Updated: Aug 17
DISCLAIMER: The information, including but not limited to text graphics images in this blog post is for informational purposes only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional, medical advice diagnosis or treatment always take advice from your midwife or doctor, or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you might have regarding your loss or treatment plan.
If you are here because you are experiencing early birth right now, or have just discovered the heartbreaking news that your baby is not viable, I am so sorry this is part of your story.
I am 1 in 4...twice over. I found myself walking this road for the first time in March 2014 and once again recently in October 2022. I have two daughters here on Earth & two babies in the sky. I've gotten good at loss...How depressing is that to say out loud? Each of these early loss experiences was quite different, I'll talk more about them as we get into it below. If you want to head straight to the resources click here: Or stick around to read my loss stories.
My first pregnancy: Feb-March 2014
When I first took a pregnancy test that pumped out two pink lines, I was freshly dating my now husband. Honestly, I shit myself in a Whitecourt Walmart bathroom. Not literally but how was I supposed to have a baby with a man I have never even told I loved or even lived together? Luckily he jumped right into the role instead of traffic. We went about the next month or so planning our entire future together as a family.
You see, In 2014 the pregnancy scene in my life was hot. All my friends were getting married & all my friends we starting families. Then here I was, a year after calling off a last miniute engagement, working in the oilfield, and now suddenly pregnant with my very...VERY new boyfriend. Wouldn't my daddy be proud. It was not in the plan but soon after the initial panic wore off I found myself feeling excitement and love for this little person growing inside of me. FINALLY! I belonged to the sacred exclusive club of MOTHERHOOD! I was never sure what I would be when I grew up, but I always knew - MOM- would be part of it. The moment I discovered I was growing my very own human, It was sacred. Myself, my ancestors and others all around the world were bonded in this indescribable way. During this brief chapter of my life, I didn't have a problem finding amazing support & my tribe of besties to share the good news with, happy stories & resources that support me in my first early weeks. How to eat properly, things to avoid & how to book my midwife.
However, when my spontaneous first miscarriage washed over me one morning at 7 weeks 3 days alone at home in a bathroom. I discovered that's where my free-flowing information stopped. I can't speak for everyone, but metaphorically I was no longer part of the exclusive club. Instead, I felt sent out the side door to this sad dark quiet little room & sent to the bottom of the priority list in most medical models. 811 gave me the highlight reel of what to expect: It will be like a period, don't bleed too much, and if you do just go to the ER.
I felt lost and alone because there really wasn't much out here for me walking in this dry, sad foreign land of loss. Up to this point I had experienced spotting on and off for a couple of weeks & just days before I saw my baby on ultrasound growing with heart beating.
This early birth was fast, furious, overwhelming, scary, bloody, full of fear, and left me with more trauma than I had realized. I did not know what my body was doing. I can remember my mom pocket-dialing me by accident, when I answered I could barely talk because my body was cramping so badly. Looking back now, I was experiencing contractions. The 811 women didn't say shit about contractions!!!
I had called Russ & he was on his way home. I needed help. I called my dad (then an EMT) just in case I passed out from the amount of blood loss and he would know to call me an ambulance. At this point I was on the verge of fainting and laying down on the bathroom floor because every time I stood up I would almost lose consciousness. As timing would have it, we had a viewing with the relator booked that afternoon so before Russ got home to take me to the hospital I did my best to clean up the blood and make it walk-through ready. (YES, I'm a recovering people pleaser, why I never made Russ call and cancel the walkthrough I'll never know.) We drove quickly, the contractions had stooped. Russ remained hopeful, but I knew it was over for this baby. My body released this pregnancy whole in a Fort Saskatchewan ER bathroom toilet. I snuck my head out the door and told Russ to send a nurse in. She popped in with a pair of gloves and didn't ask me how I was. All she said was "Oh good, at least you won't need a d&c" as she scooped my dreams out of the red-stained toilet bowl and into a tiny cup and left. It was so surreal to see her leave with the same baby I had just seen on ultrasound days before with a strong heartbeat. What did I do wrong?
How could something so big and life-changing fit in one tiny cup?
After another hour in the waiting room, we were placed in a curtained room, getting blood work to check HCG levels, hearing the medical model speech of "This is normal & these things happen.", "Try again in 3 months." Have a good day. They didn't offer for me to take my baby home. To this day I regret leaving them there. Call it whatever you want, that baby changed my life.
He booked me for a follow-up ultrasound in the morning to see if I was "empty". My follow-up scan did confirm I was indeed...very empty. An empty womb and an empty deep hole in my heart.
