Misoprostil is a drug that has a few different purposes. Personally I took this drug to stimulate a miscarriage rather than treat ulcers. The following is a rather disjointed account of my miscarriage experience. It’s been cathartic to write this down.
I’ve searched for other women taking this drug and having it NOT work and came up empty. That’s where I am right now, but let me do a recap.
Somehow our 4th baby is such a joy and our life wasn’t over-complicated at the time that my husband and I decide to try for another baby right away. Our daughter was born in May and by November we were actively trying to get pregnant. Unfortunately I didn’t ovulate until January, then again in February, and got that happy positive on March 25th, 2014.
Then, on April 10, we were heading to pre-school and I felt a gush of fluids. There’s no describing that panic. I pull over (I can’t even look at that spot on the road without some anguish) and check my underwear… bright red everywhere. I grab tissues and search for my emergency pad stash that I didn’t know that I’d need. I haven’t started crying yet, I’m saying “Oh no, oh no, oh no…” over and over in my head. I’ve got three of the kids with me and my 5 year old wants to know why we’re stopping. I don’t remember what I told her. Padded up, we finish the trip to preschool and I call my old midwife’s emergency line. I haven’t made my first appointment yet as I’m just over 6 weeks pregnant.
My lovely midwife is so amazing; we decide that I should head over to the hospital to get checked out. That decided, I leave the car to bring the kids inside school and I ask my 3 year old’s teacher to hold onto the baby so I can run to the restroom. This is my son’s teacher and my friend, we worked together for the last 2 years and she witnessed every single bit of my last pregnancy (Sep-May) as we worked together. I’m taking time off with the baby.
I tell her I’m bleeding and it’s a lot. I break down, she’s miscarried before and so have I. I know what’s coming; I wanted this baby so badly. Friends are very important! This wonderful women starts calling our friends to see who can watch the baby for me while I head to the hospital, she follows me to my car and gather’s baby, carseat, and diaper bag to keep in her classroom until help arrives.
The children are all situated, so I head off… all I can think of is… this could take hours, I need something to read! I need a distraction; I cannot just sit in a waiting room with my own thoughts. I find the pharmacy near the hospital and settle on a couple magazines and then head off to sit in the very same chair I sat in when my husband and I went in to have our daughter last May. (I have already called my husband and when I call him again, we’ll see what I need him to do… he doesn’t have a flexible job that he can just leave.)
The nurse taking my blood pressure gets me talking to calm down and hopefully bring the numbers down. She asks about me and why I’m there. I tell her about my children and this pregnancy. “So, you’re trying for a large family?” I break down, and she’s so sweet to get me tissues and to tell me that she sees women all the time coming in with bleeding and most are not miscarrying.
Wait, wait, wait… bloodwork, then ultrasound. They tell me I have a subchorionic hemorrhage causing the bleeding and I’m only measuring 4ish weeks with a gestational sac, but no visible yolk sac or baby. I’m told it could go either way at this point and to come back in 48 hours to redo tests.
I leave, with no real answers, but armed with enough information to start my own online research.
Saturday morning is about 48 hours later and the bleeding slowed down then stopped! So, I head back in to the hospital (so much more convenient, since it’s a weekend and my husband can watch the kids). It’s a much shorter visit this time, we redo all the tests, then they talk to me again. My hormone levels increased nicely, the bleeding has stopped, and there’s a visible yolk sac on the ultrasound this time… measureing at 5weeks4days. Whoohoo! Things look good, I call everybody who played a part in this and started to relax until I learned that I still needed to come back in a week to verify a heartbeat. I feel a lot better, but I’ll really start to calm down when I can hear the heartbeat.
The next week went by pretty calmly, my bleeding was gone and I was hopeful.
I head back to the hospital on Saturday morning for my follow-up ultrasound. This time there is a baby and a heartbeat. The heartbeat is only 91-94bpm but I’m told that this is normal for what I’m measuring. It’s been a full week, and the baby is only measuring 5weeks6days, but that’s okay because there’s been progress. However, I’m told that I still have the subchorionic hemorrhage. That worries me a bit, but I’m told to follow up with my Ob/Gyn. Through online research, I learn that lots of women have this and are usually fine.
After more good news, I’m still calming down and by Saturday evening we feel good enough about things to have some much needed adult sexy time. It was very nice! But… heading to the restroom I see blood dripping. I gushed into the toilet… dark thick blood. Told my hubby that this means probably no more sex for a while. I bleed dark blood all week, but I manage to make my first appointment for the following Tuesday. It is a little late, by my dates I’d be 9 weeks along, but by the ultrasound, I’m only 7weeks2days, so I’m not that late with my appointment making skills (there were insurance issues).
I love prenatal appointments; they’re fun and like a treat. Because of the day (I have different numbers of kids on me depending on what day of the week it is), I have the 3 year old and the baby so I make a play-date for the 3 year old and head off with the baby. I meet the new midwife (couldn’t go to my old one because of said insurance issues) and love her! She gets my records from the hospital and I hated seeing her face as she read them. She asks if they told me what the hemorrhage meant. I explained what I thought it meant. We talked about symptoms and she said, “Did they tell you how bad it is?”… NO, please no. She tells me that this is a complete hemorrhage that is completely surrounding the gestational sac. It’s in the worst place and it’s huge. But I was progressing! My bleeding had also progressed from last week’s brown to bright red over the weekend. Bright red is bad.
She gets me in for an ultrasound in about an hour and then I have to wait. I take the baby to the car, I need to call people and cry a little and I want some privacy. There’s still hope! But I’m losing it.
This is my 6th pregnancy, I’m getting pretty good at reading ultrasounds. That beautiful heartbeat that I’d seen jumping on the screen at my last scan was… not there. The baby was hardly visible, already being reabsorbed into the sac. I knew, I asked the tech to print me off a picture and she just looked at me. I said, “Even if this is a miscarriage, I want a memory.” And she just printed it off and handed it to me, without speaking. But, I knew.
