I talk a bit here first about my experience yesterday and natural miscarriage vs. D&C. Then I get to the images. These images were taken yesterday as I experienced my natural miscarriage (which came after a 'missed miscarriage'...discovered no heartbeat at 11 weeks 2 days...baby measured 8 1/2 weeks). I blogged about yesterday's experience here. The images at the end of this post may not be for everyone. For some of you who have experienced miscarriages yourselves, this might evoke some emotion for you. Only you know if it's a wise decision for you or not to see this. I personally see it as more interesting and more of that celebration of life and the miracle of life. But, it is definitely possible that not everyone would see it that way. It might just be upsetting for some.
Some of you others just don't like anything that has to do with the body in general. I personally don't understand that, haha. But, that's because of the way I am...curious and not squeamish about things that have to do with our bodies at all. So, this is your last warning...if you think you might not like seeing these images (this was a birth...there is a tiny bit of blood involved...but just a tiny bit), then turn away now.
Here's what you're not allowed to do. You're not allowed to look at them and then make rude comments. You're not allowed to say something like, "Ewww. I thought I might be able to look at them, but I was wrong." Or anything remotely resembling that comment. If it's not a *completely* nice comment, with not even a hint of negativity, then don't comment at all.
I'm usually not a sensitive person. Not a lot makes me mad. But, that would at this point. So I'm warning you now.
Because this might not be a beautiful thing to you. But it is to me. This birth did not result in a live, full-grown, healthy baby that everyone can ooh and ahh over. But, it was a birth of its own kind. And everything here represents life and the Giver of life. And it's amazing.
So, for those of you who can't look, maybe read the body of this post, and then just keep moving on. For those of you who can, enjoy this miracle of life! Watch the videos...they *really* show it all so well and interestingly. Much better than the pictures.
I am a 'sharer' anyway. But one of the HUGE motivations for this post is that I *wish* I could've found something like this when I was wondering last week what to expect in a natural miscarriage of 8 1/2 weeks (technically, my midwife said that the hospital would have considered me 12 weeks at this time, as of yesterday, but as far as when the baby ceased to have a heartbeat...that was 8 1/2 weeks). So, if someone else goes through something like this and they type in the google search "what to expect in a natural miscarriage 8 weeks" or "what comes out when you have a miscarriage"...maybe they will see this. And then maybe they will have a better knowledge of what might happen in their case and be able to prepare for/make decisions more easily for their case. Knowledge really is power after all. It's true.
These images were taken right after the birth yesterday. I was still in my tub. It was taken after over 2 hours of pretty excruciating pain. I hate to say it that way. But let me just be really honest for a minute in my thoughts after this experience. I've spent over 24 hours now thinking about the events of yesterday. At one point during the labor, I texted my midwife. I asked her why it was hurting so stinkin' bad...my exact words were "it's not like there's a 9 lb. baby in there or anything." She said that, as I wrote in my post yesterday, even though there's no full-size baby in there, the placenta still has to detach. In the contracting of the uterus, that is achieved. But, having the knowledge of what my miscarriage actually looked like yesterday, I now think that there was an added cause. Not only did the placenta have to detach. The full intact amniotic sac came out. So, my cervix had to dilate at least to some degree to allow for that. My miscarriage didn't just involve heavy bleeding and parts of the pregnancy exiting my body. It was the whole product of the pregnancy coming out at once. So my cervix had to open a bit. Wow...in thinking about that, it really was just like the other births, in more ways than one (except more intense because of that 'no breaks' thing...just constant contracting). I'm not sure how prevalent birthing a complete gestational sac in a miscarriage at 8 1/2 weeks is, but it was an interesting experience. (I actually have more to say about that...I'll save it for another post though). I think it does explain what was probably 'added' work yesterday though...more than what is usually experienced in a miscarriage. Unless this is more prevalent than I know of. But of course, since I can't find much at all about people's experiences on the internet here, I can't know. Again, back to part of my motivation for posting all of this in the first place.
I've given birth naturally three times now at home...to pretty big babies. And really...this was *nothing* like my other births in terms of the pain/discomfort. And although I'm glad that I've now experienced a natural miscarriage at this stage in a pregnancy and can educate with experience about it all, having experienced a D&C at 8 weeks and a natural miscarriage at 8 1/2 weeks, I honestly think I would choose the D&C. Surprising? I am ALL about natural everything...making my own toothpaste and lotion and deodorant and soap...living and eating in a way that is natural and organic and healthy...birthing babies, obviously, in the most natural of ways. Having a natural miscarriage at 6 weeks was fine for me. But, I don't think I would put my body through this again if I had to face this again at 8 weeks. Just my thoughts on the matter as of now. Let me explain further...
One of the many reasons I choose a natural birth when birthing my full-term babies is because I want my body to be able to function during labor *and* after labor (with breastfeeding, healing, etc.) the way God intended. I also want my baby to be able to function the way God intended. He has all sorts of little 'checkpoints' set up that happen at certain times for things to go smoothly (this is an article that explains just *some* of those really beautiful checkpoints). When you choose interventions and/or medications, those natural checkpoints so often don't come/are disturbed. Which necessitates more interventions, more drugs, etc.
When you have a baby that has died within you, these checkpoints are no longer as much of a concern. There are still labor and birth checkpoints...as you saw yesterday in my story...it is very much still a birth. But, there is no *need* for, for instance, certain hormones to have been released at just the right time for cervical dilation and successful positioning of the baby for birth. There is no need for you to be able to get into a certain position for your baby to healthily come out and no need for the hormones to line up for successful breastfeeding, etc. It's still birth, but there's a whole different motive. It's not to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible so as to get the best start in life. The life has already gone from this earth. The motive after miscarriage is just to simply allow your baby's body to exit yours...there is no life there to protect. There is no life to breastfeed and nurture afterward. The truth is that the exit itself is really the only motive.
Having experienced a medicated/intervention-filled birth of a full-term baby vs. natural births...I can tell you in 100% honesty that there is a HUGE difference in the results...and the natural birth is sooooo much better!! It's not *just* about the exiting of a live baby. Having experienced a D&C vs. a natural miscarriage at 8-8 1/2 weeks...I can tell you that there is not much difference in the results. And, in my opinion, *for me* it is just about the exiting of the no longer living baby. Again, I'm glad for the experience. But, I'm just not sure I would put my body through that again. I might feel differently with time.
But...hopeful and prayerful that I'm never faced with that decision again. We definitely welcome your prayers in that area of our lives.
So again...here are the images. Because I think the pictures are a little more alarming, I chose to put the videos first. Don't worry...these pictures and videos don't show me at any point (other than my legs and hands). Enjoy them and marvel at the things God uses to make and sustain life within us. I know I do.
The following video shows the intact gestational sac. The 2nd video is of when I tore open the sac and explored within. Then there are a few pictures.
|Just another shot. I was putting my hand there to just|
be able to give a reference of the size.
|Just picking it up out of the water.|
|Feeling of it...how strong and durable it is, how miraculous it is.|
THIS is where your baby LIVES inside of you. Just incredible.
|After I tore open the sac and explored (as you saw in the video),|
this is what was left.