I didn't know it then, but I know now, my body was birthing. You will see me refer to miscarriage as an early birth throughout this post because it is just that. Whether you are 5 weeks or 41 weeks the mechanics are the same. Sure the intensity will be different, but you surrender, and your body softens with prostaglandins, and opens your cervix with oxytocin contractions, dilating and releasing your beautiful loved baby. No matter how small. You birthed...I birthed. When we look at it this way we can bring ceremony and honor to the experience instead of fear and taboo.
It was nothing as the 811 lady told me. Nobody prepared me, and worse, nobody knew how to hold me when it was over.
In an emotional & physical sense, loss continues to remain a hushed taboo topic. Why is this? 1 in 4 women will experience early loss. It's a gross reality. Why are women still going to their provider, handed some options or meds, and being told to expect a "heavy period" and left with no tools or resources on what to expect on the early heartbreaking birth of their baby?
Oh, life...You may not pass go, you may not collect a baby. Oh, and figure out the details on your own. Have a good day. NEXT!!
I got "lucky" and wandered my way through secondary infertility after that first loss. After tests, ovulation tests, timed intercourse & some fancy pills I welcomed my daughters into this world in 2016 & 2018.
My 2nd Miscarriage: OCT 2022
We were planning on a 3rd third then COVID came and ruined all our lives and traumatized my husband which destroyed my dream of having more.
In Sept 2022 I was completely shocked to find out I was pregnant. QUE a complete mental breakdown.
Here we go.
*TRIGGER WARNING: TALK AND IMAGES OF PREGNANCY LOSS IN VIDEO
The week I found out I was pregnant was busy with prenatal & postpartum meetings, getting used to life being busy with full-time Grade 1 kid, births, harvesting rose hips, helping friends with canning, making apple cider & going to corn mazes. Taking a pregnancy test was not on my agenda. My Naturopath, Dr. Lisa Urban from Luna Health Integrated had just thrown me onto some seed cycling and other supplements because I was not having a good time and feeling completely burnt out from work and life. I needed to be better supported. Being blessed with PCOS I have never had regular cycles. So I was quite blown away when I started a cycle right away. I will save you the birds and the bees talk but somehow I ovulated at the same time as a random summer night romance in the first week of September... fast forward to the third week of September when I was having a lot of breast pain and even expressed some colostrum-looking fluid. Fast forward another week while cruising the aisles of the Tofield IGA I instinctually grabbed a box of tests and went home. WHAT WOULD THE ODDS BE?
I went home and peed on the test even before I put the groceries in the fridge. Within SECONDS of taking the test a bright pink line appeared. I instantly panicked and started spiralling. Russ didn't want more kids and here I was...Pregnant. I did what anyone would do and instantly Face-timed a good friend and shared the news quickly followed by a mental breakdown "WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!!!!!"
I didn't tell my husband that night because a few hours after taking the test I was on the highway and headed to a birth. On the second or third day, I told him after taking a few more tests. It was not a good time. A lot of big feelings. Fast forward another week and I started getting some back some blood work results and discovering that they were not doubling. Que another mental breakdown. I've already walked loss myself and supported countless others. It was my turn to be happy. It was my turn to have a miracle. It was my turn to bring my baby home.
I went for a walk that Friday morning after speaking with my midwife and she sent me for a scan to see what was going on. I had a feeling that I was dealing with a loss of some type. I went by myself. I had mentally prepared myself to see either: nothing, a loss, eptopic....anything but a heartbeat.
I'm a visual learner. If something was going wrong I needed to see it with my own eyes.
Despite no doubling numbers all week, my baby was still here, still growing and still thriving. May 30th 2023 was our estimated due date. The joy I felt that day was indescribable. There was a question of whether the baby's gestational sack was measuring behind and we were to come back in 2 weeks to check on viability.
Those two weeks were loaded with a roller-coaster of life including 4-5 births, knowing the baby may or may not make it, and planning my future at the same time trying to guard my heart. There was a whole thing with getting black-market progesterone but I'll save all that for a podcast episode.
My two weeks were up...It was time to find out what the rest of my life would look like. I woke up that morning in a nervous wreck. My brain knew, but my heart didn't. I met my husband at the clinic and within a few minutes, we went in...Within the first 60 seconds, I knew it was GOING TO BE bad news...There was no talk of a happy baby, no comment of wiggling limbs, no talk about the excitement at home. Within the next 3-4 min of snapping pictures, I knew it was the worst news without my tech even having to say a word. Then she asked me to get undressed so she could perform an internal scan because she wasn't able to see what she needed.
I worked in this ultrasound clinic for 6 years... I knew that she would have no problem seeing my 8 weeks 3-day baby in my tummy from up top...another red flag.
She finished up quickly & at the end of the scan, she let out a big sigh and let me know that it was not going to be happy news today. "I'm sorry, there is no cardiac activity." Her delivery was genuine and soft and kind but when those words hit my ears like
broken glass and slid straight to my heart. They cut deeper than I could have ever possibly imagined.
