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Talk me down - miscarried grandchild and incompetent midwife


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My son and his wife just had their a miscarriage - would have been my first grandchild. Now my daughter-in-law confides in me that she had doubts about the midwife from the second visit, the midwife did no blood tests and told her it is normal to bleed and have contractions. So my sweet daughter-in law kept working her heavy duty on your feet carrying heavy things retail job. I'm mad at my son for not telling me any of this and for not asking me if I had heard of their midwife or to ask my midwife is if she had heard if this midwife is any good. I've had many children, with several midwives locally and know a thing or two about having babies and about miscarriages. My son has always been a very stoic quiet strong willed independent type so it fits his nature, but he needs to recognize when to ask for help or advice. I'm not yelling at him because I know that won't help anything. Of course, I'm mad at this midwife too for being incompetent.

 

I'm not so sure about what kind of relationship my daughter-in-law has with her own mother, but know there have been a lot of problems. They are rather young so they don't have friends who are their age with kids to ask about these kinds of things. I've made sure to give them plenty of space as newlyweds but think I need to love on my daughter-in-law a lot more and initiate spending time with her so I'll be more likely to know what's going on in her life. She seems pretty open with me.

 

Anyway, anyone have any advice or insight?

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For right now, do nothing except say, over and over, "I'm so sorry about the baby. I'm so sorry this happened." Give hugs and love.

 

Absolutely do not even hint at blame for not asking for help or being too trusting or any such thing. Even the smallest hint of blame will have disproportionate consequences emotionally right now, because they are grieving. No hint of guilt or blame at all towards your son or his wife.

 

Later, if they bring it up, you can encourage them to choose a different midwife. Do not be pushy, but do suggest it--much later, and gently.

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It would depend how far along she was and many other factors. If it was early enough, there is a good chance it wasn't preventable regardless of what she did. I have a friend who has bled through several of her pregnancies; it was normal for her. It is fairly common. It could signify an unpreventable miscarriage, a preventable problem (especially later in pregnancy when it is actually preterm labor), or nothing.

 

The bottom line is that she had a miscarriage and needs support regardless of the cause.

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It would depend how far along she was and many other factors. If it was early enough, there is a good chance it wasn't preventable regardless of what she did. I have a friend who has bled through several of her pregnancies; it was normal for her. It is fairly common. It could signify an unpreventable miscarriage, a preventable problem (especially later in pregnancy when it is actually preterm labor), or nothing.

 

The bottom line is that she had a miscarriage and needs support regardless of the cause.

 

This.

 

How far along was she. If it's early enough there is not a darn thing in the world that can be done about it, even if she took herself to the hospital.

 

I'm sorry. :(

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As hard as it may be you need to become her friend before trying to give advice or your opinion otherwise you risk being viewed as the overbearing mil. Invite her to have lunch or go shopping, any of the things you would do with your girlfriends. Once she feels you are a friend and can be trusted she will more than likely come to you.

By the way I agree with you about the midwife. While some bleeding can be normal it should always be taken seriously and investigated, but I have never heard of contractions or cramping being normal that early in a pregnancy.

 

:grouphug:

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I really dont think lifting heavy things can cause a miscarriage in the first trimester.. my dr even told me this when I had some bleeding. Bedrest cannot even prevent a miscarriage, in the first trimester.. btdt. If the baby was viable she most likely wouldnt have miscarried, unless your dil had issues with low progest. or something.

I lost my first baby to a miscarriage.. it's devastating. After reading up on miscarriages and the whys and how's of them, most miscarriages in the first trimester is because of a problem with the baby... after that it's usually a problem with the mother like incompetent cervix or something.

I went on to carry 4 beautiful babies after my miscarriage. I even lifted bales of hay throughout my pregnancies. Lifting is usually fine, I wouldnt blame you dil's miscarriage on the midwife... these things happen.

