When we open the floodgates and the Business Analysts enthusiastically writing their own queries and reports…badly. (HT @LordOfTheData)


When we open the floodgates and the Business Analysts enthusiastically writing their own queries and reports…badly. (HT @LordOfTheData)


When the developers ask if I’m available for a deployment on Sunday morning


When the developers ask if I’m available for a deployment on Sunday morning

Joe Stump on why firing brilliant a-holes is required to build a great engineering culture

Hahaha, this is so true.

To our friends that didn’t know I was pregnant, which is most of you, sorry to tell you this way.  

I was 7 weeks pregnant when I was diagnosed with a Missed Miscarriage (the fetus has died but no miscarriage has occurred, yet).  The doctor could tell this because there was no heartbeat on the ultrasound.  7 weeks, 4 days, was when I actually miscarried.

I’m posting this because I found other women’s accounts online and they helped me.  I also hate that miscarriage seems to be this dirty secret that people are ashamed of, and I didn’t want to perpetuate that.

I am glad that if something was wrong with the baby that it was something very obvious and it was early on in the pregnancy.  Obviously this is sad and not something I would have wanted to happen, but if it was going to happen at least it was early. The first week or two were the hardest, but Keith and I are doing fine now and can talk about it.

If you don’t want to know what actually happens during a miscarriage, you should stop reading now.


I started spotting on Thursday, 20 March.  I called my OB’s office and told them what was going on, that I was spotting but it was brown, and that was my only symptom.  They asked if any of the blood was bright red and if I was having any cramping, specifically severe cramping.  

Because I hadn’t had an examination or sex in the few days prior, they told me to come in on Monday before my already scheduled appointment, and that they would perform an ultrasound.

I continued to lightly spot all weekend, but the doctor hadn’t seemed concerned so I wasn’t either.  Other than the spotting, I was still experiencing all of the symptoms of pregnancy I’d been having: bloating, fluid retention (OMG it felt like I was retaining everything I drank), very thirsty, alternating bouts of starving and nausea, breast tenderness, food aversion, etc…

On Monday, 24 March, Keith and I went in to the OB before work.  The doctor used the vaginal ultrasound wand (is that what its called?  that seems like a good name for it) to locate the baby.  The doctor measured the baby, and then started looking for a heartbeat.  And there wasn’t one.

I’ve seen videos/read descriptions of what the heartbeat should be like.  At 7 weeks, it should be very obvious and very fast.  There was nothing.  I asked her if it was a bad thing and she said yes, it probably was.  She brought in another doctor for a second opinion, and they both agreed that the baby had died and the pregnancy was not viable.  

What happened to us is called a Missed Miscarriage, where the baby has died, but a miscarriage has not occurred.

She said our options at this point were to

  1. Wait a week and perform another ultrasound (but she said she was very confident in the results and diagnosis she had given us)
  2. Not do anything, and let my body have the miscarriage on its own time.  She warned it it could be weeks before that happened and that I wouldn’t know when it would occur.
  3. They could insert Cytotec inside my vagina to cause a miscarriage.  She said it could take up to 3 days to occur, and that it was possible the first dose wouldn’t work.  If that happened I could have a 2nd dose.  If THAT didn’t work, then I would have to have a D&C
  4. Schedule a D&C surgery to remove all of the tissue

I wanted to go ahead and do the Cytotec right then, but I think they wanted to give me some time to be sure, so they scheduled me to come in the next afternoon.

Luckily Walgreens notifies me when a prescription I have is filled, because I missed the part where the doctor told me I would need to pick up the Cytotec and bring it for my appointment.

First dose of Cytotec

Tuesday, 25 March

2:45pm I went to the doctor’s office to have the Cytotec inserted.  Metal forceps feel very weird.  The doctor inserted all 4 of them and then explained to me that I could take 800mg of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours.  She also wrote me a prescription for Vicoden, for if I needed it.

I went to go get the prescription filled and started to feel extremely light cramping.  Light enough that I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it.

6:30pm I was having moderate cramps, as bad as my cramps ever are for my period (which apparently are not that bad).  I took 4-200mg ibuprofen.  I started to have a light blood flow, more than spotting, but not as much as the first few days of a normal period.  By this time the pants I was wearing (loose sweatpants) felt too tight and uncomfortable around my stomach, or even slung very low.  I changed into a pair of my husband’s pajama pants and didn’t tie them.

8:00pm Keith and I went to target to get some sort of waterproof cover for the bed.  Even with the ibuprofen I still felt noticeably achy/crampy.

Wednesday, 26 March

12:30am I started having pains that were sharp.  They weren’t horrible, but I decide that since I had the Vicoden there was no need for me to have to endure the cramps on Ibuprofen.  I also passed 1-2 small blood clots.

4:30am, 6:30am I woke up to pee, and passed several more blood clots.

8:30am I took a dose of Vicodin to head off some of the sharp pains I was feeling.

1:30pm I took another dose and got up and ate and showered.  I was feeling a little shaky, which I attributed to not having eaten enough (I’m hypoglycemic).

Through the morning and afternoon I bled some, but not enough to fill up a pad.  Not even enough to rival my heaviest period days.  I decided I needed to get out of bed and start moving around to hopefully get things rolling. 

