a difference. Check in regularly. Tell her that if she's feeling too sad, tired, and/or depressed to do stuff, you'll be happy to run errands, bring over a meal, housesit if she needs to get away, whatever. Basically, she needs to know that in you, she has a resource and a loving ear--in other words, a true friend. Melanie

we recently lost our baby at 24 weeks, slightly different circumstances, but simillar devastation i'm sure. listening ears and time slowly eases the pain. have your friend email me if she'd like to talk. jart

I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. Although the loss occurred much earlier than the gestation of your friend's baby, I, too, had waited to have this baby. I felt cheated. What I did *NOT* want was for someone to tell me that I could try again, or adopt, or that it was for the best, and so on. This did not help. When people said that, I felt that they were belittling my loss and my pain. What I *DID* want was for people to acknowledge that I was sad, that my pain was real, and that it was okay to grieve. Although I love my best friend dearly, I did not want to hear about her baby, or hear how messy her house was because of all the toys around, and so on. These feelings passed, but I could not share in her enjoyment of her baby right after I lost mine. Again, I did not want advice. I wanted hugs, tea, and time to grieve. I am a Mama now

Hello I understand your feelings to help your friend. Recently my friend miscarried her son at 20 weeks and it was heartbreaking, especially as I was 35 weeks pregnant. I tried to help her by letting her know that I was there for her; talking about her feelings, offering to visit and help out or keep her company and phoning frequently to check how she was feeling. Unfortunately we can not make it better but we can support our friends through these tough times. I hope this helps.

September 2001

In the last month, I have had two friends miscarry both at about 10 weeks pregnant. I am at a loss of how to comfort them - send flowers, a card, phone calls? Also, I am 7 months pregnant and want to make sure that I don't rub it in their face or say something stupid. When I had trouble conceiving, certain people said things that hurt a lot without meaning to, and I want to avoid doing the same.

I had one miscarriage and what I wanted most from friends was to cry and be silent and for us both to be comfortable in that silence. The last thing I wanted to hear were comforting words. I know that people want to do something and all they can do is say something but most everything I have ever heard did not help, not even, I am sorry. I recommend your presence, a comfortable silence and a shoulder to cry on if they ask for it. Danny

When I was going through miscarriages, it really bothered me when people said, I'm sure the next pregnancy will be fine; miscarriage is really common. Most people never acknowledged the miscarriages at all (because they were afraid of saying the wrong thing) so I was especially appreciative of a dear friend who said I'm so sad -- I can barely imagine how sad you must be. I had friends who called and asked if they could drop lunch off on my doorstep and come in only if I felt like company - these kindnesses stay with you. Your friends help you recover from your losses. Ann

The fact that you are even asking how to respond shows you will be much better off that most--your friends are lucky to have someone who cares so much! When I miscarried, what helped the most were the friends who treated it like the loss it was to me, and who didn't say oh, you can always have more. Some reassurances that many people have miscarriages and then go on to have healthy babies were fine, and reassuring, but the most helpful friends didn't forget that that fact didn't bring back THIS baby, for which I was grieving. I had some pregnant friends, and it was hard to see them for a while. They were wonderful though, and told me that they had recognized the issue, and totally understood if I wanted to wait a while to get together. Then, when I had dealt with the worst of it, I could again be genuinely happy for them. Listen for your friends cues about when they are comfortable hearing about your pregnancy issues or current events--steer the conversation to other topics of interest and don't talk about your pregnancy much for a while until they start asking again and show that they are able to talk about it with genuine happiness for you. For me, that took a little while, and I really appreciated friends who were there for me, but didn't talk in great detail about their pregnancies for a while until I made it clear that I was comfortable with it again by talking about it myself. And at least for me, flowers weren't necessary, or even really welcome, but calls and cards and people who kept in touch and followed up a week or two later, in addition to their initial sympathy, were great.

When I miscarried I appreciated comments such as I am very sorry. I really do not know what to say but I have been thinking about you. This told me that I was in someone's thought and that person cared about me.

The comments I did not appreciate were such as You can try again. You will be able to get pregnant soon. and It was a (high power's) will. M. W.

Just listen to whatever she (or they) have to say, without judgment, or course, or advice. Bringing a plant or flowers is nice, too; so is a weekly call to check in. If your friends have children, offer to babysit so they can have an evening or an afternoon together, should they wish it. Or offer to housesit if they want to get away for a weekend. Don't say, I understand. You don't, and understanding what someone else has gone through isn't necessary. Understanding that it was important--and in this case, very painful--to them, is; so is showing your love and your wish to help, if help is what they want.

I wouldn't worry too much about saying the wrong thing, though. I've found that people who are concerned enough to ask for advice on this subject are unlikely to say something hurtful. (And since you had problems conceiving, you'll be all the more sensitive to such issues.) Good luck to you, and to your friends. Melanie

I am very sorry to hear about your friends. In the last 4 years I have had 2 miscarriages at 10.5 weeks. Personally all I really needed was someone to be my friend by being a good listener and by offering me a shoulder to cry on if I needed it. Receiving cards has a healing effect too. Flowers, well, they just leave pollen everywhere and then die! Having to deal with dead flowers made me more depressed. The good news is I do have a healthy 28 month old son now. As far as you being pregnant and what kind of effect that has on your friends, well, it is going to hurt no matter what you do. But if you talk to them about how concerned you are about their feelings, this will make it easier for them to open up about their feelings as well. I think that you'll all feel much better about it once you talk about it openly with each other. Congratulations and good luck with your pregnancy. Marianne

All you can do is say how sorry you are. Calls are nice from very close friends, but cards might be nicer because they allow your friends some control over their emotions -- talking about the loss can be very emotionally draining -- and cards are very comforting. Also, because you're 7 months pregnant, your friends might not be ready to talk to you, but would still appreciate knowing that you're thinking of them.

I found the following excerpt from _What To Expect When You're Expecting_ helpful in dealing with my own pregnancy loss: Expect that some friends and family may not know how to respond and may withdraw for awhile. Others, in trying to help, may make thoughtless statements like I know just how you feel, or Oh, you can have another baby, or It's a good thing the baby died before you became attached to it. They don't understand that no one who hasn't lost a baby can know how it feels, that another baby can never take the place of the one you lost, or that parents can become attached to a baby long before birth. If you are hearing such comments frequently, ask a close friend or relative to explain your feelings and to indicate that you would rather that people just say they are sorry about your loss. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

I had two miscarriages, and found there was a great variety of responses from people, from kind to snide. Even some of the well-meaning people said things that just plain hurt. It sounds like you're already sensitive to your friends' feelings, and that is the best place to begin. If you can afford it, send flowers and a note that expresses your sympathy. A few people thought to do that for me, and it was great solace to have the loss acknowledged in a traditional way. One friend of mine sent me a thinking of you card every month for a while, just letting me know she was there. I've come to think that there's not really any magic words that heal the pain, but knowing that people recognize it as real helps so much.

As for your concerns about your friends' feelings about your pregnancy, again, you're doing good by them to consider that. I remember feeling fierce, irrational envy for a long time, whenever I saw a pregnant woman. Being around babies was not the same--I enjoyed that. But it was hard to see women doing what I feared I'd never be able to. When I finally did have a successful pregnancy, I knew one woman who lost a baby and another who was trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. When time came for my baby shower, I sent them invitations, and separately a note letting them know that I didn't want to exclude them--they were among my nearest and dearest--but I knew from experience that they might not want to attend a baby shower, and to please do what felt best on the day.

I think the best thing to say is I'm sorry for your loss. If there is a concrete thing you can think of to do for them, like cook a meal you can bring over, then just do it, don't leave the offer open, because many times it takes energy to ask for the proffered favor, that grieving people simply don't have. Depending on how close you are to those friends, you can even say to them that you don't want your pregnancy to add to their hurt, and just let them tell you how they feel about it. Don't try to think of things to say, just listen. Everyone deals with loss differently, and your friends may well do and say very disparate things from each other. Really being there for them in whichever way they need you (and that may be away from them for a while) is one of the best things you can do. Donna

I would send flowers and a sympathy card. This loss is traumatic and is not one you get over quickly. I would also not go on chatting about feeling your baby kicking when you see them but instead focus on their loss. I would mention to them that you don't want to make them feel uncomfortable because you are pregnant and inadvertently remind them of their loss. Chances are they will say that they know the situations are different but even if they say they want to be alone for a while, don't take it personally. Of course, they will be thinking about it all the time anyway, so your presence is not really the trigger. The most important thing is not to ignore the situation or pretend like nothing happened when you see them. A verbal acknowledgment is needed. A lot of times if people don't know what to say, they don't say anything and that is a mistake. Just make sure they know you are sorry. Then take your cues from them. If they want to talk about the latest goings on in the stock market, do that. If they want to talk about how they feel, do that. Shannon

I have never miscarried, but I have lost someone dear to me in the last two years. I found that what was the most comforting for me was a card with the simple message of how sorry the person was for my loss and were keeping me in their thoughts. Just that simple acknowledgement was very comforting. Even though I know people were trying to help, I did not like hearing any reasons for the death, like it was meant to happen this way etc. I just wanted a simple acknowledgement to let me know the person cared about what I was going through. Best wishes.

I've miscarried 6 times - twice before I ever had children, once between the birth of my two kids, and three more times many years later when I was in my 40s trying to have a third child. All of these were first trimester miscarriages and personally, I did not look at them as the loss of a child, more just a major disappointment. I think I would have felt uncomfortable if any of my friends had sent a card or said anything more than I'm so sorry or Oh that's too bad. It is a very personal thing, getting pregnant, and then miscarrying, and not something I want to discuss with anyone other than my husband and one or two very close friends. I would not have been very receptive to a friend bringing it up or reminding me about it with a card or flowers. I did not want to talk about it or hear suggestions or get encouragement. That's just me. You know what you friend is like - it just depends on the person. I will say that my last three miscarriages were much more difficult than the earlier ones and I appreciated my good friends silently being there for me. I was trying very hard to get pregnant for a long time, and when I finally succeeded only to miscarry 12 weeks later, that one was rough. A close friend happened to call the day I realized I was miscarrying and said You shouldn't be by yourself. I'm coming over! She just hung out with me for a couple of hours and we watched a movie without talking about the miscarriage and I really appreciated that. Later when I miscarried twice more after ramping up to using IVF - all the shots and raging hormones and shlepping to the doctor's office all for naught, and knowing this really was my last chance at getting pregnant, that last miscarriage was hardest and very painful. But it was a private thing between me and my husband, not something I wanted to talk about with anyone else. The friends who knew about it were just silently supportive, which I appreciated.