The pain of physically feeling your heart break is something you will never forget.
Being the visual learner that I am, I couldn't just take her word for it, I needed to see for myself. I asked to her show me EVERYTHING. She kindly took the time to explain everything to me. I strongly suggest if you are anything like me. Look. Ask questions.
My baby was a perfect 8 weeks and 3 days indicating that their cardiac activity must have stopped within the last 24 hours of my scan...what are the odd's of that. Their gestational sac was still measuring behind which indicated my baby's supporting structures (sack or placenta/blood supply were not strong enough to take them to term.
The first initial few days after finding out were dark and sad. My tribe of people held me tight, the messages, the phone calls, late-night flowers, hugs, talking, and pans of brownies were eaten and tears were shed. When I think back to those days and weeks I believe the most comforting part of it was that nobody tried to save me from my pain, they knew my pain could not be removed, instead, they sat with me and felt it too. My hurt was their hurt. I felt seen and that's all anyone going through loss can ask for. If I can give anyone advice on how to hold their friends close on these dark sad days. Just show up and hold them. It means more than you will ever know.
I do not recommend going to kids' birthday parties the next day after discovering your baby is gone as I did or committing to any immediate social engagements. You will be triggered by everything and everyone. Just stay home or go be with nature or close friends. You don't have to pretend to be anything but a grieving mother during this time. Because that is exactly what you are. Honor that.
Oh, I bought a plant the day after I found out/went to a kid's birthday party. I called it my depression plant. I do suggest doing that. No regrets.
The early birth of this baby was both empowering and heartbreaking all in one. I ultimately decided on a medical induction to release my baby with the help and guidance of the early loss clinic. Planning allowed me to have the opportunity to also set up my birth in a way to support me. I planned childcare backup and set up some backup coverage for imminent births (because being a doula in normal day-to-day life isn't hard enough planning a miscarriage during on-call was pretty next level. When the time was right I took Miso laid down for an hour and within 3 hours I was cramping, within 6 hours my bleeding began & within 8 hours the strong intense waves were here. Honestly, it felt exactly like early labor, waves, and breaks. The biggest comfort measures I had was my Tens machine and hot packs on my back and healthy doses of Tylenol and Advil.
The bleeding was nothing like my first loss, It was actually quite minimal. There was no fear this time either. I trusted myself, and my body. I knew what to expect, I knew the danger signs & I knew I was capable. Even more important, I had the support of people I loved in my life ready to love me. During this experience, I really focused on my breathing and staying soft and open to let my body release. I craved solitude & movement. Once the kids were in bed I was able to fully get into my birth cave vibe. I tried to sleep in my bed that night but the back pain and waves were too intense to stay in bed comfortably. I opted for the living room couch where I had to spend most of my time in a hands-and-knee position with a hot pack on my low back. The back pain was more than I ever thought it would be. I guess it may have something to do with the miso and activation of so many prostaglandins.
I woke up on the couch at 3 am to a calm. My back was no longer on fire, my uterus was no longer contracting. As I rolled off the couch to get up and use the washroom I could feel the heaviness of something. It's done. It's over.
I used the strainer on the toilet and sat down. My body beautifully released my baby. They were born intact inside their gestational sack and supporting tissues including the placenta. I transferred them to a paper towel nearby.
Just like in Birth, there was also a pause after my baby left my body where I collected my thoughts and processed the last two months of my life that led me up to this moment. I won't be bringing my baby home in my arms. It was not my turn....again.
When I was ready, I took my time and explored and appreciated this tiny life that changed my own forever. It's magical to see what these little babies look like in real life. They are not just black and grey shapes like on the ultrasounds. They are complete with little arms and legs, fingers and feet, eyes and ears, and mouths. They were perfect. I cut their tiny cord and placed them into a jar with water for the night. 3 am is not the time to make big decisions on how to dispose/honor your pregnancy. Doing this with the jar allows me to pause once again and process and temporarily preserve things until the morning when I could have a clearer mind to decide what I needed to do next.
The next morning I woke up and sat in my feelings as they washed over me. I decided that I would like to bury my baby here on my property to keep them close to me.
I put together a little box full of salts and herbs from and dried flowers from my garden. I placed one of my favorite readings inside and when I was ready, my baby was carefully placed on a bed of flowers and covered with more herbs.
While my daughter was busy inside with morning cartoons I went outside and chose a spot under the big tree in my backyard. Everywhere else felt too far away. The pink-stained water that was left in my jar was poured into my "depression plant" I guess I needed a physical bond between them. One life feeding another.
I enjoy being able to look outside and walk by where I laid them to rest daily. They are home with me.
