Signs of Miscarriage: No Magic Formula

The signs of miscarriage include bleeding, cramping, backaches, passing blood clots and tissue, and even a loss of the signs of pregnancy. Like pregnancy, miscarriage is often hard to determine until after the fact. In my experience, when I bled, I miscarried, but I’ve known other women who’ve had lots of bleeding and no miscarriage. I had backaches that started with heavy bleeding when I entered strong labor (during the most intense part of miscarriage…like back-labor). And yet, lots of people have backaches at different times in pregnancy, for various reasons. So, just because you have some of the signs, you might not be experiencing a miscarriage. Or you may be. Until you know for sure, assume pregnancy for health reasons and also for hope reasons.

When we are looking at the signs of miscarriage, we must keep in mind that each of us and each of our physical processes can vary wildly. Our signs also depend on how far along we are. If we are early, it may feel like we are having a heavy period with a possibility of some clots/tissue, if our babies are further along, our miscarriage will be more like full-term labor with lots of bleeding and lots of tissue and blood clots. Read more on the process of natural miscarriage. Either way, the loss of the signs of pregnancy is more likely to be noticed in looking back. (Though if you are very early, this might be noticed during the miscarriage.)

With the signs of miscarriage, what is true for one woman is not necessarily true for another. There is no miscarriage formula. To me, that’s one of the things that makes it so difficult, the not knowing, the waiting and the wondering. So, when we’re wondering if we’re miscarrying, there are a few things I recommend:

Be in the Moment.

This was a really difficult time for me, the time of not knowing, but there is power in surrendering to the moment. When I started spotting, I talked to the baby and told her how I wanted her to stay, but if she needed to go, I promised I’d still send her love. I also told my body that I trusted it, and knew that if it was a miscarriage, then I would trust that this was the wisest way and trust that there were valid reasons for the baby not coming. This was hard, but for me very necessary and also very comforting.

Ask Our Highest Wisdom.

Another thing that helped me was asking my dreams and my highest wisdom. There can be so much emotion, that sometimes it’s difficult to feel like we understand the answer, but I always ask, and see what I get. Clarity can come from us, just as much as anyone else. My dreams showed me big drama, and then everything turning out okay, I misinterpreted it to mean I would keep the baby, but it was showing me the big picture, that I would lose this baby and then go on to have more. Our wisdom is there, we just need to go digging, it takes courage to be able to look at things as they really are and accept them. But we don't need to be hard on ourselves if we don't feel like we can see through the emotion.

Decide if We Want to Reach Out.

One of the first things I did was email two of my friends to send love. I knew I could count on them to send healing thoughts and Reiki, but I didn’t want to share what was going on with all the family. Some women may want to have an ultrasound or go see a healthcare professional. I decided to call a friend who is also a midwife and see if she could find a heartbeat. She mentioned it might still be early (I was 12 weeks) but when she came to the house and we didn’t hear a heart I was devastated. She also said we should be hearing the sounds of a placenta and she couldn’t locate that either. As she left I just broke down. In looking back, I don’t regret that she came, but I do think it didn’t ease the process any. We were still unsure, and the fact is it got hard enough on its own when we actually started the heavy bleeding/labor-like conditions. Like I said, I’m not unhappy that I called her, but I don’t know if I would do it the same if I was facing that again. I know some people choose to go to the doctor or hospital, but for me it seemed like helping my body was my top priority and sitting in a waiting room, or emergency room wasn’t how my body wanted to be helped. I had faith my body knew what to do, I tried to support it and open up to its wisdom.

Trust in Ourselves.

Realize there are things bigger than us, and we didn’t cause the miscarriage! When it comes to losing our babies, we tend to think like children do and automatically assume it’s our fault, because we’re not good enough, not worthy enough, did something "wrong"… even before we know if the signs of miscarriage are an actual miscarriage. The fact is that a long car ride, or that argument we had wasn’t the cause of the miscarriage. Babies that don’t come to term were not meant to be with us more than what they were with us. It may sound harsh during the process and even after, but it is truth. If you’re still wondering if you’re miscarrying, be glad for this moment, for until you know you’ve miscarried, you’re still pregnant. Enjoying each moment with our children is the only way to be the best parent we can be. We have no guarantees, but this very moment.

Signs of miscarriage, do not actually mean miscarriage, and we can have a miscarriage without having a lot of the signs of miscarriage. I know this is frustrating, emotionally draining, and can be a very uncertain time in one's life. Be certain that bleeding can be a very normal thing, as can all the other signs of miscarriage, so act pregnant until you know otherwise! If you are experiencing these symptoms, rest as much as possible, be gentle with yourself, nurture yourself and above all know that you can still trust in yourself and your body. If you get overwhelmed in emotions, check in with each thought, which ones are so upsetting. Is that thought true? This was very helpful for me in coping with miscarriage. Blessings on your journey.

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