Inevitable (or Incomplete) Miscarriage

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An inevitable miscarriage is different from a threatened miscarriage, in that with an inevitable miscarriage, your baby will most certainly be born via miscarriage.

There are two situations that result in an inevitable (or incomplete) miscarriage:

  • Your cervical opening begins to dilate (open) and you are having vaginal bleeding (see our article on signs of miscarriage).  This means that your body is beginning to deliver your baby.
  • Your baby has not developed (stayed the same size) over a two week period.  Your baby’s heartrate may be slowing, or have completely stopped.

An inevitable miscarriage might be first discovered by ultrasound at a routine doctor appointment, or if you are experiencing possible symptoms of miscarriage you may visit your OB or your emergency room for confirmation.  The emergency room experience is often considered very unpleasant, but it may be needed.  If you visit your local emergency room, consider these tips:

  • let the staff know immediately that you believe you may be miscarrying
  • ask about their bereavement support, including staff and materials
  • ask if there is a women’s, laboring, or miscarriage room within the emergency room, or if you can be transferred to the labor and delivery level if that is what you’d prefer.  Once on the L&D level, ask for a room away from other mothers.
  • you may need to fill your bladder to help locate your baby on ultrasound.  Ask about drinking water, and curling on your side, rather than recieving a catheter.  If one is needed, ask about what to expect once it is removed (you may see some blood in your urine, and you may be sore for several hours or longer).
  • if you give birth to your baby in the emergency room, inquire of your personal options.  Visit our early pregnancy hospital birth plan for more details.  Understand navigating hospital policies, including genetic testing, returning your baby’s physical form back to you after any testing, and any other questions you have.

If your baby is younger than about 12 weeks gestation, you may be given three options for delivery:

If your baby is older than about 12 weeks gestation (about the beginning of the second trimester), you may be given these options for delivery:

You are invited to share your story here as well: please remember that sharing your story at stillbirthday is a way to express your feelings and share your experiences with other mothers – it is not to diagnose, treat or answer any medical questions.

You might visit our farewell celebrations for ideas to celebrate your baby.

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