Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Is a Miscarriage - Medical Images

First of all, if you're just stumbling upon this blog, there are other related posts before this one...This Is a Miscarriage, Days 1-6.  You can just look for them, or click on the 'older posts' button at the end of this post, if you are interested.

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.

This is the intact amniotic sac.  Maybe one of the reasons it hurt so bad?  Because it was
still intact and of a good size...all coming out at once instead of piece by piece?  Just to
clarify...it didn't hurt pushing it out.  But, the contracting needed to get it
out of my uterus as opposed to what it would've taken to get 'piece by piece' out...
that was significantly different I'm guessing.  For
all of you others who have had a miscarriage, what has been your experience?  Is it fairly
common to miscarry with an intact amniotic sac?

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.
Just another view, closer up.  Truly amazing, the intricacies
of what my kids call 'the baby sac.' :) I didn't feel up to it
today (just wanted to rest), but I promised them I'd show
it all to them tomorrow (they saw the pictures and videos
already...but, not the actual things in real life yet).
So, I might post pictures of our little
show and tell tomorrow.  They're super excited to see
where their little brother or sister lived.  :)  Love them.


Kecia said...

really amazing to see this… I mean,how strong the "sac" is. Really impressed.
God bless you Michawn. We love you in Christ.

Mary Gower said...

Thank you for that.

Allison Hawkins Chiarelli said...

Thank you for being so sharing in your life experiences. I can only imagine the people that breathe a little easier knowing someone else is going through the same thing :)

Catey Chamberlain said...

Thank you for sharing. Your strength through this is amazing and encouraging. I've miscarried twice and have never been so strong. I've never passed the entire amniotic sac the way that you did, to my knowledge anyway. Both times, I started with spotting, that got heavier and heavier, and eventually lead to clots. Thank you again for sharing, I'm terribly sorry for your loss. God Bless you always and in All Ways.

Hollie Michèle said...

This morning I experienced my first, and hopefully last, miscarriage at 10 weeks. Similarly, the pain from the contractions was quite intense. Not so much unbearable, but extremely uncomfortable and painful. I first noticed spotting about 11 days ago, and after a few days began bleeding progressively more each day. After a week, the sharp pain and cramps began and I started passing small and large blood clots as well as very thick blood. The heavy bleeding had decreased by the time I had delivered the gestational sac. It surprised me by practically sliding out while I was squatting. I already knew I had lost the baby and was prepared for a miscarriage, but I was not expecting it to happen that way, to see my untouched baby, or how seeing it's beautiful little body would make me feel. I wanted that baby so bad, my first reaction was absolute despair. It was so peaceful and beautiful, but that beauty baby would never grow to be a child I could hold in my arms. I could only cradle it in my hand and try to process what was happening. After the initial shock subsided, I still felt sad but more at peace. Personally, I'm glad I had a natural miscarriage despite the pain. Seeing my baby completely intact and being able to hold it will allow me closure in the coming days. That was worth the pain for me, but I admit I might have felt otherwise had I not had the ability to see my baby after enduring the emotional and physical strain of miscarriage. Thank you for sharing your story.

Hollie Michèle said...

Being able to have held it** will allow me closure.

Unknown said...

I miscarried at 6 weeks. I knew something was wrong when they told me I was 6. I knew I should have been 8. I held on to hope. Next US which should have been 10wks showed no growth and no heartbeat. Anyway, took meds. Bled for a week, passing clots. Today, exactly a,week later, I passed this "something." It scared me. I,couldn't find any pic that looked like mine until just now. Its like a long tubular fleshy something. I took a pic then flushed it. I feel different now....empty. Provides some closure. Ready to try again. Bless you all.

T.C. said...

I miscarried at 6 weeks. I knew something was wrong when they told me I was 6. I knew I should have been 8. I held on to hope. Next US which should have been 10wks showed no growth and no heartbeat. Anyway, took meds. Bled for a week, passing clots. Today, exactly a,week later, I passed this "something." It scared me. I,couldn't find any pic that looked like mine until just now. Its like a long tubular fleshy something. I took a pic then flushed it. I feel different now....empty. Provides some closure. Ready to try again. Bless you all.

maria saldivar said...

Thank you for posting this... i lost my little one yesterday around 3 am .... doctors told me i was from 11 weeks to 14 weeks my sac looked a little like yours.... i wanted to open it and see what god have given me... but i couldn't tell. I closed him back in his box.we burry him or her in our garden this was baby number 4 . And my first miscarriage. ..pretty painful

Michawn said...

lots of love and hugs to you all. it is so very heartbreaking to go through something like this. i'm so very, very sorry you have all experienced this in your own lives. thank you so much for these sweet comments, written when you were all so deep in grief yourselves. even though i haven't commented after each one, i have read them all as they came, weeped with you each, and prayed for each one of you. prayers and hugs your way now as you walk forward. xoxo

Sehar Asghar said...

Thank you for sharing this. I am9 weeks pregnant and i had my ultrasound yesterday,doctor told me that the yolk sac is there but no baby and if there is no baby there is no heartbeat. My heart breaking apart I burst into tears. I want this baby so badly but I am spotting and now I am having light bleeding with long jelly type thing which colour is dark brown passing. I know that I am having miscarriage that's what doctor told me as well, but still I am not ready to believe it. I am still thinking may be next week I will see baby there ��. Sometimes you just can't do anything about miscarriages.i have had three miscarriages and this is my fourth one. I have one cute daughter and she is 14 months old. I guess I can't forget this miscarriage. Please pray for me that God will give me peace of mind and patience amen.

Michawn said...

Sehar...I am praying right now. I'm so very, very sorry this is happening to you. I know that it is heartbreaking. I pray that God will definitely give you peace. That He will be right there with you through it all. He loves you so...and He also hates what is happening right now. He grieves with you. He's there. I pray you feel and know that...and are able to be comforted. Love and hugs to you and your family. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. <3 xoxo

Jeannie Piekarz said...

Thank you for posting this. My mc finally passed (at least the placenta and the sac) and I am so relieved, as there was no heartbeat at the 9 week US (3 weeks ago). It's been so long I feel like I'm mostly through the grief, but closure is so important to me. I was surprised not to see anything in the sac today... Mine was not intact when it came out, but it made me feel better to see that even an intact one, at the same gestational age, didn't have anything discernible in it.

Thank you for being so open and posting pictures/video.