When I went through my first miscarriage in September 2018, I was completely unprepared. All my doctor told me was that it would be “just like a really heavy period” and I would need to wear pads instead of tampons for the bleeding. Deep down, I knew that it wouldn’t be a heavy period. How could it be? I was losing my child. My child.
I woke up at 1 a.m. on September 26th, our third wedding anniversary, feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. At this point, it wasn’t abnormal. Being pregnant meant waking up multiple times a night to pee. I thought it was just my normal midnight trip to the bathroom, but I was very, very wrong. When I stood up out of bed, I realized that something was different. It honestly felt like I had peed in my pants. When I got to the bathroom and pulled down my pants, I saw it. The miscarriage had started while I was sleeping. While I won’t go into detail, it was the worst thing I thought I could ever go through. The pain was intense, the bleeding was heavy, I was physically ill and forever traumatized by what happened to me that night.
Luckily through my experience with loss, I can help others prepare because during and after my first miscarriage I was very unprepared. It was a new territory for me and it was something that a lot of women don’t talk about. I get it, it’s hard to talk about the blood and the pain. It sucks to tell someone what miscarriage is really like because it’s scary, but I’ve made it my mission to help prepare anyone who wants to know how they can prepare.
I had another miscarriage in February 2019, only a few weeks prior to me writing this blog post. With that miscarriage, I took Cytotec to induce the miscarriage and ended up in the hospital emergency room from losing too much blood. I had to have a D&C. From all of these experiences, I’ve learned a lot and today I want to talk about what I found to be the most helpful lesson.
It’s what I’m calling my miscarriage preparation kit and I honestly think that I will have one of these in my house for each pregnancy I have in the future just in case. But if you have been told that you should expect to miscarry, and you opted to either take the medication or wait for it to happen naturally, this kit is for you. Honestly, even if you are recovering from a D&C, I still found these items helpful.
Here’s what you should keep in your miscarriage preparation kit:
Super heavy duty maxi pads – I’m specific for a reason… the regular sized pads are not going to help you. The super heavy duty nighttime maxi pads are wide, long and made for a heavy flow which is exactly what a miscarriage is.
Adult diapers – laugh all you want to, but adult diapers made it possible for me to wear pants and feel comfortable when I finally went back to work. I also found them useful when I was sleeping because it well, held everything together. I would put a pad in the diaper for extra padding. Basically, I wore the diaper as underwear.
Flushable wet/baby wipes – Let’s face it, the bleeding that comes with miscarriage is gross, it’s messy, and wearing a pad doesn’t help the messy factor. You are going to want to clean yourself as often as you can. I suggest the flushable wipes that way you don’t have to leave the dirty, bloody wipes in the trashcan at work.
Pain reliever – In the days after miscarriage, you will have pain-free days and days that are so uncomfortable. Always keep pain reliever in your kit, on your person, and be prepared in case you start to feel any bit of pain. (This is obviously a recommendation for over-the-counter medications. If you feel you need something prescribed, then talk to your doctor)
Extra pants – This seems like a really weird item on the list but in my experience, you should keep an extra pair of pants in your kit just in case. When I had my second miscarriage and was rushed to the hospital, I didn’t have any extra pants and that didn’t make my experience any easier. I got blood everywhere and had to sit in my pants. Learn from my mistake, friends.
Heating pad – The only thing that brought me comfort was my heating pad. When I would feel cramps during the day, the heating pad really helped. I bought a small one from Walmart and brought it to work with me. My husband also has an outlet in his truck which was perfect during this hard time. I could bring the heating pad with me everywhere I went.
Now that I have been through two losses and have experienced loss in three forms, natural, induced and D&C, I find that this list has all of the necessities when it comes to physically recovering from your loss.
I kept a large bin of these items in my bathroom at home but I also had a mini-kit that I would bring to work with me. I found that keeping it in a small travel-size bag made it less obvious that I was caring around adult diapers and pads. The truth is, after a miscarriage it’s tough to go out in public because you think that everyone knows what you have on under your clothes. It’s difficult to dress and hide the diaper. All of it just… sucks. But by being prepared, it helps you feel a little less uncomfortable with the situation.
If you’d like to read more about miscarriage, what it’s really like, what to expect and how to prepare – visit my blog, Hello Warrior. I’m an open book and share every detail… even the details that probably make you cringe when you read them. I am dedicated to informing this community and supporting anyone going through loss. It’s important for you to remember that you are not alone in this.
Follow me on Instagram @ardenmcartrette or visit my blog at hello-warrior.com