Being pregnant is supposed to be the most wonderful time in a woman’s life. You get to experience your infant growing inside of you. You have 40 weeks to prepare the perfect nursery, and to pick out the perfect name. But what happens when the baby doesn’t make it through the pregnancy? Unfortunately, losing the pregnancy, which is also called a miscarriage, is more common than you think.
According to some sources, up to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. That number is probably higher though because many women miscarry before they even know that they are pregnant. A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. About 80% of miscarriages happen during the first trimester, which is up until week 13, but sadly they can still happen after that week as well.
Loses that happen 14 weeks or after are considered late miscarriages because they are in the second trimester. After the first trimester, many people tell their friends and families about the pregnancy because your risk is lower. Others knowing about the pregnancy makes the loss much harder. Also, many women start to have a tiny little baby bump. Due to advances in technology, there are actually blood tests that can determine the gender of the baby, so there is a good chance that you already had a name picked out. It is important for to know what it is not your fault, and that you will have healing in the future.Baby Care
What causes a miscarriage at 14 weeks?
The most common cause of a miscarriage is a genetic abnormality of the fetus. When the baby is formed, chromosomes from mom and dad mix together. If there are not enough, then the baby will not survive outside of the womb, and usually doesn’t grow until the end of the pregnancy. Other causes of a miscarriage include:
- An infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
- Improper anatomy of the uterus
- Other infections such as the flu or toxoplasmosis from cat feces
- Diabetes or thyroid disorders
- Clotting problems can form a clot and stop blood flow to the fetus
- A progesterone deficiency
If you experience a miscarriage, know that it is not your fault. As you read, there are many reasons that this happens, and it doesn’t mean that you are not a good mother or that you didn’t do everything possible to grow a healthy baby.
Editor’s suggestion: User our Ovulation calculator to track your fertile date
What are the types of a miscarriage and the treatment?
There are two different kinds of miscarriages. They are spontaneous abortions and missed miscarriages. Treatment for each can vary by person and type, so talking to your doctor about what is right for you is very important.
A spontaneous abortion is exactly what it sounds like. (I hate that term). It is when the baby passes away and comes out of your body. Symptoms include bleeding and cramping pains. You may also feel ill all over, almost like you have the flu. It is like you are in labor, just much less severe physically. (Although the emotional toll is much worse). If you experience this, you should call your doctor right away. Your doctor will more than likely do and 14 week ultrasound to see if there is a heartbeat. You may also have some blood work to check your HCG (pregnancy) levels and to make sure that you are not anemic due to the blood loss.
A missed miscarriage is when the baby’s heart stops beating but the 14 week old fetus does not come out of your body. Many women do not know that this has happened and they find out when they go to the doctor for a regular checkup. Typically, the doctor will use a Doppler machine to listen to the baby’s heartbeat at every office visit. If they are unable to find it, then they may do a 14 week ultrasound to see if the heart is beating. The doctor may also check your bloodwork to see how low your HCG levels are. This, along with the size of the fetus can help determine when the baby stopped growing.
The treatment for a missed miscarriage is a little different than a spontaneous abortion. There are three options. A natural delivery of the fetus, a pill that speeds up the natural delivery, or a surgical procedure. Some women want to wait to see if their body will expel the 14 week old fetus on its own, because it will give them closure and convince them that the fetus was not going to make it to term. You can also take Cytotec, which is a pill to speed this process up. You would not stay in the hospital for this, it would be done at home. Waiting on it to happen can cause a lot of anxiety and heartbreak. That is why other women choose to have a Dilation and Curettage, which is a surgical procedure where your cervix is dilated and the contents of your uterus are removed while you are under anesthesia. I have taken care of several people after this procedure and it is normally done in an outpatient center. Typically women experience some mild cramping and spotting afterwards. If you do have a lot of bleeding, you should call your doctor right away.
If you miscarry at 14 weeks, the main goals are to prevent hemorrhaging and infection. That is why it is important to call your doctor if you have any symptoms of a miscarriage. Having these complications could prevent you from having a healthy pregnancy in the future. Whether you have a spontaneous abortion or a missed miscarriage, know that you are not alone.
How developed is a 14 week old fetus?
Big developments for the 14 week old fetus include making facial movements such as squinting or frowning. The 14 week old baby is the size of a lemon and can grasp, produce urine, and even suck his or her thumb. Knowing all of this makes the loss even more difficult.
I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks. Now what?
If you miscarry at 14 weeks, acknowledge your loss. You need to realize that you were the mother of your 14 week old baby and that it was your child. There are many great books written for miscarriages. Check out this one Empty Arms found on Amazon. Talk to your doctor about when you should start trying to get pregnant again. You need to be physically and emotionally ready.
It is a good idea to create some sort of memory of your 14 week old baby. Many parents use the ultrasound photos and put them in a frame like this one here:
Sonogram frame hand engraved with a weeping willow tree and "I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in heaven". Small frame with 3" square opening (sonogram picture sizes vary so you may ...Available: In stock
Others plant a tree in memory so that they can watch it grow, just like their child would have. I hope that you are able to move forward after this. You are going to be an amazing mother. They call a baby that is born after a miscarriage a “Rainbow Baby” because just like a rainbow, this baby will follow a storm and gives hope for the future and what is to come. You will have your rainbow baby.