So, let's proudly take off the secret sheath of loss and talk about miscarriage within the first 12 weeks & learn how to feel empowered to do so at home. We will talk about doing it safely & when to seek urgent care, and what to expect.
As a doula, I have supported too many families through loss. Luckily for them, they have me, but far more families are walking into that metaphorical exile room with nobody to reach out to in the darkness. My hope is that this blog offer's some light on your darkest days.
In most journies, early birth can happen safely in the secure comfort of your home, with no complications at all. For many Alberta families, women are being sent home with little to no information besides..."It will be like a period." For me personally, with my latest early birth at home, I would describe it as nothing like a heavy period and more of a sacred birth that allowed a sense of emotional healing with closure rather than the trauma and open-ended grief so many others have described for themselves.
For this reason, if early birthing your baby at home is indeed a safe option for you, home may be the best place to experience this type of birth.
Signs & symptoms of early birth?
Because I'm not a doctor or medically trained here is a link to some Information on signs and symptoms so people do not come after me.
Early pregnancy loss occurs in about 10 to 20 in 100 pregnancies (10 to 20 percent) and ends in miscarriage. Most miscarriages - 8 out of 10 (80 percent) - happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. The most common symptoms that suggest you could be miscarrying include the following:
Signs and symptoms of miscarriage include:
Bleeding from the vagina or spotting. Many people experience spotting early in their pregnancy. In most cases, it is not a sign of miscarriage. To be safe, if you have spotting or any of these signs or symptoms, call your provider.
Miscarriages can be dangerous if they’re not treated. Your provider may want to do some tests to make sure everything’s OK. ( If you consent to it) These tests can include blood tests, a pelvic exam and an ultrasound.
Sometimes it just is not clear in your early pregnancy if the baby has formed yet or seen a heartbeat on a transabdominal ultrasound ( on your tummy). If this is the case for you, you may need to include an internal ultrasound, follow-up HCG, and a repeat ultrasound in 10-14 days.
It may also be necessary to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, a complication in which the fertilized egg implants and begins to grow in one of the fallopian tubes – which needs to be managed either with medications or sometimes surgery.
Sometimes, a woman doesn’t initially experience symptoms of miscarriage, and finds out she’s lost a pregnancy when a routine dating ultrasound shows:
Your baby never formed
Your baby stopped growing
Your baby no longer has a heartbeat
Choose your diagnostic clinic carefully.
I can already tell you that making the drive to Edmonton to visit the Milestones Diagnostic Wellness Clinic will be worth the drive. I have spoken with the director and they have incredible policies in place to protect your experience even through loss. This Clinic will hold space for you & your baby.
Type of Miscarriages
A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that happens within the first five weeks of pregnancy. An embryo forms and may even embed in your uterus lining (implantation), but then it stops developing. Chemical pregnancies occur so early that many people who miscarry don't realize they were even pregnant or had the opportunity to see baby on ultrasound.
This is when the pregnancy tissue begins to pass on its own. You began bleeding but never passed any tissue. Using the "do nothing" option, it will pass on its own over 90% of the time, but the whole process can take weeks. With misoprostol, the pregnancy passes up to 84% of the time within 2 days, and over 90% of the time within a week.
Fetal demise ( Missed Miscarriage )
This particular loss occurs when the pregnancy ceases to progress (no heartbeat) but does not naturally expel. Opting for the "do nothing" approach means that this type of miscarriage will resolve on its own approximately 75% of the time, although it may take several weeks. Alternatively, using misoprostol increases the chances of the pregnancy passing within a week to nearly 90% of the time.
Blighted Ovum (anembryonic pregnancy)
This particular type of loss occurs when the pregnancy halts before the fetus develops. Opting for the 'do-nothing' approach means that this type of miscarriage will resolve naturally only 66% of the time and may require an extended period, potentially lasting many weeks. However, using misoprostol increases the success rate to approximately 80%, typically resulting in passage within a week.
Many women initially choose the 'do-nothing' option, but it is possible to switch approaches if the process takes too long to initiate. There is also an herbal approach that can be considered as part of the 'do-nothing' method before resorting to medications or medical procedures. However, it is crucial to seek guidance from a qualified professional, such as a midwife, naturopath, or herbalist experienced in providing herbal support during miscarriage.
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb (uterus).In most pregnancies, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube to the womb (uterus). If the movement of the egg is blocked or slowed through the tubes, it can lead to an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy may be life-threatening. The pregnancy cannot continue to birth (term). Effective treatment requires either medical treatment to end the pregnancy or surgical removal of the pregnancy.
If the ectopic pregnancy has not ruptured, treatment may include:
Medicine that ends the pregnancy, along with close monitoring by your doctor
You will need emergency medical help if the area of the ectopic pregnancy breaks open (ruptures). Rupture can lead to bleeding and shock.
