The word, miscarriage, is a loaded word, filled with unfulfilled dreams, a longed for baby that did not come, and hopes that had been dashed. I have watched as bellies rise and fall, and there is no baby to show for the collapsed tummy.
I have watched a TTC mom close to me eventually get pregnant after seven years of marriage. She had the glow, even though she protected her bump jealously, always wearing free flowing dresses, and having a scarf over her shoulders. If you were just seeing her for the first time, you would not know she was pregnant, but a second look might make you suspect she was carrying, as her face did look rounder. Her make up didn’t quite sit well on her face, unlike before, because everything was now broader.
So, it felt odd when I saw her recently, and I noticed the spring in her footsteps. She was wearing a belted dress, with the belt right on her navel. No more scarf. At first, it did not register, but it caught me later in the day. You know that moment you are lying on the bed, and your mind is reflecting on the day. That was when it hit me; she wasn’t pregnant anymore.
My heart broke for her, and I did not know when the tears slid from the corner of my eyes. I recalled she was in a good mood when I had seen her, but I can just imagine her heartache at having an obviously second term miscarriage. I mean, this was a pregnancy that people were blessing God’s name for. It was becoming a prayer point and then… nothing. That just reminded me of a conversation I was having with a member of our community, and she was talking about being careful about the type of testimonies one taps into.
And there is a fellow school mom, who has experienced so many miscarriages in the last two years I have known her, I have lost count, while also parenting an only child.
Although, all pregnancy losses can be termed miscarriage, after all, there is no baby to show for the pregnancy, there are different types of miscarriages, and they occur at different stages of a pregnancy. As such they come with different signs, and thus the treatment to forestall a reoccurrence may be different.
This is one miscarriage that can occur even before a woman even learns that she is pregnant. With chemical pregnancy, an egg is fertilized, but dies shortly after implantation, so a heartbeat is never identified. Recently, more chemical pregnancies are being picked, as a result of pregnancy tests that allow earlier results. Most women can even now identify the difference between a normal period flow and the aftereffects of a chemical pregnancy.
Often times, chemical pregnancies result from chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg. The only sign of a chemical pregnancy is that most women’s period might come late, or be heavier.
With a missed miscarriage, a foetus dies early in pregnancy. Unfortunately, the cells of the dead foetus are still in the woman’s womb, and if the placenta is still attached, then pregnancy hormones would still be secreted, even though the baby is no longer alive, leading to misleading signals.
The only symptoms that a missed miscarriage shows are increased vaginal discharge and, at times, cramps, but nothing untoward. Given time, the body might do its job of pushing out the remains of the foetus, or a D&C procedure might become necessary.
According to medical experts, in a complete miscarriage, all of the pregnancy tissue is expelled from the uterus. It is also called a complete abortion, and is characterized by heavy vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and the removal of pregnancy tissue from the uterus. However, the bleeding and pain should respond quickly to treatment. Complete miscarriages can be confirmed through an ultrasound.
On the other hand, an incomplete abortion is often accompanied by heavy vaginal bleeding, and intense abdominal pain, characterized by a dilated cervix and the subsequent passage of the pregnancy tissue. The reason for the intense pain has been attributed to the remaining foetus tissue in the womb. An incomplete miscarriage can be picked up by an ultrasound scan of the uterus and a procedure should be scheduled to evacuate the rest.
A threatened miscarriage refers to vaginal bleeding that occurs during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Other symptoms of threatened miscarriage include lower back pain and abdominal cramps, but the cervix will not dilate. Threatened miscarriages do not necessarily mean your pregnancy will end in a miscarriage, unless the cervix dilates. It can be seen as a timely pointer to the fact that you might need bed rest until your pregnancy is in the safe zone.
This is another kind of miscarriage. It happens very early in a pregnancy. Blighted ovum occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the endometrium lining but there is no baby being formed. Quite alright, a woman may feel the symptoms of pregnancy but when an ultrasound is performed, there is only a gestational sac, there is no detectable heartbeat. Eventually, the woman will miscarry, or schedule a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, in which her cervix is opened and her uterus scraped.
These are some of the miscarriages that can happen to a woman. With each miscarriage, there is a treatment procedure that aims to address the root problem. Now, whether, it works or not are up to God, whether it is the right treatment, and, of course, other factors.
However, the ultimate prayer is that, miscarriage should stay far away from us and our precious cargos.
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