Two more things to add: One, miscarriage is just as painful for the husband/partner, and they rarely get the sympathy and support. Be nice to them too. Two, it isn't the end of the world. We adopted the most wonderful baby and I can hardly think now why we didn't just do that in the first place. (But of course that is not the right thing to say to someone who has miscarried! It's just what happened afterwards in our case, FYI!)

The most important thing to do is to express your sorrow at their loss. Let them talk to you about it if they want to. Cards or flowers or phone calls -- you choose the method, anything will be right as long as you're expressing your concern and empathy. Don't let your successful pregnancy stand in the way, just refrain in general from discussing any of your own stuff -- your present situation or your own fertility issues. It's their time to talk and your time to listen. Best wishes. Letitia

I'd suggest just extending sympathy, saying I'm so sorry. If you want to go a little farther, call back up and ask how they are doing a little later. But DON'T call back up later and ask if they are pregnant again. It's a pretty scary thing. The person who miscarried feels like she lost a baby, and if she had trouble getting pregnant the first time, or is having trouble again, she may not want to share it. And if she gets pregnant again, she may not want to share it until she's past the first trimester. Alot depends on how close you are. I didn't mind my closest friends asking how things were going, but really hated people asking whether I was pregnant again if I wasn't very close to them, even if I knew they meant well. DONT say things like, Don't worry, you can have another. Sometimes tales of other people having miscarried is helpful, because your friends may feel like everything is so easy for everybody else but not for her, and there's something wrong with her body and therefore something wrong with her (even if intellectually she knows that it's not true.) It's unfortunate that miscarriage is something we don't talk about, so nobody knows how common it is, and we all suffer in silence. Flowers, cards, etc. wouldn't hurt, especially since it validates the loss, which is very real. But be careful: you can't fix it, and you don't want to hover, and each person is unique. Some really need to talk (like I did for #1), and some really want to just ignore it and move forward (like I did for #2). She may want to talk about it in the future, or now. Maybe just let her know that you'd be happy to sit down with her and talk to her, if she'd like a shoulder to cry on, but that you want to do what feels best for her. And if she wants you to talk to her about it later, that you'll do that. Again, it really depends alot on how close you are, but sympathy and validating the loss is always helpful. (Though with #2 I told my friends to be careful about extending too much sympathy at the time, because I didn't want to dwell on it. The first one was a shock and trauma. The second was a trauma and a huge disappointment but not a shock.) And since you're about to embark on your own joys of childbirth, hold off for a while in sharing your excitement, which could highlight your friends' disappointment. Plus they could end up temporarily resenting you, even if they don't intend to. After a while (maybe after the baby is born) they may be able to share in your excitement, and may be able to receive your best wishes for them to get pregnant again and bring the baby to term.

Trying again after a miscarriage

February 2003

I'm a 38 -year-old mother to a beautiful and healthy 3-1/2 year old girl. I was confident and worry free about pregnancy when we conceived our ''2nd baby'' because my first pregnancy was perfect all the way through. Soon enough my confidence was diminished by an early miscarriage due to belighted ovum. My OB doctor told me not to wait too long to try again because of my age, which only helped me to have more anxious feelings that I don't have much time left to have a baby. After three months since the miscarriage, we are going to try to conceive again, but I'm so afraid. I'm afraid if I can face another loss again and the possibility of never having a 2nd child. Has anyone been through this, and how did you over come these fears? Would you like to share your success stories of having a healthy baby after a miscarriage? Your wisdom and advice are greatly appreciated. Thanks.Anonymous

First, congratulations on having a beautiful, healthy 3 1/2 year old daughter. I am sorry to hear about the miscarriage, but you should remain confident that you can conceive again. The more anxious you are about conceiving, the more difficult it could be. As it turns out, my first pregnancy was a miscarriage (at 35 y.o.), then after that I was more fertile than I expected. Conceived first child within a month (okay, we know we were suppose to wait 3-4 mos.) The second child arrived when I was 36 y.o., and the third child arrived when I was 43 y.o. even though we were trying to be careful. So, every person is different and it is very possible that you may not follow the ''normal'' statistics of reduced fertility, esp. since you did well at 35 with your first child. I recommend focusing on the joy of your 3 1/2 y.o. and the process of conceiving. TE

First of all, I extend my sympathy to you over your loss. It sounds so familiar. I don't really think I overcame my fears, though. I dealt with them the best I could. I looked up everything under the sun about miscarriages, progesterone, etc, went to S.A.N.D.(support after neonatal death)in SF and a group that was associated with HAND in San Rafael. Another excellent resource for me was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Center in Waysata, MN.

Here's my success story; I became pregnant 3 mo. after the miscarriage. My daughter is now 10 (& her older sister is 12 1/2). I still vividly remember so much of that time both grieving the loss and being joyful that I became pregnant, but worrying about 'when's the other shoe going to drop?'. The people I worked with had no clue what I was going through and said some of the most thoughtless things. I was so happy when the pregnancy was over and I was blessed with a healthy baby. If you like, feel free to email me at Tree

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Miscarriage is so hard, and it can take some time before you feel like trying again.

It's true that at thirty-eight, your risk of miscarriage is higher than it is when you were twenty-eight. That's a fact, and I found that part of my grieving process was to acknowledge it. I miscarried twice before I had a healthy pregnancy at age thirty-nine. After both miscarriages, it took me about six months to feel strong enough--emotionally and physically-- to try again, and another six months to conceive.

You can't avoid the risk of miscarrige--it's there for all pregnanies, and you face a higher risk the older you get. But the way I read the odds, at thirty-eight, you still have a greater chance of having a healthy pregnancy than a miscarriage. You might want to check out some of the resources at Resolve is primarily an organization for people facing infertility, so you might want to wait until your confidence is boosted a little. But they have a lot of information of all kinds for people trying to conceive.

Trust your own body and your own feelings. You'll know when the time is right again. Do what you can to keep yourself healthy and fit. Good luck to you. anon.

I am so sorry about your miscarriage. It is a terrible thing to go through, no matter when it occurs. So many of us have undergone miscarriages for a variety of reasons, some even more than once, and it is one of the worst experiences in life.

My experience is somewhat different than yours, in that I had a later (15-week) loss of my first child, rather than my second, but I think I can speak to your fears about losing a second baby. I experienced an odd loss (preterm premature rupture of the membranes) that could have been either a ''fluke'' or indicative of some sort of problem (incompetent cervix, or some other problem). It took me awhile to conceive after my loss (8 mos.) and , like you, I was haunted by the fact that perhaps I *couldn't* carry a baby to term.

Once I conceived the second, I did everything I could to ensure I could carry to term. For one, I was in consultation with my ob AND a perinatalogist from the beginning (I don't know if a blighted ovum merits a perinatalogist visit, but you might ask). I had many ultrasounds to monitor both the baby and my cervix. I cut out exercise and went on modified bedrest. I saw a Chinese herbalist, with the blessing of my doctors, who gave me special teas. I read a good book, ''How to Prevent Miscarriage'' by Stefan Semchyshyn, which made me feel somewhat empowered (and provided lots of information not necessarily covered in traditional pregnancy books). I prayed, and tried to keep a healthy attitude (difficult with all my fears). Nonetheless, I didn't feel confident until I hit the third trimester! I certainly never felt ''care-free.'' Not all of my strategies will apply to you, but it felt good to try and do *something.*

The good news: I was lucky enough to carry that baby to term, and am now 6 months pregnant with my second baby (third pregnancy). I feel very blessed.

My advice: please try not to let your very understandable fears paralyze you. You will feel anxious, and scared, once you conceive your next baby, but an early ultrasound can help alleviate some of your fears. Your body was able to conceive and carry a healthy child, and there is no reason it can't do so again. Do whatever ''care'' techniques you can to help you cope with your fears. Try to tune out people who tell you the previous miscarriage was ''for the best,'' or some variation. They may be right, but it's not what you want to hear right now! And don't feel too badly if you resent other seemingly carefree pregnant women--that is normal,and will eventually pass.

Here's to a healthy, full-term pregnancy! Good luck. Christine

I am also a 38 year old mother and recently had my third child after 2 miscarriages. The best advice I can give you is to remember that every pregnancy is different, so next time should be fine. I know it's hard, but try not to worry and get stressed. My last pregnancy was the easiest of the three with no problems at all, I'm sure the same can happem for you! lorraine

Hi, I also went into conceiving worry-free and got a nasty surprise when I discovered I had a blighted ovum. My OB handled it really well, gave me statistics about miscarriages (honestly I don't even remember, but it's pretty high now that we can tell if we're pregnant about 48 hours after missing a period -- I guess in the ''old days'' women would often miscarry, have a late period, before even knowing they were pregnant) and said my chances of having another miscarriage were slim since I was healthy. I'm about your age. Anyway, when we were ready I got pregnant again after trying only two months, and I now have a beautiful, perfectly healthy 2-year-old daughter. I was bawling my head off *before*, *during* and *after* the first sonogram that showed things were OK and on track for her! There's no obvious reason for a ''blighted ovum,'' it just happens, so it's not any indication that it will happen again. (That's what my OB said, repeatedly.) Take care -- I hope you have a successful pregnancy again soon. anon

I do empathize. I got pregnant with my beautiful, now 5 year old daughter on the first try! 5 years later right before my 40th birthday, I too had a miscarriage due to a blighted ovum. It has been about a year and I am now 6 weeks pregnant (I know you were looking to hear from mothers who have already made it to the other side, but I wanted to put in my 2 cents). Yes, it is a bit scary, but I am feeling hopeful. My midwife, and several other women I know, have had miscarriages before and after successful pregnancies.

