Friday, December 12, 2008

My Experience with a Cytotec (Misoprostol) Miscarriage

Dear friends and family,

You are welcome to read this post, but I am posting it more for people who may be about to go through a medical miscarriage with the use of Cytotec, because I couldn't find many people's experiences when I was searching online. I will warn you that I'm not going to mince my words, and this is certainly not material for anyone under the age of 18.

Love you all,
Abbie

_______________________________

Before taking the pills, I had a very large lunch with a lot of protein and vegetables, drank a lot of water, and also took a prenatal vitamin. I lost a lot of blood during the miscarriage, and I think that the food and extra iron in my system was helpful towards not fainting. Plus, the Cytotec does create nausea, so I wasn't able to eat a whole lot later. I also took two Advil at this point (my doctor recommended an hour before placing the Cytotec), to help lower the pain of the initial cramping.

Yesterday at 1:50 pm, I inserted the 4 tablets of Misoprostol into the posterier fornix of my vagina. Emotionally, this was difficult to do, but not physically. I say it was difficult emotionally because this felt very much like an elective abortion (as if I was choosing to get rid of my baby), but of course it was not. Our baby died long enough ago that we couldn't even find a body on the ultrasound.

By 2:30, the cramping began. The instructions said it would probably take 2-4 hours to begin, but I think they might have meant "the cramping that will make you want to die" starts in 2-4 hours. The cramps started as very harmless cramps - they felt like the lightest ones I have before my period is going to start.

By 3:30, I was extremely nauseous and had bad gas that was causing the cramps to hurt a bit more. The nausea was very different from pregnancy nausea - I knew when to expect my pregnancy nausea because I was near a bad smell or brushing my teeth near the back of my mouth, but this was more of a spontaneous spasm of your stomach which I thought might cause me to throw up (although I never did). At this point I started using a heating pad, although it would have been nice to have two - one for my back and one for my stomach. A hot water bottle actually might have been better for this, since my heating pad just wouldn't stay on long enough and I kept having to unplug it to get it to come back on again.

By 4:00 pm, the cramps were at the level that I normally experience as the worst cramps during my period. They will get worse. I recommend at this point that you take the prescribed painkiller. My doctor gave me three doses of percocet, which took about an hour to kick in in my case. I waited far too long to take the percocet. Take the percocet before it gets too bad!

By 5:00 pm, I truly felt as if I was going to die from the cramps, backache, nausea and gas that were all causing severe amounts of pain. I imagine this is what labor feels like. In this case, there is no baby for you to worry about a painkiller's effect, so please, please take your prescribed painkiller when you reach this point, if not earlier. This is when I took mine, and then I passed out from the pain.

At 5:30, the percocet began to kick in slowly: I still felt the cramps, but my mind was like, "Who cares! This is fun! Everything's funny!" I think that the percocet hit my brain before the rest of my body. :) This is when I got up and started moving around. Moving around makes the bleeding begin and the miscarriage happen faster, so I highly recommend moving around if you can. At this point I was able to eat dinner without feeling too nauseous, and if you want to eat, I recommend doing it before the bleeding begins.

6:00 is when my bleeding started. It trickled for about 2 minutes and then whoooooosh. An extremely full pad in about 15 minutes. At 6:15 I felt as if I was going to pass out, so I got up to go to the bathroom and see if I needed to check my pad (oh yeah I did), and that is when blood clots began to come out. Because the percocet had kicked in by this time, I felt no pain during this. I don't know if it's normally painful or not. I also realized that the cramps were very good, because they did all of the work for me. I didn't have to push, I just had to catch what was coming out (for my doctor to do testing on it). I *thought* that the miscarriage was over by 6:30, cleaned up, and headed back to the couch to watch Rocky.

6:45: Oops, I was wrong. Two more really large blood clots fell out into my pad. I went back to the bathroom and sat and waited for about 20 minutes, during which my body expelled many more blood clots. I caught a few more, bagged them (I thought these were pieces of the sac!), and let the rest go down the drain. I cleaned up again and headed back to the couch.

7:15: At this point, I could actually tell when things were coming. I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom before my body expelled more clots. I also stopped collecting things, since I thought they had enough material. I continued to lose large clots until 9:30 pm (plus one at 5:00 this morning)!

9:30: Most of the clots were gone by this point, but I was extremely faint from blood loss. I kept myself drinking plenty of water (actually, juice might be better to help keep your blood sugar levels up) and laid down with my feet above my head.

11:00 The intense cramping returned. Time for a second percocet! Most of my bleeding was done by this point in time. I was able to fall asleep when the medicine kicked in. Jonathan set his alarm to wake us up every few hours, just to make sure I had stopped losing large amounts of blood and wasn't in trouble.

