Month: September 2012

When September Ends

Sunday, September 30th, 2012.

Tomorrow is Monday, and a new workweek begins.

Tomorrow is October 1st, and a new month begins.

As much as I’d love to rush September out the door and start all over, today is a day of reflection.

I spent most of this month pregnant.

I spent most of this month gripped by fear and anxiety, and saw those fears come true.

I spent most of this month feeling like a prisoner of my circumstances…


Tomorrow is a new day, a new week, a new month.

Much has happened in the almost-week since I last posted here…

I returned to work; probably a day too early, but I made it through with the support of friends, loved ones, and my amazing coworkers who refused to let me overdo it (and also let me overdo it just a little, because they knew that’s what I needed).

One of my coworkers gave birth to a beautiful baby girl… a tiny miracle.  I was surprised to find that I was happier than anything else.  Babies don’t make me sad, and that’s one thing I’ve feared since finding out we would miscarry.

A dear friend of mine for many, many years learned that the baby she was expecting had also stopped growing.  We were due within two weeks of each other, and her heartbreak hit so very close to home.  I hope she is reading this and knows how much I love her and am keeping her in my prayers.

Another friend lost one of her close friends to suicide.  She is shattered because of it, but she has such an amazing attitude that it’s inspiring to be around her.

One of my best friends learned that her mother is very ill, and since that news broke, she has been in the hospital for over a week.  It’s never easy to see someone you love dealing with so much, and it’s especially difficult when you physically don’t have enough energy to support that friend in every way possible.

Another friend, who is in the full swing of her first (and hopefully only) IVF cycle, just held a fundraising garage sale.  I was able to visit her yesterday for a couple of hours, and it was so great to see how much support she has.

Also, I learned this week that I’m being promoted at work.  Nothing is official yet, but I’ve already started implementing some new organizational standards, and am feeling pretty good about it.  There’s much to do, both immediately and long-term, but I am loving the thought of the challenge ahead.

Emotionally, I still have moments where I feel like I can’t breathe… but they pass, and I am able to smile and laugh again.

Physically, I am recovering more slowly.

The spotting started nearly two weeks ago.  The heavy bleeding went on for well over a week.  Yesterday, things seemed to slow down a bit, and today I have only some dark brown spotting.

The nurse at Dr. K’s office says that because I’ve bled for so long, there is a chance that I may have miscarried and lost my very thick uterine lining at the same time, which may mean that I will be able to bounce back more quickly.  The only way to tell is by blood work and ultrasound, however.

I had my first round of blood work to check my HCG levels on Friday, but I was too busy at work to call for the results.  I expect to have them tomorrow morning.  As long as they are falling appropriately, then I will be on the mend and headed toward a normal, healthy visit from Aunt Flo.

I am not in any pain, aside from the occasional mild cramps.  I am easily exhausted, however, and am having trouble accepting that my body doesn’t want to move as fast as my brain.  I take a lot of breaks to catch my breath, and I overdo it all the time.  I’m trying to get back into my usual fighting shape… slowly.

I have developed some wretched heartburn.  Not really sure what to think about that.  I have heard that Cytotec can have some digestive side effects, but I guess I figured they would have passed by now.

I’m still adjusting to this “new normal”, and it’s coming along a lot more slowly than I thought it would.  I’m trying to be gentle with myself, but I tend to push too hard.

Life isn’t now, nor will it ever be the same as it was before this pregnancy and miscarriage.  I’m still adjusting.

There are many changes that have been forced onto us, and many more changes we will need to make on our own.  September hasn’t been great to us, and yet there are so many reasons to hope.

Today we remember, and tomorrow we start over.

A new day, a new week, a new month, and a whole new season in life.





Monday, September 24th, 2012.



This post is very graphic, but I need to record it for myself, and for others who may find their way here because they don’t know what to expect of a Cytotec-induced miscarriage.

I was not able to find much information online when I went looking, but the few accounts I did come across helped me immensely.  I want to help others as much as I can, in a completely honest and realistic manner.


It happened last night.

The actual miscarriage happened.

I knew that the only sort-of-heavy-ish bleeding and mild cramping I’d had on Friday and Saturday weren’t enough.  Always trust your intuition… mine told me that something wasn’t right.  I wasn’t in enough pain, and I hadn’t bled in any kind of dramatic way.

Something wasn’t right.  And I knew.

I let myself believe what the nurses kept telling me, however, and fell into a false sense of security.  Three full days after taking the Cytotec to bring on the miscarriage, I started to believe that maybe I was on the mend.

