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Situations

 
I am pregnant and worried.
 
Try not to be worried. There is very little you can do to cause or prevent a miscarriage. You will do the best you can, eat the right foods, exercise when you feel up to it, and get rest.

There are number of things that may worry you:

Bleeding and/or cramping. In early pregnancy, there are many NORMAL causes of bleeding and cramping.

Bleeding: Small amounts of brown blood (which means it's old) are expected when the egg implants in the uterus (7-10 days after ovulation) and sometimes at the point when you would have expected your period. You may also bleed slightly after having sex, but this is probably NOT from the baby. Your cervix is soft and filled with blood, so it may bleed a little from sex. This is not considered by many doctors to be a problem, but if it alarms you, call.

When bleeding is a problem: If it is heavy enough to make you change pads, bright red, or comes with cramping too, call your doctor right away.

Cramping: You are going to feel a lot of random cramping down there the whole pregnancy. Most of the time it is caused by the round ligaments expanding to accommodate your growing baby and uterus. If it goes away after a few pains or after you sit down and rest a bit, then you are probably all right.

When cramping is a problem: If it continues or gets worse or if you start bleeding too, call your doctor immediately.

You should always call your doctor when you are worried, however; because it is better to call for something that does not turn out to be a problem than to stay up half the night worrying about it. 

The following topics may also be helpful as you get through this pregnancy.

 

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I am waiting on a miscarriage.
 
I understand where you are. You are frantic with grief and fear. You wonder if there wasn't some sort of mistake, that your baby is really okay and the doctors just couldn't see the heartbeat or the blood test was handled wrong.
 
This is natural to feel. You can always get a second opinion, but it would be almost impossible to misdiagnose a fetal death or inevitable miscarriage. The following sections have information that may help you.

 

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I miscarried recently.
 
Not everyone is going to understand how you feel. To outsiders, it was "just a miscarriage." To you it was your baby, with all the hopes and dreams that come with babies. It does not matter whether you had a positive pregnancy test yesterday or if you were full-term -- this was YOUR CHILD. You were the mother (or father) and you deserve the time and freedom to grieve this loss.
 
If you find your friends and family are not as supportive as you need, please visit one of the miscarriage web sites. Particularly at INCIID, there are a wonderful group of women who will hold you up no matter what. When I was panicking because I had all this pain in my legs and the doctor didn't answer my page, it was the INCIID ladies who wrote me within 10 minutes, telling me what I was feeling was normal. When I dreaded going to my follow-up visit and face a waiting room of pregnant women, the INCIID women told me what to do and encouraged me. I can't tell you how much they helped me. To go there right now, click here.
 
Feel free to e-mail me if you need someone to talk to. One thing I did to help my husband understand how I was feeling was to read the book "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart" by Deborah Davis to him out loud whenever we were in the car. 
 
There are a number of additional subjects about miscarriage on this site that will talk about the issues you are facing now, from bleeding and pain to handling your grief and people who say thoughtless things.

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I miscarried a long time ago.

Losing a baby is something you never forget about. When I went back to work after my miscarriage, many people, men and women, told me stories about miscarriages from as far back as 40 years ago. And they still remembered every detail and most of them still had mementos such as baby outfits that were never worn or hospital ID bracelets.
 
It may be even harder for you now, knowing that medical technology has changed and the baby you lost might have been saved if only he or she was born now.
 
Remember, it is never too late to memorialize your baby. Plant a tree, have an engraved plate mounted somewhere, donate money in your baby's name. And yes, you can still name your baby, even decades after the fact. Don't let anyone discourage you.
 
Best of all, help other women who are dealing with a current miscarriage. Get on one of the miscarriage bulletin boards and answer questions. You have a lot of experience and can tell them what they can expect over time. To go to one of the boards, click here.
Take care of yourself. Grief may get easier, but it never truly ends.

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