Many women miscarry naturally. My baby stopped developing at seven weeks. At 12 weeks, I still had no signs of miscarriage, and my doctor felt that I was at risk for infection if I did not pass the pregnancy tissue soon. My options were: 1) do nothing – I may miscarry naturally, 2) have a D&C, otherwise known as dilation and curettage, an operation to manually remove the tissue from my uterus, or 3) take medication called misoprostol to urge my body to miscarry.
I found it difficult to find other women’s experiences with taking the drug, so I thought I would share my story to help others who may be in a similar situation.
Here is my experience:
11:30 am – I insert 4 misoprostol pills vaginally (total of 800 mcg). I am told to expect cramping and bleeding to start in 2 – 8 hours. The OB did warn me that the misoprostol is ineffective for about 30% of women with a blighted ovum (like me). I am concerned that I will be one of the 30%.
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – I have some light cramping and very minimal spotting. I try a lot of things to “jump start” the misoprostol process. I walk up and down our stairs countless times. I ride our stationery exercise bike. I relax on the couch. I take a warm bath.
5:00 pm – I am getting discouraged. Since 1pm, I have had minor cramps and some light spotting, but I know that my lack of bleeding means that the misoprostol is not taking full effect. Dan decides to go pick up some pizza for dinner and bring it home. He asks me to come, and I think that maybe the change of scenery will be good for me.
6:00 pm – we arrive back home and suddenly I am freezing cold. It is below freezing outside and I hadn’t bothered to dry my hair after my bath, so I assume at first that the chills are due to the cold and my damp hair. It seems that there is nothing I can do to warm up. I immediately dry my hair, put on a wool sweater, a jacket, wool socks, and a hat. I get under a down comforter (fully dressed) and asked for a heating pad. Severe chills and a slight fever of 100 degrees persist for about an hour. I eat my dinner and the chills subside a bit.
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm – moderate cramping continues but still no heavy bleeding. It has been 9 hours, and I assume that the misoprostol has failed to work properly. I go to sleep discouraged.
11:00 pm – I wake up from a gush of blood. I get out of bed to see that my maxi pad is filled with blood. I go to the toilet and a thick mixture of blood and tissue comes out. I am shocked at the volume. It is about the size of an egg.
11:00 pm – 2:00 am: cramping becomes heavier and heavy bleeding and tissue passage continues. I am wearing a thick maxi pad but I also put a towel over the bed sheets. Bleeding is very heavy. I have three severe cramps that I breathe through. To distract myself, I watch reality TV. It is a welcome diversion.
2:00 am – cramping subsides. No more tissue clumps are coming out. Bleeding is much lighter. I go to sleep.
7:00 am – I wake up. Bleeding is light (like a normal period). Cramping is minimal. I feel much better and am happy to have the worst behind me. I continue to bleed and cramp as if I were having a period for about 10 days.