These pregnancies need to be closely monitored by your provider and I do not recommend you try to wait to release this baby at home. Please seek the care of your provider ASAP.
Your early birth options.
Going through an early loss can be an incredibly painful and challenging period for women and their partners. It is crucial to recognize that there are available options and resources that can offer guidance and empowerment throughout the entire journey. Taking the initiative to research and comprehend the various options for care and support is paramount. Understanding these choices can aid in making informed decisions about care, providing a sense of control during a tumultuous time, and ultimately contributing to the healing process. Whether contemplating assistance from a doula or birthkeeper or examining alternative therapies, being aware of the available options establishes a groundwork for a potentially more positive experience.
"In this way, every birth is a natural birth: each of us is part of nature, not separate from it, and nature is always stunning in its variety. Your birth, then, is part of the natural world, however it unfolds.” — Lauralyn Curtis
Option #1- Do Nothing
What to expect
This is the most "natural" option. Allowing your body the time to spontaneously birth the pregnancy. Most care providers are comfortable in waiting up to 4 weeks for you to pass the pregnancy.
- You are able to stay in the comfort of your own home. - Your body is able to birth the pregnancy without medical assistance - Your body is able to process on its own timeline.
- The process could take a long time to complete, giving you and your partner prolonged hard emotions to deal with. - If the birth does not result in a complete miscarriage there is a chance you may need additional medical assistance.
- Intense Cramping or contractions of the uterus. - Red active bleeding with clots & tissue. Depending on Gestational age, you may see your baby. - Diarrhea - Pelvic pain - Nausea - Vomiting - Chills - Headaches
- Medical Management (miso) -D&C - Use herbs with a Herbalist
Option #2 - Misoprostol
What to expect
This option is commonly used around the world because of it's effectiveness, (89-98%) Pills are inserted vaginally (some prescribe it orally) close to the cervix to cause cervical dilation & uterine cramping. A second dose is given again 24hours later.
- Can stay in the comfort of your own home. - Highly effective - Majority will begin to birth on the first does (within 6-8 hours of first dose) - You can control your timeline of the birth. (usually within 48 hours to 3 days) - Highly effective 89-98%
- Fear of actively starting the process. - May result in a D&C if the medication does not work. - You must have a responsible adult with you the entire time - Can cause intense cramping and bleeding
- Intense Cramping or contractions of the uterus. - Red active bleeding with clots & tissue. Depending on Gestational age, you may see your baby. - Diarrhea - Pelvic pain - Nausea - Vomiting - Chills -Headaches
- Do nothing & wait. - D&C - Use herbs with a Herbalist
Option #3 D&C
What to expect
This allows families to take complete control of their birth, A d&c is the surgical Dilation of the cervix and the removal of all uterine contents using a curved tool called a curette.
- The procedure can be booked and performed within a short period of time. - Many are able to return to usual daily activity within 24 hours (or when you feel able to do so) - 98-100% effective
- Cannot be done in the comfort of your home - Must be done in hospital setting/ planned parenthood clinic. - Use of anesthetic and surgical procedure in very invasive. - Possible risk of infection : fever, foul smelling discharge, persistent abdominal pain not relieved with at home pain management, continuing of clots and bleeding. - An infection may cause damage to uterine lining (Asherman's Syndrome) that could make future implantation of pregnancy difficult. -Possible uterine and/or cervical damage from procedure.
- Spotting or bleeding after the procedure - Cramping for a few days
- Do nothing & wait. - Medical Management (miso) - Use herbs with a Herbalist
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION WITH ANY OF THESE OPTIONS:
- If you begin to bleeding severally soaking one pad per hour for two hours or one full pad every half hour for one hour. - Passing large clots
- Severe abdominal pain that can no longer be controlled by home pain meds. - Feel dizzy or loose consciousness
- You get a fever over 38 degrees - Have chills - Discharge that has a foul smell.
Having an empowering early birth
Assuming that there are no medical reasons to avoid it, staying at home during your misscariage can be a personally healing and empowering experience. To help make the most of this decision, there are a few key considerations to take into account when planning for your loss at home. Some tips for creating an optimal experience include:
Choosing how to birth your baby: Use the options list here to decide on how to best take the next step for your family. Each decision is subjective to the individual in being a "good experience". This is your journey. What is the best method for somebody may be different for you so please decide on how you want to forward in releasing your baby and put yourself first when deciding.
Make Space: Prioritizing rest and self-care is crucial after experiencing a miscarriage. This involves steering clear of taxing responsibilities such as work or errands. Instead of pushing yourself to carry on with your usual routine, it is advised that you free up your schedule and give yourself several days, or even up to a week, to rest. This is particularly vital when you start experiencing symptoms of miscarriage or on the days when you plan to take induction medications. By granting yourself this time, you can concentrate on healing and coping with your emotions, alleviating the additional stress of external obligations.
