** WARNING :: Post contains description of a miscarriage induced by misoprostol. I want to share this because I want women facing a similar experience to have an idea what to expect. **
At 11 weeks 4 days I received the misoprostol pills. I was dreading using them because I knew what process would come after. And because this was a second miscarriage the OBGYN asked if I could collect the miscarriage for pathology testing to see what might have caused it. It’s usually chromosomal they say.
At 12 weeks I had worked up the guts to just do it. Hubs had the day off and I could take the time I needed. The instructions from the nurse was this:
- Eat a meal
- Take the max dose of Tylenol (1000mg) and Ibuprofen (400mg) to minimize the labor cramps/contractions
- Take a gravol and prepare a hot water bag to counter the side effects of the drug (nausea, vomitting, feeling cold, shivers)
- Insert four misoprostol pills as far into the vagina as you can
- Go to bed and stay home
So starting after lunch, I did this. While waiting for the meds to kick in I read on some forum the terrible and painful experiences some moms had with this medication. (But these moms also weren’t given the instructions I was.) I began to dread what was ahead. My sister told me to stop reading stuff and just sleep. (If you have to take misoprostol as well, stop reading anything else after this post. ) The Gravol kicked in and I slept.
I woke for a light dinner. No pain (thank you Ibuprofen and Tylenol!) though I had a few sharp pangs in my pelvic region. Two girl friends, @whereiskp and @kimby came by to keep me company a while. I understand everyone will go through this differently in terms of who they share this with but I just highly highly recommend walking through this with supportive people around you. Whether they send dinner (Thank you @whereiskp! Love you!!) or come over to play with your kids so you can take a mental break (Thank you @Kimby! Love you!!) or to listen and pray and give hugs (Love you all Friends and Family!). Giving your thoughts an outlet to listening ears keeps them from eating you up inside. You need community more than you think.
At 10pm, eight hours after the pills went in, I had a bit more bleeding as well as some larger clots. As a side note, it’s a good idea to stay on top of the pain meds for at least 12-24 hours. I washed up and went to bed.
Around midnight, 2am and 4am I would feel something expelled, bleeding got really heavy (filled a pad in an hour), and a large palm-size piece would be passed into the toilet. The hospital provided gloves for me to retrieve and put into the specimen container. Each time I’d have to put the container in the fridge after. It’s probably as gory and traumatic as you imagine but through the process I really turned off the emotion part and kept it “scientific”. It’s for pathology testing after all. And I really didn’t want to flush the embryo away like I did the first time. After the 4am run, the bleeding reduced greatly. I slept until 8am and Saturday continued per normal with toddler routines and their demands. There wasn’t time for emotional processing. I noticed that I didn’t notice the offensive scents in my kitchen anymore. And I thought to myself, “Ok, well, I guess that’s done.”
On Monday while at the hospital dropping off the specimen container at the emergency room, I suddenly felt a heavy blood flow. Going to the bathroom I felt another large piece pass but this time there was no way I could retrieve it. I really really hoped that was not BB3. All the other times I didn’t closely examine anything because I didn’t know if I could handle seeing the embryo. But having this happen at the hospital was a bit of a blow. I realize I’ll never know so I’m letting it go.
The bleeding for a few days after is like a regular period. Then spotting for a few more days. I was drinking red raspberry leaf tea through it all as it’s supposed to help tone the uterus (postpartum) to help stop the bleeding sooner. Not sure if that’s why I didn’t bleed as long as some women described in the forum. Or perhaps because the embryo stopped developing around 6 weeks that everything didn’t get as big as it would’ve been had it grown to a full 12 weeks. (And I think I’d be a complete wreck if I held a full 12 week fetus in my hands.)
It’s been just over four weeks since the miscarriage and am still slowly processing emotionally and spiritually. All I can say is don’t bury it inside but give yourself time to recognize the thoughts and feelings that come. More on that another time.