I know age is a factor, but so is stress and a host of other things. Plenty of women are having babies in their late 30s and early 40s. My only advice is to consider whether you have waited long enough to try again. I know some people say that after a certain age, ''every cycle counts'' and the pressure is tremendous. For myself, I have been trying to get into a process of not focusing on ''what if'' I have a miscarriage, a troubling amnio, etc. Instead I am trying to pray for whatever is meant to be, and am hoping that I am meant to have another beautiful baby (hopefully a boy this time). I wish you the best! anon

First, let me offer my condolences for your miscarriage. My situation was very similar to yours. When my child was 3 1/2, I conceived our second. Like yours, my first pregnancy had been uneventful, and becoming pregnant the first time had been very easy, too (two weeks after discontinuing the birth control pill, after an eleven-year duration, I was pregnant). When I was (supposedly) eleven weeks pregnant, I discovered that I had a ''blighted ovum'' and had miscarried, although my body didn't discharge the pregnancy on its own, and I had to have a D and C. I was told that I could start trying again in three months. I was thirty-five at the time. I, too, was nervous: for the firtst time the possiblity of things turning out badly or unexpectedly occurred to me. I was worried that the age difference between my children wouldn't be what I considered ''ideal,'' and what was formerly ''ideal'' now became ''the only thing acceptable.'' Strangely enough, I didn't worry that I wouldn't be able to have another child, but I did dread the whole experience, deciding not to tell anyone until my second trimester (both previous pregnancies, I had barely finished peeing on the stick before I was on the phone, broadcasting the exciting news to one and all). Even though everyone was incredibly supportive and no one said anything insensitive, it was just so hard to tell my traumatic story over and over again. I would characterize my emotional state as one of extreme nervousness rather than grief, as first the three month ''healing'' period passed and then for the next three months, which was how long it took me to conceive again. The final result is that, not quite nine months after I first intended to have a second child, I gave birth to a healthy daughter who is now almost four years old. So my story does indeed have a happy ending, and I'm pretty sure yours will, too.

I took comfort in the facts that:

1) I already had one child. I figured if it happened once, it could probably happen again. I think it must be much easier to believe that you will have a success if you've had one before. My heart especially goes out to those women for whom this blighted ovum is their sole experiency with pregnancy.

2) Many women confided in me that they too had had a similar experience. In fact, this kind of miscarriage is very commnon, and the more I heard from family friends who'd been through it and who had gone on to have more children, the less alone or unusual I felt. You may be surprised to find out how many other women you know have gone through the same thing. Most of them go on to have other children.

3) Knowing that there was nothing that I had done wrong or could have done differently. These kind of miscarriages are nature's way of keeping a check on a malformation that could never possibly result in a healthy baby. In a way, I felt reassured that something was looking out for my family and doing its best to make sure that we had the best situation.

4) At thirty-six (which is what I was when my second child was born) or thirty-eight (like yourself), I was BY NO MEANS TOO OLD TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY AND HEALTHY BABY. I have many friends who had their FIRST child at 38, 39, 40 41 . . . even 44! You may not have all the time in the world ahead of you, and you probably want to conceive again pretty soon (if for no other reason than the spacing between your children's ages, since that was part of your original plan) but you don't need to get into a panic about your age. After all, if you have your second child as late as two years after your original intent, you will still be only 40 years old--not all that different from 38. Above all, don't let the age thing--or your doctor's ''advice'' concerning it--get you nore nervous than you already are.

I hope you can relax, enjoy your wonderful child, peacefully let go of the dream you had for the second one that wasn't to be, and take that leap of faith inherent in any conception and, indeed, in all child-related experiences, to become pregnant again soon. You are already a mother; your body knows it can become a mother again. Nina

It is scary to think about having another miscarriage. However, it happens, alot, especially as we age. I think your doctor gave you good advice about not waiting. I also had an easy time getting pregnant and an easy first pregnancy. When my daughter was almost 3, we started trying for number two. I was shocked when I miscarried at 8 weeks at age 36, and after that, was reluctant to try again, mainly I think, out of a fear that it was some kind of a ''sign'' that I wasn't ready. Six months later we started trying again, but my periods starting getting irregular, which I was told was ''normal'' as you start aging because of occasional failure to ovulate. I was very upset that I hadn't started trying earlier, but I eventually got pregnant again. This time I was confident, especially after I heard the heart beart and saw the baby on the ultrasound at 10 weeks. But alas, about a year after the first miscarriage, I again miscarried, this time at 15 weeks. After this, I was pretty devastated and eager to start right away again, but it took a long time for my periods to return to normal. I started getting really desperate I would never have a second child, and spend a lot of energy and money on specialists, also started wondering about adoption. Everything was checked out (there are some simple tests you should make sure your doctor does before starting again, such as progesterone, thyroid functions, anti-bodies), no cause was found. My doctors decided I probably just had bad luck, by your late thirties, apparently, a fairly large proportion of your eggs are just not viable. But after all that worry, now I am finally pregnant again at age 38, this time with twins! I am still hoping and praying for a successful outcome as I enter the 14-th week, this time with very careful monitoring by the best doctors. Good luck to you, most likely it will workout! Two doctors I have found helpful are Hank Streitfeld and Susan Willman. Willman is the best, but it took me two months to get an appointment with her. been there

One quick advice. If you really want a second child, you will have one, whatever happens to your body. You still have at least 36 healthy cycles to go (3years X 12 ovulations) and many other options including fertility treatments, adoption, etc... just be clear in what you are ready to go through to have a second child. I too had a miscarriage, like many people. It was one of the saddest day of my life. So we set up a ''family building schedule'' with different options. We now have 3 kids that joined our family through birth and adoption. Good luck

Take a deep breath and relax! I was 35 when I had my first child. When I was 37 I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. My doctor said it was probably a blighted ovum which means it was never a viable pregnancy, and very common - no matter your age. This was in mid-November. By January 2 I was pregnant again, and now have a happy, healthy 18 month old girl. I have pretty much forgotten about the miscarriage at this point. A good friend of mine had her first baby on her 40th birthday. She had a miscarriage with a second pregnancy about a year later. When she asked her doctor why it happened, he said ''You're 40 - why do you think it happened?'' She immediately got a new doctor - and is happily pregnant again. I know at least 2 other women who had miscarriages in their early 30s and went on to have two more babies. Sad as they are, miscarriages are pretty common. It sounds like you don't have any trouble getting pregnant, so you should have no trouble having a second baby! Also - it sounds like your doc is not particularly sensitive... Maybe you should look into switching to another doctor.
Happy mom of 2

I had your same experience in that we also had a smooth and easy 1st pregnancy, but with the second I had a miscarriage and they thought it was probably a blighted ovum (what a term!). I think that having a caring provider (Lindy Johnson) was quite helpful (even though we hadn't really seen her yet, it was so early, she was so supportive on the phone), as was the fact that I miscarried early in the pregnancy. Also knowing several of my friends had had miscarriages,and that they went on to have healthy babies, made me aware that it is fairly common, and I was thankful that I had one early on(if it was to happen at all). The good news is that we quickly conceived again and had another good pregnancy and a second child. So remember the odds are in your favor -- good luck! suzanne

First, I'd like to offer my heartfelt sympathies to you on your loss. Miscarriage is always heartbreaking and frightening. I miscarried my first pregnancy at 8.5 weeks, diagnosed as a Missed Abortion (cruel term, I know). I was younger than you are at the time, I think 28, and was told to wait 3 cycles before trying again. I waited 2, got impatient, and immediately conceived my son. He is now 20 months and perfect in every way. I know it's hard to believe now, but you will almost certainly have another child. You have one, so you know you are fertile. I've been told that up to half or even two- thirds of all pregnancies never result in a living baby; most of those lost are miscarried before the mother even knows she's pregnant. I know none of that information helps while you're going through it, but try to remember that miscarriage is incredibly common and nearly all women who miscarry go on to have children. Been there too

Try not to worry so much. I am 39 years old and have a 2 1/2 year old girl. We started to try to have another child early last year. In Feb I got pregnant...but it didn't take. Technically it was a miscarriage since a blood test after 2 weeks after conception showed I was pregnant. However, I got my period 1 week later. Then we got pregnant again in June. I miscarried at 12 weeks (blighted ovum). We waited 2 months and got pregnant right away again. I am now 21 weeks pregnant, had a amnio which showed a healthy girl and all looks well. I will have this child 1 month before my 40th birthday.

I think you should focus on the fact that you did get pregnant the 2nd time (some women at our age have trouble doing that). It is more likely that women our age will miscarry because our eggs are older. Miscarriage due to a blighted ovum means something was not right with the fetus. But the fact that you are still ovulating and can get pregnant is a positive sign (at least that is what my doc told me). Keeping a positive frame of mind is very important as stress makes it difficult to concieve. What will be, will be...try again and be happy with your beautiful daughter. cecilia

The chance of your having another blighted ovum miscarriage is not at all great. The chance of your having any other miscarriage due to this is not significantly increased. The chance of your having as many more kids as you want is good if you are only 38.