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She was 11 weeks along. I guessed I messed up when I told her that her midwife was incompetent. This was after she said the midwife wasn't any good and criticized her a lot. I have had care by midwives for 7 babies by a midwife and never heard of one not doing any blood tests to begin with much less not getting a medical checkup for someone bleeding and having cramps for weeks.

I did tell my daughter-in-law that she would probably have miscarried no matter what anyone did. She's worried that she won't be able to have children and I told her I have no doubt that she will bear children.

 

She said she passed the baby tonight and that it looks like a baby. Does anyone know if genetic testing can be done on an 11 week old fetus and if it has to be kept in a refrigerator to stay fresh enough to test?

 

I appreciate everyone's advice. I guess I am going into mother bear mode and angry that my precious daughter-in-law wasn't being properly taken care of. I'm not good at distancing myself from my emotions. I'll take the advice not to say anything else at all critical.

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I agree with the others. If she was in the first trimester, it was most likely unpreventable. Bedrest is showing to be ineffective even in preventing preterm labor. If she was farther along (20+ weeks) meds could help stop contractions and a hospital visit would have helped. Before 12 weeks, most miscarriages are caused by abnormalities in development.

 

Hospitals don't really do anything if you go to one for bleeding in your first trimester. There isn't anything they can do.

 

I'm sorry for the loss.:grouphug:

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If this is her first miscarriage, I wouldn't worry about genetic testing. Help her bury her baby (there are places who will do that) even this early and grieve.

 

I've miscarried 3 babies early on and one at 14 weeks. That last one was the hardest. I still feel that one could have been prevented because everything was going fine, he had a heartbeat the day before, and it followed stomach flu, severe dehydration, and symptoms similar to my previous preterm labor during a different pregnancy. I didn't know we could properly bury his body, which has been an ongoing source of grief for me.

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I so appreciate all of your comments. I do not think the midwife's lack of competence caused the miscarriage, but my daughter-in-law will always wonder. She may have some hormone imbalances and mentioned some things to me about that before she became pregnant (I can't remember exactly what). I told her that probably the baby was not perfectly formed anyway and wouldn't have made it no matter what or she has some hormone deficiencies that can be corrected to allow her to have a healthy pregnancy. I told her that I had 8 children and 5 miscarriages and think some of those miscarriages were due to untreated low thyroid. I was trying to encourage her that whatever happened either couldn't be prevented or is something that can be corrected in the future.

 

I like the advice to take her out to lunch, etc. She is a lovely young lady and I think this is a wakeup call to me to love on her some more. She has had some extreme circumstances that have contributed to some terrible mothering early in her life. She has always seemed open to me and I have never gotten a vibe from her to give her some space. I know some mother-in-laws can be overbearing and wanted to make sure I didn't do that.

 

Thanks for being there. I'm new at being a mother-in-law and am surprised at how much this is affecting me. But mostly I am concerned about my daughter-in-law.

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I have had care by midwives for 7 babies by a midwife and never heard of one not doing any blood tests to begin with much less not getting a medical checkup for someone bleeding and having cramps for weeks.

 

First of all, I'm sooo sorry!:grouphug:

But...I had 5 babies with midwives, and they didn't do labs until later on. With at least 3 out of my 5, I had bleeding and some cramping. I also had 2 miscarriages. They checked me after some time of bleeding, but only to confirm whether I was still pregnant (and didn't need a d & c), *not* because there was anything they could do to prevent miscarriage. Chances are that the midwife was/is fine. Try to tune into your love for your kids, and let the anger go if you can. There just isn't anything productive in hanging on to misplaced anger...:grouphug:

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I've made sure to give them plenty of space as newlyweds but think I need to love on my daughter-in-law a lot more and initiate spending time with her so I'll be more likely to know what's going on in her life. She seems pretty open with me.

 

Anyway, anyone have any advice or insight?

 

Sonshine, I am so sorry the miscarriage. I have a fairly new dil, too, and am imagining myself in your place.

