Before I continue, let me warn you there is some mild TMI ahead and my be triggery for some. Read at your own risk.
I had what is called a missed miscarriage, which means the baby stopped developing and died in my uterus, but I did not bleed or pass any tissue. I was carrying around a dead baby for two weeks, basically, which is pretty horrifying if you think about it too much.
I was a member of the August 2014 birth club on a large and very active website. A few women here and there let the group know they had lost their babies and were leaving. There were always a few sick vultures who'd ask if she had noticed any difference, if there were any signs, and I find it so disgusting. The woman just lost a baby, I would think. Leave her the fuck alone. But, for those very vultures (and because in a perverse way perhaps I delight in scaring them), I will answer the question I didn't give anyone a chance to ask me: Nope. Nothing at all. No change in symptoms. Suck on that, you voyeuristic bitches.
At 6 weeks, 5 days, I went to a pregnancy crisis center in sheer desperation to see my child and be reassured that everything was
okay. I told people I wanted to go in because I was having weird pains, which is true, but I was pretty confident they were probably caused by uterine stretching and round ligament pain. I was impatient and needed to see him/her. I knew exactly how far along I was, but told the clinic staff I didn't know so they'd do an ultrasound. I did indeed see the baby, who
measured 6 weeks 1 day and had a heart rate of 167. Cool.
The morning of my first "Real" OB appointment was not quite two weeks later. When my alarm went off in the morning, I just wanted to go back to sleep. I should have been excited to go to the doctor and see the baby again (it was going to be my husband's first time to see him/her), but I wasn't. I just wanted to go back to sleep. We ran a couple of errands in the morning, and during all of this, I felt more nervous than excited. I hate hospitals and doctors, like a lot of people, so I didn't think much of it.
So we got there and they stuck a thing in my junk. The ultrasound tech was looking and asked me a few questions: when my last period was, had I had a scan before this one? I told her and relayed the baby's measurements at my previous scan. She looked some more, then said she "didn't see what [she] ought to see" and needed to get the doctor. I knew what that meant. I sat there in shock and horror, clinging to a rapidly dwindling shred of hope, and tears slowly began to fall. She was gone for about twelve years, of course, but I managed to keep it together somehow. They came back and the doctor told me the baby measured 6w1d, as it had nearly two weeks previously, and had no heartbeat. Then they went away so I could put my pants back on.
There are no words to describe that feeling. I laid there clutching madly at my husband, still pantless, feet still in the stirrups. I held on to him as if I would fall off a cliff if I let go, sobbing silently in total shock and unutterable grief. Then I put my pants back on and the doctor gave me my options.
1) wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally (LOL FUCKING NOPE)
2) go home with pills (cytotec/misoprostol) which would make it happen
3) have a D&C (dilation & curretage, which means they go in to your uterus and scrape everything out)
My doctor happened to be female, so I asked her which option she would choose if it were her. She thought for a half a second, and I mentioned finances were an issue. I think she would have recommended the D&C, but with our hideous, uninsured poorness in mind she recommended the pills. I took that option. (On the one hand, a D&C ensures it's all over fairly quickly and with some anesthesia, and seriously limits your chances of something being left behind in there and causing an infection. On the other hand, there is something to be said for being able to go through the process of phsyically passing your child's remains in the privacy of your own home. I wrote about my experience with the pills in another post.)
The rest of the day was a horror show of unavoidable errands that absolutely had to be taken care of, and I spent it alternately howling and wailing in the car, and trying to keep my shit together in public. This was a level of crying I did not know I was capable of. People for miles around probably thought someone in my car was trying to murder a manatee. Hideous, awful wailing and howling and screaming, almost uncontrollable, flowed and poured out of me. It was Niagara falls; wet and unstoppable and deafening.
Fun. Six hours and multiple pharmacy fuckups later, we were home.