This morning I passed a few small clots, but since the cramping had basically stopped, I had to push these out myself. This is a difficult concept for someone who hasn't been in labor before, and I had quite a hard time figuring out how to get them out. But I think most everything is gone by now! The bleeding is very, very light, and except for the lightheadedness from blood loss, I feel pretty good.

***Note: I updated this post to be more accurate. I accidentally collected blood clots, which are useless for testing, since they were made of my own blood. The majority of what you will pass during a Cytotec miscarriage are clots (which are large, perhaps as long as 6", and dark red, don't be confused by their size, these are not pieces of your sac!), and you may or may not pass your gestational sac at this time (which is a white/grayish ball). Mine didn't come out until Sunday, three days post-Cytotec.

UPDATE: If you are reading this post because you are about to use cytotec for a medical miscarriage, please do leave a comment. I would love to know who you are and what your story is - I know there are many, many people who find my site by searching for "experience with cytotec" or something similar, and my heart hurts so much knowing that you may be alone while you are going through this. Even if you leave an anonymous comment, at least I can use that to pray more specifically for you!

409 comments:

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SydneyB said...

I'm so glad I found your post and all these amazing comments from women who experienced the same thing I just went through. We have a healthy 22-month old and I was excited when I found out I was pregnant with #2. But since I'm 40 I didn't want to get too excited... I guess for good reason. At around 7.5 weeks I started spotting and went to the hospital for scans - the baby measured 6wk 5 days and they couldn't hear a heart beat (I heard it just the week prior). I went back to my doctor's office for 2 more scans a week later and confirmed that there was no heart beat and on the second scan, no longer a fetal pole.

I didn't want a D&C if I could help it so I opted for misoprostol. My dr told me to expect cramping and lots of blood and truthfully I didn't read anything about it because I didn't want to scare myself more. I inserted 800 mcg and took a vicodin at 12:30pm and laid in bed. Read books and watched movies on my phone and felt nothing for 5 hours except nausea and some mild cramping. I ate a little bit of dinner and then ran to the bathroom. At around 7pm I just felt a pop and gush - I was surprised to see so much liquid blood. And so many clots. I think I passed about 15-20 clots the size of small walnuts from 7pm-midnight. Nothing that resembled the gestational sac unfortunately. Or if I did, I didn't happen to see it and there was no way I was going to go fishing around in that bloody toilet to find out.

I called my doctor's office the next morning to make a follow-up appointment for a week later to see if everything came out. I asked if I should take the second dose prescribed and they just asked me to come in so that they could check. I'm actually glad I went in because my doctor took a look inside and ended up pulling out pieces of the sac from my cervix. It wasn't painful but it wasn't pleasant. She did an intravaginal ultrasound and said that all the pregnancy product was out but that I still have clots. Recommended that I take another 600 mcg to get the rest moving.

I inserted another 3 pills that evening and again, felt nauseous (maybe it was the vicodin) but no cramping. A few hours later I passed a few very small clots and nothing since. Still experiencing some light spotting. I think the bleeding will slowly taper off in the next week or so. Going back to the doctor in another week to see if the uterus has clamped back down.

I'm so glad I found this page with Abbie's account and all of your comments. You've really helped me understand what to expect. I hope you all went on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies. I'm planning to keep trying for #2 in a few months. Big hugs to everyone! <3

Micah said...

That you for this post. I just got off the phone with my midwife. We discussed the different option I have for my miscarriage. My fetus was 13 weeks. I am researching my options my midwife gave me. I just googled ' cytotec for miscarriage' & your blog caught my eye. I am extremely nervous & of course broken at this point. This sounds terrifying, but I need to get this going so I am not sitting waiting for a natural miscarriage to process. Thank you again for your story. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

At my first prenatal 9 week appointment only an empty 7 week sac was there. No baby. My husband and I were devastated. We were told to come back in one week for a follow up ultrasound. After waiting an agonizing week only to see that our empty sac was now smaller and now measured only 6 weeks. Still no sign of baby. We were given our options and decided to have a medical miscarriage at home.

I decided to start the process the next morning because I wanted to be able to sleep through the night. My doctor prescribed me Norco and 800 ibuprofen for pain. She told me to take the pain meds an hour before I take the pills so the pain meds have time to hit my system before the cramps do. That was the best advice because I never felt much pain. I stayed ahead of the pain by taking pain meds every 4-6 hours and by doing so even the bad cramps only felt like moderate period cramps at the worst. A heating pad works also works wonders. I have an electrical one I kept on me the whole day.