 

I, too, would comfort them and love on them, and continue from there to build a close relationship. I have been surprised how distant my dil is from her own mother, not by choice but because her mother will not give her the closeness she craves. Since I live 3000 miles from my son and dil, all our communication has to be by phone or internet. When I call them, I make my call to her cell phone, not my son's. I have always done this, on my sister's advice, who is a very successful mil. She started warming up to me the first time I did this. Every call since then has been even warmer and closer. She has begun to confide things to me I could NEVER have asked her about. I have an opening to speak on almost any topic with her now, not because I am a bossy busy-body and have been worming my way into her life so I can control it (that won't work for anyone), but because I truly adore her now and she knows it. Btw, I don't think I have yet offered her any advice on anything of consequence.

 

Best wishes on overcoming the grief together, and growing closer to each other.

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First of all, I'm sooo sorry!:grouphug:

But...I had 5 babies with midwives, and they didn't do labs until later on. With at least 3 out of my 5, I had bleeding and some cramping. I also had 2 miscarriages. They checked me after some time of bleeding, but only to confirm whether I was still pregnant (and didn't need a d & c), *not* because there was anything they could do to prevent miscarriage. Chances are that the midwife was/is fine. Try to tune into your love for your kids, and let the anger go if you can. There just isn't anything productive in hanging on to misplaced anger...:grouphug:

:iagree:

I've been pregnant 6 times with 3 different OB practices and 1 midwifery practice. I've miscarried with 1 OB and 1 mw. I've cramped with every pregnancy and bled with several. And my only blood work has been around 20 weeks.

 

I've also had healthy pregnancies while doing heavy lifting at work and at home (other children!), and miscarried when I've sat around on my bum.

 

:grouphug: I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

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I am so sorry for their and your loss. As far as genetic testing goes, that is normally not done until the third consecutive miscarriage. It is not cheap. As you probably know, miscarriage is not at all uncommon. There really is no reason to test until a pattern has been established. For her peace of mind, she should probably have hormone testing done in her next pregnancy to make sure her levels are adequate.

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First of all, I'm sooo sorry!:grouphug:

But...I had 5 babies with midwives, and they didn't do labs until later on. With at least 3 out of my 5, I had bleeding and some cramping. I also had 2 miscarriages. They checked me after some time of bleeding, but only to confirm whether I was still pregnant (and didn't need a d & c), *not* because there was anything they could do to prevent miscarriage. Chances are that the midwife was/is fine. Try to tune into your love for your kids, and let the anger go if you can. There just isn't anything productive in hanging on to misplaced anger...:grouphug:

 

I've had 7 babies - 4 of those with midwives. I generally don't even get prenatal care until 18-20 weeks, but even when I did there wasn't much real care before then (and no blood tests checking for hormone levels.) I did have some serious cramping with #2 and they don't do anything for it. Before 20 weeks, the ER wouldn't do anything at all other than check to see if you are still pregnant. They don't do genetic testing or any other testing until after 3 miscarriages (usually.)

 

I am so sorry for your loss and the loss to your dil, but there isn't anything the midwife could have done. Heavy lifting won't cause an early miscarriage either - many, many women continue physically demanding jobs right up to delivery. Most of the time these things just happen.

 

Be there for her and let her grieve, but be careful about adding to the guilt it sounds like she already has.

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Three pregnancies (and four kids) plus one miscarriage. I saw CNMs/OBs in one state and OBs in another.

 

My first prenatal visit was usually between 11 and 12 weeks. Testing for hormone levels was not part of my healthy pregnancies. (I did have a blood test in the middle of my long, drawn-out miscarriage [blighted ovum].)

 

I am so sorry for you, your son, and your DIL, but I don't think the midwife's actions or inactions were unusual, based on what you've shared here.

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Usually with a threatened miscarriage, they advise bedrest JUST so the mother will not feel guilty later if she does miscarry.