I wait for the midwife that I had met with so much happy anticipation just short hours before. She gives me that look and I say, “There was no heartbeat,” and she repeats, “There was no heartbeat.” She starts talking about options. I can’t handle the idea of taking pills to abort the baby, WHAT IF THEY WERE WRONG? So I tell them I’ll wait it out. This kind lady takes me to the front and helps me make my follow up appointments for the following week. As I stand there, I feel a large… gush.
I make it to the bathroom after the scheduling and put my 11-month-old down on the floor (sorry, sweetheart) so I can handle the bleeding. I was already wearing a pad for the other bleeding, but that one 10-second gush already filled it up. I only have one pad left. I put it on and hurry to the car. I need to pick up my kids. On my way out, I grabbed a bunch of hand towels and laid them down on the seat.
It took me 20 minutes to get to my 3 year old at his play-date. I can feel the gushing, I’m crying, and I can’t blow my nose because when I blow I feel so much blood oozing out. When I get there (thankfully it’s at a close friend’s house), I’ve bled through the pad, underwear, pants, and hit the seat… and I can feel this enormous clot. My wonderful friend gets me clothes and her neighbor (another friend) brings pads. I’m all padded up with a towel and head off the pick up the 5 year old from preschool. My husband is on his way, so he can get the 7 year old from regular grade school.
By the time I get home I feel another huge clot. I rush in, thankfully hubby is there to wrangle all the kids and the 32 or so bags that we must have to leave the house every day. I sit on the toilet and pass the clots and something makes me reach into the toilet (I’m like this, sorry, my gross out meter must be extremely high except when it comes to cockroaches) and I bring out the clots. I think I wanted to make sure they were fist sized or smaller, because I have an idea that those are the clots to watch to make sure you aren’t losing too much blood. Well one of those fist-sized clots had a beautiful bubble attached to it. I looked at this golf ball sized bubble and I knew, yes I knew what it was. It was fluid-filled and I needed to know what was inside. I opened it, but the baby wasn’t there anymore, then I remembered the scan. That horrid clot had choked the nutrients from my baby. Those clots surrounded that beautiful bubble and starved all its nutrients away.
It’s exhausting, but I’m thankful that I found out I was going to miscarry and it happened on the same day. This is better than the first time when I had to wait days for it to start. I text everybody, I’m not up to calling and talking to anybody yet. I felt so overwhelmed by love from my family and friends. I’m so thankful for that.
The following week, I head in for my follow-up. It’s a Monday, a brand new start to my week. It’s terrible, but I feel a small swelling of hope. Today I get another ultrasound. What if? What if there’s a twin in there who’s doing perfectly fine. What if this was a nightmare, but I’m still pregnant? What-ifs can be evil.
My ultrasound is sad, I watch the screen, but I know there’s no sac, no baby. I go to talk to the midwife and she tells me that there’s still a lot of stuff in my uterus. There’s flesh and clots left over. She brings up the medicine option again or a D&C. Since I’m really conservative with this stuff, I tell her I’ll take the medicine. There’s no baby, so that panic is gone. I get my prescription filled and I wait at home for my hubby. I’m not planning on taking it till he’s home to watch the kids because I read accounts of this drug, Misoprostol, and it can be traumatic. Intense contractions, and as I already know, the bleeding and aftermath of contractions can be a lot to handle.
Misoprostol is one of the drugs used to end unwanted pregnancies (abortions) and I don’t feel good about taking it. I know I’m not aborting my baby, my baby already passed away, and even passed out of my body last week, but it still gives me an icky feeling.
Hubby comes home and I insert the 4 pills all at once vaginally, then go lay down. Well, nothing happens… I kept anticipating contractions that never came. 1 side effect is that my current bleeding stops. Huh? I talk to the doctor’s office the next day and they say to give it time and that the bleeding and contractions should start up suddenly and all at once. I then feel like a ticking time bomb. I don’t know what to do other than go about my normal days and hope for the best. I have 4 children. We’re not just going to stay home all day as mommy waits to explode.
Another night goes by and nothing happens. The next day, I notice a foul odor to my discharge. Now, my bleeding is extremely mucousy and comes off when I wipe, but doesn’t get to my pad. I’m now worried about an infection and call my doctor. Apparently, Wednesday is their day off, so I talk to the assistant but am told not to expect to hear back from them until Thursday morning. I’m worrying about an infection over here!
Another night passes and there’s still no labor. On Thursday, I talk to the doctor’s office and make plans to come in after my kids sing to me for mother’s day at the preschool. Things like seeing the brand new baby with her mom for the mother’s day tea set me off, or there’s another mom there who got pregnant with her 5th at the same time as me. She’s still pregnant, I’m not… that hurts too. I make it through, and then head off to my appointment. I also suck it up and ask my mother-in-law to watch the 2 littlest so I can go to my appointment by myself. (Wondering what I did with the baby for my last 2 ultrasounds?... she sat on my lap er… chest as they were done.)
I get another prescription for the Misoprostol and head off to the hospital to get my blood drawn to check my blood hormone levels. Also, I guess a foul odor doesn’t always mean an infection. It tends to mean that there is dead tissue inside of me decaying. Way to give me inspiration for my dreams… er, nightmares tonight.
I don’t wait this time for my husband to come home before inserting the pills. If it didn’t work last time, I don’t really think it’s going to work this time. Although, my midwife is SURE that it will work this time.
Well… that was last night. Still nothing today. I think a D&C is in my future, probably next week. My hormones are coming down though and I’m starting to feel ‘less’ pregnant. Anyway, enough writing for a first post! Whew.