I had a blighted ovum miscarriage at 40, and my son is 15 months old. I wasn't in any hurry, and didn't get pregnant until 44. I wouldn't have missed this opportunity for anything. Happy Mom

I am sorry to hear about your loss. It can be so hard to stay upbeat after a miscarriage. I miscarried twice in fairly quick succession. After deciding not to undertake fertility treatments, my husband I decided to adopt instead. In the midst of an adoption process, I became pregnant (more or less unwittingly--we had basically given up). I was very frightened (and at nearly 39, worried about birth defects, etc.), and I knew that I couldn't tell anyone, because of the high risk of miscarriage. I took it one minute at a time, and it was very hard, but I knew that I would have to stay positive, and do all the right things for my body and baby, as long as I was pregnant. In the end, I got through the amnio, found out the baby was fine, and then let people know. I hope that you will try again, and just focus on getting through one minute at a time. My daughter is now 2-1/2, and wonderful, but my husband and I are still somewhat sad that we did not go through with an China adoption, but we are delighted with our daughter. Good luck. Hannah's mom

I think that the more you talk to people the more you hear how common miscarriages are. My first pregnancy at age 33 ended in a miscarriage two days after my first prenatal visit. The worst part was going through a second ultrasound with a dismissive radiologist, who wouldn't even communicate the bad news to me! His office simply told me to call the referring ob after waiting for the results in the reception area! This second ultrasound confirmed that of the first one in my ob's office earlier that day. I then set up a d & c procedure with the ob who had initially given me the bad news. He was wonderful and I immediately switched over to him as my doctor. He told me to wait one period before trying again and was extremely surprised to see me back in his office for my first prenatal visit within three months! I occasionally think about that baby who was due about three months earlier, but at the time of my loss, I was comforted by the thought that this was nature's way. My second pregancy went smoothly, but with a C-section after 23 hours of labor, including 3 hours of pushing! I'm so blessed with a my oldest son, who turns 18 in a couple of weeks and my second son, almost 15 years old. My advice to you is to think of a miscarriage as ''nature's way'' of dealing with a baby, who might not have been viable. That thought was comforting and reassuring and most likely, true. I wish you good fortune in having another child. anonymous

Miscarriage after healthy pregnancy

July 2003

Hello. I just had a miscarriage at 13 1/2 weeks pregnant. Fortunately we do have an amazing 2 1/2 year old daughter. My pregnancy with her was a piece of cake. I was so healthy and everything went super smoothy. I did end up having an emergency c-section, due to fetal distress, but the pregnancy itself was fine.

This pregnancy from the beginning was really different. I felt tremendously sick and much more fatigued; I chalked up both of these to the fact that I was pregnant and taking care of a toddler. But even so, I was not myself AT ALL and felt rotten.

I started spotting early into the pregnancy (at 7, 9 and 11 weeks) and then started to bleed heavily. After the heavy bleeding, I thought for sure the baby was gone, but we did an u/s and the baby was fine. The placenta was a little low, but my obgyn thought it would be no problemas the pregnancy progressed. That was on a Thursday. On that Saturday night the bleeding started again profusely and then I lost the baby.

I'm writing because I'm wondering if any of you had a completely healthy pregnancy the first time and then a miscarriage with your second. I'm so worried that something is wrong with my body (maybe from the c-section?). I NEVER want to have to go through this again, especially at 13 1/2 weeks were I had to see my poor little baby come out of my body intact. I didn't know that happened and it was so traumatic and sad. Anyway, has this happened to any of you? Did you go on to have a heathly baby later? I'm just scared and sad.

Thanks for any advice.
scared to try again

I sympathize with you for your loss, but encourage you not to give up. I had a no-problem pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby almost 3 years ago. It took about 8 months of trying to get pregnant with number 2, and then I miscarried at 7 weeks. The doctor said it's not uncommon and that it's just one of those things, which wasn't much comfort at the time. He encouraged us to keep trying. After trying for another 14 months, undergoing a battery of tests that uncovered no problems, and riding the roller coaster of 2 weeks of anticipation followed by 2 weeks of disappointment, I finally got pregnant on my own again in March. Having experienced so much disappointment, I was fearful to believe it was real, despite my growing belly, until I saw the baby in the ultrasound. So far so good!
Expecting #2 in December

I'm very sorry about your loss! It's a terrible thing to deal with. I had 2 miscarriages (at 10, and at 14 weeks) after a healthy pregnancy, and was really worried that maybe I'd never have another child. Well, eventually, I did get pregnant again, this time with twins, who are due next month. Miscarriages are very common, and I don't think one or even two means very much in terms of your chances for eventual success. 35 weeks and counting

I am so sorry for your loss. I had an early miscarriage years ago and it was hard emotionally. I can give you some words of comfort and that is there is no reason to worry that you are more likely to have another. One of the things I discovered after mine was that early miscarriages (first trimester) are very common. Half the women I know have had one. Certainly talk to your doctor for reassurance but I don't think you have anything to worry about. I had a healthy baby after mine. I hope you let yourself talk about it as much as you need, sometimes moms don't get as much sympathy for early miscarriages. Best wishes to you. anon

I had two miscarriages (6 & 10 weeks) after a completely uneventful pregnancy and birth. I went to an infertility guy after the second, and found I had/have antiphospholpid syndrome, although early pregnancy loss is atypical. Courses of heparin during pregnancy later, I have two additional children. If you want to talk to anyone about it professionally, I'd start with Russell Laros at UCSF.

And, statistically, it's not uncommon. But I know what you're saying. I never wanted to do that again, and then again I never wanted to do it again.

Hang in there. stefani

I had a miscarraige at 7.5 weeks after two healthy and uneventful pregnancies and natural vaginal birth each time, and no prior history of miscarriage. It is awful to undergo. I doubt it has anything to do with your cesearean the first time around. It could well have been chromosomal disorder, which I've read is a leading cause of miscarriage in the first trimester. I also think, unless you are over 40 or have a history of miscarriage or other risk factors (sounds like you don't), you are not more likely to miscarry again than anyone else. I have read that it is advisable to wait a few cycles before trying again to allow your body to recover and be strong for the next attempt. Good luck!

So sorry to hear about your miscarriage--I know how traumatic they can be as I had two of them after the birth of my first daughter. But this March I gave birth to our second daughter, a healthy baby who is now 4 months old, so don't despair. I too had a c-section for my first daughter but that doesn't affect your ability to carry a healthy child to term.

There are many books, message boards and websites on the subject of pregnancy after miscarriage--I recommend ''Preventing Miscarriage'' by Jonathan Scher. You can also google ''pregnancy after miscarriage'' for more info & firsthand accounts of woman who have had babies after pregnancy loss. Good luck and remember to allow time to grieve and get over your loss--then try again as soon as you can! In my experience,even though it's really scary, getting pregnant again is the best remedy for a miscarriage-- valerie

I am sorry to hear about your loss. I have a 3 year old and had a miscarriage last fall at about 10 weeks. It was awful, the saddest experience I'd ever gone through, and I wound up with a D I can only imagine how difficult it would be to go through it at home. Prior to this I'd had no problems, got pregnant the first try - both times. I too was scared to try again, and it took about two months until I could really think about it. After that it was another month before the stars aligned (and my husband was not travelling while I was ovulating ) and...the good news - I'm now 22 months pregnant and so far so good. (The baby is due around Thanksgiving which seems appropriate). Anyway, I have no gems of wisdom, but I know hearing about people who had gone through this and then had successful pregnancies really helped me stay hopeful. The more I spoke about my experience the more often I heard about women who'd had miscarriages between otherwise perfectly regular pregnancies. Ultimately, it seemed as though most people with multiple children separated by more than 2 years or so predominantly had that age spread between their kids because of miscarriages. Though the first trimester was certainly more tense for this pregnancy I felt as though I just had to have faith - there wasn't any other choice. I didn't do anything to cause the miscarriage and there wasn't anything beyond the usual precautions, that I could do to ensure that this one would work out. I should add that regarding feeling different in each pregnancy - my doctor said that because every preganncy is is different, different physical feelings are not a great predictor of whether a pregnancy will be viable or not. I had hyperemesis in all three pregnancies and though it was slightly different when I miscarried ( the severity decreased early on) it's hard to know if that was just the pregnancy or my hormones changing in reaction to the fetus not growing.

I wish you well - remember to respect what a loss you have suffered and know that if you want to - at some point you will be ready to try again. I wish I could tell you I have a bouncing baby in my arms right now but my final suggestion is one I have to follow myself - have faith and hope and get lots of hugs from your beautiful toddler. Best of luck....
a hopeful 2nd time mother-to-be

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm sure you will get many responses to your post since miscarriages are quite common. I never knew just how common until I had one.

To be brief, I had a healthy baby in round one, a miscarriage in round two (during the first trimester) and another healthy baby in round three. Each pregnancy was very different in the physical manifestations. Good luck and best wishes. Jill

I just wanted to let you know that I, too, had a very healthy pregnancy (and now have a wonderful 10 year old girl!) and then a miscarriage. After that, I, too, wondered if there was something wrong with me, and researched and talked around a lot. I found out that miscarriage is extremely common. We just don't hear about it much because people don't like to talk about it. Something like every third pregnancy will end in miscarriage. In the old days, when people had a lot of pregancies and kids, they were used to it. We're out of the life/death/life cycle in our culture. Creating a human baby is so complicated, it just doesn't always turn out right, and it's probably good there was a miscarriage, because something was probably wrong that time. It does not mean anything is wrong with you at all, and should definitely not prevent you from trying again, althought you should certainly give yourself time to grieve this very definite loss. I did not go on to try and have another child, didn't try, but that was because of marital problems. anonymous

I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Although I am not a medical provider, I think, unfortunately, miscarriages are normal even for people who have already sucessfully delivered a healthy baby. Unless testing on your baby or your doctor indicate otherwise, the fact that you had this miscarriage should not be an indication that you will be unable to carry another baby to term. After an easy pregnancy with my first child, I had two miscarriages at about the 10 week range before becoming pregnant again and delivering my second healthy baby. With my second child, it took me until longer in the pregnancy to believe I was pregnant and to feel confident that I would remain pregnant. But, once I started showing I gained confidence and everything was just fine. I bet the same will happen with you. Good luck. Andrea

I had almost identical situation, though the second pregnancy, where I lost my baby at 16 weeks, seemed very similar to the first. I was so sad I had heard the baby's heart and had been trying to get pregnant for several years (my son was about 4 when this happened). After the miscarriage, I had a hard time losing the weight I'd gained, and was pretty depressed for several months. I never got a good idea about why the baby died. The good news is that I now have two more children, and both pregnancies went fine. I'm sure there's no reason why you can't have another healthy pregnancy also. The thing that really did help me through was to focus on the blessing of having my one healthy wonderful son -- some folks go through this without knowing if they can EVER have a child. Please feel free to email me if you want to talk further, for what it's worth, to someone who's been through something similar. Susan

Yes, you can have a healthy baby after a miscarriage. First, I had a healthy baby, then I had 3 miscarriages. After the third one, I got some testing from specialists in recurrent pregnancy loss. Depending on your age, you may want to be tested now. I had an immune system problem and got a treatment and was able to have my second healthy child, now 5. They said after the first healthy baby, I had built up immunities (like the RH factor does). You may want to look up recurrent pregnancy loss on the internet for some resources. Then again, you may want to just try again. Prayer helped me get through it. It is not a good feeling losing a baby, but there's probably a good reason you have to go through this. Good luck. angie

Dear ''scared'',
I had a miscarriage which sounds very similar to yours in week 18 of my first pregnancy. The pain and sadness were indeed immeasureable and at times, unfathomable. Now, two and half years later, I have an amazing 18 month old boy and am 32 weeks pregnant with another. Both these pregnancies went smoothly - as I hope your next one will - even though the anxiety was never far away.

