Saturday, February 8, 2014

So here's what happened: Adventures with Miss Oprostol

This is part two of the miscarriage experience, detailing the physical stuff and my experience specifically with cytotec/misoprostol. Here's a handy link back to part one, if you need it. Before I continue, let me warn you there is some major, bloody TMI ahead and may be too triggery for some. Read at your own risk.


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When I left my OB office, I received a lot of condolences, but no information. No one gave me any information about miscarriage. No one told me what to expect with the drugs. No one told me anything. At the time, I was too shocked to care; I just needed to get the fuck out of there and get to the car. I could barely hold the tears in as we walked through the parking garage. It wasn't until later that I realized something was missing!

I asked before I left the pharmacy if there was anything I needed to know about this drug, and the pharmacist literally, and in quite an uncertain tone I might add, read information on the attached papers out loud. Well, fucking thank you; I think I could have done that much on my own, idiot. I called again once I was home to ask for more clarification, and had to insist that they look it up to be sure, since no one seemed to know.

I received four hexagonal pills. The directions on the bottle said to wet them and insert them into the vagina, and to then lie down for at least 30 minutes. (From inserting the pills to bleeding/passing anything, it was about three and a half hours.) I inserted them at about 5.30pm and we put on a movie. I laid down. After 40 to 60 minutes I developed some extreme chills. That's normal, just a side effect.

At about 7.00, I took an oxycodone and a giant ibuprofen in an effort to head off the pain before it began. At 7.30 or 8.00 I began to have some cramping, and I curled up in my chair with a heating pad. At 9.00 or so I got up to get in bed and felt a gush. I also kind of felt like...well, just like something needed to come out, I guess. I can't really think of any better way to describe it. I went to the toilet and passed a very large sort of tubular clot, which I believe contained my baby. There was a lot of blood--a LOT of blood. I stood up to look in the toilet after I passed whatever I passed, and after having done that...it took a few minutes to clean myself up, I'll put it that way.

And then I flushed. That will haunt me forever. I flushed my baby down the toilet like a goldfish. "What else would you have done [with the remains]?", my husband asked. Fuck, I don't know. I guess I would have buried it outside. That's certainly not the point.

After that, I crawled into bed and sent my husband to the drugstore a few blocks away for Depends. (If you ended up here because you googled to see what you're in for, let me just say this: do it, man. Just get the Depends and some cheap ass baby wipes. You'll feel a little silly, perhaps, but you'll be much more comfortable in the end. It's worth it.) Husband returned, I suited up, and he made me a hot water bottle. He read to me for an hour or so and went to sleep in the guest room. I slept from about 11.00 to 12.00 or a little after.

From 12.00 to 3.30, holy shit. Just Ho.ly. Shit. I said that my husband went to sleep in the guest room, which he did-- he also told me to wake him up if I needed him. I never did that. Why? I don't know. I think I felt like it was more important that he get some sleep.

On the one hand, looking back, I have no idea why I let him sleep! What the fuck?! It was his baby too, why shouldn't he have been there for what was, well, kind of a birth? It was also a death, sure, but that was all the birth his first child was ever going to get, so why didn't I wake him? Why did I go through it alone? I don't know.

On the other hand, I kind of don't mind. He couldn't have done much but sit there helplessly watching me wail and sob, and witness a good deal of bloody gore. So I really don't know. I guess if I had it to do over again, I'd wake him.

Where was I? Oh yeah. For those, once again, who are here because they're about to go through it, I have good news: physically, there was not much pain. I stayed on top of the pain killers, and it was a little worse than the worst period I've ever had. That was it. Having read other people's accounts, I expected horrifying pain, but it never came. A lot of women report having basically contractions and something resembling labor, even as early as 8 or 9 weeks. I didn't. Maybe that's because my baby had passed at 6 weeks? I don't know. My cramps were kind of rhythmic, and strong, like they were really doing something, if that makes sense. Like they had a purpose, unlike your garden variety period cramps. But as I said, for me, they were not a whole lot worse than the worst period cramps I have ever had, and I would not have described them as contractions. Physically, it wasn't so bad, which is a kind of a gift, I guess.

Emotionally, I don't know how I did it. I basically sat in bed howling, wailing, keening, sobbing. No hyperbole. I cried in way I didn't know I was capable of. My face was swollen. I bought a short kindle book on miscarriage and pregnancy loss and read it off and on, tears just streaming. For three plus hours I sat in bed alone sobbing and bleeding and cramping, occasionally getting up to go to the bathroom to pass something.  I felt like my very soul was being ripped in two, torn away from me. I just fucking cried and cried, rocking back and forth in my bed. Cried and bled and cried and bled.

And that was it. About 3.30, it pretty much stopped. I managed to stop crying and calm down a bit. I was exhausted. I put on a movie and fell asleep.

That was it. After that I had a week or so of light bleeding and 4 weeks or so of spotting. Today I am 6 weeks out and I am still waiting for my hormone levels to return to normal (which they seem to be doing, albeit rather more slowly than I would like).

UPDATE: My HCG levels did not return to 0 until March  12, nine and a half weeks after the miscarriage.

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