Call in your Tribe: Having a supportive individual, like your partner or a trusted friend, by your side during the difficult process of loss can offer invaluable physical and emotional aid. Furthermore, having someone who can vigilantly monitor your well-being is vital in case any urgent medical issues arise. With a support person present, you can feel assured that you have the essential assistance and guidance to navigate through the challenges of childbirth.
Your Environment: To establish a tranquil and comforting ambiance for your home birth, consider crafting what I refer to as a "birth cave". Keep in mind that, irrespective of your baby's gestational age, you are embarking on the journey of bringing a life into existence and nurturing a lifetime of aspirations and dreams. By designing a cozy and inviting area within your home, you can fully engage in the birthing experience. This may encompass elements like cozy attire, plush blankets, soothing music, positive affirmations, warm beverages, and favorite snacks. Feel free to dim the lights, light candles, indulge in a movie, or immerse yourself in a cherished book - whatever aids in creating a serene and personalized environment that revolves around you. Embrace and envelop yourself in this nurturing haven you have created to wholeheartedly concentrate on the miraculous act of bringing your baby into the world.
Nourishment: Maintaining proper hydration and nourishment is crucial when going through a miscarriage. It is vital to ensure that your body stays hydrated by consuming an ample amount of fluids and having readily available light and nutritious foods that you enjoy. In particular, if you are utilizing medications to induce a miscarriage or if you require pain relief medication, opting for light meals becomes even more important. The last thing you want is to add an upset stomach to your list of challenges, making it essential to prioritize healthy and easily digestible food options during this period. Remember to attune to your body's signals and provide it with the sustenance it needs to support you throughout this process. Consider nourishing your 4th trimester with ordering a Nourishment Bundle from Nurture & Nourish which includes: Each package includes : ☕️ 1 L Golden Milk latte ( with dairy free milk) 🫖 1 L Rest and Replenish Herbal Tea 🥣 1 L Bone Broth 🍪 Package of nutrient dense snacks 🧈 250 ml Organic Ghee
Comfort: As cramps or contractions become more intense, there are several ways to manage the pain and discomfort.
a heat bag or hot water bottle can be placed on your lower back or abdomen to alleviate pain.
It can also be helpful to have someone massage your feet or lower back, applying firm pressure to the area over your sacrum.
Deep breathing techniques can help create a calming mindset, imagining your womb releasing.
You may also find comfort in taking warm showers and letting the water hit your lower back.
If needed, herbal remedies like CBD, cannabis, cramp bark, ginger, arnica or over-the-counter pain relievers like TYLENOL OR ADVIL
Lastly, you may choose to use a TENS machine on your lower back for additional pain relief.
Early Birth at Home: What will I need?
Depending on how quickly the onset of your early birth will be, this list will change on the urgency. Following the heartbreaking news of the loss of the baby, this kit can be a thoughtful gesture to send home with your client/loved one / or yourself. This kit does contain some suggestions that everyone may not be comfortable with doing, so please do not feel the need to get everything on the kit. If you do not feel comfortable.
The kit includes:
Heavy flow Menstrual Pad's- Whatever your favorite brand might be.
Puppy pads or extra towels for the bed to prevent your bedding to be stained in case of heavy bleeding while resting.
Pain relief medication. (ADVIL/TYLENOL/use direction on bottles or your care provider)
Cannabis: You do you mama, this ancient medicine can help you through this journey emotionally & physically.
Essential oils (peppermint is to inhale during intense cramping or lavender)
Journal: Yes, journaling can be helpful during a miscarriage. Journaling is a way of self-expression that allows people to write about their experiences, thoughts, and emotions. It provides a space to process feelings and record memories of this significant life event.
A collapsible colander ( or cheap throw-away dollar store) can be placed in the toilet collection pan/hat to place underneath to catch the baby, placenta, and clots.
A vessel full of water to place the baby once found ( I personally found this to be very healing)
A few pairs of gloves (to explore clots)
A candle to light when you enter
What will happen? How will it feel? What will I see?
A miscarriage can feel different for everyone, but common physical symptoms include vaginal bleeding, cramping, and passing blood clots or tissue from the uterus which can include a gestational sack, your baby, and placenta tissue.
The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the stage of the pregnancy and the individual’s pain tolerance. Some women may experience mild cramping and light bleeding, while others may experience intense pain and heavy bleeding.
Other possible physical symptoms may include:
It's important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you are having a miscarriage, as heavy bleeding and severe pain can be signs of complications and potentially harmful conditions such as infection.