The important thing is not to blame yourself and not to take others' often well-meaning but misguided questions to heart. I don't know if your insurance covers this, but I also recommend a fantastic high-risk ob/gyn who we saw at my doctor's recommendation. Her name is Dr. Mickie Adams and she works at Alta Bates Perinatal on Telegraph. It was amazing what one consultation with her did to restore our hope and confidence. She explained things as thoroughly as possible (even though there was never really one simple explanation for what had happened) and was very compassionate and caring. Finally, talking about it with other women who have been through this grieving process was also an important part of healing. If you would like to talk more specifically or in depth, I would be happy to help in any way possible. Email me at

In the meantime, take good care of yourself and don't despair! Been there

My heart goes out to you. Having a miscarriage is such a difficult experience to go through, and especially beyond the first trimester. I had two miscarriages, both after the birth of my first child and went on to try one last time as I really wanted a sibling for my child. Now I have two beautiful children and the sadness of those two years is completely gone. I know it is really hard to go through, yet if you try again and have another child, at least in my experience, it is well worth it. What did help was talking to other people who had gone through a miscarriage as well, especially 2 friends who had had 2 miscarriages also. Now they both have second children as well! As I started telling people what I was going through, I was surprised to hear how many women go through this kind of loss.

If you like to read, there are some good books on the subject, some recommended on this newsletter. Hope and pray all works out for your family as you wish, and that you have the support (both inside and out) to heal from your miscarriage.

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I had a similar experience to yours. At 37, I had a very easy pregnancy and birth. At 39, we tried for a second child. It took much longer to get pregnant and I then suffered a miscarrage at 9 weeks. During the pregnancy I had felt a lot worse - tired and sick, but just put it down to being an older mom with a toddler. I tried for several months to get pregnant again and succeeded after 8 months, but by that time I had sought the help of a fertility specialist because I felt that there was something wrong with me -- i.e., it couldn't just be my age. The week I found out I was pregnant, the fertility doctor called to tell me that the results of the first set of blood tests I had taken showed that I had hypothyroidism. Apparently, it is quite common for a woman to develop this condition after a first pregnancy. Although I had not had any obvious symptoms after the birth of my first child, the second pregnancy was too much for my body, which resulted in the miscarriage. Again, miscarriage is very common for women who have thyroid problems.

As soon as I was diagnosed, I started medication and fortunately, I gave birth to a healthy second child at 41. I continue on the medication and have my TSH (blood test) every 6 months or so to check that the level is correct.

Incidentally, I got pregnant again (surprise!) and had a 3rd child at age 43. THis, too, was an easy pregnancy.

My suggestion is for you to get a full physical exam and have yourself checked for thyroid problems, as soon as you feel up to it. If I had done this after my miscarriage, it would have saved many months of anguish.

wishing you the very best of luck, Charlotte

I'm so sorry this happened to you--I, too, had a miscarriage at 12 weeks in my second pregnancy. My son at the time was about 18 months old. It was extremely traumatic for both me and my husband and we truly felt grief. I will say though that, like you, the pregnancy had never felt good and I was very sick from the beginning. Six months later we got pregnant again and from moment one, it felt ''right.'' I was very anxious about miscarrying until about 20 weeks--then somehow we started to relax and enjoy the process! My daughter was born in a very easy vaginal delivery and is now a wonderful, healthy, rambunctious almost 3 year old! I still sometimes think about the baby I lost but am grateful for the wonderful kids I have. My point--miscarriages are VERY common and you shouldn't worry that you can't have a healthy pregnancy in the future. Good luck! anon

Give yourself time to heal from the sadness of your miscarriage. But if you really want to have another child, don't give up. I had two miscarriages after a healthy first pregnancy. When I got pregnant the third time I did not keep my hopes up that it would be ''viable'' as they say, but all went well and I now have 2 beautiful children.

When you have a miscarriage, your body is doing what ''mother nature'' is supposed to do. Something was not right with the pregnancy. So next time may be just fine. After my miscarriages, I found out that a lot of women have been through them...more than I ever would have thought.

You are not alone in what you've been through. I wish you all the best. Time will help heal the hurt. Alexis

I have never had a miscarriage, but being pregnant, have read up on miscarriages, the chances of one, etc. What I've read is that you could be completely healthy, as you are, and still have a miscarriage. Often times, a woman cannot do anything about an early miscarriage. Doctors tell you to think of it as a way of your body saying it wasn't right or it wasn't time. I'm sure it's awful to go through with it, but having a few scares myself during pregnancy, I found out that many more women in my circle have gone through a m/c. Not that it makes you feel better - just that you realize that sometimes, it really is just nature doing its thing, and that it has nothing to do with you or how you handled your pregancy. I have also read that (with blessing from your caregiver, of course) you no longer have to wait three months or more to try to conceive after a m/c. Usually, you can start trying right away. anon

To all of you who responded to my post about my recent miscarriage THANK YOU SO MUCH. Thank you for sharing all your stories. It really does help to know I'm not alone and hearing all your positive stories about giving birth after sometimes multiple miscarriages is so encouraging to me. What a great compassionate bunch of people you are. Your stories brought tears to my eyes, but give me so much hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you..... heidi

While I'm not the one who posted orginally, I wanted thank you to all who gave their own stories of miscarriage. I've recently suffered my second miscarriage (one at 10 weeks and one at 6) and I, too, have a healthy 16-month-old daughter. It's so comforting to know others have come before me and that having another child is indeed possible if not probable. Anon

Emotions/Feelings after Miscarriage

November 2002

I am about 12 weeks pregnant and I recently had my routine 12 week check-up with the OB/GYN. Everything was going well with the pregnancy beside a little spotting that just started a few days prior to the appointment. But I did not and have not had any cramping. Well, needless to say I was quite excited because this was the first time I was going to see the baby. When it was time for the vaginal ultrasound, it showed nothing. I have a uterus that is the size of 8 weeks and it is empty. No baby, nothing: a black hole. Even though I have had two pregnancy tests and early pregnancy symptoms. It has been three days since that appointment and I have continued to spot but that is it. The OB/GYN is testing the HCG levels in my blood over the series of several days to see what my hormones say about the pregnancy. I was shocked and still am. I cried hysterically during and after the appointment. My husband is having a hard time with it but is doing better than I am. I want people to know but I dont want to tell them, matter of fact I don't want people to contact me about it and I don't want to have to explain it over and over. I have been bombarded with phone calls and emails from close family telling me how sad and sorry they are and if there is anything they can do and of course the famous ''it is for the best'' ''it is not your fault''. I am not sure how I am supposed to feel. I appreciate my family expressing their support but I really wish that they would just leave me alone so that I can internalize what has happened and accept my feelings. So many people know about the pregnancy and they ask all the time how I am feeling (of course because they care) but it makes such an uncomfortable situation when people ask and then you have to break the news. They get upset and then I will get upset. Then they feel so bad for asking and then I feel like I am propping them up and it is not their loss. My mother in law called me yesterday crying hysterically. I just cannot deal with it. I am trying to come to grips with my feelings and I feel like I am consoling everyone else. But all I have is an ultrasound with an empty uterus. I have not expelled the lining tissue. Am I pregnant or not? Part of me is really sad and upset, the other part of me knows that there was nothing I did to cause this and nothing I could of done to prevent it. I want to come to grips with my and my husband's feelings and emotions and move on. We do not have a problem with fertility and we have a healthy and happy 13 month old daughter. I know that we will have another child. I am just so confused and could not find anything on the archives that discussed miscarriage. I would really appreciate it if anyone who has been in this situation could share their experience with me and how they coped with this loss. Thank you, Anon

I had a similar situation with my first pregnancy and to be honest, I'm surprised your doctor didn't schedule a d right away. I also didn't have any spotting or symptoms and had morning sickness up until a few days before the appt (week 13). In fact, we'd even seen the beating ''heart'' at my nine week appt. I also was devastated and my husband also took it better. I found solace in a newsgroup at the time (soc.pregnancy.loss I think).

My doctor scheduled a d for the next day and I spent the whole night being miserable and concerned. If you end up having one, make sure you request anesthesia (sp?) that will knock you out ;-) I know some doctors just use painkillers but I think if I'd had to be cognizant of what was going on I would hvae been even more distressed. We also had genetic testing done and found out that the problem was unlikely to recur as it was called a ''mosaic'' and therefore had probably happened after conception. Most doctors won't do genetic testing without cause but we were at a teaching hospital so I think that's why they did it (and it was helpful for me esp being a first pregnancy).

It sounds like you might also be feeling a little like I was in that I couldn't understand how come my body wasn't miscarrying and was there in fact a problem if it wasn't. Of course, with my subsequent pg I was also a wreck esp. but fortunately, I had a healthy child and have since had another one.

I did take some time to mourn and in fact, gave the baby a name that I used at the time (my husband didn't like this idea and didn't participate in this at all, btw). anon

I'm so sorry about your loss. Something similar happened to me 11 years ago and it still hurts. I was 12 weeks pregnant and went to my appointment to hear the heartbeat for the first time. It was undetected. This was after weeks of morning sickness, having a transvaginal ultrasound at about 6 weeks and seeing the heartbeat. I was devastated.