Here’s a mini-timeline of events:

  • On Wednesday about 6pm, I started spotting dark brown.  I expected that the miscarriage was starting naturally, and went to bed that night with cramps.
  • On Thursday morning, I still only had cramping and spotting, and those both tapered off to almost nothing by dinnertime.
  • On Thursday at 11pm, I took the full 800mcg dose of Cytotec prescribed to me by Dr. K.  I went to bed prepared to wake up in agony.
  • On Friday morning at 9am, I woke up and nothing had happened; maybe a few mild cramps.  I called Dr. K’s nurse to let her know, and she said to give it some time.  I started bleeding pretty steadily by 12pm.
  • On Friday afternoon, I was having strong cramping and was bleeding pretty  heavily.  I passed a few clots larger than I would normally see during a menstrual period, one as large as a big cherry.  The cramping and bleeding continued throughout the day and night.  I treated the pain with a heating pad; at this point I had not taken the Percocet prescribed to me.
  • On Saturday morning, I was taken to Dr. K’s office to receive my Rhogam shot, as the husband and I have different Rh factors.  I talked to the nurse again, telling her about my symptoms so far, and she said that it sounded like the worst was over, and that I would probably bleed for a week or so.  I told her that I thought I hadn’t had enough pain or bleeding, that this was no worse than my worst period, but she said to consider myself one of the lucky few who have a pretty easy time of it.
  • By Saturday evening, the cramping had all but ended, and the bleeding was steady, though the clotting had stopped.
  • On Sunday morning, I woke up with energy – more energy than I’d had in a week.  I was easily exhausted, but I managed to do some things around the house during the course of the day.  Around 4pm, I even vacuumed the whole place.
  • By the time I finished vacuuming, maybe 4:30pm, my lower back was very painfully aching.  I rested on the couch with a heating pad behind me, convinced that I’d done too much, but after about a half hour, the pain had started to radiate toward my pelvic area as well.
  • I moved the heating pad to my front to help with the cramping, but nothing was alleviating the pain.  This is the point at which I should have taken the Percocet, but I was convinced that I just needed to rest.
  • By 5:30pm, I was in and out of the bathroom with painful cramps and diarrhea.  At this point, the bleeding was getting heavier, more red, and less watery than at any previous point in the process.
  • By 6pm, I was able to time what were likely contractions.  I would have about 5 minutes of severe cramping, and then a 2 minute rest before it started over again.
  • I was shaking violently and my teeth were chattering, I assume from the pain and heavy breathing, and possibly shock setting in.  If at all possible, I would recommend keeping a towel or blanket around you.  I also kept my heating pad in my lap, and that helped to keep me warm.
  • By 6:30pm, I had started to pass large clots, some of which were the size of golf balls.
  • At one point, I passed a very large mass that I assume was the sac.  It was the size of my fist, and it took several minutes of pushing to fully pass.
  • At 7pm, when I thought the pain was at its peak, I realized that if this level of pain was going to continue for much longer, I was going to hyperventilate and pass out.  I took the Percocet, and in between periods of intense cramping, I went to the bed and laid down.  I drank some water and rested, and the pain slowly began to fade.
  • I must have laid there in fetal position, dozing on and off in a haze of pain and painkillers, for at least an hour.  I remember texting my mom and the husband to call to check on me because I was home alone and had taken the Percocet.
  • By 9pm, I was able to get up and walk around a bit.  I refilled my water in the kitchen, and talked on the phone with the people I’d texted, letting them know what had happened, and that I was okay.  The Percocet made me jittery and a little chatty, so I spent a while on the phone.
  • The bleeding continued to be heavy, and still is today,  but nothing like last night.

I know now that the worst is over.  I’ve fully miscarried, and it was painful and graphic like I thought it should be, and has left me completely exhausted.  I slept for 12 hours last night and into today, and am still extremely weak.  As I type this, I’m trying to eat and drink as much as possible.  I’m still very shaky on my legs, but now that I know I’ve handled the worst of it, I know I can manage.

What I want to share with others who may find themselves here looking for personal accounts of Cytotec-induced miscarriage is this:  It may not be the norm, but I did not fully miscarry until 3 full days after I took the prescribed dosage of 800mcg of Cytotec. 

It can happen that way for some.  If your intuition is telling you that you haven’t fully completed your miscarriage, then you may very well be right.

