Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Of Missed Miscarriages and Cytotec

A week after having being told that I lost the baby, there was still no sign that my miscarriage was going to happen. Everything carried on heartbreakingly as normal. My boobs were still sore, I still had that bloated feeling, and the line on any pregnancy test that I took showed up painfully clear. That's the cruel thing about Mother Nature; she has a sick sense of humour.

The nurse told me that I needed to either take the cytotec or have a D&C because the risk of getting an infection was getting higher by the day. I chose what seemed like the lesser of the two evils and made an appointment to get the cytotec. I was warned that if the first dose did not work, I would have to have a second dose a couple of days later.

The night before the procedure, I read up on what other women had to say about the drug. The reactions were mixed - some said that it was just like having a heavy period, while others said that it was the worse pain that they had ever experienced in their life, complete with vomiting and passing out.

Knowing that I would one day want to be able to properly share my experience of this drug, I documented it as I went through the process.

4:15 pm
Was give 4 cytocec pills. It was a quick procedure - a little uncomfortable because of the speculum, but far more emotionally painful. I cried through the whole process. She gave a prescription for vicodin which I hope that I won't need but I would rather have it just in case.

5:15 pm
I am beginning to have a weird, churning sensation in my stomach and ever-so-slight amounts of pain. I also made myself eat a bowl of cereal so that I will have something in my stomach if I do need to take the vicodin. I am tossing around the idea of taking 3 Advil instead but it might not be enough. Also, I am not sure at what point do I take the painkillers? When the pain gets really bad? Or beforehand to ward off the pain before it really begins to hurt? These are the things that I wish I had thought to ask the nurse.

7:05 pm
I'm a little worried that things aren't progressing properly. I would have thought that I would be in the throws of cramps right now, but I just have some light pain that are similar to period pains. The nurse said that it can take up to 48 hours to work but I really don't want to have to go in again on Monday for a second dose.

7:10 pm
Just started bleeding. Not exactly the huge gush of blood that I had read about (just a small amount), but at least there is something. In some sick way, I want there to be a lot of blood and pain so that at least I know that it is working. Just like I wished that I had had morning sickness so that I would know that the pregnancy was okay. I am worried that this miscarriage may not finish 100%.

7:30 pm
The cramping has increased a little. It's still not unbearable, but definitely worse than any period pains that I have had. I have a hot water bottle which is helping a bit but I am wondering when I should take my pain killers. If this is as bad as it gets, I don't think I will need them.

8:35 pm
I passed my first blood clot. It was pretty big but it didn't hurt and my cramps don't seem to be any worse. So I am feeling relatively lucky at the moment that I haven't needed to take anything. I think I will take a few Advil before going to bed so that I am able to sleep without too much discomfort. 

9:45 pm
Heading to bed now. The pain is about the same but I haven't passed any more large clots - just small ones.

A blood test a couple of days later revealed that my hCG was not dropping as quickly as the nurse would have liked, and she told me that there was probably still a lot of pregnancy tissue inside my uterus. She suggested that they do another round of cytotec in the hopes that this would clear the rest of it out. And so a week later, I was back at the hospital getting another dose and going through the same process once again.

And like some horrendous Groundhog Day scenario, I still did not bleed as much as I should have. This left me with one other option - the one that I had been trying to desperately avoid. A D&C was the only way that I would finally be free from this pregnancy. From starting as something that I had so desperately wanted, this zombie pregnancy (dead, but not dead) was draining me physically and emotionally. I just wanted it all to be over and I couldn't help but see the sick irony of it all. For something that wasn't mean to be, it really wasn't easy to get rid of.

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