Like you, I had no cramping. I didn't have any spotting. The only thing I did notice was that my symptoms seemed to be going away. I attributed it to getting over the 1st trimester. I must admit, I did have a 6th sense that all was not perfect. My diagnosis was a ''missed abortion,'' a cruel name for a miscarriage. I had a D

I was numb. I hadn't told most of my co-workers, but I had told most of my friends and family. Most people were very supportive, but I endured many hurtful responses. The most hurtful were the people who said nothing at all. I too got the ''it's all for the best..., better now than have a baby who's not going to make it...''

It was hard telling people about it. It was also hard going about my life around the people who didn't know -- they couldn't possible know how I was feeling. In retrospect, I think I wished I hadn't told so many family members early on, and I also wished I had joined some sort of support group.

My husband was great, but didn't understand when I'd come home from work crying that so and so was pregnant for the second time, and why did it happen to ME!? My mother was pretty supportive and said one thing that was so true. Yes, we all know about the statistics, but as she pointed out, it happened to ME. I became the statistic.

My advice? Hang in there. Talk to people, especially those who have been through it. If you don't want to talk to friends or family, find a support group or a therapist. Keeping this to yourself isn't helpful. Also, try to remember that people do mean well, it just doesn't always come out that way. Most of the time people don't know what to say. Take care. Mom of 2

I think you will get a lot of responses from women who have experienced what you are going through now. First let me say that I am sorry to hear about your loss. I too, had a similar miscarriage. I had a easy, trouble-free first pregnancy and went in for my 12 week appt, just before getting on a plane to go tell my parents that I was pregnant. But in the doctors office the doctor realized that there was no heartbeat. He did an ultrasound and confirmed his findings. He thought that the fetus died at about 10 weeks based on the size, suggested that I have a higher quality ultrasound the following week and schedule a DNC. I was shocked. No spotting, no hint that anything was wrong. The last thing I wanted was to get on a plane, but I did and had a quiet weekend reflecting on my situation. My situation differs from yours in that I didn't tell many that I was pregnant, maybe 3-4 very close friends, so it was relatively easy to just tell them what happened. Everyone was supportive and we tired to get pregnant a few months later and it worked without a problem. I was sad, but I'm a very practical person and focused on the fact that many initial pregnancies end with miscarriages. The week after my DNC I was depressed (and pampered myself), I think until my hormones could get back to normal. My husband had a bit more difficult time thinking maybe we shouldn't have kids etc., but I reassured him that miscarriages are common (I was 36). I hope that by knowing others have gone through this, it will help you. anon

I read your e-mail and understand exactly what you are going through. I had a miscarriage about two years ago. It was my first pregnancy. It is very important to realize that it is not your fault. Miscarriages are very common. I think my ob/gyn told me 1/5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I too was crushed when I found out that I would have a miscarriage. The one thing my ob/gyn said to make me feel better is that miscarriages indicate that you DO NOT have problems with fertility. You will likely get pregnant again rather quickly. I did. And I now have a healthy 7-month old girl. You might consider going to a support group. I know John Muir hospital has one and I'm sure Summit and Alta Bates do to. It might help to talk to others in the same situation. I did not do this but wish I had. I am now part of a mother's group and 3 of the 7 moms in the group had miscarriages (you can see how common it is). It was very cathartic discussing what happened with them. - been there

Hi, I had two miscarriages prior to having my now 14-month-old daugher, and both experiences physically sounded very much like yours. I am not a physician, but it does sound to me as though you are no longer pregnant. One of the hardest parts of having a miscarriage is telling people. And I'm sorry your friends and relatives are being so intrusive and insensitive. What I did was to make a list of everyone who knew about the pregnancy and then had my husband and mother spread the news to everyone, or I emailed them myself, and we explicitly said to people that I didn't want to talk about it. A lot of people did want to ''be there for me'', but we just said I would call them in the future when I felt like talking. Try not to worry about hurting other people's feelings. Someone may be offended, but that is their problem and not yours. You have other things to deal with now that are more important than making everyone else feel OK. Been there

My heart goes out to you. I have two children and have had several miscarriages before each, and remember well the grief and confusion. Especially that ambiguous time when your body still believes you are pregnant, so you experience all the physical consequences, and when your hormonal levels drop, and you have to adjust to the mood consequences of those physical changes. Each woman and each couple gets through this in her/their own way. I needed everyone to know and I needed the support of my friends and family, even when their words of support were sometimes off-base. I found that the more I spoke of my miscarriages, the more I learned about how typical it was among friends. But perhaps you need more privacy. Let yourself and your husband decide what you need and don't feel embarrassed to be honest to those who phone. I also found support and solace from the women who post on the INCIID website (, although given that this is a single miscarriage and unlikely to reoccur, you may prefer not to get connected with women who have had more than one. Take care of yourself. anonymous

Indeed, I am so sorry, and I empathize with you. I had a miscarriage after no unusual symtoms in my 13th week. Miscarriages are a unique event, because we mourn not the loss of a baby that we have held in our arms, but rather the loss of what we have held in our hearts. We lose our dreams and our image of what our family is going to look like. I had a miscarriage the first time I was pregnant; I was finally fulfilling my fantasy of having children. I told literally everyone that I was pregnant (including strangers)! But if we have a miscarriage, people don't know how to act towards us, because from where they are standing, nothing has changed. But I, too, felt such intense grief and was struck by people's comments (many struck me as cold or patronizing). I really wanted someone to tell me that it was okay to grieve, okay to feel sad, and okay to be angry. Because we have not ''lost'' anything visible to other people, we feel that we should act as if nothing happened. But something did happen, and you need to grieve. You need to cry for this baby and for yourself. In my case, I did feel better after some time and I did get pregnant again (and again!). But, although seven years have passed, it is still something I think about and wonder about. But, the pain is no longer there. Mary

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I experienced a pregnancy loss at 24 weeks, over 12 years ago, but your post brought back many memories and feelings. First of all, there is no ''right'' way to feel or to grieve. You feel what you feel -- bewilderment, grief, anger, confusion -- and that's what you need. I'd say it sounds like you really know what you want, on some level. You want to not have to take care of other people, or to explain yourself, or to hear about things being ''all for the best.'' (arrgghhghh!! that is the worst!!)

I wish that I had had the benefit of email 12 yrs ago. I think it could actually be very helpful for you. You were really quite clear and honest in your post about how you are feeling and how peoples' reactions are affecting you. Why not forward this, or an edited version, to your email list, saying, I appreciate your concern but what I really need right now is... to be left alone until further notice? To have people come and take care of my 13 month old so I can have some quiet reflective grieving time? To have help with meals? Think of what you would want, in an ideal world (besides having your pregnancy back) and ask for it, as directly as possible. People around you are as bewildered as you are and could use some guidance.

When I lost my pregnancy, bizarrely enough, I hated people being cheerful or chipper and I was actually quite moved when other people cried. It showed me that the pregnancy meant something to them as well, and that they were feeling a loss as well. But for you, it makes you feel like you have to take care of them. I would say this. Tell people that if they are having feelings about this, it would help YOU a lot if they would deal with these privately, because you are feeling overwhelmed with your own situation at this time.

Time will heal this terrible, sad wound. But in the meantime be gentle with yourself and be as honest as you can in asking for what you need, whatever that may be. Also: it might be really useful to go to a pregnancy loss support group at your local hospital. They all have regular meetings, and it was really beneficial for me to be able to express myself in a group of people who were going through the same thing. It made me feel much less alone.

Best to you in this painful time. Susan

Hi, I can only suggest that you go to -the website for Mothering magazine - and look through their archives for a recent issue dedicated entirely to miscarriage. It was so informative and gentle - and had many stories and poetry by people going through exactly what you are now. I checked for you and you simply need to click on Books and Back Issues and scroll down to the back issues section. It is #113 - July/August 2002 - and only costs $3.00 to order. I highly recommend purchasing this and reading it with your supportive husband. I would pass my copy along, but have already done so. Namaste.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I had a similar situation with my first pregnancy. At 8.5 weeks, there was nothing on the first ultrasound. The OB sent me to the ''big'' ultrasound at Kaiser (more powerful than the office ultrasound), which confirmed that the heart had stopped beating. The doctors called mine a ''missed abortion'' or ''missed miscarriage'', meaning the baby had died but my body did not expel it. I ended up having a D, which was a minor procedure. If you need one, please remember that the surgery is the least of your concerns.

It sounds like you are getting appropriate care. I had to fight for those hormone tests (another very long post for another day) and for the D

I'm not sure what I can say, except that it does get better. I surprised myself about six weeks after my miscarriage by telling my brother in law that I had good days and bad, since at first it was all just bad. You just get through one day at a time. I felt better about giving the baby a name and saying a few prayers for her, even though I am not normally a religious person.

You need to do whatever it takes to keep yourself sane right now. Please let the machine screen your messages, and think about taking a few days off of work or away from your usual routine. Is there someway you can let your ''community'' know about your situation -- have a friend spread the news or something -- so you don't have to endlessly discuss it? My situation was a little different: I had told only immediate family that I was pregnant, so there was nobody to un-tell. I was relieved not to have to discuss it, but felt odd about being so enormously not okay and nobody knew why. I became a recluse for a month or so.

If it reassures you at all, I conceived a perfect little boy two months after the D I still sometimes think about the first baby, but it's very distant now.

Again, my heartfelt sympathies for your loss, and my wishes for healing for you. Also anonymous.