After getting up I continued to feel shaky.  Some of what I was feeling went along with how the pregnancy has made me feel, so its hard to know what the cause was.

6:30 pm I took another dose of Vicoden.  By now I am getting frustrated because I don’t feel good, but I’m not bleeding like I expected to.  I didn’t want to have to repeat the Cytotec in 2-3 more days, I’d already taken the whole week off of work.

Thursday, 27 March

12:00 am Dose of Vicoden. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I decided to call the doctor in the morning and that I would try to do some light yard work, since the temperature was gonna be in the upper 50s.

4:30 am Woke up to pee. Only a teeny tiny clot and almost no blood. At this point I was starting to chafe from wearing the almost empty pads for the last 36-40 hours, so I used a little Vaseline.

Very little bleeding this day.  I didn’t need to take any pain killers, even ibuprofen.  I spoke with one of the doctors and she agreed that I should pick up the 2nd dose of cytotec before my appointment on Friday and bring it in, if I didn’t miscarry before then.

I did 2 hours of yard work and then took a nap/passed out for the night.

I didn’t feel like the meds worked at ALL this day.  It was great that I wasn’t in pain, but a pain in the ass because I wanted it to all be over.  I was also upset because I now knew I was going to miss, or have to reschedule, the dinner I had coordinated to celebrate the marriage of 2 of our friends, who had recently eloped.  


Second dose of Cytotec

Friday, 28 March

12:00 pm Went back to the OB and had the second dose, of 4 pills, inserted

1:30 pm Dose of Vicoden

5:30 pm Nausea started to set in.  The small amount of blood I saw when wiping is bright red (this started around 4-4:30).

7:15 pm Cramping started again, so I took another dose of Vicoden.  As I was walking from kitchen I feel something large just drop out of me.  It was a very weird feeling, it didn’t really hurt but was not comfortable.  I go to the bathroom and this is very obviously the yolk sac, as it is almost white in color (in parts) and large.  I’d guess it would roughly fill an ice cream scoop (I was glad I already had ice cream for the day, when I thought of that, because that thought didn’t make me want to have any). 

7:30 pm I had some sharp pains and it felt like some bleeding.

Maybe its because I had been waiting on this since Tuesday, but all I felt at this point is relief.


29-30 March (1-2 days after)

I had some bleeding and cramping, but it was easily managed with ibuprofen and “regular” pads (1 each day).

Saturday we went out and did stuff for most of the day, because I couldn’t stand the thought of being in the house for ONE MORE DAY.  

31 March (3 days after)

Went in to the OB for an ultrasound, to make sure my uterus was empty.  Thankfully, it was.  

The doctor said my hCG levels should drop down to 0 in the next week.  It could be as little as a week or as much as 4 weeks.

She said we could start trying again after either my next period or the one after that.

I was still experiencing the same symptoms I had while pregnant.  My body was still retaining fluids and gaining weight.

31 March - 3 April (3-6 days after)

Light bleeding. Less than one regular pad, per day. Dark brown blood, thicker than normal.

3 April (6 days after)

At 4:30 pm, I started bleeding steadily. Cramping started around 5 pm. Bright red and thin. This was heavier than my periods have ever been and worse cramping. Used a regular pad in an hour. Called the OBs office to make sure this was OK. They said to call back if I was filling more than a pad an hour or I started passing golf ball sized clots. Said I could take 4 motrin every 6 hours. Bleeding lessened around 8-830 pm, but I needed a new overnight pad.

4 - 9 April (7-12 days after)

Light bleeding, ~1 regular pad a day. 

By this point all of my pregnancy symptoms had abated.  I was no longer extremely thirsty, alternately nauseous and starving, retaining fluids/bloating, having breast tenderness or food aversion, etc… 

10-12 April (13-15 days after)

Light brown cervical fluid, no bleeding.  1 panty liner a day.

13-24 April (16- 27 days after)

Light bleeding.  Some days it is thicker, more like the start or end of a period, and other days its fairly thin.  1 regular pad or panty liner a day.

Some of the weight that I gained while pregnant is starting to come off, but its slow and frustrating.

25 April (28 days after)

Colored cervical fluid with a little blood.

26 - 30  April (29 - 33 days after)

Little to no discharge, and not discolored. This seems more like normal.

1-4 May (34-37 days after)


4 May (37 days after)

Home pregnancy test came back negative, for the first time since Feburary.

6 May (39 days after)

My hCG levels came back as 0 for the blood test at the doctors office.

9-14 May (42-47 days after)

First period since the miscarriage.  As other women reported, this one was different than my normal periods.  Normally I have 1-2 days of heavy flow, 1-2 of medium, and 1-2 of light (in that order).  This time it was 4 light, 1 medium, then 1 light (in that order).

I am down 7 of the 13 pounds that I gained while pregnant.

hCG Levels

These are my hCG levels over time, measured in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/ml).

24 March 64,965 (4 days before)

7 April 1,221 (10 days after)

21 April 291 (24 days after)

6 May 0 (39 days after)

Other women’s accounts that I found helpful

Other Resources I found useful