Unleasing the Uterus

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There’s no way of predicting how a miscarriage will turn out. Once you have decided that you’re going for the “natural” approach as opposed to having a D&C, you assume it’s going to be, well, natural. No medical intervention, just you and a whole lot of blood. Well, that’s how it’s supposed to go…

On April 13th we should have had a one year old birthday party for our second baby. On April 17th we had no heartbeat with our fourth baby. April 19th was my birthday. April 26th I started having very, very mild brown discharge. Very minimal, no big deal. I thought, “Well, this is going to take a long time…” I had very minimal cramping and expected to start a period-like miscarriage shortly.

My last two miscarriages (miscarriage two and three) were fairly easy–as easy as a miscarriage can be anyway. I had a heavy period-like miscarriage… One lasted seven days, the other lasted nine days. I assumed that was how this one would go.

April 26th (Saturday) was the brown discharge. April 27th (Sunday), I still had the brown discharge all day. Man, this is going to take forever!

Sunday night around 6:00 I told my husband I was starting to have cramps. “I think I’m finally going to start bleeding.” I took some Tylenol and was watching tv as my husband cooked dinner. The cramps got increasingly worse and at 7:30 I asked him to please get my heating pad. I could tell I had started bleeding, but I didn’t go to the bathroom yet (I already had a pad on). We had dinner and at 8:00 I went to the bathroom. The bleeding went from the brown discharge to bright red blood… A lot of blood. I felt something slip out of me, about the size of a golf ball, which made a splash when it hit the water. I went back to the living room and felt so awful. The cramping was getting worse. Ten minutes I went to the bathroom again… Passed something even bigger… I’m guessing the size of a plum… Both masses went straight to the bottom of the toilet. The amount of blood scared me and my pad was soaked within a matter of minutes. I came back into the living room crying and told my husband we needed to go to the ER, immediately. We were in the ER within 20 minutes. I wasn’t having cramps, I was having contractions. They were five minutes apart and I had pressure in my rectum. I felt an incredible urge to push. When we got to the ER they immediately put us in a room, but we had to wait forty minutes to be seen by the doctor… I was having contractions the entire time, bleeding everywhere.

My mom was there with us… She and my husband were counting out my contractions… They went from five minutes apart to three minutes apart lasting about a minute and a half. Finally, I was seen by the ER doctor. He gave me dilaudid, a personal favorite; I highly recommend it. He also did an exam and got no where because there was so much blood and too many blood clots. He couldn’t see my cervix. He immediately called the OB on call. I asked if I could use the bathroom… I had to go pee. The floor was covered in blood from the exam… my pants and flip flops were covered from when I changed into my gown. I shuffled to the bathroom with a giant pad between my legs. I passed probably 20-30 blood clots into one of their “hats” in the bathroom… It looked like someone had been murdered when I was done and I apologized to the nurse several times. I asked if their was any tissue in the clots so that it could be genetically tested. The nurse said there wasn’t any tissue, that they were just blood clots. Fantastic.

Once the on-call OB came down, she wanted to do another exam. More blood… but she could finally see my cervix. I was dilated about the size of a finger tip. What is that, a centimeter? “I think it’s safe to say you’re in the beginning stages of this miscarriage.” Hello Dr. Obvious. Thanks for the update. “Did your doctor talk to you about what happens during a miscarriage?” Yeah, we got the memo on that, too. Dr. Obvious wanted to admit me in the hospital because of the amount of blood I was losing. She wasn’t sure if we needed to do a D&C because my body was doing the work for me. She offered to put Cytotec into my vagina to help soften my cervix and help make the contractions stronger. “It will help speed up the process.” I was unsure about having stronger contractions, but I was also sure I could handle it with my best friend, dilaudid, near-by. I was also sure I wanted this over as soon as possible.

I was admitted into the hospital and got into my room around midnight. My mom went home and my husband stayed with me. After gettting settled into the room, Dr. Obvious came in the room to exam me again and insert the Cytotec. “You’re dilated more than you were downstairs.” Then she told me there was too much blood to put the Cytotec into my vagina… It would have to go in my rectum. I actually said, “This just keeps getting better and better…”

Once the Cytotec was inserted, the lights were turned down low we just waited for everything to happen. My husband and I both fell in and out of consciousness. I had more dilaudid every two hours. The nurse came in at 2:00 and at 4:00. I was bleeding the entire time but nothing passed. When I closed my eyes, I could literally feel my uterus contracting. Every few minutes (contractions?) would jolt me awake and startle me. I didn’t feel any pain except for little earthquakes in my abdomen. When the new nurse came in at 4 in the morning, she came over to my bed and pushed hard on my stomach… I asked her to please stop and she said, “It’s necessary.” Uh. Fuck you. I told her that I needed to go to the bathroom and that I wanted a “hat” to use so that I could collect any tissue. She said, “Dr. Obvious said that you passed everything when you were in the ER. You’re just bleeding now.” Uh, no. I’m not. Get me a fucking hat,is what I’m thinking. Finally after trying to convince her of this I went to the bathroom and passed a huge clot. Like, larger than my fist. I told the nurse I wanted it saved to be tested. It stayed in the room with us until we left. I wish they would would have sent it in immediately, or sent it to be frozen. I tried to be an advocate to get someone to take it, but no one did until we left the hospital. I couldn’t tell if it was just a huge blood clot of if it was the baby. I didn’t have the strength to dissect it.

We left the hospital around 2:00 pm that day… An ultrasound confirmed that no “product of conception” remained. I continued to bleed all week (and I’m still bleeding). It’s been 8 days since the bloody onset. I had my blood drawn last night at an immediate care clinic. I found out today my HcG is still sitting at around 440. My doctor wants me to have another ultrasound on Wednesday to confirm that everything is gone. She’s concerned that I may have to have a D&C… after everything I’ve already been through. I hope that that’s not the case.

Wednesday morning I have the ultrasound at 8:00 and then I’m meeting Hilary from “The Corner” at 1:00 for coffee. I’m looking for some comfort and guidance from her. That’s what she does best–help people like me.

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