If you think this might be the case for you, please stay in close contact with your doctor’s office.  They may suggest another dose of Cytotec, or a follow-up ultrasound to confirm whether your miscarriage is complete or not.

Listen to yourself, your body, your intuition.  It’s better to be completely wrong than to be caught completely off guard.

As for me, I think I might still be in a bit of shock.

I’m finding myself very detached from the events of last night (hence the extremely matter-of-fact timeline above), but I know that only time will allow me to accept it.

For now, I know that my body has done what it needed to, and that will have to be enough.

Enough for now, until I can accept what’s really happened.

I miscarried.  It was bloody and painful.  I’m no longer pregnant.

I’m empty.


Soundtrack Sunday :: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

People all over have been seeing rainbows the past few days.

I haven’t, despite the rainy and sunny cool fall weather.

I know I’ll get my rainbow someday…

It’s just the days between then and now that are going to hurt.




The bleeding and cramping finally started.

It hasn’t really gotten bad yet.

I keep expecting it to get worse… I actually hope it does.

I haven’t taken any of the Percocet, either.  The pain isn’t unbearable, and at this point, I want to feel it.

I feel like if I’m not in pain, then none of this was real.

I guess the only thing I really want is for this to have been real.  Too often, people want to “move on” or “start over”, and while I want those things too, I don’t want to move so fast that I forget, that others forget.

I understand the urge for loved ones to reach out to support the husband and I, and while food and friendship, kind words and offers of a shoulder to cry on are lovely and much appreciated, what we really need is for people to acknowledge what we are feeling, what really happened.

Our baby died.

Our baby died, and now I’m physically dealing with that, as well as the emotional and psychological torture of miscarriage.

Our baby died, and and I don’t want to medicate the memories away.

Our baby died, and I want to feel the pain so that I can always remember.

Our baby died, but our baby was alive, ours.




Stalled Out

I’ve had some time to recover from the shock of the news we received on Tuesday, and figured I should update you all on what’s happened since then.

The husband and I spent the rest of Tuesday alternately sleeping, watching mindless TV, grieving, and eating our feelings.  Our feelings taste a lot like starchy comfort food, turns out.

I went back to work on Wednesday.  It was a little surreal sitting at my desk, smiling when it was appropriate, and making small talk with coworkers, all the while knowing that there is a dead baby inside of me.  I said things that were inappropriate for my situation, especially since a few of my coworkers knew what had happened.

I say inappropriate things when I’m uncomfortable.  And I make others uncomfortable.  I just don’t know how to deal with this, so I try to act normally… which is probably what makes everyone uncomfortable.

I’m awkward when my life is going well… I expect something like this to only magnify that trait by a thousand.

On Wednesday evening, I started spotting dark brown, and by bedtime was feeling mild cramps.  I figured the miscarriage was happening naturally, and went to bed prepared to deal with the aftermath.

When I woke up on Thursday morning… nothing.  I still had some cramping, and I spotted throughout the day yesterday, but no progress.

Last night, after having a wonderful dinner prepared for us by an amazing friend, I decided to use the Cytotec the doctor had given me to help the process along.

I prepared like someone stocking for a field triage tent.  I made sure I had bottles of water within reach, as well as lots of dark-colored towels next to the bed.  I set alarms for every two hours so I could be sure that I was conscious of my body, and could check for blood loss and call to update the husband on occasion.  I plugged in my heating pad, and made sure my Percocet prescription was handy as well.

(By the way, when Dr. K said “I also wrote you a script for three days worth of Percocet for the pain”, I really thought that was like six pills.  No.  THIRTY PILLS IS THREE DAYS WORTH?  Good LORD.  I wonder if I can trade leftover Percocet for Menopur on the black market…)

I did like the doctor said and put the four pills into the end of a tampon, placed them, and prayed that it wouldn’t hurt too badly when the cramping started.

I went to bed, somewhat comforted by my stash of supplies all within arms reach, and fell asleep quickly.  Comfort food overindulgence and constant worry are a better sleep-aid than Ambien.

I awoke a few times in the night with mild cramping, but no evidence of heavy bleeding… or any bleeding, for that matter.  As I type this, it’s been about ten hours since I took the Cytotec, and precisely nothing has happened.

I called Dr. K’s office a little while ago to let them know, and they are supposed to be calling me back after they talk to the doc.  How much you wanna bet they call me in another dose and have me try again?