Emotionally, experiencing a miscarriage can be overwhelming, and devastating, and can affect a person's mental health. The emotional impact of a miscarriage can vary, but it may lead to feelings of grief, sadness, anger, guilt, and disappointment. It is common to need time to process the loss and come to terms with it.
People may have difficulty sleeping, feel irritable, cry frequently, and have trouble concentrating. The person may also have questions and concerns about their future fertility and the likelihood of experiencing another miscarriage. It’s essential to seek emotional support from loved ones or professional counseling during this difficult time.
It is a good idea to practice self-care, such as getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in gentle exercise when feeling physically up to it. It's important to remember that processing the emotional impact of a miscarriage takes time and is a unique experience for every individual.
The spiritual experience of a miscarriage can vary for individuals depending on their personal beliefs and values. For some, the experience may feel like a test of faith, a loss that can shake their religious convictions, and cause them to question their purpose and their place in the world.
For others, the experience may bring a sense of clarity or a deeper connection to their spiritual beliefs and practices. Some people may turn to prayer, meditation, or other forms of spiritual practice as a way to find comfort or solace during this time.
Others may find meaning and healing in sharing their experience with others, finding support through a spiritual community, or engaging in acts of compassion or service. Ultimately, the spiritual experience of a miscarriage is highly subjective and may have different meanings and impacts depending on an individual's unique experiences and outlook.
What will I see?
Preparing yourself for what you will see during a miscarriage can be daunting, and it's natural to feel apprehensive about the experience. It's important to note that every miscarriage is different, and the experience can vary widely. Be prepared to see blood, placenta tissue, gestational sack, the baby, or clots passing from the vagina. It's also important to acknowledge that the pregnancy remains may be visible, which can be challenging. It's essential to have a support person present with you if possible or contact your healthcare provider if the process becomes overwhelming.
Remember to take time to care for yourself during this experience and seek out resources such as counselling and support groups to help process your feelings and emotions. With self-care and support, you can navigate through this experience.
If you would like to further prepare yourself there is a website where you can see what your baby will look like at this gestational age.
What to do if you do not start/finish your miscarriage.
Depending on the stage of the pregnancy and the individual’s health, several options may be available, including:
1. Wait and Watch: Depending on other circumstances, such as gestational age, your healthcare provider may advise waiting and watching for several weeks to see if your body will miscarry naturally.
2. Medication: Your healthcare provider may prescribe medication, such as Misoprostol, to help start or complete the miscarriage process.
3. Surgery: A procedure called a dilation and curettage (D&C) may be necessary to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus.
In the event of fever, excessive bleeding, intense cramping, or any other alarming symptoms, it is imperative to promptly seek emergency medical assistance. It is crucial to effectively communicate any symptoms or concerns with your healthcare provider, enabling them to deliver optimal care and support during this difficult period. SEE CHART ABOVE
What are my options to honour my pregnancy?
The course of action regarding what to do with the pregnancy following a miscarriage at home will differ based on the individual's preferences and their cultural or religious customs.
If you miscarry at home you are very likely to pass the remains of your pregnancy into the toilet.
You may look at what has come away and see a pregnancy sac and/or a very early baby – or something you think might be a fetus.
If you complete your miscarriage at home you have no obligation to dispose of the pregnancy remains in any particular way.
You might want to simply flush the toilet – many people do that automatically.
If you prefer to dispose of the remains the way you normally dispose of sanitary waste this is a personal choice and there are no regulations to prevent you from doing whatever feels right for you.
You may want to remove the remains for a closer look. That’s natural too.
If you know that you do not want to flush the remains of your pregnancy you may wish to place a bowl/ strainer into the toilet. This is when the strainer will come in handy.
Some women and families may prefer to bury the pregnancy remains in the garden in a pot with flowers or a shrub.
Some funeral homes will have options for a small cremation.
Depending on the time of the year & the decision you have made to keep remains or not you may have to save remains inside the freezer until warmer weather.
Creating Sacred Space for Healing
Healing after a pregnancy loss is a challenging process that can take time, but some things can help to promote healing for the body, soul, and heart. Here are some suggestions:
1. Seek support: It's essential to have a support system during this difficult time. Friends, family, or a support group can provide good emotional support. Alternatively, professional counseling can be helpful if dealing with intense emotions and grief.
2. Take care of your body: Engage in gentle exercise, eat nourishing and balanced meals, and prioritize good sleep hygiene. Rest when necessary, and don't push your limits.
3. Connect with nature: Spending time outside can provide a sense of calm, peace, and connect with nature. Consider taking walks in parks, trails, or other beautiful natural environments.
4. Practice mindfulness: Be present and mindful of the experience you're having and the emotions you're feeling. It can help to practice mindful meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques.
5. Express your feelings: Journaling, drawing, or painting can be an effective way to explore and express emotions and cope with grief.