 

Most likely no dr. will be concerned about one miscarriage. Even after I had 2 in a row, all medical personnel just advised me to try again instead of looking for causes. I did research and realized that I was seriously deficient in several vitamins, took supplements, recovered, and have gone on to have 4 more wonderful, healthy children.

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I am feeling better about everything after a night's rest. I saw my daughter-in-law yesterday and did not know of her troubles before the miscarriage, so I was in shock at the fact that she had had strong signs of miscarrying and wasn't checked out. It's reassuring to know that many midwives don't give blood tests that early. It's been a few years since I had mine so I can't remember when I got mine. I do find it troubling that my daughter-in-law says that the midwife acted very nonchalant about the whole thing when my daughter-in-law questioned her about the bleeding and cramps. Her feelings were hurt when the midwife confirmed the miscarriage and told her she wasn't lucky. I won't tell them this but I researched the midwife's name on the internet and someone else had a similar complaint. I've been in medical situations that wouldn't have had a different outcome if I saw a different professional, but when they don't do things that you expect it adds to the wound.

 

I need to reassure my daughter-in-law that there was probably nothing anyone could have done to prevent the miscarriage and it wasn't caused by her working.

 

They just live a few blocks away so it is easy to see them - another reason I have been sure to give them some space. But she seems eager to be a part of our family - takes the little kids places, has us over for dinner, etc. She has too often been the one giving in her life growing up and I am glad that she feels loved by my son. I want her to know that we care about her very much. Thanks for the advice on being a mil We Ten Sheep. I appreciate what everyone has to say.

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I am so sorry for their and your loss. As far as genetic testing goes, that is normally not done until the third consecutive miscarriage. It is not cheap. As you probably know, miscarriage is not at all uncommon. There really is no reason to test until a pattern has been established. For her peace of mind, she should probably have hormone testing done in her next pregnancy to make sure her levels are adequate.

 

I agree. Think 5k and up for testing and most insurance won't cover it until the 3rd miscarriage.

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Thank you for the information Openminded - I had no idea it was that expensive. It doesn't sound like they are going that route.

 

I spoke to my son this afternoon and my dil has had support from her friends and mother. I'm going to see if she wants me to bring her something to eat. I can tell the grief is starting to hit my son too. Your support is wonderful - thank you.

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As for the thing about no blood work... Kaiser would even *let* me see a doctor about my pregnancy until I was in my second trimester, and I have complications with my female equipment and was a high risk for those causing a miscarriage. Yeah... I left Kaiser. lol They do suck. But I don't think it's unusual to not have blood tests that early.

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Genetic testing is not the same as having the baby (the tissue that your DIL passed) tested for chromosomal abnormalities. This costs only a few hundred dollars, and with insurance, can cost as little as $50--insurance does cover it if a doctor orders it (which they will if you ask). I've had two of the babies I've lost tested for chromosomal abnormalities; your DIL needs to keep the baby in a container in the refrigerator and get it to the lab at an OB's office ASAP. She should request chromosomal analysis and specify that the lab NOT put the body in formaldehyde as they do for most testing (this will ruin it). (Trust me; the lab ruined the body of one of our precious lost babies in this way and we never found out what caused the miscarriage because of their negligence.)

 

She may not choose to have this done, but it brought a lot of peace of mind to me. The chromosomal analysis tests to see if there were any chromosomal abnormalities like Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, or other conditions that can pinpoint the probable cause of death. For two of our babies--our son, whom we lost in the 2nd trimester, and our daughter, whom we lost at 10 weeks--we found out that they had chromosomal defects so severe that if they had been born, they would (in our son's case) have had severe Down Syndrome and (in our daughter's case) a rare defect that would have been "incompatible with life," the doctor said--resulting in certain death before her first birthday.

