She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 5

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

So that brings us to the present day. Well, to yesterday, really.

Yesterday I had what I hoped to be my last ultrasound of this whole awful ordeal. The ultrasound tech and I smiled weakly at each other, both knowing what I was there to see (or, not see). After much poking, I quietly asked, “Has the heartbeat stopped?” and she nodded. To my surprise, I felt nothing but relief. I have had time to be sad and cry and mourn, and now all I feel is an intense need to move on. Keep chugging. Try again.

My midwife saw me quickly and we talked through my three options again. Benjamin and I had decided that we would try medical management at home (that is, taking a medicine to induce the miscarriage at home) instead of waiting for nature to take its course or getting a D&C/D&E procedure. I was still scared of what it would feel like, and even more scared that I would be part of the 15% for whom it just “doesn’t work”, who still end up needing a procedure, or, worse yet, an emergency one if something goes wrong. Lots of things to worry about, no matter which option I chose.

I had originally planned to take today off of work and take the pills this morning (Friday morning). But my midwife encouraged me to taken them when I got home on Thursday and then try to sleep. The medicine can work as quickly as a couple hours, or take as long as 2 days (and sometimes even longer… like a whole week!). She said generally, though, if it’s going to work, it will work in a few hours. The earlier I take them, the earlier I can get on to the rest of my life and “enjoying my weekend” as she said. Ha.

With the pills, I had two options. I could take them orally (letting them dissolve under my tongue) or as vaginal suppositories. I chose orally, because I thought it would be “easier”, but let me tell you, if I had to do it all over again, I would NOT make the same decision! The pills took ages to dissolve (30 minutes?!) and got all powdery and disgusting in my mouth. Yuck.

I took the first dose at 5:30pm. At 8:30pm I had only very minimal cramping, so I took the 2nd dose (some people don’t need both doses, it just depends on your body). By 9:30pm I was having extreme, consistent cramping. Almost everyone had told me, “It won’t be any worse than your worst period cramps.” Well, maybe my periods have been good to me, or maybe they are all liars, or maybe my reaction to the medicine was different, but these cramps were a lot more intense than regular period cramps. I was hunched over on my couch with a heating pad and still in a lot of discomfort. I had a slight fever and debated calling the doctor’s office, since both of these things were on the “Warning Signs” list. Finally, around 10pm I popped one of the painkillers I had been prescribed as well. Probably should have done that sooner.

Just like when your body goes into labor (because really, let’s be honest, that’s exactly what my body was doing), everything softens. And I do mean everything. So the first and only real symptom I experienced other than cramping and bleeding were some pretty extreme, uhh, how shall I put this… loose bowels? Essentially I was shivering cold, having super uncomfortable cramps and couldn’t get off the toilet. Loooovely.

So, all in all, almost exactly what the doctor told me to expect. Still, it felt awful.

I shuffled to my bed with my heating pad at about 11pm. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to sleep with heating pads on, lest you catch fire in the middle of the night, but I knew I wasn’t going to be doing much sleeping and it was the only thing that seemed to cut the pain. The cramps got continually worse and my temp climbed for the next 2 hours, and finally I reached the climax. I passed the pregnancy tissue in one piece. It was actually kind of amazing to see it. I felt the same sort of awe at what our bodies are capable of as I did when the doctor held up my placenta for me to see after Owen was born. Bodies are AMAZING.

To be honest, I expected to feel a deep sadness or sense of loss at that moment. I was, in that moment, no longer pregnant. But what I really felt was an overwhelming awe for my body and what it had done and complete and total relief that it was OVER. I don’t know how to explain it, but I honestly wanted to wake Benjamin up and give him a high five. Maybe it was the hormones, but I felt so darn happy that my body had done exactly what it was supposed to do. I climbed back in bed with an exhausted smile on my face.

Over the next few hours my temp normalized, the cramps reduced and it began to feel just like I was having a normal period. I barely got a wink of sleep (I think my adrenaline was pumping and I was still somewhat uncomfortable with cramps for the rest of the night). I’m still bleeding this morning and feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, but I’m OK. I did it. I survived.

In hindsight, I probably should have waited until Friday morning to start the process so that I wouldn’t have lost an entire night’s sleep. Alternatively, perhaps the D&C would have been a simpler and more efficient way to get through the hard part. One will never know.

All I need to know now is, it’s over. And it’s time for a nap for me.

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22 responses to “She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 5

  1. Well, I’m glad it’s over and you feel relief, but man that sounded awful to experience! My friends who have miscarried all did the D&C option so I had no idea what the “at home” version would be like..yikes!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way as you begin the next phase of your journey, whatever that may be. xoxo

  3. My miscarriage was a nightmare–it started naturally at home, but got so out of hand I wound up in the ER and eventually admitted to the hospital for a D&C. You made the right decision, though, as far as going the non-D&C route–it was a pretty rough surgery and knocked me pretty well on my butt for a few days.
    I am with you, though–it was such a relief that my body finally said, “okay, this isn’t going to work out,” and at least started the process on its own. If it gives you any hope/comfort, after two miscarriages I’m now 31 weeks with a healthy baby boy. (One thing, after my miscarriages, that shocked and comforted me was how many people with big, seemingly perfect families said, “it happened to us, too.”) If you ever need someone to reach out to, please shoot me an e-mail. Hugs.

