Tag: cytotec
Status

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.

 

 

Status

Empty

Monday, September 24th, 2012.

 

Warning: 

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.

Status

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?

Ugh.

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.

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