It took about 4 hours after I took the miscarriage pills to feel or notice anything . I took them at 8:00AM, Two in each cheek that I had to let dissolve for a half hour. I was worried that nothing would happen and then suddenly the bleeding started. I bleed and cramped all day passing small clots. The norco mad me sleepy and I fell asleep for a couple of hours. At around 9:00PM I got up to use the restroom. As I stood up all of the sudden I felt everything pass, it stopped me in my tracks. It is the weirdest feeling and I will never forget it. I ran to the bathroom and as soon as I sat down on the toilet I kept feeling more and more pass out of me. I had to yell for my husband to get me new underwear and sweats because my pad was so overfilled. Sorry to be so graphic. I sat there about 5 minutes. I cleaned myself up, there was a lot of blood, and that was the worst of it. I've been spotting ever since. I'm on day four today and still continue to spot and pass small clots. No worse than a regular period.

When I reflect on this whole experience the absolute worst part was the emotional pain my husband and I felt at that first prenatal appointment. Deciding do have the medical miscarriage at home was a good decision for us. That part really wasn't that bad. It was nice to be able to go through the physical part in my own home. I'm so glad I didn't wait it out. I can't imagine going through that on an unexpected day. What if I had been working?

My advice if you choose this option. Get the good pain meds. Take them an hour before you get started. Continue to take them every 4-6 hours even if you're not in pain yet. If you stay ahead if the pain, it never gets bad. Also do it first thing in the morning. It took 13 hours before I passed the sac at 9:00 at night. I was grateful it didn't happen in the middle of the night. I was able to get a good night sleep after my long day. Take a few days off work and get a good electrical heating pad.

My husband and I want to start trying again right away. Baby dust to all! You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Abbie,

Wow, I can't explain how much your post has helped me to mentally prepare for this experience. So many women are going through this and it's my biggest consolation - none of us are alone in this. This was my first pregnancy like many of the women who have commented, and at 6 weeks I was told I had a chemical pregnancy as there was no sac, etc. But, my HcG levels were rising. Fast forward through a month of blood tests every other day, 5 ultrasounds, and possible diagnoses of everything from ectopic pregnancy to twins (!!!) and at 10 weeks they finally confirmed it was a blighted ovum. The sac developed and a yolk sac seen the previous week had disappeared so it was simply empty. I prayed and prayed and felt the cytotec was the best option for me. As my sac never progressed beyond 4-5 weeks, I'm praying this will all go well and be over relatively quickly. Taking the pills tomorrow morning and glad to have an idea of what to expect. For all who have been through this, add me to your prayers. I'll do the same for you. Will update when it's finished.

Anonymous said...

I'm updating from my post on May 4. Unfortunately, the medicine didn't work for me - only resulted in very light cramps, light bleeding, and a sensation similar to what I imagine acid reflux to feel like. Seeing my doctor today to determine if I now need the D&C after all. Thanks for your advice and preparation. I can't decide if I'm lucky or unlucky that I didn't have the pain that many of you dealt with. Prayers for all.

"Intentionally Katie" said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS!! Ironically, i took my Misoprostol at 1:45 and your timeline has been so helpful. I found this at 4:45, just before I thought I was going to die. It's now 5:20, I just vomited twice (and feel better already) plus I just passed my first few clots.

It's helpful to know that the Percocet will help me thoughout the night and that the worst of it isn't yet to come!

This is my 3rd miscarriage, but my first time taking this route to speed up the process and I was really scared of the pain but it's already subsiding a little.

Again, thank you for writing this. So incredibly helpful!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This gave me the courage and preparation that I needed.

Heartbroken3 said...

I know this is an old post and u may never read this reply, but thank you for sharing what u went thru. My husband too is an OB, so maybe that's why hearing your story helped. We found out yesterday that our 9w5d baby no longer had a heartbeat. I am heartbroken but I am also ready for the pointless nausea to go away if I don't get to keep my sweet baby anyway. I took my cytotec an hour and a half ago and I am terrified. I am cramping and spotting now, but I know it's going to get worse. My husband has said it is going to be horrible and painful. He was more into just having a D&C, but I am scared of scarring. I really wanted/want one more baby. Fingers crossed that it goes smoothly and quickly.

Jen Schuh said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I have spent most of my day today reading other's stories as I am going through a miscarriage right now. I share your pain as well as everyone else's here. I took misoprostol this morning and it has been painful, emotionally and physically. Immediately after taking the pills (800 mcg buccal route) I started having diarrhea and mild period-like cramping. It's been 5 hours and no heavy bleeding yet. It hurts to move/walk so I have been curled up watching movies with a heat pad and Tylenol/Ibuprofen. Not much of an appetite, but gatorade has been helpful (since my bowels are going crazy!) The cramps are getting stronger, which I am thankful for in a way since I know that they are moving things out. This was my first pregnancy and I did not realize how painful this process could be. I am thankful for everyone's stories. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. Hugs to everyone one, I know how necessary they are :)

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