Why can’t anything just work like it’s supposed to?  I feel like I’m constantly steeling myself for what comes next, and then it never comes the way I expect.  At this rate, I’m just praying I won’t have to have a D&C after all…

So anyway, that’s where I am now.  Stuck, stagnant, and stalled out.

Apparently my body really, really wanted to be pregnant, and has no intentions of giving up without a fight.  Normally I’d appreciate that, but right now, I just want this to be over so I can start to heal.

I’ll update more later, and hopefully there will be some progress made by then.

Happy nine weeks pregnant to me.  Ugh.


When Feathers Appear…

When feathers appear, angels are near.

Have you ever heard that phrase?

I’m not sure where I heard it the first time… maybe one of those psychic medium shows.

I’m not sure how much of that stuff I really believe anyway.

Angels?  Sure, I think they exist, but are they really trying to send us messages?


Then again… Maybe so.

I first noticed the feathers as I left the office last Tuesday after discovering that I was spotting.  I was in a panic, thinking that I was about to miscarry.  I got to my car, and my parking space was covered with feathers.

I really didn’t think much of it, especially considering the state I was in at the time.

The next day, after not miscarrying and subsequently returning to work, I noticed more feathers.  In the parking garage, the sidewalk, on my front porch.

I started to think about that saying… “When feathers appear, angels are near.”

It was then that I started to really think that maybe that spotting wasn’t just a fluke.  Maybe the feathers were sent by an angel…

It’s only fitting that the day I started seeing the feathers was the day the doctor says my baby stopped growing.

My angel baby.

I’ll never hold that baby, but I feel a connection stronger than with anyone else I know.  My angel baby sent me feathers as a sign of peace and happiness and hope for the future.

Like the bird tattooed on my shoulder, and like the precious happy moments of my childhood spent watching the birds flit about, the feathers were a sign that I should be at peace.

There is still hope, and there is happiness to come.

Dr. K was very kind and reassuring.  There was almost no growth since our last appointment, and the yolk sac has disappeared.  Everything about my body is perfectly healthy, and this seems to just be a chromosomal issue.  It happens in 20% of pregnancies.  I’m normal and healthy, but the baby just wasn’t.

He gave me options and told me to take my time.  I can choose to miscarry naturally, or I have some medication that will help the process along.

One thing that helped to hear was that the medication does not require me to wait months before starting a new cycle.  I will have time to grieve, and time to prepare myself for jumping back in with both feet.

As devastated as I feel right now, I know that it’s just not in me to stop trying.

I’m still stuck in a hard place; half-pregnant, carrying the shell of a life that left me a week ago.

A life that left feathers in its place.

I have grief and sadness and emptiness.

But I also have hope.  And determination.  And strength.  And an amazing husband and support system.

And that’s a lot.

It’s enough for now.

It has to be.


I’m Ready.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012.  8weeks, 4days.

I’m ready.

Bring on the ultrasound.

I’m prepared for today.

I know my odds, and I have reconciled all imaginable outcomes.

I have a gut feeling, and I’m hoping to be wrong.

Whatever today brings, however good or bad, it will surely bring answers.

That will have to be enough for now…

I’m ready.

Let’s go…


One More Sleep…

Monday, September 17th, 2012.  8weeks, 3days.

Tomorrow is the day we get answers.

Tomorrow is the day our baby’s heart beats, or we start preparing to miscarry.

Tomorrow is the day we can emerge from Limbo and start to move on…


One more sleep leaves us on the brink of a changed life.

Tomorrow is the day.

One more sleep…


8 Weeks

Friday, September 14th, 2012.  8weeks.

I really didn’t think things would be so up in the air at eight weeks pregnant.

Honestly, I thought I would be announcing our happy news on Facebook at this point.  I thought I’d spend the nights I’m alone while the husband is at work using my awesome new home fetal heart doppler to listen to my baby.

(Yeah.  That bad boy came in the mail the day of our first ultrasound, by the way.  It now resides in its unopened box under the bed, along with the pregnancy books, because I’m afraid to look at it.)

I really am in pregnancy limbo.

And I really hate limbo.

There is truly nothing I can do but wait, and that’s just not my style.  Even Dr. Google has stopped giving me new information.  Ugh.

I’ve started the dangerous path to over-rationalization, which is something I do when I’m very nervous or expecting a bad outcome.

I mentally go over my early pregnancy symptoms, and try to remember the days I had them and the days I didn’t.  I try to pinpoint when they left, and match that up with the date Dr. K saw old blood in my uterus.