6. Understand that healing is a journey: The healing process after a pregnancy loss is different for everyone, and it takes time, so it's essential to be patient and kind to oneself.
Remember that everyone grieves differently, so it's important to trust yourself and your process. Allow yourself to feel every emotion that comes up, be honest about your experience with people you trust, and be gentle with yourself through the grieving process.
Life after loss
Living life after a pregnancy loss can be challenging, and it's normal to experience a range of intense emotions. Here are some ways to help navigate this difficult time and move forward:
1. Allow yourself to grieve: It's essential to give yourself permission to grieve your loss, however, it may feel comfortable and to understand that everyone grieves differently. Cry, scream, or take necessary time off work or other obligations to cope with the loss. Express your feelings to others who have been through similar experiences and those who are willing and able to lend a supportive ear.
2. Take care of yourself: Pay attention to your physical and mental health during this phase. Eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and try to maintain a solid sleep schedule. Seek medical attention if symptoms of depression or anxiety persist.
3. Find support: Lean on family and friends for emotional support, or consider a support group. Talking to others who have had similar experiences may help to reduce feelings of isolation and validate your emotions.
4. Focus on self-care: Engage in activities that bring joy such as regular social activities with close friends and family, walking, hiking, and meditation, as these can help reduce emotional distress and improve well-being.
5. Seek professional help: Consider seeking professional help, such as counseling or therapy, to help manage the intense feelings that come with a loss. Professional help can offer personalized tools and strategies for coping that may be helpful during this challenging season.
Finally, remember that it's okay to go through your own grieving process and move forward on your timeline. Give yourself grace and patience, and trust that healing and recovery will come with time.
When Can I Try Again?
In most cases I find women will ask when they can try to become pregnant again – believe it or not if they want to, in most cases they can try as soon as they feel like it – and for unknown reasons, fertility is actually increased in the month after a miscarriage. You may hear from your provider to wait 1-3 months , but just use your own judgement when is best.
I would suggest that you continue to take a prenatal vitamin if you wish , especially with active folate. Having a miscarriage does/ should not affect future fertility so you can be reassured of this as well.
I am a friend &/or loved one, how can I support them? CHECKOUT THIS BLOG POST Nurturing Support: Standing by Your Loved One through an early pregnancy loss.
Experiencing a miscarriage can be an incredibly challenging and devastating time for an individual and their loved ones. As a friend or family member, it is crucial to offer support and understanding to help your loved one navigate through their grief journey. In this blog post, we will outline some valuable ways you can provide comfort and empathy during such a delicate time.
Early birth (Miscarriage) Support
Similar to childbirth, the unexpected end of a pregnancy can greatly benefit from the presence of someone offering in-person comfort and reassurance throughout the journey. It is not uncommon for individuals who have experienced a miscarriage to express a desire for companionship during the process. " I wish I didn't have to do this alone." In the absence of support, clients who experience a miscarriage at home may encounter worries about typical blood loss and discomfort.
However, with the guidance and support of an experienced individual, these concerns can be easily alleviated, allowing for a more comforting and even positive experience. By having the support of a doula throughout your miscarriage, what is often described as a stressful and solitary ordeal can be transformed into a solace-filled and potentially transformative journey.
Support for Miscarriage includes:
Individualized education to assist you in navigating both holistic and clinical options and preparing relevant questions for your healthcare provider.
Assistance in creating a Care and After-Care Plan.
KIT LIST of necessary home supplies like blue pads, TENS unit, heat packs, and more.
Availability for on-call support and addressing any queries you may have.
Presence and companionship during the process to provide comfort, reassurance, and logistical aid such as childcare or pet care.
Guidance on nurturing your body holistically before and during the miscarriage, as well as for your recovery period.
Continued availability in the weeks following the procedure to ensure your physical and emotional well-being.
Referrals to other holistic health professionals if additional support is required.
Fee for support:
CURRENT BIRTH CLIENTS: current clients receive first-trimester miscarriage support at no EXTRA cost. Please consider me on-call for this type of support anytime after you’ve hired me. (Included in commitment fee)
NON-CLIENTS: FREE Initial Consultation, $350+ for continued support between an initial consultation and until return of next menstruation.
If you are having a miscarriage or preparing to do so, contact me to have a gentle, informed, and supported experience. In your free consultation we will go over some preparatory steps and introduce making your very own Care and After-Care plan.
TEXT TO CONTACT ME DIRECTLY AT 587-988-4989 EXTRA RESOURCES:
healing through miscarriage: how i supported my body & mind during pregnancy loss - BLOG POST BY LIV NOURISHED
I really hope this article has helped you to feel more empowered in your options in birthing at home. Please feel free to share it with the women in your life, so they can have more knowledge, options, support and understanding.