We had a similiar experience with our first pregnancy. At 10 weeks I went in for my ''routine'' first pre-natal visit only to be told that the fetus had died at 7 weeks. They tried to schedule me for an abortion that same day (I went to a different ob for my second pregnancy). Being our first pregnancy we were not only devastated but we also were concerned about whether we'd be able to carry a child to term, etc. We also had to untell many family and friends- this was very difficult for all the reasons you articulated. Unfortunately, for my husband this job mostly went to him. I know that there were many times when he felt left out and told me that it was hard for him cause it was his loss too but the focus was on me (and he felt he needed to be stoic for me). I found though that many more people than I suspected have had a miscarriage- family members and friends told me about their own experiences. While this information didn't help it did serve to make me feel less bad about the physical issues. We went through a greiving period just as with any loss. We each said goodbye to the little baby whom we had already fallen in love with. I still think of her (I am sure it was a little girl) and wonder what if but then my little son smiles and my whole world comes back into focus. I decided to let the pregnancy terminate on its own- my motto being the less surgery the better (however ''safe'' it is). The miscarriage itself was very painful (so much so that I went to the er thinking I might be hemmoraging). I spent 6 hours at Alta Bates before I was seen only to be told that everything was normal. It was also a lot more blood than I was expecting. It was like the heaviest day of my period times five. We had a successful pregnancy on our next try which was two cycles later to allow my body a little time to rev up again. Give you and your family time to heal and try again when your body feels up to it. Know that its ok to mourn the loss (however early it may have been), talk with your spouse about your feelings and ask someone ''strong'' in the family to do the untelling for you if possible, let the answering machine pick up for awhile, give yourself time to regroup. Good luck. anon

I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I have also had miscarriages since the birth of my first child. The ''it's for the best'' comments REALLY irk me. I just decided to pity those people becuase they apparently weren't emotionally mature enough to deal with the feelings around this. MOTHERING magazine had an issue on miscarriage and feelings of loss a couple of months ago. There is also a lot of good information on their website. I think a big part of the pain of dealing with miscarriage is because it is so hidden (like anything around death, really) in our culture. Miscarriages happen an awful lot. I felt like I was educating people around me about how common it is. I think if we all understood this, it would not be quite so devastating-- for those of us going through it, and for those trying to comfort us. I also found myself thinking a lot about the women I knew when I lived in Africa for four years-- more than half of them had had one or more BABIES die-- the pain of which I just can't imagine-- and they talk about it. So talk about it-- but choose with whom.

I actually sent out an email to people at work to let them know what happened and tell them to please not make a big deal of it. This really enabled me to choose which of my colleagues I chose to discuss it with, and let people who were uncomfortable ''off the hook''. You might put a similar message on your answering machine. Best Anon

The first time my husband and I tried to get pregnant we got it done in one day. Then we had a very healthy son which is 23 months. When my son was a year old, my husband and I decided to get pregnant again. 10 months went by and finally we got pregnant. I had an urine test done and a home test done; both showed positive. We were thrilled, our family and our friends were to. Then, all of the sudden I had some spotting, I waited 24 hours, I called the hospital, the cramps were almost labor like, sweat, pain, everything. The doctor did a vaginal ultrasound and found nothing. No fetus, no thickness in the uterus' lining. Four days and two blood tests later defined a miscarriage. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew that the fetus should've been there if it was growing accordingly, but it was not. So that baby was wrong and it was nature's way to say start from scratch and try again. I am not happy but I am not sad. We knew there was nothing to do except call everybody and say: Something went wrong, we are not pregnant anymore. It was simple. We tried not to make it difficult for us and for all the people that love us. The doctor said: four out of five pregnancies end on miscarriages So, I know I am neither the first nor the last. I am very happy for what I have: my health, my baby, my husband, my home . . . my life in general. Anon, I don't know if this is what you wanted to read but it comes from my heart knowing that you have the same happened to you. grecia

I'm sorry for what you're going through. There's a wonderful website that offers support through communities for many different topics. Go to ''communities'' and then ''Support Groups'' and then to ''Miscarriage and Loss Support'' There you will find other Moms who are going through exactly what you're going through right now. There is solace in speaking to people who DO know how you feel. Frances

I'm sorry for your loss. People cope in so many different ways with this event. Most find it brings a real sense of loss, but not everyone wants to share their feelings with others. I found it very hard to get past the loss of my first pregnancy (a 6-month premie). For me, the support group at Alta Bates Hospital was very helpful as I went through the process of grieving and trying to build a family. Meeting people going through all types of pregnancy losses and then recovering helped keep me from getting stuck in one place. I first went almost 1 YEAR after my loss, and wished I'd gone sooner, but at the time I thought why on earth would I want to hear about MORE of these losses? It turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear (and to hear how people survived and moved on). The support group at Alta Bates Hospital is called SAND (stands for Support After Neonatal Death). They can be reached at 204-1571. Cynthia

I know how you feel. I had two miscarriages between my two kids, and it was awful. Like you, I had none of the usual experiences: only a bit of spotting the second time, and nothing the first. Upon finding no heartbeat, the doctors discovered the pregnancy had ended. Both times I needed a D, which was poignant, since the same procedure is used for abortion and we really wanted those babies. The best balm was time. (It also helped to learn, upon tissue testing of the second miscarriage, that there was a genetic problem that was incompatible with life.) My advice: take care of yourself, and let time heal you. Believe me, when you have your second child -- which you almost certainly will -- this experience will be a tiny footnote to your family experience. You will adore the second child and not be able to imagine him/her being someone else. You will feel that THAT child -- the one you have -- was the child meant for you, not any other (including the one you lost). Good luck. Leslie

I am so sorry for your loss. It is often a very, very difficult thing to deal with.

You asked for others who had had this experience to share their tips. I have had 3 miscarriages, and I have one healthy daughter. All of the miscarriages were hard, by now I have some thoughts on what helps me cope.

First of all, realize that you are grieving. And that it is fine to grieve. Take your time. Some days will be OK and some will be crappy. You will go through a lot of emotions, just like dealing with the death of a relative or someone you know. Sometimes you'll be angry, sometimes sad, sometimes filled with disbelief, the list goes on. Be sad if you want to. Don't hold back your tears. After a while you will realize that you cry a little less often.

Don't do anything you don't feel like doing right doing. Don't answer the phone if you don't want to, just let the answering machine get it and you can pick up if you want.

Don't expect yourself to ''get back to normal'' right away. I always felt like a piece of my heart had been taken out. My heart still works and thrives but I will always have that little piece missing.

Talk to people you like to talk to. And if you know others who have had miscarriages it is often very helpful to talk with them. Once you start telling people you'll be amazed how many have also had miscarriages. A support group for pregnancy loss may also be helpful. Check with your OB or your local hospital.

It's not necessary to always hold back your tears in front of your daughter if it is hard for you to do. Sometimes it is OK for her to catch you with tears. You can just explain that Mommy is sad, but that things will get better and you will be happy again later. Tell her that hugs from her help you feel better (and they do!).

If you want to read a book about miscarriage I'd recommend The Woman Doctor's Guide to Miscarriage. It might be out of print, but I got it from the library. Or used on Amazon. Sometimes it helps to have more information. Instead of the ''sometimes this happens'' line you get from doctors, etc.

If people ask what they can do to help, tell them it's been hard to get meals together if they want to drop by food. Or they could invite your daughter for a playdate to give you a break. A lot of people want to help, they just don't know how.

Also... they checked to verify that you don't have a tubal pregnancy, right? And if you don't have that, did they mention a D? Although a D sounds horrible, I've been through both situations (D and ''natural'' miscarriage) and for me the D was actually a lot less painful. If you go to Alta Bates for this they will tell you that your husband/friend can't go with you past the admissions desk upstairs. But if you talk to the nurses down in pre-op, they might allow your husband to come down and hold your hand in pre-op before the surgery. Just explain the situation and say you really need some support. (Or maybe it was my sobbing that convinced them to let him come down. Whatever works.) Whatever happens, take care Kathleen

In reading the posts about miscarriage, I noted that one family experienced a miscarriage due to a ''mosaic.'' As I understand it this is a configuration of chromosomes in which there has been a mutation during cell division, so some cells have one configuration and others have another configuration. What I want to pass along is that these mosaics can vary widely and do not necessarily result in miscarriage or anything detectable. During prenatal testing on my first child, we discovered that I am a mosaic of inverted and non-inverted (i.e. normal) 11th chromosome. One of my daughters has all inverted 11th chromosomes and the other has all normal 11th chromosomes. Interesting information, but of no consequence in our life or health to date.

I am writing because I don't want someone who has heard that their child is a ''mosaic'' to worry that this will necessarily lead to a miscarriage.

My heart goes out to all the families who wrote about their experiences with miscarriages.

Environmental causes of my two miscarriages?

November 2002

I am now pregnant again after two miscarriages over the past 18 months. My doctor won't even address it as an issue before three miscarriages (especially at age 38, after one healthy delivery). She cites statistics about most miscarriages being the result of chromosomal abnormalities... and I know there's a good chance they are. But since finding out I am pregnant again, I have found myself being really worried about environmental hazards--- Did I cause the lst two miscarriages? Will I be able to carry this one full term? I was living in a different city during my first (uncomplicated, full term) pregnancy. Is the microwave zapping me? What about the 1/2 cup of coffee I was drinking every morning? A friend has told me to get my water tested. EBMUD was very nice, but their (very logical) question was, ''test for what?'' I have looked up the list of toxins on the Prop 49 website, but it is little daunting. Does anyone have any thoughts or experience?
Trying again in Oakland

I don't know about the environmental part, but I have several friends who had one baby, followed by a series of miscarriages. They all finally were told to take one asprin a day during their pregnancy (something to do with the blood, I think), and all carried healthy babies to term. Anyway, you might want to ask your doctor about this, as it took a few of my friends several miscarriages before they tried this.
Good luck to you!

Kaiser Permenante published their own research this past year on microwave/low-level emr energy that found correlation with higher miscarriage in the first 10 weeks. Here's a link to an article about it.

Kaiser has a number of research studies on various aspects of this subject. Good luck! Betsy

I can so understand what you're going through! I had my first child at 35, then 3 miscarriages! The question does pop up if it was my fault. Because somehow it seems easier to cope with if someone is to blame (even if it is ourselves) than having to acknowledge that reproduction is something beyond our control! Trust your doc - genetics are powerful, and fortunately there IS this self-regulating mechanism of nature. On the other hand - I haven't been using tap-water for food or drink in years. Even if they don't know about its consequences, there's lots of gunk in there. And I concentrate on organic foods. I do drink a cup of coffee - research shows that uterine bloodflow is reduced only if you drink at least three. Taking care to eat healthily is not only good for a baby growing inside you, it's also great for you!