Was that the appropriate time frame for a miscarriage to have started?  Did my baby stop growing a week ago, creating the blood that resulted in brown spotting this week?

All of these things can be completely unremarkable in a pregnancy.

Spotting?  Happens to lots of people, and brown spotting is not of much concern.

Loss of symptoms?  Hormone levels can plateau in any normal pregnancy, and sometimes symptoms fade in and out.  No biggie.

Slow growth?  It happens, and a lot of the time baby catches up.  Early growth can be hard to gauge sometimes, especially with a tilted uterus.

All of these things alone can be perfectly normal.

All of these things together with my particular situation are extremely worrisome.

I am finding myself planning ahead on two separate paths…

On the one path, I am going ahead with that Facebook announcement.  I’m registering and decorating a nursery and holding my new baby in the hospital.

On the other path, I’m making the decision whether to miscarry naturally or seek medical intervention.  I’m grieving and healing and preparing to hop back on the TTC roller coaster.

It’s exhausting.

One thing I’ve decided though, is how I will proceed if I am forced down that second path.  I can’t know what my body will do on its own, but I want to wait two more weeks before forcing anything to happen.

10 weeks pregnant.  If the news is bleak at Tuesday’s ultrasound, then 10 weeks pregnant is as far as I will get.

Of course, there is still the small chance that maybe Gummy Bear decided to kick it into high gear this week and I’ll end up making it well past that 10 week mark… and down that first path after all.

I hope to God that’s the path I end up walking.




Wednesday, September 12th, 2012.  7weeks, 5days.

I felt great yesterday.  It was a beautiful, fall-like day in Southeastern Michigan/Northwestern Ohio, and things at work felt like they were really coming together.  The team is almost fully back to normal after a few important people had been missing due to extended illnesses and injuries, and after starting the day with a new trainee and lunch out with coworkers, I felt ready to really dig in and have a productive afternoon.

About 2pm, I ran to the bathroom and found that I was spotting.  Not bleeding exactly, and not even full-on pink spotting, but more of a brownish-pink, very creamy cervical mucus.  Almost like what you might see during the TWW, except with the alarming color.

I panicked.

Since there was quiet a lot of… umm… wetness, and because I was wearing khakis and not at all prepared for any kind of bleeding to start while I was at work, I went home early.  I got to the house, put on the stretchiest pants I own, and curled up with a blanket on the couch, feeling awful and waiting for the cramping and heavy bleeding to start.

Waiting to miscarry.

I waited all night… and finally went to bed with the husband, fully expecting to be awakened by painful cramping.

But it never happened.

I woke up with my alarm this morning well-rested and feeling… serene.  Happy, even.

No cramping.  No more spotting.


Soo… that was weird.

Was this a forewarning of the beginning of the end?  Will I look back at this later and realize that it was a sign that my miscarriage was beginning, or will this just be the one scary time I overreacted to some very mild spotting?

I have no idea at this point.

I stayed home from work this morning and am now waiting for a call back from Dr. K to see if he is going to send me for blood work and/or have me come in earlier than Tuesday for my next ultrasound.

I’m thinking that I should just go to work.

I can’t go home and hide every time I get scared.  That’s just not me.

I really need to keep living my life like nothing tragic is looming in the shadows, because if I do lose this baby, I am going to need to throw myself back into that life in a major way in order to recover.

And if I don’t lose this baby, which I pray every day is the case, I will have plenty of time off from real life about seven months from now…

Either way, life must go on.

And so must I.


:: UPDATE ::

The doc called back and told me that he is not at all concerned by brown spotting, and that it was probably the old blood he saw in my uterus during Monday’s scan.  He said that it’s a perfectly normal thing for any pregnancy, and that I should definitely let him know if I start cramping or have bright red blood.

He also talked to me about blood work, and gave me a choice.  He said that with most pregnancies, the HCG levels in your body level off or sometimes even drop from day to day after a certain point.  Getting my levels taken today may cause more upset than relief if they do not appear to be rising, and he said that if I want to get them taken, he will gladly call in the requisition.

I decided to pass on the blood draw this time.  He’s right.  Getting my blood drawn won’t change anything.  If my levels are rising, I may feel good about it, and yet I may still miscarry.  If my levels are falling or rising very slowly, I may be devastated, and yet my pregnancy may still be successful.

I’m at peace with all of this.  What will be, will be.

One day at a time.  That’s how time passes, and there is no use speculating.

Time to rejoin my life, already in progress.

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It's me, Katie.

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