  4. I’m glad you’re sharing your experience. With my miscarriage, I chose a D&C because I wanted it over with immediately and it was the easiest procedure I’ve ever had done. I actually felt better immediately and recovered fast. But it sounds like my other option wouldn’t have been too bad either. I just couldn’t stand the thought of seeing anything pass. I’m relieved to know that it wasn’t too hard on you.

  5. I had D&C for my first and third miscarriages (#2 and #4 were chemical pregnancies) and I couldn’t stand the thought of having a third one. So this time, I opted for medical management as well and I’m glad I did. I could go through it in the comfort of my own home and really deal with what was happening (which is pretty hard under anesthesia). I’m glad you’re feeling good about your decision, too. Take care xo

  6. The cramps from my miscarriage were the worst! I had gotten the pills prescribed to me, but I decided to just sleep the night after my appointment and take the pill in the morning. I too didn’t want to wait weeks for it to happen on its own — knowing it could happen anytime. The miscarriage happened naturally that night. I remember waking up in pain and praying that it would end soon. It was way worse than period cramps for sure. I also bled for over two weeks. I bled longer from my miscarriage than I did after I delivered my Owen.

    Glad the miscarriage is over and now you can really start the process of moving on.

  7. It doesn’t sound like any of the options are appealing and I can understand opting to go through this at home. I’m glad you had your time to grieve this and felt relief when it was finally over. I truly am thankful you shared this with us and wish I could give you a hug.

  8. Well it looks like a horrible time you had, until it was over. The cramps you describe, I recognize as my normal period cramps so yes you’r periods are easy on you, enjoy them as you can;)
    But for now. Rest, let the energy flow back in to your body and mind.

  9. Oh my goodness, Kate … hugs, hugs, hugs to you. Wishing you a peaceful weekend. Your body is an amazing thing … and I hope the healing process can begin now.

  10. Make your boys pamper you all weekend, you deserve it. Rough stuff for sure. Sending my love.

  11. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. Im glad you have found peace and can now look forward. I was devastated during my ectopic and was then to be told that I only had one ovary working and and damaged tube (one each side) three months later after not even hoping I fell pregnant. I’m now 23 weeks and still a tiny bit in shock to be honest. I’m not sure why these horrible things happen but I know that you’ll be celebrating a new baba soon. Youre a fantastic mum and have so much love to give. Big hugs! Xxxx

  12. VillagePsych

    Kate, as much as I have heard about infertility in my family and studied it, no one has ever been so bravely frank as to describe what it’s actually LIKE and what options are involved. And how much ambiguity and grey area there is before it happens… miscarriage is a process, not a finite event. This is so, so helpful for all women. I hope it has helped you to write it. Thank you.

  13. Wow Kate. Thank you for sharing your story. I would never have imagined it was anything like this. I hope you find more and more strength by the day. The body is an amazing thing for sure.

  14. Oh, my love…what a tough, difficult day. Yet, you got through it with such strength & grace, just like you always do. I am so proud to call you my friend. Take good care of yourself this week– make your boys wait on you hand & foot. Thinking of you. xoxo.

  15. Wishing you the best as you begin to heal physically & emotionally. Your strength is amazing. I will be thinking of you!

  16. I hope you enjoy your weekend with Ben and Owen, as you so deserve it. My very best friend in the world went through something remarkably similar to this with her second pregnancy, so reading through all of your posts seemed like reliving those conversations with her. Wishing you healing thoughts and a beautiful weekend with your baby boy!

  17. Oh Kate, I’m so in awe of what you’ve been through, how you described it, and your courage. Honestly! I’m so glad the medication worked – the way you described it, it would have been awful to have to WAIT again, go through another procedure.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope the next weeks will be kind to you, that the relief will endure. Hugs & if you ever need to talk… just let me know, okay?

  18. Hi Kate, I’ve never commented before, but wanted to commend you on sharing this very personal story on a subject that no one seems to talk about. I am so sorry for your loss. I experienced 3 miscarriages back to back while trying to conceive our second child (I hesitated to write that as I didn’t want to scare you, but 3 consecutive miscarriages are pretty uncommon). We still don’t know if they were caused by lack of viability of the fetus or some hormonal issues that I have and that we tried to treat with fertility meds. I was the lowest I’ve ever been during the miscarriages and was ready to give up hope. Thankfully, we didn’t, and I had our second son nearly eight weeks ago. You will get through this–you are–and it is brave of you to share this with the world.

  19. I’m glad this is over for you. I think given the fact that the baby had not shown much grown since 6 weeks, you absolutely did the right thing to choose a medically induced miscarriage. My doc strongly urged me to choose a D&C because the fetus measured nearly 10 weeks, which would be a lot of tissue to pass (painful and likely to not pass everything and probably need a D&C anyway). Anyway, please be kind to yourself as you go thorugh the post-miscarriage hormone crash. I really struggled with that, especially during the first week. huge hugs to you!!

  20. OMG. I am so sorry. No words can be of comfort. That much I know. But I sure do hope that your healing begins. Tons of hugs to you!

  21. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. And so glad you’ve come through it strong and ready to move on. Thank you for having the courage to share your story.

  22. I only read this part of the story now, so sorry. Everything has its own reason, hope that you stay strong.

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