 

Having this knowledge that my precious children--at least two of them--would have suffered pain and hardship had they been born and were spared that to go straight to Heaven has been a great comfort to me. When I begin to feel angry at losing them, I can remind myself that my suffering their loss is far preferable to having to watch them suffer here on earth. Another benefit for us was getting to find out the gender of the baby and choose an appropriate name.

 

Of course, this may not be meaningful to your DIL, but then again, she may not know it's available and affordable. It helped get us closer to a place of closure. It's a very personal thing, of course, but I think every grieving mother should know that it's an option.

 

My heart goes out to your DIL, and she will be in my thoughts, as I know firsthand the deep pain miscarriage causes. The best thing my mother did for me was just to listen and be there--no small thing!

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You are a sweet mother in law to be so mad for your son and his wife. I know this would have been your grandbaby, but it also seems that your truly care for your DIL. I am sure she sees that too and knows that you are there for her. Just be her friend - I confide in my MIL all the time because I know she will not judge me and she loves me in spite of anything that may happen. *hugs* and I am sorry for your loss as well. I know your grandbaby wasn't in your arms yet, but he/she was in your heart. You have every right to grieve too...and anger is part of grieving.

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I too had my first miscarriage while working a very heavy liftying type of job in retail. I really felt that was the reason. I was very shocked and dismayed when I had my 2nd miscarriage 9 months later while working a desk job. I chose to see an endocrinologist/infertility specialist after that to see what might be wrong w/me as I was sure it was me. I think the 2nd miscarriage was harder for me emotionally since I was no longer comforted by the notion that something was wrong with the baby. I also researched possible causes for repeat miscarriage and read that the chances of a 3rd mis. were as high as 75%. Fortunately my insurance covered most of our costs and I found out that I had something going on that required me to thin my blood in my next pregnancy. I now have 4 healthy dc and I've seen a high risk doctor, a midwife, and a regular OB. Perhaps she will feel better if she chooses a regular OBGYN next time around so she will have confidence that all that can be done will be done. That's how I felt when I was in that position.

 

I'm so sorry for your and their loss. I hope you guys can encourage and lift each other up as your grieve.

 

:grouphug:

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((hugs))

 

With my first, I experienced a lot of bleeding (but can't recall about cramps). We went to the ER in a panic, because it was our first and we didn't know what else to do. All they did was check to see my blood levels, for comparing later in the week at the doc's, and suggest bedrest for the week. (As someone posted, probably just to make me feel better.) That one is 8 years old now and very healthy, if you don't count the asthma.

 

Turns out I'm just one of those women who still cycles regularly during most of a pregnancy. With our middle pregnancy, the one we lost, it was the only one I didn't actually bleed through. The loss of the baby was only confirmed via ultrasound, and later resulted in a D&C. That was somewhere around 9-11 weeks (not sure, as it was hard to be sure when the baby passed away.)

 

My last was another one I bled through, and she's a healthy 5yo now. Just the way it works for me, I guess.

 

The cramps would've been worrying though. That sounds like it should've been checked.

 

As the wonderful MIL you are ... next time they find they are expecting, you might just gently offer to go along to the first check-up as 'support' since you know it will be hard for her the second time ... it's always so scary after a miscarriage. And then you'll be able to better judge this midwife, and maybe make some timely helpful suggestions. That might be a good non-offensive way to help out and not hurt feelings.

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I am very sorry for your loss.

 

I suffered through three miscarriages myself. I had low progesterone levels with 3 of 6 pregnancies that required medication to sustain the pregnancy in the first trimester. I would encourage your DIL to request early blood testing with her next pregnancy, if nothing else to rule it out. The majority of early miscarriages are chromosomal abnormalities but I will always wonder if that was the case with my first two miscarriages, of if they could have been prevented had I known.

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It always does haunt. I strongly feel a steroid medication I was required to take (no choice, I really needed it) *right* when we probably conceived caused whatever deformity made the baby inviable. It's horrible, and my only real comfort is that I required the med, and we couldn't possibly have gotten a positive on a test that early even if we did test.

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