That said, I do want to mention I went on baby-aspirine after my third miscarriage, and on progesterone (I'm an Ob/Gyn). None of this is totally proven to work, but hey - I have a healthy three month old daughter now, at the age of 41! So - carry on, and good luck!! karoline

First off I am so sorry for your losses. Second I can't believe your doctor is making you wait for a third miscarriage to investigate further!!! Although I haven't had this problem myself I have participated in an online infertility group for a number of years and many women there have had this issue. The first thing people suggest ruling out is low progesterone. If your level is low it is easy to treat with supplements. I know this isn't what you asked about exactly but if you haven't had this tested it would be worth it to check it since it is so easy to treat. Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy anon

I am very sorry for your loss. I, too, have had 2 miscarriages in the last 11 months after two healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies. We have 2 healthy little girls and I never had a miscarriage before we had them. I have been wondering about environmental issues; however, unlike you, I had both children while living in the same house/city. Anyone have any insight? I am disturbed by the number of miscarriages that I am hearing about amongst friends ltely as well. I know that with modern technology we find out about pregnancies sooner and sooner than in the past, but both of mine were at 8-9 weeks. Trish

If you intuition tells you that environmental factors may be an issue, you should listen. Do everything you can to minimize all of the possible concerns you mentioned and then some...Don't go anywhere near a microwave; drink and cook with quality bottled water; eat organic foods; don't allow unecessary tests (i.e. ultrasounds/sonograms...they do not know how this stuff affects the fetus, and don't allow any internal exams, there is no need for it); don't let yourself get stressed out during your pregnancy; avoid toxic fumes of any kind (paint, hair dye, nail polish, etc.). These are all things that may or may not help but it's worth a try. tracy

I don't have any information to share about environmental issues, but I think you should be tested for celiac disease (via a simple blood test for the presence of three antibodies). Celiac sprue causes recurrent pregnancy loss and is often subclinical - i.e., you can have it without being aware of any symptoms for a long time. Also, consider going on a regimen of one children's aspirin (80 mg) daily, which can help in the event of immune disorders which cause recurrent miscarriages. There is a lot of information about this on the web, and newsgroups such as alt.miscarriage or alt.pregnancy.miscarriage (I forget which it is). Also, see a reproductive endocrinologist. An OB/gyn is not enough (including those who say they ''specialize'' in such issues; they are nowhere near as knowledgeable as they think). Believe me, I've been there. Good luck. Anonymous

If you have not been tested for mycoureaplasma, I would recommend that. It's a very simple test, but is not part of a routine STD screen. I was required to have the test done in order to receive an artificial insemination and found out I was positive. I had been going for routine annuals all my life and it had never been detected. I recommended this test to a friend who had 3 miscarriages. She also tested positive and was treated (simple antibiotic routine) and then she had a successful pregnancy. Good luck!
Happy Mom of 2 month old

I don't blame you for being nervous after the experience of two miscarriages. I went through the same thing, and was very careful about everything. I was also in my late thirties when I had the miscarriages, and 38 for my third--sucessful!!--pregnancy. I hate to say it, but age is a factor, and there's nothing you can do about that. However, many, many women have healthy babies at age 38, so try to focus on that.

I'm concerned about your doctor's lack of empathy. You might try discussing your fears and the reasons for them again. You might even be direct and say you need better emotional support. I don't think that's unreasonable. The understanding of both my OB and my GP were increadibly helpful to me throughout my sucessful pregnancy.

As for your actions, I doubt that the 1/2 cup of coffee caused any problem with the other pregnancies, but if it causes you anxiety, stop drinking it or switch to decaf. If you're worried about tap water, drink bottled water during your pregnancy. Don't handle solvents, don't change the cat litter, do take your vitamins and follow all the prenatal advice of your doctor or midwife. Do what makes you feel better, more confident. Pregnancy after miscarriage has a complicated set of stresses. The hardest times for me were right around the gestational ages of the earlier miscarriages. In my case, things turned out beautifully, and I had a healthy, happy child. I hope the same for you. Carolyn

It doesn't have to be toxins. Please ask for a test for antiphospholipid syndrome. It's just a blood test. (This goes along with the earlier advice given about aspirin. Essentially, the syndrome causes ''breakdowns'' in cell walls that clog the blood flow through the placenta. Aspirin, heparin, etc. make the blood thin enough to slide on through.) My two miscarriages (6 & 10 weeks) were after an uncomplicated 1st preg & delivery. It's treatable & I now have 3 children.

Russell Laros at UCSF is the local ''go-to guy'' for this, and he's just wonderful. He treated my high-risk pregnancies and was delighted at my choice to have low-risk homebirths with those pregnancies.

Like you I was told it was statistical, but I felt ''something'' was wrong, and yes indeedy, it was. Feel free to email me. Stefani

Miscarriage - antiphospholipid syndrome

August 2002

I'm interested to hear how others with antiphospholipid syndrome have treated it. My sister suffers from this, and after her first uneventful pregnancy/birth, she had two miscarriages before she was diagnosed, treated, and able to carry another baby to term. Now that I'm considering a second baby, I'm not sure whether I should be tested for it (it may be genetic). If I'm positive, I won't necessarily show any symptoms (miscarry or, perish the thought, stillbirth), but I'll still have to decide whether to take the risk or inject myself daily with heparin. Has anyone else had to deal with this decision? Has anyone who's positive successfully gone through a pregnancy without heparin? I'm interested to hear about anyone's experiences, positive or negative. Many thanks. anon

I faced the decision whether to take baby aspirin and inject myself daily with heparin when I discovered that I have the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). A bit about my history: I had a successful and uneventful first pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy boy; my second pregnancy was uneventful but my placenta failed to provide enough oxygen in the last hours of my pregnancy because of a blood clot and my second son died two days after he was born.

Shortly after his death I was tested for APS and found to be negative so the demise of my second son remained a mystery until I became pregnant again two years later. I was referred by the nurse practitioner at the OB/GYN clinic I attend to the Alta Bates Perinatal Clinic and they tested me again. This time, already some ten weeks pregnant, the tests for APS came back positive. The positive result pointed to the loss of my second son as a result of the large blood clot in the placenta. I knew that I could not put my third child at risk and so I agreed to take the aspirin and heparin. Once I got the hang of injecting myself, it was no big deal. (The nightmare was making sure my insurance company would continue coverage throughout the pregnancy for this drug as it is so expensive!)And I am now the happy mother of a third son.

I believe taking the test to discover whether you have APS is worth it, even if it is just to reduce your fears. I have read that it can occur in families and my father also has it and takes an anti-coagulant every day.

If I were to have another child, I would definitely use the baby aspirin and heparin again.

Here's one web site I found helpful: Anon

I have antiphospholipid syndrome (aps). I've experienced it all - miscarriages, stillbirth (stillbirth may not have been due to aps, however). There are varying degrees of the syndrome. Not everyone has to use heparin. In fact, I used a single 81 mg asprin each day. I don't think that having the syndrome should necessarily cause you to decide against having children. Get tested. Also, make sure you have the high sensitivity test. There are some low sensitivity screening tests that might lead you or your doctor to conclude that you don't have aps when you really do. I have two wonderful children and would have gone thru fire to get them (in fact I sort of did). The asprin was no problem and the heparin, according to people I know who used it, was not that bad either. One note, aps syndrome was/is? thought to be associated with eclampsia, in that people with aps have higher rates of eclampsia and preeclampsia. So make sure you have a good dr. who knows all there is to know about aps and eclampsia. Hope this helps! Julie

Genetic Abnormalities and Miscarriage

November 2003

I have a year old baby and will be trying to have another child within the next six months. Although I haven't had any trouble conceiving, I have a genetic abnormality that gives every pregnancy that I have a 50% chance for miscarriage (not counting my risk for miscarriage given my age -- approaching 40). I had two miscarriages before my first child. Of course, every miscarriage is a loss, but I feel very alone (and frightened)in knowing that I am likely to reenter this predictable cycle of pregnancy and loss. Is there anyone out there with a similar genetic difficulty? I know I am lucky that I've been able to have a child at all, because it certainly is not a given for everyone. And still. . . Anonymous

Several years ago I learned via amnio that my unborn child had a balanced translocation. Similar to what you describe, it was not expected to have any clinical effect on him, but it would make him & his future spouse highly prone to miscarriages. However, we felt very confused and fearful at first. As part of trying to understand the significance of the genetic abnormality, I found an absolutely wonderful website on genetic issues and pregnancy (you can post anonymously with an alias). It is part of a larger website at that has many many boards for people dealing with infertility, miscarriage and other related issues. When you get to the site you will need to search around for the Medical Issues boards, and then search for the one on Genetics. If you want to post to the website you need to register (very simple and your email is not circulated at all), otherwise you can just read the posts. There is a genetics specialist there but I have found the support and info from peers there more valuable.

Through this board I have met countless women who have the same or similar genetic abnormality as my son, or their husband has the abnormality. All of these women have had multiple miscarriages and are familiar with the pain of never knowing if a ''+'' on a home pregnancy test means a viable pregnancy or another disappointment. We share successes, disappointments, and medical information and literature. Most of us would never be able to find someone in our locality with the same genetic concern, because they occur so infrequently and people tend to be very private about them. Many of us are poorly informed by our local genetic counselors or OBs as well. Over time I have become good friends with a couple of women who live in different parts of the country, one of whom has a genetic translocation herself, one of whom has a husband with one, and both of whom have been able to have 2 children, one by just enduring multiple miscarriages, the other through IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Some day I will be able to tell my son that having this translocation does not mean that he will not be able to be the biological father of his children, and he will be able to make well-informed choices. anonymous

My sister has the SAME problem and had 3 miscarriages before being diagnosed. She now faces the dilemna of an out-of-the-country procedure or taking fertility drugs to decrease the odds of a 4th miscarriage. Please email me if you'd like to talk to her directly about her experience, her doctor and her findings. Jodi